A UNITED COMMUNITY; Its Effects, Potential and Opportunity

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A sign of discontent from minor party voters at the Martin Place Rally on May 1, 2016. Photo by: Hannah Ramos

On May 1st, over three hundred people gathered at the Martin Place Amphitheatre in protest against the Australian Government’s voting reforms for this year’s upcoming Federal election.

Starting at 2pm, the gathering was slow to rise as participants and passer-by pedestrians stopped to take a moment to listen to the protest voicing the discontent against the Government’s choice to change the voting system. The stands eventually filled with attendees made up of a number of conservative voters, alongside supporters of other minor parties.

In interview, Family First Senator Bob Day emphasised the importance of conservative voters participating on the day, stating that “[the rally] shows that people aren’t going to take lying down this taking away the voters rights,” he says. “These laws are taking away the voter’s right to delegate to their favoured minor party and preferences”, in what reveals to the government that there is social unrest with the decisions that will affect the future Australian voters.

This rally is just one of many that occur within Australia in response to governmental change, and one of a number that will surely grow.

Which brings about the question, what do events like rally’s against governmental reforms signify in the current Australian political climate?

And what power do communities have when they come together?

 

ACTIVISM; what & why

Although activism has varying definitions, the general consensus is that activism is focused on  consistent campaigning for a specific cause. This can be towards either social, political, economic, or environmental issues in effort to make changes or improvements within society through varying forms.

Activism, to most, is often viewed in negative terms. It’s either perceived as violent or aggressive in intent, what’s more is its effectiveness through its presence in the public arena. While in some instances that negative perception bears some truth, it is not always the case.

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Photo by: Hannah Ramos

For some, activism has become their way to express and fight for their right to express their beliefs. A right that many Australians maintain the ability to do without vilification or governmental restriction.

Within a political climate that is constantly changing, activism presents an opportunity to think about the potential that activism can offer the conservative community.

The Australian 2011 Census recorded 61.1% of Australians listing themselves as Christian, with denominations ranging from Roman Catholicism, Anglican and Protestant.

But when only a small fragment of that supposed population comes to rise against the conservative values that Australia is based on, what will government to but change laws and regulations according to the wishes of a more ‘vocal’ people?

 

 

A COMMUNITY IN ACTION

While a large number of Australian’s may step back at the thought of engaging in something so ‘extreme’, it’s important to realise the range of different kinds of pro-activism that conservative Australian’s can involve themselves in.

 

rallies & protests

Looking back upon the rally event on May 1, where conservative voters gathered in support of the protest paints a clear picture of the potential of the entire movement.

Whilst mostly subdued compared to the larger protests broadcasted on TV, the concept of a public declaration of one’s opposition to a governmental change is one of many ways that conservatives can work towards keeping their values and interests within Australian laws.

“All people should stand up,” says Family First Senator Bob Day, as he cited the importance of conservative Australian voters using the opportunity to support the cause. “Politics is just public morality. Public policy is just private morality writ large, a big version of people’s individual morality.”

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Senator Bob Day speaking at the rally against the Australian voting reforms. Photo by: Hannah Ramos

For people who find may find themselves reluctant to be proactive in making their voice heard, Senator Day says this,

“If you don’t engage, and don’t let your views be known… someone else will. And somebody else’s morality will take hold.”

 

the sydney easter parade

Earlier this year, the Sydney Easter Parade took to the streets of Sydney City CBD on the 28th of March in celebration of faith and the name of Jesus. With the tagline of “Unstoppable Faith”, close to 3000-4000 people joined in the event, a celebration that included live music, food stalls, and entertainment for the whole family.

Event Director Ben Irawan spoke positively of the event, emphasising the importance of “unity” in the conservative community and for “Christians [to have] a united voice in the city, no matter what denomination you are, as long as you believe in Jesus”

The Sydney Parade has been in existence in various forms over the past twenty years, but has now become a day of celebration rather than an outright protest. Irawan encountered the event six years ago, seeing its potential despite the small number of participants, and sought to help the organisers generate more ideas in attracting the larger community.

