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Straddie debates mine closure

Sand mining on Stradbroke Island... Long-term rehabilitation plans once Yarraman mine closes in 2027. Photo: AAP

COMMUNITY members have criticised the State governments decision to introduce a national park on North Stradbroke Island to coincide with the cessation of mining activity over the next 17 years. Minjerribah elder Margaret Iselin, known to locals as Aunty Marg, claims the decision will cost hundreds of jobs and leave many families with no employment prospects. But Dale Ruska, member of the Quandamooka people and leading antimining campaigner, said while he did not want to see a national park established, he supported the mine closure because community dependence on mining was minimal. Aunty Marg said she was stunned to hear about the decision to phase out sand mining on North Stradbroke Island by 2027. Aunty Marg described the decision as underhanded, and said she had not been contacted by Anna Bligh or anyone in the state government before the decision was announced earlier this year. Anna Bligh should have come and held meetings and consulted with people here, Aunty Marg said. She hasnt contacted us in any way, she hasnt even called. The decision to phase out mining on

North Stradbroke Island was announced by Anna Bligh on June 20. Ms Bligh said her government would oversee the creation of a national park on North Stradbroke that would cover 50 per cent of the island by 2013 and 80 per cent of the island by 2027. The decision is a further step in fulfilling the green target plan outlined in the governments Towards Q2 policy vision, which proposed a 50 per cent increase in the area of protected wilderness in Queensland by 2020. For Aunty Marg, the introduction of a national park would mean fewer jobs for workers who live on the island. I cant see 470 jobs here if they make this all national park, Aunty Marg said. Theyre advertising now for volunteer workers for the national park, cutting out our workers. She said there were no jobs on North Stradbroke Island before the introduction of mining. There was nothing before mining came here, she said. After the state government closed down the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum on the island in 1946, Aunty Marg said her family was forced to work menial jobs scrubbing floors and chopping wood for a pittance. Her mother and sister worked at a hospice for leprosy patients on nearby Peel Island until it, too, closed in 1959.

The government at the time took everything away, even the shop, she said. Our father went out and worked with the fisherman. He wasnt paid. We were given fish to live on. She said her husband Uncle Pat Iselin worked in the mines and over time was able to earn a comfortable living. We lived through hardship but now we have a beautiful house and we have educated our children, she said. Aunty Marg said the mining industry was crucial to the people of North Stradbroke, including the anti-mining activists who oppose it. A lot of these younger people, they think they can talk for us, but they never lived through what we lived through, Aunty Marg said. Mr Ruska said he sympathised with Aunty Margs concerns. Mining was a godsend for some of the elders here, he said. Mr Ruska said after the state government removed the asylum at Dunwich many of the elders were living in economic limbo, trying to transition to a Western style of life without enough jobs to go around. When the mining operations began in the 1950s, it offered opportunities for employment, but Mr Ruska said times had now changed.

Not all of us are economically dependent on mining, he said. I can only count around 30 families on the island that actually benefit from mining, both employees and contractors. The majority of the workers come from the mainland. Instead, Mr Ruska said the focus of any activism should be in opposition to the destruction of cultural heritage, primarily the clearing of land by mining companies. This island as a whole is very sacred to Aboriginal people, Mr Ruska said. It cant be conceived on a lease-bylease basis. Its all one big spiritual entity. Birthing sites, burial sites, sacred ceremonial grounds have all been disturbed by mining. Mr Ruska said re-vegetated land planted by the mining company, Unimin gave a good impression through green coverage, but did not constitute real rehabilitation. Considering North Stradbroke Island was a fragile and unique environment with World Heritage listing, Mr Ruska said any continuation of mining on the island would amount to a genocidal destruction of spiritual and cultural identity. However, he did not agree with the State governments decision to turn most of the island into national park.

All of this about a National Park is not from the Aboriginal peoples point of view its been dictated to us by the state, its solely their view about what they think will further our interests, Mr Ruska said. He said a better way to protect the island would be to gain recognition of Aboriginal ownership on North Stradbroke, which would ensure a right to a portion of any profits from economic activities on the island, while also conserving its environment through traditional stewardship of the land. The issue of environmental rehabilitation figures heavily in the debate over the future of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island, with activists and Unimin Australia arguing over the impact of mine site rehabilitation. Aunty Marg said the miners had sought her advice early on about which plants to collect to stabilise the sand dunes, something she appreciated. The former sole mining company on the island, Consolidated Rutile Limited (CRL), now owned by a subsidiary of Unimin Corporation USA which is part of the huge Sebelco group, co-published a guide to the flora of North Stradbroke Island with the Queensland Herbarium and the Minjerribah Moorgumpin eldersin-council Aboriginal Corporation. Continued on page 2

Continued from page 1 The guide draws on elders knowledge of native plants and features a series of interlinear notes by Aunty Marg explaining their various uses. Unimins website claims that Unimin is renowned internationally for the rehabilitation of native vegetation and ecosystems on NSIs high sand dunes and shows a series of pictures of alleged former mine sites progressing through the rehabilitation process, from a fully functioning mine to a fully fledged forest. But President of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Simon Baltais contends that many of the photos are actually of natural habitats elsewhere on the island, undisturbed by mining. Some of those photos are very deceptive, Mr Baltais said. Around 90 per cent of the photos are of natural habitats from other parts of the island. Theres a significant distinction between past mining sites and natural sites. Unimin Sustainability Manager and longtime Stradbroke Island resident Paul Smith defended the photos. I think Simon is treading a little bit dangerously there, Mr Smith said. I can provide photographic proof and I can actually put the photographer on the stand if he wants me to. [Simon] is trying to put emotion into an argument there and Im not sure why. The disagreement over the authenticity of the photographs belies a much deeper rift between the miners and opponents of the mine. For years, both sides have fiercely debated the likelihood of the Stradbroke Island habitat returning to its natural state after mining has been discontinued. Mr Baltais d not think it is going to happen. Youll be hard pressed to find any scientific paper which shows a significant return to the biodiversity that once was, he said.

Its really a nonsense to say that they can return these habitats back to their pre-mining condition. Mr Baltais cited a letter written by Griffith University School of Environment Associate Professor Carla Catterall, which cast doubt on the ability of mining companies to fully rehabilitate former mine sites. Professor Catterall quoted an article published in the journal Ecology and Society, which which reviews the myths of restoration projects, including the carbon copy myth, which assumes it is possible to make a copy of an ecosystem that has changed due to human alteration and the fast forward myth, which assumes that restoration can redo in a short period what it takes centuries for nature to accomplish. Mr Smith was unimpressed by the

Its really a nonsense to say that they can return these habitats back to their pre-mining condition.
letter. Dr Catterall has never been to the island, she has never walked through our rehabilitation, she has never done any scientific work on the island, and she certainly has never done any research for any of the people who have done scientific research on the island, he said. Its entirely her opinion whether the mining rehabilitation is successful. We have lots of research from lots of other experts from places including the University of Queensland. Alluding to activists such as Mr Baltais and the Australian Greens, Mr Smith said Professor Cateralls letter had been taken out of context and used as part of a very well orchestrated campaign to misinform the public about the issue.

There comes a time when they have to provide clear evidence other than hearsay and emotion to back up their arguments, Mr Smith said. Professor Caterall said while she had no interest in engaging in a public debate at this time, she was not expecting a favourable response from the sand mining business, saying the letter was intended to stand on its own merits. Regardless of their feelings on the matter, Unimin is preparing to scale down their workforce on the island over the next 17 years to coincide with the state governments plan. In May 2009, before the state government announced its plan to end sand mining on North Stradbroke, CRL sent a letter to the Australian Securities Exchange announcing the intended closure of its Yarraman Mine in 2013 and an anticipated approximate halving of its workforce on the island by 2014. This was before Unimin Australia bought all of CRLs shares in mid-2009. Mr Smith admitted that jobs were going to be lost with the closure of the Yarraman mine, but said that the numbers lost would not be as large as those quoted in CRLs letter. In an earlier press release on the issue, Mr Smith said the company supported 650 jobs directly and indirectly through their operations on North Stradbroke. The figure comes from a commissioned study conducted by Synergies Economic Consulting, which found that Unimin employed 289 people on the island, directly and through suppliers. The other 351 jobs are on the mainland. Mr Baltais argued that tourism would be the major employer on the island in the future, once most of it was declared a national park. Under the current arrangements there will be plenty of long-term jobs into the future, Mr Baltais said. Mining provides transitory jobs thats all.

Indigenous heritage good for business

Steven RiggALL
MINING, environmental sustainability, and sensitivity to Indigenous cultural heritage can all co-exist if handled properly, according to an Australian Indigenous mining contractor. Northern Project Contracting (NPC) Communications Coordinator, Hamish Townsend, said sensitivity to cultural heritage was integral to the mining process. NPC is a 100 per cent Indigenousowned mining and civil construction company, which operates primarily in the Gulf of Carpentaria region and takes about 80 per cent of its workforce from local communities. Mr Townsend said environmental rehabilitation was essential to NPCs practices. Its part of the mining and civil construction process, and we think we can do that competitively with anyone. Using local people has positive advantages as well, Mr Townsend said. Its really all about business, its just good business. Mr Townsend said local traditional owners walked the land to check for artifacts and specific dreaming sites as part of mining planning. That will all be noted and is all part of the early stages of planningand that comes from the original agreements with local native title holders. Mr Townsend said the rehabilitation of mining sites was also planned for at the beginning of the process. At the beginning of a mine you do what is called a pre-strip, which is basically taking the topsoil and putting it somewhere else, he said. When you come to fill in that hole, you fill the last so many metres with the soil that was already there so the original kind of vegetation can eventually grow back. He said a good portion of NPCs business profits went to local projects in northwest Queensland, such as helping to fund a local project of learning and literacy for the Waanyi people. The development of a Waanyi dictionary and community events that bring people together like the local Doomadgee rodeo. Mr Townsend acknowledged individual mine sites were finite projects, but said workers at NPC could take the skills they learnt on the job elsewhere. The mining planning process is an isolated activity in and of itself, so what were trying to do at the end of the day as a company is to teach the locals skills... that are transportable to other places, he said. But he cautioned that business must come first in order for community development projects to be sustainable. All of these principles are good business. The business and the projects have to come first. By putting your culture first and making everything work around that, youre thinking about things inside out, he said. By making the business sustainable and taking what you can work with, youll get the best results that way.

Thank you for picking up the 2010 edition of The Source. This paper is the end product of more than 14 weeks of work by students from Griffith Universitys Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of Communication, and Bachelor of Arts. First of all, Id like to thank our design and production team. These four students put days of intense effort into creating this fine publication to show off our articles. Id also like to thank Trish Ketels and Dr Susan Forde, our tutor and course convenor. The Source could not have happened without their generous support and guidance. The Source Team
Supervising editor trish Ketels Student editors Robert Mukombozi Susannah thomsett News editor Susannah thomsett Lifesource editor Becky Paxton Chief Sub-editors Lily Charles Steven Riggall Sub-editors Ben Dillon Becky Paxton Jordan Philp tim Schaefer Adrianna Webster Layout design trish Ketels Tim Parfitt Newspaper Production Andrew Cramb Ben Dillon Tim Parfitt nadia vanek Photographic coordinator ingeborg Mate Holm Staff photographers ingeborg Mate Holm Dominique Kolarski Becky Paxton Photographic contributions AAP Above Photography timothy Allen of new eden Photography Anaphylaxis Australian inc Brisbane Broncos Jeff Busby Lisa Businovski Leanne Codner Ben Dillon Helensvale BMX ian Hughes Courtney Laidler

Each edition of The Source is unique, as each student decides what stories to pursue. This year, The Source boasts news, technology and sport sections plus the lifestyle and arts liftout Lifesource. The Source also has a website to combine the talents of our TV and radio broadcast students with our online edition; stories in this newspaper which also have a broadcast version available on our website are marked with a symbol. Go to If you have any questions about anything published here or on the website, please contact Susan Forde at Student Editor - Susannah Thomsett
Sally Mann Peter McDonald Heath noon PAWeS Red Dragon Martial Arts & Fitness Steven Riggall the Shock Factor edna Shoeman Michael Spring Mike Swaine Susannah thomsett nadia vanek Udessi Wesley Mission Brisbane Staff writers Jarrod Boyd Lily Charles Andrew Cramb Ben Dillon Liam Doolan Amber Drury Jiahao Du noemi eros ingeborg Mate Holm Amy Ketter Dominique Kolarski Courtney Laidler Robert Mukombozi Drew Musch Tim Parfitt Becky Paxton Jordan Philp Steven Riggall Lidiana Rosli tim Schaefer Michael Spring Susannah thomsett nadia vanek Adrianna Webster emily Williams Proof Readers Lily Charles Amber Drury Amy Ketter Becky Paxton Steven Riggall Susannah thomsett Special thanks to the small team of students (you know who you are) who put in a supreme effort at the end to make The Source a reality. Susan Forde

Vandals threaten skate parks future: Council

A WARNING has come from the Gold Coast City Council to skate park vandals use the parks properly or risk losing them permanently. Southport Councillor, Dawn Crichlow, gave the ultimatum after continued misuse and vandalism on several of the citys skate facilities. Its shocking to see the parks treated this way, the state of some is appalling, Cr Crichlow said. She said if the parks were controlled by the PCYC instead of council they would be properly maintained. Its no use building parks and youth centres then just walking away. We should put all facilities, whether its skate parks, basketball courts etcetera, in the hands of the PCYC who do an excellent job at running youth centres. Each year the council spent more than $1.6 million on removing graffiti and cleaning the current parks. Its very costly to remove graffiti, she said. Along with the PCYC, Nerang High School Chaplain, Chris Perry, runs a skate watch program to help kids get more involved with skateboarding. Mr Perry said he believed there were some positives to having the parks. Skateboarding is a good avenue for students to escape from the everyday norm of things that can happen within the home environment, he said. But there are a few security issues when it comes to lighting and surveillance. Police Sergeant Byron Lyons, who frequently patrols the local skate park, said keeping the youth all in one location might actually diminish the chances of vandalism elsewhere. They congregate in one area, we know where they are, it gives them that alternative to go and meet somewhere instead of meeting in local streets and disrupting residents, Sgt Lyons said. Fridays and Saturday nights are our busiest; we can have up to 30 or 40 people in the park. The skateboarders, however, say they are not to blame and Council should be pointing fingers elsewhere. Skate parks are a place to hang out with your friends; its the people who dont skate that cause all the problems, one skater said. It keeps you out of trouble, you know, we could be off doing drugs and stupid things like that, getting drunk and causing a ruckus, he said. They just think were a menace and were not. Were just trying to live and have fun. There are currently 20 skate parks on the Gold Coast. Despite their popularity, this isnt the first time vandals have been warned about misuse of skate parks in the area. Gold Coast parks and recreation staff are researching the cost of demolishing the skate park in Helensvale because of its frequent misuse.

Up in the air...BMX rider at the Helensvale park. Photo: courtesy Helensvale BMX

Satellite cities plan too little, too late: Opposition

SHADOW Minister David Gibson has joined Logan residents and members of Logan City Council in slamming the State governments plans for three new satellite cities in south-east Queensland. Shadow Infrastructure and Planning Minister and Member for Gympie David Gibson has accused the government of complacency and questioned the timing and wisdom of the Bligh governments proposal. This is a government playing catchup, Mr Gibson said. For over 12 years we have known about the population growth in Queensland and the impact on our lives and only now, at the 11th hour, do we see this government act. Like the water crisis, the power crisis, the transport crisis, this government has a track record of doing too little, too late. Mr Gibson was responding to a Labor government proposal for three satellite cities to be built in Brisbanes south-east. The proposed sites are Yarrabilba, Greater Flagstone and Ripley Valley, currently fledgling suburbs in the expanding urban corridor between Brisbanes CBD and Robina on the Gold Coast. Under the proposal, the three selfcontained satellite cities would eventually house a combined 250,000 people, and would serve as the governments first major response to the population crisis in south-east Queensland. A spokesperson for the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchliffe, said years of planning had been invested into the State governments south-east Queensland Regional Plan 20092031, of which the three satellite cities were a key component. Queensland is growing at more than 2000 people per week and every one of them will require a roof over their head, the spokesperson said. The establishment of new communities within south-east Queensland is a vital part of the governments plan to provide much needed housing to existing and future residents of Queensland. The spokesperson said the proposed satellite cities take pressure off the states housing demands and create a sustainable environment for future generations. These three new communities will provide a vibrant lifestyle where employment centres will be established close to residential centres, and where people can work, rest and play close to home, he said. These three model communities will build on the considerable local and regional scale strategic planning that has already been undertaken. But some residents living close to the proposed development site of Yarrabilba do not share the governments optimism for the area. Bill Granger, 61, has lived in the neighbouring Logan Village for nearly 20 years. The town is located two kilometres from the proposed development site, and Mr Granger said he is concerned about the impact the development would have on the small township. Logan Village is known by the locals as a bit of a country town, he said. Its always been quiet here, and I think thats the attraction of the area. Its a little piece of country life not that far from Brisbane. But once they start building and the people move in, I dont think well be able to call ourselves a country town any longer. Mr Granger also questioned the governments choice of Yarrabilba as a satellite city location, pointing out that the proposed location was a 45-minute drive from Brisbanes CBD and a 20-minute drive from Logan City, making it isolated from dense employment areas. Youve got to wonder why the government thinks Yarrabilba is the right location, he said. Its miles from the city and the Gold Coast, and I dont know where theyre going to find all the jobs to employ the people who move in. Not everyone wants to drive 40 minutes to get to work. Mr Gibson agreed the location of the cities would become a major issue once residents moved in. Without jobs, they will simply become dormitory suburbs with everyone travelling in and out each day, he said. The issue of public transport in southeast Queensland was a key issue discussed at the Brisbane Institutes Our Future, Your Say community forum held in September. While addressing the forum, Logan City Council Deputy Mayor, Russell Lutton, admitted he held grave concerns for the future of the Yarrabilba and Flagstone proposed cities if the governments earlier decision to reject a council bid for a rail link between Acacia Ridge and Flagstone was not reconsidered. It is a necessity, Cr Lutton said. If the train line from Acacia Ridge doesnt eventuate, I dont think Flagstone is a goer. Were not going to be able to put people on buses for that distance. Cr Lutton was referring to the Bligh governments rejection in March this year of a proposal for a passenger service to be added to the existing Brisbane to Beaudesert freight line. At the time, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan cited the prohibitive costs associated with construction and a lack of requirement as the major reasons the government rejected the proposal. Ray McKnoulty, chair of infrastructure consultancy Conics, who is one of several consultants hired by the government, said he acknowledged Cr Luttons concerns but told the Brisbane Institute forum that the government was well aware of the need for an effective public transport system for the proposed cities. Its imperative that we get rid of the need for the second family car, Mr McKnoulty said. We cant keep creating communities that are constantly driving into the city and needing two cars to do it. Thats why we are focusing heavily on a public transport system that will be functional from the day the first residents move in. But Mr Gibson again questioned the governments infrastructure planning record, referring to the failed Traveston Dam project as an example of the Bligh governments dubious record in relation to infrastructure projects. The Traveston Dam fiasco was a perfect example of how a government ignored the concerns of the community and the advice of independent scientists to push ahead with a project that was doomed to failure, he said. The Bligh government has a track record for not being able to be trusted. They have become arrogant and out of touch with community concerns.

The original..The south-easts first satellite city, Ipswich, from the air. Photo: courtesy Above Photography


Drug use rising in clubs

Move-on law sparks battle for public space

BEN DILLON THE CRIME and Misconduct Commission (CMC) is yet to table in parliament its review of Queensland Polices move-on powers, even though public submissions to the review closed in early 2009. These powers, first trialled in 1997 in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, were welcomed by the Queensland Police Service despite disquiet among civil liberty and legal groups. The move-on laws have been particularly controversial since 2006, when they were extended to allow police to give a move-on order in any public space, including schools and railway stations, which are already areas of limited public access under law. Only allocated areas including Brisbanes Queen Street Mall and the Surfers Paradise Esplanade were subject to move-on directions before 2006. Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) and the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties have made submissions to the CMC criticising the laws. They cited the high number of youth, ethnic, Indigenous, homeless and first time offenders being criminalised under the legislation. Legal Aid Queensland gives thousands of Queenslanders legal advice every month through their Brisbane and regional offices, including people affected by the move-on laws. LAQ spokesperson, Miranda Greer said the police were not using their powers fairly. In its submission to the CMC, LAQ stated in many instances police move-on powers are not used properly and fairly, and their use further isolates already marginalised people in our society by criminalising their conduct. In their submission to the CMC, the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic (HPLC) said the move-on laws disadvantaged the homeless. Move-on powers exacerbate the exclusion experienced by homeless people, the HPLC submission said. The HPLC submission said the laws were generally punitive and failed to consider the underlying causes of a persons homelessness. Queensland Law Society (QLS) spokesperson, Ken Mackenzie said the organisation looked forward to the release of the CMCs report and were opposed to the idea of move-on powers since their inception. The move-on powers have increased police interaction and conflict with vulnerable people in public spaces, Mr Mackenzie said. There is anecdotal evidence that the powers have been abused, targeted against people based upon their appearance or reputation rather than any actual anti-social conduct, Mr Mackenzie said. Directions have been given well in excess of those permitted by law. A 2006 report by the Public Interest Law Clearing House in conjunction with the University of Queensland School of Law looked at concerns raised about the move-on powers. The report found 75 per cent of respondents provided personal accounts of police harassment and targeting, raising serious concerns about attitudes of operational police towards homeless people, and policing practises in Brisbane. Queensland Police spokesperson Kim Daniels declined to comment on the CMCs review. However the Queensland Police Union (QPU) defended the move on laws as they stand, stating in a submission to the CMC the laws allowed police to act proactively [sic] and prevent the commission of offences by having individuals leave a particular location. The QPUs submission added the powers allowed police to move a person on before they commit a crime. Offences which may have been committed had the person subject to the direction remained in the location are prevented from occurring. But Mr Mackenzie said he was sceptical of the move-on laws powers of prevention. Many people will be cowed by the threat of arrest into complying with an unlawful direction, Mr Mackenzie said. The Society believes the move-on powers need substantial amendment, if not repeal. CMC spokesperson Leanne Hardyman said she hoped the consultation about the move on laws had provided an accurate summary of public feeling. Community consultation has played a large part in the review process, Ms Hardyman said. The CMC received over 60 submissions from private citizens, councils, government agencies and departments, interest groups and stakeholders. Given varied opinion on the issue, widespread interest in the CMCs review and subsequent report recommendations is expected. Although the QPS declined to comment on its development, Mr Mackenzie said the society hoped for a timely outcome of the review. The society hopes the final report could be delivered before the end of the year, he said. Ms Hardyman said the Commission was waiting for state parliament to process the report and it was expected to be tabled later this year or early next year.

NEW studies show that growing numbers of Brisbane clubbers are risking drug addiction as they turn towards party drugs as a cheaper alternative to alcohol. The Federally funded Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) study saw a rise in people becoming addicted to stimulants such as ecstasy, cocaine and speed in an attempt to save money on a night out in Brisbane. In the 2010 Drug Trends report, the IDRS coordinator, Fairlie McIlwraith, said the report found a large group of ecstasy users who preferred consuming illicit drugs over alcohol. We found that 39 per cent of ecstasy users ranked illicit drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine as preferable to alcohol, Ms McIlwraith said. Our annual drug trends reports have found that the location for over half of common ecstasy use is venues like nightclubs and raves. Ms McIlwraith said the study found a large proportion of ecstasy users took drugs despite the health risks and the possibility of addiction. The users we interviewed told us the median price of two ecstasy tablets for one session was cheaper than the cost of several standard drinks in clubs, Ms McIlwraith said. We also found an alarming amount of amphetamine users who would drive under the influence of illicit drugs. Anti-drug organisation, Teen Challenge counsellor Alanna Frase, said she had seen a trend develop with young people putting themselves at risk of addiction when taking so called designer drugs in order to have a good night out. A lot of the younger people we meet in our outreach and rehabilitation centres started using party drugs sparingly, but began to spiral downwards into addiction when they started using them on a regular basis, Ms Fraser said. The ease of just popping a pill quickly rather than drinking for an extended amount of time in some way makes drug consumption glamorous. In 2009, the federal government

Overdose...Recreational drugs such as ecstasy are becoming increasingly common in clubs as a cheap alternative to alcohol on a night out clubbing. Photo: AAP

launched an $18 million anti-drug campaign that featured a series of television commercials targeting users of marijuana, ecstasy and ice. The campaign was shown in cinemas, on television and on billboards, and showed the risks each drug posed. Ms McIlwraith said a comparison of the two Illicit Drug Reporting System reports between 2009 and 2010 showed no substantial progress was made to decrease recreational drug usage in that period.

The two reports show the 2009 anti-drug campaign has had no significant or major affects on the recreational consumption of illicit drugs, Ms McIlwraith. Former Police Communication Centre phone operator Joe Klippelt, said he had regularly taken calls concerning illegal drug use while manning the CBD area emergency phone hotline. Mr Klippelt said on an average weekend the centre would receive more than 50 emergency calls attributed to party

drugs within the CBD. Over a weekend we would get dozens of calls just from people in areas like Fortitude Valley and the CBD with emergencies ranging from overdosing on ecstasy to [behaving] violently, Mr Klippelt said. Hard drug consumption seems to be the norm nowadays amongst the younger generation and is showing no sign of slowing down. Thats not including house parties, pubs and outer suburbs.

Transcontinental Hotel bartender, Jessa Duggin, said she had seen party drugs become a regular occurrence at outer suburban pubs. Its not out of the ordinary for me and the other staff to be offered drugs or to be asked where they could get some, Ms Duggin said. One in five younger people we get in here on busy nights would be off their head. Its becoming just as popular as drinking, if not more.

The move-on law explained

UNDER sections 4648 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, move-on powers may be used when police believe a persons behaviour or presence in a particular place is: * Causing anxiety to a person who is at a public place, entering or leaving it. * Interfering with trade or business at a place by unnecessarily obstructing, hindering or impeding someone at, entering, or leaving a public place (in this circumstance, the occupier of the premises must be the complainant regarding the persons behaviour or presence). * Disrupting the peaceful and orderly conduct of any event, entertainment or gathering at a public place. Also, if a person or group of persons is or has been behaving in a disorderly, indecent, offensive or threatening way, or if a police officer reasonably suspects that a person is soliciting for prostitution, an officer may give a direction to move on.


Gen Ys right to fight danger to society

The second Operation Unite Bravo, which ran from September 10-11 this year, saw more than 1000 additional police officers on patrol in the Fortitude Valley, Brisbane CBD, Gold Coast and Townsville entertainment precincts. During the most recent operation, 660 charges were laid for alcohol-related offences. But Queensland Police Chief Superintendent, Katarina Carroll, said she was generally pleased with peoples behaviour during the operation. We expected people to behave well and generally they did, she said. But you always get those incidents where youre disappointed with peoples behaviour out on the street. Queensland Police Minister, Neil Roberts, said the two operations were a worthwhile cause for the Queensland Police Service. It feeds into and supports the strategies weve already put in place, the key one amongst those is following on from Operation Merit and the parliamentary inquiry, Mr Roberts said. A review of Operation Merit has led to the development of new strategies to deal with drunken behaviour, including designated Drink Safe Precincts in Queenslands popular entertainment areas. The precincts will be governmentfunded for 12 months and will be trialled in Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville, giving revellers in these cities access to experienced community workers and volunteers in a so-called safe zone. But Caxton Street Precinct Liquor Accord Chairman, Alex Farquhar, said more needed to be done before people would take the consequences of alcoholfuelled violence seriously. My personal view is that people arent being held accountable for their actions, Mr Farquhar said.

GENERATION Y has an embedded right to fight attitude, which industry experts say make them more dangerous when they go out drinking. According to Chaplain Watch founder and Senior Chaplain, Lance Mergard, the mindset leads youths to alcoholfuelled, anti-social behaviour, often resulting in violence. Mr Mergard said this attitude seems confusing and dangerous to older generations. It seems to be that there is this type of implied sense of personal right that if you invade my space I will invade yours, but far more aggressively, he said. The respect for others taking latitude, stepping back and really having the guts as a human being to take a second look at whats going on it doesnt seem to be there these days. The issue has become such a problem in recent years it moved police to develop Operation Unite Bravo, a series of two-day operations targeting drunken behaviour and alcohol-related violence in Australias entertainment precincts. Queenslands Deputy Commissioner of Specialist Operations, Ian Stewart, said Operation Unite Bravo was about sending a strong message to Australian youth. We are saying very strongly, if you are going out with the intent to get drunk and cause trouble, you are going to be dealt with, Mr Stewart said. Were not saying dont go to these precincts, were saying by all means go, but you have a responsibility to act correctly and within the law. Operation Unite Bravo first started in December 2009 in conjunction with the State governments Operation Merit program, a 10-week campaign against alcohol-fuelled, anti-social behaviour.

