News in 5: Tony Abbott ‘headbutted’; Donald Trump’s big blunder; Findings about workplace mental health.

1. Tony Abbott claims he’s was ‘headbutted’ by a supporter of marriage equality.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott says he’s been headbutted by a same-sex marriage supporter in Hobart.

Mr Abbott said he was walking towards his hotel when he was approached by a man on Thursday afternoon.

“A fellow sung out at me, ‘Hey Tony.’ I turned around. There was a chap wearing a vote Yes badge,” Mr Abbott told 3AW radio, AAP reports.

“He says I want to shake your hand. I went over to shake his hand then he headbutted me. He wasn’t very good at it I’ve got to say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip.”

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A staffer from Mr Abbott’s office tussled with the man before he ran off “swearing his head off”.

“It’s just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting,” Mr Abbott said.

Abbott has been in Tasmania lunching with campaigners opposed to gay marriage this week, including Liberal Party colleague Eric Abetz.

2. “Someone knows something”: Sisters plead for information about missing sister Allecha Boyd.

Distraught sisters of missing woman Allecha Boyd have fought back tears as they made a desperate plea for help to find her.

Rhiannon and Tammara Boyd flew to Wagga Wagga from Victoria on Thursday to join police in the search to find their missing 27-year-old sister who disappeared in the NSW Riverina six weeks ago.

Tammara Boyd described her sister as a loving and caring person.

“If someone knows something – and someone does – just let us know, just tell us, just anonymously call triple-0, CrimeStoppers, anything – just tell us anything,” she told reporters on Thursday, AAP reports.

“Allecha, if you can hear us, we just want you to know that we love you and we just want you to be safe. Come home, call us, just know that anything that is wrong we can work it out, we can fix it I promise.”

Ms Boyd, who was living in Wagga Wagga, has not contacted her family, accessed her bank accounts or posted to social media since she was last seen at Coolamon on August 10.

Police hold grave concerns for her welfare. The homicide squad has been called in as the search for the young chef continues.

Anyone with information about Ms Boyd’s whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

3. Footy Show’s Sam Newman likens AFL to “sycophantic political whores”.

Television personality and former AFL star Sam Newman has condemned the AFL for its support of marriage equality, in the march towards the postal vote.

The 71-year-old, who once played for Geelong, questioned the AFL on the Channel Nine program last night.

Earlier this week, AFL changed it’s logo to reflect its ‘yes’ stance. Chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it was important the organisation make a “strong statement” on the issue, AAP reports. And every club – except Carlton, citing “respect for personal choice” – jumped on board.

“Who in the hell are these people at the AFL who are telling the football public what they should do in their lives and who they should vote for in any political agenda — who are you?” Newman said on air.

“Who gives you the right to tell people and to put what people should do on the football?… You are nothing more than obsequious, fawning, sycophantic political whores. You have no right to get involved in political messages. Let people go to the football and do what they want to do: just watch the game.”

Co-hosts Eddie McGuire and Rebecca Maddern tried their best to diffuse the situation.

“Let me put a counter to you,” McGuire began. “There’s an old saying ‘if you don’t stand for something you stand for nothing’.

“What we have in our world at the moment, Sam, is a leadership vacuum with politicians who don’t do anything unless there’s a vote in it. We have media who are running agendas to get whatever they want. We’ve got churches have completely lost any credibility in what they stand for. But the AFL is an organisation that people do look to.

“… If you’re a 14 or 15-year-old and you’re gay, you can come to a football club and be a part of it,” he continued. “It’s just saying they are welcoming equality.”

Numerous other sporting organisations – including the ARU, the NRL, Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia – have also declared their support for a ‘yes’ vote in the Australian Bureau of Statistics postal survey.

4. Trump makes up an African country and Namibians aren’t thrilled about it.

“Where’s Nambia” was the question puzzled Namibians were asking after hearing the news that US President Donald Trump had scrambled the southern African country’s name.

There was much mirth on social media in Namibia and internationally as users took to Twitter to make fun of Trump’s faux pas at a lunch with African leaders in New York on Wednesday.

“Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” he told the luncheon, though it was unclear whether he meant Gambia, Zambia, or Namibia.

With #Nambia trending, one Namibian Twitter user quipped that Trump had created a whole new nation.

“A country in global south created in September 2017 through the ‘divine’ act of speech … and Trump said ‘Let there be #Nambia'” Jerry Elago wrote.

Then, in a follow-up tweet, referencing another instance of Trumpian misspeak: “I’m actually offended by this… this is unacceptable. This is not #Covfefe, at all.”

For more on this story, click here.

5. James Cook University promises action after damning report on campus sexual assault.

pretending to have cancer
Image via iStock.

Numerous stories from students who were reportedly raped and sexually assaulted at James Cook University in Queensland have come to light in a damning report, spurring the university to take action.

The report, commissioned by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, said rape and sexual harassment have been commonplace and regularly overlooked by staff at James Cook University.

"I told [a senior academic] that I had been sexually assaulted by someone in my year, in my course, and the first response was ‘are you sure? Maybe you should talk to him to make certain it was rape’," one student told the review, News Corp reports.

Vice Chancellor at James Cook University, Professor Sandra Harding, says she's "horrified" by the report and that the university is committed to making a change.

"My 100 per cent commitment is to ensure that this will never happen again,” she told News Corp.

Broderick applauded the university for initiating the review, and is urging them to continue this transparency going forward.

"These issues are not unique to James Cook, but what sets universities apart is how they respond to these issues. In this respect, James Cook has taken a bold step to have an external and independent review of their policies and culture."

6. Mental illness in the workplace "increasingly challenging to manage".

Mental illness in Victorian workplaces is becoming an increasingly challenging area for employers, a new report reveals.

There has been an increase in the number of workers making mental injury claims in the 2016-17 financial year, according to Worksafe's annual report, released on Thursday.

"Twenty per cent of Australians are expected to experience a mental health condition each year, making mental health an issue for workplaces," the report says. "[It] is an increasingly challenging area for employers across the state to manage."

Mental illness presents more complex challenges than a physical injury, especially when it comes to returning to work, the report read.

Forty-five per cent of workers with a mental injury are not back at work within six months of lodging a claim, compared with about 18 per cent of workers with a physical injury.

Because of this, Worksafe was unable to reach its annual return-to-work target of 80.53 per cent.

Worksafe says it will launch a new program later in 2017 to focus on making mental wellbeing a "priority for everyone".

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