“Conductor Jessica Cottis was enjoying an afternoon walk last December … in … North London, when … a small group of young men … punched her and smashed a glass bottle in her face,” writes Bridget Cormack in Friday’s (3/26) Australian (Surry Hills, Australia). “Cottis suffered a broken nose, concussion and was plagued by splitting headaches and a dizziness behind her eyes…. The attack took place about three months before Cottis, 41, was due to fly to Australia to lead her first concerts as chief conductor and artistic director of Canberra Symphony Orchestra, succeeding the 15-year tenure of Nicholas Milton…. The position is a homecoming of sorts for the Australian-British conductor…. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2009 Cottis held assistant conductor positions with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra…. Last year she helped set up the Women Conductors Course at the Royal Opera House in London which was completed by 35 emerging conductors ‘who happen to be female.’ … After conducting a BBC Proms concert for preschoolers … ‘About 70 per cent of the letters [she received] were from little girls. One of them wrote …, “when I’m older, I want to boss the music men around just like you.” ’ ”