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2016’s Sydney Easter Parade marching through the city. Photo by: Paper Cranes Productions

Whilst the parade is not wholly evangelistic in intent, Irawan speaks of the parade as an opportunity to show that faith and belief in Jesus is still very much present in Australia, stating that the event is an opportunity to “celebrate the name of Jesus in our city and show to the City of Sydney that Christianity is alive and well”.

Events such as the Sydney Easter parade afford the conservative community a platform in which they can proudly engage with a community-wide expression of their beliefs and values in the public arena.

 

the power of social media

Another change in the world of activism is its transition to the online sphere of the internet, in what most would recognise as “social media activism”.

This method of campaign has what physical campaigns don’t; it allows for the sharing of information at immediate speed, allowing readers to be up to date with current events in real-time. This also allows for citizen journalism to truly flourish with just a click of a button.

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Photo by: Public Doman Pictures

What most individuals may not realise is that the mere ‘sharing’ of links to web articles, videos and photos can act as a method of activism in its support for whatever cause or news issue that interests them.

Social media has even allowed for the use of ‘#hashtags’ to be used as a way of users to express their opinions and support of current issues in society in what is now recognised as ‘social media movements’, such as the #IceBucketChallenge that swept the online sphere in 2014.

Just last year, following the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College began the #YesIAmAChristian movement via Facebook and Twitter that marked the final words of some of the victims that were shot due to their Christian beliefs; a hashtag movement that is still being used today.

 

 

 

While Australia has not encountered such tragedy, one cannot deny the power of the social media to impact a greater public. Activism is no longer a thing for everyday conservatives to be afraid of, rather to opportunity to use social media as a way to communicate and share with ‘friends’ as well as show a community united by their beliefs.

 

THE POWER OF UNITY:

So what does this all mean for Christian and conservative Australians?

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Photo by: derek*b

Activism comes in all kinds of forms and possibilities that are all within the means of Christian and conservative Australians today; whether it be through participation in public events, rally or protests, or even social media.

Just like the voting reforms that may affect conservative values within Australia, in order to keep values within the Australian government the conservative community need to look forward and be more proactive in the opportunities presented to them. And through that, can they make positive changes in our nation.

 

[Hannah Rae Ramos, SID: 312068735. Word count: 1250]

 

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How One Inner Sydney Night Market is Building Bridges With Food

By Tam Allenby 

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For a moment I’m transported somewhere else, though I’m not sure where. With the smell of grilling meat and ground spices carried by the cooking smoke and steam wafting through the air, it could be India or Sri Lanka; Cambodia or Vietnam; Lebanon or Iran.

Really I’m in the Inner West of Sydney- Marrickville to be precise. But at the night Street Food Markets, held at the Addison Road Community Centre each month, it feels like you’re in all these places at once.

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Crowds enjoying the second Street Food Markets at the Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville. [Photo: Tam Allenby]

You’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse selection of foods in such a small area anywhere in the world. Walking through the crowd, stomach rumbling, I face a tough decision. Should I try the arepas from Colombia, grab a Sri Lankan ulundu vada, or tuck into a plate of Cambodian lod cha?

I decide to make peace with my inner glutton and settle with all three.

Besides, any regret I might experience half an hour into a self-induced food coma would be easily offset by the fact that at these markets, you really are stuffing yourself for a good cause.

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Vietnamese rice paper rolls being prepared by the team at Mama Made Caterers. [Photo: Tam Allenby]
How so, you ask? Well, the event is a joint project between the Addison Road Community Centre Organisation (ARCCO) and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). In a nutshell, the aim of the market is to “bring cultures together and support the small businesses of recent migrants and refugees”.

Judging by the good vibes and large crowd that turned out on a cool Saturday night for the second edition of the markets, it was certainly a success. Feedback on the Facebook page was similarly positive.

Having missed the first event held the previous month, I contacted Alex McInnis from ARCCO to ask her a few questions about the aim, history and future of the markets.

She told me that while the last edition hadn’t run so smoothly due to some “teething issues”, with long lines and the stallholders selling out of food, this was more a result of the huge level of support that the community had provided.

“It was just an overwhelming level of support, and stallholders just simply couldn’t cater to so many people… but that’s a good thing. Everyone was really understanding, for a lot of the stallholders it was their first time time trading”.

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Stallholders from the Lakemba Community Market. [Photo: Tam Allenby]
She also pointed to the real value that an event like this brings to the community and to the stallholders themselves.

