The Courier-Mail : 2020-08-11

NEWS : 13 : 13


NEWS 13 COURIERMAI­L.COM.AU TUESDAY AUGUST 11 2020 ‘SKINNY GINGER’ A TRUE NINJA AMY PRICE BEN Polson thought of the crippling bullying he endured as a “skinny ginger kid” when he faced Mt Midoriyama to become the first winner of Australian Ninja Warrior. The 27-year-old, who moved to Brisbane with fellow finalist and girlfriend Olivia Vivian in January, became the first person in all four seasons of the reality show to complete the four stages of the grand final within the time limit last night to take home the $400,000 prize money. Polson said he was mentally and physically exhausted when he reached Mt Midoriyama at about 5am. “I was on the verge of accomplish­ing my dream or having a massive panic attack,” Polson said. “I tried to keep my cool. I was very much trying to think of my younger self. I went through a lot of bullying and mental health struggles and it was things like Ninja that got me out of that … I was doing it for younger Ben.” Training for the final rope climb was a major addition for repeat competitor­s Polson and Vivian ahead of the fourth season, along with sleep training, which included hill sprints at 1am to acclimatis­e to filming times, and mental training, deliberate­ly getting themselves in difficult positions on obstacles to practise getting out of it. They had relocated from Perth to Brisbane, and moved in with fellow competitor Fred Dorrington. Both Polson, a videograph­er and music producer, and Vivian lost their jobs due to the pandemic. He hopes to use the prize money to enter the property market, take Vivian travelling when they can and buy his parents a campervan. Growing up in Perth, Polson had lost all confidence because of bullying. “I was a tall, skinny ginger kid and I was an easy target,” he said. “My advice is to always try different things until you find one that makes you happy and where people support you.” JESSICA MARSZALEK BUREAUCRAT­S can’t give “frank and fearless” advice, or even get home loans, because of the perilous state of their jobs, MPs have been told. A union has demanded every Queensland public servant be employed permanentl­y unless there is a specific reason to give them a temporary contract only, flipping current practices on their head. The Palaszczuk government has proposed new laws that would allow temporary contract workers and casuals to apply to make their roles permanent after a year. But Together Union state secretary Alex Scott said the laws should be flipped, making all public servants permanent unless they were temporaril­y employed to fill a maternity backfill or working on a project with a specific end date. “We can’t have frank and fearless advice to the government of the day unless we have a permanent public service,” Mr Scott told the parliament­ary committee examining the legislatio­n. “If someone has insecure employment, they are less able to stand up to senior management and the government of the day and give them the advice that they don’t want to hear.” While only about 17 per cent of public servants were nonpermane­nt, Mr Scott said that there were higher numbers in some department­s. For example, of the 208 new employees hired by the Department of Education in October 2019, just eight were employed permanentl­y. The committee was told KAY DIBBEN V1 - BCME01Z01M­A PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW