Archive for the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

Unemployment has always been a global issue, and there are many reasons why people lose their job, such as redundancy, company failure, or when they are injured. There are not enough jobs available for people, especially the young generation.

In recent years, more and more Chinese people choose to go abroad to study in order to have a better future. However, with fierce competition and differences in culture backgrounds, it is not easy to find a decent job in foreign countries.

Some students choose to open their own business. Is it the best way for international students?Actually, this solution has pros and cons.

If you think it is a fun and exciting career, you are only partially correct. There are also many unpredictable risks for the entrepreneur. However, not everyone wants to take risks, nor have abilities to tackle crisis.

In contrast, international students who are passionate and creative, as well as having the capacity for risk-taking and forecasting future possibilities are equipped to set up their own business. They can address the issue of unemployment. Moreover, they also can enhance their individual value, and make their life better and happier via their efforts.

In my story, I interviewed a dancer who is named Yiaoqian Guo. She was out of work because she injured her waist, and could not stand on the stage to dance as a professional folk dancer. However, she did not give up, and chose to come to Melbourne to study and to update her skills. Now she has opened her own dance training centre in Melbourne.

I hope that her story will encourage international students who are facing difficulty in their careers to improve their outlook. I also want to inspire them to never give up on their dreams. If you have passion and believe you can do well, just make an effort and try to do it. Even if we face difficulties in our lives, we should build confidence for the future.

Finally, I want to say some additional words. Individuals have different psychological frustration tolerance when they face difficulties. Some people can quickly overcome negative feelings and turn over a new leaf. However, others may experience a low mood for a long time. If you are the latter, you would be better to find positive ways to adjust your situation. Whatever the reasons, we should believe that everyday will be a brilliant new start.

Many people especially teenagers are using the Internet as a form of social behavior replacing older methods of communicating between one another.

But when Internet considered as the place where younger generation could say not-so-nice things to one another, every parents start to worry on the fact that Internet could make they children’s behavior into Anti Social behavior.

Teens and Internet

Teenagers with Anti Social Behavior have become one of the biggest concerns for every parent, as a matter of fact it become one of the worst nightmare for every parents if they find out their child struggling with this kind behavior.

Therefore when the statistics appears in a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project said that nearly nine out of every ten teenagers have witnessed cruelty to others on social networks, every parent now have a reason why they should be concerned.

The survey also said that 88 percent of social media-using teens have witnessed other users being mean or cruel on social networks, and 25 percent have had an experience on social network that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone.

According to the study at California State University with social networks sites like Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, teens will eventually spending their times on these sites and this can cause them to develop and anti-social behavior.

The study by Larry Rosen, a psychology professor, also said that social media’s impact on preteens and teenagers seemed to have a negative effect on people in that age group.

He further said that social Media has infiltrated every aspect of daily life, and in each area could cause potential roadblocks.

For example, social media can really affecting their education.

Among the students who got lower grades in their school, said the study, most checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period.

Those who had Facebook open on their computers during that study period, lower reading retention rates were observed.

This is proving that checking your Facebook page and Twitter timeline while in a classroom will disturb teenager’s concentration.

Another disturbing behavior that found in the Internet is in a form of Cyber-bullying.

Hurtful comments or provocative remarks in the Internet is a usual thing that can be seen everywhere in Internet.

This negative activity can harm teenagers especially when the negative comments are addressed to them.

Then, what kind of solution that all the parents need to do in order to prevent their children to do such bad things to other and to themselves in the Internet?

Rosen said that parental website monitoring turn out wasn’t necessarily the answer.

“If you feel that you have to use some sort of computer program to surreptitiously monitor your child’s social networking, you are wasting your time because they will find a workaround in a matter of minutes.”

Rosen believes that parents should do more listening that lecturing when handling this type of situation.

During it’s second trimester in 2012, Deakin University’s Burwood campus has seen a renewed enthusiasm amongst student clubs and causes for the use of chalk as an advertising medium.

The widespread appeal and relative ease of social media advertising has seen past campaigns take place almost exclusively online.  Despite this, a number of clubs appear to be going ‘back to basics’, and venturing out, chalk in hand, by the dozens.