“They’re just so excited to do something that they’re passionate about. Employment opportunities aren’t always ample and they don’t want to just sit around, they want to do this: earn a living, and be part of something.”

“Beyond the financial aspect of earning a real income, they’re sharing their food, sharing their culture, getting to know other stallholders, getting to know the visitors…”

With the 2016 federal election now less than a month away, and asylum seekers and refugees one of the issues that will define the campaign of the major parties, events like this one can help with the often negative portrayal of refugees in the media.

A 2013 study by the University of Queensland found that asylum seekers and refugees are portrayed in a visually dehumanising manner by mainstream news sources, usually as large crowds or groups rather than individuals or families.

They argue that this “reinforces a politics of fear that explains why refugees are publicly framed as people plight, dire as it is, nevertheless does not generate a compassionate political response”.

Alex from ARCCO would certainly agree with this sentiment.

“Refugees are talked about so much, it’s such a big topic… they’re being talked about all the time but do people really think about who they’re talking about? Someone’s grandfather, someone’s son, someone’s daughter.”

I spoke to Alex only days after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton hit the headlines for his controversial remarks concerning the “illiteracy and innumeracy” of potential asylum seekers, who he argued would “take Australian jobs” or “languish” on the dole.

When asked about this, Alex’s response was insightful: focussing on the qualifications or education level of asylum seekers is missing the point, and can even be considered classist.

“These are people – some of them educated, some not so much – but they’re still contributing and sharing in such an amazing way, and employment is not always the measure of that”.

The third edition of the markets will be held on Saturday the 18th of June, the evening before Refugee Week kicks off for 2016. With more food vendors, craft stalls and a live band all in the pipeline, Alex is firmly positive about the future of the event.

“I think it’s just growing every time”.

Though its easy to let your tastebuds get carried away when confronted with so many delicious treats, a recent update on the ARCCO Facebook page cements the underlying importance of the markets in the current political climate.

The theme for Refugee Week is “with courage let us all combine”- and that’s exactly what we do! In the face of an election campaign targeting asylum seekers and refugees, we believe coming together and supporting new Sydney-siders is one of the most powerful things we can do as a community to break the racism and classism being displayed.’

Coming together through food. It may be a cliché, but in the case of the Addison Road Street Food Markets at least, it’s also a reality.

Gallery: Street Food Market #2 (May 21, 2016)

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Why Daigou wipe out Australia market?

Name: Xuan Guo

SID: 440411668

Major: Master Degree of Media Practice

According to the report of Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian oversea student earned 40,000 dollars by Daigou milk powder in a year. This similar incident happened frequently, and more Chinese oversea students have operated their Daigou career successfully in Australia. Although Daigou makes local people lacks of milk powder indirectly and leads to the controversy in Australia, but some of them expressed they had difficulties to do Daigou and compared with the store of Daigou, they just earned little money to feed themselves.

High-quality and High-profit of the products

Daigou, is to find people to purchase the products which are not sold in consumer’s location or more expensive than other countries, so they ask others to buy it and deliver to them by express or bringing it to them directly.

Australia is famous for its baby formula, milk powder and health care products thanks to its high quality. Since “milk scandal” happened in China, Chinese people were worried about domestic milk, so they began to target at international market and use varieties ways to import baby formula. Also, Australia has many Chinese oversea students and immigrations and they have found Daigou seemed like a good chance to earn profit. Thus, Daigou have become more popular among Chinese.

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Image from interviewee

“I have begun my Daigou since two months later after I studied in the University. At first, my friends and relatives ask me to buy something and express to them, but I found Daigou consumed my time and labor, so I began to collect extra money to feed myself, then I found Daigou could earn more money than I thought and some of my friends also did Daigou, so when I had spare time, I did Daigou to earn profits”, Jenny Liu, a business student who have done Daigou for more than years said.

Comparing with China, the product price of Sydney is much more expensive, so in the store of Daigou, Chinese restaurant and Chinese market, Chinese oversea students are everywhere. In fact, although Daigou is tried, but the work time Daigou is free and the consumers are settled, so basically, there have not so much problems during Daigou.

