Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Grief in the Workplace by Faith Horizon

Posted: June 2, 2014 by ivoburum in Music


We will all be affected by grief at some point in our lives, regardless of our demographics. The impact of grief is a story that every one can relate to in some form or another.

How grief influences our ability to maintain employment is the core of my story. I wanted to focus on people who have either experienced returning to work after grief or who are recognizing the companies that provide support to bereaved employees.

My mother Phoenix Horizon lost her 18 year old daughter Chanelle unexpectedly in 2008. This has significantly affected Horizon’s physical and mental health, as well as her ability to sustain employment. I wanted to emphasis Horizon’s experiences by using two other bereaved mother’s accounts also.

Horizon has found support from bereavement groups such as ‘The Compassionate Friends’, which have branches all over the world. According to ‘The Compassionate Friends’ Victoria CEO Anne Wicking, grief accounts for 34 billion dollars worth of lost profit in the USA alone. This is due to lower productivity and the cost of having to retrain new staff when a bereaved person leaves.

According to the Summary Report Beyond the Death of a Child (2007)bereaved parents employment leave ranged from “a low of two weeks to a high of two years and eight months, with an average period of leave without pay of 15.5 weeks.” (Stebbins and Batrouney, p.8)

In the same report, the loss of a child caused further financial strain due to bereaved parents untimely resignation or retirement, being demoted, leaving without payment, absences in the workplace, abandoning or selling a business, losing employment entitlements, inability to undertake certain shifts or work on particular days (Stebbins and Batrouney, p.8)

The positive aspect of this story is ‘The Compassionate Friends’ have set in place the Compassionate Employer Recognition Awards, where business who have shown fair treatment towards grieving employees can be nominated. ( This not only honors companies who deliver supportive practice to bereaved workers, but according to Wicking, it also provides a template for other businesses to follow.

This coincides with the document ‘How to be a Compassionate Employer’ which condenses down the key points to be aware of when dealing with someone who is grieving. Most of these recommendations focus on emotional and mental support, rather than financial. It can be accessed at this link (

My story aims to bring awareness to the way grief affects people around us. Especially in a workplace setting, as employers or colleagues may be oblivious to a bereaved person’s needs if the death has occurred years ago. Additionally they may not feel comfortable discussing it at all. As Wicking notes grief is “the elephant in the room.”

Many people gain their sense of worth through employment, so the return to work for a grieving person should enrich both their financial and emotional lives through supportive workplace practices.

Tina is one of my friends who worked for PWC, the world’s second largest professional services network, in Beijing branch in her home-country China. When everyone admired her having such a good job, she decided to quit it and come to Australia to undertake further education. There was no doubt that this decision surprised not only her friends but also her parents.

Scott, a Deakin University student, is studying his Master Degree of Marketing. He worked in an Apple store for six months before he came to Australia. They both worked in the world famous company where they received a decent salary and welfare, most people hope to work in such companies after graduation.

Why did they choose to give up their jobs and go abroad to take further education? That aroused my curiosity: Isn’t it a risk?

Later I searched on the internet and found that their example is not the individual phenomenon, many people in China stayed at their jobs for a few years and then go abroad taking further education in USA, UK or Australia. Among them I found some people whose age is above 30.

Both Tina and Scott mentioned that working in China has a lot of pressure not only physically but also mentally. The competition is intense in China and after a few years they found the job is no longer attractive. And also the environment issue is getting worse and worse. All the things above drives them to escape.

They pointed out that for people with working experience, the advantages of studying abroad outweigh the disadvantages. Firstly, they can understand well what they study due to their previous experience. Secondly, they find it much easier to find a part time job to supply the daily expense in Australia. Last, when they go back, the experience of studying abroad can win them a better job.

Nick Ko, International Students Advisor, working at Deakin Student Life told me international students definitely have more advantages compared with local students when they go back after graduation. Australia is a multicultural country and has high quality universities. Students here can have more diverse experience. It helps the way they think, the way they deal with things and helps them to find work.