Safe zone...Chaplains are constantly on the watch. Photo: James Hyams


translink security increased

give these powers to Translink, and created the role of senior transit officer, who are drawn from the general public and not QRs employees. Any transit officer who wants to fill that position must go through normal government employment processes and resign from QR. Queensland Council for Civil Liberties President, Michael Cope, said it was entirely inappropriate for Translink employees to have these powers because they were neither trained nor scrutinised to the same level as the police. If they want police powers to be exercised on trains, they should put more police on the train, Mr Cope said. The police have significant powers already; and there are structures in place to manage the abuse of those powers. I know theyll [transit officers] get some training, but nowhere near as rigorous as two to three years in the police academy, he said. Mr Mackie said the RTBU had stood firm on the view these powers should not be given to any transit officer by any private or government body. We have campaigned strongly that the money spent in the process of setting up a separate department and enabling the role of senior transit officer should have been spent on putting more police in the re-established Railway Squad, Mr Mackie said. One, police officers are more comprehensively trained, two, they have more extensive powers already, and three, they can draw on the pool of police officers in Brisbane if necessary. Police officers are the only people who should have these powers in any Queensland forum no private security guard has the power to detain someone, these powers essentially make [senior transit officers] private police.

If somebody does something wrong they should deal with the consequences of what theyve done. But people are getting into fights and hurting each other, then only getting a $150 fine its not really cutting the mustard. Mr Farquhar said venues in Caxton Street were working together with Brisbane City Council and other venues to provide a safer environment for their patrons. However, Mr Farquhar said he was unsure whether extra police officers in the Caxton Street entertainment precinct was a sustainable option. Id love to see more police officers on Caxton Street but I dont know if the resources are there for that to happen,

Mr Farquhar said. But the cops who do patrol Caxton Street on the weekends are doing a great job. In the lead up to this years holiday period, the Queensland Government announced an extra $700,000 in funding for their One Punch Can Kill campaign in an attempt to lower the number of violent incidents over Christmas. With advertisements and merchandise already available, Mr Roberts said he hoped the message would start to sink in. A lot of young people recognise the slogan One Punch Can Kill, he said. What weve got to do is to keep repeating, repeating and repeating it so that ultimately people start to think

about what it actually means. The campaign will be built around the third Operation Unite Bravo, which has been planned for early December. Mr Farquhar said last years results proved people needed the message to be reinforced before they embarked on holiday binge drinking sessions. I think the figures and statistics from last year prove that it was a roaring success, hence people have been asking why this isnt happening all the time and not just throughout the holiday season, Mr Farquhar said. Its called silly season for a reason and if they can bring in more police just to stem the activities of those few overindulgent patrons in Brisbane, then I think thats a good thing.

IN AN attempt to keep Brisbanes train passengers safe and feeling secure, Translink employees have been given the legal power to frisk search people, remove them from public transport and detain them before delivering them into police custody. The employees, called senior transit officers, began patrolling Brisbane trains on September 27. The powers were created after amendments to the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 in October 2008 made a new category of authorised person able to detain people who commit physical or sexual assault on trains, or who vandalise Queensland Rail property. Senior transit officers can use reasonable force and handcuffs, and can also frisk search a person they believe to be carrying a dangerous item. The new transit officers are required to undergo training approved by the Police Commissioner. So far only eight senior transit officers are ready for work, with another 25 yet to be trained. Queensland State President of the Rail Tram and Bus Union, Bruce Mackie, said when the RTBU first heard of the powers two years ago, they were met with fierce resistance from their intended recipients, Queensland Rails transit officers. The majority of them felt it wasnt what they signed on to do, and the capacity to search, arrest and remove people from public transport using reasonable force and handcuffs changed the nature of the transit officers jobs, Mr Mackie said. After considerable resistance from the current QR transit officers, the Minister made the decision that would

Then-Minister for Transport, Reginald Mickel, said at the Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Bills second reading the senior transit officers powers were not police like. The government believes increasing transit officer powers to provide them with a limited power of detention is the best way to increase safety and security, Mr Mickel said. According to the explanatory notes tabled with the Transport and Other Legislation Bill 2008, the amendments were made primarily to improve the publics perception of rail security. Although less than two per cent of all crime in Queensland is committed on the Citytrain network, recent customer research shows that only 70 per cent of passengers perceive there is a satisfactory level of personal safety and security, the notes said. Data released by the Queensland Police Service revealed 209 incidences of common and serious assault, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, and grievous bodily harm occurred on trains and around stations from March 2008 to March 2009. This figure had been relatively static over the five years before March 2008, despite a considerable increase in train travel. Obviously, any level of crime is concerning, however, while there is a perception that railway stations and trains are dangerous, the reality is quite different, the report said. Mr Mackie said while there was a need for officials with powers like senior transit officers, their role would be better served by the police. We believe every member of the public has the right to leave their home and travel to their destination on public transport safely and securely.

DnA kits deter spitting on Council buses

WITH POPULATION growth exploding in Queenslands south-east and public transport use increasing, a new set of problems have emerged with a very scientific solution. A spokesperson for the Brisbane City Council said Brisbane Transport bus drivers had regularly been the targets of spitting from disgruntled passengers. In the past, Brisbane Transport operators have been subjected to assault by spitting from some passengers, the spokesperson said. In order to curb this growing problem, Brisbane Transport bus drivers have been issued with DNA kits, which they can now use to catch spitting commuters. The initiative is still in the trial phase, with only 100 drivers from the Garden City depot equipped with the kits. Brisbane Transport management was interested in ways of better protecting drivers and became aware of the DNA kits and deterrent signage used on Perth buses, the Council spokesperson said. The spokesperson said police would remain responsible for investigating assaults and [the] apprehension of offenders, while bus drivers would be responsible for collecting the DNA sample according to set collection procedures. Bus drivers have received training in the collection process [and] set procedures are used to ensure [they] exhibit continuity, the spokesperson said. Bus drivers trained to collect the

samples are required to obtain the swabs at the time of the incident and the swabs are then provided to police for processing and investigation. The Council spokesperson said bus drivers were also requested to provide a voluntary sample for exclusionary purposes. Brisbane lawyer, Robert Champney, said he had serious concerns about the initiative and the recording of DNA evidence by bus drivers. Its a concern that Brisbane City bus drivers are now essentially becoming de facto police officers in that theyre collecting evidence, assumingly theyll have to take down statements as well, Mr Champney said. The Brisbane City Council bus drivers may not have the required training to avoid the contamination of evidence, and whether this evidence would hold up in court would remain to be seen. And theres also an issue of whether the Brisbane City council bus drivers should be doing this function, as it really is delving away from their primary role as an employee to operate the bus. The Brisbane City Council declined to comment on Mr Champneys concerns. Since implementation, the kits and deterrent signage are reported to have had the desired effect, and spitting assaults have steadily declined.
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Workplace bullying takes serious toll

Workplace bullying is a sensitive issue that can be hard to prove and even harder to take action against. So, what is workplace bullying and what is the best way to tackle it? Susannah Thomsett reports.
It generally creates a really horrible atmosphere a culture of fear; and its also been linked to depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and suicide in some extreme cases. A 2002 European study of 118 workplace bullying victims conducted by Eva Mikkelsen and Stale Einarsen found that 80.5 per cent of participants rated being bullied worse than experiences such as accidents, divorce, serious illness and bereavement. I felt really angry, and very upset I got so scared and worried and paranoid, I ended up not doing the job as well, Lakos says. Dr Branch says the estimated cost of workplace bullying using a prevalancy of 3.5 per cent of individuals is $6 to 13 billion every year, including lost opportunities and direct and indirect costs. But 3.5 per cent is actually quite a small estimate, she says, and a higher rate of about 15 per cent means workplace bullying costs Australian employers $17 billion to $36 billion a year. Branch says she believes the best preventative measure available to organisations is awareness training, so that employees know what constitutes bullying and can cope with conflict. Having said that, all the training in the world wont help you if you come up against a person who just chooses to be horrible, but it might help you be able to cope with it, Branch says. Lakos says if she knew then what she knows now, she would have dealt with her managers bullying differently. If Id learned more about my rights, I could have stood up to him more; he was always threatening to take stuff out of my pay, which is illegal, of course, Lakos says. Queensland lead hospitality organiser of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), David Pullen says knowing your rights as an employee can be more confusing these days. The employer will often set up an employee assistance service but often thats advice to their employees about their rights from the employers angle, Pullen says. Governments provide a service, so people can ring up a range of services from a Fair Work Ombudsman to government departments such as the Anti-Discrimination Commission, Queensland Working Women Service, theres a range of services there which are government funded. Staff at the Workplace Health and Safety Infoline (phone 1300 369 915) can give you information to help you work out which agencies to involve in a complaint. Workplace Health and Safety Queenslands website (www.whs.qld. says most external agencies JOURNALISM student Madeleine Lakos was so dedicated to her first job, waiting tables at a chain caf, she endured her managers bullying without complaint. Lakos, 20, says in December 2008 her managers behaviour and attitude soured after the staff Christmas party, during which he bit the cafs assistant manager and broke two of her fingers. The next morning the staff member in question resigned without pressing charges. Everyone was a bit drunk at the party but everyone knew about it, Lakos says. He was a bit of a dick to everyone for a month afterward. He got angry over small things he set impossible time limits on jobs like restock the bar in fifteen minutes. When I failed he called me stupid. In March 2009, after an enjoyable year at university but a further unhappy three months at the caf, Lakos was fired over a triviality: a docket that had 12 customers orders on it, when the rule was a maximum of six. According to Griffith University Research Fellow Dr Sara Branch, who has a Masters in Organisational Psychology, bullying is persistent and escalating inappropriate behaviour directed at a target who is unable to defend themselves because of some power imbalance. Both workplace harassment and workplace bullying occur in all industries and fields, between coworkers and between employers and workers. One of the things about bullying is that its a power dynamicit can occur colleague to colleague, it can occur from staff member up to manager, Ms Branch says. According to Branch, workplace bullying can be divided into dispute-related bullying, with roots in a specific argument or issue, or work-related bullying, which is more arbitrary. After being late to work three times, Lakos says she received a written warning, which was standard practice for the chain, and in a bid to be professional she apologised both in writing and in person. Lakos says she believed that after her apology, her manager realised she would back down easily and began to target her. It was my first job, I loved it at the time so I hung onto it for a long time, was a suck-up I think he enjoyed that a bit too much, she says. Branch says workplace bullying severely affects not just its victims, but their colleagues and employers as well. Its been linked to lower job satisfaction, higher intention to leave, which flows on to higher absenteeism, Branch says.

Paranoid...Victims of workplace bullying often feel angry, upset and scared. Photo: Ingeborg Mate Holm.

only accept complaints after complainants attempt to resolve the bullying internally through an informal process, such as speaking directly with the perpetrator or mediation between parties, or formal processes where available. Pullen says the LHMU provides two kinds of support to bullied members, service and organisation. We provide a legal service, an information service, a personalised service from a service centre that can assist people we could represent that individual person with their employer, or advise them on that, he says.

The beauty of the trade union is we do a little bit more than represent people, we can actually organise people and change the way a whole workplace operates by getting people in the union, by building power, by educating people about their rights, by basically organising workers, which is the big difference from that servicing model. And by gaining respect, by knowing your rights and knowing that you have strength in a union, thats what threatens people and then people wont bully. The LHMU represents 1331 workers under 25 years old, 187 of those in the hospitality industry, and their Member

Assist unit has handled 190 complaints of workplace bullying so far this year. Branch says having a strong network of friends and allies in the workplace is also a way of protecting yourself from harassment and bullying. At the very least you can go and have a chat to them and also, if youre seen as being part of a group, youre not so vulnerable, not so isolated, Branch says. Lakos says she sees her experiences as a learning curve, albeit a steep one. If you dont take responsibility for your own role in things, you never learn for the next time.

Brisbanites infected with mosquito disease for parasite study

BRISBANE researchers have begun infecting human volunteers with malaria so they can test the effectiveness of anti-malaria drugs. The researchers, who are based at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, are undertaking clinical trials to test the performance of anti-malarial drugs with the help of 16 healthy male volunteers. QIMR researcher Professor, James McCarthy, said the volunteers were injected with a very low dose of malaria parasites, which was expected to have no serious effects on the subjects. The injection will contain around 1,800 parasite-infected red blood cells from a controlled sample we have developed, Professor McCarthy said. In comparison, a single bite from a malariainfected mosquito will deliver 20 times more [approximately 30,000] parasites into the blood, he said. Once a human is bitten by an infected mosquito, the parasites multiply in the liver and infect red blood cells, causing fever, chills, headaches, shivering and anaemia. If left untreated, malaria can be fatal because it disrupts blood supply to vital organs. Professor McCarthy said the volunteers would be treated with commercially available malaria treatments five days after they were injected with the parasites. The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of the actual method of observing the parasites in the blood following treatment, Professor McCarthy said. Once we have perfected this method, we hope to start testing new drugs, which may prove to be effective against malaria, he said. Scientist, Rebecca Sedwell, is responsible for testing the volunteers blood after they have been infected and after treatment. Through our testing, we are able to measure how effective different types of anti-malarial drugs are, Ms Sedwell said. Malaria is a serious issue in the medical community with recent studies showing the fever affects half the worlds population. According to the World Health Organisation, malaria claims almost one million lives every year and a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds. In Africa, one in five child deaths is due to the disease, and African children reportedly have on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year.
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Body image guidelines ignored: Editor

THE Australian media industry is sidlining the body image issue only months after the Federal government released its Voluntary Code of Conduct on Body Image according to a former magazine deputy editor. The code was released in June this year following recommendations from the government-appointed National Advisory Group on Body Image in 2009. It is aimed at the media, advertising and fashion industries and challenges them to do the right thing by young people. It outlines principles to guide the industries in adopting more body image friendly practices. However, former Girlfriend Deputy Editor and media commentator, Erica Bartle, said most members of the media industry refused to implement any changes recommended by the code. Ive seen little blips on the radar, but nothing overwhelmingly different or positive, Ms Bartle said. The problem is its a voluntary code and lots of editors, like Vogues Kirsty Clements, have come out and said its a real grey area. The best they are going to do is talk about it, but then theres the risk of it being pushed under the carpet or put in the too hard basket, and then its back to things as usual. Editor for The Australian Womens Weekly, Helen McCabe, said the movement needed to be led by readers before industries partners could take action. This has to be consumer led, and it is to a certain extent, Ms McCabe said. But I do believe it is important for the biggest title in Australia to take a lead, especially when it is not really our decision. It is what our readers want I would say to people concerned about these issues that it is up to you. But Ms Bartle said that sort of statement was a poor excuse for the media industry to do nothing. In a way, its a bit of a cop out, Ms Bartle said. As much as magazines reflect the zeitgeist, they also steer and direct it. Readers are only going to consume what they are being offered. Its pretty narrow-minded to think that women wouldnt be open to seeing more realistic representations of themselves. The Australian Womens Weekly is one of the few magazines to change in response to the code, offering to identify images that have been digitally altered, which McCabe said was a major concern for their readers. Frankly, [the readers] are fed up by it, Ms McCabe said. It seemed logical for us to be involved and take a stand against the overuse of Photoshop, because it does create completely unrealistic images of often already beautiful women. The Federal government said it will screen the media industry, recognising organisations that demonstrate meaningful and ongoing integration of the principles outlined by the code of conduct. These organisations will then be able to carry the Body Image Friendly symbol in their publications. Former Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, said some media organisations were making special attempts to follow the code, including Girlfriend, Cleo, Grazia and Cosmopolitan, who run special issues focused on positive body image. Despite the increasing use of models with different body types and other positive campaigns, Ms Bartle said research showed body image was still a major concern for Australian youth. During my tenure at Girlfriend we launched a self-respect campaign and did a lot of research into the area of body image, Ms Bartle said. Despite that campaign being launched three years ago, in a recent poll Girlfriend found, overwhelmingly, that girls are still feeling terrible about themselves. Body image is still a very big problem. The code of conduct is not only aimed at national media organisations, but at all members of the media industry. Style Editor, Cassandra Laffey, said her Brisbane-based fashion magazine incorporated code guidelines into each publication. As we have a wide female demographic, we have always sourced models of different age groups and body shapes in our fashion shoots, stories and advertorials to reflect our readership, Ms Laffey said. Style does not digitally alter images of people and their body shapes to portray unrealistic ideals. We do use supplied images from other sources and photographers and cant guarantee that these supplied photos reflect the voluntary code of conduct. Griffith University journalism student, Meagan Verner, said while media organisations following the code was a step in the right direction, she would prefer to learn about the ethical dilemmas surrounding body image during her studies. Theres no such thing as a perfect human being, Ms Verner said. We need to be aware of how the media, by consistently publishing

Body image...Model gisele Bndchen on the victorias Secret cat walk. Photo: AAP

Fashion not the only hot topic at Essence

Were used to controversy in the world of fashion magazines over issues such as body image, ageism, objectification and photographic airbrushing. What we dont often hear about is controversy behind the scenes, among the people who create that glossy world. Amber Drury looks at an exception to this rule.
demonstrations at this years New York Fashion Week in protest of the lack of African American fashion directors at Essence, or any other similar magazine. Canadian fashion, lifestyle and contemporary urban culture magazine Contra Toronto staff writer, Felicia Mancini, said she believed the colour of a persons skin was irrelevant as long as they did their job well. As long as the content and message remains loyal and dedicated to its desigwas a hard place to work in if you had a black or a brown face. Essence is the one place we might think, Oh, if I keep moving up in my career, I might make it there, Moses wrote. In an article for the Association of Young Journalists and Writers, Rianna Sing said the lack of ethnic diversity in womens publications is noticeable. In her study of Seventeen magazine, Sing noted that out of 40 advertisements for beauty, only two black models were used. Lisa Wasonga, a University of Connecticut Law School graduate who is also an African American woman and an avid reader of Essence magazine, said the two ethnicities denote more than just divergence in colour. There are aspects of white culture completely unfamiliar and foreign to blacks and vice versa, Wasonga says. Many of those aspects are things dealt with in magazines like Essence. When a black woman picks up a Vogue, InStyle or Cosmo issue that has a headline announcing Hot New Hair Tips, we automatically know theres nothing between those pages that will apply to us as women of colour. With such strong cultural differences, connecting with readership could be difficult. MSNUK Celebrity Editor and experienced fashion and beauty writer, Lucy Mapstone, said Placas role should have been reserved for an African American editor. These kinds of issues have been rife in fashion journalism since their incepWHEN monthly fashion magazine Essence, which targets an African American readership, hired caucasianAustralian Ellianna Placas as fashion director in July this year, many minority journalists and industry experts were outraged. Despite Placas impressive resume, including experience at O: The Oprah Magazine and US Weekly, many have said the position at Essence should have been given to a black woman. That view was shared not only by some fashion commentators and readers, but also by one former Essence editor. Former Essence executive fashion and beauty editor, Michaela Angela Davis, was outspoken in her disapproval of the hiring decision. Davis, who currently works as a documentary filmmaker, took her disapproval over Placas appointment to social networking site Facebook. It is with a heavy heart that I learned Essence magazine has engaged a white fashion director, Davis wrote. I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. Davis also led a series of I wouldnt say its particularly discriminatory, its just the way it is, and should be. But Essence Editor-In-Chief, Angela Burt Murray, defended her decision to appoint Placas as fashion editor in a statement to the press. I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience however, I selected Ellianna because of her creativity, vision, the positive reader response to her work, and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand, Murray said. Murray said she was disappointed that the hiring of a white member of editorial staff overshadowed far more serious issues reported monthly in Essence. Interestingly enough, the things I think should most upset people and inspire boycotts and Facebook protests, often seem to go relatively unnoticed, she said. When our writers investigated the inequities in the health care services black women receive: Deadly silence. When we run story after story on how HIV is the leading cause of death for black women age 18 to 34: Zilch. The things that really are the end of our world apparently arent.

waif-like models as an ideal body type, is negatively influencing the behaviour of women in Australia.

It does need to change, and we, as the next generation of journalists, need to learn how we can help to change it.

I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally.
nated readership, content knows no such thing as colour, Mancini said. If the writer is passionate and knowledgeable about issues affecting [the magazines] readers, everything else should be secondary in importance. Blogger and Style Consultant Najwa Moses said in her blog that the fashion industry in general

Interestingly enough, the things I think should most upset people and inspire boycotts and facebook protests, often seem to go relatively unnoticed
tion, Mapstone says. Black people are rarely featured in mainstream fashion magazines, so it could seem that she doesnt deserve such a high position on an African American magazine, because that role should have been filled by a black woman.

Every scar tells a life changing story.

Wesley mission supports young parents

THE SPECIAL needs of disadvantaged young parents and families in Beenleigh are being catered for thanks to a unique program run by Wesley Mission Brisbanes Young Parent Support System (YPSS) coordinator. The Young Parent Support System (YPSS) provides a combination of health care, information and community support to disadvantaged young parents. YPSS Program Coordinator Donna Hanson said the program included antenatal, babies and toddlers parenting support groups for parents up to 25 years of age. Ms Hanson said the YPSS staff received a lot of guidance and direction from the young parents attending their program. Its a very basic thing, but other providers tend to use a more clinical environment, Ms Hanson said. But our classes, its a safe place for young parents to come to, a place to have their own opinions heard, they have their own influence on the program. The YPSS aims to spread information to young parents on building attachments in families, helping strengthen the bonds between parents and babies, and encouraging communication between family members. With our parenting support groups we aim to pass on parenting skills

A babys life...Young mothers socialise with their babies at Young Parent Support System. Photo: courtesy Wesley Mission

hoop dreaming for at-risk kids in yeronga

IF YOU pop into the sports hall of Yeronga TAFE youll see a young basketball coach dishing out some serious lessons to people from all walks of life. Youll also see the adoration, the love and respect players have for this man. Coach David Yohan is a man who, by his own personal account, is lucky to be alive. Growing up, I wasnt a perfect kid, Yohan says. I had some bad influences and I was in bad situations. I grew up at this park and this is where I learnt to play basketball, and to be honest it probably saved my life. Yohan and his mother arrived in Australia in 1993 as refugees from wartorn Sudan, intent on creating a new life for themselves. However, Yohan says it wasnt long before he found himself on a dangerous path of an entirely different variety. Hanging out at the park and basketball court directly across the road from the Yeronga TAFE, Yohan says he was exposed to an unpleasant and increasingly dangerous way of life. In an environment where jail and death were very real, constant threats, basketball quickly became a way out. Playing basketball led Yohan to representative teams and basketball scholarships, but most importantly, it showed him the power of sportsmanship, teamwork, and goals. Yohan says after seeing local youths going through the same issues he went through years ago, he felt compelled to be a force for change. It was from these humble beginnings that PAWES began. PAWES (Providing Awareness With Education and Sport) is a not-for-profit association targeting at-risk, marginalised and disadvantaged young people. It aims to provide coaching and mentoring, without the worry of financial constraints. I created PAWES close to two years ago now, Yohan says. Using PAWES as his organisational base, Yohan began coaching more and more kids, finally forming a local team called Hoop Dreamz.

and life skills, help them connect with relatives and other young people, Ms Hanson said. A lot of young parents are a little isolated, we want to help them link to other people in the same circumstances. Single parents frequently come from another state, and theyre away from their family some of them have no one at all to turn to. In a 2008 study on pregnancy care, Maternal and Child Health Nurse Nicole Carver, La Trobe Universitys Public Health Lecturer, Bernadette Ward, and

Senior Lecturer, Lyn Talbot, said that it was important in antenatal care for the voice of pregnant women to be given weight as well as the voice of experts. Several studies have reported that while continuity of care is important, increased satisfaction with care is more closely linked to caregivers not being rushed, personalising care, listening to womens concerns and making an effort to get to know women, the study said. A Wesley Mission Brisbane spokesperson said the organisations parenting support groups ran on a 12-week cycle,

with each week dealing with a different topic such as changes to the body during pregnancy, pain relief, what to expect after the birth, and where to find additional support. Sometimes we have guest speakers, we have music and movement sessions to help form that attachment between parent and child, the program really varies, the spokesperson said. Approximately 10 to 12 families attend each session. Child health nurses from Logan Hospital run the antenatal classes,

theyre able to offer antenatal checks and after the baby is born the parents can come to the babies classes for more check-ups. We also have a lactation consultant at the babies classes to help with feeding. After the child is one year old, the family can attend the toddlers group its the same principle as the babies groups, but with age appropriate information. The spokesperson said young parents generally joined the YPSS through the antenatal group, and continued on to the babies and toddlers groups. Ms Hanson said Centrelink referred some young parents but the majority joined the antenatal program through the local hospital. Were helping young people and making links with other community groups, Ms Hanson said. According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2006, 45 per cent of Queensland fathers and 57 per cent of mothers surveyed were aged 25 or under when their first child was born. Another ABS study found that in Australia in 2008, there were 67,654 births where the mother was aged 25 years or under, and 37,587 births where the father was 25 years old or under. Visit for more information on Wesley Mission Brisbane and its programs.

Courtside assist...Providing Awareness With education and Sport helps members of Hoop Dreamz perform on and off the basketball court. Photo: courtesy PAWeS

I started coaching five to ten kids, and now were an organisation. I saw the next generation falling into the same traps I was falling into; anti social behaviours and taking risks within their life. I wanted to change that. I wanted to help people help themselves. In his role as coach, Yohan stalks the court, barking out instructions to his young charges with equal parts of toughness and humour. The atmosphere is light and fun, but when the serious stuff begins the players switch on instantly. Such is their respect for their coach and leader. One of the players, Nyamuoch Yakuac, whose family also came to Australia from Sudan, finds Yohans unique coaching style ideal. Hes pretty cool, Yakuac says. He makes us work so hard and he

just pushes us. Hes tough but hes fair. Yohan has been awarded the Pride of Australia medal, nominated for Young Australian of the Year in 2009, a Community Award recipient and the Young Citizen of the Year in 2010. But Yohan does his best to shun such accolades. To be honest, that doesnt interest me, he says. At first, when things like that came up I was hesitant to be in that. I didnt want other people, especially the young people, to see me any differently because I dont see myself differently to them. This is not about getting recognition, this is about improving lives and making a difference. Yohan says he sees his young players as the future of the PAWES organisation, and the ones who will carry on his work long after hes gone.

Thats the great thing about us, it started with a young person and now other young people are catching on, he says. Soon the players are going to be the next volunteers; the ones that are going to take over. Thats really what Id like. Its sustainable. But despite all the positive inroads he has made, the future of PAWES is far from assured. Were okay until the end of the year, but with the new year coming were back to square one, Yohan says. We have nowhere to call home, to train, we have nothing. We rely on volunteers, and at the moment we dont have any. The work required to keep the organisation afloat is tremendous. Yohan is required to create and print the flyers, write permission slips,

negotiate and manage tournaments, coach the team and even drive the bus to and from games. He says the support he receives from the local community is excellent, but wider support is required if PAWES is to survive. This is the reason Yohan created the PAWES Fun, Community and Basketball Day. The day took place at Yeronga TAFE on October 2, and was designed to thank current supporters and attract new ones. We had nothing when we started, absolutely nothing, Yohan says. We had one ball. Weve come a long way, so were using this as a thank you to the people who have supported us. But at the same time we are using it to create awareness for the wider public and everyone else who may come, whether it be government officials or agencies, that we need further support.

No-kill shelter helps abandoned cats

each year in Queensland thousands of unwanted cats are euthanased because shelters such as the RSPCA are unable to find homes for them all, but one Brisbane woman is trying to stop the deaths by running a cat shelter from her own home. Nadia Vanek reports.
to cats, the shelter predominately took in dogs, as well as other domestic animals ranging in size from guinea pigs to cows. I realised that cats were getting a very bad deal, she says. There were lots of people doing dog rescues and cats unfortunately didnt have the support that they needed. If they were going into pounds quite often they were being put down just on principal because no one was adopting cats out of pounds. Slatterys shelter is more a labour of love than most passers by would realise. She says she does not make any money for the service she provides, and says she also has not been granted any disability pensions or unemployment benefits. Instead, shes spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of her own money to provide the animals with medication, food Cat slave...Louise Slattery loves every one of her felines to bits. Photo: nadia vanek and secure cat housing. When you take in unwanted cats since 2001, and is proud and making repairs to the cat housing vaccinating, microto be working hard for her cause. are a physical challenge for Slattery. chipping, de-sexing, de-fleaing, deAn accident involving a frontIve got a lot of pain in the legs and worming, feeding, petrol to and from the on collision with a semi-trailer left in the back, and so I can only do things vets, some of the emergency care thats Slattery, who used to work as a taxation where I can set the pace on how I do been needed on abused animals, feeding consultant, partially crippled in both the them, she says. mother and kittens, youve going to lose knees and spine forcing her to quit her Caring for animals is nothing new for approximately $300 to $400 per cat and kitten that you actually adopt out, job. Ms Slattery. Activities such as mowing the grass Years before she turned her attention Slattery says.

