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The Business of Fast Fashion

‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag

Saving our Mothers

In honoring Mother's Day, Save the Children released the 14th annual State of World's Mother report.

Stop Coca-Cocal trashing Australia

Greenpeace Australia made a new coke ad with a twist. It exposes how this drinks giant is willing to let plastic pollution trash our ocean and kill our marine life.

Thanks a Million Australia

The New Zealand tourism industry is saying a big "Thanks a Million"to Australian visitors to celebrate the record of welcoming a million Australians in a 12-month period

People! Zara commits to go toxic free

Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action

Sunday, April 10

Keep Australia safe from gun violence by signing our petition

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is calling on the Australian and state and territory governments to maintain the gun legislation, which was introduced in the aftermath of the Port Arthur tragedy.


The petition calls for the retention of the National Firearms Agreement 1996, which was enacted just months after the Port Arthur tragedy including the banning of all semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the community. It also calls on all governments to keep our firearm laws strong and to restrict dangerous guns like the rapid fire shotgun Adler A110.
Walter Mikac, whose daughters Alannah and Madeline and wife Nanette died with 32 others at Port Arthur, worked with then Prime Minister the Hon John Howard to introduce the legislation.

Since its enactment there has not been one mass shooting - four or more victims - in Australia. In the decade prior to Port Arthur there were 11 mass shootings.

Now, worryingly, 20 years after our nation acted to stop more firearm deaths, certain individuals and groups are calling for Australia's gun laws to be loosened. This risks putting our children in danger again.

Mr Mikac said there was no reason for Australians to own semi-automatic or automatic guns as legalising these weapons would only raise the risk of danger and death for more Australians.
He said it was his own personal goal, as well as the Foundation's, to ensure no one else experienced the trauma that he went through 20 years ago.

"A significant legacy and one of the only good things to come of the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy, the day I lost my wife and children, was the establishment of the National Firearms Agreement 1996 Mr Mikac said.


"The Alannah & Madeline Foundation opposes any changes to laws that could increase access to firearms and the affiliated increased risk of higher rates of homicides, suicide, or unintentional harms from the use of firearms."
Like Mr Mikac, US President Barack Obama has continually applauded the Australian Government's decision to enact tougher gun laws, calling on his own Congress to follow suit.

On October 1, 2015, President Obama made a point of naming both Australia and Great Britain as countries that have "crafted laws that have almost eliminated mass shootings".

Australia has been identified as a leader in reducing deaths through gun violence and changing the National Firearms Agreement would reverse all the good work that was done in the aftermath of the Port Arthur tragedy.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said it was vital that as many people as possible signed the petition to ensure all Australians are kept safe from any further gun violence.

"It is essential that the gun laws introduced in 1996 are retained now and into the future for the safety of our children, their children and all generations to come," Ms Podesta said.

The petition can be signed at www.amf.org.au from April 8.

Saturday, March 19

Australian laws failing to protect our bullied children


The effects of bullying can be traumatic and even fatal with many cases leading to mental health problems, substance abuse and suicide. Australian schools and parents persist with the fight against bullying in an attempt to protect their children, whilst most states continue to have outdated and inadequate bullying laws.

