Tech billionaire has no cap on success

Australian startup billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes says there is no end goal to success.

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“This is a big journey. There’s no ending, there’s no destination here, and life’s a bit the same way,” he told AAP.

The co-founder of collaborative software giant Atlassian has a net worth of $2.4 billion, is considered the 17th richest person in Australia and placed 973rd on Forbes’ world’s billionaires list this year.

But the Sydney-based chief executive never set out to be rubbing shoulders with the wealthy.

“We kind of had this idea and it just grew bigger than we expected,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said.

In his TEDx speech in Sydney on Friday, the 37-year-old revealed he has suffered “impostor syndrome” since co-founding Atlassian with fellow University of NSW graduate Scott Farquhar in 2002.

It reared its head when Mr Cannon-Brookes had to interview his first ever HR employee, when he and Farquhar were awarded Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2006, and again when he met his “beautiful” wife Annie in the Qantas business lounge, he said.

“The point I was trying to make was that it doesn’t go away,” the father-of-four told AAP.

“If you don’t feel like an imposter, you’re either within your limits – so you’re not learning, you’re doing something you know how to do and you’re well in the comfort zone – or you are out of your depth and you don’t know.

“I think some people freeze.

“If you’re aware of it, and you know what to do with it, that’s the hardest thing.”

He told the 4000-strong TEDx crowd the sensation is more common than the world seems to think.

And he’s “almost confident” his idols English author Neil Gaiman, late American president Franklin D Roosevelt and United States founding father Alexander Hamilton all felt it too.

“I have this weird obsession with US presidents – forgetting current times – I think that’s just a stressful job,” he said.

“That is a job where you’re kind of making some pretty big calls at a lot of different times in situations that you can’t control.

“You find these people who have done an amazing amount of things – it wasn’t like they did one thing, they just kept doing amazing things throughout – and what was the attribute that made them do that?”

Mr Cannon-Brookes thinks it all comes down to harnessing the sense that you don’t belong and questioning your ideas rather than yourself.

“You look back and they’ve all made very smart decisions, they’ve avoided bad decisions, and just kind of kept going,” he said.

“We’re constantly throwing ourselves into new situations to try and keep that rolling … even if you do feel like ‘Okay, I can do this now’.

“That’s how I think certainly I get enjoyment in life, chuck yourself in the deep end and pretend you don’t look like a flailing idiot.”

Australian police end Cyprus mission

The last federal police officers engaged in Australia’s first and longest-running peacekeeping mission have withdrawn from Cyprus.

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A flag-lowering ceremony at the Cypriot capital’s defunct airport that serves as the UN force’s headquarters overnight drew the curtains on Australia’s 53 year mission, with the three officers officially pulling out.

“While the AFP is leaving Cyprus, the mark of its officers will remain enduring,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan told AAP.

“Over the past five decades the AFP has provided security and stability to a community facing challenging circumstances.”

AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin described the withdrawal from Cyprus as a sad but proud day.

More than 1600 Australian officers have contributed to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus since 1964.

It was the first time the UN deployed civilian police in a peacekeeping mission to bring an end to hostilities in a troubled nation.

The first Australian contingent of 40 police officers arrived in Cyprus in May 1964. Since then, 111 Australian contingents have served with the peacekeeping force.

Three Australian officers died while serving in Cyprus.

Officers worked in the UN-established buffer zone to maintain peace and stability, delivering humanitarian assistance to isolated residents and performing a liaison role between authorities from the north and south.

“The AFP not only earned the trust of the community, but their respect and gratitude,” Mr Keenan said.

“For the AFP, the experience gained from its first peacekeeping mission has been invaluable, and will continue to be drawn upon for ongoing missions across the world.”

Rocky, Karate Kid director John G Avildsen dies, aged 81

John G Avildsen, who directed Rocky and The Karate Kid – two dark-horse, underdog favourites that went on to become Hollywood franchises – died Friday at age 81.