The Christian Union group has been by far the most active agent in this, with dozens of students taking part in a promotional campaign surrounding their ‘heightened evangelistic season’ during the first four weeks of the trimester.

The response however, has been unexpectedly hostile to both the method and the message of the campaign, as a number of students have expressed their grievances on online forums, and even the club’s own Facebook page.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, suggests that  ‘Christian union isn’t exactly promoting talks, it’s just putting it in people’s faces.  Some people don’t appreciate having religion put in their face.’

One of the Christian Union students in action.

Others have suggested the chalk is ‘rather off putting’, and ‘defacing the campus.’

Interestingly, the other groups involved in chalking (including the ‘study abroad’ initiative) have not faced such opposition to their chalking.

It is clear that the Deakin University Students Association (DUSA) permits chalking, provided that it occurs on uncovered surfaces, so that the chalk can be easily washed away by rain.

This would seem to suggest that the opposition to the chalk is based not on the chalk itself, or even the content of the advertisements, but to the Christian group and its activism on campus.

‘We’ve faced similar stuff before’, says club executive member, Matt Jacobs.  ‘People have even complained when we set up a table on campus, even if there’s a bunch of other clubs around.’


At this stage, the club has sought to address any complaints or grievances individually with the party involved, which has so far worked reasonably well.  But it is foreseeable that the club will face even more of this opposition, especially as it has been growing in size over the last 4 years.

‘We don’t think we’re hurting anyone’ says Jacobs,  ‘and we’re actually quite glad that people are engaging with it.  We’d love to chat with anyone who’d like to talk about it.’

Just over 12 months ago, the future of Australia’s favourite steam train was in dire jeopardy. Puffing Billy faced possible closure, requiring a 25 million dollar cash injection to continue operating.

One year on, the iconic tourist attraction is thriving. Recently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous Belgrave to Menzies Creek line, the hardship of the past year seems a distant memory, but not to the people involved with the heritage railway.

Puffing Billy is an iconic Melbourne tourist attraction, and has been loved by families for generations, and its possible foreclosure came as a shock to visitors and volunteers.

Henry Shultz has been volunteering as an engine mechanic for nearly 20 years, says the railway is more than just a tourist attraction or a old steam train it is by no means just that –  “The steam locomotive machine is a snapshot into history, into an era that has shaped our world today, and the community support shown by the visitors, and countless volunteers shows the determination to keep Puffing Billy alive”.

The heritage railway relies almost solely on donations and visitors to keep the locomotive alive and running. Although the number of visitors is on a continuous rise, with a record 268, 984 passengers in 2011, Shultz says that “we still need further financial assistance and more volunteers to keep the railway running for years to come”.

From each ticket sale, 37% of funds go towards train operations and maintenance, 25% to track and land maintenance, 22% administration, 10% to marketing and 10% to coal. The locomotive is run predominantly by volunteers, who spend their weekends and spare time providing maintenance services to the track or engines, driving the train or tending to the thousands of visitors of this historic landmark.

“We have received enough donations to keep this beloved steam train running for now, but who knows what the future holds? That is why we want people to continue showing their love for the trains by visiting us, buying a ticket, and even donating money where possible. I want my great grandkids to enjoy this locomotive as much as I have” Shultz warns.

Although out of the woods for now by receiving overwhelming support and donations to repair the necessary tracks and engines ensuring the safety of the line, the threat for the future is still a concern.

Click here to watch the history behind Australia’s favourite steam train.

Amanda Beardmore

Ms. Brennan joins the choir with Indonesian-backgroud Christians on Sunday Service at the Brunswick Indonesian Uniting Church.

If you walk into many Uniting Churches in Melbourne suburbs, you will see congregations are swaying, clapping and singing their heart out in other languages than English.

The number of mainstream churches in Melbourne suburbs has declined over subsequent decades while the ethnic church has increasingly grown with the rapidly increase of immigrations.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Melbourne, about 64% of people identify themselves as Christian, but more recently, with the waves of immigration from South East Asia, the ethnic diversity of existing Christian denominations has increased.

