Bendigo dragon, Sir Richard Branson share special surprise

Bendigo dragon, Sir Richard Branson share special surprise Richard Branson and Yar Loong. Picture: NATALIE CROXON
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Yar Loong prepares for its performance ahead of this morning’s announcement.

Yar Loong ahead of its performance.

Yar Loong ahead of its performance.

Yar Loong on its way to the performance.

Yar Loong’s view.

More of Richard Branson’s publicity exploits. Photo: Getty Images

More of Richard Branson’s publicity exploits. Photo: Getty Images

More of Richard Branson’s publicity exploits. Photo: Getty Images

More of Richard Branson’s publicity exploits. Photo: Getty Images

More of Richard Branson’s publicity exploits. Photo: Getty Images

Yar Loong performs in Bendigo in 2011.

Yar Loong performs in Bendigo in 2011.

Yar Loong performs in Bendigo in 2011.

Yar Loong performs in Bendigo in 2011.

Yar Loong performs in Bendigo in 2011.

TweetFacebookBENDIGO’S own Yar Loong has teamed with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson to promote his latest venture.

Branson launched Virgin Australia’s inaugural Melbourne to Hong Kong flights by carrying the head of the 32-metre night dragon Yar Loong in a traditional procession with lion dancers and drummers.

The performance surprised travellers at Melbourne International Airport on Wednesday morning.

The crowd eagerly wondered what was about to happen, before Yar Loong and Bransonappeared.

Onlookers took pictures and videos asYar Loong came through the crowd.


The Hong Kongservice will operate five times a week.

Other notable names at the launch included Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo, Virgin Australia Group chief executive and managing director John Borghetti, Victorian Sports Minister andTourism and Major Events Minister John Eren, andHong Kong Tourism Board regional directorAndrew Clarke.

Yar Loong isn’t the only Bendigo dragon in the spotlight lately.

Imperial dragon Sun Loong will againperform soloat next year’s Bendigo Easter festival, as the pushto bring a new people’s dragon to the city continues.


Sun Loong replacement to arrive in 2019New dragon a vital part of BendigoSun Loong’s replacement named as hunt beginsFundraising campaign to replace Sun LoongFundraising for his replacement –Dai Gum Loong –is building momentum,withGolden Dragon Museum general manager AnitaJack hoping to see the two dragons paraded in the 2019 Easter parade.

Ms Jack said the decision to have Dai Gum Loong arrive in 2019 was about making sure the right dragon was chosen to come to Bendigo.

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Medicare breach sets off alarms over $1 billion e-health plan

The Turnbull government insists there has been no major cyber security breach of its health IT systems and says “traditional” criminals – rather than sophisticated hackers – are likely to blame for a website apparently selling the Medicare numbers of allAustralians.
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A report shows that the full Medicare card details of any Australian are being sold on the dark web for around $30 each.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge. Photo: Andrew Meares

Announcing both internal and federal police investigations on Tuesday, Human Services Minister Alan Tudgesaid it appeared the breach had affected only a small number of people and had not put sensitive personal medical records at risk.

But IT and privacy experts are sounding the alarm,using the revelations to call for an urgent rethink of the government’s new centralised $1 billion My Health Recordsystem -which is about to be rolled out to most Australians.

As revealed by theGuardian Australia, an online vendor on a “dark net” auction site claims to be able to access anyone’s Medicare card details on request,and is selling them for around $30 each. A reporter tested the veracity of the claim by successfully purchasing his own Medicare number.

RELATED READING:Medicare details of every Australian currently up for sale

Describing the system as “the Medicare Machine”, the vendor claims they are “exploiting a vulnerability” in the government’s systems to pull the data, and appears to have sold at least 75 numbers to date.

There are concerns organised crime groups could use the numbers to create fake cards for the purpose of identity fraud. The cards could be used to help open bank accounts, apply for a passport or credit card, or start an illegal business.

MrTudgesaid the government was taking the claims seriously but sought to allay fears of a wide-scalebreach.

“The advice I have received from the chief information officer in my department is that there has not been a cyber security breach of our systemsas suchbut ratherit is more likely to have been a traditional criminal activity,” he said.

An apparent security hole in the health system is being exploited.

He also sought to reassure that people’s sensitive data was well-protected:”Nobody’s health records can be accessed just with a Medicare card number. Anybody who suggests otherwise is irresponsible and is fear-mongering.”

Nonetheless, the incident has sparked calls for the government to change course on its e-health plans. Nearly five million people already have a My Health Record but from next year they will automatically be created for everyone who doesn’t opt out.

Medical IT specialist Paul Power says while it would be difficult for anyone to use a Medicare number to access health records, the breach highlighted the problem with big, centralised repositories of sensitive information.