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Anthony Avildsen said his father died Friday in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer.

Rocky was a huge success. It won Oscars for best picture, director (Avildsen) and editing and was nominated for seven others.

No less a Hollywood eminence than Frank Capra loved it, telling The New York Times in 1977, “When I saw it, I said, ‘Boy, that’s a picture I wish I had made.’ ” For his part, Avildsen said Capra – who also championed underdogs on film – was his favourite director.

Rocky was a chance venture for Avildsen. Sylvester Stallone, then unknown, had written the script and sought Avildsen to direct it, but Avildsen was already working on another film. Suddenly the production company ran out of money and that film was cancelled.

A friend sent Avildsen the Rocky script. “On page 3, this guy (Rocky) is talking to his turtles, and I was hooked,” Avildsen remarked. “It was a great character study.” Avildsen agreed to direct Rocky even though he knew nothing about boxing.

The film was shot on a tight budget, less than $US1 million, and it was completed in 28 days.

“The first time I showed it to 40 or 50 friends, they all freaked out, so that was encouraging,” he recalled. “But I guess when I saw the lines around the block, it began to take on a reality.”

Stallone praised the director Friday night for believing in him.

“I owe just about everything to John Avildsen. His directing, his passion, his toughness and his heart – a great heart – is what made ‘Rocky’ the film it became,” Stallone wrote in a statement. “He changed my life and I will be forever indebted to him. Nobody could have done it better than my friend John Avildsen. I will miss him.”

Five sequels followed, but Avildsen turned them down, until the fourth, Rocky V, in 1990. He said he considered it a good script and liked that Rocky would die. During the shooting the producers decided Rocky had to live. “You don’t kill off your corporate assets,” Avildsen commented. The fifth sequel, Rocky Balboa, came out in 2006.

The Karate Kid was another surprise hit. In it, a teenager hounded by bullies played by Ralph Macchio seeks help from a Japanese handyman (Noryuki “Pat” Morita) who teaches him about karate. At the climax, a newly self-confident Macchio takes on a bully in a karate contest – and wins.

Released in the summer of 1984, The Karate Kid attracted millions of youngsters and brought Morita, a veteran performer best known for his TV roles, an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor.

“As soon as the producers saw the business it was doing, they wanted to do it again,” Avildsen said in a 1986 interview. “I was very apprehensive. I didn’t want to do a sequel because this was a very tough act to follow.”

He relented and directed both The Karate Kid, Part II in 1986 and The Karate Kid, Part III in 1989. (The franchise was revived in 2010 with a hit remake directed by Harald Zwart.)

Russia says it may have killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Moscow claims its forces may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air strike in Syria last month, but Washington says it can’t corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials are sceptical.

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The secretive Islamic State leader has frequently been reported killed or wounded since he declared a caliphate to rule over all Muslims from a mosque in Mosul in 2014, after leading his fighters on a sweep through northern Iraq.

If the report does prove true, it would be one of the biggest blows yet to Islamic State, which is trying to defend its shrinking territory against an array of forces backed by regional and global powers in both Syria and Iraq.

But in the absence of independent confirmation, some US officials said US agencies were sceptical of the report. Several Iraqi security officials said Iraq was doubtful as well.

“His death has been reported so often that you have to be cautious till a formal Daesh statement comes,” a European security official said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

US Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “We have no information to corroborate those reports.”

A senior Trump administration official noted “a number of infirmities” in the reports, which have given US officials reason to question their accuracy.

“Some of those infirmities suggested that this happened at the end of May and that there were upwards of 300 or more soldiers killed in that strike,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.

“A strike of that size and that claim that would have happened that long ago without any knowledge is something that made me curious,” the official added.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on its Facebook page that it was checking information that Baghdadi was killed in the strike on the outskirts of Raqqa in Syria, launched after Russia received intelligence about a meeting of Islamic State leaders.