LOWOOD resident Louise Slattery is the owner and sole worker of Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue. She says the RSPCA was forced to euthanase 11,000 of the 18,000 cats received through their Queensland shelters over the past two years, which is why she started a no-kill cat shelter at her home. Each year Slattery does her best to save the ever-increasing number of abandoned animals that are left at her door. Grey cats, brown cats, fluffy cats, fat cats and ginger cats, Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue takes them all in, caring for them 24 hours a day. However, with no stable income and so many animals being left with her, she is struggling to cope. Because there are so many cats, I cant actually get around to getting everything done, other than what must get done, she says. But despite the fact that more than 300 cats were left at her shelter this year, Slattery says she is determined not to be labelled a cat hoarder. Instead she affectionately refers to herself as the cat slave. Slattery has devoted her life and her home to re-housing and caring for

Adopting a fully micro-chipped, wormed and de-sexed cat from Slatterys shelter costs $150, but adopting an adult cat from the Queensland RSPCA costs $180. You dont make any money, all you can try and do is to not lose too much, she says. Slattery says she is floating financially, relying on occasional donations to help her pay the bills. Ive got a couple of friends that come over occasionally, but its 99 per cent me, she says. Slattery says she wishes that one day her services will not be needed. She says there isnt enough focus on cats as being pets, companions or friends of the family. People will see a cute little puppy or cute little kitten in the pet shop and theyll buy it on impulse without thinking about the fact that it needs... long-term care, what are they going to do with it on holidays, do they have the room for it at home, are they prepared to pay for all the vet costs when it gets older, are they even going to like it in four months time when its no longer a puppy or kitten, she says. All these animals would be dead if the shelter wasnt here now. It takes a special kind of person to do this job, but Slattery is keen to not be honoured for her efforts. Its not for anyone who is terribly intelligent because they would be smart enough not to do it, she says.

Click here for a video version of this story, or go to www.thesource.

Youth service shows way out of street life

in 2010 there are more than 11,000 people under the age of 25 living on our streets. But homelessness doesnt have to be a life sentence, writes Lily Charles, after an inspirational meeting with one former homeless youth.
was hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorbike. Attard says this devastating event led her back into a party-drug lifestyle. Soon after her relapse, Attard found out she was pregnant to a friend from the Sydney party scene. I was off my face on drugs, I had been drinking and Id popped pills, and then I went home. He was staying at my house and I must have slept with him because two months later I found out I was pregnant. Shortly after Attards daughter was born, she moved back to Brisbane to look for work and try to turn her life around for the second time. With the help of the Brisbane Youth Service, Attard found accommodation and work. She now also volunteers as the BYS Youth Homelessness Ambassador. As part of her ambassadorial role, Attard travels around the country giving motivational speeches about her time as a homeless youth. Although its rewarding work, she says its tough watching friends still struggling to get off the streets. It is hard to see them, and when youre in accommodation all you want to do is help. But you cant because you jeopardise your own place. Brisbane Youth Service Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Richard Langford, has known Attard since he began work at the centre two years ago. He says Attard plays a vital role in keeping BYS running. According to Langford, Attards story doesnt only touch corporate hearts, it inspires the disadvantaged youths she meets at BYS. She is very motivated and through that motivation she has an inspirational effect on the other youths.

NATASHA Attard was only 15 when ongoing harassment caused her to run away from her hometown of Mackay. Now 24, Attard says she had a comfortable childhood growing up in a well-off family, with two brothers and plenty of friends to spend time with, and even horses to ride. Then at 15 she moved out of home and in with her older boyfriend. A school friend of Attards then also ran away from home, and she offered the girl a place to stay for the night at her new home. It was after that night that Attards life changed forever. One of my friends from school ran away from home, so I told her to come and stay with me, Attard says. Then her mum came around and bashed me. Attard was struck multiple times and thrown down the stairs, and the incident left her with severe facial injuries. Attard says her friends mother had been angry because she saw Attard as a threat to her family. She reported the assault to the police, but Attard says her complaint wasnt taken seriously. I went to the police and tried to lay charges against her, but they told me they couldnt do anything because I didnt have any witnesses.

Pride...natasha Attard is recognised for her hard work at the Brisbane Youth Service. Photo: Lily Charles

They said I couldnt prove that I didnt do it to myself to frame the woman. But I was only 15. I found out later her husband was a police officer. Attard says her friend was unhurt and returned home to live with her mother, but despite that Attard continued to be harassed by the woman for seven months. The woman followed Attard to her school and verbally taunted her until she felt she had no option but to leave town. Telling no-one, she fled to Brisbane leaving her support network behind. She had no money and nowhere to stay, and quickly fell into life on the streets.

My family didnt know I was homeless at first. I didnt tell them because I felt like they didnt care. After a while I knew my dad cared because he would keep putting money in my account for food and things. Living on the streets had made her feel depressed, and lead her to develop a serious drug habit. Attard says she hit rock bottom in 2008 and would often take drugs such as speed and ice to hide her depression symptoms from her friends on the street. She says her old friends and family knew nothing about her new life. I told my dad I needed money for food and stuff, but Id use it for drugs, Attard says.

Attard could not continue to hide her problems from her family and eventually confessed her drug use to her father. With his guidance, Attard enlisted the help of the Brisbane Youth Service (BYS), a community organisation dedicated to helping homeless and disadvantaged youths build better futures. The combined efforts of her father and BYS allowed Attard to travel to Sydney to spend time on her uncles property and undergo rehabilitation. It was there she rediscovered her love of music and also fell in love with her now late partner, Moe. He was the most incredible person Ive ever met, Attard says. Moe passed away in 2009, after he

Allergy Five-fold increase in child research food allergies: experts lacks

EACH year, more and more children in Australia are being diagnosed with potentially life-threatening food allergies. Sufferers develop a hypersensitive reaction, known as anaphylaxis, when exposed to certain types of foods, which can include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, crustaceans and soy, and many others. The reactions to trigger foods can be so severe that they must be treated as a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. Also, more than one body system at a time can be affected, including the skin, the respiratory system, the gastro-intestinal and the cardiovascular, which makes these reactions particularly dangerous, as symptoms can include swelling in the mouth or throat, difficulty breathing and even loss of consciousness. Queensland allergist Associate Professor Pete Smith said he had seen the wide variety of anaphylaxis in children increase five-fold over the past 10 years. Food allergies contribute to significant morbidity, particularly in the very young, with food allergy occurring in five to eight per cent of the young children, Mr Smith said. This is also reflected globally with rises reported in the UK and USA. Current dietary prevention strategies are clearly not working to prevent food allergy. Furthermore, research has been conducted showing that there are links between other severe conditions in children, including skin conditions, asthma and hay fever. In Australia we have seen rises in allergic conditions such as eczema, where in a similar population and survey instrument the rate of eczema in children under five years has risen from three per cent in the 1960s to 17 per cent in 1991, Assoc Prof Smith said. Chief Dietician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit, Dr Anne Swain, said during her time at the Allergy Unit she had seen an increase in the number of patients being affected by food sensitivities. Anecdotally, weve found that admissions to hospitals in small children have escalated, Dr Swain said. Dr Swain said a possible contributing factor to the increase was food conditioning, caused by excessive exposure to a food substance. Every time we change the food source, again we watch a change in what people get sensitised to, Dr Swain said. There are still lots of peanut allergies and cashew nut allergies, but now were looking at more walnut allergies. Fourteen-year-old Elly Kirkham grew up with a severe nut allergy and is also a celiac, which means she cannot eat food containing gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat. As a result of her allergies, Elly has had to stick to a strict diet. Having food anaphylaxis has been difficult because it means Im different, Ms Kirkham said. Teachers in primary school werent used to handling my allergies, so during lunch time I would sit alone in a class room all by myself and could maybe have one other friend with me at a time. Now when I go to parties and things, I have to take all my own food, I have to tell people how to use the EpiPen, they need Mums number and need to know what to do in case of an emergency. It still feels embarrassing and awkward to have to tell people about it, that I have food allergies and anaphylaxis, and need to be especially aware of their own level of distress. If the parent feels they need to do something about how theyre feeling when theyre dealing with the stress of protecting their children, then they should do something about it. Ms Kirkham is well aware of the stress that comes with looking after children with anaphylaxis. I was absolutely over the top, Ms Kirkham said. The turning point came when we were in a supermarket one day and she saw a nut on the ground and just started screaming, saying it was going to get her. I had to drop everything I had, pick up my other baby, leave my shopping and drag this screaming child out of the supermarket. It was then that I said to myself, OK, Ive really messed this kid up. I still wouldnt let them eat in a Chinese or Mongolian restaurant, but we do eat out. She goes to parties, to camp, overseas to non-English speaking countries, weve found its all do-able, it just takes time. Dr Swain has spent time researching and developing the safest elimination diets. I went through the literature and read as much as I could about the elimination diet, but there were still gaps in the research. Over the years weve seen patients and put them on the elimination diet, challenged them and shown them how they can liberalise, how much they can manage, because they need to know how much [food] they can have before they get the symptoms. What eventuated in 1989 was our first Friendly Food recipe book that came out, and then more recently the second book on Friendly Food came out. Now were working on the last part of the book, which is the food challenges. Patients like Elly Kirkman have seen similar benefits through strongly researched regimes. After taking some of the food challenges recently, Elly is now able to eat almonds, which is a big step for us, Ellys mother said. She said now that Elly was a teenager statistically the most at-risk group dealing with the allergies was a whole new ball game. Prof Kenardy has seen how important it is for parents and children to keep an open relationship and keep communicating as the children hit puberty. The parent will want their child to have a normal experience but its hard to allow them to be put at risk to exposure to allergens. The main thing for parents is that there needs to be very clear communications between parent and child. I think these kids have a huge weight on their shoulders as they are usually told from a very young age (from diagnosis) how serious their condition is, Prof Kenardy said. The cause of allergies like Ellys continues to baffle scientists. Hypotheses include that we are now living too clean, that we are delaying exposing children to certain foods for too long, and even that birth by caesarean section prevents babies from getting a mouthful of bacteria in the birth canal that can be associated with doubling the risk of milk allergy. The more that we can educate the community on supporting people, the better, Ms Said says. For more information, go to www.


Anaphylactic shock...the effects of a reaction. Photo: Anaphylaxis Australia inc.

Anaphylaxis Facts Common symptoms of a mild to moderate allergic reaction Tingling of the mouth Hives, welts or body redness Swelling of the face, lips and/or eyes Vomiting, abdominal pain Common symptoms of severe anaphylaxis Difficulty and/or noisy breathing Swelling of the tongue Swelling or tightness in the throat Difficulty talking or hoarse voice Wheeze or persistent cough Loss of consciousness and/or collapse Pale and floppy (young children)
and they sometimes dont believe it. According to Maria Said from non-profit organisation Anaphylaxis Australia Inc., it is important for people affected by allergies to feel able to manage their conditions. Its very much about individuals learning to care for themselves, and learning to manage it themselves, Ms Said said. It affects their life as a whole because its food that were talking about and we eat several times a day. Ellys mother, Annelise Kirkham, has two children with food anaphylaxis and says the concept was initially incredibly difficult to understand. As a mother, I felt desperately guilty to have caused my child to have food anaphylaxis or not to have been able to prevent the risk. So when there was a diagnosis, I felt it was my fault, my responsibility; I was terrified. I had the diagnosis in my head and the script in my hand and I sat down and watched her. She was doing a little skippy dance in front of me and all I could think was shes so carefree and has no idea whats weve been told. You suddenly become terrified and irrational to protect your child. Clinical health psychologist and Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Queensland, Professor Justin Kenardy, said high stress situations where parents and children experienced near-death experiences, could put tension on a relationship. The younger the child the more important the distress level is, especially in pre-preschool level kids, Mr Kenardy said. Anxious and concerned parents create in their children the similar feelings of anxiety and concern. Parents need to remember that young children are born to read their parents

ALLERGY organisations and research facilities continue to struggle for funding even as cases of food allergies and anaphylaxis have increased dramatically over the past five years. As the reportage of allergies and allergic reactions in children continues to rise, allergy organisations in Australia are struggling to find funding to support the growing demand on resources. Maria Said from Anaphylaxis Australia Inc. (AAI) said the organisation struggled to support the increase in families and individuals in need of information, doctors and facilities. AAI is a national support organisation that educates for the allergic individual and we also support anyone whos trying to manage anaphylaxis teachers, childcare workers, health professionals, anyone working in government, Ms Said said. There are no other major patient support organisations that have the outreach that we have. Its predominately a volunteer run organisation. There are two of us who work full-time and three of us who work part-time, and were absolutely run off our feet. Chief Dietician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Allergy Unit, Dr Anne Swain, said during her time at the unit she had seen an explosion in patients with food allergies and the need for more resources. Weve started to see patients with food allergies and a number of them also have food intolerances and weve now realised that what we need are more resources, not just for people with food intolerance, but also to help people with an egg allergy, a milk allergy, [or] a nut allergy, which weve begun to develop, Dr Swain said. With such a demand for public health and resources, it is no wonder not-for-profit organisations like AAI are struggling to meet their needs and hoping for more state and federal support. The waiting lists for allergists in Queensland are so huge that there are people waiting to be properly diagnosed and supported. The government in Queensland really needs to do more to acknowledge food allergy as a public health issue, Ms Said said. Queensland Health was unavailable for comment. For further information on anaphylaxis and allergies in Australia, go to Anaphylaxis Australia website ( or the website of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, www.

Pixels and pints at the Mana Bar

Weve heard the popular explanation that blames the growing levels of violence on our streets on violent video games. If this is true, how has the Valleys Mana Bar managed to combine alcohol, bright lights, loud music, crowds of young people and video games, but remain violencefree? Tim Schaefer investigates.
ITS 11pm on a Friday night and inside the Mana Bar, a small bar on the outskirts of Brunswick Street, a crowd of young people is drinking and buttonmashing their way through the shiniest new offerings from the gaming industry. Almost all of the games depict violence in some form, yet Brunswick Streets best kept secret is being championed as a counter-point to the seedy atmosphere of Fortitude Valley. Part cocktail bar, part video game museum, the Mana Bar has already managed to capture a loyal and expansive following since opening in March this year. The usual trappings of a nightclub exist within the Mana Bar: bright lights, pulsing music, energetic bartenders, attractive waitresses and the unmistakable noise created by alcohol and youth. Yet the Mana Bar provides a unique experience in Brisbanes nightclub scene. On walls lining the sides of the bar sit eight televisions, each hooked up to a video game console and displaying the latest games. Crowded around the screens are groups of young men and women, most with a drink in their hand. A Legislative Assembly of Queensland report in March 2010 into alcohol-related violence listed not just drugs and alcohol, workplace pressures and societys apparent obsession with being intoxicated as causes of violence, but also isolated video games as a key ingredient in the unsavoury atmosphere dominating Queenslands night-time hotspots. If sections of the Legislative Assembly of Queenslands Inquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence report are to be believed, the Mana Bar sounds like a recipe for violence, but Mana Bar owner Guy Blomberg couldnt be more proud of the establishment and those who fill it to capacity most nights. Standing in front of his bar, Blomberg speaks with the energy of someone who knows hes created something special. Were in the unique, wonderful position of being a venue that serves booze, a venue that has violent video games, together in this holy matrimony, and we dont see any violence at all, Blomberg says. Blomberg says he is proud of the positive atmosphere that reverberates from the walls of the Mana Bar and says he is willing for the government to use it as a case study as it attempts to curb the increasing rate of violent incidents in Brisbanes entertainment districts. I think the government should be looking at our venue and asking what the Mana Bar is doing right. The regulars are the friendliest and most polite clientele you could ask for. We get owners from other bars saying they would kill for our clientele because they are young, friendly, polite and they drink like fish. While Blomberg remains open to possible collaboration with the state administration, the video game industry in general has long maintained a prickly relationship with government ministers who, Blomberg claims, represent a generation that is out of touch and unwilling to cooperate with the emerging industry. Little surprise, then, to see the LAQ report littered with warnings concerning violence within games. Controversially, a particular section of the report suggests violent video games are a contributing factor to violent behaviour. These sorts of claims have incensed many in the video game industry, but member for Springwood and Chair of the Inquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence report, Barbara Stone, says the concerns are valid. In the report, Ms Stone identifies the issue of young people playing violent video games, and says there is evidence suggesting this exposure to violent media could have a significant impact on the culture emerging in the suburbs. We are aware of research implicating violent interactive video games in youth violence, Stone says. Making a choice to brutally stab and dismember a moving image is a different experience from simply watching such an event on a screen. I believe the hypothesis that violent video games are involved in the escalation of youth violence needs further exploration, Stone says. With years of previous experience in the industry as a video game designer, Blomberg is quite passionate in his rejection of aspects of the report, especially the committees recommendation of further research into violent video games and their effects. Blomberg says he was frustrated by claims in the report suggesting the physical interaction required to play a violent game is something which isolates video games, making them different from the sort of violence found in film and television. The committee is actually stating as fact that something interactive is more influential on youth violence than something thats not, which isnt based on any fact whatsoever, he says. These statements, which generalise and trivialise an industry, are what is so frustrating, especially when theres no voice of reason on the other side. There is no shortage of Mana Bar regulars who share the sentiments of Blomberg, especially among the young ones. Spencer Lawson is 20 years old,

mild mannered...Mana Bar patrons drink and game responsibly. Photo: AAP

Untangling the e-waste issue

ELECTRONIC and electric garbage, or e-waste, is the fastest growing form of waste in Australia, and can be dangerous and tricky to handle, according to key environmental and recycling groups. According to the National Waste Report 2010 produced by the Environmental Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC), 16.8 million units or 106,000 tonnes of TVs, computers and computer products were thrown away in 2007 alone. Due to the shorter life spans and increasing popularity of these products, the report predicts these figures will grow to 44 million units or 181,000 tonnes of electronic waste by 2027. A spokesperson for Clean Up Australia said the vast majority of e-waste was sent to landfill, where the hazardous materials used to manufacture electronic products could then leach into the soil and groundwater, causing environmental problems. Everyday e-waste often contains toxic or environmentally damaging substances such as lead and arsenic (found in cathode ray tubes), mercury (found in switches and housing), antimony trioxide (used as a flame retardant in some plastics), selenium (used in circuit boards), cadmium (found in semiconductors) and cobalt (found in magnets). Also while the familiar, single use alkaline or zinc batteries used in many common products can be safely thrown away with your regular garbage, rechargeable batteries can contain cadmium and so are classed as a hazardous

employed, has an active sporting career, a fianc and a child, and yet invests several hours a day in his favorite hobby, gaming. For me, gaming is my method of relaxation, Lawson says. I can sit down, leave my stresses aside, get lost in a world for several hours and take out my frustrations with no consequences. Lawson is just one of a growing number of adults who use games as an alternative to movies, television and alcohol as relaxation tools. At the same time, Lawson says he thinks the government is wrong in its characterisation of violent video games as a serious issue. I play violent games all the time and I find it insulting that the government

would assume that I am so easily influenced by violence, he says. I just dont think it has an effect, and definitely no more effect than something violent on TV or in a movie. I think the government is looking at video games as something to blame because its the newest form of interactive entertainment. Blomberg says government need not look far in its quest for more research into the effects of violent video games. The Mana Bar is the ideal candidate. Our venue hasnt had incidents, and its actually quite a rare thing. Were open in the heart of the Valley, the middle of the entertainment precinct, surrounded by other nightclubs where violent incidents occur, and the Mana Bar is incident free.

e-waste recycling tips

CLEAN Up Australia recommends that if an appliance or gadget cant be reused, recycling is the next best way to avoid sending e-waste to landfill. Planet Ark has consumer website ( au) and Recycling Hotline (1300 733 712) designed to help Australians find the nearest recycling location for their unwanted goods. Different types of e-waste such as computers and computer accessories, TVs, mobile phones, printer cartridges, and batteries are accepted by different organisations, which have the necessary facilities to process them. The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities said a federal government National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme that would oblige TV and computer manufacturers to take back and recycle their old products should be up and running in 2011. In the meantime, e-waste collection bins are located in sheds at the Brisbane City Councils four tips at Nudgee, Chandler, Ferny Grove and Willawong. Brisbane ratepayers can use one of their five annual general waste vouchers to avoid fees for this service, and each tip waives e-waste recycling fees for one day a year. For more information on waste disposal and recycling in Brisbane City Council areas, visit Logan City Council operates recycling facilities for mobile phones, printer cartridges and rechargeable batteries at their Browns Plains SmartTiP and Carbrook SmartTiP. The Helensvale and Merrimac Transfer Stations on the Gold Coast also accept e-waste, see www. For more information on e-waste recycling services in your area, please visit your local council website. The Australian mobile phone industry has run a voluntary recycling program called MobileMuster since 1999, with 3500 collection points nationally including mobile phone retailers, Australia Post shops and public libraries. The Cartridges 4 Planet Ark campaign accepts all printer, fax and photocopier ink cartridges for free, drop off points include Australia Post, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, Tandy, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Officeworks stores. Some Battery World shops also run a free battery recycling program for their customers, visit for more information.

Landfill or useful...Some e-waste is recyclable. Photo: ingeborg Mate Holm

waste to be disposed of more carefully. The EPHC said the effects of the potentially hazardous e-waste materials that leach into the surrounding environment from landfill were not yet well understood. However, according to the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO), donating unwanted electronic items to charity rather than sending them to landfill could also be counter-productive. A survey conducted by NACRO of member organisations found the organisations were receiving overwhelming quantities of e-waste, with 75 per cent of respondents claiming to be oversupplied with e-waste compared with the resale demand for such items. NACRO said the donations were made either out of kindness and overestimation of the value of used electronics, or in attempts by the donors to avoid the inconvenience and cost of going to

the tip. NACROs survey also found that for 95 per cent of the organisation, disposing of e-waste carried costs for their organisations, not profit. Lifeline Brisbane Operations Manager Steve Dawber said that in September Lifeline had found a way to recycle broken e-waste donations. We get a lot of electronic items from the donation systems, we have people to test items and see if they work at our distribution centre, Mr Dawber said. Weve set up a partnership with the Kingfisher Recycling Centre, sending our broken TVs and things to their volunteers for disassembly, who have various mental and physical disabilities. Mr Dawber said the Kingfisher Centre now took all of Lifeline Brisbanes broken e-waste donations, and sold the disassembled items for scrap metal and recycling.

West end small business trashed

Iconic specialist video store Trash Video has shut its doors after 15 years as a landmark business in Brisbanes West End. Nadia Vanek speaks to owner Andrew Leavold about the stores colourful life and the challenges facing small business.
TRASH Video was everything your local franchise DVD store is not. Packed with character, its walls were pasted with posters of obscure films dating back to the 1940s. The shelves were filled with an eclectic mix of films, from grotesque horror and Filipino midget movies to the absurd Czech films of the 1960s and 1970s. Trash Video store owner Andrew Leavold says the store boasted an extensive range of films that he began collecting when he was just 10 years old. But despite his obvious love of film, Leavold says with lower profits in recent years and a rise in rent that his turnover couldnt cover, keeping the store open just became too difficult. Leavold is realistic about why Trash Video was no longer profitable after 15 years in business. Were not shiny, were not happy, blissfully dumb Blockbuster staff that people can peer down their noses and feel superior to when they rent DVDs, he says. Most people dont want to rent anymore, they just want to own. Yet selling new release DVDs to customers isnt something Trash ever included in their business base. We never got into sell-through because we couldnt compete with JB Hi Fi, Leavold says. We never got into new releases because we couldnt compete with the chain stores. My job was making inaccessible films accessible. We can no longer do that because of the digital age. West End resident, Ariana Magmuzmos, has rented videos from Trash Video since she was 15, has worked in the store for the past two years and says it was a special place. Trash is such an amazing place and not enough people appreciate it, Magmuzmos says. Something that really pisses me off is how West End prides itself on being such a diverse and unique place, and yet you dont see Civic Video or Red Room DVD closing down. Trash is the one closing down. Leavold says it wasnt just technological changes that caused his business to close after so many years. Rent costs are rising in the suburb as more and more big-name businesses try to take advantage of the areas popularity and increasing gentrification. Leavold says the rent at Trash Video increased by about 50 per cent over a decade, moving from $21,000 to $33,000 per year. Thats $250 [more] a week in rent and if youre making $250 less than you were 10 years ago, then there is no profit, he says. So despite the efforts of customers to come in and donate a bag of video tapes or sponsor a new release, it isnt enough. Leavold says the situation was so bad that he did not take any salary from Trash Video for the past four years, relying on his girlfriends income to pay the rent. Magmuzmos says that rent plays a big part in the survival of small businesses. She says no one is making money except those in real estate. Net Rent property manager for West End, Mike Harrison, says paying rent could be one of the biggest challenges for small businesses. Harrison says while small businesses in the area increased in number over the past nine years, many were struggling more than ever to stay in business. He says Boundary Road has seen rents rise to $600 or more per square metre, while rental prices in nearby streets increased to between $350 to $400 per square metre. One of the reasons for the rent increases in West End is the increase in demand for retail and commercial space in the popular suburb, with many buyers and business owners wanting a piece of the action. According to a report from February by, Brisbane City Council estimates the population of South Brisbane and West End will increase by 312.5 per cent over the next 20 years, driving the growth of both residential and commercial high rise developments along the river. Gooble Warming owner, Jodie Karash, has run her store selling handmade alternative clothing and circus supplies in West End for 10 years and is feeling the same pressure. We have been fine up until the stimulus package ran out... we now have no employees, Karash says. Its cheaper for us to shut the shop for half the week rather than pay someone. Magmuzmos says if a business like Trash Video cant operate in West End, it wont be successful anywhere else. But Leavold says its not the end for Trash Video. Trash will continue as an internet presence, but without the public store front, and by selling rather than renting, he says. To paraphrase the words of Fu Manchu: The world shall hear from Trash again!

Weird and quirky...trash video was not your every day video rental store

Off to the Philippines...Andrew Leavold isnt afraid of what the world is going to at throw him next. Photos: nadia vanek

Life after liquidation for Trashs Andrew Leavold

THERE are many titles you could give Andrew Leavold Scruffy excounter monkey, film maker, director or historian. Whatever you call him, Leavold says being forced to pull the life-support plug on the iconic video store he thought of as his child for the past 15 years might turn out to be good for his career. He is a man who clearly believes there is life after death. Not running the store means more time to finish off the PhD, work on more film projects, and perhaps do some freelance stuff here and there, he says. Leavold has a great ability to document the oral histories of those who would never otherwise have a chance to tell their stories. His love for film extends beyond the eccentric collection of VHS and DVDs that lined the shelves of his beloved Trash Video. Leavold says he recently secured a documentary contract with the ABC for The Search for Weng Weng, not to mention a place at Griffith University to write a doctorate based on his obsession for obscure Filipino film genres, the culmination of five years of research. Its mutated into two projects, the first project is a film called Machete Maidens Unleashed which just screened at Melbourne Film Festival and Brisbane film festival, Leavold says. And so thats basically a history of B-grade film making in the Philippines by the guy who made Not Quite Hollywood. The original concept was to do a sort of detective story on the longdead James Bond midget Weng Weng. The documentary premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival last June and will soon air on the ABC. Leavold says instead of renting films out through Trash Video, hell be able to use his collection more like a research laboratory to help his research for his PhD and

independent film projects. Ill basically be living of the proceeds of the liquidation for the next 12 months. First task is to finish off the doctorate and be able to go and teach in the Philippines, and then try to become a paid film maker at some point. Fans of trash video should look out for Leavolds up-and-coming Filipino midget comedy, The Taller They Come in specialist video stores around Brisbane.

WICKED hits Brisbane

CRITICALLY acclaimed and internationally successful musical theatre extravaganza WICKED is set to open in all its emerald glory at QPACs Lyric Theatre in January. WICKED has had phenomenal success around the world since opening on New Yorks Broadway on October 8 2003, before playing in Londons West End in 2006 and in foreign language versions in Tokyo and Stuttgart, Germany. When the Australian production arrives in Brisbane in January 2011 it will already have played more than 866 shows and been seen by more than one million people. The musical has been seen by 24 million people worldwide, with the eight international companies grossing $1.9 billion. The Australian WICKED tour has graced audiences in Melbourne and Sydney and will move on to Adelaide in April 2011, with plans to take the show to Perth after that. For anyone who hasnt yet been initiated into the WICKED fan club, the show tells the story of two girls who met in the Land of Oz long before Dorothy dropped in and began her well-known journey to see the Wizard. In the story, one of the girls, Elphaba, was born with emerald green skin and was smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other girl, Glinda, was beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED explains how these unlikely friends grew to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. Zoe Gertz is the understudy for the lead role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, currently being played by Jemma Rix. Ms Gertz said WICKED was a show that appealed to audiences of every generation. At the basic level of it, WICKED is a spectacular show with spectacular music and songs and dance numbers, she said. But it is also a metaphor of what is going on in the world today. Ms Gertz said the story of WICKED touched on a lot of relevant issues. It has these universal themes that resonate with people. The abuse of power by someone who is in control, the racism against someone who is different from the rest. I truly believe that is why WICKED is such a great show, because it is just not about entertainment, it is about the world today. WICKED Australia Co-Producer John Frost said the show was an overwhelming hit right from the beginning. When WICKED opened on Broadway, it worked its magic on critics and audiences alike, Mr Frost said in a statement. It won 35 major awards including a Grammy, three Tony Awards and six Helpmann Awards including Best Musical, WICKED has been described as the Best Musical of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly. Mr Frost said he was excited about the opportunity to bring the show to Brisbane, which people loved for a variety of reasons, including the story, the impressive sets and costumes, the songs, and because of the life-affirming friendship that develops between the two girls. Melbourne and Sydney audiences have been blown away by WICKED and now its Brisbanes turn, he said. WICKED features music and lyrics by Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, which has sold 4 million copies since it was published in 1995 3.3 million of which were sold after the show opened in 2003. The Australian director of the production is Lisa Leguillo. Cast highlights include Bert Newton as The Wizard and Lucy Durack as Glinda. Tickets for WICKED are on sale from and prices range from $69.90 to $134.90.

Award winning act...(Above) The emerald green Elphaba has wowed audiences across the world. Photo: Jeff Busby. (Inset) Understudy for the role, Zoe Gertz. Photo: courtesy The Shock Factor.

Anime on show at Gold Coast Film Festival

THE GOLD Coast Film Festival is bringing with it some exciting new release anime films when it opens on November 10. The festival, presented by Australia Fair Shopping Centre in Southport, runs from November 10 to 16 with films being screened at the Australia Fair Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas. The special Anime Showcase, presented by the Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast, is set to include free seminars and demonstrations in addition to the screening of new release films. Anime is a unique Japanese form of animation, which originated in 1963 with Astro Boy. Anime Films screening as part of this years film festival include the award winning Summer Wars, Redline, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, and King of Thorn. Yuko Miyamura, who voiced the character Asuka Langley Shikinami in Evangelion, will be introducing the film at the screening. Acclaimed filmmaker Noritaka Kawaguchi, who is also CEO of animated film company CoMix Wave Films Incorporated, is scheduled to make an appearance at the Festival. Mr Kawaguchi and well-known animation filmmakers Jun Awazu (Negadon) and Ushio Tazawa (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) will attend this years festival as special guests and will be giving free anime workshops on Thursday November 11 at the Robina Community Centre. Topics will include Creating a Feature Film in the Anime Style, The Importance of Creating Culturally Relevant Anime and Tricks of the Trade: Animation Industry Secrets. Gold Coast Film Festival Director Casey Marshall Siemer said the Festival was fortunate to have such excellent talent aboard this year. We are very lucky to have such an acclaimed team of anime filmmakers attend this years festival as our guests, Ms Siemer said. I encourage everyone to come along to the free sessions and to also take the opportunity to see some of the new release anime films in the festival program, she said. On his last visit to the Gold Coast in 2007, Mr Kawaguchi won the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film in for 5 Centimetres Per Second, and that

winning film will also be screened at this years festival. 5 Centimetres Per Second tells the tale of three friends who grow up and learn the harsh realities of life together. I thank the Gold Coast Film Festival for inviting us to the Gold Coast again; its a special place for me and our company, Mr Kawaguchi said. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for anime at this years film festival. Mr Awazus animation short, Negadon, was created on a tiny budget over a period of 28 months and has won several awards, cementing his reputation as an artist with extraordinary ability. His eagerly awaited first featurelength film, Planzet, has also been an outstanding success. Mr Tazawas work includes Table and Fisherman, The Place Promised in our Early Days, Eago, Dimension Bomb, Beyond (OAV) and Afro Samurai Resurrection. He is currently working on his directorial debut, Ichirin-sha. The 2010 Anime Showcase is funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund.

Stunning...(top) Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) produced by FUNimation, (bottom) Redline produced by gastonia. Photos: Madman entertainment

Home-grown film industry financial woes continue

WHILE many of our best and brightest are doing great things in Hollywood, the Australian film scene continues to struggle financially. Despite the industrys steady output and a wealth of young talent, Australian films are struggling to corner the home market. Forty-four Australian movies were released last year, making approximately $54.8 million, or five per cent of profits, at the Australian box office, in 2009. This is significantly less than the $63.4 million earned in 2001 by films such as Moulin Rouge and Lantana, which represented around seven per cent of the box office. The top grossing Australian movie of 2009 was Maos Last Dancer, which made about $15 million, $25 million less than the overall top grossing movie, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Screen Queensland CEO Maureen Barron said despite financial issues, the support provided within the industry was second to none. Through our development section here we have people who will sit down and talk through how somebody could take their work further, and try and give people some guidance, Ms Barron said. And when theyre ready were happy to put them in touch with more experienced film-makers if they dont have more experienced people working with them. There is also a seemingly endless supply of home grown talent with tremendous filmmaking skills. Young local filmmaker, Jai Hogg, said the training, ability and determination of Australian filmmakers was world class. As far as talent is concerned, theres tonnes, Mr Hogg said. Theres a lot of competition. Everyone is afraid of everyone; you get that sense that someone could pop their head through before you do because theyre good as well. The talent of Australias filmmakers is something local film powerbrokers have been aware of for quite some time. Our guys do incredibly well, Ms Barron said. Over the course of the years you can look back and you can see that Australians do have the capacity to make films that local audiences love.
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Handmade is the new hip, and craft is the new cool

CRAFT, art and homemade markets are on the rise as Brisbane hosts its second Finders Keepers event for the year this November. The Brisbane craft scene has exploded in the past five years thanks to organisations like BrisStyle and Finders Keepers finding gaps in the market. Finders Keepers, who started their markets in Sydney and are now established in Melbourne and Brisbane running twice a year said they were looking for somewhere to let them sell their crafts in a more hands-on manner. We found a need to bridge the gap between the local weekly style markets and expensive design trade fairs and exhibitions, Finders Keepers said. Our aim was to create a platform for emerging designers, artists and musicians to showcase their work in a supportive and creative atmosphere. According to Helen Berthold, BrisStyles Market and Events Coordinator, the markets create opportunities for like-minded people to display their goods and also to connect with the Brisbane community. We provide these really great niche events where there wasnt really anything before and they went off, everyone was hungry to find wares by local artists, Ms Berthold said. We started as an Etsy street team (Etsy: an online handmade marketplace) and the markets provided an opportunity for us to get together in the fresh air, out of shopping centres, and really create a nostalgic atmosphere for home crafts from your mum or grandmas time. I think thats why theyre so popular, youll never find one of the same thing and the variety suits such a range of people - we have a very big indie following while continuing the more traditional methods too, handmade has become the new hip, craft is the new cool. Even more than just craft, the renewed concept of Australian made and owned, encouraged by people like Dick Smith and the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) organisation has been going for decades now. AMAG is responsible for the green triangle with the golden kangaroo logo on Australian products and has been an advocate of keeping things local since the 80s. The AMAG website claims that it makes sense to buy things that have been made right here in Australia. That means you can have confidence in the quality and know that whatever you are buying hasnt travelled around the world before it reaches your home, the website said. Kim Wallace, owner of Udessi, an online boutique gallery specialising in independent Australian art, believes in the importance of Australian made products. Udessi showcases Australian art and

Q&A with Udessi

LOSt for original Australian gift ideas to send home to her native Netherlands, graphic designer Kim Wallace embarked on a vision of making Australian handmade art, collectables and home wares accessible within Australia, and so began Udessi. Q What is Udessi? A Im Dutch originally, so when i came here i studied graphic design and i really missed the creative side, working with my hands more, rather than behind a computer. And as someone that moved here from overseas i was really missing places to go to buy Australian art, or Australian gifts, you know something that was made in Australia rather than all the imported things. Udessi showcases Australian art and design online and we started the website with eight artists and now theres over 25 artists work being showcased. Q So what do you look for when youre looking for new artists and pieces? A The first thing is that theyve got to be made in Australia. thats my one biggest priority. The second thing that I do like, is for the pieces to have a bit of an Australian feel. Renne tremels work is an excellent example of that, where it actually incorporates Australian wildlife in such a beautiful way and that to me is really Australian art. Q What advice would you give to others wanting to open an online craft store? A if theyre a crafter themselves I definitely recommend doing it in combination with a blog. Blogs are so easy to set up and to have some sort of online representation where people can find some more info about you is really good. it also doesnt take a lot of money to set it up and you dont need a lot of technical knowledge to do it. its very intuitive. Q What are your hopes for Udessi for the future? A Well im home-based so i hope to at some point to move to a bigger property and have a home based gallery where people can visit on appointment. i get a lot of requests from people who want to pick things up and look at so thats what were working towards. ADRiAnnA WeBSteR

Aussie art form...Udessi has 25 artists works showcased. Photo: courtesy Udessi

design, and there is a big range of pieces on my website that arent necessarily anything to do with specific Australian native elements, but just to have and know that you can go somewhere and everything is made in Australia thats really important to me, Ms Wallace said. Whether you buy a handmade bowl or a mass produced bowl it changes everything for me. When you have your breakfast in the morning and its mass produced, its just a bowl; whereas when its handmade you can still see the fingerprints and its slightly wonky... thats what gives it its charm and thats what going to stay

with people and hopefully be passed on to the next generation. Whatever it means for the next generation to come, the craft markets of Brisbane definitely now have a foothold in the culture of the city and theyre reinforcing traditions of reusing the old and creating anew. The next BrisStyle Indie Eco Market will be held on November 6 from 9am2pm at St Augustines Church, Racecourse Rd, Hamilton and the Finders Keepers market will be held on over the same weekend of November 6 and 7 at The Old Museum, Corner Bowen Bridge Road & Gregory Terrace, Herston.

Every scar tells a life changing story.

Alibrandi breaking out of Brisbane scene

BRISBANE based indie alternativerock band Alibrandi are taking the local music scene by storm, with crowded live gigs and the release of their EP, The Emergency, on iTunes. Nathanial McManus, or Nato as he is known, is vocalist and guitarist with Alibrandi. McManus recalls what it was like in the bands early days, before their current success. David Williams [guitarist], Ben Harris [bass] and I have been playing in various bands together for years, McManus says. In about 2005 I moved to Melbourne and, of course, we kind of stopped playing together. David and I would talk a lot on the phone about how when I moved back up wed start something again, so we did have plans to form a band, he says. Then, out of the blue, David called me in the middle of the night and just started playing guitar down the phone and it sounded amazing. I asked what it was he said it was an idea for a song. It was so good that I knew I had to come home and start a band again, so we did. We went through like four different drummers before Michael Mihailovic came along. And just recently weve added Lachlan Day as our third guitarist. The bands name is immediately recognisable as part of the title of well-known Australian novel (and now movie) Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, but McManus says this was not deliberate. The name came about when we were recording our EP, he says. We had a different name then, but it just didnt feel right, so we were throwing around names and Alibrandi was the working title for one of our songs. So we went with Alibrandi. future. Depending on time and money, we may record something near the end of next year, he says. Right now were not sure if it will be another EP or a full length album, but I definitely think something will happen. In between live shows and writing music, McManus says his life is pretty normal, but he is never too far removed from the passion for his band. I work a day job, and I watch a lot of TV good TV though! Dexter, Entourage, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, Deadwood, the list goes on. But to be honest, my days generally consist of work, then band. Whether its rehearsing, playing a show or writing, I wouldnt have it any other way. McManus is keen to get others interested and involved in what he considers to be Brisbanes amazing local music scene. I think that there are some totally amazing bands here in Brisbane, he says. Bands like We Set Sail, The Medics and Fatis Valour, just to name a few. Its just a shame that people wont go out and see live original music anymore. People are prepared to spend $150 to see Britney Spears lip sync but wont spend $10 to see great local bands. I dont think the music is dying, but I think the lack of interest from the public is whats killing it. Im not trying to judge the public or criticise their choice in music, but I guess I just want to encourage people to go see a local show. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised. You can catch Alibrandi at their next live show on December 1 at The Zoo in Fortitude Valley, where they will be supported by We Set Sail, To The North and The Belldivers.

Looking for Alibrandi?...Then look elsewhere. Nato claims the band name wasnt influenced by the book. Photo: Timothy Allen

It had nothing to do with the movie, although it makes it easier for people to remember. Alibrandis music is a unique, fresh sound, which makes the bands live show experience all the more enjoyable. McManus says their inspiration is drawn from a lot of different musical sources, which helps create their own special sound. The beauty of our band is that we all have such diverse tastes in music, he says. Theres a lot of common loves that we share, but theres a lot of music that one likes, and the rest of the group doesnt. I guess the bands we all love are bands like Bloc Party, Manchester Orchestra, Sparta, At the Drive-In. These acts would probably be the four main inspirations for our band.

In saying that, though, I could still list so many other bands that inspire our music and that we love. McManus says it took a lot of money and dedication from the band to get their EP, The Emergency, off the ground, and they are happy it was released on iTunes in late 2009. Of course, every musician would like their work to do a lot better, especially considering we invested so much of our money into it. The key is actually getting people to listen to it. The EP is a quality product that I totally believe in; you can buy it on iTunes, from us at our live shows or from our good friends at Kill the Music. McManus says Kill the Music in Brisbanes Elizabeth Street is an amazing shop that strongly supports local bands.

We urge all Brisbane music lovers to check them out, he says. With so many regular live shows around Brisbane under their belt, McManus says Alibrandi has plans to take their music around the country. In 2011 were going to really start focusing on touring more around Australia. Weve played a bunch in Brisbane, but its time we got out and did our thing in other states. McManus says playing live shows is integral to the bands identity. An Alibrandi show is always loud, energetic, intense, and fun, he says. We love playing live. Its the whole reason we do what we do. Despite the bands big touring plans, McManus says they also hope to go back to the recording studio in the near

On the couch with Brisbanes newest Birds Shellfin spread stoner rock
BECKy PAXTON IF YOU havent heard of local indie band Oh Ye Denver Birds, then get ready. The band and their debut single, Walls recently featured on Triple J Unearthed. They are launching their new song, Your sacrifice, this month while on tour around Queensland. They are also busy recording their debut EP. With influences like Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith, Oh Ye Denver Birds have a refreshingly off-beat and complex sound that does not dull after a few replays. Their densely layered music has innovative and intricate instrumentation with classical violin, raw guitar, keyboard, trumpet, tambourine, synthesisers and sticks. Front man Dom Stevens, originally from the Sunshine Coast, began Oh Ye Denver Birds as a solo project before gathering band members Josh Spencer, Katherine Gough and Zac Vale to help build their symphonic pop, alternate-electro, rustic folk sound. Stevens and Goughs whispery harmonised vocals, combined with the bands melodies, evokes a feeling of blissful floating. Triple Js Unearthed site shows a long list of positive reviews for Oh Ye Denver Birds. On the site, Triple J Music Director Richard Kingsmill wrote that if Oh Ye Denver Birds were from Brooklyn, theyd be on a million blogs by now. Im happy their home for now is Unearthed, Kingsmill says. But it might not be for much

JAMES Geekie is one of Brisbane citys main metal promoters and notorious for being the man behind the skins death metal outfit, Defamer. What a lot of people dont know is that hes also the drummer for stoner rock band, Shellfin. If you havent heard of stoner rock before, youre probably imagining red-eyed teenagers in grungy clothes, but Shellfin couldnt be further from that image. Three well-dressed lads and one sweet bass playing lady make up this band, and theyre serious about rocking out. Geekie says despite Shellfin being a few years younger than his other act, Defamer, which has toured internationally, its gotten just as big, if not bigger. Stoner rock isnt the same as metal, he says. Theres a small but dedicated crowd who seek it out, but there havent been too many prolific stoner rock bands in Australias music history that you can point to, so when we came along we were answering a lot of peoples prayers, Geekie says. [Shellfin] formed because Josh and I both lamented the fact that there didnt really seem to be any stoner rock bands in Brisbane, which was a shame because we love the genre so much. Cue a month later and we were in a jam room just playing around and wrote some songs we thought were pretty cool, so we kept at it, on a very casual basis.

Local birds soaring...Oh Ye Dever Birds going national. Photo: Lisa Businovski

longer if they keep writing songs this good. Lead guitarist Josh Spencer says he has been playing in bands since he was in grade nine mainly because he wanted to be cool and wasnt good at football. Spencer says after the Splendour in the Grass music festival last year Stevens asked him if he wanted to be in the band. It sounded like a pretty good idea, so I went along with it, Spencer says. I guess its grown quite a bit since Doms home recordings. Its gone from folk music to more electronic, beat-driven sounds. Spencer says the band likes to travel up to Stevens barn on the Sunshine Coast every weekend to create their music. We get to get away from the city lifestyle and relax in the hills, he says.

Like any band, really, its always good to get drunk and just jam on stuff so weve gotten into a bit of that recently up there. Spencer says the upside of being in the band is getting free drinks, meeting new people, going to new places and getting to play music. And the downsides loading gear out of venues and being broke, he says. Spencer says his best gig was sharing the stage with Akron/Family. They got us all up for a huge jam when we played with them in Sydney, he says. When asked how he would describe the bands sound, Spencer says: Hitty hitty sounds, knock knock wow! That really is the only way I know how to describe it. You can see Oh Ye Denver Birds at No Years at Brisbane Powerhouse on December 31.

Despite the casual intent, Geekie says things have been going better for Shellfin than expected due to the bands unique sound and live stage performance in a vast landscape of copycat bands. Well, like I said, there arent too many bands doing this kind of heavy rock that wanders all over the place, he says. A couple of our songs are quicker and in-your-face, where other songs tend to go on for five to six minutes and wander all over the musical landscapes of epic, fast and slow. Shellfin have an EP titled Stay For Tea out, but Geekie says these days you can only get hold of it online. You cant get physical copies of the EP anymore since it sold out ridiculously quick, over about three or four shows, especially after we got great reviews. Geekie says the band has a do it yourself ethic, spreading the music as far and as cheaply as possible. We released the album online for free and there have been hundreds of downloads from our bandcamp site, and now all the blogs are picking it up and loving it. Its a lot harder I find to get this sort of music out there than in metal, its a harder crowd to seek out, so were really pushing it to be taken for free. Shellfin are going from strength to strength, describing their sound as if Queens Of The Stone Age and Kyuss had a baby, we would be that baby. Shellfin launch their debut album on November 20 at The Globe Theatre in Fortitude Valley.

Tradition stays strong... for some

India is a country with a long history, diverse culture and religions, and a steadfast adherence to ritual. Yet, in the case of the exquisite rituals of the traditional Indian wedding, it seems that some things, at least, are changing, both for those in India and for Indians living in Brisbane. Adrianna Webster reports.
UMESH Chandra has a wealth of knowledge on traditional Indian culture in Brisbane. Publisher of the Brisbane Indian Times, president of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin and guest host of two local FM radio stations, Chandra says that practising traditional Indian culture is very popular within Brisbanes Indian community, possibly more so than back home in India. Religion and weddings are highly regarded and upheld as Indian society is typically very traditional, and weddings in Brisbane have continued to be so, but back home religion, culture and tradition are often taken for granted, Chandra says. One of the most respected Hindu priests in Brisbane, Pundit Sanat Pandey says he has performed hundreds of traditional weddings in Australia over the years. I now only do a few weddings a year, but they are always traditional Indian weddings and the families of our followers in Brisbane hold great respect for our culture, Pandey says. Newlywed Ekta Shah opted for a very traditional week-long Indian wedding. I did have a choice of what kind of wedding I wanted, but I wanted the traditional stuff because I absolutely love Traditional Western weddings have it and there is a meaning behind everytheir own versions of these celebrations, thing, Shah says. with bucks and hens nights, religious It is very usual to have a traditional marriage ceremonies, and one or more wedding; my family, all the people I celebratory events for the bride and know here have had that, but things are groom. changing. Weddings in Brisbane are very Chandra says there are more similari- costly, although some of the tradition ties than differences between Indian and for weddings has been made easier by European weddings, and facilitating technology, Chandra says. some of the tradiSpecialised comtional rituals can be panies are now estabdifficult in a modern In the old days lished in Brisbane to the caste system society. make weddings in the An Indian wed- created big gaps traditional Indian sense ding is very similar easier to facilitate. between groups, Cross cultural relato a European wedtions are much different ding; ceremony and but nowadays its reception all in one very well accepted. now in Australia and in India, Chandra says. day, or over a few Traditionally the days depending on weddings are still often the rituals, Chandra arranged and the couple knows each says. Traditional Indian weddings are often other well before marriage and are very lively celebrations that are con- often known within the extended family ducted partially in Sanskrit, and involve network. This family network can extend as many different ceremonies. There are separate celebrations for far as India and Fiji. the brides and the grooms side of the It is also now more common to see family, including evening celebrations, more intercultural, interracial and interlunches, the day of Menhendi (henna), religious marriages. and the heartbreaking Vidaai ceremony I do know people who havent had when the bride leaves her friends and traditional marriages and married other family to become part of the grooms castes, Shah says. family. The mixing of networks and religous

Picturesque...newlywed eka Shah (top) enjoying her traditional wedding with Menhendi (bottom) henna tattoos being drawn on friends and family. Photos: Peter McDonald

groups has created opportunities for a more diverse culture. Traditionally in Indian culture you wouldnt find people from the south of India marrying people from the North of India, but now this is a common occurrence, Chandra says. Before it was a very caste-orientated system of Punjabis marrying within the Punjabi network and vice versa.

In the old days the caste system created big gaps between groups, but nowadays its very well accepted. The thinking was different, they thought in terms of comparing horses to thorough-breds. There was a way of thinking that skills and education should be kept within the family and therefore marriages should be kept within the same

class to create more assets and security. With more financial security and more exposure to the international community, separation of classes and cultures is now less common. At the end of the day its just exciting to get married and be able to share your religion and beliefs with close family and friends, its such a beautiful way to celebrate your love, Shah says.

thanks to the amazing work of The Prince Charles Hospital. Read Lawries life changing story at


Exploring the untouched paradise of Malaysia

While Aussie students are sucking up vodka from plastic buckets on Thailands Phi Phi Island or catching the swell in Bali, many do not realise there is another affordable and beautiful Asian country right on our doorstep, writes Becky Paxton.
MALAYSIA is fascinating. Like many places in Asia, the colours, smells and tastes are bizarre and intense. Sitting just above the equator, the country enjoys summer conditions all year round with temperatures ranging between 21C and 32C; perfect for exploring a place home to some of the most pristine tropical jungles in the world. Although it is best to keep in mind the rainy season is between November and March on the east coast and between April and May on the west. Newcastle University student Georgina Ramsay, did a one month exchange in Malaysia in July but was initially unsure about travelling to the country. I thought Malaysia I know nothing about Malaysia; I didnt know that I want to go there, she says. [But] just because Malaysia isnt as high up on the tourism radar does not mean it has less to offer. With its three major ethnicities being Malay, Chinese and Indian, Malaysia is commonly described as a melting pot of cultures; however it is anything but. Envisage lots of pots bubbling away separately in the same kitchen and you have a more accurate depiction. Ramsay says as a traveller you could never get bored with Malaysia for the religious and ethnic diversity is unparalleled. You should prepare to see Hindu temples, Islamic mosques, Buddhist temples, Hokkein temples etc. This diversity extends not just to the people but to the food as well, she says. A visit to Malaysia is not complete without a visit to its capital city Kuala Lumpur and a visit to Kuala Lumpur is not complete without tasting frog porridge and having the dead skin of your feet eaten off by hundreds of nibbling fish. Despite whole frog carcasses floating in the bowl, Ramsay says frog porridge was honestly the best food she ate in Malaysia a big call considering how much amazing food is available. It was the spiciest, and it just tasted different to everything else (but in a good way), she says. As for the skin-hungry fish, dipping your feet in amongst their sucking gobs is thrilling and the tickling of their mouths against the soles of your feet and toes is something that takes a few minutes to get used but in the end your feet feel fantastic and sparkle with cleanliness sort of. Taman Negara National Park is a popular tourist destination in Malaysia. It is known as one of the worlds oldest rainforests, older than both the Amazon and the Congo, at roughly 130 million years of age. The park is 4343 sq km stretching across three states; Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. Taman Negara sells tourists the chance to see wild tigers, elephants and panthers. Sadly this is not a common occurrence. Our guide confessed during our jungle night tour that he had spent months trekking through the jungle in search of a tiger, yet the most he saw of one was its faeces left behind. So if you are travelling to the park to see a tiger, expect to be disappointed. But disappointment should not be used in the same sentence as Taman Negara. The place is breathtaking. A simple ride in one of the wooden boats down the river winding through tropical canopy is enough to fulfill the nature-hungry traveller. Pink-leaved trees line the bank; their rosy reflection in the emerald water, magical. You may even catch a glimpse of a flying hornbill or macaque swinging in the tree tops. Ramsay says the park was more beautiful than she had ever expected. A trip on a fine afternoon is like a dream; the sunlight dancing on the shallow waters surface upon, he says. Many tribe members hide in their palm frond shelters, shying away from visitors. Ramsay says the Batek people were very mysterious. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with the women, but I did get to spend time with the children (cheeky cheeky!!), and also the men who were surprisingly easy to talk to and very approachable. Although ecotourism is transforming the traditionally nomadic hunter-gathering lifestyle of the Batek people. They are beginning to stay in the one area longer and do not have to gather as much food or make their own clothing, for they receive money and gifts from tourists. Ramsay says she learnt a lot about the way the Batek people lived and the traditions they still followed. It was a great way to view how indigenous lives manage tradition and modernity, she says. Callahan says that while he enjoyed meeting the Batek people, his experience was marred by the banana and palm leaves. They spoke about their lives and you were able to interact with their children, who were as interested in me as I was with them. Callahan says he felt very comfortable visiting the Mah Meri people in Pulau Carey. The wedding ceremony they allowed us to experience was beautiful, the villagers were happy and friendly and I felt a lot less obtrusive than while at the Batek village. Callahan says he would recommend travelling to Malaysia because of its small tourism industry. You would have a lot more opportunity to experience the real culture rather than a culture that has been mutated by decades of tourist influence. A lot of people do not realise that Borneo is not the name of a country but of the worlds third largest island. Although you have to fly across the South China Sea to get there, two states in Borneo Sabah and Sarawak are in fact, parts of Malaysia. The rest of the island is part of Indonesia. Sabah is known as the land below the wind for it lies beneath the typhoon belt but the place can receive over 4000mm of rainfall in many parts annually. You can travel by bus, providing that flash flooding does not cut your journey short, to the northernmost point of the island, the tip of Borneo, to see some delicious afternoon sun bathing the crystal ocean. It is incredible to watch a black storm in the distance sweep across the sea towards you, transforming the landscape within minutes. About an hour from the tip is the town of Kudat where you can meet the people of the Rungus tribe. The indigenous peoples of Malaysian Borneo are collectively known as the Bumiputera, not Orang Asli and there are also many different tribes. The Rungus people offer you the opportunity to share their culture with some rice wine, traditional dancing and the opportunity to watch in awe as they play wooden flutes with their nostrils. You can then experience sleeping overnight in their bamboo longhouse. More must-dos in Sabah include visiting the Orang Utan Reserve at Sepilok and seeing the famous rafflesia, the worlds largest flower, which only blooms for three days. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah. You can expect all the glorious gems of Asia and more; striking ocean sunsets, bustling markets, and wildly delicious food. Off the coast of the city is the Tunku Abdul Marine Park where Sapi Island offers white sandy beaches lapped by glittering water home to clown fish in reefs you can snorkel. Ramsay says it was nice being so close to the ocean after staying on the Peninsula however Kota

A visit to malaysia is not complete without a visit to its capital city Kuala Lumpur, and a visit to Kuala Lumpur is not complete without tasting frog porridge and having the dead skin of your feet eaten off by hundreds of nibbling fish.
illuminates the river a sparkling orange; captivating amongst the towering pink and green foliage. Taman Negara also offers a rare tourist experience that is both amazing and unsettling. The indigenous peoples of Peninsula Malaysia are known as the Orang Asli and are the descendents of the earliest inhabitants of the land. There are 18 Orang Asli tribes and 869 communities. The Negrito Batek tribe still live in Taman Negara, much the same way as their ancestors did; largely untouched by modernisation. Visiting their village is marketed as a tourist attraction at the park. But if you are expecting to see an untouched jungle community, you may be shocked to step into the village and see many foreign tourists. Griffith University student Corey Callahan, 27, who also did an exchange in July says his experience at the Batek village was bittersweet. Here we were privy to the lives of a proud native people who accept tourists into their village and give their time to demonstrate a few aspects of their traditional lifestyle. But beyond the showmanship and beyond the relatively small amount of money this endeavour makes them, there was a definitive air of sadness in their village as their lives were constantly intruded remains of foreigners presence in the form of discarded cigarette packages and litter. He was disappointed by the seeming ignorance of tourists, blind to the way they were influencing these peoples lives. People need to be aware of the impact they have as tourists on any environment because just by visiting a place, whether it be a rainforest walk, a reef, or a native village, they are disrupting its native state and it will never be the same again, he says. There are many opportunities to experience the culture of the Orang Asli peoples throughout Malaysia, and communities such as the Mah Meri people in Pulau Carey Island in Selangor, welcome you to do so. While the experience may feel intrusive, the proceeds from tourism are an important element in helping preserve the traditional customs of the Orang Asli tribes and serves as a valuable source of income for the people. The warmth and beauty in their lifestyle, the way natural resources are not exploited but used efficiently and thoughtfully, the rich artistic traditions dancing, carving and weaving the tight-knit family atmosphere and the gorgeous smiles of the children are moving and unforgettable. Ramsay says she really enjoyed sitting with the ladies and watching them make handicrafts from

Kinabalu was also different in other ways. It was much more open, life was lived more on the streets, the markets were continuous and not obviously for tourists; this was where the locals shopped, and tourists just happened to watch. The smells and lifestyle were different, and the overarching Islamic presence was not so overwhelming here, she says. There are whole communities living in houses built on stilts in the ocean in Kota Kinabalu. Ramsay says her highlight of Kota Kinabalu was visiting a water village where she was warmed by the generosity of the people who satiated her curiosity about the place. The children were the cheekiest I had ever encountered, she says. Callahan also says the simple walk through the stilted fishing village was one of his definitive experiences in Malaysia. Its one of those rare moments that really deconstruct the barriers of internationalism and make you realise just how similar everyone is, he says. Mt Kinabalu is the pride of Sabah. It is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia at 4095.2m above sea level. Locals believe the peak to be haunted by spirits of their dead ancestors. Tens of thousands of people climb the mountain each year. Most climb to the summit and back in two days, which sounds impressive, until you learn an international Climbathon is held on the mountain annually where extreme athletes conquer the peak within two and a half hours. Dont let this fool you; the climb is tough. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia student Mei Xin Chua, 21, who lives in Kuala Lumpur says one of her best life experiences was climbing Kinabalu but that the vertical ascent was a grueling trek. The physically challenging climb was indeed a precious memory because believe it or not, Mt Kinabalu is a jaw dropping environmental stunner that sprawls into the heavens, she says. On the first day climbers usually trek the humid mountain terrain for anywhere between three to six hours depending on fitness level, before reaching the Laban Rata Rest House where dinner and showers are provided. If you reach the cabins on a clear afternoon, the view is stunning; you can stand above the clouds and watch the sun set behind them. As evening falls, so does the temperature. Kinabalu is unique in that you can go from wearing a singlet and shorts, sweating in the heat, to being so cold you cant take your hands out of your gloves to click your camera. Laban Rata sits at 3272m high, understandably there are power shortages. Kinabalu may be the first time you exhale frost breath while showering for the water is like ice. Although you may be exhausted and think sleep

will come easy, shortness of breath at such high altitude can make it difficult to relax. So go to bed as early as possible for sleep is needed when you have to wake at 2am to commence the climb to the summit in complete darkness. But when you stand at the peak watching the sun rise, the clouds in mystical bows across the jagged rock, it all feels entirely worth it. Callahan says climbing Mt Kinabalu was one of the highlights of his travelling career. Being able to observe the sunrise from 4100m over a skyline of jagged mountains and preliminary cloud formations really puts life in perspective. It was at moments like this that you really appreciate how wondrous the landscapes of the world can be, he says. STA travel advisor, Liz Gurashi, says her company does not get many students wanting to book holidays solely to Malaysia. It is more Thailand and Bali that is a much bigger market for students, she says. Gurashi says most people go to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore as a stopover but that they are not places that people go for two weeks holiday. But Ramsay says Malaysia is an excellent place for a holiday. It is the perfect combination of tourist sites, urban super-modern cities, beautiful beaches and traditional Southeast Asian lifestyles. I am sure you could not find this combination anywhere else in the world. Gurashi says in the high season period that coincides with university holidays, July and November February, you can fly return to Malaysia with Brunei Airlines for roughly $700. A direct flight to Kuala Lumpur via Malaysia Airlines is around $1000 but if budget airlines are not a problem for you, then Air Asia and Jetstar offer some cheap student friendly deals. Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur starts at around $47 per night for a two star hotel and if your budget is tight, there are 8-10 bed mixed dorms in Kota Kinabalu for $12 per night, including breakfast. One Australian dollar is worth nearly three Malaysian ringgit so once there, your money will go a long way. For all the natural beauty of Malaysia, it is the remarkable kindness and humour of the people that will see this country etch its way into your heart. Ramsay says the people of Malaysia have a hospitality that is incomparable. In Bali you are treated like a tourist but in Malaysia you are treated as a potential friend. Callahan says while attractions like climbing Mt Kinabalu are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, it is the people who give you the best memories. The people were the primary reason I think I enjoyed it so much, everyone was so friendly and helpful, I am already planning a trip back over.