As one of the ethnic congregations of the Uniting Church, the Brunswick Indonesian Uniting Church became recognized as an ethnic congregation in 2007.

“Our duty is to build up a secure base for Indonesian Christians in Melbourne and maintain relationships with non-Indonesian Christians,” the Minister of the Brunswick Indonesian Uniting Church Mr. Reu Lingky Widodo says.

“We provide dinners after Sunday service, and we expect people to become closer like a family during the dinner,” says Pastor Christina Tan of the Brunswick church.

“Here is more like a family, the family atmosphere; we feel like we were brought up together and stick together.”

Member of the Brunswick Uniting Church youth service, Vince Pangemanan.

Besides the Indonesian Christians, the Brunswick Indonesian Uniting Church also welcomes people from outside the church and who are not Indonesians.

“I believe the church is multicultural and Christ is above the culture,” Mr Reu Lingky Widodo says.

“We not specifically built for Indonesians, but for Christians,” he says. “We aim to reach out more people and welcome people from outside the church and who are not Indonesian,” he adds.

Worshiper Annette Brennan is of the opinion that compared to some local churches here in Melbourne; the Brunswick Indonesian Church is much more traditionally Christians.

“I have found the mainstream churches in Australia are really restricting and do not follow the Bible,” Ms Brennan says.

“Despite a lot of people still call them churches, I consider it to be more entertainment,” she continues, “they play like pop music, and they do not pray, and they do not have good sermo,.” she says.

“But coming to here I have found some contentment, the tradition is still there, the building is still traditional, they do traditional things, but the same time the songs are more modern and people are really nice,” she continues.

“I have done some Indonesian dancing, they give me costume to dress up in, I just like this very positive and happy environment”.

Listen to the interview with Annette  Brennan:

Photo gallery of the Brunswick Uniting Church:


Wedding photographer  Tonga Bonga is  filming for the wedding rehearsal at Glen Waverly Uniting Church.

It is Friday at 6.35pm, on the corner of Bogong Avenue and Kingsway, Glen Waverly, south-east Melbourne, the Glen Waverly Uniting church was ablaze with lights.

In the hall, new bride Karen Macartney and bridegroom Ricky Egginton were accompanied by their family and several of their close friends rolled up church for rehearsal before wedding on Saturday night.

Leading by the Priest, Macartney and Egginton practiced walk in and walk off the hall.

“We want to make mare sure the wedding would be perfectly represented to the guests tomorrow,” Ms Macartney says.

Video of the wedding rehearsal:

Aside the arena, photographer Tonga Bonga was also in the scene. He took out his camera equipment moved side to side, walked around to capture the process of the rehearsal.

Tonga is a young, passionate photographer and specializing in wedding photography. He owns a wedding photography studio “Tonga’s Photography”, but in this case he presented for wedding Event Company.

“I have never met them before this rehearsal,” Tong said. He illustrates that it is very important to get to know the personalities of his clients.

“Coming to here is to get touch with this couple and make them have trust on me,” he said. “So when I shoot I know how to capture their most natural emotions.”

Also as an attendee in a local church in south Melbourne, he starts off his career from the church.  “It is a really strong base to support my career,” Tonga says.

Australian census shows that the Uniting Church has about 1.3 million members in Australia and that they worship in 25 different languages. It is the ethnic populations who are keeping Uniting churches in Melbourne suburbs vibrant. These ethnic Uniting churches are not only spiritual communities but also secure bases for ethnic populations.

Multicultural church websites

Great resources for intercultural ministry and biblical exploration,   and debates over homogenous churches and ethnic congregations:

More information from the views of Australian public media about cultural diversity and religious diversity in Australia:

The article reports the increasingly growing ethnic Christian population in Melbourne and then raises debates about growing immigration from South East Asia in Melbourne.

Introduction of the background of Christianity in Melbourne and official analyse of historical reasons of the divisions of Christianity. Also statistics of Christian populations in three different denominations.