Bullying affects at least 26% of all Australian pupils, with a staggering 9% being bullied weekly. Rueben Cunningham, Co-founder and COO of national charity Angels Hope says “Most laws that are in effect are from decades ago and offer no real protection or recourse for the victims of bullying. With no solid examples of punishment being set, these problems will continue”.
Suicide is the top cause of death for 15-24 year olds in Australia and alarmingly, self-harming deaths go up 657% when comparing those between 12-13 and 14-15 years old.
The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (18th March) sees schools across Australia taking a stand against the bully. To coincide with this, Angels Hope is calling for Australians in each state to sign the petition to strengthen the education and criminal law acts and to send a stronger message to bullies through punishable action and help eradicate the behaviour from our schools.
“Those who bully someone so severely that they are left with such low self-esteem and self-confidence that they take their own life need to be held accountable” says Cunningham. “Kids can’t stand up for themselves. If they fight back they’re suspended from school, if they don’t they end up with psychological disorders as an adult.”
With 53% of children accessing their first internet connected device before 10 years of age and half of 14-17 year olds accessing the internet through mobile phones, new technologies have provided bullies with new tools to hurt students in old ways. The evolution of bullying has made protecting children from the psychological impacts of bullying incredibly challenging.
This creates a worrying situation, Reuben tells us that “in the past, you could easily monitor your children’s internet activity by having computers in the lounge with the family. Today, children as young as 10 have smartphones and can fall victim to bullying without anyone in the family even knowing”.
Chris Merchant, a bully survivor recalls her experience, “My situation got so bad, I had to move out of my home town. After years of school bullying, no one would employ me and the police repeatedly ignored my complaints”. Chris now continues to suffer from severe anxiety disorder, years after the traumatic period that saw pupils and teachers bullying her.
According to Australian human rights, the government must ensure that every person under the age of 18 is protected from all forms of violence and are also required to implement special measures to protect children and young people who are more vulnerable to violence, harassment and bullying.
However, as state laws have not yet implemented stricter and harsher action against those who bully, it leaves our children defenceless in the face of the abuse that they encounter in the playground or online. With bullying, in all forms, estimated to cost the economy $36 billion annually and the lives of our children it’s time to take a harsher stand.
Angels Hope are running an online petition on their website www.angelshope.org.au for each state in Australia, to strengthen the fight against the bully. Some states require the current Education and Criminal Acts in each state to help protect those in need, while others need firmer wording and independent auditing.
Australians can also help in the fight against the bullies by donating at www.angelshope.org.au, where funds raised will go towards changing the state laws and the development of services to help those who are victims of bullying.

Monday, February 8

88% OF AUSTRALIAN PARENTS ADMIT THEY’RE UNABLE TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN WITH HOMEWORK

The average Australian parent finished high school at least 14 years ago, so it’s not surprising that 88% of mothers and fathers admit they’re unable to always help their children with school homework.

A new study from Yourtutor.com.au, an online tutoring service offering one-on-one expert study help, reveals that although one third of Australian children struggle with homework at least weekly, most parents aren’t able to offer a solution.
Lack of time, inadequate levels of knowledge, and an inability to afford support services were the main reasons for the barrier, with 62% of parents with teens stressing that times had drastically changed since they were their children’s age.  
Jack Goodman, father of three and Founder of Yourtutor.com.au says, “While parents have the best intentions, they’re often not able to help and this can lead to stress and arguments within families.  Luckily services in Australia are adapting to provide families with convenient and cost-effective solutions, such as YourTutor, which gives students assistance from accredited education professionals within minutes.”
It’s no surprise that maths and science are the two subjects stumping the highest number of parents; with 60% admitting these are their biggest struggle. 39% of mums and dads also revealed that they aren’t even able to understand primary level maths homework.
But before parents get too concerned, Mr Goodman adds, “STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) may be the hardest for parents to assist with, however a lot of the time they’re the simplest subjects for teachers and tutors to explain to students, so even if you aren’t able to help, there is always someone who is.”
YourTutor.com.au is a one-to-one tutoring service that connects students with some of the country’s best, brightest and rigorously screened teachers, lecturers and PhD students. The program is open six days a week from 3pm-midnight, giving students unprecedented access to education professionals when they need it most.
Founded in 2003, YourTutor.com.au has become the most trusted online tutoring and study help site in the education industry and was previously only available through Australian universities, TAFEs, schools, libraries and governments. Since 2015YourTutor.com.au has been accessible to every family around the country, helping Aussie children make the most out of their education.

New research finds Australians prioritise flexibility of hours over more pay



Australian workers are aspiring to maximise their free time in 2016 by outsourcing household chores and opting for flexibility of work hours over increased pay. 
 
Airtasker’s third Future of Work study reveal that up to 38 per cent of Australians intend to outsource their chores to free up time in 2016. As a benchmark, around 30 per cent of Australians currently employ others to complete their housework.
 
Meanwhile, for the first time in the study series, the majority of workers (38 per cent) indicated that flexibility was more important to them than pay when looking for work. 
 
The study serves as the first key piece of research tying together several workplace trends hinted at in 2015.  Last year it was revealed that Sydney barrister Bridie Nolan spends up to $6500 a week outsourcing chores. 
 