Exotic get-away...(From left to right) The Rungus tribe in Kudat, the Water Village in Kota Kinabalu,

Exchanges made easy

UniveRSitY students who once said no to international exchange because they were unable to uproot their lives in Australia for long periods of up to 12 months, are now gaining valuable, resume-enhancing exchange experiences in a fraction of the time. An organisation called the Australian institute for Mobility Overseas (AiM Overseas) has come up with a new exchange option that takes the pressures of 21st century student life into consideration, by offering intensive three to four week courses that are more accommodating to students with inflexible degrees, employment commitments or financial constraints. For the past three years AIM Overseas, which is the only organisation of its kind in Australia, has enabled Australian students to participate in short courses at international universities during their own university holidays. the courses usually count for credit toward university degrees, normally as an elective, and are eligible for funding through the OS-HeLP scheme meaning students can receive a loan of up to $5500 dollars for their trip, that will be added to their overall HeCS debt. So far more than 400 students have taken advantage of the program. AiM Overseas director Robert Malicki says although the courses were serious and academically focused, they werent just about sitting in a classroom, with most including field trips to give students a taste of the country theyre in. if youre studying international Law and Human Rights youll visit the Un in vienna. if its learning Spanish in Mexico youll practice out in the real world Mexico City, he says. University of Southern Queensland student eliza Walker did a 3-week teacher and education Practice course at the University of north Carolina through AiM Overseas during her 2009 Christmas break. Ms Walker says AiM Overseas was very helpful. Rob and Marine were in regular contact with me before, during and after the program, she says. Ms Walker says her experience was amazing. We got to go into a variety of schools, participate in college classes and extra-curricular activities and meet a lot of interesting and friendly people, most of which I am still in contact with, she says. Ms Walker says she would recommend the course to everyone. it is a life-changing experience. not only have i gained valuable knowledge to do with my chosen career path, I have gained lifelong friends, she says. Griffith University Urban and environmental Planning student Corey Callahan just returned from doing an indigenous Communities of Malaysia program at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in July. He says he chose to go through AiM overseas because it was so easy. everything was organised for me and i trusted they would look after me. Mr Callahan says the exchange was a great experience. Although it was sold as something slightly different from what we experienced, what we experienced was still amazing. Griffith University student Sarah Wesche studied a Marketing and Management course at germanys Berlin School of Law and economics in the July break earlier this year. Ms Wesche says she went through AiM Overseas because they offered the country she wanted to go to as well as the course. AiM was so helpful in making sure i had everything I needed, she says. the actual course was ok; well structured and the lecturers were great, but of course youre overseas and dont really want to sit in a classroom so that bit was hard. Ms Wesche says she used the $5000 OS-HeLP loan. there is no way i could have saved enough money to go if I hadnt, Centrelink isnt that generous, she says. Ms Wesche also got credit for the course, which was based on pass/fail criteria, towards her management minor. it was an excellent experience that i would recommend to everyone at uni.

From true blue to green

The booming ecotourism industry is offering an exciting new way to experience Australian cities, with tourists becoming more mindful of their impact to the environment, writes Courtney Laidler.

Meet Fiona: Green Tourist

Natural fun...Fiona Nicolas enjoys ecotours. Photo: Courtney Laidler.

City adventure...A group of ecotourists stop along Brisbane River as part of an Urban Adventures tour, which is growing in popularity. Photo: courtesy Edna Schoeman

AUSTRALIA hosted more than 5.1 million international visitors last year according to Tourism Australia statistics, so it is perhaps no surprise there is a growing interest around the nation in sustainable tourism or ecotourism. Research shows high volumes of tourists consume large amounts of resources, meaning it is crucial that more environmentally friendly approaches to tourism are adopted. Without ecologically sustainable practices, our national treasures such as reefs and rainforests may be at risk. The idea of a form of tourism that offsets a travelers carbon footprint and has a positive impact on the environment is wonderful in theory, but can ecotourism actually live up to its claims on a practical level? There are some critics who doubt the supposed positive impact these strategies have on the environment. Some tour companies and accommodation providers essentially falsely market their products and services as being green. Ecotourism Australias National Quality Standards Manager, Kristie Gray, describes this practice as green washing. You need to do more than offer people the opportunity to reuse their towels and sheets when they come and stay with you, Gray says. Thats not eco anymore, thats a given. Ecotourism Australia has become the

first organisation in the nation to develop a multi-level certification program for businesses in the tourism industry that adhere to best practices in the areas of climate action, ecological sustainability and respect for culture. Businesses receive a level of certification based on how environmentally sustainable their operations are. She says ECO Certification is a lengthy process and requires a high level of commitment of time and money on behalf of the applicant. Weve had people that have had

be green and people are showing the tendency to select green products over those that are not, Gray says. Brisbane Urban Adventures is a Brisbane-based day tour company that provides travelers with an eco-friendly experience. Brisbane Urban Adventures Director, Shaun Gilchrist says the companys tours are organised around low carbon impact activities such as walking, cycling, and using local public transport. Gilchrist says not only do tourists want green travel options, but they also

Being responsible, being eco friendly, being green these are terms that have become quite generic to most people...The focus is now on doing something that has a positive impact.
applications in progress for 12 months and more, Gray says. Gray says business owners that want ECO Certification must be willing to evaluate operating procedures, assess suppliers and products, submit a business plan, and pay the certification fee. If applicants successfully meet the guidelines, they receive ECO Certified status and may display the internationally recognised logo on their products and marketing materials. Gray says the visibility of this logo has a pay-off for businesses because its presence is important to tourists. Its not just the hippies and the activists these days its quite cool to want to have a positive impact on the communities they visit. Being responsible, being eco friendly, being green these are terms that have become quite generic to most people, Gilchrist says. The focus is now on doing something that has a positive impact. Gilchrist says the tour company has an agreement with Carbon Neutral, a non-profit carbon abatement company to offset any carbon they produce, and they help the community by making regular donations to local charities. They support local organisations such as Surf Life Saving Australia, Save the Children Brisbane, WSPCA and the

RSPCA, by donating $100 per month to each charity. Gilchrist says although Brisbane Urban Adventures is only in its first year of operations, it has already experienced a sharp growth in participant uptake and received substantial publicity including two television appearances on Channel Sevens The Great South East program, as well as on New Zealands TV One Good Morning Show. Gilchrist attributes the success of the new tour company to its community involvement and the environmental focus placed on the tours. People like that feel good sensation of doing something for the environment, Gilchrist says. According to a 2008 report by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Ecotourism is becoming a cutting edge strategy in the tourism industry and Australia leads the world in green tourism products. The study showed more than 700 ECO Certified operators in Australia. Ecotourisms growth shows travellers are becoming more aware of the impact that their holidays have on the environment, but it remains unlikely that they will change to green activities entirely. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates that ecotourism will make up 10 to 15 percent of all revenues from tourism worldwide in 2010, and they predict that profits in this sector will continue to grow annually.

FOR some tourists, the draw of green travel is not about becoming ecofriendly alone, but rather the unique travel experiences that green travel companies offer. take the example of 23-yearold French tourist, Fiona Nicolas, who is currently travelling around Australia. Her carbon footprint is important to Nicolas, who wants to ensure that throughout her travels her Haviana thongs leave as faint a footprint as possible. nicolas recently participated in a cycling tour around Brisbane organised by day tour company, Brisbane Urban Adventures. i chose Brisbane Urban Adventures because they have smaller groups and their tours are more adventurous than most, she says. So far, Nicolas has done two tours with Brisbane Urban Adventures. She says she prefers this companys tours over other types of tours because they are off the beaten trail, showing participants more than just the standard major tourist attractions. You get to experience more of the local culture this way, nicolas says. Shaun, our guide, told us funny stories and anecdotes along the way with smaller groups its more intimate and the guide can share more than just basic information. nicolas opts for green travel options whenever possible and says that ecotourism has not placed any limitations on her travel plans. the French tourist says the motivations behind her eco savvy travel choices are logical ones. if youre having fun doing it and youre making a positive contribution to the environment at the same time, then, why not?
Click here for a video version of this story, or go to www.thesource.

Every scar tells a life changing story.

Picture-perfect escape in Toronto

AS Canadas largest city, with close to 2.5 million people, and boasting access to forests, scenic river valleys and the breathtaking Niagara Falls, Toronto is the perfect destination for the eclectic traveller. The city was founded in 1793 for its protected harbour and today Toronto is the fifth largest city on the entire North American continent. Affectionately referred to as T Dot by the locals, it feels like everything is at your fingertips here, from the amazing meals in Greektown to the views at Niagara Falls. Tourists flock to Toronto each year, earning the city the title of number one visitor destination in Canada. One of the best ways to get an overall idea of the citys size is to visit the Canadian National (CN) Tower in the heart of Downtown Toronto, which is one of the worlds tallest towers. From this vantage point it is easy to be blown away by Torontos sheer beauty and bustling commercial activity. CN Tower was completed in 1976, stands 553.3 metres tall and has been declared one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It is no surprise, then, that the tower defines the Toronto skyline, making it hard to photograph the city without the structure dominating. Visitors to the Tower can observe Toronto through the glass floor, which, up until 2009, was the worlds highest (that title now goes to Dubais Burj Khalifa). Toronto native Casey Palmer spends his weekends exploring the city where he was born and raised, and says that Toronto is a city of discovery. Even though Ive lived in the Greater Toronto Area for 27 years, I am constantly finding something new, Palmer says. Im never at a loss for something to keep me busy, there are always festivals, amazing places to eat and some

Toronto city by night...T Dot, as it is referred to by locals offers some great sights. Photo: AAP

genuinely incredible sights to take in, he says. There is something here for everybody, I truly believe that. Just a 20-minute walk from the tower lies the shopping precinct of Queen Street West in the centre of Torontos CBD, which is also its creative heart. Fashionista Este Mancini is as passionate about the shopping district. Queen St West has always been my favourite place to visit in Toronto, Mancini says. It is the perfect spot to come for shopping, to eat at cafes and to just soak up the artistic atmosphere. It is definitely unique and very popular with locals in their 20s. Queen St West boasts some of Torontos best vintage shopping, especially in the Kensington Market area, which has justifiably earned its title

as Torontos most vibrant and diverse neighbourhood. Kensington Market is the go-to shopping destination for Toronto locals and tourists who want access to the unique fashion from up-and-coming young local designers and vintage specialty stores that make up the majority of the shops and boutiques in the district. But it is not only the shopping that attracts visitors to Kensington Markets; the area is also well known for its rich multicultural atmosphere and dining opportunities. Mancini took me to her favourite place to eat in the area, Irie Food Joint. Situated at 745 Queen St West, Irie Food Joint serves up traditional West Indian dishes such as jerk chicken and roti, accompanied by West Indian beers like Red Stripe. The meals are authentic, affordable

and would serve as the perfect end to a busy days sightseeing in Toronto. Another must do is a visit to Dufflet Pastries, which can also be found in the busy shopping precinct. The store opened in 1982 and is now the place to go to find the citys finest pastries. With offerings ranging from cheesecakes to cookies, and hot chocolate to espresso, it is no wonder that Dufflet Pastries is such a dessert mecca. High on your tourist to-do list should be a visit to Casa Loma in Torontos midtown, famous for being the only existing full-sized castle in North America. Casa Loma was the one-time home for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt and was built over a three-year period from 1911 to 1914. Visitors to Casa Loma can take a selfguided audio tour of the breathtaking

castle, which is surrounded by five acres of beautiful gardens that are open to the public from May to October. A trip to Toronto is not complete without taking in the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls. Around an hours drive from the Toronto CBD and situated on the Canadian-United States border, Niagara Falls is best visited in the more temperate period from May through to mid-September. In addition to the spectacular falls, youll find an abundance of amusements at Niagara Falls including the Maid of the Mist boat ride that will take you from the Canadian docks, past the base of the American Falls and into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, to gambling at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Among the many other Niagara attractions are Louis Tussauds Waxworks, the Mystery Maze, go-karting, and Skylon Tower, Niagaras tallest total entertainment complex. At the end of the day when youre looking for somewhere comfortable to lay your head in Toronto youll find you are spoilt for choice. But if youre looking for a convenient urban retreat, the centrally located Drake Hotel on 1150 Queen St West is a great place to start. The Drake Hotel proclaims to be a hotbed of culture, is one of Travel and Leisure Magazines Top 500 Hotels in the World and was voted second in TripAdvisors list of Torontos best hotels. The hotel combines new and old, creating a contemporary destination complete with sushi bars and live indie music venues. For more information on Toronto, check out the following websites: City of Toronto: Kensingston Market: CN Tower: The Drake Hotel:

Korean dining: From the bizarre to the sublime

FOOD is a big deal in Korea. In fact, the influence of food in Korean culture is so encompassing that between friends and family it is common to be welcomed with the greeting Have you eaten rice yet? instead of plain old Hello. Korean people are fiercely proud of their culture and country, and this attitude extends to their food with some dishes enjoying a near mystical status. The love of food is at the core of the Korean dining experience, which boasts dishes that range from the sublime to the truly bizarre. At the more extreme end of the culinary spectrum are dog stew, steamed silkworm pupae and live octopus. On the less extreme and more palatable end are spicy soups, barbecued meats, and a seemingly endless variety of vegetables and seafood. Rory Daly is a food and beverage connoisseur who has lived and travelled in many countries, including Korea, and has experienced some of the stranger foods on offer in the Land of the Morning Calm. However, he rates his one bite of dog meat as the worst of his many culinary experiences. It was greasy, tasted and smelt like wet dog and was really chewy, Daly says. Really horrible. It looked oily and not very good, and I spat it out after tasting it and being told it was dog. Barbecued dog meat is actually a rarity in Korea, with mans best friend usually ending up in a stew called Boshin-tang. Eating dog is somewhat misunderstood in the West where we see Rover as a pet, not an entre. However, far from being able to order a shank of Doberman in puree of Poodle sauce with a nice Maltese Terrier mousse for dessert, there is actually only one breed of dog that is specifically raised for consumption. That dog is the Nureongi, a yellowish-coloured canine only found in Korea. The number of Koreans who eat dog regularly is very low and the habit is losing popularity with the predominant dog-eaters being men over 50, which is interesting given the commonly espoused belief is that dog meat works as an aphrodisiac. There may be some truth to this, as the way in which the animal was traditionally slaughtered (hung and beaten to death, a method now banned) meant that adrenaline pumping through the dog as it died stayed in the meat making its way into the diners mouth and bloodstream, ostensibly creating an adrenaline high. Another unusual food eaten in Korea is bondegi or silkworm pupae. Bondegi is a street food found mostly at the footpath stalls that proliferate around markets. The smell of bondegi is noticeable from 20 metres away, with an acrid aroma of steamed football socks and used ashtray. Despite the odour, bondegi is a popular protein-rich snack for many Koreans, including children. And then there is the culinary delicacy

Chopsticks ready!...A modest version of the Korean BBQ theme. Photo: Ben Dillon

that is live octopus. Among the more dangerous treats to try in Korea (which also includes the deadly blowfish), live octopus, or Sannak-ji, is a dish best dunked liberally in sesame oil before swallowing the severed but still twitching tentacles. Fatalities can occur as a result of eating this dish. In 2008 a man in Gwangju died after choking on a live octopus tentacle, when the octopus suction cap stuck in the mans throat. Korean restaurants in Australia cant offer the full gamut of Korean delicacies, especially some of the more bizarre offerings, there are still some gems to be found locally.

Young-Sun Hwang is a Korean who immigrated to Australia in 2005, and was initially unimpressed with the quality of Korean restaurants here. When I first arrived here I thought the [Korean] restaurants were not authentic because the food didnt taste like in Korea, Young-Sun says. But now there are some restaurants which are trying to be more authentic by using the ingredients we use in Korea, not local substitutes. My favourite Korean foods are bibimbap and bulgogi, which is best cooked on a charcoal fire, I think all Korean barbecue tastes better on charcoal. The most popular Korean dish is

actually a style of eating rather than one dish, and is one that Australians would find both familiar and different at the same time. The Korean barbecue is one of the finest culinary experiences on offer, and almost every street corner in Korea provides the opportunity to savour this unique dining experience. Korean barbecue is a social event as much as it is a meal, centring around a table with a charcoal or gas fired barbecue at the centre, with a hotplate over the flame. The meat is cooked on the table in full view of the diners, having first been delivered as raw strips or marinated pieces of meat, which are then cut into smaller pieces with scissors as it cooks. Spread around the rest of the table will generally be individual bowls of rice, a soup or two, a basket of different types of salad leaves, a paste made from three different beans and various spices, and more side-dishes (including kimchi) than you can poke a chopstick at. As the meat becomes cooked diners take up utensils, grab a bit of meat and enjoy the mix and match of meats, salad leaves and sauces. Coupled with the beverage of your choice for Koreans this is usually a distilled rice-wine called soju and family or friends, the Korean-style barbecue is a unique and flavoursome experience. In Brisbane we recommend O Bal Tan, Madtong San and Hanwoori in the city, Po Sok Jong in Fortitude Valley, and Lee House Korean Barbecue in Sunnybank, which provides the authentic charcoal barbecue experience.

Brisbane breakfast hot spots

Breakfast is widely regarded as the most important meal of the day, so why not make it the most enjoyable one, too? Give yourself a break from making your own burnt toast, soggy cereal and instant coffee, and give one of Brisbanes many breakfast hotspots a try instead. Ingeborg Mate Holm checks out the food, drinks, service and atmosphere at some inner city cafes and delis.

Up-Tempo breakfast offers unique dining

LOOKING for somewhere to eat breakfast in West End? Then its worth stopping at Tempo Caffe and Bar on busy Boundary Street. This small but chic establishment has a warm, laid-back atmosphere that flows from inside the caf out to the footpath, where additional tables are shielded from the worst of the traffic noise. Tempo Caffe is well-known for its all-day breakfast and weekend visitors may face a bit of a wait for a table. That said, once seated the service at Tempo is enthusiastic and efficient, allowing patrons a reasonable amount of time to chat and enjoy their drinks before the food arrives. Tempos food is modern with a touch of Mediterranean flavour and is carefully presented to give you the best dining experience. In my case, my meal was both delicious and abundant. I tried Tempos baked field mushrooms stuffed with cannellini with Burlotti beans cassol, which comes with a choice of hummus or herb crumbed ricotta for an non-traditional breakfast experience. Dont forget to try the hearty Tempo breakfast, featuring plenty of bacon, free-range eggs, homemade hash brown, beans, mushrooms, maple and macadamia pork sausage, with a dash of tomato relish, all resting on organic sourdough or Turkish bread. Tempo Caffe is a good place to go to chat and have a delicious breakfast with friends. Set aside plenty of time to sit and enjoy the atmosphere, but remember to bring your wallet as this great experience can easily cost more than $20 for a full breakfast with drinks.
Tempo Caffe & Bar 181 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane Ph: (07) 3846 3161 executive Chef: Ben gross Owner: Ali neichalani Open: Tues to Fri: 7am5pm, Sat: 7am4pm, Sun: 7am3pm Our ratings (out of 10): Food: 8 Drinks: 8 Service: 8 Ambience: 8 Breakfast, all day every day...tempo Caffe specialises in unique breakfast ideas. Photo: ingeborg Mate Holm

A gunshot above Boundarys elite

SPOIL your taste buds and start the day with a delicious culinary experience, then Brisbanes famous Gunshop Caf should be high on your destination list. The Gunshop Caf is tucked away on the corner of Boundary and Mollison Streets in West End, and only the constant flow of customers hints at the culinary wonders hiding behind its walls. You can count on the Gunshop Caf being busy and bustling, but the experienced waiters are able to navigate the cafe floor with a smile, serving patrons in a relaxed and comfortable manner. While waiting for your food, be sure to try something from the days fresh juice selection. The breakfast at the Gunshop Caf was awarded best breakfast in Brisbane in both 2008 and 2009, and you can understand why when you take the first bite of your meal. I tried the Canadian brioche French toast, with bacon, caramelised banana, pecans and maple syrup, which was absolutely delicious. For a slightly more traditional breakfast, try the Toulouse sausages with sweet potato hash, a poached egg, rocket, and bush tomato relish. Its a terrific starting point as you come to grips with the cafs exciting menu. The Gunshop Caf is perfect for a leisurely get-together with friends. The food is marvellous and the presentation inspirational. The big breakfast meals range in price from $15.50 to $19.50.
The Gunshop Cafe 53 Mollison Street, West End, Brisbane Ph: (07) 3844 2841 executive Chef: Jason Coolen Open: Mon: 7am2pm, Tues to Sat: 7am till late, Sun: 7am12:30pm Our ratings (out of 10) Food: 8 taste: 8 Service: 8 Ambience: 8

Brunch Basket...tasty treats at Poppys Basket Bakery. Photo: ingeborg Mate Holm

POPPYS Basket in Grey Street is handily located near South Bank train station, making it easy to get to for those who want to avoid parking in the busy surrounding roads. Step inside and you find yourself in deli heaven. Unfortunately, the decor of the place isnt quite what you might expect from a good deli. The interior has quite a cold feel to it, with uncomfortable tables and chairs. Similarly, you shouldnt stop by Poppys Basket if you are looking for morning smiles, because while the service is efficient, the friendliness is minimal and the presentation could easily have been done at home.

Good coffee, great food at Southbank

Thankfully, the open kitchen in the back and a delicious flow of deli aromas make up for the less than snug atmosphere. What you will find at Poppys Basket is good coffee and great food. I tried the breakfast roll, which was made from wonderful sourdough bread and topped with plenty of bacon, egg, Swiss cheese, caramelised onions and lots of flavour. The serves are filling but a bit pricy given the lack of accompanying great service. Prices start from $10 for the brekkie rolls or $7.50 for the tasty Bircher muesli with fresh fruit and sheeps milk yoghurt. Poppys is a great place to go if youre passing by on

your way to somewhere else, but is not necessarily the place youd choose for a leisurely brunch.
Poppys Basket Bakery & Deli Shop 3, 166 Grey Street, South Bank, Brisbane Ph: (07) 3844 0144 executive Chef: troy Fisher Owners: greg and gayle Fisher Open: Monday to Sunday: 6:30am 6:00pm Our ratings (out of 10): Food: 4 taste: 7 Service: 5 Ambience: 6


Pancakes perfect in historical setting

warm tones that create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, while the restored stainedglass windows reveals the buildings history and how sensitive the owners have been in their renovations. The massive main room holds groups of moderately sized wooden booths to allow for a private and relaxed meal, with an accommodating round tabled bar in the centre offering drinks from milkshakes and coffee to a range of alcoholic beverages to satisfy any thirst. If youre going out to the Pancake Manor on a weekend night like my companions and I did, be aware that you could be subjected to a long wait, although it is perhaps a testament to the restaurants quality that there was so much demand at 2am in the morning. We were greeted and told there was a bar downstairs where we could wait for our table. We followed the flight of stairs under the cathedral and came across The Knight Bar, which features small booths along its walls, low lighting and quiet music, radiating a calm, intimate ambience that really allowed us to enjoy the drinks on tap and talk without having to yell. The prices were reasonably cheap and the setting was comfortable, so our 20-minute wait for a table didnt seem long at all. On the sweet side, the Pancake Manors menu is exactly what you would expect: A mountain of delicious pancake options, with a variety of extras such as ice cream, cream and syrup to compliment with your choice. If sweet, syrupy pancakes arent your thing, dont be alarmed; the menu has a host of savoury options, too, including a wide range of fresh salads, savoury crepes, nachos and even burgers, steak and chips. Despite being a Friday night, the service was extremely quick once we were seated and our partys orders were taken promptly. The wait staff were polite and gave a moderate amount of time to let our party decide on our orders, and then it took only 10 to 15 minutes before we received our smorgasbord of pancakes, crepes and drinks. You would expect great pancakes from a place that specialises in them, but the strawberry jam pancakes were beyond perfection. The light fluffy buttermilk pancakes, which came with sweet strawberry jam on the sides with a choice of additional warm cream and a scoop of ice cream to top it off, was the main talk of the table. If youre looking for a decent meal rather than a greasy kebab, the Pancake Manor fits the bill.
The Pancake manor 18 Charlotte Street, Brisbane City Ph: (07) 3221 6433 Owner: David Langford executive Chef: Paul Shefford Open: Monday to Sunday, 24 hours Our ratings (out of 10): Food: 9 Drinks: 7 Service: 9 Ambience: 8

IF YOU live in Brisbane, chances are youve either been to, or know of, the Pancake Manor, if only because its one of the few restaurants in the CBD thats open 24 hours, making it perfect for when youre out and about late at night (or early in the morning) and hunger sets in. Pancake Manor is a bit of an institution and has been serving pancakes to the Brisbane dining public for more than 30 years. Housed in a converted cathedral on Charlotte Street, just a short walk from Queen Street Mall, its worth a visit just to see the building itself, which is more than 100 years old. The interior boasts high ceilings and

Valley comes alive with free Asian cooking classes

BRISBANE residents looking to spice up their Asian-inspired cooking repertoires are benefiting from free weekly classes in Fortitude Valleys Chinatown Mall. The Master Classes, created by the Brisbane City Council, are held every Tuesday at 6pm. They feature live cooking demonstrations by the chefs and staff of various restaurants in Chinatown, teaching audiences how to prepare their signature dishes. The sessions also include free food tasting, copies of the recipes, and a 15 per cent discount for attendees at any of the participating restaurants after the show. The shows are hosted by the quirky Edith Li and will continue to run weekly until the end of March 2011. A Brisbane City Council spokesperson said the free classes were part of a range of activities designed to bring visitors to the newly redeveloped Chinatown Mall. The purpose is to provide Chinatown Mall restaurants with a platform to showcase their culinary expertise to visitors to Chinatown Mall, she said. The spokesperson said the classes were about providing a welcoming tourist attraction and to increase the local communitys connection to Asian culture and cuisine. This and the other related programs in Chinatown Mall are contributing to Brisbanes profile as Australias New World City, she said. The spokesperson said the council initially expected the classes to draw about 25 participants each week, but interest in the events had increased and the classes were now attended by more than 60 people at a time. Council is receiving new enquiries daily from the public interested to know more about the cooking classes, she said. Class participant, Sarah Silverman, who recently moved to Brisbane from the

China Town...tantalises taste buds. Photo: noemi eros

Dessert specialists tempt diners

THIS dessert-lovers paradise first opened its doors in Fortitude Valleys fashionable Emporium complex in December 2004. The original Freestyle caf was in Rosalie and had an arty, restaurant-in-acottage feel, like many restaurants and cafs in the Paddington area. However, the present incarnation of the restaurant in the Valley is more urban-contemporary than the original. Being famous for dessert does mean most patrons going to Freestyle Tout go for the dessert. After all, tout means everything or all, and Freestyle Tout really does

US, said she enjoyed being an assistant in a recent cooking demonstration held by the Kings Diner Chinese Restaurant. Ms Silverman said she preferred standing up helping the chef and watching the cooking close up than sitting in the audience. I would love to get in here again next week, she said. Ms Silverman said it would be good if the councils website listed the name of the demonstrating restaurant each week so class participants could better plan

which sessions they attended. Im a big fan of Thai Wi-Rat, but I missed them, hopefully they will come round again, she said. The council spokesperson said the participating restaurants had all commented they had experienced a substantial increase in business on Tuesday evenings since the classes commenced. Although not all Chinatown Mall restaurants chose to participate in the program, it was likely that more would

join at a later date, she said. Participating restaurants currently include Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, Thai Wi-Rat Restaurant, Green Tea Restaurant, Kings Diner Chinese Restaurant, Chingu Restaurant, and PhoB Vietnamese Restaurant. According to the council spokesperson, the classes were funded from the Chinatown Malls special levy. But this cost is minimal as the participating restaurants undertake the classes with their own staff and

ingredients, she said. Local valley resident and regular class attendee, Paul Wright, said he enjoyed the classes because they created a nice sense of community within a big city. Its good to see people come together to share each others cultures, Mr Wright said. Its pretty awesome that its all free too. Not a lot is these days. Call (07) 340 838 195 to book your seat.