“The price in Sydney is much more expensive than my hometown, although my parents can support me, I don’t want to use so much money. Furthermore, I usually have many assignments and presentations to do, so I have no stable time to do part-time in the restaurant or market. Daigou can satisfy the conditions and also earn considerable money, so that’s why I want to do Daigou,” Jenny said, “I’m not saying doing Daigou is a good thing, but sometimes the high price and life pressure push me try to think how to earn more money to support myself”.

All blame on Chinese people is right or wrong?

Contraposing Daigou, lots of Australian mom have complained on the local website and social media and doubted Australian retailers, suppliers and managers need to do more actions to stop Daigou. Local people complained they could not tolerate this behavior and blamed Chinese to stop Daigou. Costy Williams is a mother who is living in Sydney, she published a post on the Facebook and said she could not find any Bellamy milk power in Coles around 20 kilometers. Some Australians rebuked Chinese ‘Daigou’ and buyers bought all the milk powder from supermarkets, even some people posted several pictures about Chinese people ‘wiped out’ Bellamy and Aptamil milk powder in the supermarket.

“When I access to the area of milk powder in Coles or Woolworth, I can feel some strange sight from local people, but I think they can not blame us totally. I have heard from my boss that some local people, even Woolworth staffs will convey many milk powders to Chinese people who are operating the store of Daigou with high prices, in order to earn more money. Thus, sometimes they are willing to do this”, said Lily Yang, a student who is doing part-time job in the store of Daigou.

Sometimes, Chinese students can not buy the products from supermarket or chemistry, so they come to the store of Daigou to buy what they need to purchase. In Australia, the store of Daigou is everywhere, especially in the city or the suburb where Chinese people live in. Jackson Wang, a boss of the store of Daigou, has opened several sub branches in Sydney.

“The supply of the milk powder and baby formula is from local retailers which can guarantee their qualification in my store, and most of my customers always buy a box of milk powders and baby formulas. We have cooperated with express companies, so we can get some of the goods from those companies,” Jackson said, “as for our health care products, sometimes I pay money to local people and ask them to buy lots of health products from many chemistry store, and we sell them with higher price.”

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Image from interviewee’s mobile

Making rules is not enough

Recognizing the serious situation of Daigou, Australian Government stipulated that small exports of baby formula are legal but those over 10kg must be sourced from registered export establishments, have a health certificate and meet all of China’s import requirements. Failure to meet these standards can incur penalties of up to 12 months’ jail, while providing false information can result in five years in jail. With the alteration of Australian law, express firms also change their stipulation of delivering milk products and health care products. In supermarket, one person can just buy two baby formulas. However, Lily indicated that she can ask her friends to help her buy the milk products, so the regulation could not restrict her.

In conclusion, Daigou in Australia is not acknowledged by local government, but some of them do Daigou is to earn extra money to support their daily life, but some of them do Daigou as a normal career. The development of Daigou also let local people see the chance to earn more profits, so local retailers are willing to cooperate with Daigou store to gain more money. In another aspect, the rule that Australian government established can not solve this question totally, local people still appeal government to pay attention to Daigou.

Word count: 1010

Related news, you can see from

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/chinas-daigou-army-plan-fresh-assault-on-our-stores–and-this-time-theyre-coming-for-our-cherries-20160126-gme8ec.html

Self-realization: Sahaja Yoga meditation takes you into a better life

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Ten people join in Sahaja Yoga Meditation in Mill Hill Community Centre

 

Ten people sit on a chair with shoes removed to connect with the mother earth. They sit comfortably with both hands open, palms up on their lap. All of them take a few deep breaths, then breathe in a quiet, relaxed way. Outside, the raindrops continuously spatters on the window with clear and melodious sound of bird.

Every Tuesday, there are many people joining in Shaja Yoga meditation in Mill Hill Community Centre. It is a kind of self-realization produced by Kundalini awakening and is accompanied by the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence.

 

Kundalini (Image source: http://kundaliniproblems.com/kundalini_energy_what_is_it.htm

 

History

Sahaja Yoga meditation was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi who was internationally recognized for her contribution to humanity through a lifetime of work for peace and the wellbeing of mankind.

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Photo of  Shri Mataji from: shrimataji.org

 

In 1970, after studying the field of medicine and focusing on the scientific terminology of the anatomy and human physiology, she started Sahaja Yoga meditation.