Killed policeman recognised in UK honours

The policeman killed after confronting the Westminster attacker outside Britain’s parliament and the heroic passer-by stabbed trying to protect MP Jo Cox have been awarded medals for their bravery.

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Their recognition comes as comedian Billy Connolly was given a knighthood and actress Julie Walters was made a dame in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, who turns 101 next month, is the oldest woman to become a dame in this centenary year of the modern-day honours system.

Those honoured from the world of entertainment include chart-topper Ed Sheeran and comedian David Walliams, with the honours committee describing the list as the most diverse yet.

In a break with tradition, the Queen’s Civilian Gallantry List has been released at the same time as the monarch’s birthday honours.

Police Constable Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death by attacker Khalid Masood in March on the forecourt of the Palace of Westminster, is posthumously awarded the George Medal for confronting an armed terrorist to protect others and parliament.

Briton Dominic Troulan, an ex-soldier who was working as a civilian in Kenya when terrorists attacked a shopping mall in 2013, is awarded the George Cross for saving lives during the massacre.

Bernard Kenny, who was stabbed in the abdomen as he tried to stop neo-Nazi Thomas Mair attacking Mrs Cox outside her constituency surgery in Yorkshire, receives the George Medal one year on from the murder.

More than 1000 people have been recognised in the separate Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which is led by Dame Julie, Dame Olivia, and the renowned Glaswegian comic who said he is not sure if he will now become Sir William, rather than Billy.

The stand-up, affectionately known as the Big Yin and famed for his often irreverent routines, is knighted at the age of 74 in recognition of his services to entertainment and charity.

Twenty years after he was knighted by the Queen, Sir Paul McCartney is upgraded with a Companion of Honour for services to music, alongside JK Rowling.

The author, who is also marking two decades since the publication of the first book in her best-selling Harry Potter series, is honoured for services to literature and philanthropy.

Lions add quartet for New Zealand tour

Four Wales players have been called into the British and Irish Lions squad for the remainder of the tour of New Zealand, with more announcements to follow.

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Lock Cory Hill, hooker Kristian Dacey, scrumhalf Gareth Davies and prop Tomas Francis, who were in New Zealand on national team duty, will join up with the Lions in Rotorua ahead of the their tour match against the Maori All Blacks later on Saturday.

Wales were in action in Auckland on Friday, beating Tonga 24-7, and Lions coach Warren Gatland said it made sense to bring in players who would not need time to acclimatise.

“We have said all along that we need to give ourselves the best chance of winning the Test series and that could potentially involve calling up players,” he said in a statement.

“Bringing in these players from an identical time zone, who can hit the ground running and step straight in rather than having to adjust following long-haul travel, will help us manage players before the first test, give us quality training numbers to prepare properly as well as offering us options for selection for the Chiefs match.”

Gatland said other players would be added to the squad once the four home unions had completed their weekend tests.

Scotland play Australia in Sydney and Ireland face Japan later on Saturday. England are on tour in Argentina.

With the additions, Gatland will now be able to run two separate teams, with the new players likely to feature in the ‘midweek’ squad against the Waikato Chiefs on Tuesday and Wellington Hurricanes the following week.

Gatland had said previously that he did not want to split the squad because it had caused resentment in previous tours.

The Lions side that takes on the Maori All Blacks is likely to run out for the first test on June 24.

Gatland’s call for reinforcements was followed within hours by Ross Moriarty being ruled out of the tour.

The Welsh loose forward is suffering from nerve damage and had been restricted to just one appearance, the 13-7 victory over the Provincial Barbarians.

“We are really disappointed for Ross,” Gatland said in a statement. “He has had a hugely impressive season, capped off with selection for the British & Irish Lions and his performance in the first match justified that selection.

“It is disappointing to see injury cut short his tour but we wish him all the best with his recovery.”

Reuters

Killed policeman recognised in UK honours

The policeman killed after confronting the Westminster attacker outside Britain’s parliament and the heroic passer-by stabbed trying to protect MP Jo Cox have been awarded medals for their bravery.