Modern, fresh and minimalist

RESTAURANT Rapide is a renowned local restaurant run by Brisbane couple Sam and Anne Louise Walters since August 2006. The dining experience at Restaurant Rapide is infused with a passion for cuisine and the modern Australian experience. The decor is modern, fresh and minimalist and seats just 50 people indoors and al fresco. The menus selection (entre, main, side and dessert) is minimal yet charming. From the entre starters soup and Sichuan salt and pepper squid to the mains rabbit three-ways and lamb rack to the delightful desserts Lindt chocolate pudding and lemon and vanilla pannacotta it promises to stimulate every taste bud desired by the customer. The food is, for the most part, beautifully prepared and presented. And while quantity may be lacking, the quality more than makes up for it. A waiter will ask if youre ready within 10 minutes of being seated and is at your command for the rest of the night, placing napkins over laps and constantly refilling glasses with water. The wine list is impressive, without the exorbitant price tag of its inner-city competitors. There is also a b.y.o option available with corkage at $10 a bottle. Owner and Executive Chef, Sam Walters said they had been lucky enough to have been awarded one star for the past three years in The Courier-Mails Good Food Guide and one chefs hat in The Brisbane Times Good Food Guide two years running. We believe we are not so much unique, but it is what we offer that set us at the level we are at, and that is a high level of service, friendliness and an ever-changing modern produce driven menu, Mr Walters said. Mr Walters has a good relationship with Rockleas fruit and vegetable markets suppliers which enables him to source the freshest possible produce and to tailor the menu to whats in season and what looks good. As far as the restaurant goes, I believe that you need to evolve and change the look of the restaurant, we have owned the restaurant for four years and changed the way it looks twice, this keeps our regular customers interested and keeps us on our toes as we are always trying to think of what we can do next to change the look, he said. Restuarant Rapide sets itself apart from its competitors, with complimentary breads and canaps when guests have ordered, getting taste buds going from the very beginning.
Restaurant Rapide executive Chef: Sam Walters 4 Martha Street, Camp Hill Ph: (07) 3843 5755 Open: Lunch: WedFri from 12pm Dinner: tuesSat from 6pm Closed: Sun & Mon Our ratings (out of 10): Food: 8 Wine: 9 Service: 7 Ambience: 7

have everything a sweet-tooth could want. Hot fudge brownies, warm flourless chocolate cake, chocolate saucy pudding, caramel and banana tart, Spanish churros, baked lemon and lime cheesecake, berry deluxe sundae, the list goes on. The desserts all cost $15.90, are served on dinner-sized plates and come with decadent sauces and sculpted chocolate embellishments. Its enough to make anyone want to skip the main course and go straight for the sugar fix. But for those who want something savoury, Freestyle Tout does offer a range of lunch and dinner options, including Chinese five-spice duck salad ($16.90), wagyu beef burger ($17.50) and sauted chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto ($22). Freestyle Touts Emporium restaurant also offers an intimate function room and hosts a number of regular social functions, including book clubs and salsa dancing classes.

freestyle Tout 50/1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley Ph: (07) 3252 0214 Open: Mon to thurs 10am - 10.30pm Fri & Sat 10am till 11pm Sun 10am till 10pm Closed: Public holidays Our ratings (out of 10): Food: 9 Wine: 8 Service: 6 Ambience: 7

Tasty treats...Freestyle touts Berry Deluxe Sundae. Photo: nadia vanek

New buildings give campus a facelift

GRIFFITH University is sprucing up thanks to development work taking place on all five campuses. The development is responsible for delivering new capital works as well as refurbishment and alteration to existing facilities. Construction on Nathan campus commenced on September 20 and is expected to be completed by July 22, 2011. The development includes a new building, which will occupy the space adjacent to the existing Central Theatres and Macrossan postgraduate research centre. The building will house a central courtyard with canopy and a new student centre. The ground floor will have 362 sqm devoted to a bookshop and caf, while the heart of the building and the plaza on the first floor will house three 30-seat seminar rooms and two 60-seat seminar rooms. A statement from Griffith University said the building would be a key feature of the Nathan Campus. Postgraduate student, Michael Snyder, said the development was a bonus to the university, but also a temporary irritant for students. There is a lot of noise everywhere, normal routes through the university have been changed, Mr Snyder said. He said the construction was making it difficult for students to concentrate close to their exam times as well as creating detours around key affected buildings. Despite the disruptions, the university said they were doing their best to ensure the construction moved quickly to minimise interruptions for students. Contractors need to recognise some extremely important safety and environmental issues about working on campus, a statement from the university said. Having a clear understanding of them is a condition of entry to our university sites for all contractors, their staff or subcontractors. The university helped ease the transition for students by offering the chance to ask questions over a free doughnut on Wednesday mornings. Mt Gravatt campus received the stateof-the-art Paynter Dixon designed tennis centre, which offers 12 international competition standard tennis courts. 2009 Regional Award Winning courts feature a plexi-cushion playing surface, the same material used on courts at Melbourne Park, venue of the 2011 Australian Open. The centre also has a clubhouse with pro shop, licensed caf and club room. Griffiths Gold Coast campus received the Science and Engineering Building on the edge of Engineering Drive and Parklands, which has seminar rooms, lecture theatres, labs and houses the Biomolecular Sciences, Electrical Engineering and the new School of Architecture. The Gold Coast campus will also benefit from the new Smart Water Research Centre, the first university owned and operated building to be located on Smith Street. The building will house some of Griffith Universitys water sciencesbased research groups as well as accommodating the Gold Coasts City Councils Scientific Services branch, which tests the Gold Coast water quality. The building was funded by Gold Coast City Council, State Government and the University, and now provides a permanent and secure home for the universitys marine vessels. The science-focused developments at the Gold Coast campus are part of a strategy to take advantage of government services, like the new Gold Coast University Hospital, which is adjacent to the Universitys Goldcoast campus and will open in late 2012. With $32 million in Federal government funding, the university developed the Sir Samuel Griffith Building as the first zero-emission and self-powering teaching and research building driven by solar-hydrogen energy. The Sir Samuel Griffith building will also host the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

SRC back giving students Core skills test favours official voice on campus private ed: Principal
GRIFFITH Universitys Brisbane and Logan students will regain their collective voice following the reintroduction of a Student Representative Council (SRC), the first in more than five years. But the new council will not be a student union: Elected representatives will be unpaid, and students will not pay a membership fee. Griffith University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Colin McAndrew, said each campus will be represented by an elected President, Secretary and Treasurer. Instead of student members fees, the new SRC will be funded by the university. Its not a union that people will join, it will just be a representative body, Mr McAndrew said. Griffith Universitys last SRC folded in 2006. Former SRC President, Glen Chatterton, said the organisation collapsed following the introduction of the Howard governments voluntary student unionism policy. VSU was the reason why the Griffith SRC ceased to exist, Mr Chatterton said. The then-government saw [student unions] as a breeding ground of political opposition. Before 2006, universities across Australia were required to charge students a services fee which usually funded a student representative organisation. Under the Howard governments reforms it became illegal for universities to force students to belong to a student union or to pay it money for services, unless they chose to. Mr McAndrew said he agreed that VSU played a big part in the former SRCs demise. The [old] SRC was only ever a political or advocacy body, and didnt have any revenue beyond the fees students paid, Mr McAndrew said. When the fees stopped, it fell over. Mr McAndrew said while it will consist of only a few elected positions, the new SRC will be in its early stages in 2011 and may yet evolve into something bigger. The history of the previous SRC was that they kept adding positions from year to year and at the end they had something like 32 positions, it was getting a bit crazy, Mr McAndrew said. Having said that, it will be up to the SRC itself to devise its own future. The SRC could decide to introduce some form of payment for representatives in future years. Nathan campus law student Elizabeth Macaulay, said the establishment of a new SRC would have a positive impact on student life. It will be really good to have students advocating for other students and to have someone to talk to who is not involved directly with the uni, Ms Macaulay said. Another law student Fatima Raza said the student body could look at more than just issues affecting campus life. It will be a good chance to broaden horizons and think about policies and politics outside university as well, Ms Raza said. Following Octobers elections across the Brisbane and Logan campuses, the new SRC will take office in December. Griffiths Gold Coast campus has a separate student guild which will be unaffected by the new changes.
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Nathan campus...Redevelopment feels long overdue. Photo: Steven Riggall


A STATE school principal has criticised the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) test, saying it unfairly privileges private school students while punishing their state school peers. Kimberley College Principal, Paul Thompson, said the biggest problem with the test was that an individual schools results were averaged and their average mark helped determine the overall position (OP) for that school. Mr Thompson said this led to some schools excluding children with lower academic scores in order to maintain their high OP ranking. Schools which exclude children on the basis of lack of academic ability and send them down the road to the state school, they enhance their own OPs, and they lower the OPs of the people in the state schools, Mr Thompson said. Mr Thompson said there were problems with the content of the test that were common with tests in general, in that it did not accurately evaluate students thinking abilities. What tests do is they punish people

for making mistakes and making mistakes is the basis of learning, Mr Thompson said. So in other words, if a kid goes home and tells his parent I got everything right today, the parent should be worried, because all hes doing is demonstrating what he already knows. Kimberley College student, Gideon Aidei-Okyere, agreed with his Principals view. I dont see how it actually tests students on their abilities or what theyve learnt really, because most of the questions would have to be applicable to everyone, and not everyone does the same things, Mr Aidei-Okyere said. Fellow Kimberley student Jared Heinemann, who is repeating Year 12 to improve his OP, said his teachers told students the QCS test was the most important factor in determining their ranking.
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mains-Kessels Rd jam solved with underpass

would be a better underpass. Queensland Transport and Main Roads Project Director, David Bobbermen, said the decision about the underpass has been made. The best option out of all that evaluation was for Kessels Road to be an underpass, but a short underpass, Mr Bobbermen said. Mr Bobbermen said there would be short-term impact on traffic when the project commenced in February 2012, and a positive long-term impact in several key areas. The local traffics going to benefit with improved safety, improved traffic flow, he said. Therell be more reliable travel and minimised travel times through the intersection, and no doubt therell be reduction in noise and emissions, and also fuel usage through the intersection. As well as reducing commute times for drivers, the upgrade will also create new bus priority lanes, on-road bike paths, and improved footpaths. Queensland Transport Deputy Director of Planning, Design and Construction, Geoffrey Smith, said discussions had also been held with Griffith University to decide how students at the university could engage in the project to gain real-world skills and experience. There could well be work experience opportunities for engineering students with some of the contractors who are undertaking this work, Mr Smith said.

THE $300 million upgrade at the intersection of Mains Road and Kessels Road will improve one of Brisbanes worst traffic choke points, with benefits for Griffith University and its students in particular. The intersection has been a high priority for both federal and state governments for some time, but planning for the project stalled due in part to indecision over which road

Its quite a unique project, a very complex project because they have to keep the traffic flowing through the intersection all the time that the construction is going on with minimum disruption. So its something that students would be potentially very interested to observe and study the methodologies used to achieve those objectives. The Mains and Kessels Road intersection upgrade project is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Griffith team works towards Indigenising the curriculum

BECKy PAXTON GRIFFITH Universitys Indigenous Curriculum Working Party is about to set up a student consultative body as part of its effort to reform the curriculum. Academics believe including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies, knowledges and perspectives in the curriculum is crucial to reconciliation and tackling climate change and that a student voice should be part of the process. The curricula reform project was approved in March 2008 and funded with a $220,000 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) grant obtained in December 2009. Currently two committees, the Advisory Group and Working Party, meet on Griffith campuses to develop and implement strategies to indigenise the curriculum. Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Susan Spence said the project was facilitating a university-wide approach to Indigenous curriculum development and cultural partnerships. It is important that Griffith students have the opportunity to develop an awareness of and respect for the values and knowledges of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Peoples, she said. Working Party Co-Chair Coordinator Professor, Keithia Wilson, said Indigenising the curriculum was a social justice issue about respecting and giving voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders cultural authority. Indigenous Australians are our nations first people, Professor Wilson said. We live and work on their land. We need to see that their knowledges are valued equally alongside Western knowledges, she said. Working Party Co-Chair Coordinator Dr Chris Matthews said while it had been an issue at the university for a long time, it was difficult to say exactly what Indigenising the curriculum meant. It is about creating awareness and embedding Indigenous knowledges in education, he said. Dr Matthews said workshops were being held to explore what Indigenising the curriculum involved. The Working Party received the ALTC grant to trial strategies over two and a half years. We run ideas and assess them and see what we learnt, he said. Dr Matthews said developing a culturally appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum was not purely about increasing the amount of Indigenous subjects available at the university. Working Party member, Professor Michael Meadows, agreed, saying Indigenising the curriculum did not mean creating one compulsory course that every student must do. We want Indigenous knowledges incorporated within all courses, he said. Professor Meadows said there was potential to incorporate Indigenous studies and knowledges into many disciplines including law, science, health and medicine. Our job is to set up processes to help Griffith meet that potential, he said. Professor Wilson said part of the Working Partys role involved capturing what academics already taught and then determining what else should be included. Professor Meadows said the Working Party would also provide resources and advice for faculty staff on how to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges into their courses. There are a range of strategies to educate staff to educate students, he said. Professor Meadows said the university had an obligation to provide professional development for its staff about teaching methods, including educating staff in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges. You cant say youre a complete teacher without knowledge of Indigenous affairs. Our Indigenous heritage is the hallmark of our identity. It is what makes Australia different from other countries. Griffith University Associate Lecturer, Marcus Waters, was also a member of the Working Party, but gave up his position to concentrate on his PhD entitled Contemporary and Urban Indigenous Dreamings. Mr Waters said there were only about 60 Indigenous people in Australia who had a doctorate, which was one of the reasons it was important for him to focus on completing his. Mr Waters said such figures further highlighted how complex the task of Indigenising the curriculum was, and said the first step was to document exactly what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander epistemology (knowledge base) and pedagogy (system of teaching) were. Mr Waters said clarification of what it meant to be an Aboriginal in the 21st century was needed before a curriculum inclusive of Indigenous knowledges could be developed. He said there were about 500 different Aboriginal nations and 500 different languages in Australia and these different communities were all thrown into a washing machine. We have been left traumatised and damaged over multiple generations due

Update...Michael Meadows, Chris Matthews and Marcus Waters, the advocates for curriculum changes. Photo: Becky Paxton

go to the Aboriginal people, who have a demonstrated history over thousands of years in sustainable living, and ask for help. Mr Waters said Australias rapidly growing population, consumption rate and environment abuse were issues not given due importance, and the Aboriginal epistemology involved a necessary emphasis on respecting the sacred land. Mr Waters said Aboriginal knowledges encouraged students to be socially conscious of their actions and to participate in their community. He said students and teachers alike needed to realise that their learning process began before their first day of semester and continued long after. For example, an engineering student who could develop technology for sustainable living needed to realise that was the role they played as part of their community.

We are dealing with the oldest intellectual property in the world, something that all Australians should identify with and be proud of... We want Indigenous knowledges incorporated within all courses.
to the ongoing effects of colonialism, he said. We are still in a process of healing and getting our heads together. Mr Waters said an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge base and pedagogy emphasised a circular rather than a linear system of teaching which was about ensuring the same opportunities available today were left for future generations. Mr Waters said issues such as climate change and sustainability were already encouraging people to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and living. People are thinking the system we have now is simply not working, lets This to me is how we best embed an Indigenous knowledge base into the classroom, he said. Mr Waters said part of teaching this knowledge base was to encourage people to move away from the individualist, materialist mindset of modern society. Mr Waters said Australias history of colonialism neglected the intellectual capacity of the Aboriginal people to contribute to global society. We are dealing with the oldest intellectual property in the world, something that all Australians should identify with and be proud of, he said. Professor Meadows said Indigenous Australians had a legitimate philosophy that was largely absent from formal

education. They have valid perspectives that we are missing out on, he said. Indigenous knowledges should be a fundamental part of our education, like learning to read and write. Mr Waters said those involved in indignising the curriculum would become leaders in what needed to be done to save the world. I dont mean to sound romantic, but that is what is at stake, the very future of the world we live in, he said. Dr Matthews said the importance of Indigenising the curriculum lay in improving the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We cant even relate on a human level, he said. He said Australian history had seen the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people begin with the European policy of Terra Nullius the land belongs to nobody. Dr Matthews said the gap in health and education needed to be closed. But we have to be careful about what this means, he said. Dr Matthews said he did not want to return to a policy of assimilation where non-Indigenous Australians believed improving the situation meant Indigenous Australians can become more like us. Mr Waters said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also needed to be open to non-Indigenous people. We are all Australians and we need to fully understand and appreciate what that means, he said. Professor Meadows said the Working Partys task was about making a change in the way Indigenous issues were dealt with at Griffith and there was no set time frame on this. Professor Meadows said Indigenising the curriculum was a slow process in which relationships needed to be established with Indigenous communities, not just among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students at

Griffith University. It takes a lot of time, talking to elders, keeping the Indigenous community informed, but if we end up with the outcomes we want, it will be worth it, he said. We want to make sure we actually make a difference, not just produce a report to be put on the shelf. All of us really want to make a change. He said it was his personal wish that every student who graduated would know more about Indigenous affairs. Dr Matthews said Indigenising the curriculum was about creating the opportunity for students to learn in cross-cultural environments. Fundamentally what we would like to achieve is for students to critically evaluate the discipline, to look at how the discipline is culturally constructed and to critique the law and education systems, to see whether it excludes or includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and values their knowledge, he said. The people who come out of university are going to be our next generation of leaders. They need the ability to see beyond what theyve been brought up with, it is a valuable skill for everyone. Mr Waters said respecting, valuing and incorporating the knowledges and perspectives of a countrys Indigenous people within not just the education system but the entire structure of a society was an international movement now. If we dont do this, we risk becoming backward to the rest of the world, he said. Mr Waters said the incredible success of the movie Avatar had prompted questions about why such a narrative had proven so popular. The film reflects a social consciousness in relation to the partnership between the worlds Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is an important issue of our time.

Every scar tells a life changing story.

University testing pregnancy

Being a university student can be challenging: Juggling classes, assignment deadlines and exam preparation with external commitments. What most people ignore is how much harder this juggling act becomes when a student is also pregnant, writes Amber Drury.
TOO MUCH stress such as that caused by univesity examination periods can be dangerous for pregnant women, and precautions should be taken to maintain the well-being of both mother and child, according to a clinical nurse consultant. Figtree Private Hospital Clinical Nurse Consultant, Leanne Wallace, said she believed self-help was paramount for pregnant students. It is so important to make regular visits to doctors and to always follow up with appointments to obstetricians/midwives, Ms Wallace said. Examinations are very thorough when a woman is pregnant, so if you remain on top of your regular visits, if any complications should arise they can be detected fast. Stress is commonplace for students, it may be unavoidable, but health professionals can help people deal with stress so negative repercussions are avoided. Stress in itself can be managed with good health care, Ms Wallace said. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, are very helpful. Ms Wallace said levels of cortisol, a hormone released when under stress, are greatly reduced through activities like yoga, relaxation therapy, swimming and walking. Stress can also be better controlled through improved time management. Really good time management is very important, Ms Wallace said. Be aware that youre not going to be able to stay up and study till the early hours of the morning [when pregnant]. Be realistic with university workloads and balance your days accordingly. Spend a certain amount of time studying, and then make sure you take care of yourself. Kristen Brown experienced firsthand the demands of pregnancy combined with the pressures of the final semester of a Bachelors degree. I felt a lot more stress in regard to university at the start of my pregnancy because you are just coming to terms with everything that is going on, Ms Brown said. Now it is not as stressful as it first was. Maybe it is just a better part of the pregnancy or that Im over a few university hurdles at the moment, but things have changed. Ms Brown says university has been put into perspective, and if she doesnt do well this semester then it wont be the end of the world. I know a lot of girls who have had babies prior to completing degrees and who are going back now as their babies are a bit older, Ms Brown said. It just shows that it is possible and you arent the only person who would be doing it. Although her education remains a high priority, Ms Brown now focuses on her unborn sons health. Before I fell pregnant, my priorities were set on my studies and my social life. Now things have changed to making sure my baby and I are in good health, coping well, and then study. Ms Brown said she didnt mind that things had changed. Things that used to be so important, end up being so trivial and my biggest accomplishment so far will be being able to say I brought this tiny life into the world, she said. Being pregnant at university can be a very different experience for international students. Government bonuses and covered expenses granted to Australian couples are not offered to international students because they do not hold citizenship. Danish International Masters student, Ingeborg Mate Holm, who is pregnant with her first child, has found preparing for a baby in Australia to be expensive. My boyfriend and I intend to take an intensive pre-natal class in preparation for the birth of our child, even though it is really expensive, Ms Holm said. Healthcare in Denmark is completely free due to our tax system, so I am noticing it will be difficult, she said. The stresses of living and studying overseas while pregnant are common and Ms Wallace advises pregnant international students to research every option available to them. International students may have to student ingeborg Mate Holm balances study stresses and pregnancy. Photo: Susannah thomsett.


Debate continues on bilingual education

In October 2008, the then NT Minister for Education Marion Scrymgour announced that the first four hours of education in all NT Schools were to be delivered in English, a decision which opponents said meant that students for whom English was their second language would be forced to learn in what was essentially a foreign language for a large part of their day. Critics also believed this decision could spell the death of the remaining endangered Indigenous languages in Australia, with some arguing that people had a right to be taught in their own native language. The most recent debate arriving from this complicated issue is whether children in bilingual schools are able to perform academically as well as children in monolingual schools. Labor Senator for the Northern Territory Trish Crossin said the debate has been that children who are in bilingual school are not performing as well as children who are in an English only situation. Senator Crossin, who has herself taught in a bilingual school, said she disagreed with that argument and believed bilingual schools were as successful in educating children as any other school. University of Queensland Linguistics Lecturer, Dr Ilana Mushin, said she shares the Senators opinion. Dr Mushin said in todays society it was necessary for Indigenous children to be able to speak, read and write in English. Senator Crossin said the focus really should be on getting more children to go to school. To reach that goal, she said the first step was to work on the solution together with Indigenous parents and to engage

go to public sector healthcare, which could leave them with less financial burdens but still provide high quality care, she said. Free support for pregnant women and new mothers is available and referrals can be made by doctors to community health centres. These centres are in all states, provide very thorough medical services and are free of charge. An unplanned pregnancy can be even more stressful, as it represents drastic lifestyle changes and not everyone is happy to follow through with them. A 25-year-old man, who did not want to be identified, said his relationship with his university student girlfriend

dissolved after she had an abortion to end her unplanned pregnancy. My girlfriend was very career driven and her degree meant the world to her, he said. She always had definite plans of what she wanted to achieve professionally and when she fell pregnant we both knew it was not the right time. After her abortion she threw herself into university even more than before and we rarely saw each other until we eventually decided our relationship wasnt working. It just really wasnt the right time for us to have a child together. Support is available for expectant and new mothers, but Ms Wallace said she

realised it was sometimes hard to ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help, Ms Wallace said. Often women are quite proud and like to be independent, and if people are struggling we dont like to admit we arent doing well. Its much better for you to ask for help if you need it. There is no stigma. Ms Wallace recommends visiting Family Planning Queensland services ( and contraception, pregnancy, baby and parenting website The Bub Hub ( Most universities also offer oncampus student health and counselling services.

DEBATE is continuing once again over the benefits of the Northern Territorys Bilingual Education policy, including whether children in bilingual schools are able to perform academically as well as children in monolingual schools. The NTs bilingual policy, which allows students in some schools in the state including those in remote areas to be taught in a combination of English and their Indigenous language, has been the subject of ongoing debate for almost two years.

them more in their childrens education. Dr Mushin said the reason some Indigenous parents did not send their children to school was not because they did not want the best for their children, but because they were uneducated themselves, which made it difficult for them to justify to their children why they should have to go to school.
Click here for a video version of this story, or go to www.thesource.

thanks to the amazing work of The Prince Charles Hospital. Read Lawries life changing story at


Student car buyers guide: Get off the bus and on the road to freedom
Buying a car can be a daunting experience no matter who you are, but the task can be especially difficult for students who may never have bought a car before and for whom price can be the deciding factor. Automotive journalist Ben Dillon has come up with a guide to help you find a decent ride for under $3,000.
VALUE for money and good quality should be your top priorities when buying a car, followed by other important considerations such as what the ongoing running costs (such as servicing, registration and insurance) of the vehicle are likely to be. But before you prepare yourself to start bargaining, there are three basic rules you need to know before you buy your car. KNOW WhAT yOU WANT This is often easier said than done, as many buyers dont know what they want until they start looking. Start by thinking objectively about how you will use your car for short trips, long trips, the daily commute. This information is relevant as it will help determine the size of car you need as well as how much you will need to set aside for things like running costs. Or maybe youve always loved a certain make or style of car and having a car that fits into that ideal type or style is important to you. Whatever your preference, if you temper your enthusiasm for specific car features with factual research about the various cars on the market, youll have a stronger starting point. DO ThE GROUNDWORK The emphasis in the car buying game is on doing adequate research first, but it doesnt have to be boring. While the internet is great because it allows you to view a kaleidoscope of vehicles from the comfort of your own home, its really worth getting out to some used-car yards in person to get a feel for the various models on offer. Despite being the most time consuming part of the buying process, checking out cars can also be the most exciting, as you flit from one car yard to another to scope out whats on offer. Youll probably find that there arent a lot of car yards that cater to our budget of $3000, but they do exist and visiting them will give you the best idea of what is actually available in the real world. Mike Price from Car King Moorooka recommends making a firm budget to stick to it when looking in car yards. Tell the salesperson why you are visiting so they can help you, Price says. Do you want to look, test drive or buy? If they really want your business they will help you even if you are just looking. When dealing with used-car salespeople be honest but firm and avoid being bullied or coerced into a sale. Also, dont believe anyone who says the car wont be there tomorrow, as 99.9 per cent of the time that is a lie used by the seller to get you to part with your cash faster. But dont despair, there are honest used-car dealers out there who will be more than happy to help you in your search. One more tip is to also look at cars that cost $1000 to $1500 more than your budget. If you find a car you like through a private sale or auction then you will be able to get it for a better price than you would from a dealer. This difference in price just may make a car previously out-of-reach a purchasing reality. GET IT ChECKED OUT BEfORE yOU SIGN ANyThING Youve looked around and you have a fair idea of what you want and what is available in your price range. But you dont want to drive off in your new car only to discover later on that youve purchased a dud, so its important to seek advice from a qualified mechanic before you buy and, if possible, get them to check out the car for you. RACQ offers comprehensive prepurchase inspections and reports that range in price from $170 to $355. Most local mechanics will be able to carry out a similar sort of inspection, probably for a lot less. If you have a mechanic that you trust, then get them to do it for you. Tom Tripcony, a retired mechanic with more than 40 years experience, says his tips for looking for a 3K hero are simple. Obvious things to look for are rust on the body and whether the engine smokes, Tripcony says. Most people get scared if there is any smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, but real mechanical issues arent just a puff of smoke, it is continuous, smelly and theres a lot of it, he says. If youve ever been to a concert where theyve used a smoke machine youll know the type of smoke Tripconys talking about. Smoke like that indicates serious problems. It is also very important to drive the car youre thinking of buying for a decent amount of time; anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour is enough. While driving, use all of your senses to pay attention to whats going on with the car. Think: Does it smell funny? Can you hear whining or banging noises that are not coming from your passengers? Use your hands and body to feel the car as you are driving; this will tell you everything you need to know about the way the car drives and whether there are any issues. There should be no slack or looseness in the steering. The brakes shouldnt go all the way to the floor before they work, nor should the clutch (if its a manual). Clunking, crashing, banging and whining noises are all bad signs and may indicate suspension or gearbox/differential problems. And while its not fantastic news if the car does any of these things, its also not likely to be catastrophic. Many people have joints that crack from time to time, but they get about just fine. The same goes for cars. You will, however, know something is wrong if any of these noises are louder than a normal conversation or have a jarring effect on you. This means the car is bad news. If something doesnt look, sound, smell or feel right, use common sense and your intuition and just walk away. Some tips and tricks you might like to consider There are a lot of ifs in buying a car, and if you have the time and willingness to learn, there is money to be saved and sometimes made (legally of course). 1. Car auctions This is a good option for those with intermediate automotive knowledge.

mazda 121...the once-laughable bubble car is now kind of cool. Photo: Ben Dillon

ford festiva...A solid and reliable student option, and a great example of substance over style. Photo: Ben Dillon

Cars sold at auction can be cheap, making it a good place to pick up a bargain. But remember, as with private sales, at only $3000 there is likely to be no warranty with the car. On the upside, when you decide to sell, you may be able to flick the car along for more than you paid for it. 2. Get your checks done As well as a mechanical inspection, it is a good idea to get a REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) check to ensure there is no money owed on the vehicle. This check costs $12.85 and can be done by post, just visit the Fair Trading Qld website ( 3. Private sales Private sales can be good, but use your instinct; drive the car, ask to see the service records and ask how much money has been spent on the car recently. Also, ask straight out if money is owed on the car and if its ever been in an accident. Most of the time, these answers will indicate the honesty of the seller and the car. Dont be overly suspicious, though, as you could miss a bargain that might just require a new spare tyre or a general service. 4. Registration In Queensland, cars are taxed by the number of cylinders in their engine the more cylinders the greater the cost. An average four-cylinder car costs around $650 per year to register (including mandatory CTP insurance), while a six-cylinder costs around $850. To lessen this upfront cost, an alternative is to pay your registration every six months, or to opt for a car with a smaller engine, or even a motorbike or a scooter. 5. Servicing Servicing your car is where it gets expensive, as labour in almost every workshop is charged at more than $70 an hour. If you take your car to a main dealer (like Ford or BMW) for servicing, youll be looking at double or triple that amount. Cars need attention from time to time and, as daunting as it may seem, some of the minor servicing can be done at home by anyone, including the mechanically illiterate, thanks to easy-to-understand literature available at many spare parts shops and online tutorials. Oil changes are a great way to get into doing it yourself car maintenance, as the costs are low and the job is relatively easy.

