The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2014-12-25T22:51:12Z New Year, New Year’s Running Resolution – Stay Injury Free in 2015 and Achieve Your Running Fitness Goals 2014-12-25T22:51:12Z new-year-new-year-s-running-resolution-stay-injury-free-in-2015-and-achieve-your-running-fitness-goals Brisbane, 26 December 2014 – As January 1 dawns, inspiring each of us to dream big, as many as 40% of people will begin 2015 with a new year’s resolution front of mind. Yet, according to statistics, only 8% will go on to achieve that goal. For those hoping to reignite their running career, setting a goal is just the start. And, whether it’s to set a new PB, run a marathon or simply spend a year free from injury, the team at Run4 have developed a training tool that can help any passionate runner go on to achieve those goals.  Revolutionising Running Training The Bionic Runner is the world’s first non-impact, running-specific fitness trainer and, since launching in December 2014, is already promising to change the way people think about their running training the world over. Ranked as the third all time fastest Australian female over 50km, ultra runner Kerrie Otto de Grancy recently spoke out about her experience with the Bionic Runner, using the Bionic Runner both in the lead up to the 100km World Championships, and during recovery. “I dedicated the majority of my training time in the last three weeks before the 100km World Championships to training on the Bionic Runner,” she says. “This enabled me to clock up the kilometres and time on my legs that I needed without impact. I feel at an advantage that I was able to ease back into running after the event and allow my body to recover properly by alternating between the Bionic Runner, road and track running,” she adds.  Injury Prevention For Steve Cranitch and Dr Henry Thomas, the co-founders of Run4 and co-creators of the Bionic Runner, Kerrie’s words are music to their ears. “We set out to design a piece of equipment that would simply help runners run better,” says Steve, who had noticed many of his friends abandon their running careers in favour of cycling as injury got in their way. “So many – too many – runners become injured in the lead up to important races, or simply from doing too much, too soon,” he continues. “For years, sports shoes have been promising to fix injury rates, but injury rates have remained the same, and as far as cross training goes, there’s nothing out there that mimics the motion of running.” One of those runners is Melanie Long, who has long held the dream of running the New York Marathon on her 40th birthday, in 2015. Sadly, a spate of injuries left her questioning whether her dream would actually come true. “I’ve endured four stress fractures to date,” says Melanie, “and with each one my goal of running the New York Marathon has seemed less and less achievable.”  For injured runners like Melanie, the Bionic Runner offers some hope – a means of retaining their running fitness without stressing the body. “With the Bionic Runner it’s the first time I’ve found something that doesn’t hurt my shin or knee and will assist with my fitness, muscle strength and running,” says Melanie, who is now preparing for the race of her life – the New York Marathon. “I now see a way forward and am so excited about making the dream a reality.” Improved Performance Whilst the Bionic Runner was originally conceived as a piece of kit to help prevent injuries in runners, it’s this latter point that makes the Bionic Runner a revolutionary tool in the runner’s training kit. “Aside from improving general fitness, cross training will only be effective in terms of your running performance if it recruits and exercises the same muscles as running does,” explains Dr Henry Thomas who, as chief-technical officer at Run4, designed the Bionic Runner. “Unlike a mobile elliptical trainer, the Bionic Runner has a unique 60% swing and 40% stance phase timing, which guides the foot along the path of a mid-foot running gait,” he continues. “This means you not only look and feel as if you’re running, you recruit the same muscles as you would running, too, therefore improving running performance.” Indeed, during the four years it took them to develop the Bionic Runner, Steve and Henry discovered that running was a four-stage process of leap, recovery, impact and drive. “The existing cross trainers were all elliptical in nature or step machines. None captured the motion a runner’s leg makes when they move,” explains Henry. With the addition of its non-impact, closed kinetic chain, the Bionic Runner also removes the risk of injury from over extension and impact fatigue – the two most common causes of joint, tendon and muscle-related strain injuries.  Successfully Funded Launched on Kickstarter on December 1, it took just five days for the Bionic Runner to be successfully funded, clearly resonating with the global running community. “We spent four years designing and perfecting the Bionic Runner, so to see it so instantly appeal to runners on a global scale is a dream come true,” says Steve. “Now we can’t wait for 2015, when we can watch the community of Bionic Runners grow and grow!” The Bionic Runner will remain available on Kickstarter at a discounted price until December 31, when it will be available to purchase on the website www.run4.com. ENDS https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1032540393/the-bionic-runner-run-harder-land-safer   Contact information: Running Trainer Pty Ltd T/A Run4