In recent years, more increasingly Chinese students choose to study in overseas universities. According to a report by the Chinese Ministry of Education, the admission number of the college exam (Gaokao) decreased from 10.5 million in 2008 to 9.15 million in 2012. Among those students who did not take the exam, was a group who studied overseas. There were 340,000 Chinese students at universities abroad in 2012. This number increased 20% compared with last year. More specifically, the Australian government reported in 2013, that China is the largest source country of international students for Australia. In 2011, there were almost 160,000 enrolments by Chinese students, which accounted for 30% of all international student enrolments in that year.

One important reason is Chinese students believe they can achieve better education in Australia than in China. The education industry is a pillar industry in Australia, which is constantly improving the educational system to attract students from all over the world. Australian universities are ranked amongst the top universities in the world; amongst these are University of Melbourne, Australian National University and University of Sydney.

Secondly, the economic situation of Chinese people has greatly improved. Many Chinese families have enough money to support their child to study overseas. Those Chinese parents hope their child can open the eyes and obtain abundant knowledge and experience through studying overseas.

Finally, it is a common view in China that overseas graduates can get high-income jobs. At present, in China, the average national graduate has a great deal of pressure to get a good job. As a result, many graduates are not employed or are not willing to look for a job. Therefore, studying overseas can help them to change this situation.

After graduation, some of Chinese students hope to immigrate to Australia. Australia also welcomes people from different areas. There are over 7 million immigrants in Australia. Why do they want to stay here? Maybe the most important thing is that Australia has a great living environment. For example, Melbourne achieved world’s most livable city status several times. Moreover, Chinese graduates can make much more money in Australia than in China. In addition, immigrates can enjoy many Australian public welfare.

On the other hand, the majority of Chinese graduates in Australia hope to come back to China. According to a report of Chinese education ministry, the number of Chinese students coming back to China after graduation grew 38% in 2011. One reason is the policy about immigration is stricter for international students. Many Chinese students choose to study accounting and finance in Australia. This is because they know it is good way to immigrate. However, after graduation, students who want to immigrate to Australia need to get a result of 7 score of IELTS. It is pretty difficult for most Chinese students of business faculty. Moreover, some of them maybe do not adapt to the life style in Australia. There is totally different culture between Australia and China. Furthermore, at present, the Chinese economy is quickly growing. There are many opportunities for overseas graduates. According to a survey of Australian Education International, 77% of employed Australian-educated graduates are satisfied with their job in China. Therefore, through studying in Australia, it is not a problem to get a good job for Chinese students when they come back to China.

Redundancy in the media by Elizabeth Anderson

Posted: May 29, 2014 by lizzie85 in Music

From a news perspective, redundancy makes a great story, particularly when it is on a large scale. There are a lot of angles- a business struggling to survive and stay profitable, a heartless business, the possibility of salvation, the concern about quality and the struggling battler who will suffer as a result. There has been quite a bit about redundancy in the news lately, as more and more companies are looking to cut margins. When there is a story about a big business moving jobs offshore to save money and boost profits, the media really loves it and goes searching for the human angle. However, when it is the media itself that is cutting jobs, sending work offshore and cutting margins, the way the media reports it is a little different. Depending on which media company is currently undergoing redundancies, will influence how the story is told. But all sides generally shy away from personalising these stories, because they know it may be them next. Generally the story will focus on numbers- how many are going. Any opposition will focus on quality issues. This story focuses on the human person, and his family, of someone affected by the changes in the mediascape. It takes a nameless, faceless person from the “300 pre-production staff” cut from Fairfax Media’s bottom line and introduces him, his family and the problems he is going to face. In an industry where there are mass redundancies, it can be difficult to find a new job. There are more people out there looking for less jobs. The is true in the mediascape and it is especially true in smaller cities or towns where there often are no other places for a middle-aged man with that skill set. Redundancy stories are often popular because there is something of a voyeuristic element from the audience. They watch and can feel better that they still have their job; not that they wish bad on others, it just affirms their own place. There is sometimes almost a feeling that the reason this person lost their job was somehow their own fault, and therefore it could not happen to the viewer. However this story shows that redundancy is not just something that happens to someone else. The department in question was efficient, the people were skilled. However they are a department that not many people outside the media industry would even know exists. Because of that it is worth sharing their story and making sure the media is under the same scrutiny that they place on other businesses.