Another one that is even easier is changing the air filter. While conducted less often than an oil change, it is important to do this according to your cars servicing schedule. Some general guidelines are: * Oil changed every 10,000 to 20,000 km and checked weekly. * Air filter changed every 40,000 to 50,000 km and checked yearly. * Spark plugs, points and leads checked monthly and renewed as needed. 6. Warranty Dealers and auction houses must, by law, provide a statutory warranty on any car they sell, although there are some exclusions. For cars under 10 years old, that have driven less than 160,000 km, the warranty is for three months or for 5000 km, whichever comes first. For cars older than 10 years, clocking over 160,000km, the warranty is for one month or for 1000 km. These warranties apply only to parts of the vehicle that are unfit for the intended use and generally dont apply to parts that wear-out like tyres, suspension, brakes and electrics. A dealer warranty can be of benefit if one is offered at your price point, although you should read it carefully to see exactly how much of the cost the dealer will pay for every component covered in the warranty. AT ThE END Of ThE DAy For all of the above information there are caveats, the most important being that if you are seeking a particular bodystyle (like a convertible) or brand, just go for it. If there is a sexy (but rusty) Alfa Romeo you lust after, then buy it. Seriously. But be prepared for the consequences, whatever they may be. It could be everything youve ever wished for, or a total nightmare that will provide years of amusement for your family and friends. It may cost a lot of cash or cause a lot of heart-ache, but this is automotive character building at its finest and you will remember it later on when you can afford to buy shiny late model cars where everything is in good working order. Trust me, it will be more fun to recount the torrid affair you had with a gorgeous-but-temperamental Italian in your youth, than endure a boring lifetime of Toyota ownership.

Mario still favourite with gamers

LIAm DOOLAN Williams said. The manager of EB Games Brisbane City store said THIS year Nintendos iconic Mario video game character Mario games had always been considered video game mascelebrates his 25th anniversary, a landmark event that has terpieces, which was why Nintendos series had been so led video game industry experts to look at what has made successful over the years. both the character and the game series such a success. Mario is fun like no other game...Nintendo makes Nintendo Public Relations Manager for Australia and high-quality games and also some of the best franchises New Zealand Heather Murphy said Mario, the Italian within the video game market, like the Mario and Legend plumber, was the most well-known and beloved video of Zelda series, he said. game character of all time. Mario has constantly reinvented video gaming with Anyone can relate to Mario regardless of the age titles like Super Mario 64, which they are or the amount of experience set the standards for 3D video theyve had with video games, Ms games, and more recently Nintendo I think the main reason Murphy said. brought back 2D gaming with the She said the sales of Super Mario that mario is so iconic New Super Mario Bros series on Bros on the Nintendo Entertainment is because he has Wii and DS. System showed how special Mario was Japanese designer Shigeru universal appeal...its to video game players of the 1980s and Miyamotos Super Mario 64 has helped explain why the character had most likely that the consistently made the Top 100 lists maintained such a large fan base over games will retain their of best games of all times for the time. quality and mario will industry. It was one of the first 3D The original Mario Bros game sold platform games. more than 40 million games, so a lot still be popular for years As Long time Nintendo fan Ben of people would have grown up with to come. Hauser said Mario was iconic Mario, she said. because he had followers worldMatthew Williams, owner and wide, related to all ages and both administrator of local video game website The Nintendo Basement said Marios appeal was genders, and managed to combine it all with the content of hard to pinpoint, but it was clear many people worldwide the Super Mario Bros series. I think the main reason that Mario is so iconic is were completely infatuated with him. I honestly cant say where the appeal of Mario lies; because he has universal appeal, Mr Hauser said. He is not aimed children or adults, males or females, maybe its his big nose, killer moustache, love handles, or but everyone. even his way with the ladies, Mr Williams said. This, combined with the games brilliant design of the Whatever it is, though, Im affected by it, as is just Super Mario series, has cemented Mario into video game about everyone else on the globe. He said just mentioning the name Mario to any per- history. Mr Hauser said provided Nintendo did all of this and son in any part of the world would show the popularity of continued to make fresh and innovative games, Mario Nintendos iconic character. I could safely bet that they would know who youre would retain his popularity. Its most likely that the games will retain their quality talking about, unless of course you were in Italy, where Mario could easily be the name of someones brother, Mr and Mario will still be popular for years to come.

Mario reflects...2010 marks 25 years of running and jumping. Photo: ian Hughes

Niche games dominate Australian development

LIAm DOOLAN AUSTRALIAS video game development industry has begun moving away from large projects associated with overseas companies intellectual property in favour of the small budget games market. Australias largest game development studio, Krome Studios, made 100 staff redundant and closed its Adelaide studio in August this year, causing some people working within the industry to believe small game developers and projects were the future of video game development in this country. Krome Studios co-founder John Passfield, who is now creative director of video game developer 3 Blokes Studios, said Australian game developers were ideal small game creators. When you see the smaller-sized Australian developers doing so well, its a good indication that we are better suited to creating these kinds of games, Mr Passfield said. Local video game critics, however, have mixed views about the direction of the local video game development industry. Ken Lee, who writes for Australian video game online magazine and website Pixel Hunt, said the future looked good for independent developers working on a small project, but more uncertain for those in large commercial firms. He said he believed most local developers, who were often required to work with developers and publishers intellectual property, could use this new form of development to build their own reputations on the world stage. Most major game studios based in Australia fulfil a support role for lead studios offshore, and lack the opportunity to create brand new and exciting intellectual property, Mr Lee said. Budding game developer Dyllan Richardson, who is studying a Bachelor of Multimedia at Griffith University and hopes to forge a career platin the local games industry, said independent projects were a smart alternative for local developers who had previously focused on much bigger games. Im interested to see where Australian developers can take digital distribution and, personally, I see it as a far safer approach financially than the current large-scale games which are distributed in stores, Mr Richardson said. Local gamers have also given their support to this new form of game development. Australian studios are focusing on their forte, which is creating small, addictive games for digital distribution platforms such as Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. Veteran Brisbane gamer Alex Stevens said downloadable video games were the way of the future because people lead busy lives and often had less time to rest and enjoy themselves. Nowadays time is precious and small titles like Firemints Flight Control [for Apple iphone, Apple ipad and Nintendo DSi] are suitable to play when you only have a few seconds to spare, Mr Stevens said. If [developers] Halfbrick and Firemint keep making games like Fruit Ninja and Flight Control, Im certain there will be a market for them in Australia.

Social networks the new addiction

JARROD BOyD FACEBOOK, the most popular social networking site in the world, has more than 500 million users, prompting research into its success leading some to claim that using the site is actually addictive. Facebook was launched in February 2004 and is used by about one-quarter of the worlds two billion internet users. With so many Facebook users, it is not surprising that there is concern about the overuse of Facebook. One website even diagnoses the problem as FAD or Facebook Addiction Disorder, while another site provides a step-by-step guide to beating Facebook addiction and another offers a FAD helpline. Griffith University student Kathleen Andrews, 21, says her use of Facebook occasionally borders on the ridiculous. I constantly have conversations over Facebook with my housemate who lives literally three metres away, Ms Andrews says. Facebook has become such a significant part of social practice that Stanford University in California even offers a course called The Psychology of Facebook, which helps participants become experts on the psychology behind Facebook use, as it relates to motivation and persuasion. According to course convenor Dr BJ Foggs course description, the main focus of the course is Facebooks persuasion psychology. We examine Facebook as a system that can foster attitude and behaviour change, the course description says. This generally has two facets; firstly, Facebook, Inc. has persuasive goals. For example, Facebook seeks to persuade users to upload profile pictures. Secondly, the users themselves have persuasive goals. For example, when a person uploads a profile picture, what persuasive goals drive the photo selected? The course looks at topics such as the and it becomes clear that the game is psychology of status updates, profile causing problems for some. People are playing so much they lose pictures, commenting, and even poking. With this focus on virtual social- their real life friends due to little interacising, many are fearful that ordinary tion with them. One Second Life player reports on social lives will be compromised. Dr Brock Bastian from the University the internet that the game took over her of Queenslands School of Psychology world and became more important to believes that the need for this online her than her first life I had landed interaction stems from a narcissistic myself in trouble in my real life and it was a nice escape into a world where need for acceptance. Its certainly a lot easier to interact no one knew my real life issues... I have beautiful homes in my with people inventory, I have anionline, there ...I believe the mals in my inventory, are fewer qualiaddictive property you name it, Second ties you have to Life has it. deal with, Dr lies with the ability to Others report that Bastian says. build and control a they have missed work Facebook is a persona to play the game, and allows the user in one bizarre circumto see how you can create into stance it has led to many friends whatever you want divorce when a woman they have, who found her husbands comments on on-screen avatar havwhat, how many ing sex with another photos they are tagged in, and it all becomes a bit of a womans on-screen avatar. Dutch television program Rondom 10 competition, he says. But the idea that it can be addictive staged a debate to discuss the potential negative consequences of online gamstill sounds questionable to many. But what about it is addictive, you ing, with Second Life, World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons the main know? Dr Bastian says. Its like with alcohol people are culprits. So, if a game has the ability to ruin addicted to feeling drunk. I believe the addictive property lies lives and relationships, whats stopping with the ability to build and control a Facebook from doing the same thing? Games, and indeed even Facebook, profile. People could get addicted to build- just like alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, ing up this profile, seeing how many can have very big implications and risks for groups of people that are sensitive to friends they can get, etc. In this sense it is very similar to the risk of addiction, Dr Bastian says. Most people are smart enough to not Dungeons and Dragons or Second Life; it is a persona you can create into what- let it happen to them and have it affect their real life, in the sense that others ever you want. Sure, its your picture, but beyond suffer (in terms of personal relationthat you can project whatever you like. ships), he says. It is definitely possible though. It is interesting to note that when I think we can add a new one to the Second Life addiction is typed into Google, about 6.7 million hits are list when it comes to online addiction. Now we have gambling, pornogradisplayed. Browse through a few selected stories phy, gaming, and social networking.

Student transformed by Body Blitz challenge

WITH obesity in Australia at an all time high, public weight loss competitions are proving to be an unexpected weapon in the battle to regain control and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Griffith University student Heath Noon recently completed the BodyBlitz Body Transformation Challenge losing a staggering 23kg in just 12 weeks and becoming the monthly winner of the Australia-wide competition. The BodyBlitz 12-Week Challenge first started in 2003 and is a competition run by Womens Health & Fitness and Australian Ironman magazines. The challenge is designed to help contestants lose weight and enjoy the benefits of a healthy life, and relies on the individual to put in the effort required to lose the weight. The competition is unusual in that no diet or exercise programs are provided and the only rule is that contestants must not use performance-enhancing substances or diet pills. Mr Noon said taking part in the challenge was not easy. Performing those 5am cardio sessions and basically eliminating any social life I previously had was super hard, he said. However, I surrounded myself with people who believed in my goals. Mr Noon said the hardest part was trying not to buckle under peer pressure to go drinking while he was taking the challenge. I could [previously] never stick to a decent weight loss or exercise program, he said. Im pretty much an all-or-nothing kind of guy, and although Id start off with awesome intentions, Id either drink or binge on food and then give up. Nutritionist and personal trainer Sam Walker said that although it was a phenomenal effort by Mr Noon to win the challenge, it was not healthy to lose so much weight so quickly. Although I applaud the effort Heath has gone to and the weight he has lost, it is more of a famine situation than a healthy weight control; and that actually makes it easier to put the weight back on as famine situations increase fat sensitive lipase (the enzyme responsible

Transformed... Heath Noons self-portraits, taken to demonstrate his weight loss. Before Body Blitz (left) and after the 12-week challenge. Photo: Heath Noon

for fat entering lipocytes),Mr Walker said. And without adequate follow-up he will be right back where he started. I see the benefits in such challenges to promote a healthy weight and the 12week challenge strategy is very popular in the contemporary media and the community responds well, he said. The challenges provide great motivation and awareness, but many drop out because they set their goals too high; and can promote dangerous behaviour that is brought out in a competition setting, including skipping meals and in extreme cases anorexia and bulimia. Accurate guidance must be given before during and after these challenges otherwise they may pose serious health risks to these clients, he said.

Mr Noon said he was motivated to enter the competition after recognising the amount of weight he gained when his mother was diagnosed with a rare disorder called Lymphedema, which attacks the immune system and causes body parts to swell up. During the summer holidays following his mothers diagnosis, Mr Noon turned to food to deal with the situation. I had no motivation and slept up to 16 hours a day, he said. I suffered a lot of anxiety and depression and generally felt terrible when I looked in the mirror. This weight gain was primarily a result of the stress of procrastinating and leaving everything to the last minute. I looked to food for comfort, to selfmedicate.

Mr Noon said he realised he needed to change if he was ever to pick up the pieces of his stagnating life. So he entered the BodyBlitz Challenge and hasnt looked back. Mr Noon said the fact that he lived on a university campus, surrounded by friends who loved nothing more than to pressure him back into an unhealthy lifestyle, made the transformation even harder. I really think that in life, moderation is the key and its not the end of the world if you have a few beers or a few slices of pizza, Mr Noon said. You just get back into it the next day. What Ive learnt is that life is a marathon and that you will have your good and bad days.

I guess its how you deal with the bad times that make you into the person you are. Unfortunately, life is full of negative people and as soon as you eliminate these people from your life, half the battle is done. Mr Noon said in the future he wished to help his mother get back into shape and would like to start his own personal training business. Although I wish to be a lawyer, I would love nothing more than to start a personal training studio on the side with my best mates, he said. I do, however, realise that I still have a lot of work to go in transforming my body to the best it can be, but I view that as a positive challenge and not a negative thing.

Biggest Loser inspiring a healthy country

AUSTRALIA is currently one of the most obese countries in the world despite efforts to halt the growing health crisis. The obesity problem is leading to a growing list of medical disorders that are not only life-threatening, but are placing a massive burden on Australias healthcare systems. But one positive reaction to this increasing health issue has been a national trend to promote weight loss and healthy living, led by reality television programs such as The Biggest Loser and gym franchises like Fitness First. The program helps overweight contestants drop massive amounts of weight over a three-month period through a reduced-calorie diet and intense training regime. The ongoing appeal of the program for overweight viewers is that some of successful contestants who lose weight during the course of the show, also manage to keep it off, and go on to become high-profile personal trainers and lifestyle coaches. The Biggest Loser 2009 runner-up Sharif Deen is one such success story. Deen now works as a full-time personal trainer and coach. He said the program let the public know it was possible to change to a healthy lifestyle without relapsing to your old habits. I used to work in a call centre, eating chocolate and junk food on a daily basis, but now Im a personal trainer and coach, he said. My life goals are now to help people achieve their goals. Mr Deen said while some former The Biggest Loser contestants were known to have relapsed into unhealthy living after filming of the show finished, he was determined to make sure he wasnt one of them. Its soul destroying for audiences to see former contestants relapse after they have invested so much trust and emotional time into you, and then see you go back to that lifestyle, he said. I didnt want to be that contestant, I wasnt going to allow myself to be that person. Meaghan Trattles, another competitor in the 2009 The Biggest Loser series said she agreed the show had an amazing influence on her lifestyle and had given many contestants and viewers a new lease on life. Ms Trattles, who is now a spokesperson for gym equipment franchise Fitness World, as well as for womens sports clothing line, Lorna Jane, said of

It has completely and utterly changed my life...Not even just the way I live, but the way I act and treat the world, definitely for the better.
the show: It has completely and utterly changed my life. Not even just the way I live, but the way I act and treat the world, definitely for the better, Ms Trattles said. Mr Deen said in spite of, or perhaps because of, Australias rapid rise the global obesity scales in the last decade, the national fitness industry was booming.

The fitness industry is making a hell of a lot of money out of the obesity problem, he said. But according to Fitness First Personal Trainer, Tye Tirrell, gym franchises, together with The Biggest Loser, are already making an impact on obesity in Australia. Mr Tirrell said Fitness Firsts membership number had grown as a result of their association with The Biggest Loser. Weve had a fifty percent increase in our membership since the show aired and weve just advertised a Biggest Loser special for our members with the winner taking home $10,000, he said. But big companies like Fitness First are not the only ones working to promote a healthier lifestyle to Australians. Individuals like Meaghan Trattles are also playing their part. Since her participation in the show Ms Trattles vowed to dedicate her life to promoting healthy living and proper education, but warned the issue of obesity in Australia had to be targeted in the right way or the efforts could fail. Im going to be dedicating my whole life to stopping this problem, its about knowledge and correct marketing

campaigns for the right way to lose the weight and keep the weight off, she said. There are way too many campaigns being promoted that simply dont work. Mr Deen said part of the solution was educating Australians to prevent developing poor eating habits. I dont think the fitness industry alone can change it, education has the ability to create a change, he said. The problem is personal trainers are unable to relate to obese people, with the school of thought that obese people are lazy but the issues go deeper than that, theres a gap between knowing they need to do it and knowing what to do. The Biggest Loser series has been criticised by some health professionals for setting contestants up for failure and relapse back into an unhealthy lifestyle. But Mr Deen said the show gave contestants a sufficient amount of education and preparation to change their ways. The show definitely prepares its contestants, but its about responsibility for your own weight, he said. Were all given the same opportunities, and its just a matter of whether you leave the house with the right attitude.

Running out of his mind

Called crazy by some and fanatical by others, what is it that drives people to take on the torturous physical challenges of ultra marathon running? Andrew Cramb investigates.
FOR PAT Farmer, each downhill step along the snowy, mountainous path in Vail, Colorado, felt like an icepick being hammered into his left shin. Farmer suffered a stress fracture to his shin that fired a sharp pain which felt like it was going straight to the bone. Meanwhile, his back, his arms and his right leg began to ache as they picked up the slack. Farmer was competing in the 1995 Trans-America Foot Race, and with his efforts so clearly causing him great pain, the question must be asked: what would drive a landscaper and father of two from NSW to run 1740 kilometres in 22 days? As Farmers injuries took their toll and he tumbled from first to last place in the race, perhaps the more appropriate question is: what would motivate him to continue running for the next 3000 kilometres to complete the race? If sport is meant to test the limits of human ability, then ultra marathons like the Trans-America Foot Race, which covers 4714 kilometres of road and rocky paths between Huntington Beach, California, and New York City, could be considered a form of self-inflicted torture. Ultra marathon running is extreme in nearly every way imaginable, and because of the mind-boggling distances, the rest of us are left in their wake wondering how their achievements are even possible. Generally defined as any distance over 50 kilometres, with most races considerably longer, the ultra marathon has long been regarded as a sport undertaken by only the crazy and the fanatical. But as recognition for the sport grows, these so-called lunatics are shown for what they really are: dedicated athletes who do not set goals based on standardly perceived limits. As ultra runners undertake feats that may make you cringe, they set new benchmarks of human endurance, which is why understanding them can be an incredible motivator, whether youre a runner or not. Farmer, 48, is now retired from the elite ultra scene which he dominated during the 1990s, but he still maintains his regular training regime, starting most days at 5am with a 20-kilometre run. Hes a man who immediately makes you feel that if you tell him he cant do something, hell do it twice just to prove you wrong. A quick look at the list of his running achievements is testament to this. Farmer has run the Trans-American Foot Race twice, the Simpson Desert twice, from the northern-most point of Australia to the southern-most point, and hes run the circumference of Australia. While most of us would be worried about the harshness of the running environment or the seemingly endless hours, Farmer says its the mental aspect of ultra running that poses the greatest challenge. It comes from within yourself, he says. Your body is crying out: Slow down, stop. But Ive always found that your body will do anything your mind wills it to do, and when you feel like you cant go on any further and you take one more step, you realise that you can and it gives you the strength to take the next step. Therein lies the great power unleashed by the ultra marathon. Running such immense distances requires a keenly developed mental strength which arguably outweighs that needed in any other sport. According to Farmer, finding that inner strength comes down largely to

Driven...Despite retiring from official ultra marathons, Farmer says he is not finished and is currently training for a run across the Americas covering 21,000km. Photo: AAP

one thing: developing a frightening familiarity with pain. He says ultra marathon races have a huge impact on the body, resulting in conditions such as bruised kidneys, stress fractures, swollen legs, split lips, blisters, severe dehydration, and even ears made raw and bloodied by sunburn which, in Farmers case was due not to inadequate sun protection, but rather to the force of the sun in the Simpson Desert. Farmer reinforces this point by explaining how the Channel Nine news crew following his progress were able to cook eggs on the bonnet of their 4WD. Youre just exposed to the conditions for such long periods of time, and youre pushed to such a limit where your body

an in-depth understanding of their own body, what it can take, and how pain can be used to keep them on track with where they are in the race. According to Rogers, ultra runners differ from other athletes because they have accepted pain as inevitable and a normal part of what they do, and they use it to their advantage. For these athletes, the mental component almost takes precedence over the physical. They are different in terms of their level of control, and maintaining that control, over their body and their mind, which is what sets them apart, I think, she says. Its that focus which is different, not just focusing on what the task is, but

youre sick, youre injured, its cold, its hailing, its blistering heat, so what? you just do it.
is incredibly stressed and its easy for it to tip over the edge and break down, and thats exactly what happens. Naturally, that hurts, and naturally, its a huge achievement to overcome it, and thats where your inner strength is drawn from. Brisbane Sports psychologist Allira Rogers has an understandable awe for achievements of ultra marathon runners. She groans in disbelief as she tries to understand how these elite runners are able to continue to push to such incredible lengths. Rogers is familiar with the drive, perfection and competitiveness of athletes, something which, she says, ultra runners exceed. According to Rogers, the difference s in how different types of athletes associate and dissociate with pain. She says running hundreds or thousands of kilometres fine-tunes an athletes ability to block out pain, inuring it to stress and injury. But, she says ultra runners also have the ability to associate with pain, gaining focusing in on what their body is doing, and they are definitely more tuned in to that, its a characteristic of these athletes. Farmer agrees and explains this drive in his own straightforward way. The difference ultra runners have with the rest of society is that they dont accept excuses. You know, youre sick, youre injured, its cold, its hailing, its blistering heat, so what? You just do it. Its this philosophy that helped Farmer gain confidence in his abilities, knowing he could persevere and succeed simply by working harder than anyone else. If his competitors werent up at 5am training each morning, he knew he could beat them. Simple. The ultra marathon made its first real appearance in the Australian mainstream media in 1983 after 61-year-old Cliff Young astonished the nation in the 1000km Sydney to Melbourne Foot Race. During the race Young, who is Farmers hero, defeated a field of elite

ultra marathon runners while wearing a pair of galoshes and a give it a go attitude. It was a seemingly impossible achievement, due in part to the fact that Young didnt realise that at night time the expected practice was to rest, so he simply kept on running. Yet despite the incredible nature of the sport and the fact that it is one of the toughest sports in the world, ultra marathon running remains in relative obscurity. Perhaps some of the ongoing obscurity and limited appeal of the sport can be attributed to the anti-social hours required, both for training and for competing in the races. Farmer notes that training runs would often take on a sour note for him, when the unusual sight of a man running along the road at 3am prompted teenagers to throw beer bottles out of their car window at him. The appeal can be even harder to understand given the sport is certainly no magnet for sponsorship or prize money. While Farmer explains that for some races the first prize was a paltry $150, he shrugs off this apparent deterrent tbecause its not about the money. Farmer recalls one competitor by the name of Joe Record, who was so poor that after scraping the money together to get to the starting line he would sleep on a park bench until race day. He says that while most athletes would be horrified at such a prelude to a weeklong race, Joe was somehow able to not only compete, but win. Farmer says he recalls only too well the pain in Vail, Colorado, in 1995. It was his second attempt at the TransAmerica Foot Race and, after coming second in 1993, he was aiming for nothing less than first place. He remembers pushing the pace from day one, only to prove by day 22 that he was human after all, as his body struggled under the pressure of running almost 80 kilometres per day.

According to Farmer, it was during these low moments in his races that the devil inside almost succeeded in persuading him to quit, telling him that people would surely understand. Almost, but not quite, and he carried on despite the pain in his leg. Over the next 10 days his leg improved and he moved up in the pack from last place out of 30 runners on day 22, to limp over the George Washington Bridge at the finish line in New York in fourth place. It wasnt super-human powers that got him through the Race, but the simple knowledge that he was strong enough to finish and that he had put in the work that made him ready for it. Rogers says it is likely to be years before ultra marathon running starts gaining serious public recognition. Rogers talks with awe about the accomplishments of another ultra runner, Dean Karnazes, it becomes clear that these determined athletes have an amazing power to motivate others. Ultra runners are the ones who show us you can do anything, and you are capable of doing anything and your mind and body can be pushed to its limits, she says. Thats very much something I respect. Although running a thousand kilometres doesnt appeal to everyone, Rogers says that doesnt mean you cant follow in their footsteps. She says just hearing about the achievements of ultra marathon runners can help people gain appreciation for what they are capable of and the power the mind has over the body. Farmer is adamant he hasnt raced his last ultra marathon and encourages others not to pursue a career in ultra running but to pursue anything they have a passion for. He laughs as he recites his mantra, which he says he is sure will be put on his tombstone: There is no force on this earth greater than your own personal will.