After her first visit Australia in 1981, Shri Mataji continued to visit on many occasions giving free public lectures to share her knowledge and teach the Australian public her simple method of Sahaja Yoga. During these years, she gave over fifty public lectures around Australia, without charge. She advocates that there can be no peace in the world until there is peace within. Now, there are almost 100 countries around the world establishing Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre.

 

About meditation

Meditation is the personal experience of going beyond one’s thoughts, worries and upsets, and being in a state of peace and calm. In meditation, one is fully alert and aware but free of the unnecessary thoughts or worries that lead to many of life’s day to day stresses.

Meditation is based on connecting with our inner chakras (energy centres) and balancing our subtle body. The tradition and aims of meditation are explained which is to be in the present with no mental thoughts of the past or future. Short guided meditations with affirmations are used to clear and balance the subtle body to enable the silence of meditation.

 

An encounter

Greg Turek, the author of A Seeker’s Journey: Searching for Clues to Life’s meaning, takes part in Sahaja Yoga meditation every Tuesday for nearly 20 years. Now, he is one of the instructors of Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre in Sydney. In his book, he wrote that “by doing meditation, we can bring peace and wellbeing to ourselves, our families, our social institutions, our nations and our world.”

Mr Turek meditates after getting up and before going to bed everyday. He thinks meditation is not a mental thing; the whole purpose of meditation is to allow person to go into thoughtless awareness when the mind becomes still. “When you meditate everyday at home, you balance yourself and you connect yourself to reality,” he said.

I met Mr Turek during the meditation by chance and I decided to make an interview with him after the meditation.

Tall, plump, with short white hair and a smile that chips away all defenses. Before I could get the first question into gear Mr Turek asked, “do you know what is self-realization?”

I looked at him with total confusion and waited for his explanation.

 

Microcosm to the macrocosm

Mr Turek told me that self-realization was the yoga, the union, the joining of the microcosm to the macrocosm. The raising of the energy in each of us called Kundalini. “the linking of that energy with the all-pervading energy of God that is what self-realization is,” he said.

I asked him in a tone of great curiosity, “what exactly does it do?”

“Self-realization brings about a change in awareness. Anyone can feel it as a cool breeze, cool vibrations, on the top of the head and on the hands. It is an actual happening.”

Kundalini is an energy that exists in everyone’s body, usually in a dormant state. It can be awakened or aroused from its slumber at the base of your spine by intense meditation or intense breath control practices.

 

“Put your hand above your head”

I asked him the approach of feeling self-realization.

Mr Turek’s eyes danced, “put your hand above your head, keep your attention above your head and let thoughts go without following them,” he said. There was a faint, so faint coolness on my hand. I looked round to see if there could be a draft coming from anywhere, but there was no air conditioning and the windows were closed. He was very happy that I could feel that cool breeze.

 

“It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it’s thinking”

He took my hand and started tracing a cross over the palm. “You think too much,” he said. “Your mind is busy, busy, busy, thinking away. Too much thinking can give people diabetes. It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it’s thinking. We can cure diabetes by self-realization.”

With self-realization, everybody can become their own master. “You can diagnose your own problems and those of others, and you can cure them. Anybody with their realization and the desire to develop their spirit, can cure and be cured,” Mr Turek told me.

At this point a wave of most pleasant well-being swept over me. It wasn’t a trance or a hypnotic state — it was a feeling of deep peace.

 

For non-profit

Mr Turek said that Sahaja Yoga meditation was free open to the public, Shri Mataji charged no money, insisting that her lesson was a birthright which should be freely available to all. “There can be no peace in the world until there is peace within,” he added.

There are almost 100 countries around the world establishing Sahaja Yoga Meditation Centre.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have experienced the state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ using the simple Sahaja Yoga meditation technique, which helps to reduce anxiety, improve the quality of life and control blood pressure. “It’s time to find peace within, to experience an awareness you probably never knew existed. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a regular, we hope you’ll join us.”

 

Jing Yu (Jasmine)

SID: 450083624

Word count: 1010

PLZ, Save Tasmanian Devils Like Saving Panda!