Rebuilding after redundancy by Alex de Vos

Posted: May 29, 2014 by Alex in Music

Supplement to my UGS: The impact of being made redundant mid-life.

By Alex de Vos

Marketing expert Jess Benton was 30 when she was made redundant from her role as an online content manager for a small PR agency.
Although the redundancy was initially a shock, it was an opportunity for Jess to pursue a dream of opening up her own small business.
She later went on to secure a full-time role with a company she truly admires.
But not everyone who is made redundant will use the opportunity to move roles or even climb the corporate ladder.
For those who are laid off in mid-life, redundancy can be a big problem.
Conflict Solvers’ mental health trainer Fred Stern said although there’s a percentage of employees who won’t find redundancy stressful, the “bulk” of people are likely to suffer a mental health illness.
“Some people might see the redundancy as something that has finally forced them to do something different with their lives so for them it won’t be stressful,” he said.
But for the older generation, being made redundant can bring on a lot of stress, he said.
Mr Stern noted depression and anxiety as the most common types of mental health illnesses people are likely to suffer following a redundancy.
“The older the person is, quite often the more severe the mental illness is,” he said.
“They might have a big mortgage they’re trying to service or perhaps they’re still trying to put their children through school.”
Mr Stern advises people struggling to cope with redundancy to seek professional help.
“When people come in to see me I check that they’re in a frame of mind where they can actually cope, and then I advise them to see their local GP if the redundancy is taking a toll on their mental health,” he said.
“It’s important that people have support systems in place when they’re exiting the workforce –such as a supportive family or partner.”
But with the pension age set to rise to 70 by 2035, older employees might be forced to find other work after being axed.
In a move to help older employees find jobs, the federal government announced earlier this month it would pay subsidies of up to $10,000 over two years to employers who hire mature workers – those over 55.
Mr Stern said the government should be doing more to assist those made redundant later in their working careers.
“I think there needs to be more systems put in place to up-skill these workers so they are still employable, as well plenty of support for older people suffering mental health issues,” he said.

Although our nation is a developed one, driven by the revolution of technology and communication, the force that social media extends upon many industries is one that is often overlooked. The many ways that it impacts social elements in everyday contexts are one thing, but the ability it has given the unemployed is another. With many people still struggling to find work, moving the search to this online format has opened up a range of opportunities to job seekers that was never available before.

Traditional job boards such as Career One and SEEK have long upheld the employment search on the internet, but with the integration of social media into the business world, these websites are beginning to give way to a new kind of interactive tool for the unemployed. Those who are comfortable enough to use social media to find potential vacancies within their skillsets and job fields are finding work easier than they ever had previously. Additionally, businesses are able to minimise the efforts and costs of associated with traditional employment procedures by headhunting in circles of networks within their own social media professional networks.

Australia currently sits at one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the world, but the challenge for those without jobs is still a more prominent issue. Being able to spot work where it is available demands attention and constant monitoring of print medias, but the rise of the social media-business relationship means followers of certain companies can be contacted as soon as perspective job opportunities become available. Social media websites like LinkedIn are dominating the traditional resume and CV by enabling users to display their skills, experience and connections in a public space, whilst allowing those who view their profile to endorse them for their work efforts—what better way to advertise your abilities than to show them off in a global context?

Businesses are flocking to online sources to fill openings within their companies by using social media forums liked the aforementioned LinkedIn, the infamous Facebook and even Twitter to personally headhunt the perfect individual to become a part of their team. No longer do they have to go through the tedious task of interviewing without knowing what they’re truly going to get.

Not all Australians feel satisfied yet with replacing the face-to-face communication of traditional job seeking with social media, but its bound to become a major player in the way businesses go about driving their futures.

Recovering after redundancy (ALJ710 Lisa McGrath)

Posted: May 28, 2014 by lsmcgr in Music

By Lisa McGrath

With uncertainty in our economic climate, more people are facing the prospect of a redundancy. In recent years, Australia has seen thousands of people lose jobs, particularly in the manufacturing, telecommunications, mining and airline industries. Australian jobs have also been shipped offshore including sectors in call centres, banking, retail and information technology (IT). However, it’s not all doom and gloom, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of people unemployed decreased by 29,900 to 713,200, in March 2014.