 PO Box 52
 Broadwater NSW 2472 Australia   CEO:                          Steve Cranitch CTO:                          Henry Thomas Marketing and PR:    Lizzy Fowler For all press enquiries please contact +61 (0) 430 925028 or email lizzy@run4.com  Times of availability: 9am-7pm EST or by appointment. More information can be found at: www.run4.com Millions of Aussies set to spend beyond their means this Christmas 2014-12-23T22:12:10Z millions-of-aussies-set-to-spend-beyond-their-means-this-christmas One in three Australian adults will spend more than they can afford to this Christmas. That’s one of the findings of a new survey from consumer research company Canstar Blue, which also found that one in five Aussies have put off bills and other financial responsibilities to pay for Christmas presents and food. More than half (57%) of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they feel obliged to spend a certain amount on gifts and 21% admitted to building up credit card debt because of their festive spending. “It’s worrying to think that so many people are willing to burden themselves with debt just to put on a good show for a few hours at Christmas,” said Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes. “By putting off bills and over-spending on credit cards, consumers are likely to be paying for their Christmas fun long into the New Year.” Utility and mobile phone bills are the most likely financial responsibilities to be dodged by those splashing out for Christmas, the Canstar Blue survey found. “Most concerning is that 20% of those who put off their bills were even willing to delay mortgage or rental payments,” added Mr Downes. “Around the same number were also prepared to forgo medical and insurance costs. “Overall, two out of five adults admitted they tend to struggle financially around this time of year and one in ten were even forced to take out a loan to meet the Christmas demands of their family and friends.” Women are most likely to spend beyond their means at Christmas, with 36% admitting they spend more than they can afford, compared to 28% of men. And 44% of women said they struggle financially around the festive season compared to 33% of men. “It’s probably fair to say that - in many Australians households - more women take overall responsibility for Christmas and many of them seem to be feeling the financial pressure of it,” added Mr Downes. “Indeed, women feel more obliged than men to spend a certain amount on gifts and are also more likely to get out the credit cards.” According to the Canstar Blue survey, Aussies expect to spend an average of $755 this Christmas. But with 48% tending to leave buying gifts until the last minute – and 14% willing to buy a last minute gift from a service station - many could end up forking out more than they bargained for, according to Mr Downes. “How much you expect to spend and how much you actually end up spending are two very different things,” he said. “If you leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute you are almost certainly going to be paying a higher price for your tardiness. The less time you have to shop around – be it online or at the shopping centre – the more likely you are to miss the good deals. And when you do hit the shops, don’t get carried away. Write a list of what you need, set yourself a Christmas budget, and stick to it. “Some may scoff at those who do their Christmas shopping in September, but they won’t be the ones feeling the pinch come January. “Remember the true spirit of Christmas and enjoy the company of those around you. Don’t feel obliged to spend lots of money on gifts which, quite frankly, people might not even want.” IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE THE GIFT EVERYONE WANTS THIS CHRISTMAS, A MOVIE EVOUCHER! 2014-12-19T01:59:56Z it-s-not-too-late-to-give-the-gift-everyone-wants-this-christmas-a-movie-evoucher With new research showing awareness and usage of gift cards is now above 99% in Australia* and movies remaining as the most popular cultural activity in Australia according to the Bureau of Statistics, the ideal gift this Christmas is a Movie Gift Card from Australia and New Zealand’s largest exhibitor, Event Cinemas, Greater Union, Birch Carroll & Coyle and Moonlight Cinemas. If you have left your Christmas shopping and are left at a loose end, Event Cinema now offers movie eVouchers! You can order eVouchers from the comfort of your desk or living room couch and they will be delivered instantly to your loved one, friend or work colleague – last minute Christmas shopping couldn’t be easier! Alternatively, giving a movie gift card is giving the experience of adventure, romance, drama and comedy plus with first-to-market new “greeting card” style Christmas themed cards and dedicated designs for the premium movie experiences of Vmax and Gold Class, movie gift cards are an ideal gift solution for all ages – Grandmas through to your niece or nephew! Movie gift cards and eVouchers can be charged in values from $15 to $1000 or more and give loved ones the freedom to choose the film they want to see, redeem for delicious food and drinks, 3D experiences, Gold Class and more.  The convenience and flexibility are the major reasons why new research shows that the average number of gift cards purchased by Australians has increased from five to eight between 2008 and 2014.  