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Their recognition comes as comedian Billy Connolly was given a knighthood and actress Julie Walters was made a dame in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland, who turns 101 next month, is the oldest woman to become a dame in this centenary year of the modern-day honours system.

Those honoured from the world of entertainment include chart-topper Ed Sheeran and comedian David Walliams, with the honours committee describing the list as the most diverse yet.

In a break with tradition, the Queen’s Civilian Gallantry List has been released at the same time as the monarch’s birthday honours.

Police Constable Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death by attacker Khalid Masood in March on the forecourt of the Palace of Westminster, is posthumously awarded the George Medal for confronting an armed terrorist to protect others and parliament.

Briton Dominic Troulan, an ex-soldier who was working as a civilian in Kenya when terrorists attacked a shopping mall in 2013, is awarded the George Cross for saving lives during the massacre.

Bernard Kenny, who was stabbed in the abdomen as he tried to stop neo-Nazi Thomas Mair attacking Mrs Cox outside her constituency surgery in Yorkshire, receives the George Medal one year on from the murder.

More than 1000 people have been recognised in the separate Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which is led by Dame Julie, Dame Olivia, and the renowned Glaswegian comic who said he is not sure if he will now become Sir William, rather than Billy.

The stand-up, affectionately known as the Big Yin and famed for his often irreverent routines, is knighted at the age of 74 in recognition of his services to entertainment and charity.

Twenty years after he was knighted by the Queen, Sir Paul McCartney is upgraded with a Companion of Honour for services to music, alongside JK Rowling.

The author, who is also marking two decades since the publication of the first book in her best-selling Harry Potter series, is honoured for services to literature and philanthropy.

Lions will be a different beast for NZ

Coach Steve Hansen has ruled out any danger of the All Blacks getting ahead of themselves after a dominant dress rehearsal to their three-Test rugby series against the British and Irish Lions.

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In their first hit-out of the season, New Zealand produced a 78-0 shutout of Samoa, running in 12 tries at Eden Park on Friday night.

However, Hansen’s assessment is that it was good “but it wasn’t that good” and the Lions will be a different proposition when the series opens at the same venue next weekend.

“We won’t get ahead of ourselves – the beast we’re going to get come Saturday is going to be totally different,” Hansen said.

“They’ll look to really target all our time and space with their line speed and they’ll look to dominate us up front.

“Unless we get those parts of our game right, then we’ll struggle.”

One of the features of the win over Samoa was the way All Blacks midfielders Sonny Bill Williams and Anton Lienert-Brown gelled, despite being a new combination.

With Ryan Crotty set to return from a rib injury, Hansen admits it will be tough picking between “three quality players”.

But he also indicated all three would get game time, in the same way the All Blacks started with Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, and had Williams come off the bench, at the business end of the the 2015 World Cup.

“We used the one-two-three punch in the World Cup because we had three really good midfielders,” Hansen said.

“I’m picking that all three of them will probably be involved at some stage in the game.

“Which order we do it in, we will just have to wait and see.”

The All Blacks coaches will be in the stands in Rotorua to watch the Maori All Blacks host the Lions on Saturday night.

Whether that match turns out to be a free-flowing affair or a dour contest, Hansen is picking that it will be instructive for giving insights into how the Lions will approach the opening Test.

“Either way, we will learn a lot about what they will be bringing next week,” he said.

With Samoa behind them, there’s no doubt excitement is building within the All Blacks camp ahead of their first encounter with the Lions in 12 years.

“Everybody has been waiting for this moment, haven’t they?” Hansen said.

“It’s like you’ve been given chocolates, and you’ve unwrapped them and you’re allowed to eat them.

“That’s the best part isn’t it?”

Gonski 2.0: Labor lashes potential government-Greens school funding deal

Labor has lashed out at the prospect of the Turnbull government sealing a deal with the Greens on schools funding reforms, despite the fact it could result in fast-tracked spending and significantly more cash.