“Our Medicare data is held in a centralised location and the proposal is to have My Health Records hosted in a centralised location,” he said.

“The kind of breach that has evidently happened with the Medicare data can – and almost certainly will – happen with the My Health Record data if we go ahead and host it on this same kind of centralised depository.”

He is calling on Health Minister Greg Hunt to instead consider a new German model, in which people’s master data is stored on personalised cards and backed up on an individual consultingdoctor’s computer.

The Australian Privacy Foundation’s David Vaile said the government had “drunk the big data Kool Aid”.

“They seem to have set aside concerns about security, privacy, confidentiality and access controls,” Mr Vailesaid. “Health is the most sensitive form of information, that can dog your entire life. It can affect insurance, family relationships, your capacity to get jobs or travel.”

Electronic Frontiers Australia also called for a My Health rethink, saying repeated cyber security blunders hadundermined publictrust in the ability ofgovernment agencies to properly handle their sensitive personal data.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the My Health Record system had “multiple layers” of world-leading security and strict privacy controls.

“The My Health Record has been in operation for over five years, with nearly five million Australians having a record. In this time there have been no security breachesof patient data inthe system,” she said.

with Fergus Hunter and Tim Biggs

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‘Bored’ Bernard Tomic has lost interest in tennis

‘Bored’ Bernard Tomic has lost interest in tennis Out: Bernard Tomic, Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis have not advanced to round 2 at Wimbledon. Photos: Getty Images
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Bernard Tomic in round one action. Photo: Getty Images

Bernard Tomic in round one action. Photo: Getty Images

Bernard Tomic in round one action. Photo: Getty Images

Bernard Tomic in round one action. Photo: Getty Images

Thanasi Kokkinakis on day 2 of Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Thanasi Kokkinakis on day 2 of Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Thanasi Kokkinakis on day 2 of Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Daria Gavrilova on day 2 at Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Daria Gavrilova on day 2 at Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Arina Rodionova won her first round match at Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Arina Rodionova won her first round match at Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Thanasi Kokkinakis on day 2 of Wimbledon 2017. Photo: Getty Images

TweetFacebookLondon:Bernard Tomic has admitted to being bored with tennis in an extraordinary aftermath to his insipidfirst-round Wimbledon defeat.

Once dubbed “Tomic the Tank Engine”, Australia’s former All England Club quarter-finalist denied not giving his best efforts in his 6-4 6-3 6-4 loss to Germany’s big-serving 27th seed Mischa Zverev.

But he confessed to having lost all motivation for the game, disrespecting it and no longer caring how he performed in grand slams.

“I don’t know why, but I felt a little bit bored out there, to be completely honest with you,” he said.

“I feel holding a trophy or doing well, it doesn’t satisfy me anymore … It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round.

“This is one of the biggest tournaments in the world that I have done really well in my career and … I just couldn’t find anything,” Tomic said.

“It’s happened to me a lot. Just can’t find anything on the court … This is my eighth Wimbledon, or ninth I think. I’m still 24, and it’s tough to find motivation.”

Tomic was heard complaining of a back problem during a medical time-out midway through the match, but later said he wasn’t overly injured.

“It was definitely a mental issue out there,” he said. “I just tried to break a bit of momentum but just couldn’t find any rhythm and, you know, wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform.”

Emotionally burnt out after almost a decade on tour, the dual grand slam junior champion is unsure how to rediscover the spark but, for now, ruled out taking a break from the sport.

“I’m happy with my life … I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again … for me, this is mental.

“I was in worse positions than this, you know, at 120, 130 in the world, and then managed to turn around the past few years and be a top-20 player.

“But it’s my choice. I know I have to work hard. For sure I don’t do the right work … I believe you have to respect the sport, but I think I don’t respect it enough.

“I just believe playing many years on tour now has sort of taken a toll … You need to find that sort of energy. I’m just trying to find something. Now heading into the US. Maybe [I’ll] play well in some tournaments there.

“Nothing to lose. Just try and enjoy it.”

Fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis went down 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to 29th-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who secured victory with his seventh match point.

A battling Arina Rodionova became the first Australian to advance to the second round, beating Russian 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 9-7.


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DD-cups runneth over for online bra salesman

Wes Bundy is the owner of online bra retailer Curvy. Photo: SuppliedWes Bundy didn’t set out to become an expert in plus-size bras. But he couldn’t ignore the huge gap in the market.
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At first, his wife thought he was joking. But the 34-year-old explained to her that macro trends showed that the population was changing shape, and women had larger busts.

“I could see it was pretty difficult to shop for a bra if you were size 14F or 22DD, particularly online. Even though bras are an everyday proposition for the majority of the population.”

Sizing standards vary in different parts of the world and the high cost to return an ill-fitting bra to an overseas retailer also played into his hands.

Proving the demand for bigger brasSo, Bundyjumped in, launching online plus-size bra retailer Curvy in January 2014 as an autonomous entrepreneurial venture,jointly funded by Bras N Things, to service the plus-size market. (HisUncle Brett Bundy owns Bras N Things.)

“I offered to take six months of no pay and negotiate with all the suppliers to make this happen. I was determined from the outset,” Bundy says.

Incredibly, he didn’t spend a cent on stock to launch, negotiating his first supplier to provide nearly 100 bras to test the market, ploughing earnings back into the business. “It was the only time we asked for free stock, and we sold out very quickly, proving there was market need for our online store.”

Wes BundyA shipping container for an officeBundy bought out Bras N Things’ 50 per centstake in the business at the start of 2016, determined to make his mark on the plus-size bra market.

He attributes part of his success to escaping exorbitant Sydney rent by leasing a small Storage King at $550 a month, where he began operations. “I set up the computers next to the racks of bras, coming into a shipping container to work each day.”

This calendar year, Curvy’s revenue is projected to be more than $1 million, up from $580,000 in 2016, with growth predicted to continue.

The power of knowing nothingIgnorance can be a powerful advantage when launching an online business, as Rob Hango-Zada, the founder of Shippit, says.

“I also knew nothing about logistics when I launched Shippit,” Hango-Zada says.”This ignorance means we weren’t constrained by industry norms, or shackled to the beliefs of what’s possible and what’s not – often held by upper management.”

What’s important when launching a business is to know your customer and be sure of the problem you’re trying to solve for them, Hango-Zada says.

Shippit now handles one per cent of all logistics bookings each month and has a turnover of more than $5 million.

Buoying salesBundy had partnered with his uncle before, with a previous proposal to handle the online franchise for national jewellery retailer Diva (also owned by his uncle) accepted. He built up online sales at Diva from a few hundred dollars a week to over $30,000 a week before selling the business, which is now defunct. Prior to that, Bundy was in international trade at PwC.

Surprising Curvy customers with free gifts with purchases for repeat customers have grown revenue. He also offers free shipping and absorbs the costs of free returns, which hover around 10-20 per cent.

A web service that tracks delivery emails customers about their expected arrival day and AfterPay has also buoyed sales.

“My wife thinks it’s funny that I know her mum’s and sister’s bra sizes, but she’s been really supportive, even when I wasn’t even bringing in an income for the first six months,” says Bundy.

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Swedish music festival cancelled after 27 sexual assaults

Ellie Goulding, pictured here performing in 2015, was among the artists at this year’s Bravalla Festival. Photo: Cedric RibeiroOrganisers of Sweden’s biggest music festival Bravalla have cancelled next year’s dates after a spate of sexual assaults at this year’s event.
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The festival – which featured artists including The Chainsmokers, The Killers, Linkin Park, Halsey and Ellie Goulding – was held over four days on the outskirts of Norrköping, in eastern Sweden, wrapping up on Sunday.

Police confirmed they’d received reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults between Thursday and Sunday, theAssociated Pressreports.

With Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven joining in condemning the incidents as “obnoxious acts by deplorable men”, festival organisers took the unprecedented step of cancelling next year’s event.

“Words cannot describe how incredibly sad we are about this, and we most seriously regret and condemn this. This is not f—ing OK. We do not accept this at our festival,” said FKP Scorpio, the German company that organises the festival, ina press releaseshared on Saturday.

They added they had “done everything in our power” to offer a safe environment for visitors–following numerous reported assaultsthe year prior, as well as criticisms from past performers including Mumford and Sons–but were unable to “eradicate the darkness”.

“Some men, because we are talking about men, apparently can’t behave. It’s a shame. Therefore, we have decided not to hold Bravalla in 2018,” the statement continued.

“We will continue to work together for a better world… Let’s take care of each other, choke hatred and violence, and let the music win.”

The cancellation is the sternest move yet by festival organisers looking to tackle what’s become a worldwide epidemic – including in Australia, where local initiatives have finally sought to counter the problem at live events.

Earlier this year, the Rainbow Serpent Festival inVictoria launched Australia’s first festival “safe space”, staffed by counsellors trained by the Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault, after four reported sexual assaults at the event the year prior.

Laneway Festival also launched a national safety hotline, in conjunction with Melbourne band Camp Cope’s #ItTakesOne campaign, encouraging festivalgoers to report any instances of sexual assault.

Last December, five women were sexually assaulted at the Falls Festival in Tasmania, leading organisers to issue a call to “boys and men to have some respect”. The festival has said it is looking at adding CCTV security and new reporting channels to improve safety at its next events.

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