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Tasmanian Devil one of the unique animals in Australia

There are many species of animals are facing extinct, however, some of them are not as popular as panda, Tasmanian Devils are one of the animals in danger. “The name of Devils is confusing that people may have heard of it, but some people don’t really understand what the animal actually looks like” Said by Katherine Farquharson, a PhD candidate of Faculty of Veterinary of Science at the University of Sydney.

About Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devils is the only animals of the family Dasyuridae, which facing the situation of being extinct. Several reasons worsen the situation of Devils, including the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, an infectious tumour disease among Devils, and human effects. Because of the interest and passion of animals, Katherine chose her bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience. “I think as an Australian species,” Katherine said, “it’s really important that people in Australia to take time to study this species, to pay attention about this animal.” It is not all the Australians know the situation about Tasmanian Devils, by the contract, most of Chinese people know that panda is in danger and need us to save, that might result the situation of Devils being worse.

Tasmanian Devil is one of the Australian animals like koala and kangaroo, which is experiencing a serious situation. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease is definitely being a large cause of a population decline. Katherine added that, “But adding to that, habitat loss problems and road kill, the human effects, are also leading to the decline of wild population of Devils.” Tasmanian Devils have already suffering the disease and the population of Devils is already small on the Tasmania Island. “I think because this animal just occurs in Tasmania, and people in Australia don’t go to Tasmania, don’t understand these issues. But there are a lot of works as well, to save the species. Although in the wild is declining but captive population has been really successful, that what I work on as well.” Katherine told that. The captive population of Devils is managed by the whole project to save Tasmanian Devils among different groups or programs to make sure this population healthy without the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

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Devil with DFTD

The Programs and saving project for Tasmanian Devils

The release of Tasmanian devils need to be monitor to make sure the safety of the Devils from the insurance population back to wild. “It’s a careful process, to pick the right devils that they think could do best in the wild again to make sure that they have the best chance of surviving, in the hope that they won’t get the disease.” The releasing process of the whole project to make sure a natural environment for the captive population and be quarantine from the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. “They can’t get the disease but it still an island of Tasmania called Maria Island. So, it’s like a natural habitat and that’s been very successful. And they currently release more and more next month I think.” Katherine said. The reproduction of the captive Devils in the wild area could help increase the healthy population of wild Devils. Katherine also told me that “the insurance devils, which back to the wild again, will support the wild population but we also need to make sure they have enough captivity to keep the captive population healthy. So, we don’t release them all at once, it’s a balance.”

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New Babies of Tasmanian Devils

The group of Katherine in the University of Sydney is cooperate with other programs or organisations such as Save The Tasmanian Devil Program of Tasmanian Government and Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA). “My work has been in collaboration with the ZAA,” Kathrine said, “they are responsible for managing the captive population of devils, ZAA also work with the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program as well. On another aspect, a lot of work that our group does is to do with the genetic diversity of the devils to making sure the population healthy.” Different organisation and programs work on slightly different projects which allow the different parts of the whole saving Tasmanian Devils program to share information with each other. “We share the research, so the different groups work on slightly different projects which allows us to all kind of work together to solve different problems.”

The process of releasing some of insurance Devil population back into the wild is successful. The cooperation with different zoos increase the awareness of people about Devils, however, which is not enough.

To raise the public awareness of Tasmanian Devils is still on a long way

The education for the young generation about Tasmanian Devils in schools in Australia provides the way for students to get the common understanding of Devils and its situation. Katherine told that “Most of young people are quite aware of Tasmanian Devils, or at least, they understand or have heard about the disease.” However, Devils could not be understood as well overseas. Compare with panda in China, the results of the promotion of panda, such as various cartoon characters like Kong Fu Panda, and “panda diplomacy” engage the public to know about panda. The cartoon of Tasmanian Devil who called Taz with sharp tooth and big mouth to make audience have the confusion about what kind of animal that Devils is. “Devils are scavenger rarely attack human or other animals. They keep biological diversity balanced in the Tasmania Island, against the fox. They are cute not like their name like a devil.” As the program—Save The Tasmanian Devil Program — the awareness is growing and coming more international.

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Source from: https://www.ndsccenter.org/ndsc-film-expert-reviews-kung-fu-panda-3/
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Source from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Devil_(Looney_Tunes)

 

“There are currently approximately 600 Tasmanian devils in the captive insurance population in Australia. Moreover, there are currently Tasmanian devils at two zoos in America, three zoos in New Zealand, and one zoo in Denmark. This is part of the ‘Ambassador Devils’ program to promote awareness of the Tasmanian devil overseas.”

