Posts Tagged ‘community’

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

Every year 65,000 Australians attempt to commit suicide; 2,500 are successful. Worldwide one million people take their own lives annually; that is more lives lost to suicide than to war and homicide combined. It is statistics such as these that signal the global need for change when approaching the issue of suicide.

September’s World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? Day promote such a change by encouraging people to openly speak about the taboo subject. Each day aims to not only raise awareness and funds to prevent suicide, but to also let those affected by or considering suicide know they are not alone.

Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows hosted a walk at St Kilda’s Catani Gardens on September 9, 2012 to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and promote these vital ideas. The core message for the day was fitting; ‘It’s okay to talk about suicide’.

“I think the slogan that we’ve got this year; ‘It’s okay to talk about suicide’, is very important,” Louise Flynn, Support After Suicide’s Manager, said. “There are unsafe ways to talk about suicide, but there are also safe and responsible ways and we need to talk about it.”

This message comes not long after the public breakdown of 46-year-old celebrity Charlotte Dawson. Dawson was repeatedly verbally abused and told to kill herself by internet trolls via the social network site Twitter. In the end, that is exactly what she attempted to do.

Sadly Dawson is merely a drop in the ocean when it comes to cyber-bullying with Microsoft’s 2008 research finding that one in four children reported to having been bullied online.

The development of technology and the growing popularity of social media have provided tormentors with additional outlets of abuse where, apparently, there are little to no consequences. What many cyber-bullies do not realise, however, is the severity of their actions.

In recent years suicide has climbed to the highest cause of death amongst men under the age of 44 and women under the age of 34. Bulling is a large contributor to this statistic.

“Every one of us has the power to lift someone up or to put them down, even in small ways that we may not realise,” founder of suicide support foundation Life Is…, Tony Gee, said. “I suggest that we all be thoughtful in our ways and walk with compassion and with care.”

Those whom operate Lifeline’s suicide hotline demonstrate the importance of being compassionate and caring. Each year 700,000 calls are placed to Melbourne’s Lifeline where 320 volunteers operate the phones day in and day out. Each volunteer aims to alleviate the callers stress and help them through their crisis.

“Our goal and, I guess our reason for living is our cause; people in crisis, people who are in danger of going down this (suicidal) road,” Terry Keating, Melbourne’s Lifeline Manager, said. “Hopefully we can change that.”

If you or someone you know is showing signs of suicide, whether it be withdrawing from friends and family, giving away possessions or talking about ‘ending it’, assistance is available. Please contact Lifeline’s 24 hour helpline on 13 11 14, Kids Help Line (5-25yrs) on 1800 55 1800 or Mensline on 1300 789 978.

If you or someone you know is in need of support following a suicide, contact Support After Suicide on (03) 9421 7640 or visit www.supportaftersuicide.org.au for more information.

With the release of the iPhone 5 the battle between iPhone and Android has once again reignited. Getting their hands on this latest device has created a massive buzz in the world of technology. Try ringing Optus, Telstra or other mobile communication companies and you will find out that they already have allocated a new department handling all iPhone 5 orders. On the other hand, team Android has not backed down one single bit. When the iPhone 4s was launched, a number of Android handsets entered the market such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X and are considered as strong competitors.  The following is a poll on what the public prefers conducted through Facebook. As seen below, there is a small discrepancy between the two with Apple leading by just 4 votes.

To get a better grasp of the public opinion on this matter, let’s see what the consumers think.

Karll 23, Cranbourne: ‘I prefer Android because it’s still not as common as the iPhone. I like its uniqueness and the features of my current Samsung Galaxy s3 is simply better than iPhone4s!’

Elaine 29, Clarinda: ‘Definitely iPhone. It’s very user friendly and basically all of my friends have it so it allows us to make communication easier plus we can use FaceTime on one another’.

Those who are in favour of Androids contend that the iPhone is one item. Its technology lasts for one iteration and then the next evolution comes out; whereas with Android, the numbers of handsets that use the software number in the range of twenty to thirty per generation. Because the release of a new iPhone means that the iPhone itself is obsolete within a few months, the constant output of Android devices means that they can always stay slightly ahead of the curve where new innovation is concerned. On the contrary, iPhone fanatics are simply loyal to iPhones because of its user-friendliness and the thought that the majority has one. This allows them to install several apps that they can utilise together whether it is for the purpose of communication or games.

To further broaden our knowledge, let’s see what a sales consultant from a mobile company recommends to their customers.

Due to the many factors to consider which one is better, it is difficult to draw a conclusion. The battle between the iPhone and the Android then continues.

 

Written by Katy Andrews

Since mid 2000 the City of Yarra has seen an accelerated gentrification of the area, with new retail outlets, boutique services and new restaurants leading to rising costs in rental.

In 2012 the City of Yarra reported an average increase of 3.8% in value of Yarra homes.

The City of Yarra is identified by its strong arts community but the rising costs are pushing artists out of the area.

A recent media release from the City of Yarra states that a charitable fund is to be established to help meet the costs of providing creative spaces for artists in the area.

The City of Yarra publishes an extensive guide to art galleries and spaces in Yarra.

The list of the galleries in Fitzroy, Collingwood, Abbotsford and North Fitzroy and North Carlton are available on its website with a map to download.

By Rosalina Menton

Todd Greenberg is the newest NRL club CEO in the current game. In 2008, he inherited a club that had a tarnished image both on and off the field. Scared by controversy over salary cap breaches, membership decline and the tag “Bad Bulldogs”, Todd Greenberg wasted no time in redefining the Canterbury- Bankstown Bulldogs brand.

In a 2008 article with the Herald Sun, Greenberg acknowledged the disarray of the club saying, “We can’t lie to ourselves any longer – perception is reality. People’s perceptions about the club need to change and the only ones that can do that are us.”

Todd Greenberg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs CEO
Image courtsey of bulldogs.com.au

In the years following, Greenberg’s leadership has seen a revolution in the Bulldogs culture. The club now works closely with Camp Quality as their single jersey and shorts community partner. Bulldogs corporate staff and players are still to this date enrolled as “buddies” with a sick child from the Camp Quality organisation, a move that was unprecedented.

Greenberg’s influence has reached amazing levels with supporters of the club as well. Images of brawls and police vehicles are no longer a staple on news organisations sport updates. Instead, supporters are often seen roaming entry gate areas before a game collecting donations for the charity being supported at that particular home game (2012 will see 6 charities featured).

The Bulldogs Army is the main supporter group of the club which comprises of some the league’s most passionate fans. The Bulldogs Army members are often called upon by the club to participate in community events with the players. The Bulldogs Army seem to be very willing participants to the leadership values of Todd Greenberg. Seeing the changes Greenberg has made in such a short time, Bulldog Army members are grateful of the inclusion they receive from the Club. Tina Landayan, an Army member says “We all want to feel important, and being part of the decision making about what happens to supporters is exactly what the club needed.” Eleanor Salao a fellow Army member agrees, “It is so much more than just coming to a game, the players give us everything they have on the field and now with the relationship we have with the club, we can finally give something back.”

Image courtsey of bulldogs.com.au

Bulldogs players show their support for the Sydney Children’s Hospital
Image courtsey of bulldogs.com.au

The Bulldogs new image and brand is a force to be reckoned with. While communication between fans and the corporate leadership team remain open, fans will continue to embrace the Bulldogs as their NRL team of choice. It stands for much more than just the leader-board.