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Extra schools funding promised by the Turnbull government could be rolled out four years faster than planned and a new independent watchdog put in place, under a deal with the Greens to pass Gonski 2.0.

“It’d be very disappointing indeed to see a secret deal between the Greens and the government on schools funding,” opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said in Sydney on Saturday.

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Ms Plibersek said the coalition’s proposed scheme was based on “fantasy figures” and 85 per cent of public schools wouldn’t reach fair funding levels after a decade.

“It’d be very disappointing to see the Greens fall for that one,” she said.

Laws to bring in a needs-based funding model, proposed by consultant David Gonski, are to be debated in the Senate on Wednesday, days before the parliament rises for the winter break.

With the government 10 votes short of a majority in the upper house, and Labor opposed to the package, the coalition will need the nine Greens and one other crossbench senator.

A confidential offer from the government proposes cutting the time frame to get to the target funding level from 10 years to six and a national schools resourcing body, Fairfax Media reports.

It was reported the deal could boost the proposed $18.6 billion in funding to as much as $24 billion.

In their negotiations the Greens have been seeking a shorter time frame, extra funding for public schools and the national watchdog which would monitor funding and spending and review the new benchmark “schooling resource standard”.

But there has been some pushback from NSW Greens and unions, who say the Turnbull government’s Gonski 2.0 does not properly align with Mr Gonski’s original design and does not contain enough money for public schools.

While not confirming where the talks were at, Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the government’s original proposal was not good enough in a number of key areas and changes were needed.

“We’re speaking with key stakeholders and our party room will then make a decision,” he told AAP.

“We remain committed to delivering an outcome for Australian kids in line with David Gonski’s original vision for a truly needs-based funding model.”

Swans stun Tigers with comeback AFL win

Sydney’s AFL season is alive and kicking, with the Swans breaking Richmond’s hearts with a stunning come-from-behind nine-point win at the MCG.

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The Swans kicked eight of the last nine goals of Saturday’s engrossing contest to claim the 12.8 (80) to 10.11 (71) win in front of 58,721 fans.

But it could come at a cost after Lance Franklin went into the umpire’s book in the second quarter for a front-on bump on Connor Menadue that collected him high.

Fans were given the Alex Rance-Franklin match-up they’d wanted and Rance took the points, keeping his opponent to one goal.

The pair were at each other all day in an often spiteful, always enthralling, one-on-one battle.

The Tigers led from the early minutes but Kieren Jack put his side in front with a brilliant goal in heavy traffic with just under six minutes to go in the final term.

A pulsating last quarter went up another notch as Richmond tried to claw back the lead but Gary Rohan sealed the memorable win with a goal with eight seconds left.

Sydney have now won five of their past six matches to move to 12th on the ladder, one game outside the eight, after starting the season with six losses.

“We know we haven’t got much wiggle room,” John Longmire said of his team’s rekindled finals hopes.

“That’s pretty clear, we know that. The players know it, the coaches know it and we know we have to bring our maximum effort every week from now on.

“To our credit, after not bringing it in the first half, we were able to turn that around.

“It should give the players some real confidence to be able to do that during the course of a game.”

The Tigers were looking to tighten their grip on a top-four spot but instead suffered their fourth loss this season by nine points or less.

Richmond kicked the first six goals of the game and led by 36 points in the second quarter before Sydney mounted their fightback.

Longmire’s men couldn’t match the Tigers’ blistering pace early but got back into the game via their improved contested work.

The margin was 25 points at halftime and shrank to 13 at the last break, setting up the breathtaking finale.

“We just weren’t good enough for long enough and they came over the top,” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said.

“(We) had a really strong focus on controlling their scores from stoppages, which is a strength of their’s, and they kicked four (goals) in the last quarter.

“We just couldn’t get that part right, which is pretty disappointing because we did it pretty well for three quarters.

“They lifted their work rate in and around the contest and we just weren’t able to match it.”