The future of marketing includes a personal touch

Posted: October 1, 2012 by prettylilprofessional in Arts & Culture

With the fundamentals of marketing focusing on relationship building what better platform is there to engage with the consumer than their own Smartphone?

As highlighted in the 2012 New Age Marketing conference, 1 in 3 people would rather give up their TV than their Smartphone. These devices are just about super-glued to the average person allowing them to be connected with their networks and virtual communities on a 24/7 basis.

Tweet by Adam Jaffrey providing insightful commentary during the conference

This makes new media devices hot in the realm of marketing and creating endless possibilities in innovations such as mobile apps, social media and location based marketing.

A Social Media site for any company is the new ‘must have’ in their digital media repertoire.  Previously, such platforms on Facebook and Twitter have been used as a transactional tool, limiting the conversation to product purchasing and applying a hard sell of their products.

Lauren Ridgway entertains the room with previous social media strategies she has implemented

Social Media guru Lauren Ridgway has cracked the code and has successfully run many Social Media campaigns. She suggested marketers to use Social Media as an aid to provide relevant information to the target audience in a way that is fun and engaging, although still true to the brand. She states “most importantly you need to know your customer, where they hang out and what they are saying about your brand”.

Ridgway encourages Marketers to use social media to entertain through content that is worthy to be published, keeping their customers engaged and build meaningful relationships with their communities.

 Social media empowers the company to connect with their customers on a real time basis and have the ability to create a truly unique customer experience”. Ridgway says

With Smartphones comes a delightful array of applications, David Fastuca, tech expert in all things mobile, says “the rules of the game have changed and companies can no longer just rely on old hat Marketing. Now more than 33 per cent of advertisers are accompanying their brand with a user app and the rest are missing out”. Apps that create a valuable user experience will reap rewards of influencing purchasing decisions, create loyal followers will increase positive referrals of the brand.  Fastuca’s golden rules to app development are to offer good design, make promises you can keep and of course keep it simple.

David Fastuca and his team have developed mobile platforms  for clients such as the Gift Register, Home Visiting Doctor and Bamboo

Now you will find in business entire teams have a core focus on the company apps, therefore companies are taking this new trend in marketing seriously and even offering free applications to the public with a desire to connect with their consumers” Fastuca says.

Alex Topaloski mentioned Topshop’s Scvngr game highlighting the success of innovative location based marketing

On the other hand pushier marketing strategy come to play. A ‘new game’ tactic known as Location Based Marketing allows marketers to directly reach their customers, one on one through their personal Smartphone devices. This is a highly focused strategy, where an innovative campaign needs to be embraced to effectively engage and build loyalty among customers. With that said “innovation is not always easy”, admits Alex Topaloski a leading Marketing expert.

Through this challenge Topaloski sees exciting times ahead and an opportunity to win customer’s loyalty for a life time. “The key elements of Location Based Marketing are to directly target the customer at the right time and place being generally in close proximity to their retail outlet about to make a purchasing decision” he says.

A message is sent to the targeted customer, who has opted in to receive information from this specific company. Once the customer has passed the ‘Geofence’ will be alerted with a SMS, on the push notification. Topaloski states that “this is a lot more than just spruiking sales” it potentially gives the consumer the opportunity to become involved in the research and development stage and rewarding these interactions. Although, a line can be crossed when if this strategy is not delivered cleverly, as there may be a risk of perceived intrusion reinforce negative attitudes and behaviours toward the company. This needs to be avoided at all costs.

Shane Moon shared his views on how Neuropsychology will shape the future of marketing  

Predictions of the not so distant future for marketing are in Neuroscience marketing, where marketers will no longer be picking their customer’s brains but literally inside their customer’s heads. With daily progress and increasing break throughs marketing will become a science rather than just a guessing game. Shane Moon a doctor in Neuropsychology is able to correlate patterns in the brain with purchasing decisions; it looks a whole new evolution for marketing with endless possibilities combining rapidly advancing technology and science.

Kirsty Ness

Disclaimer: external links provided are not intending to endorse an organisation’s product or services

The 3rd to 9th of September the Australia’s fashion crowd was gathered in Melbourne Town hall  for a week of runway shows, exclusive party’s, and fashion.  It was the 18th time Melbourne spring fashion week (MSFW) was arranged and according to the bloggers, designers and the fashion minded people it keeps getting better.