Fortunately, the situation of Tasmanian Devils is becoming better by the reintroductions programs, the captive population is keeping a balanced increase. The public awareness about saving Devils could be raised through the promotion overseas like people about panda. “The background of the reason why Devils becoming extinct may complicated, but Devils need the chance to survive.  Perhaps one day there will be Tasmanian devils in China!”

Useful websites for all the readers to know more about Tasmanian Devils

 

Student: Mo Chen (Flora)

SID: 440446969

Word account: 1024

Conservative Community Unite to Make Their Voice Heard in the Australian Government

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An announcement was made earlier this year by the Turnbull Government of a Senate voting reform to be implemented in the Australian election on July 2nd this year. Under the new laws, parties will no longer be able to swap preferences in order to secure seats in the senate. Furthermore, voters will have their ballot discarded if their preferred candidates are excluded from the race, resulting in a potential loss of thousands of votes in the upcoming election.

These changes to the current voting system will hinder minor and independent political parties in entering the senate, effectively silencing the voices of thousands of Australian voters.

 

 

In response to the voting reforms being passed, Family First Federal Chairman and Senator Bob Day, who challenged the voting reform, expressed to the ABC that:

“Voters who choose to be represented by a minor party or, rather, who do not want to be represented or do not vote for a major party under these new laws, will see their vote, by and large, exhaust.”

 

Aim & Interviews

In talking about the Christian community’s reaction and pro-activeness towards changes in the political realm Dharius Daniels, founding pastor of Kingdom Church in Ewing, N.J, expressed that “Many [Christians] are silent on issues we need to speak on… Christians must reclaim the conversation and refuse to allow our voices to be minimized.”

In a similar vein, with these changes in Australian Government and the subsequent reform of the voting system, I have chosen to focus my feature article to be on the actions of the Christian community with Sydney and how they are responding to the changes in the voting systems. Tentatively titled “Mobilising the Voice of a Community: Christian community takes a stand for their place in the Australian Government.”

Through this feature article, I want to focus upon the importance of communities standing up for a cause through community activism, and the power of a united community to ensure that their opinions and voices are heard by the Australian Government.

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The article will detail the events of a rally held at Martin Place on the 1st of May, 2016 at 2pm, aiming to show the high court judges the public unrest against the vote reforms. This rally is led by the directors of the Family First political party, an independent Christian political party led by Senator Bob Day.

The feature will include an interview with Ben Irawan, a director for the Family First party, an active member within the community and is the event director of the annual Sydney Easter Parade & Family Day. Other interviews may possibly include potential on-the-spot interviews with participants and other politicians on the day of the rally.

 

Target Publication & Audience

The targeted publications of this feature article would be RELEVANT magazine/website, a publication directed towards young Christians between the ages of 20-30.

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Their aim is to produce stories that cover faith and culture, as well as facilitating discussion about “challenging worldviews and causing people to see God outside the box they’ve put Him in”. The reader demographic of the magazine presents a perspective that resonates with the issues of the my feature article, as politics and voting contribute to the future lives of young people, and whether their beliefs will be represented in the Australian government.

 

 

References:

[Hannah Rae Ramos, SID: 312068735. Word count: 550]

USYD Freedom of Association at Stake

by Winmas Yu (SID: 450536382)

The University of Sydney Union (USU) recently requested various student religious societies to amend their membership requirements and to ensure all university students (a.k.a. USU members) would have equal rights and accessibilities in joining a club and being executive members, otherwise they could face “deregistraion”, and, consequently, further funding and campus facilities would not be granted for club events.

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University of Sydney quad” by Andrea Schaffer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The request has drawn public and media attention in late-March this year, and was reported extensively by local and national papers, with most of the attention focused on the Evangelical Union (EU) and the Catholic Society.

EU would have to abolish its requirement for prospective members to declare that “Jesus is my Lord”, while the latter was asked to open their executive positions to non-Catholics.

The USU president, Alisha Aitken-Radburn, said to News Corp, “We don’t understand why they need to force their members to say this or sign that.” Continue reading