Christmas Movie Gift Cards and eVouchers are on sale this year in readiness for what’s anticipated to be the biggest year at the box office in history with 2015 blockbuster releases including new chapters of Star Wars, The Avengers, Fast and The Furious, James Bond, Mad Max and Jurassic Park, plus hotly anticipated new films including 50 Shades of Grey and Minions. On top of this, the 2014-15 summer line-up is bursting with big hits including the next chapters of The Hunger Games and Night At The Museum, the final instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, the latest smash from Disney Pixar Big Hero 6, the family spin-off from the Madagascar movies, Penguins and the much-talked about directorial debuts from Angelina Jolie and Russell Crowe, Unbroken and The Water Diviner.      Movie Gift Cards and eVouchers are on sale online now at eventcinemas.com.au, eventcinemas.co.nz, at cinema box offices and in leading retailers across Australia and New Zealand. Greeting card designs are available exclusively from cinemas, online and in Woolworths supermarkets in Australia. Gifting ideas: - Colleague: Secret Santa present - Husband: Gold class so that he’ll take you to the movies on Valentine’s Day - Wife: girls night out or Chicks at the Flicks - Sibling: head to the movies to escape your family on Boxing Day! You could even line up your movie going year by gifting these cards to all your family!   ENDS What's in the NYE Qbag? QT Sydney helps its guests celebrate New Years’s in Style! 2014-12-19T01:55:19Z whats-in-the-nye-qbag-qt-sydney-helps-its-guests-celebrate-new-years-s-in-style-1 Sydney’s hip designer hotel, QT Sydney is excited to announce another creative collaboration with a number of luxury products to create the inaugural NYE Qbag. The bag will include a number of luxury products from MJ Bale clothiers, Estee Lauder, Uspa skincare, Eleven hair product, cosmetic retailer Sephora, premium coffee Espresso di Manfredi, handcrafted vodka Grey Goose, spaQ Sydney and British lingerie purveyor Agent Provocateur with a total value of approximately $300. The Qbag will be gifted to all guest staying at QT Sydney over New Year’s Eve to show QT’s appreciation of its loyal guests and to celebrate the festive season. Everything in the bag helps guests celebrate the new year in style from looking glamorous for the evenings celebrations to unwinding the day after! Whats in the bag: - A $50 Sephora Gift Card - Uspa gift pack valued at - Healing Hands - Nourish Milk cleanser - Moisture Control Lotion - Mricale Hair Treatment by Eleven Australia - MJ Bale Pocketchiefs valued - Espresso di Manfredi coffee - A 50ml bottle of Greg Goose - Estee Lauder Lip Stick - A voucher for 25% off at QT Sydney’s award winning spaQ - Agent Provocateur velvet key ring and private fitting with strawberries and sparkling The QT NYE Gift bag will become an annual tradition which is expected to grow in size and stature each year. What's going to be in the 2015 NYE Qbag? -ENDS- Aura.travel secures partnership with world-leading provider of online distribution technology, SiteMinder 2014-12-18T23:14:53Z aura-travel-secures-partnership-with-world-leading-provider-of-direct-bookings-and-online-distribution-siteminder Aura.travel (AURA) has today announced its latest integration partnership with SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading provider of online distribution technology, to provide its customers with access to real-time price and availability as well as instant bookings.The integration with SiteMinder’s RDX platform will drastically improve the guest booking experience and accommodation conversion rates for the thousands of AURA-listed holiday rental properties across Australia.“AURA is thrilled to connect SiteMinder’s technology with its real-time booking platform. This partnership not only expands our reach and foothold in the local market, but also brings the Australian holiday rental industry one step closer to our vision of integrated, instant bookings,” says AURA’s managing director, Lucian Kafka.***For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Tracey Leitch - media@aura.travelAbout aura.travelAURA (aura.travel, AURA Holdings Pty. Limited) was founded in 2009 in Sydney, Australia and the website launched in 2012 as a premier Australian holiday rental portal. Currently AURA is the largest and fastest growing Australian-owned holiday rental website with thousands of holiday houses, furnished apartments and short-term accommodation listings - all within a thriving community of owners, property managers and travellers. AURA charges no listing fees and a low-rate commission for confirmed bookings, making it a risk-free, cost-effective option for guests and property-owners alike. For more information about AURA, visit www.aura.travel.About SiteMinderSiteMinder is the global hotel industry’s leading provider of online distribution and direct booking technology. Founded in 2006, SiteMinder offers award-winning, cloud-based distribution products – including the world’s largest channel manager, an integrated booking engine, deep PMS/CRS integration and GDS connection tools – to help hotels increase online revenue, streamline business processes and lower operational costs. Driven by a no-contract, commission-free business model, SiteMinder’s robust product suite and exceptional client support has made the business one of the most recognisable in the industry. In addition to its global head office in Sydney, SiteMinder has operations in Bangkok, Cape Town, Dallas and London, and more than 14,000 customers in over 140 countries. For more information about SiteMinder, visit www.siteminder.com. Timber Supplier in Brisbane Warns Homeowners: “Don’t Make These Mistakes.” 