Goldman carries on tradition

and compete, Mr Jeh said. We have a lot of athletes here competing internationally. The college is a central coordination point for the integration of sport and education and aims to provide means for flexible study for elite athletes. Jeh said he liked to joke that if Griffith Sports College were a country, it would have come fourth in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and 14th at the Olympics in Beijing. Goldman took her second semester off to train for the Commonwealth Games, where she competed in the 400 and 800 metre freestyle events, facing 800 meter world record holder Rebecca Adlington of the United Kingdom. It was an amazing experience, it was truly an honour to be part of the Australian team, she said. Goldmans best result from the games was fourth in the 400 metre freestyle finals. I didnt have the games I wanted but it was a great experience, Ms Goldman said. Competitions like this pave the way for the London Olympics in 2012. Goldman participated in a variety of sports as a child but excelled at swimming, and at age 13 the sport became her focus. She is now part of the Miami Swimming Squad on the Gold Coast. Ive got a really great squad, I train under Dennis Cottrell. Its good that youre not just going

GRIFFITH University has a fine tradition fostering elite athletes, and swimmer Katie Goldman is no exception. At 18-years-old, Katie Goldman is preparing for her first Olympic appearance in 2012 and has already competed internationally at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The swimmer, who is also studying interior design at Griffith, said she stunned even herself at the Australian Championships in March when she finished two hundredths of a second outside the 800 metre freestyle Australian record, beating her personal best by 11 seconds. This year has been my best year, but coming so close to the Australian record was probably the most exciting thing, Ms Goldman said. Goldman said balancing her university studies with 30 hours of training each week required organisation and focus. Last year was quite hectic having grade 12 and swimming. This year with uni, the sports college has been really good and so last semester I was only doing part time, she said. Griffith Sports College Manager Michael Jeh said Goldman was friendly and dedicated and one of a number of talented elite athletes at the college. Its the whole mission of the Sports College that people like Katie can study

So close... goldman places fourth in the 400 metre freestyle at the Commonwealth games in Delhi. Photo: AAP

there by yourself, youve always got someone there pushing you along. Although Goldman now competes at an international level, she said swimming for her was still about having fun. Youve got to work really hard towards your goal, she said. You know nothing comes easy but

also having fun with it and being a good sport, thats really important. As long as you enjoy what you do, youre going to do well at it. For now, Goldman said her focus is firmly on her sports career. She said she looked forward to the direction it was heading, but was glad

she would have a career in interior design to fall back on. I mean, Im not going to be a swimmer forever, but at this point in time Im definitely focused on swimming, she said. Its going quite well for me and I love it.

Triathlete fulfilling childhood dream

THE year was 2000, and the Australian public watched in anticipation as Cathy Freeman appeared on the TV screens. In just 400 metres Australia would have yet another Gold medal for the Olympic tally. Ten-year-old Elyza Codner watched in awe, as her idol lapped the track wrapped in the Australian and the Aboriginal flags. From that young age Elyza Codner repeated her Olympic dream to her parents, who were skeptical at the time. Ten years on and Codner is working towards her dream. Codner represented Australia at the World Triathlon Championships in Hungary this year. Wearing green and gold, the 19-year-old triathlete competed in the 20 to 24 age group and placed 19th. She was the first Australian to cross the line and said it was an amazing feeling. To be wearing my countrys colours and to cross the finish line knowing I had pushed myself to the limit was an indescribable feeling, Codner says. Codner had lived for that day, giving up most of her social life and many other luxuries. Everything I do, I make sure it is not going to affect my game, from the food I put in my mouth to the amount of exercise I commit to, everything is monitored, she says. Codners dedication led to surprising success, given she only tried triathlons 18 months ago at the recommendation of a friend. She has always been enthusiastic about sport, with running and touch football consistent activities in her life. I changed between so many sports when I was younger, though I was always a runner and played touch football, she says. As soon as I took to the bike and the ocean, I was convinced triathlons were for me. Traveling to Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year, Codner raced in the qualifiers and received an astounding 15th place over all. Besides the fact that she pushed her body to extremes, Codner also had to endure excruciating pain when a

group of jellyfish stung her midway in a race. But she soldiered on and surprised herself with seventh place. Through her extensive training, Codner has also met many new friends, including her second great inspiration. My coach Leanne Southwell has been my main inspiration, Codner says. She is 42-years-old with four kids and still gets out and trains with us every morning. She raced at the Hawaiian Iron Man Championships last year and placed 5th over all. Although Codner and her fellow team mates are happy with their achievements, they are still disappointed by the coverage triathlons receive in the media. She puts it down to not a lot of people being familiar with the sport unless they personally know a triathlete. The only way people usually know about triathlons is if they are involved in the sport or live on the coast where these events take place, Codner says. Other than that there is not a lot of opportunity.

Determined...Codner places 19th in her age-group at the World triathlon Championship in Budapest, Hungry in September. Photo: Leanne Codner

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Rising crowds for new martial arts

DESPITE being a relative newcomer in the Australian fight scene, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is rapidly gaining interest and shows no signs of slowing down. Combining the techniques of boxing, kickboxing, ju-jitsu, judo, karate and wrestling MMA is a full contact combat sport, also known as Extreme Fighting, No Holds Barred and Vale Tudo. It usually takes place within a padded cage to prevent the fighters from falling outside the ring and hurting both themselves and the spectators. The sport has been likened to the Ancient Greek fighting sport Pankration meaning all power or all strength which combined the disciplines of boxing and wrestling. Whatever its origins, Australian fans have enthusiastically grabbed hold of the sport with both hands and claimed it as their own, as the sports largest organisations such as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bring more and more bouts for Australian audiences to witness live on their home soil. Local MMA events are being held at venues around the country on a weekly basis, however it has only been in the last year that major fighting organisations like the UFC from the United States have responded t Australias enthusiasm for the sport and begun holding largescale multi-million dollar events, bringing fighters from all corners of the globe to compete in front of Australian crowds. Australian MMA fighter Chris Haseman says fighting organisations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have helped to create massive interest in the sport. Haseman, who is one of Australias current UFC champions, says he believes the sport is on the verge of a gigantic boom in Australia. Over the past 10 years, its been slowly growing; UFC is now shown on free to air television, which makes it a lot more accessible to the masses, Haseman says. Matt Cooper, who is director of Brisbanes MMA organisation, Rize Events, agrees. He says the local response to the six arena events he has held in Brisbane so

UfC mixed martial arts competition...Champions Chris Haseman (right) and Hale vassa (left). Photo: Courtesy Red Dragon Marital Arts and Fitness

far has been amazing. Weve had all of the locally based, long-term MMA people and teams involved in the show, and in addition to existing fans of the sport from those gyms, a whole range of people from outside of any training background in martial arts has started taking an interest, Cooper says. Australians are clearly becoming increasingly interested in MMA and also much more knowledgeable, its been great to see the change over the years. Cooper says despite Australias relatively small population, the country

has produced some of the worlds best MMA fighters to date. Even without many people realising it, Australians have a long and proud history in MMA, he says. People like Chris Haseman, Elvis Sinosic and Larry Papadopoulos have been fighting at a high level in Japan and elsewhere internationally since the mid-1990s. Were only a relatively small country, but like many sports weve always produced greater athletes than we should proportionally in fight sports.

With the sport growing fast here, I think youll see a whole host of Australians competing in MMA around the world in the next few years. Promoter and head of New South Wales MMA organisation Cage Fight Championship, Luke Peccutti says combat sport is not only entertaining, but promotes healthy living and a disciplined lifestyle. A lot of people who start training in MMA started out just to try something different because it involves a lot of Olympic style sports like boxing, wrestling and judo, he says.

Peccutti, who has held more than 3000 MMA events through CFC, says he has seen MMA become a positive influence in childrens lives. Ive seen kids come in off the street and focus their energy on training rather than being out there getting in trouble, he says. Once they start doing competitions, they are evolving, getting better and really pushing themselves to accomplish their goals. The Ultimate Fighting Championship can now be seen at selected times on digital sports television channel, One.

Female football refs gain respect on the field

AN INCREASING number of female referees are being accepted into football codes that were once solely male domains. In February this year, Amy Fearn became the first female to referee an English Championship football match, while in July Maria Rebello became the first female to officiate the Santosh Trophy in Indias National Football League. In Australia, rugby union seems to be at the forefront when it comes to the use of female match officials. Rugby union referee Sarah Corrigan became the first Australian female ever to officiate the Womens Rugby World Cup Final in September, and attendance levels in Queensland refereeing programs are steadily on the rise. Queensland Rugby Referees Association (QRRA) Executive Officer Paul Heath said he believed that while numbers were increasing, there was still a long way to go for the female referees. We have about 12 out of 260 referees that are female and about half of those are juniors that have just come through in the last year or so, Mr Heath said. Half the problem with not having as many female referees as we would like is they dont believe there is enough opportunity for them, but with Sarah Corrigan refereeing the Womens Rugby World Cup final this year, they are starting to see they have ample opportunity to make it big and be successful, he said. Townsville and District Rugby Union Referee, Chyna Howlett, knows what it takes to find your feet as a female referee. I get respected in Townsville now that I have proved myself, Ms Howlett said. I think a lot of teams when I walk up to chat with the team and check boots before the game think it is some sort of joke due to both my five foot stature and also the fact that I am female, but on the field I quickly show them who is boss, she said. My family is big into rugby so I have grown up with it. I started running the line with my dad when I was about 12 and then refereeing when I was about 14, so I know what it takes. Sometimes its hard, but you cant let the men intimidate you, she said. Mr Heath said there was no discrimination when it came to the referee scene. We treat all referees and budding referees exactly the same, we dont care what sex or gender they are, he said. I am fully aware that women have the exact same ability to successfully ref as men do, and about 98 per cent of the players show them the same respect. It is only a matter of time before female referees are just taken as normal. Ms Howlett said with people like Sarah Corrigan leading the way, there was definitely a future in being a female referee. Sarah Corrigan is one of the females I aspire to be like, she said. It was so amazing that she got that final! I definitely want to be in her position one day. It just shows that females can do it; we just have to work hard at it just like anything, she said. Ms Howlett said the most important thing for budding female referees was to make sure that you were enjoying yourself.

Dont let the men intimidate you, if you enjoy it then go for it, she said. Work hard, but make sure you are always having fun. For more information on becoming a rugby union referee, call Paul Heath on 0409 192 396.

Chyna howlett...Officiating a Townsville rugby union game. Photo: Sally Mann

What a catch: the life of ellyse Perry

THE PHRASE triple-threat is usually bestowed upon someone who is talented in the arts of music, dance, and acting. What, then, would you call someone who represents Australia in cricket and soccer, hosts a television show, and has time to study politics and economics at university? You would call that person Ellyse Perry. The 19-year-old golden girl of womens sport is a ray of sunshine, a precocious talent who has helped herself to a double-serving of every sport loving childs dream. The gifted teen made her international debut in both soccer and cricket at the age of 16. The youngest ever Australian cricket international and the first to represent the country in both sports. But, it appears playing both sports at such a high level will one day be untenable, and Ms Perry is coy about which sport she will commit to. I obviously love playing both very much, Perry says. Id like to be able to continue to do that for as long as possible. There is no tug-of-war over her outstanding talents though says Perrys coach, Richard McInnes from the Australian Institue of Sport. Wed love to have Ellyse 100 per cent of the time, and that would mean soccer wouldnt have her any of the time, Mr McInnes says. Vice versa theyd probably love to have her 100 per cent of the time and wed miss out all together. Me and (Tom) Sermanni, the Matildas coach, if weve got her 80 per cent of the time each then, for our programs, then I think were both pretty happy. Ms Perry, like many teenagers, lives in the moment, and prefers to look ahead to upcoming events like the Womens Soccer World Cup in Germany, rather than dwell on big decisions. The competition for a spot in that squad is incredibly high, she says. Id be lying if I said I wouldnt love to be involved but that rests a lot on my performances leading up to that and to make the team is another question. Perry has 11 caps for the Matildas

Australian pride...ellyse Perry (right) enjoying a moment with a fellow teammate. Photo: Michael Spring

(soccer), but missed the teams historic win at the Asian Cup in May this year. It would have been a bitter disappointment for Perry, if not for the fact she was in the West Indies winning the Twenty20 World Cup for Australia. McInnes is fully aware of Ms Perrys dilemma and expects her to be unavailable for an upcoming Four Nations tour. That probably doesnt match up to a soccer world cup and thats her decision, and well respect whatever decision she

makes, he says. Perry is yet to make a decision. I think Ill certainly make the decision then and there, not only what is good for me, but also the team as well, she says. In between deciding and training for events, Perry hosts Channel Tens Football Stars of Tomorrow which focuses on soccer at grassroots level. Ms Perry, though, has made the wise decision to earn a degree in politics and

economics, something she says helps her put sport in its place. Its great to have university; its probably one of those things that keeps the balance, Ms Perry says. I like to be able to take my books away when were on tour and have somewhere to escape to and read aboutit gives me a future outside of sports as well. For now, though, her future is very much inside sport.

With talent, educated speech, looks, and exposure, Ms Perry has become an important sports figure, particularly in womens sport. Mr McInnes believes there are other women who have the talent to play two sports at the highest level, but who lack the drive that Perry has. Weve got some young girls coming through the system now that are either very good hockey players, netball players, who are also representing Australia at cricket at youth and senior levels. Besides dedication and desire, Ms Perry has a clear advantage playing two sports allowing her to keep fit and transfer skills across codes. This was evident in the Twenty20 final, when Ms Perry was called to bowl the last ball of the game, with New Zealand needing a six to snatch victory. I had to hesitantly bowl the last ball to her and she whacked it pretty hard, but I just managed to stick a foot out because she hit it straight back at me on my big clumsy boot, and it stopped so we won the world cup which was great, he says. Ms Perry is hoping her success will inspire young girls to play sports and bring publicity to womens sport. Considering I played two sports that were typically male dominated, it would be nice to see more girls playing it and feel like theyre not intimidated by the men, or not allowed to play because its more of a boys sport or whatever else, she said. Few could argue with Perrys reasons for playing sport in an age of mercenaries, over-hyped divas and perennial bad boys. Its all about the game itself. Thats what sports has always been for me purely for enjoyment, she says. Watching Ellyse Perry perfect her craft brings joy to many people. Just like an actor who can sing and dance a triple-threat. A term she will undoubtedly redefine.
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Kids get in2Cricket

CRICKET has long been a national favourite when it comes to sport, but according to Cricket Australia more needs to be done to keep Australians interested in the game. Queensland Crickets Game Development Manager, Mark McLatchey, said current cricket marketing campaigns and programs are directed towards young children and recent immigrants, two population groups identified by Cricket Australia as having the least interest in the sport. Were really keen to try and get as many people involved in our game as we can, Mr McLatchey said. In order to get children more involved in the sport, Cricket Australia, in partnership with Milo, has launched the In2Cricket program, which aims to teach younger children how to play cricket. The program is now being offered at state schools and cricket clubs throughout the country for children aged five to ten. The half-hour clinics teach kids basic skills such as batting, bowling and fielding. The sessions conclude with a game

to get the children moving. Carina Cricket Clubs Assistant Program Coordinator for the In2Cricket program, Julie Brook, said the program was popular amongst school-aged children and that enrolment numbers at the Carina Club had reached an all time high. We think the [In2Cricket] program is bringing more kids into our junior ranks as well, Ms Brook said. Queensland Cricket also wants to attract more fans with Indigenous and multicultural backgrounds to the sport. Theres more people immigrating to Australia [and] were looking to provide the exposure [to the game of cricket] as an option for them to become part of Australia, Mr McLatchey said. According to Queensland Cricket, previous marketing campaigns resulted in a national 20 per cent increase in game participation over the past seven years.
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television advertisements assist future soccer registrations in Australia

REGISTRATIONS at local soccer clubs have risen considerably since the 2006 World Cup tournament, but the 2010 World Cup hasnt changed the trend according to the general manager of Football Brisbane, Reuben Robertson. Mr Robertson said the popularity of the World Cup had made soccer into one of the leading sports played in Australia. Football Brisbane is an administrative body that sets rules and organises local soccer clubs throughout Brisbane. The organisation was set up as part of the implementation of the Crawford Report into governing soccer in Australia. He said several key companies had helped promote the sport by featuring soccer celebrities in their television advertisements Companies such as Sanitarium have started to advertise through soccer in an attempt to increase sales of their products and in turn help soccer registrations grow throughout Australian soccer clubs, Mr Robertson said. One of Sanitariums advertisements features Socceroos midfielder, Tim Cahill, and the Socceroos in a fictitious game of soccer where in Tim Cahill kicks a penalty past a wall of opposing players, his success fuelled by him being a Weet-Bix kid. During the World Cup in JulyAugust this year there were further television advertisements depicting the Socceroos in World Cup matches, which stated that Weet-Bix was the official breakfast of the Socceroos. Sanitarium National Advertising and Media Manager, Pete Davis, has overseen the soccer-themed television advertisements since October 2009. He said while the advertisements had not increased revenue for the company, Sanitarium would continue to support football in Australia. These ads will not run a great deal more now, but we will continue with our support of Tim Cahill, soccer, the Qantas Socceroos and the Hyundai A-League, with various promotions, TV ads and other messages, Mr Davis said. We believe it is our role to help support the development of sport in Australia and Im sure our contribution goes a long way to assisting the sporting bodies to encourage participation in these sporting codes. While the expectation is that we will see an increase flow on in 2011, the simple answer is that we havent seen it in 2010. This is because our season is not aligned to the World Cup. We commence sign-on at the end of January each year and our season commences late March, and therefore we would not expect to see numbers increase until the next season. Given that the last World Cup had higher viewing numbers than the worlds largest sporting event, the Olympics, Mr Robertson said viewership for soccerrelated advertising was also likely to grow. Without advertising you limit your audience, Mr Davis said. In the end, promoting the game can only be good for it. We attract new members and we receive a flow on of revenue to assist in development and facilities, which in turn attracts more people to the game.


Broncos charity all about the kids

THE BRISBANE Broncos have been nominated for two major charity awards this year, but according to one of their star players, their work is all for the kids and not for the recognition. Following a significant restructure of their charity program in 2009, the Broncos now support seven organisations as charity partners, including the Starlight Childrens Foundation and Mission Australia. But Broncos second-rower, Corey Parker, said they do it for the kids, not the media coverage. I dont do this stuff to get recognition by any stretch of the imagination, Mr Parker said. Ive seen firsthand the difference sporting identities can make in childrens lives, and through the time Ive been at the Broncos Ive been able to meet people who are involved in organisations, and if they need me to lend a hand here or there, Im happy to do so, he said Mr Parker lends a hand as Ambassador to the Starlight Childrens Foundation. Starlights Fundraising Campaign Coordinator Claire Cunningham said the charity had developed a special understanding with the NRL star. The whole WOW Brisbane Broncos team supports Starlight throughout the year, but we have a special relationship with Corey Parker, Ms Cunningham said. Corey has contributed greatly to Starlight through visits to the Starlight Express Room, attended Starlight Five Chefs Events where he has also donated wonderful prizes to help us raise muchneeded funds. As well as providing financial support to charities, the Broncos maintain a personal relationship with each of their charity partners, with players acting as ambassadors and making public appearances for the charities, as well as weekly

Generosity...Broncos rugby league team and Corey Parker (inset) supporting charity partners. Photo: courtesy Brisbane Broncos

visits to community centres. Community Services Coordinator for the Brisbane Broncos, Jess West, said team members played a vital role when charities were in need. The players are the face of our club and they can make a huge impact when

we go to schools and hospitals, Ms West said. You can see how much they can really lift the spirits of the children they are significantly brightening the childrens days. Theyre very important and they do

a great job. Corey Parker was nominated for the Telstra Ken Stephen Medal at the 2010 NRL One Community Awards, but lost out to the Canterbury Bulldogs Andrew Ryan. I know Andrew Ryan does a lot of

stuff in the community and by all means, good on him that he won the award, Mr Parker said. It wasnt one of those awards that youre disappointed in losing. Whoever was going to win it did a good job.

Soccer school participation on the rise in Brisbane

THE NEXT FIFA World Cup could yet be ours, if the current interest in soccer training for younger children continues. In the past twelve months new soccer schools have been opening their doors across Brisbane to teach basic skills to children as young as 18 months old. One such school is Little Kickers, which opened a franchise in Brisbane in 2009 and already has more than 200 members. The school caters solely to children aged from 18 months to seven years old. Director of the Queensland branch of Little Kickers, Karen Tannoch-Bland, said it was great to be able to use soccer to captivate such a young audience and educate them about soccer and healthy living. The company evolved to get preschools interested in sport because of the obvious growth in childhood obesity, and to get kids up and about, Ms Tannoch-Bland said. At the end of the day its not about sticking in as many franchises as we can, its very much about getting the right people onboard and settling them in, and getting the classes up and running and making sure that the kids are happy. Brazilian Soccer Schools (BSS), which opened in Brisbane in March, has a similar approach to learning. BSS have one million members worldwide and work with children from the ages of three to seven years old. The school was created based on specific techniques used for the development of children, from the methods of BSS founder Simon Clifford and Futebol de Salo. BSS Brisbane coach and owner, Andy Case, said high quality coaching and a supportive environment were key aspects in the learning and development of young soccer players. I started the BSS here in Brisbane because I not only felt like something was missing in coaching, but loved what using techniques inspired by Brazil and Futebol de Salo did for the kids, Mr Case said. Brazil has won the World Cup the most times and normally theyre the most attractive team to watch because of their individual skills. What Scott Clifford revealed was that at an early age most kids in Brazil play with a very small ball, about a size two football. It doesnt bounce and its very heavy; because they keep the ball on the floor, they have to use their feet a lot more [and] that makes their ball skills better. We started using those techniques, developed it further, and by beginning to play music when were playing soccer, it is just good fun. If you watch Brazilians play, they have drummers in stands. Well, we have a PA system and its a bit like aerobic soccer. Previously one of the biggest problems facing kids who wanted to play soccer in southeast Queensland was the difficuty in accessing resources, clubs, schools and good coaching close to home. With companies like Little Kickers and Brazilian Soccer Schools opening across the southeast, those resources are getting easier to access. In Brisbane there is an elite soccer league, the schools have their leagues, and then theres about half a dozen teams in each of the age groups, Mr Case said. Because you only get about 14 kids per team, you get a lot of these kids who are quite eager to be in these teams. People then have this preconception that if you dont get into these leagues that theyll never make it to a higher level, which is rubbish. If youre good enough youll get there. Football Queenslands Football Operations Manager, Bruce Dinsdale, said the increased interest in soccer within Australia helped to provide development pathways for Queensland talent onto the world stage. Currently [were] implementing a skills program for young players, which will hopefully increase the technical skills level of young players with the ultimate aim of producing world class players, Mr Dinsdale said. Mr Case said it was important to focus on the skills of the individual during training. We do a lot of work on juggling, thats just kicking with your feet up and down, and we spend a lot of time on teaching kids how to dribble, rather than passing, Mr Case said. We also focus a lot more on the individual skills rather than the team play.

youth...Kids train at soccer school. Photo: courtesy Brazilian Soccer School

We find if someone is really talented, say a 10-year-old whose skills are great and theyre running circles around kids their age, we try to match that skill up to a higher level. They can then be playing with 13 year olds and thats really good for them to develop, and not get bored and frustrated. Its frustrating for me to watch club soccer sometimes when kids have to be divided based on age, because it doesnt reflect their abilities or help them for

their future, he said. Mr Case said the soccer school provided kids with more benefits than just sporting skills. At the end of the day, any type of activity like this can only be a positive thing for children when theyre growing up particularly when they come into the classes and all of a sudden they have to deal with other children and different personalities, Mr Case said. Theres a lot more benefits to what we do than just playing soccer.

nBL on solid ground for 2010/11

THE FUTURE of the National Basketball League is looking brighter for the 2010/11 season after verging on failure last season. The NBL is regaining strength as a popular sporting league in Australia with the addition of a new Sydney team and games broadcast on free to air television. Back for his second season in the NBL, new Cairns Taipans recruit, Ayinde Ubaka, is happy with the support for the league so far, especially from fans. Its reassuring to see so much support from our local area, Ubaka said. I really think that NBL can cement itself as a popular professional league in Australia, with every game I see the support for NBL grow, its very encouraging. Last season with the Gold Coast Blaze Ubaka averaged 16.3 points and 4.2 assists, and is bringing this ability to the Taipans. Its a very competitive league and you really need to do your best each game, Ubaka said. Ubaka enjoyed his time in Australia with the Gold Coast Blaze and working with the NBL. This year he returned for the 2010/11 season with the Cairns Taipans, and has put the injury setbacks of last season behind him. My first season in Australia was definitely rewarding even though I was injured early this year toward the end of the (2009/10) season, Ubaka says. At first I wasnt going to return to Australia, but now Im glad Ive made the move. Ubaka said the games broadcast on free to air television was definitely helping the NBL become better than ever. Not everyone can make it to games, but that doesnt mean you cant support the NBL, he said. Television coverage is paramount to creating (an) even stronger following; it is a very positive step in the right direction for Australian basketball. The rebirth of the Sydney Kings and game coverage on Channel Ten and ONE HD are not the only changes this season, new sponsorships also helped the league strengthen its image. The NBL announced a three year partnership with internet provider iiNet, as well as a two-year partnership with sports betting organisation, Centrebet. Channel Ten and ONE HD signed on as the official broadcast partner of the NBL with merchandise company,

Pumped and primed...Players from the nine nBL teams shape up for the 2010/11 season. Photo: AAP

AND1, now the official apparel supply partner. World renowned sports equipment manufacturer, Spalding, has joined forces with the NBL as official ball partner. A press release from the NBL stated under a five year deal, NBL games will be broadcast live on Channel Ten and digital sports station ONE HD nationally until the end of the 2014/15 season, starting with minimum two games shown per week for the 2010/11 season. The NBL also unveiled a new marketing campaign, which will be released nationally to increase public support for the sport. The television commercial, launched at the beginning of the season, focuses on the unique elements and the unpredictability of the sport. Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer, Larry Sengstock, said the marketing campaign highlights the advantages of basketball over other popular sports. Unlike competing codes, the

National Basketball Leagues appeal is that from the moment the game starts until the final siren anything can happen anytime, Sengstock said. There are no nil-all draws, no drawnout penalty kicks, no waiting for a result. It is non-stop action for the whole family. On television, or live in the stadium, basketball is promising to be one of the most exciting spectator sports for fans. The point of difference for the NBL is linked to a key part of the game structure the 24-second shot clock, Sengstock said. The constant action and urgency created by the ever reducing shot clock means that players are always on the edge; looking for the next quick pass, the next screen and the unexpected shot. Although Queensland already has the most NBL teams, there is talk of a Brisbane-based team joining the league to compliment the Gold Coast Blaze, Townsville Crocodiles and the Cairns Taipans in Queensland.

A meeting was held at Carina Leagues Club in August in the hope that Brisbane could once again have a team of its own. A passionate group of 50 locals, including former Brisbane Bullets player Leroy Loggins, met with Larry Sengstock and the NBLs General Manager of Operations, Chuck Harmison, to plan how best to put together a Brisbane team. After witnessing the passion, work ethic and shared vision displayed by the group at the meeting, I am feeling optimistic that there could indeed be a Brisbane team in the NBL for season 2011/12, Sengstock said. Ultimately this group will need to rally appropriate financial backing as well as corporate and community support by November if they are to have a chance of obtaining a license in time for the 2011/12 season. New teams are only granted licences if they demonstrate a clear plan that ensures long term financial stability. The Brisbane Bullets were, until 2008, one of only two teams that had survived

Unlike competing codes, the National Basketball Leagues appeal is that from the moment the game starts until the final siren anything can happen is non-stop action for the whole family

since the NBLs 1979 inception. The Bullets played out of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, winning three championships and making it to the grand final play-offs 20 times. Brisbane and Gold Coast basketball fans can show their support for the NBL by following local team Gold Coast Blaze.

National funding boost for youth sport

THE FEDERAL government has backed a new sports vision with $195.2 million in extra funding to encourage more Australians to play sport. The governments new wholeof-sport strategy is set to promote increased participation in sport to improve national health and productivity and to sustain Australias success in international sporting arenas. This new approach is detailed in a report titled Australian Sport: The Pathway to Success and focuses on three main areas: increasing the number of Australians participating in sports, strengthening pathways to sport and striving for success both on and off the field. The report said Australian sport was at a critical junction and it was time for change. Australia has the fifth highest rate of adult obesity in the developed world. It also cites the 200708 National Health Survey, which found that 68 per cent of adult Australian men and 55 per cent of adult women were overweight or obese. The survey also found that 17 per cent of Australian children five to 17 yearsold, were overweight and nearly 8 per cent were obese. The extra federal funding for the new sporting plan is part of the $324.8 million ongoing boost to the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) sports reform. The ASC will use the additional funds to support National Sporting Organisations (NSO) to deliver programs that can increase opportunities for people to participate in sport. Griffith Sport Operations Manager Ilze Johns said it was unfortunate they were not able to apply for grants from

...17 per cent of Australian children aged 5-17 were overweight and nearly 8 per cent were obese.
the government to take advantage of the new sports strategy, as they were a department of Griffith University and not an incorporated body. If we had access to government funding we could develop new sporting programs on campus, we could develop new facilities or upgrade our facilities,

so we could offer more to people, Ms Johns said. However, the ASCs Stuart McLennan said all recognised national sporting organisations were invited to apply including Australian university sport. Ms Johns said as children grew their interest in sports declined. Even if they had been involved in sports in primary school, not all of them would continue to be involved in sport in high school and even less would continue to play sport in their university years. The creators of Australias new sports vision have identified the same problem and have made one of the main focuses of the sports reform agenda a Sport and Education Strategy. This strategy was developed to increase the role and effectiveness of sport in schools, and to increase the

number of children playing sport. The ASC said it would include programs aimed at specific targeted populations, including indigenous groups, people with disabilities, women, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups, and rural and regional populations. While decisions by the Australian Sports Commission Board on how to allocate the funding have not yet been finalised, Mr McLennan said once the decision was made further advice would be provided to each NSO.
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