Fashion blogger Dyen ( was at all the shows this year and was really satisfied with the week and the development within Australian fashion.

-I guess Melbourne fashion week are new on the global stage, but there are some designers who are started to get noticed in the US and Europe. Australian fashion has a lot of details bur are not overly dramatic, it is really relaxed and layback and represent Australia in a good way. This has been the first year I really got to be here and take pitchers during runway shows and it has been the best fashion week I have attended so far. Its been really enjoyable.

A place to see and be seen.

With so many fashion interested people under one roof , you have to really stand out if you want to  get noticed. And both the models on the  runaway and  the guests where dresses in creative outfits. Hair dipped in pink paint , leather sweaters, big hats and sexy dresses, under you’ll find  pictures from this springs fashion week.

Fashion and social media side by side.

The fashioned minded people  also participated trough social media.  On instagram you’ll find over 7000 pictures from the  week under the hashtag #MSFW and the twitter feed is still going strong under the same hastag. A link to the feed:!/search/?q=msfw&src=typd

I like people to look at my food and say, wow!  I like to use quirky words to invoke a memory.  I think if you’re having fun and smiling, you’re going to enjoy your meal. – Mark Briggs.

On Tuesday the 28th of August, Melbourne’s most ambitious chefs, sommeliers, awarded critics, and inspired restaurateurs, came together at the National Gallery of Victoria for a night hosted by The Age Good Food Guide that would see the coveted guide – an epicurean bible for Melbournians and foodies alike – award the industry’s finest for inclusion in the AGFG 2013.  Among the awarded was Young Chef of the Year, Mark Briggs, who at just 30 years of age holds the reins of Paul Mathis’ latest endeavour, The Sharing House.

Paul Mathis says of Mark’s win, “Mark brings a creative and unique style to the kitchen, his laid back persona and resilient attitude has helped to shape The Sharing House concept and created a menu with a fun twist on classic fare.”

With a creativity that Mark attributes to inspiration from everything he ‘does, sees, and feels’ and nine years of international experience under some of the worlds most accomplished chefs, Mark brings skill, passion, dedication and a hands-on approach to an industry he feels is being swamped with “deluded young chefs who’ve paid a fortune for college fees and can’t fillet a fish”.

Mark was food focused from a young age, possibly as a result of his grandparents regularly taking him to dine at pubs and restaurants around Lancashire, his keenness for fishing and hence cooking his catch, and his realisation that cooking would be “a good way to get out of the village”.

This very village, Croston, was home to Marks first gig in a kitchen and foray into the other side of dining; a small pub where he was employed ‘to do the washing up on sundays’.  From here he worked his way through England, one Michelin Star restaurant at a time, and after having worked with such revered and world-class chefs as Pierre Koffman and Mauro Bregoli, Mark brought his craft to Australia.

Suggested to Shannon Bennet by a friend and former colleague, Mark began the Australian leg of his culinary career as Chef de Partie in Shannon’s very first Vue de Monde.  From here he advanced to Sous Chef and finally to Head Chef of Vue De Monde, Rialto and after six years under Shannon Bennet at his Vue De Monde empire, Mark has nothing but praise for the man that gave him ‘such amazing opportunities’.

Having recently embarked on a new journey that’s placed him at the helm of The Sharing House, it’s fair to say that winning the AGFG 2013 Young Chef of the Year – which judge Alla Wolf-Tasker says is “about choosing the cooks that we think might be the nextgeeration of ambassadors; doing things that are noteworthy over a long period of time and having the skills to last in what has become a very difficult industry” – is one of many exciting opportunities ahead for Mark Briggs who plans to continue evolving the food, refining the menu and training the team at The Sharing House while playing his part in ensuring this ‘amazing, diverse city’ continues to thrive with inspired and well-taught chefs, supporting Everton in the ‘football’ and dreaming of a holiday somewhere along the way.


Follow Dani on Twitter: @DaniShaw23