2014-12-18T06:14:27Z timber-supplier-in-brisbane-warns-homeowners-don-t-make-these-mistakes Brisbane, QLD, 18 December 2014 - When it comes to timber decking, the DIY phenomenon is alive and well in Brisbane. Jack Kyle, owner of Narangba Timbers, a timber supplier serving the Brisbane area, has seen the rise in DIY timber decking first hand. Recently, on his company blog, Mr Kyle provided a guide to twelve mistakes that DIY builders often make when building timber decks. Any of the mistakes can severely downgrade the quality of a project and Mr Kyle hopes he can keep not only his customers, but readers across Australia from making any of the mistakes that can ruin a timber deck. These are the highlights of the post.Rusty Nails and BoltsNails, bolts and any metal hardware for an outdoor deck should always be galvanised to prevent rust. They cost more, but failure to use them can cause a deck to start falling apart within two years. Local Council RulesHomeowners should always check with their local council before undertaking any deck project. Failure to do so can result in them having to tear down their entire deck in some cases. Crooked Decking BoardsTo avoid an amateur, unprofessional appearance, Mr Kyle recommends using a grid system every five boards, a straight chalk line and wedges to ensure proper placement of boards.Leaky RoofA leaky roof is often caused by tightening screws so hard they damage the rubber washers and allow water through.Sagging CeilingsThis is usually caused by the support beams being too far apart, not providing adequate support. Hitting Underground ServicesHitting an electrical line can cause electrocution. Hitting a gas line can cause an explosion or fire. Hitting a water line can cause a flood. Australia has a service entitled, “Call Before You Dig.” It can be reached by dialing 1100.Timber Cracking or BreakingIf more than one-third of the width of a board is cut out to join the pieces together, it can cause a structural deficiency. That often causes cracking, breaking or both.Sagging DeckThis is usually caused by using softwood instead of hardwood. Narangba Timbers recommends hardwoods such as Blackbutt and Merbau.Putting it All TogetherMr Kyle’s blog post addresses other problems, such as sinking deck, rotting timber posts and grey or black stains on deck boards. According to Mr Kyle, “We love it when our customers are happy with their projects. Sadly, the mistakes we mentioned on our blog are the most common and people who make them usually end up doing a lot of extra work to fix the problems caused by those mistakes.”Mr Kyle concludes: “We hope that everyone reads the post before starting their project. It makes a great checklist, even for experienced DIY homeowners. It’s easier to do it right the first time.”Narangba Timbers is a timber supplier that provides timber decking, timber flooring and a host of other products to the Brisbane area. They specialise in high-quality, ethically-sourced timber and world class customer service. To place an order or to read Mr Kyle’s blog post about the twelve mistakes that can ruin a timber deck, call 1300 795 675 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. 3D takes off at The Mind Lab with XYZ Printing partnership 2014-12-18T00:02:16Z 3d-takes-off-at-the-mind-lab-with-xyz-printing-partnership With the surging interest in science, technology and makerspaces,The Mind Lab is paving the way in which technology is applied in education, giving teachers and students the ability to be more creative while broadening their horizons. That’s according to The Mind Lab’s Education Director Chris Clay, who says the organisation has recently put four XYZ da Vinci 1.0 3D printersinto its Auckland facility. The Mind Lab by Unitec is a collaboration between Unitec Institute of Technology and The Mind Lab. It draws on the education expertise of both organisations to provide teachers and their students with the opportunity to learn how to integrate technology, enhance digital capability and activate new teaching practices in the classroom. Clay explains the purpose of The Mind Lab: “We help schools create lessons which are personalised and apply technology in a way that is often not usual in schools and we offer a post graduate qualification for teachers in digital and collaborative learning; we also offer after school and holiday programmes for children which helps broaden their horizons using technology. We want to raise the quality of how technology is used in education, with a particular focus on doing things which simply aren’t possible without technology.” An ideal componentAlong with robotics, coding, film-making, animation and augmented reality, 3D printing is an essential component of The Mind Lab’s programmes. “For example, we’re using the XYZ da Vinci 3D printeras a component of exploring 3-dimensional space and the relationship between X, Y and Z axes. Adding an element of 3D design completely changes the learning experience, moving it away from a purely academic exercise to a practical one. That fits very well with the difference between ‘pure’ learning and ‘applied’ learning; we want to help teachers and pupils to apply knowledge to identify and then solve problems,” he says. The XYZ da Vinci 3D printers, supplied and supported by Auckland headquartered Comworth Technologies, have quickly become a centrepiece for The Mind Lab, continues Clay. “We have a philosophy of doing things which can easily be replicated in the school or the home – that means tools which are accessible and affordable.Included in that is reliability and ease of use, so we also seek solutions which are good quality.” When Comworth suggested the XYZ da Vinci, the fit was ideal. “We work these machines hard, so it provides a very good test bed for Comworth to prove just how robust they are,” Clay says, “And at a retail price of under $1000, backed by local support, they really are accessible to most households or schools, thus fitting perfectly into our philosophy.” Equally important is the ongoing cost of printing and the filament is just as affordable; with 240m filament cartridges priced at around $50, most objects produced by the XYZ da Vinci cost just $2 to $3. Potential for change3D printing is a technology which has the potential to lead enormous change. “By giving students and teachers the ability to create their own object is powerful on so many levels; it can literally change how we innovate. It is a tool to create physical things in much the same way as developing apps is a tool to create virtual ones. Drawing 3D printing into the educational experience broadens horizons; it is used in many fields including prosthetics, the production of large scale items like houses, soon we could have 3D organs printed. These machines open the mind to wonder and ponder what is possible.” The sheer affordability of the XYZ is a major advantage, continues Clay. “Where in the past, students would design an item and it would come back later after being printed overnight [and out of sight], we now have so many more machines because of the low cost, which means the objects are created right in front of the students. Each individual has more contact with the printing process and a far greater opportunity to rapidly create prototypes,” he explains; not only that, but watching a 3D printer in action is itself fascinating. There is a focus on collaborative work, too – Clay says a group of students were tasked with producing plastic construction blocks, “which are no good unless they have specifications which allow them to fit together. That meant three students working together to make sure there was consensus on the size of the blocks, and the way they could be designed in order to ensure they connect.” Feedback to date is overwhelmingly positive – and Clay says the most frequent question is ‘how much does that cost’. “Everyone is blown away with the affordability of the XYZ da Vinci – if we ask them to guess the price, we get anywhere from $2000 to $6000. When we tell them it is under $1000, most can’t believe it. Someone summed it up best when they said, ‘At that price, I can’t afford not to have it – it is less than an iPad.’” Nike-Supported Sports Camps Australia Announces 2015 Summer Camps Dates & Locations 2014-12-17T21:47:26Z nike-supported-sports-camps-australia-announces-2015-summer-camps-dates-amp-locations-1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Craig Pence Pence.Craig@gmail.com   Nike-Supported Sports Camps Australia Announces 2015 Summer Camps Dates & Locations Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 12 December 2014 – Sports Camps Australia is pleased to announce, with the support of Nike, their 2015 Summer Camp schedule.  With over 14 different sports across 30 locations nationwide, campers of all abilities ages 6-18 will have the opportunity to refine their skills and work with top-notch coaches at premier facilities like Sydney Olympic Park and the Lake Ainsworth Sports and Recreation Centre. Sports Camps Australia provides every camper with an exceptional learning environment to help them achieve their sport dreams. The primary goal of Sports Camps Australia is to stimulate a love for the game by immersing each camper in the sport and giving them the kind of focused, intensive training essential for improvement. Each program allows every athlete the opportunity to improve their game, work hard, make new friends and have a lot of fun. Sports Camps Australia offers a variety of camp programs, including full-day and half-day options. “We have an incredibly exciting line-up for Australia’s sporting kids this summer,” says Sandon Stolle, Managing Director of Sports Camps Australia and former U.S. Open Doubles Champion. “Our directors both new and old are dedicated to providing each camper in attendance the essential tools to improve their skill set in a fun environment.  Because we carefully select teaching professionals and coaches who have dedicated their lives to developing young athletes, our campers are assured an experience that will stay with them long after camp is over.” Campers, Parents, and Coaches interested in the 2015 SCA Camps can visit http://www.sportscampsaustralia.com.au/ or call 1800 753 127. A full list of sports available this summer includes:  Cycling, Futsal, Golf, Mountain Biking, Netball, Rugby, Running, Soccer, Squash, Surf Life Saving, Swimming, Tennis, Touch Football and Triathlon.   -- more --   Sports Camp Australia Announces Summer Line Up/Page 2   About Sports Camps Australia Sports Camps Australia (SCA) was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. SCA have partnered with US Sports Camps, the largest and most successful sports camps operators in the world. US Sports Camps are responsible for running all Nike Sports Camps as well as other sponsored programs in this market. Our Mission: To shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high quality sports education and skill enhancement while consistently exceeding the expectations of our customers! Summer Holidays Car Hire 2014-12-16T01:19:05Z summer-holidays-car-hire-1 DriveAway Holidays advises that it’s not too late to secure car hire for Australia the forthcoming Summer Holidays. Discounted deals are still available at http://www.driveaway.co.nz/ - simply search the booking engine and check out the "Rate of the Day"with Europcar. Deals are also available with Red Spot and Thrifty at some locations. So whether you’re travelling over to Australia for a quick trip to catch up with family and friends, or taking a road-trip adventure, don’t delay, book now as cars will sell out soon. Note: "Rate of the Day" is a live rate which is payable immediately upon confirmation. Amendments will be recalculated at the rate available at that time. Summer Holidays Car Hire 2014-12-16T01:18:57Z summer-holidays-car-hire DriveAway Holidays advises that it’s not too late to secure Australia car hire for the forthcoming Summer Holidays. Discounted deals are still available at http://www.driveaway.com.au/ - simply search the booking engine and check out the "Rate of the Day" with Europcar. Deals are also available with RedSpot at some locations. So whether you’re travelling for a quick interstate trip to catch up with family and friends, or taking a great Aussie road-trip adventure, don’t delay, book now as cars will sell out soon. Note: "Rate of the Day" is a live rate which is payable immediately upon confirmation. Amendments will be recalculated at the rate available at that time. Summertime Specials & Autumn Savings! 2014-12-16T01:08:02Z summertime-specials-amp-autumn-savings-1 The summer holidays are just around the corner, so now’s the time to start planning a great Aussie or NZ road trip with DriveAway Holidays’ sizzling hot self-drive deals. Australia car hire deals start from $83* per day based on 7 days economy car rental collecting in Sydney between January and March with Hertz - additional drivers included. Book 21 days or more in advance and save 10% off selected car hire with Red Spot; and save 15% off Australia motorhome rentals with Maui collecting between 05 January and 10 February. Head across to New Zealand and rental a car from $80* per day collecting at Auckland or Christchurch between 01 December and 31 March 2015 with Budget - additional drivers also included. Save up to 40% off New Zealand motorhome rentals with Maui Beach (4 berth) & River (6 berth) models collecting between 01 March and 30 April, excluding 01 April – 16 April. Bonus Motorhome Offer: Ask about our Maui Winery Havens – one night’s stay plus a gourmet hamper with a bottle of wine at selected wineries throughout Victoria and The North & South Islands for $140 per night with Maui motorhome rentals. Don’t miss out; vehicle availability can be in high demand and some deals end 31 December 2014. For more details, visit http://www.driveaway.co.nz or call our dedicated Reservations Team on 0800 885 590. *Based on 7 day’s car hire. Total package price for NZ $581, Sydney $545). Conditions apply, subject to change and currency fluctuations without notice. Summertime Specials & Autumn Savings! 2014-12-16T01:03:04Z summertime-specials-amp-autumn-savings The summer holidays are just around the corner, so now’s the time to start planning a great Aussie or NZ road trip with DriveAway Holidays’ sizzling hot self-drive deals. Australia car hire deals start from $56* per day collecting in Sydney between January and March with Hertz - additional drivers included. Book 21 days or more in advance and save 10% off selected car hire with Red Spot; and save 15% off Australia motorhome rentals with Maui between 05 January and 10 February. Head across to New Zealand and rental a car from $80* per day collecting at Auckland or Christchurch between 01 December and 31 March 2015 with Budget - additional drivers also included. Save up to 40% off New Zealand motorhome rentals with Maui Beach (4 berth) & River (6 berth) models collecting between 01 March and 30 April, excluding 01 April – 16 April. Bonus Motorhome Offer: Ask about our Maui Winery Havens – one night’s stay plus a gourmet hamper with a bottle of wine at selected wineries throughout Victoria and The North & South Islands for $140 per night with Maui motorhome rentals. Don’t miss out; vehicle availability can be in high demand and some deals end 31 December 2014. For more details, visit http://www.driveaway.com.au or call our dedicated Reservations Team on 1300 363 500. *Based on 7 day’s economy car hire. Total package price for Sydney $392; NZ $560). Conditions apply, subject to change and currency fluctuations without notice. XYZ da Vinci 3D Printers help MOTAT look to the future 2014-12-15T22:22:16Z xyz-da-vinci-3d-printers-help-motat-look-to-the-future The introduction of a 3D printer just in time for the third term school holidays has proven a winner for Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. Supplied and supported by OfficeMax, the new XYZ Da Vinci 1.0 printer has been integrated into the Museum’s existing printing display and provides visitors with insight into the rapidly developing world of 3D printing, and an opportunity to see them in action. The Museum of Technology and Transport (MOTAT) is the largest of its kind in New Zealand. It offers a fun and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages. With its core vision to ‘use New Zealand’s heritage, kiwi ingenuity, transport, technology and associated stories in a creative and interactive way to educate and inspire the innovators of tomorrow’, the 3D printer is a welcome addition, confirms Andrew McCartney, Experience Concept Developer at MOTAT. “The real value in 3D printers is that they are an important new technology which is in its early stages of awareness. That makes it very exciting to show to people; it is a technology that has the potential to revolutionise our business and personal lives,” he says. With extensive displays of transport and technology over its 40 acres of ground, McCartney says the XYZ Da Vinci has been a welcome addition to the print display section; “This demonstrates early machines, all the way from hand powered letter printers to some of the later mechanical printing presses,” he notes. With a laugh, McCartney agrees that the addition of the 3D printer is something akin to the ‘Evolution of Man’ chart. “3D is a natural and quite remarkable progression of printing technology – and as a museum of technology, we couldn’t wait to get one on display,” he adds. Straight into action Among the ground-breaking features of the XYZ Da Vinci are its low cost and ease of use. With the machine delivered just before the 3rd term school holidays, it took very little time to get it set up and operational in time for the rush of young visitors, confirms McCartney. “We started with a 3D printing experience to demonstrate the machine to the public. Subsequently, for the school children, we’ve embarked on a demonstration of how the additive manufacturing principle works. The kids get modelling clay and roll out sausages to make coil pots – that’s a good way of explaining the concept and the technique which is applied, obviously in a far more refined way, as the XYZ prints models.” Perhaps the highlight to date was the incorporation of the 3D printer into MOTAT’s ‘Invention Nation’ holiday exhibit. Aimed at stimulating interest in New Zealand inventors, and inventors in general, McCartney says Invention Nation aimed to open children’s minds to the possibilities of ingenuity. “The 3D printer was an important part of that; invention isn’t just something that happens in a lab, but everyday people invent things all the time. With technology like the 3D printer now readily available to experiment and test different things, inventors today have amazing tools to help turn vision into reality.” Instant fascination Museums are typically places where imaginations run wild and wonder is found around every corner. That made the XYZ Da Vinci an ideal addition to the exhibitions, agrees McCartney. “People are fascinated by it. Children will sit for half an hour watching it going around and around…and to be honest, it’s drawn very much the same reaction from our staff members. There’s always a lot of interest when we take the finished models out. It’s even quite a therapeutic thing to watch the printer at work,” he says. With the machine already a big hit in the two months it’s been at MOTAT, McCartney says there are plenty of plans for the future. “We’ve got a number of ideas in the pipeline, particularly in terms of ways to get people to interact more directly with 3D printing. Certainly, it is something that we will be using on an ongoing basis, demonstrating and exploring the cool things that can be done with 3D printing.” But perhaps the most amazing thing about the XYZ Da Vinci remains its price, he adds. “This is one of the most common questions we get asked – and people are consistently astounded that they can get a machine like this for their own homes [for under $1000],” McCartney concludes. Timber Fencing Supplier in Brisbane Provides Best Practices Guidelines for Timber Fences 2014-12-15T06:38:49Z timber-fencing-supplier-in-brisbane-provides-best-practices-guidelines-for-timber-fences Brisbane, QLD, 15 December 2014 - Timber decking has become ubiquitous in the Brisbane area, but one timber supplier warns homeowners that they should be aware of best practices and local council regulations before building a timber fence. Timber fences are often used to divide properties and define boundaries. They can provide privacy from the street and from neighbours. They decrease traffic noise and can keep private conversations from being easily overheard by neighbours. They are also used to keep pets and small children from leaving the yard. Timber fences also form protective barriers from swimming pools and other areas that could represent danger to children.Jack Kyle, owner of Narangba Timbers, a premier supplier of timber fencing in the Brisbane area, recently published a basic guide to building a timber fence on his company’s blog. Mr Kyle stressed the importance of knowing local council regulations, especially for those who own swimming pools. Mr Kyle also provided some recommended best practices from Timber Queensland, a timber industry trade group.According to Mr Kyle, “Timber Queensland has been helping to define standards and practices for the timber industry in various forms since 1938. They are a non-profit organisation that serves as the de facto voice of the timber industry in Queensland. They represent everyone in the timber industry, from retailers such as us to plantation growers, manufacturers and builders. They have done a great job of helping the timber industry police itself and adhere to the high standards that homeowners and other consumers deserve.”Timber Queensland updated their recommended practices for timber fences in March 2014. Their data sheet has a wealth of basic and detailed information on how to ensure that a timber fence is built in a way that it will perform well for a number of years. Mr Kyle presented the basics on his blog, preferring to leave the more technical data for those who are building a fence. According to Mr Kyle, “Our customer service staff in charge of timber sales is second to none in the Brisbane area. They are always happy to provide any information a customer needs to ensure that their project is of the highest quality. We put basic information on our blog as a public service, but always invite those who require deeper information to call us and talk to a customer service specialist. Our staff is well-trained and can help any project go as smoothly as possible.”According to Timber Queensland and to Mr Kyle, it is important to choose the right materials to guarantee a high-quality timber fence that will still be standing in twenty years. Mr Kyle concludes: “The best way to make sure any timber project is a success is to use the right grade of timber. There is no substitute for quality.”Narangba Timbers is a retailer which supplies timber fencing, timber flooring and other timber products to the Brisbane area. They have a wide selection of domestic and imported hardwoods and softwoods for every timber project. Their customer service staff is among the most professional and knowledgeable in Australia. To learn more, call 1300 795 675 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Living Longer Living Better (LLLB) Opens to Mixed Reviews 2014-12-15T04:12:11Z living-longer-living-better-lllb-opens-to-mixed-reviews Australia, 15 December 2014 - In 2011, the Australian Government Productivity Commission authored a report called “Caring for Older Australians.” The report found, among other things, that improvements were needed in such areas as more choices for residents and sustainable funding for aged care. Former Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler strongly advocated a program that would take care of those problems.Among other things, Mr Butler decried the “cookie cutter approach” and advocated “more choices” for aged care recipients. On the strength of this sentiment, a program was created: “Living Longer, Living Better (LLLB).” Many in the aged care industry supported the program as one that would improve the quality of aged care by increasing competition and removing limits on the number of bed licences. It was thought that competition would bring out the best in the aged care industry and help avoid a projected shortage of as many as 279,000 beds by 2050.LLLB was lauded by many as a proactive step towards solving a future problem and improving the current situation for aged care recipients. However, since it took effect in July of this year, reviews are mixed. All Residential Aged Care Recipients can Now be Required to Pay a BondBefore LLLB took effect, “low care” recipients were required to pay a bond, while “high care” recipients were not. Since two thirds of residents were considered to be “high care,” this meant only one third were required to post a bond. The standard bond is usually between $250,000 and $300,000. Under LLLB, all residents are required to post a bond. That works out to three times as much bond money than before and three times as many people being burdened with paying a bond.“The Cookie Cutter Approach”Minister Butler also remarked in 2011 that consumers didn’t want a “cookie cutter approach” and that LLLB would provide choices while eliminating the “cookie cutter approach.” He postulated that competition would produce more diversity in the approaches to aged care and provide more choices for residents. According to senior citizen advocates, this has not happened yet. The Tall Trees Care Communities ApproachTall Trees Care Communities is a small organisation of communities which provide an alternative to the typical nursing home or aged care facility. They serve the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. According to Co-Founder Phil Usher:“We talked to our own parents and got feedback from a lot of elderly citizens when we were deciding how we were going to create Tall Trees Care Communities. The two things that they wanted most were their independence and their dignity. Nobody likes being treated like a number or having all of their decisions made for them every day. So we decided on the model of consumer directed care.”Phil Usher concluded, “Our residents couldn’t be happier. And neither could we.”Tall Trees Care Communities are a group of nursing home and aged care alternatives in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. To learn more about Tall Trees and their unique approach to consumer directed care, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/.