Redundancy is a fact in our working lives, which many of us can not avoid. A job loss is a traumatic experience and while most of us take the news personally, sometimes there are other factors at play; where the job loss had nothing to do with the individual. Market changes, reorganisation, restructuring and change in executive management are all too prevalent in today’s business landscape, which can often lead to a loss of job. Professional services are available to help individuals move on and secure another job elsewhere. Some career assistance services will take a step further and encourage an individual to focus on the areas of interest and look at the change as an opportunity and not a rejection. Sometime’s a redundancy can be the best thing that ever happened to us. It can free you and force you to get out of your comfort zone.

Many people lives have changed for the better both personally and professionally. This story is about focusing on the positive and embracing the many opportunities waiting to be discovered.

Ian Renouf found himself in this position and quickly fell in the trap of feeling rejected. He lost his motivation which ultimately impacted on his love of competing in Ironman’s and triathlon’s. For a brief time, Ian lost control and stopped doing the things he loved doing the most in life. This caused a downward spiral where he almost reached the point of depression. Ian quickly picked himself up, dusted himself off and began searching online where he found the help of a career mentor. Richard Webbe coached Ian on building a memorable resume, interviewing with confidence and how to get in front of key corporate decision makers. Armed with these tips and some pre-arranged introductions, Ian was ready to face the world with a new outlook and perspective. He managed to secure a role which was a step up from his previous job and more challenging. Ian is now back in the game and back into his fitness training. He has now entered himself into several thriathlon’s and has more energy and motivation than ever before.

Trading Economics –, retrieved 19 may 2014.

People normally said if you are looking for a high-level education to build a strong foundation for your future, Australia is the place to do it. As at year-to-date (YTD) March 2014, there were 371,841 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa.


International student data

In recent years, controversy surrounding the alleged bashing of Chinese students in Sydney has shocked the student community. China’s largest television network and consular officials warned that Australia was no longer safe for Chinese students. Thus, more and more international family want to know what kind of life overseas students have in Australia.

It takes time to understand the Australian culture, and International students feel homesick and depressed as coping with a new culture can be challenging. One of the solutions is ‘Homestay’ arrangement, which allows for a cultural exchange between a local individual or family and a visiting international student. An international student lives as a guest in the host’s family home. The homestay experience helps the student understand the culture and customs of the region in which they are studying. Students pay a weekly fee, which varies depending on your level of service. For example, how many meals your host provides you with.

But, this arrangement is not without its own share of issues. Namiho Tamura, she works for Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI)’s reception, says some students recently came to see her to complain about their homestay parents.
[My name is Namiho, from Japan, working in the reception at DUELI. I have some students come to the reception who got some problems. But in recently, I have some students who have got homestay issues. They can’t communicate with their house family very well, or they just feel lonely in their room, they can’t go to living room, they just stay in their room, they just want change their homestay family to get more better opportunity, yes, something like this.]

For others it can be a pleasant experience. Tony Startari, 40 years old man, is a homestay father. He supports homestay and says that homestay parents should take care of overseas students like their own children.

[Tony: We started our homestay career about 5 years ago. We saw the ad in the local newspaper, and we thought it should be a good idea to met oversea student, learn different cultures and life. We have many students from different countries these years. Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, and of course China.
Mandy: Have you heard some students have conflict with their homestay parents? What you think about it?
Tony: I have heard a few incidents. I think it’s mainly be because of the language barrier. Initially, students come out to Australia. But, in time, that all resolve itself. It can be difficult, people in a homestay famliy and with numbers of people living there, to get alone with students, but usually they resolve themselves.]
Ms Tamura recommends students choose to live with a homestay family when they first time come to Melbourne.

The Australian Homestay Network “AHN” has recently been commended by the Australian Government Senate. If you want to have experience living with a homestay family in Australia, you can check it online. It provides useful information.


Name:Manchun Li

ID: 210984902