Meanwhile, tales of incredibly flexible work situations are also becoming increasingly common. KPMG management consultant Katie Drover reduced her workload down to four days a week in order to DJ on weekends.
 
The findings comes as part of Airtasker and Pureprofile’s third Future of Work study, which surveyed representative sample of 1002 Australians on work and life trends.
 
“The figures note a distinct shift in the mindset of the Australian worker. The idea of attaining a work-life balance is no longer about the amount of hours worked,” Airtasker CEO Tim Fung said. 
 
“It’s is now all about getting the most out of your free time, and maximising your earning potential by working smarter.”

“Now that Australian workers can earn a sizeable, reliable income whilst maintaining a flexible lifestyle by working on sharing economy platforms, traditional employers will need to think about  how they create an equally enticing work environment.

“Meanwhile, Aussie consumers are learning that they can get even more done by outsourcing their chores to locals in their neighbourhood - they’re creating free time whilst getting more done.” 

The study also revealed: 
  • Approximately 40 per cent of those surveyed indicated they would be looking for a new job in 2016, while around 80 per cent of people want to supplement their regular income in 2016.   
     
  • Around 81.5 per cent agree that the the traditional employment model of the 9-5 office job is inflexible for workers in 2016 and into the future. Only 76.4 per cent agreed with this statement in 2015.
     
  • Of those that intend to outsource chores, the majority (52 per cent) said they would rid themselves of five hours or less of housework per week. Up to 8 per cent indicated they would outsource over 20 hours worth of chores. 
     
  • Almost half (49.2 per cent) indicated that they are aware of Australia’s growing sharing economy movement. The figure represents a 4.4 per cent jump in awareness since the last Sharing Economy monitor in June 2015. 
     
  • An increase in the number of Australians who have used a sharing economy service or app to earn extra income. This rose from 4.1 per cent in 2015 to 6.1 per cent in 2016.

Tuesday, February 2

cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent

The Reserve bank of Australia  decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.
Recent information suggests the global economy is continuing to grow, though at a slightly lower pace than earlier expected. While several advanced economies have recorded improved growth over the past year, conditions have become more difficult for a number of emerging market economies. China's growth rate has continued to moderate.
Commodity prices have declined further, especially oil prices. This partly reflects slower growth in demand but also very substantial increases in supply over recent years. The decline in Australia's terms of trade, which began more than four years ago, has therefore continued.
Financial markets have once again exhibited heightened volatility recently, as participants grapple with uncertainty about the global economic outlook and diverging policy settings among the major jurisdictions. Appetite for risk has diminished somewhat and funding conditions for emerging market sovereigns and lesser-rated corporates have tightened. But funding costs for high-quality borrowers remain very low and, globally, monetary policy remains remarkably accommodative.
In Australia, the available information suggests that the expansion in the non-mining parts of the economy strengthened during 2015 even as the contraction in spending in mining investment continued. Surveys of business conditions moved to above average levels, employment growth picked up and the unemployment rate declined in the second half of the year, even though measured GDP growth was below average. The pace of lending to businesses also picked up.
Inflation continues to be quite low, with the CPI rising by 1.7 per cent over 2015. This was partly caused by declining prices for oil and some utilities, but underlying measures of inflation are also low at about 2 per cent. With growth in labour costs continuing to be quite subdued as well, and inflation restrained elsewhere in the world, consumer price inflation is likely to remain low over the next year or two.
Given these conditions, it is appropriate for monetary policy to be accommodative. Low interest rates are supporting demand, while regulatory measures are working to emphasise prudent lending standards and so to contain risks in the housing market. Credit growth to households continues at a moderate pace, albeit with a changed composition between investors and owner-occupiers. The pace of growth in dwelling prices has moderated in Melbourne and Sydney over recent months and has remained mostly subdued in other cities. The exchange rate has continued its adjustment to the evolving economic outlook.
At today's meeting, the Board judged that there were reasonable prospects for continued growth in the economy, with inflation close to target. The Board therefore decided that the current setting of monetary policy remained appropriate.
Over the period ahead, new information should allow the Board to judge whether the recent improvement in labour market conditions is continuing and whether the recent financial turbulence portends weaker global and domestic demand. Continued low inflation may provide scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand.