Archive for the ‘Social Issues’ Category

Sarah Henderson, Liberal candidate for Corangamite, met with 60 local residents to hear their case for a heated swimming pool in Apollo Bay. Corangamite is the most marginal seat in the September federal election, currently held by Darren Cheeseman ALP.

?????????????????????????????????????????.Sarah Henderson meets Apollo Bay residents about their new pool
Ms. Henderson spoke with community members in the Senior Citizens Hall about their needs for a heated pool:
” I’m doing my very best to advocate for the really important projects in our region…from what I’ve seen today, the pool is the number one project in Apollo Bay.” If elected, Sarah says she’ll ” bang the drum, bang the table and do the very best I can for projects such as this one.”

The community members at the meeting ranged in age from parents with young children to grandparents. ??????????????????????????????????

They told their stories of the need to have a heated pool for children to learn to swim, for rehabilitation, for hydrotherapy for an aging community, and for visitors too. One resident wants to celebrate her 80th birthday in 5 years time, in Apollo Bay’s heated pool.

For many years, Apollo Bay community has been calling for a heated swimming pool so the treacherous trip through the Otways to Colac, or to Lavers Hill once a week, to access hydrotherapy or swimming lessons for children, wouldn’t be necessary.This recent push for a heated pool started over two years ago with the formation of Apollo Bay Aquatic Centre Inc.

In March this year, after the pool committee presented a self-funded feasibility study and concept plans for the pool, the Colac Otway shire voted unanimously to provide the running costs.  A community fundraising campaign to raise 10% of the capital cost has begun with Bendigo Bank pledging $20,000. Now it’s up to Federal and State funding for the remainder of the capital costs.

Jane Gross, Secretary of the Aquatic Centre committee was pleased with the community’s  response at the meeting, and with Ms. Henderson’s support. Jane Gross at meeting with Sarah Henderson

Jane is feeling hopeful: ” Sarah was happy to come down to meet with us. Darren Cheeseman too was fairly positive when we met  at his office in Waurn Ponds on Wednesday . He noted that Apollo Bay hasn’t had any spending or infrastructure for a very long time.  If we get a federal election promise this September by whoever gets in, we’ll hope to have the pool up and running by2015 “.

Anonymity is a controversial topic in the age of information. We are all entitled to our own opinions on the subject but what cannot be disputed is the fact that anonymity allows an individual the freedom to step outside of their social, economic and even physical status in life and speak freely on a topic considered taboo.  The internet seems to be the battlefield where this statement is put most to the test.

The video link at the bottom of this post is a link to a certain review of a particular multilevel marketing company(MLM), which is yet another subject of controversy.  Interestingly enough, the author has chosen to remain anonymous.

Organizations like this are similar to the ocean tides; they are transnational titans that go back and forth freely from shores across the globe, sweeping up one generation and disappearing, only returning to impart the same lesson on the children of yesterday. In a very sad way, such deceptions have become a form of initiation into adulthood for many. A lesson some might say on the mechanics of deception. While I have never directly participated in MLM, like most people, if not literally all, there are only a few degrees of separation between myself and a victim of this industry. To my recent surprise, my parents too even participated in Amway.

The way to challenge these giants is through information, except companies like this also spend millions of dollars in Public Relations attempting to create an image of transparency. It wouldn’t be insane to suggest these MLM organizations also hold a monopoly on the flow of information regarding their industry and public perception as well. They achieved this through the rigorous management of search engine tools like AdWords, AdSense, SEO and a splash of Astroturfing.

Many people have claimed that these corporations are cult-like in their ability to implant ideas, change personalities and warp opinions; they are masters in the craft of brainwash.

They are a threat that desperately needs to be re-considered by governments across the world, especially for the future integrity of the internet.

This video is interesting as it is not an answer to this problem but a means of verifying who the bad guys in this industry are.  The person who made it obviously wanted to withhold their identity for the purpose of protecting themselves against the financial liability possibly involved in standing up against such an industry.

The clip lasts for 11 minutes and can be viewed here.

Supplementing Summer

Posted: October 8, 2012 by Jesscatherine5 in Deakin University, Geelong, Health, Social Issues

Introductory video…

The sun is streaming down, not a cloud in sight. The warmth is like a heater on your back and side of your face – creating those unsightly clothing tan lines. Flowers have bloomed all around you and all you can hear is the sound of birds singing happily to each other… Summer is on its way.

You put on your pair of bathers, over-excited and pre-empting a beach day. You look in the mirror and suddenly all those warm, fuzzy feelings have left. You now know where your ‘winter warmth’ has been hiding – you must do something about it.

Fitspiration” (Fit Inspiration) Pages on Instagram and Facebook showing images of thin, ‘beautiful’ females- pulling some 129,000+ followers/likers.

“Get a tan, fall in love, lose weight, join a gym, EAT CLEAN”

Sound familiar? Well you are amongst the majority. There is something about summer that causes a mass frenzy amongst the female population in the western world. It sparks a time where the body-conscious remember how self-conscious they really are, the fit train like athletes, and the rest of us try to follow suit.

This year amongst the 20-something generation of females, there has been a significant rise in awareness surrounding weight loss – ‘clean’ eating, exercise and weight loss supplements have all entered into people’s everyday vocabulary and lifestyle. Not only have these elements become lifestyle changes and choices for a vast majority, but have more-so become an obsessive craze that is trending throughout the country.

Interview with Fenix Fitness personal trainer, Gareth Chapman-

Gone are the days of deriving nutrients, vitamins, minerals and weight loss by natural means – we have become a Supplementing Society.

Pre-workout supplements which once used to be primarily used for Body Building has now been targeted toward and taken by more and more people in their everyday workouts. A new age of supplements under the banner of ‘Thermogenics’ have been introduced to increase weight loss. They work by increasing the body’s core temperature therefore increasing heart and metabolic rate; burning more fat whilst idle and even more when working out. With containing the ability to do these things, one must ask the question, how safe are these supplements and when is enough, too much?

Rianni Lancaster for GNC Vitamins in Geelong speaks to me about the benefits and risks surrounding supplement usage.

For a list of Thermogenic foods in a natural sense, visit this website.

For a list of 18 essential Vitamins for women visit this website.

The dangers surrounding these pre-workout supplements have been alive in the media lately with the pre-workout, ‘Jack3d’ recently banned throughout Australia.

“Jack3d is a pre-workout supplement that has been designed to boost people’s energy, strength, and endurance so that they will be able to work out harder, allowing them to achieve their fitness goals more easily. It also boosts mental alertness so that users will be able to better focus on their workout routines and their other tasks” according to the Jack3d website.

Before the nationwide ban, it had come to light that people were using the synthetic stimulant in their workplaces to stay awake and alert. Here is an article describing the usage that became apparent in the mines:

With knowledge comes experimentation, and experts believe it’s only a matter of time before these pre-workouts are mixed into a fatal concoction in the hunt for a weight loss miracle.

Before starting a pre-workout supplement routine, it is advised you consult your doctor beforehand.

For more information visit your local vitamin store.

Interview with Fenix Fitness Member Care manager, Bek Musgrave-

BMI Chart. For more information and to calculate your own BMI visit:

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.’

The rise of online shopping

Posted: October 5, 2012 by dusica1 in Music, Social Issues

Today, this online shopping phenomenon has taken this Internet obsessed generation by storm. Everything is now online.
Retail has seen a massive decline in sales since the global financial crisis. As the Australian dollar continues to skyrocket, people are choosing to shop online simply because it is cheaper and more convenient. The rise of online shopping has had a massive impact of the way people shop and spend their money. International brands are now more popular as they are more affordable online.
The retail industry in Australia is worth two hundred and forty two billion dollars a year, and stores are battling to keep customers offline and in shopping centres. Chadstone, the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere has seen a 0.8% drop since just last month, even with the opening of its new international brand ZARA.
We are living in an Internet age, and everything is now online. People are always looking for faster and more efficient ways of do things and online shopping has defiantly become more convenient then going into a shopping centre.
Popular online shopping sites like ASOS have made a worldwide name for themselves, with free shipping to most countries, low prices and re-occurring sales they are targeting a younger market that are technology savvy.
However, there will always be people that prefer to go into shopping centres for customer service and human interaction, rather than looking into a computer screen. Shopping centres still hold an important role as they cater to a large market of the elderly and the technology incompetent individuals.
So the question resides, is online shopping the future?
Retail stores are now embracing this clever way of shopping rather than competing with it, and most stores are going online to reach a larger market.
As we live in a fast paced world where there is a constant need for fast access, fast information, fast food and just a general faster way of living. Online shopping is simply a faster and more convenient way of consumers to access a wider range on shopping options.
So are we just becoming a lazy nation or is modern society changing to a simple structure of contemporary living?

By Dusanka Gligorevic

Technology takes Flight

Posted: October 5, 2012 by rebeccaevenden12 in Education, Global News, Melbourne, Social Issues

Technology takes Flight

Society are about to get even more connected as Airlines consider implementing in flight mobile phone useage.  Even being 30,000 feet in the air may no longer be an excuse to escape the tweets, status updates, calls, texts, emails which consume the typical modern day, busy lifestyle.

Despite previous concerns surrounding in flight phone usage, significant advancements in aviation and technology have led airlines to consider this decision.

However, these  concerns are yet to be completely dismissed and Jetstar Flight Attendant, Sam Jamieson explains some of the main safety risks which this decision may cause from a professional perspective.

Jamieson states that “the cabin crew need the passenger’s full attention throughout the flight and if passengers are on their phones during taxi-ing and landing, it’s going to be difficult to get the cabin crew’s att

For many passengers, this potential decision will be seen as a positive advancement in aviation which is long overdue – particularly for those with busy work schedules.

Rrestrictions currently in place against mobile phone useage on flights

Frequent flyers with round the clock deadlines to meet may have been awaiting this decision for a long time but there will be passengers who will no doubt be disappointed with this drastic lifestyle change.


In a confined space where you are fastened into one seat for the majority of the flight, phones buzzing, ringing and conversations all around may be distracting for some.

Jamieson explains “If someone’s sitting next to you on the phone, chatting away, the person next to them is probably going to get pretty annoyed.”

These distractions will ultimately have potential to cause distress for the passengers as well as the cabin crew.

Ex Pilot, Phillip Relf however has a very different opinion to Sam Jamieson.  Phillip is not at all suprised by the current developments and believes that if everything runs smoothly, this is an opportunity which aviation should grasp immediately.

“Customers of airlines have been wanting these advancements for a long time and it just does not surprise me at all.”

In this modern society where communication has become a greater necessity which is becoming more efficient and easy to access, it would seem that if implemented, this decision will certainly provide many short term opportunities for airlines and customers. Whilst it is difficult at this stage to predict just how effective this could be and what difficulties may arise from this, technology has created a society with such high expectations that perhaps it is plausible for their needs to be met, even at 30,000 feet.

On average, 2,100 Australians commit suicide each year, accounting for more deaths than those caused by road accidents. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is the leading cause of death amongst young people aged 15 – 24 in the country.

Last year, in the City of Casey in Melbourne’s South East suburbs, too many teenagers ended their lives. Often rapidly, one after the other, these tragedies shocked the community and left families, friends and schools in constant fear. Beaconhills College in Berwick lost 4 past and current students in the space of 12 months, heartbreakingly leaving the area desperately searching for a solution to the horrific situation.

Rowan Membrey was one of the young boys to take his life in 2011. His father, Craig Membrey, spoke to ABC earlier this year about his son.


Late last year, after receiving the news that there had been another teen suicide – this time of a 14 year old girl named Paige Menzies – Beaconhills College senior students Jess Cummings, then 17 and Thom Hartland, 18  decided that something needed to happen.

“It really shook up the community, especially the school we both attended.
When we found out that people even younger than us were taking their lives or considering it, we definitely knew that was the time to change things.”

In the hope that they could raise awareness of the rising suicide epidemic that appeared to be racing through their local community, they created a Facebook page called Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide.

Twelve months on and it has swarmed through the social media sphere, with a giant 18,500 followers to date. Whilst the Australian media currently reports very little regarding suicides, essentially to protect vulnerable individuals and families, attitudes are changing. After rumours of a suicide pact being in place in schools in the area, parents, friends and the families of those affected are pushing for the lift of these media norms. By targeting the right demographic via social media to broadcast the serious issue, Cummings and Hartland’s page exploded in a way that they never expected.

“We added six people the night we made it [the page]. The next day we had about 1000.”

Having been close with several of the deceased teenagers, both Jess and Thom have become incredibly passionate about their cause. Unfortunately, they have taken on the burden of thousands of follower’s emotions and have felt the tragic weight as teenager’s worldwide turn to the page for both help and a friend.
National charity In2Life has offered their assistance, and provided the page with professional moderators, guidelines and counselors to monitor the content that is being posted constantly.

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At a recent youth suicide forum in Berwick, the State Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, said that almost $150,000 of this year’s Headspace funding would be channeled towards a dedicated suicide prevention worker for the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire area’s for 12 months.

“Along with the local councils, schools and youth services, the Health Department is supporting services to effectively respond to young people presenting with mental health issues and to minimise the risk of suicides occurring.”

The Honorable Anthony Byrne, MP for Holt acknowledged the bravery of those that attended the forum and held a summit to address the issue.

A recent survey conducted by major mental health organization Beyond Blue investigated the attitudes towards depression amongst Australians. CEO Ms Kate Carnell said, “It seems that many people still don’t know depression is an illness which needs and responds to treatment, and still don’t know how to help themselves or someone else who may be struggling.”

The survey revealed the following response:

*   62% wrongly believed antidepressant medication is addictive
*   34% wrongly thought people with severe depression should ‘pull themselves together’
*   25% wrongly thought it would be helpful to take a person with depression to the pub for a few drinks to help them forget their worries
*   19 % wrongly thought it would be helpful to tell a depressed person to ‘put on a brave face and push on’
*   14% wrongly thought people with severe depression are weak-willed.

“This indicates we need to work harder to make people more aware of the signs and symptoms of depression” said Ms Carnell.

A simple Facebook page created by two high school students has gathered 18,500 followers, and a community has banded together to support each other during the aftermath of a series of heart-rending tragedies.

With the State funded suicide prevention worker and the slowly changing attitudes towards the portrayal of suicide in the media, the City of Casey is trying to open the lid on youth depression and suicide in an attempt to try and understand why their children chose death.

We asked the public about their attitudes towards depression, suicide and its representation in the media.


If you are experiencing feelings of depression or suicidal tendencies, please contact any of the services below:

Lifeline – 13 11 14 (cost of a local call)

Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800 (free call).

Beyond Blue 


Monday the 10th of September was World Suicide Prevention Day. ABC’s Four Corners program addressed the issue, and interviewed Jess Cummings and Thom Hartland of Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide, along with the parents of suicide victims and Beaconhills College Head Master. You can watch the video here: