The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-06-01T04:31:49Z Mirage Haven Debuts Luxury Collection of Designer Cushions 2020-06-01T04:31:49Z mirage-haven-debuts-luxury-collection-of-designer-cushions GOLD COAST | Breathing new life into the Australian aesthetic in coastal interiors, Mirage Haven launches its very first series of beautifully designed and crafted luxe cushions.  Plush velluto, crisp cotton, and silver-woven jute make for fresh combinations. Block patterns in soothing naturals, bold indigo, and neutral whites create arresting visuals but calm the overall mood. The collection’s easy-to-mix- and-layer-on patterns and colours augment the series’ sensible balance of classic style, high-end quality, and reasonable pricing, all emblematic of Mirage Haven’s approach to practical luxury. The debut line is an inspired result of valuable experience in the creative process by designer Junie Lin, Mirage Haven’s Founder and Creative Director. She notes, “Cushion styling should be effortless and mood-invoking. I created this collection in quintessential classic style in pairing with Australia's iconic, casual approach to home décor. Designing this line is a fresh representation of my personal style. I want my creations not only to be accessible but to also present beautifully in any home."   The joy of living in beautiful homes suffused with its own individualistic style is a need Junie Lin wishes to share.  She takes pride in designs that stand the test of trends and reflect sterling quality by prime craftsmanship. The debut collection echoes this artistic ethos and so merits consideration as sound investment in soft furnishings.  The Mirage Haven brand marks the second introduction to Junie's home furnishings brand and the first in the wholesale retail category. It is all about premium home accessories designed to blend harmoniously with most spatial arrangements and home environments. Of the debut collection, Junie says, “We’ve infused classic patterns and styles throughout the collection, merging urban and coastal looks to create a covetable collection that works across all design influences." This coming-out collection launches with five distinct patterns, each in different colourways, all designed to mix or make a statement on their own: AGERY –Richly textured plain velutto cohesively pulls your range of prints and patterns together toward a lovely, cohesive style. BADEN – Clean lines and stunning two-tone blocking contrasts packs a contemporary punch. CALDER –Slubbed cotton, smooth velvet, and natural linen mix to achieve a laid-back modern appeal. DARLEY – Embossed stitched patterns on plush velvet provides dimension and visual texture to cushion arrangements. EASTWOOD – Geometric lines and silver-threaded natural fabric combine to imbue a handsome take on the modern-casual look. FLYNN – Plus velvets and natural khaki in soft velvets and crisp linens provide a gorgeous visual and tactile mix. Take a look at the 60-piece debut collection at Mirage Haven’s website. New colours and designs are on the drawing board.  To learn more about the collection, visit Mirage Haven's website at www.miragehaven.com.au.  Join the conversation on social media with @miragehaven.  Browse the lookbook at: https://bit.ly/3gHUP4s ABOUT MIRAGE HAVEN Mirage Haven is a premier specialty retailer and wholesaler of soft furnishings. Stellar fabrics, versatile designs, and exceptional sewing techniques provide function and comfort with a profound sense of grace and glamour. Mirage Haven’s mix-and-match collection transcends trends and styles beautifully. Bold and nuanced colour stories, hushed or vibrant patterns, and traditional compositions marry superlatively well across collections to allow arrangements to speak of new concepts. Their time-honored vision: to create classic, upscale and memorable soft furnishings of exceptional value. ABOUT JUNIE LIN Junie, founder and creative director Mirage Haven, is owner of a popular online shopping destination, Hamptons Home on the Gold Coast, Australia. Her long experience of owning one of Australia’s premiere online retail stores has given her a unique perspective on the type of home furnishings people actually want in their homes. Bringing the same aesthetic to her product designs for Mirage Haven, Junie’s line of cushions epitomizes crisp, pared down, and sophisticated edges integrated with timeless design elements such as quatrefoils, clean lines, and circular motifs. Junie was nominated as one of the finalists for the 2019 Ausmumprenuer Awards in the retail category. CONTACT  Junie Lin Email: hello@miragehaven.com.au www.miragehaven.com.au www.facebook.com/miragehaven www.instagram.com/miragehaven How to identify best online apps for furniture and household items 2020-05-30T19:31:14Z how-to-identify-best-online-apps-for-furniture-and-household-items Technological advancements across the world today have changed how everything is done. Unlike previously where people had to go queue or visit showrooms to get furniture and other household items that best suits their needs, today, people can access all these by just a click of a button, thanks to online apps. These apps have made things easy for shoppers, as they bring convenience and saves time, apart from making the whole experience cheap. But how do you know if the online app is best for you needs? We look at some of the things that can help you identify the best online apps for furniture and household items. Cost of what you want to buy Each of the online apps that allow people to sell furniture and other household items has their own prices, and in most cases, the prices differ from one app to another. This means that before selecting the one to buy from, you have to shop around to find one that offers value for money. This can be regarding how much the items are sold on the particular platform you want to buy from.  You can find real cheap products on sites such as the www.hqlinen.com, and yet these products are of good quality. Quality of the products Don’t let the low prices displayed on some of the apps dupe you. You should never sacrifice the quality of your furniture or any other household items simply because it is quite cheap. Before you settle on any online shopping app, you need to be sure that the products sold on it are of high quality, and that they can serve you in the way you really want. Note that online apps can help you save money, but if chosen wrongly, you might end up losing much more regarding quality. Features of the app Whether you intend to buy bedsheets and pillows for your bed or kitchenware, you need to get an app that makes it easy for you to place the order. The app should also make it easy for the buyer to navigate through the various items, reading the product descriptions of each one of them. There are times when individuals buy items using some of the apps, only to be disappointed later. Does the app have annoying ads? Perhaps this is another critical consideration when selecting an online app to buy your stuff. Many app developers have the intention to make money. And to make their dreams a reality, they tend to stuff the app with ads, where advertisers pay the developer to reach a large audience. But as a buyer, how will you benefit from the ads if they are not customized to suit your needs? Some of the ads are so inappropriate that one would rather avoid the app altogether. Choose a mobile app for your online shopping that is both simple to use as well as cheap to maintain. Apps can take a lot of memory space on your smartphone, and this can slow down the operation speed of the phone. For this reason, it is always prudent to be keen on the type of app you want to install on your phone.   Melbourne buyers advocate, Buyer Marketing, sees a surge in listings as public auction ban is lifted 2020-05-29T03:58:18Z melbourne-buyers-advocate-buyer-marketing-sees-a-surge-in-listings-as-public-auction-ban-is-lifted Friday, May, 29; 2020, Melbourne - Buyer Marketing, Melbourne's most experienced buyer advocates, are thrilled to report a surge in listings as a result of the recent lift on restrictions to public auctions.   As of Wednesday, the 13th of May 2020, public auction bans were lifted in Melbourne, following a seven-week freeze that was enforced by the state to reduce public contact and minimise the spread of COVID-19.   Following a drop in cases, real estate activities have been able to recommence seeing public auctions now open once more and positive signs suggesting that citizens are ready to go back to normal and proceed with real estate purchase plans that had been halted as a result of the restrictions.   While the public auction ban has been lifted, there are still restrictions in place that property buyers must be aware of. Most impactful of the restrictions is the attendee limit. At all public auctions, for the time being, only ten potential buyers are allowed to attend. Then, in addition, agents and vendors can be present.    Open For Inspections have also recommenced in Melbourne with the same ten-person limit of potential buyers allowed on-site at one time.   Melbourne buyers advocates can help property buyers by acting on their behalf in cases where attendee limits may be reached.   Following the ban lift on the 13th of May, there was an immediate surge in vendor activity, with roughly 1500 properties listed on realestate.com.au immediately after the announcement in Victoria.   Reviewing results of public auctions reported by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), buyer advocates, Buyer Marketing, found that the first three weekends in May saw more than 287 auctions.   Of those auctions, 106 properties were sold, 51 of those were passed in, 17 were sold on a vendor bid, and 82 properties were sold before the auction took place.   Considering the first two weekends were still under the public auction ban, there is a strong indicator that these numbers should surge high come June.   In more great news, buyers advocate, Buyer Marketing, has seen competition stay strong throughout Melbourne. Good properties remain in high demand, with great buyer competition. Meaning, this pandemic should see very little impact to home values.   About Buyer Marketing Buyer Marketing is Melbourne's most experienced buyer advocates, working with property buyers, offering buyer advocate services that assist property buyers in finding, negotiating and securing the right property at the right price.   The property sector is ever-moving and ever-evolving. Understanding the ebbs and flows of this market requires a continual finger on the pulse, a learned ability to spot great deals, understand the challenges of the market and know what concessions to ask for.   Most property buyers simply want to buy a new home or an investment property, and they don't have the time to become experts on the property market. For that reason, buyer advocates are critical in getting the best information, advice and support, filling the gaps in knowledge so that property buyers waste no time, energy and money.   For buyer advocates in Melbourne, property buyers need Buyer Marketing. The Greenwall Company introduce new greening options 2020-05-28T01:12:31Z the-greenwall-company-introduce-new-greening-options The Greenwall Company have been reclaiming the built environment by clothing building facades and indoor spaces for over 30 years. Their signature and patented soilless modular installations can be seen across Australia, with locations including the award-winning Origin Energy head office in Melbourne and the famous Qantas First Class Lounge at Sydney’s International Airport. Following testing and successful installation, The Greenwall Company is releasing their new checkerboard walls, cacti/tree planters and bespoke pot-free outdoor planters. Mark Paul, Horticulturist and founder of The Greenwall Company says, “We’re excited to officially launch the new design options as I feel they will provide real solutions for those looking to green their homes or commercial space. These new designs are really for people or businesses who don’t have the standard blank concrete wall to work with, are looking for something standout or simply have an awkward space or lack of it. “All of our installations, big or small, are planted with our patented soilless media which is made from 94% recycled expanded plastics that would otherwise be destined for Australian landfill. The formulation is so much lighter than soil, even when wet, greatly reducing the structural load and need to reinforce the surface they are being applied to is removed, making life easier, cheaper and environmentally friendly for the client,” said Mark. The Greenwall Company now offer the following designs for residential or commercial installation. All designs are bespoke and created by The Greenwall Company team: Standard Greenwalls: A soil-less vertical garden grown on the surface of a built structure designed to replicate the growing conditions found in nature. Pre-planted modular panels are installed to create a living skin with unlimited design opportunities. Standard size is 2m x 1m, however they can also be custom built to any size. Pseudo Greenwalls: The pseudo greenwall system works on the basic principles of a true greenwall, but with cost advantages. Pockets of inorganic media are used to grow individual plants, as opposed to full panels that support a mass of individual plants. In time, these pockets grow to form a full canopy across the space they are on. Checkerboard Greenwalls: A pattern of greenwall panels arranged in a checkerboard layout, nominal panel size is 620mm x 600mm. This greenwall panel can halve the amount of greenwall surface area. Thus, the cost is also proportionately reduced. This style of greenwall is a creative/colourful adaption of a greenwall. Blade Greenwalls: This is a small slice of greenwall nominally, 200mm x 200mm x 2000mm. This size of greenwall is malleable enough to incorporate green strips within the facade of an existing building. A blade instantly greens a small area adding colour and life to the smallest of spaces EcoPillow Planters: Pre-planted lightweight gabions in bespoke sizes and shapes depending on the area available. Sizes range from the “Coffin” which is 2m x 0.5m x 0.5m, or a cube which is 1m x 0.5m x 0.5m or 1m x 1m x 1m. Perfect for use on balconies, outdoor entertaining spaces and can be easily moved if needed, as they are significantly lighter than a pot full of soil. Greenroofs: Modular in design, the EcoPillow is a pre-grown living roof that offers all the proven benefits of a greenroof while radically reducing risk and cost of the roofing structure. As a pre-grown and fully encased product, the EcoPillow is lightweight, has built-in irritation which reduces the risks from extreme weather conditions, wind scour or rain erosion. These can be planted across the full area, or only planted initially with 50% coverage, again reducing costs but allowing growth to cover the entire space. All of The Greenwall Company’s greening options provide benefits beyond their aesthetic appeal, including reducing the urban heat island effect, improving air quality and general wellbeing of those around them. In Australia, there are over 6,000 species that can be colonised on both rocks (lithophytes) and on trees (epiphytes). www.greenwall.com.au Melbourne's leading Family Lawyer, Marc Testart, wins the 2020 Three Best Rated Award 2020-05-26T06:22:54Z melbourne-s-leading-family-lawyer-marc-testart-wins-the-2020-three-best-rated-award Melbourne 26/05/2020 - Marc Testart, one of the most preferred and top-rated family lawyers in Melbourne, has recently won the prestigious 2020 Three Best Rated® Award. As a barrister and Solicitor of family law, Marc is a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution and an expert in finding solutions that bring peace to the clients. He is one of the go-to family lawyers for many people in Melbourne. All aspects of his practice are put to analysis and evaluation using a 50-point inspection by Three Best Rated and recognized him as one of the best family lawyers. Following his experience as a barrister in trial advocacy, Marc established Testart Family Lawyers in 2013. Marc started the family lawyers firm after seeing most of his clients ending up at court, which is stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. He knew there must be a better way to deal with the familial disputes. He says, being able to help his clients resolve their disputes without having to go to court, as his best achievement in the field. And when his clients do have to go to court, he and his team have a wealth of experience to guide them through the process. Marc points out that family lawyers deal with complex and powerful human emotions. It is an inherently stressful experience to be in dispute over your children and your financial future. Family law is a high-stakes area of the law, and every case is important. Family lawyers need to be compassionate, able to think laterally and be able to improvise when under pressure. He further says, "The earlier you engage a family lawyer in the separation process, the better the outcome is likely to be." Marc feels honoured to be listed on Three Best Rated®. He considers being able to help his clients and to earn their trust is highly rewarding. Marc is the principal family lawyer at his firm. He continues to offer his legal support to the people of Melbourne through Testart Family Lawyers. Experts warn: don’t forget your pet as lockdown lifts 2020-05-22T03:53:06Z experts-warn-don-t-forget-your-pet-as-lockdown-lifts Pet owners are being urged to plan ahead for their pets as they return to the office after the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Cats and dogs around Australia are likely to face a stressful adjustment period as pet owners venture back to work and school over the next few months.  Pet adoption numbers have skyrocketed since the coronavirus pandemic resulted in Australia-wide lockdown restrictions. This adds concerns that new pet owners may not know how to include their adopted furry friend into a post-lockdown lifestyle. Pawshake, often described as the Airbnb for pet sitting, is encouraging Aussie pet owners to factor their pet into their post-lockdown plans.  ‘Our pets have loved having us at home and the additional time we have been spending with them,’ says Tanguy Peers, co-founder of Pawshake, ‘but we will need to ease them back into our regular routines properly or else they could develop behavioural issues. This can lead to undesirable behaviours like chewing and barking or separation anxiety.’ ‘It’s important that pet owners set aside some extra time to continue to exercise, play and bond with their pets.’ To encourage pet owners to continue to spend time with their pets, Pawshake has launched a free 7-Day Challenge to help pet owners ease their cat or dog into the next phase with a fun and healthy routine. The 7-Day Challenge includes games, training lessons and handy tips to help humans and pets adjust to post-lockdown life and keep them physically and mentally challenged.  Each day’s challenge arrives straight in your inbox and can be done from the comfort of home, using everyday items from around the house. Most of the challenges take less than ten minutes to complete. The 7-Day Challenge has been created by Pawshake dog and cat experts, and is designed to be fun and healthy for pets. Highlights include building giant box castles and slow feeders for your cat, to homemade treats and teaching your dog to help around the house by closing drawers. Humans will benefit, too, with each challenge designed to celebrate the daily joy that can be found from spending quality time with your pet. The Pawshake 7-Day Challenge can be joined for free here. For further information or quotes, please contact  Pawshake Marketing Manager: sharon@pawshake.com Australian Community Manager: jessica@pawshake.com 7-Day Challenge: https://mailchi.mp/pawshake/7-day-challenge https://www.pawshake.com.au/ Afford Supports Inclusivity on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (21 May) 2020-05-21T04:05:07Z afford-supports-inclusivity-on-global-accessibility-awareness-day-21-may Inclusive technology helps Courtney reach her study goal with support from AffordAfford TeleCare is a virtual, contact-free solution to connect people living with disability with allied health professionals for essential wellbeing supportAfford champions inclusive communities across its disability services Global Accessibility Awareness Day (Thursday, 21st May 2020) calls the wider community to consider inclusive digital access for people with disability. Afford (The Australian Foundation for Disability) is a leading not-for-profit disability provider that champions inclusivity in the delivery of all its services – on-site and online. Sixteen-year-old Courtney lives with her mum in Biggera Waters in Queensland’s south. For Courtney, her dual diagnosis of cerebral palsy and intellectual disability makes reading and understanding written words difficult. Breaking down words into syllables and decoding the sounds of letters can cause daily frustration. Despite this, Courtney is determined to achieve her goal of studying childcare education at TAFE. In August 2019, Afford’s Allied Health team connected Courtney with a Queensland speech pathologist. Over the months, speech pathology has supported Courtney to develop her literacy skills. She now has the confidence to write letters to her mum and read her driver learners manual with some support. Working towards her goal of completing her childcare studies, speech pathology supports Courtney for spelling, reading and comprehension. With speech pathology support, a trial of assistive technology, known as the Orcam, was organised to help Courtney understand printed and online texts. Orcam is a micro-computer that reads text aloud. Courtney can attach the Orcam to the side of her glasses. To use the device, Courtney looks at the page and runs her finger under words she wants read. Orcam recognises her fingernail, takes a photo of the text above and reads it aloud. In support of inclusiveness for people with disability across the country, Afford has established Afford TeleCare. The initiative delivers disability supports to individuals across Australia via an innovative, contact-free and virtual solution. Via Afford TeleCare, individuals benefit from continued access to essential care from allied health professionals for overall health and mental wellbeing. Afford TeleCare connects individuals to professionals across a range of services including, but not limited to, psychology, occupational therapy, emotional regulations, and speech pathology on a virtual platform to develop routines and explore meaningful activities during isolation. “Afford TeleCare changes the way disability supports are delivered. The virtual platform gives people access to regular allied health supports from the comfort of their home. Afford uses various forms of technology to provide remote, contact-free care so that individuals receive continued health management throughout the current isolation and social distancing measures,” said Afford CEO, Steven Herald. Afford TeleCare is available for existing and new clients who wish to access these services. Afford is committed to developing new methods of delivering disability supports so that every person living with disability can achieve their goals and feel assisted during COVID-19 under the NDIS. Watch this video to find out more about Afford TeleCare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGs6bZcZlhg. Afford is a registered charity and has been operating in Australia for 68 years, providing a range of disability supports to thousands of people every day. As one of Australia’s longest-serving not-for-profit disability organisations, Afford supports individuals to achieve their goals for work, home and life under the NDIS. More information:Afford TeleCare - email telecare@afford.com.au or call1300 379 308. Afford - visit www.afford.com.au or call 1300 233 673. END Media Contact: Maria Crema: Crema PR m 0402 239 929 e maria@cremapr.com.au About Afford - www.afford.com.auThe Australian Foundation for Disability is a registered charity providing disability services to thousands of people across Australia. The supports provided by Afford include Shared Living; Overnight Respite; Social and Community Programs; Transition to Work Programs; Transition to Retirement Programs; Carer Support; Disability Employment Services; Supported Employment; Allied Health Support, Support Coordination and Supported Holidays. Afford Jamisontown Day Program Brings Much-Loved Activities to Life On-Site for Stimulation and Enjoyment 2020-05-20T00:53:07Z afford-jamisontown-day-program-brings-much-loved-activities-to-life-on-site-for-stimulation-and-enjoyment Community access restrictions across the country have challenged many disability providers to adapt the delivery of supports. Faced with more time on-site, disability services like Afford's Jamisontown Day Program in the Penrith region, are taking a fresh approach to supports. The site is incorporating new, meaningful, and stimulating experiences for all who access the service during isolation. Afford (The Australian Foundation for Disability) is a leading disability provider that has successfully adapted to the change in operating environments by establishing new initiatives to ensure continuity of disability supports for all Australians. The organisation credits much of its success to frontline staff. Afford go above and beyond to provide individualised supports on-site to engage clients in meaningful activities during isolation. Team Leader, Leonie Pearson, and her team at Jamisontown Day Program, led by Lisa Chantler, have worked hard to replicate many popular outings and activities at their day program. Activities incorporate skill development, as well as entertainment and fun for continued client engagement. “Visiting the library was a weekly excursion for our clients before COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. Activities that encourage literacy and mental stimulation support client development and wellbeing, so we created an outdoor reading area on-site. We read books just like we're at the library,” said Leonie Pearson, Team Leader at Jamisontown Day Program. Before COVID-19 restrictions, Jamisontown clients enjoyed a weekly sailing program as well as lunch outings to the local pub or club. Leonie and Lisa brought these much-loved experiences to life on-site for all to enjoy in the comfort of their day program. “Going out for lunch is a cherished experience for our clients. They can engage with others and practice skills for everyday life. They build their confidence by ordering food for lunch and paying for it with their own money,” Leonie explained. “To replicate the eating out experience on-site, we transformed our Afford van into a temporary food truck with a menu and tickets for customer orders. Clients developed their communication skills and were excited to participate.” Leonie and Lisa integrate a variety of engaging activities on-site for Jamisontown Day Program clients, including cruise days, a pen-pal club, sensory gardening and treasure hunts. All activities support skills development and help clients maintain a happy and healthy mindset. Afford has also established Afford TeleCare to deliver disability supports to individuals across Australia via an innovative, contact-free and virtual solution. Via Afford TeleCare, individuals benefit from continued access to essential care from allied health professionals for overall health and mental wellbeing. Afford TeleCare connects individuals to professionals across a range of services including, but not limited to, psychology, occupational therapy, emotional regulations, and speech pathology on a virtual platform to develop routines and explore meaningful activities during isolation. “Afford TeleCare changes the way disability supports are delivered. The virtual platform gives people access to regular allied health supports from the comfort of their home. Afford uses various forms of technology to provide remote, contact-free care so that individuals receive continued health management throughout the current isolation and social distancing measures,” said Afford CEO, Steven Herald. Afford TeleCare is available for existing and new clients who wish to access these services. Afford is committed to developing new methods of delivering disability supports so that every person living with disability has the opportunity to achieve their goals and feel assisted during COVID-19 under the NDIS. Watch this video to find out more about Afford TeleCare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGs6bZcZlhg. Afford is a registered charity and has been operating in Australia for 68 years, providing a range of disability supports to thousands of people every day. As one of Australia’s longest-serving not-for-profit disability organisations, Afford supports individuals to achieve their goals for work, home and life under the NDIS. More information:Afford TeleCare - email telecare@afford.com.au or call1300 379 308. Afford - visit www.afford.com.au or call 1300 233 673. END Media Contact: Maria Crema: Crema PR m 0402 239 929 e maria@cremapr.com.au About Afford - www.afford.com.auThe Australian Foundation for Disability is a registered charity providing disability services to thousands of people across Australia. The supports provided by Afford include Shared Living; Overnight Respite; Social and Community Programs; Transition to Work Programs; Transition to Retirement Programs; Carer Support; Disability Employment Services; Supported Employment; Allied Health Support, Support Coordination and Supported Holidays. Afford Enriches the Lives of Oran Park Locals Living with Disability 2020-05-20T00:39:59Z afford-enriches-the-lives-of-oran-park-locals-living-with-disability Oran Park locals living with disability are engaging in meaningful and enriching life experiences during isolation thanks to one-to-one support from Afford (The Australian Foundation for Disability). For the past three years, the staff at Afford’s Oran Park Day Program have supported Mathew to get involved in the things he loves, such as going to the gym and immersing in nature. Adapting to COVID-19 restrictions, Afford worked with Mathew to change his previous day program based supports, to individualised one-to-one support from an Afford Lifestyle Assistant. With assistance, Mathew recently visited Mount Annan Botanical Gardens. The outing combined one of his much-loved interests and provided personalised social interaction for a healthy mindset. “I love going out into nature and enjoying some sun rays,” said Mathew. Krystan also benefits from one-to-one support from Afford. At home, she explores her creativity through art projects. Her Afford lifestyle assistant encourages her to keep up an exercise routine to stay active and healthy. During one-to-one support, Krystan is progressing her numeracy and literacy skills. Gaining confidence in using numbers and letters for everyday life is an NDIS goal for Krystan. With her support person, she completes addition and subtraction worksheets and plays fun maths games. Through books, they read for entertainment and explore new places, people, and cultures of the world. “Recent world events have meant that we have to adapt to different ways of delivering disability supports. With one-to-one in-home supports, our clients can continue to work towards their goals, even while isolation measures are in place,” said Antoinette Imbruglia, Team Leader at Oran Park Day Program. With individualised support from Afford’s Oran Park Day Program staff, people living with disability in the local community can develop their skills engage in activities they love and live life their way. Afford is a registered charity and has been operating in Australia for 68 years, providing a range of disability supports to thousands of people every day. As one of Australia’s longest-serving not-for-profit disability organisations, Afford goes above and beyond traditional service offerings to adapt to new operating environments to support individuals achieve their goals for work, home and life under the NDIS. For more information visit www.afford.com.au or call 1300 233 673. ENDS Media Contact: Maria Crema: Crema PR m 0402 239 929 e maria@cremapr.com.au About Afford - www.afford.com.auThe Australian Foundation for Disability is a registered charity providing disability services to thousands of people across Australia. The supports provided by Afford include Shared Living; Overnight Respite; Social and Community Programs; Transition to Work Programs; Transition to Retirement Programs; Carer Support; Disability Employment Services; Supported Employment; Allied Health Support, Support Coordination and Supported Holidays. Mirage Haven To Debut Its Premiere Opulent Cushion Collection on 30 May 2020-05-19T05:45:38Z mirage-haven-to-debut-its-premiere-opulent-cushion-collection-on-30-may BRISBANE | Australia-based designer/entrepreneur Junie Lin is set to debut Mirage Haven, a premium soft furnishings online retail destination on 30 May. Open to both retail and wholesale, the premiere Mirage Haven collection boasts a 60-piece luxury cushion collection nuanced with stylish and authentic interpretations from her design viewpoint.  Expect opulent fabrics, gorgeous patterns, and sumptuous textures to be emblematic of all their impeccably designed cushions. The first range of collections feature easy-to-mix and layer-on colours and patterns. A sensible balance of style, quality, and price also imbue Mirage Have’s line with pragmatic luxury.   “Cushion styling should be effortless and mood-invoking. We created this collection in quintessential classic style, along with Australia's iconic, casual approach to home décor,” said Junie Lin, Founder and Creative Director. “Designing this line is a fresh representation of my personal style. I want my creations not only to be accessible but to also present beautifully in any home."  The joy of living in beautiful homes suffused with its own individualistic style is a need Junie Lin wishes to share.  Out of that creative need, Mirage Haven was born. The opportunities to create alluring ambiences motivate the company to offer premium home accessories that blend harmoniously with most spatial arrangements and home environments.  The Mirage Haven brand marks the second introduction to Junie's home furnishings brand and the first in the wholesale retail category. Of the debut collection, Junie says, “We’ve infused classic patterns and styles throughout the collection, merging urban and coastal looks to create a covetable collection that works across all design influences." This coming-out collection launches with five distinct patterns, each in different colourways, all designed to mix or make a statement on their own: AGERY –Richly textured plain velutto cohesively pulls your range of prints and patterns together toward a lovely, cohesive style. BADEN – Clean lines and stunning two-tone blocking contrasts packs a contemporary punch. CALDER –Slubbed cotton, smooth velvet, and natural linen mix to achieve a laid-back modern appeal. DARLEY – Embossed stitched patterns on plush velvet provides dimension and visual texture to cushion arrangements. EASTWOOD – Geometric lines and silver-threaded natural fabric combine to imbue a handsome take on the modern-casual look. FLYNN – Dark rich velvets and natural khaki in soft velvets and crisp linens provide a gorgeous visual and tactile mix. To learn more about the collection, visit Mirage Haven's website at www.miragehaven.com.au.   Join the conversation on social media @miragehaven.  Or browse the lookbook at:  https://issuu.com/miragehaven/docs/mirage_haven_debut_lookbook ABOUT MIRAGE HAVEN Mirage Haven is a premier specialty retailer and wholesaler of soft furnishings. Stellar fabrics, versatile designs, and exceptional sewing techniques provide function and comfort with a profound sense of grace and glamour. Mirage Haven’s mix-and-match collection transcends trends and styles beautifully. Bold and nuanced colour stories, hushed or vibrant patterns, and traditional compositions marry superlatively well across collections to allow arrangements to speak of new concepts. Their time-honored vision: to create classic, upscale and memorable soft furnishings of exceptional value. ABOUT JUNIE LIN Junie, founder and creative director Mirage Haven, is owner of a popular online shopping destination, Hamptons Home on the Gold Coast, Australia. Her long experience of owning one of Australia’s premiere online retail stores has given her a unique perspective on the type of home furnishings people actually want in their homes. Bringing the same aesthetic to her product designs for Mirage Haven, Junie’s line of cushions epitomizes crisp, pared down, and sophisticated edges integrated with timeless design elements such as quatrefoils, clean lines, and circular motifs. Junie was nominated as one of the finalists for the 2019 Ausmumprenuer Awards in the retail category. Australia's celebrated international beauty queen, Robbie Canner introduces the first of her Ms Australia & New Zealand World 2020 National Finalists 2020-05-18T07:52:38Z australia-s-celebrated-international-beauty-queen-robbie-canner-introduces-the-first-of-her-ms-australia-amp-new-zealand-world-2020-national-finalists Australia's celebrated international beauty queen, Robbie Canner is on the hunt for successors after taking over the reins of the Australian and New Zealand arm of the prestigious international Ms World pageant - and she wishes to introduce her first 15 national finalists! Coming from all walks of life, cultures (Australian indigenous, Fijian, Afghan, Kenyan, Burmese, Filippino, Kiwi - but to name a few!) and backgrounds, Robbie Canner is committed to ensuring the Ms Australia and New Zealand World is an inclusive pageant welcoming and embracing women from all walks of life. "My aim is for all women of Australia and New Zealand to be represented in the World pageant," said Ms Canner. The Australian and New Zealand finals of the internationally-renowned pageant, which were set to be held in May, have been postponed to 28-30 August, 2020 at the Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, and is open to all ladies 26 years and over and of any status. "I decided to take on the role of director because the World pageant has been fantastic for me and I wanted to give back to all ladies 26 and over to have the same opportunities as I have had so the inaugural pageant is here, and with New Zealand so close I decided to have them join so we can grow World," said Ms Canner, who resides in Sydney. The pageant is a charity event for Tour de Cure Australia, and more specifically, the Scott Canner Young Investigator Grant (named after Robbie's late son who lost his battle to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 at the age of 22), which helps fund the research of up-and-coming cancer researchers. More than 750K in grants have been awarded thus far. The Ms World platform is NOWSA - National Organization for Women's Safety Awareness. "The World pageant system is all about the entrant. No platform or charity is a requirement although we welcome entrants to share their chosen charities and platforms with us, if they have one," said Ms Canner. "All the World queens are coming from the US for the gala evening in August 2020, and most of the judges will be international judges." Major sponsor, huntmaster has generously supported the event, offering the four major winners, Ms Australia World and Ms Australia World Elite and Ms New Zealand World and Ms New Zealand World Elite entry to the prestigious Ms World Pageant 2020 from 13-16 October, 2020 in Las Vegas, United States of America as well as accommodation, food, beverages and return economy flights. "I would love all ladies to enter - the more the merrier! Come join us - it’s a fantastic ride," said Ms Canner. During her reign as Ms World 2018/19, Ms Canner proved that age really is just a number, from beating out beauties from 22 different countries aged 26 and up - to walking the prestigious New York Fashion Week in February 2019 as the one of the oldest models to grace the runway. Entries are being accepted now. Entry Form and Pageant Information can be found at this link: https://www.robbiecanner.com.au/ms-australia-new-zealand-world-2020. For more information, or interview/photo requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: joanne@zanthii.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zanthiiau Darrylin Gordon Halls Creek, WA Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Ms Australia World 2020 national finalist, Darrylin Gordon is an Indigenous farmer from Halls Creek in Western Australia's Kimberley region, who came to prominence after her appearance in the Visible Farmer documentary series. The Visible Farmer project put the spotlight on two pressing issues: gender equality and food security, both which are vital for the future of Australia. The goal of the unique documentary series was to change perceptions and inspire new generations of women to help shape the future of Australia's sustainable food production. "I like what the pageant stands for and as an Aboriginal woman, I hope to be able to create understanding and awareness of the issues faced by our First Nations women whilst promoting reconciliation through my representation," said Ms Gordon. "The pageant platform provides a much greater audience where women from all over the country can come together and share our stories, our diversity and our passion that drives us to be the strong women we are, building a strong foundation to advocate for women from all walks of life. "The cause I am most passionate about is advocating for social change for our First Nations people 'Working together for a better future'." Chantelle O'Donohoe 30 years old Sydney, NSW Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Chantelle is an inspiration and role model for all. She has a strong passion for raising funds and awareness for children’s medical services as well as children’s education. Being a proud Nukunu Aboriginal woman, Chantelle has a sincere concern for bridging the gap within the education of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. Chantelle works at a not-for-profit organisation where she shares her knowledge in emerging technologies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities nationally. Outside of her full-time employment, Chantelle is a mother who raises awareness for social issues and injustices, and is an advocate for several organisations and programs including donating over 600 hours of her personal time to volunteering. Whilst Chantelle is passionate about many causes and loves to volunteer her time, the one cause that particularly concerns her at this time is the increasing gap between the education of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. Particularly within the STEM related subjects of maths, science, technology and engineering. Throughout Chantelle's career, she has been lucky to now find herself in a position where she is able to give back to this cause and put systems and workshops in place to assist in ‘closing the (educational) gap’. After years of researching how to best assist, she found herself taking on a role to teach emerging Technology skills to mob in community all over our beautiful country. Within this role, she teaches skills in caring for country with drones, how to build and code robots, how to preserve culture through digital art, digital storytelling and apps, as well as passing on knowledge on how to open online stories and market themselves which in turn leads them to further independence and becoming self-sufficient in business. She also encourage mob (women particularly) to not only finish High School but also to seek out higher education, and provides them with the pathways available to do so. For 2020, Chantelle has also been issued with an acceptance to the Teachers of STEM initiative and will be returning to University to achieve her Bachelor’s degrees in both Education and Science Engineering. She has a long term plan to continue her work within community and have partnerships in place with the government and local universities to provide assistance and consultation on how to best address the issue of the educational ‘gap’. Maria Perera 29 years old Melbourne, VIC Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Maria is a female director/CEO in civil construction. She comes from a legal background and working in construction was not at all a planned event. In fact, not a lot of people were supportive of her move at the time given not many women were in that specific field. In 2015, Maria fell into construction and built her company from the ground up. She is now an ambassador for women in construction, and industry mentor at RMIT University for female students entering male-dominated industries. Maria has been featured as a Top 100 Woman in construction, and was a speaker at the Sydney Build Expo 2020 on to the topic of diversity in construction, and has also been confirmed as a speaker at the forthcoming Tedx Sydney event. Maria's goal is to promote diversity and female empowerment and uses any available platform to collaborate, and empower, other women. Cole Sialeipata 27 years old Central Coast, NSW Ms New Zealand World 2020 National Finalist Cole Sialeipata was born and raised in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, and unlike many others, Cole has experienced a number of things in her short 28 years of life most wouldn’t think was possible to continue life from - domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness and much more. Cole lived in Christchurch for most of her life until Christchurch was struck with the traumatic 7.1 Earthquake in 2010. Losing almost everything in a short amount of minutes including her life which happened to be saved after deciding to sleep the other way around that night where a TV crushed her feet instead of her head, Cole decided to leave New Zealand and pursue an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for seven months. With the second earthquake in 2011 leaving next to nothing, Cole had nothing to go back to and decided not to get on her flight back home to New Zealand, and instead stayed in Australia to pursue a whole new beginning. This beginning didn’t start off to the greatest but with everything Cole always found the silver lining in things. Cole was homeless, unable to find employment or a safe place to stay. Cole made her way to the Central Coast of New South Wales to a friends' house she had met in the United States who offered her a place to stay. From there, Cole found employment and was able to save and get her own little shoebox apartment and start her life journey. Cole worked in various community sector roles, however still felt like there was something missing in her career and life. Cole eventually got employed by local NGO Coast Shelter working as a support worker for homeless youth. A light lit up in Cole and it was then her passion for her community ignited. Cole has studied her Diploma in Community Service, Homelessness Services and Mental Health. For the past five years, Cole has been actively helping her community at work but also voluntarily. Conducting fundraising events, food drives, social groups, mentorships roles in high schools, and recently joined Women’s Justice Network. Cole has been recognised by the NSW government for her community development achievements and was nominated for the 7News Young Achiever awards for 2020. Cole has raised over $20,000 for her community, and is also the founder of Charity Project Aria and has launched her first pilot program to equip disadvantaged women with various skills who have experienced domestic violence. The program has been designed to help and support women to reintegrate back into their communities better equipped after leaving DV environments. As a Ms New Zealand World 2020 national finalist, Cole hopes to encourage women to be nothing less than themselves in their own beautiful way. Women, just like flowers, trees, the ocean and a rainbow, they have their own beauty. Nicole Smith 50 years old Gold Coast, QLD Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist “Have courage and be kind”, These are Cinderella’s words that Nicole Smith tries to live by everyday. Nicole studied dance on the Gold Coast in Australia and at Michigan State University in the USA, before gaining for her teacher’s qualification in London, England. She was a teacher and then co-director within the Gold Coast Ballet in the late 80's up until 1995. Besides dance, Nicole was also involved in many theatre productions in Australia. She also works extremely hard everyday in her professional career as a Registered Nurse. Nicole started a not-for-profit dance studio called "Terricky Dancers" in Rural Western Australia in 2009. The dance school gave many local and indigenous children free or highly subsidised dance classes. During this time Nicole became involved in her first pageant called "The Boab Quest". Nicole placed 2nd runner up after raising $15,200. This money was used to buy sports equipment and to provide breakfast programs for children who would otherwise have gone to school hungry. After the passing of her husband in 2012, Nicole and her daughter Rebekah found pageantry again. Nicole helped her daughter Rebekah compete in Australia, England, France and the United States. Nicole knew she wanted to do more to help and give back to the community. She wanted to speak out about causes she is passionate about such as the Haemophilia Foundation of Queensland. Because of this, Nicole is so excited to take her experience as performer, dance teacher and pageant mother to the next step of competing in the Ms Australia World and Ms New Zealand World pageant. She believes the pageant world is filled with people dedicated to making improvements in themselves and the world around them every day, and she strives to be one of those people. Em Hardwicke 45 years old Jindabyne (Snowy Mountains), NSW  Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Em Hardwicke of regional New South Wales, was motivated to enter the inaugural Ms Australia & Ms New Zealand World 2020 pageant to raise funds for cancer research and and finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, and also to advocate for women's safety, anti-bullying and suicide prevention. Em spent years in an emotionally abusive relationship without even realising it, but considers herself one of the lucky ones. Em has always believed that every woman and every person has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. She believes no woman deserves to be sexually, physically, mentally or emotionally abused or assaulted. No woman deserves to be disrespected or mistreated. Em wants to be part of the change and use her voice to share the National Organzation for Women’s Safety Awareness (NOWSA) message, vision and mission of educating and advocating for social change. "As a mother to a nearly 6 year old boy, I strongly believe I have a responsibility to teach my son that mistreating and/or disrespecting a woman in any way, at any age or in any circumstance is unacceptable," said Em. "I also want to instil in him a strength to not stand by and watch someone being mistreated or abused. I want to teach him to use his voice and speak up for someone who may not feel they have a voice of their own. By teaching our children, our sons, to treat women with respect from an early age and to encourage our fathers, brothers, uncles and friends to lead by example, only then can we expect to see things change." "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." James Baldwin. Analieze Bella Newton 51 years old Sydney, NSW  Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Analieze entered her first national pageant at 49 years of age after seeing Mrs Earth Australia 2017, Suzi Dent on Channel 7’s Sunrise proudly talking about her experience. Analieze came across the Miss Diamond Australia pageant, which was promoted as being different to other pageants. There were no age, height or weight restrictions, and it was based in Brisbane, Australia. Analieze entered Miss Diamond Australia in 2017, and was crowned Miss Diamond Australia Classic 2018 in April 2018 at 50 years of age. Analieze has used pageantry as a platform to advocate for diabetes, being a sufferer herself, and has even had toes amputated due tp the illness. She is an incredible humanitarian, spending all her time raising awareness for Charity and helping at homeless feeds. As an adult, Analieze was a single mother for many years; she might not have been homeless but she has experienced having to line up for food vouchers at charity organisations to be able to feed herself and sometimes needed help to have her dues paid. These were not her happiest years but by having been in this situation herself where she needed help she realises how important it is to be able to give back and help people less fortunate. Prior to pageantry, Analieze was a lost soul, a ghost. pageantry has changed her life, she now sits on the judging panel at pageants around Australia and the world, and is a bit of a celebrity. Analieze migrated to Australia from the Philippines at the age of 18 and resides in West Ryde in New South Wales, Australia. She works as a legal secretary, and is a proud mother to her son, Sean. Pan Sandar Myint 28 year old Sydney, NSW Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Pan Sandar Myint was born in Myanmar with Rohingya Burmese background. Pan graduated high school with 92% and gained entrance to study Medicine in 2008. But Pan still pursued to study abroad because of not getting equal human rights for being Rohingya in Myanmar. Pan graduated with a Diploma of Business at TAFE in 2010 which led her to finish her Accounting degree within two years & six months. After working in the accounting industry for a while, Pan realised the professional didn't suit her friendly & bubbly personality so she decided to change careers and now enjoys a successful career in the migration industry. Coming from the most prosecuted ethnic “Rohingya” in the 21st century, Pan strongly advocates on following the path of tolerance to save humanitarian value. Due to her strong passion of humanitarian rights, Pan was awarded a scholarship from Change the World United Nations as a delegate of Angola for the 2019 Path Of Tolerance campaign held at NYU University (Abu Dhabi). With no experience in modelling, fashion or beauty pageanty, Pan joined the Ms World Australian pageant as a platform to advocate equal human rights and to save humanitarian value by following the path of tolerance. Due to Pan's strong advocacy for Equal Rights of her Rohingya Community, she has appeared on several news media outlets (SBS Australia Burma, Friends World TV, Radio Free Air Asia and Pak Awaaz). Pan is extremely grateful to represent Australia by enjoying priceless moments with her beautiful pageant family, their strong support & love. Diana Omuoyo Sydney, NSW Ms New Zealand World 2020 National Finalist Diana is a Kenyan native and over the last 16 years has lived in the United States and New Zealand, moving to Sydney, Australia in 2019. She works as an IT Solution Engineer and as a woman of colour in Tech is a minority in a predominantly male-oriented field. Her love for Math and Technology is what drives her passion for sharing her knowledge and experiences in the field. She has co-founded and partnered with programs that support Science Technology Engineering and Math [STEM] in schools and colleges, mentoring and coaching others on these topics and educating them on the various career options in these fields.Often the ‘odd one out’ and having to navigate through a lot of the stereotypes and biases, she has endured bullying at work and the struggles of having to prove herself. This is a sentiment shared by a lot of other women and minorities in Tech. By establishing, contributing and sharing on Tech forums and platforms, she aspires to be one of the voices that inspires and supports not only those wanting to join the industry but also motivate those currently in it to continue on.Another passion of hers stems from the kindness & generosity she felt when she first moved to New Zealand with no family or friends. Her involvement & engagement with the community gave her that sense of belonging. It is because of this that she often volunteers for a broad spectrum of causes as her way of participating, supporting & giving back to the community. She learnt that every little gesture that helps spread positivity, togetherness and that brightens another’s day is always worth it.She joined the Ms. New Zealand World Pageant to continue to share her experiences and raise awareness for worthy causes. She stands with the women and minorities in the STEM fields - in pursuit of knowledge and strength to learn and grow because “The journey starts from within”. Katie Mouser 37 year old Canberra, ACT Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Katie joined the Ms Australia World 2020 pageant because she wanted to set herself a challenge in 2020; not only to improve and better herself, but also to find a way to provide more exposure to causes which she feels passionately about, and wish she could do more for, on both a national and international stage. Katie also loves the idea of building new networks, and forming new connections & friendships; supporting on another on their journeys. Katie hopes to represent to the nation (and internationally), a genuine, successful and mindful modern woman; capable of achieving whatever she sets her mind to regardless of age, ability or experience. During the pageant (and at Ms World if she were to win nationally), Katie intends to work with her fellow women to engage their communities and increase awareness of their platforms; not only by example, but also utilising the exposure a national and/or world title presents them with media and community options for raising support. As a child, Katie grew up in another country, and when she came back to Australia, she felt displaced, uncertain and anxious. As she worked to overcome this, Katie decided that where it was within her power, she never wanted another person to feel that way. Katie discovered she had a natural talent for forging solid, long-lasting friendships and relationships with almost everyone that she came across, something which continues today. This assists Katie greatly in gaining much needed support for causes she is passionate about, but also gives her a solid and trusted foundation to help others who may confide in her, or ask for her help, to provide them with honest, genuine and humble assistance. Katie takes great pride in her resilience; and is thankful to be supporting NOWSA through the Ms World system. As a survivor of domestic violence, experienced first-hand at a young age, she is wholeheartedly behind an organisation which aims to keep women safe. Katie is also incredibly grateful to be supporting Tour De Cure as Ms Australia World's charity platform at a national level; Cancer has affected many people she cares about, has stolen some too soon, and left it's own mark in her life, not only in her heart and mind, but also having had a cervical cancer scare herself. Katie is proud to be participating in a pageant surrounded by beautiful, genuine and kind women, each of them accepted for being their true selves along their journeys alongside each other. Leila Beikmohammadloei 47 years old Brisbane, QLD Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Leila is competing in the Ms Australia World 2020 pageant because she believes that each and every single one of us has a voice. She believes everyone has a story (or stories) to tell which consist of our experiences and locations, our hopes and aspirations and how they have shaped us into who we are and how we live our lives; be it by choice or by circumstance. Leila is coming from a very male-dominated society, and suffered two decades of domestic violence, ending up with a domestic violence order for two years. She is a domestic violence survivor, and is very proud of how she strongly cut toxic relationships from her life and environment to save her children and herself. Leila dared herself to improve upon and build her self-confidence by venturing outside her comfort zone; she dared herself to connect with people and help them when they needed to be helped. She dreamed of partnering and collaborating with World Vision, and organisation sharing her vision of supporting and helping others, particularly children and women. She wants to show all women around the world to be proud of their identity, values, themselves of who they are and what they believe in. She believes in herself and she will be successful at accomplishing the challenges she has set herself, dreams and goals. Challenging and developing herself feels like the sky is the limit! Suzzaan Kakar Melbourne, VIC Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Suzzaan Kakar describes herself as an Australian-Afghan village girl. She was born in Kunduz, Afghanistan and was four years old when she lost my father in the Afghanistan war, Suzzaan's father was a rich man and head of the city, her mother was an educated woman but she was not allowed to work, so she was helping women at home. In Dasht Harchi, there was no women's jail, so the Government would send them to Suzzaan's father to be under his restriction. After her father was killed, she and her family found refuge in Pakistan. Her mother had a teaching job, and was looking after the family without any other financial support. As a result, they had no food to eat, and until coming to Australia, didn’t have a fridge to keep water in 50 degree heat. Suzzaan came to Australia by humanitarian refugee visa and her Aunty helped to bring the family to Australia, but in her young age, she had to work hard to help the rest of family, brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Suzzaan started her journey in Australia studying the English language, and then a Diploma in Accounting and a Bachelor's degree in fashion - and she continues to study at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Suzzaan is single (never married), speaks four languages - Pashto, Dari, Urdu, English, is a model and fashion designer and stylist with dreams to start her own label incorporating old village fabrics into modern fashion. Suzzaan is also an animal rights activist and hopes to use her pageanty platform to raise awareness of this cause. Jasmine Farlow 30 years old Newcastle, NSW Ms Australia World 2020 National Finalist Introducing Jasmine Farlow - Ms Australia world 2020 national finalist This Sydney born queen has resided in many places up and down the east coast of Australia, experiencing a lot of what this great land has to offer. Jasmine's history in pageantry is a vast one, competing for over a decade she has earned a handful of Australian titles but believes that “we never stop learning or growing” so continues to stay within the pageant community. Since her first competition she has branched out to direct not one, but three different systems, all in the hopes of providing women a platform for self growth. In an effort to encourage others to shine, Jasmine has also coached many pageant students, some who have gone on to hold international titles themselves. Throughout her journey of self growth, Jasmine has never lost her love for animals but rather has been able to build a network to help support the rehoming and rehabilitation of our animal friends. This has become her passion and her career path. Jasmine is currently pursuing this path in animal care through undertaking studies, working at an animal farm and volunteering, or raising funds for pets and wildlife operations including Sea shelter and the RSPCA through which she was able to adopt her wild born Dingo, Diego. It is Jasmine's hope that gaining her vet nursing qualifications along with building a small sanctuary to house canines who are at the end of their rope, and have no where else to turn, may lead to teaching others a greater appreciation and respect for the animal kingdom. “We as humans need to nurture our animal friends, not fear them or abuse them. One act of kindness towards an animal in need might not change the world but it will change the world for them, and that is powerful” Tulip Goujon 44 years old Sydney, NSW Ms New Zealand World 2020 National Finalist Tulip Goujon is a mother of four children who had never considered joining a pageant as she always focussed her time on her children and their education. However Tulip believes taking up this journey has introduced her to some amazing, encouraging and beautiful queens who are all proud representatives of their cultures, people and homelands. Tulip has a big heart for her community and people. She enjoys taking part in sports such as marathon running and gym bootcamps, and has participated in many charity events. One of her favourite being a boxer for a match which raised funds for families who were in need of everyday necessities. She strongly believes in independence and that education is the key to success. Tulip's passion for fashion has always been a part of her. She used to work and organise promotions for promotional models and was in-charge of events for special occasions organised by Sydney West Multicultural. Tulip holds highly the value of respect, not only for other people but towards herself also. She enjoys uplifting and empowering other women and hopes her journey in this pageant leads her to other like-minded and strong leaders. Sandy Nand 45 years old Sydney, NSW Ms New Zealand World 2020 National Finalist Growing up on the tropical islands of Fiji, Sandy comes from a family of educators, and has lived with five brothers and two sisters She was very close to her father who was her idol, and he always believed that she would one day make him proud. After his passing away, Sandy moved to New Zealand making "the land of the long white cloud" her home where she grew her own little family. From being a banker to running a household and looking after her kids, she invested in properties. Ten years ago, she moved closer to her family in Brisbane and called Australia her home. She’s been a banker most of her life, and her career has not stopped her living her dreams She stands up for domestic violence, not only for women, but for men as well. Sandy believes that if a relationship is not working, one must learn to let go and move on. Sandy believes in this day and age there are so many ways to be independent. Apart from this, she believes in charity. Often very shy, she doesn’t mention her charities to the world as part of her father's teaching was not to brag about what one does for humanity. Here she is today learning still. Low Waste Eco Kitchen Hacks @ Sustomi 2020-05-12T04:55:37Z low-waste-eco-kitchen-hacks-sustomi Kitchen revolution the bees knees Tasmanian eco entrepreneur adds youthful voice to low waste living Podcast Life Freshly Sorted offers guidance with food, environment and mindset Beeswax wraps, silicone lids and silicone fridge pouches as alternatives to plastic When Bronwyn Kidd returned from overseas travel five years ago, the impassioned youngster had acquired a fresh perspective of the way of the world, and she was not entirely happy about it. Kidd decided it was high time an Australian voice joined the growing following of a much-needed lifestyle revolution: the low waste movement.  After months of research and outreach from her home state Tasmania, Kidd realised there was a lack of access to obtainable resources to help people transition from high waste to low waste lifestyles. In 2016, SUSTOMi was born. The company’s mission remains the same as its inception; to be a market-leading voice for economising on plastic consumption.  Kidd’s first product offering to her budding eco followers was an easy-to-use alternative to cling wrap; beeswax wraps. This versatile replacement for single-use plastic is 100% natural, made with organic fabric. Warmed with the hands, the wraps can be used to create an airtight seal for veggies, cheese and even a loaf of bread. It’s not all practical though, these wraps offer a dose of sensory therapy too. Brightly coloured patterns and a light honey smell; they really are a delightful, feel-good alternative. “SUSTOMi is a stylish, modern, no-nonsense way of tackling a massive issue. We want to offer access to obtainable solutions and complete transparency. All of our products are carefully designed and refined to keep in alignment with our values – to provide customers with low waste goods and good intention,” Kidd said.  Alongside useful kitchen products, Kidd has recently launched her own podcast to further reach and inspire the low waste movement. The program titled Life Freshly Sorted is available on platforms such as  iTunes and Spotify, and features a new guest each episode, sharing insights for mindful folk interested in low waste living, health and wellbeing. Later this year, Kidd also envisages a webinar series to introduce more interactivity and demonstrations to her growing following.  SUSTOMi is preparing to launch its partnership with Foodbank Tasmania. Any new SUSTOMi online membership subscribers will have their $25 membership fee pledged to Foodbank during the month of May. For more information, visit: https://sustomi.com.au/membership-sustomi-warrior/   Five Low-Waste Meal Prep Hacks  Meal preparation for those new to the scene can be somewhat overwhelming, especially with Instagram flooding our heads with perfectly curated creations. So, let us help you take the pressure off and make a start. Introducing a helpful resource from SUSTOMi, an Australian eco collective sharing low-waste lifestyle stories on its free community podcast Life Freshly Sorted. SUSTOMi also has its own online store offering clever alternative food storage solutions such as silicone lids, silicone pouches and beeswax wraps. With more Australians slowing down and experimenting in the kitchen, we checked in with SUSTOMi’s creator Bronwyn Kidd, for her meal prep hacks at home: Purge your pantry: We all have items gathering dust in the pantry. For whatever reason, those items that we purchased six months ago must be checked to ensure they’re fit to consume, and create a reason to use them! This pantry purge is not only a mindful way to take note of the things you don’t really use, but can also help to form the basis of your next shopping list! Surplus walnuts and icing sugar? Time to try that new carrot cake recipe... Make an inventory list of your current household food items: We all have our own version of staple household foods. How can you jazz up these items in different ways to keep meals interesting and adventurous? Keep in mind any household dietary requirements and make sure you have everyone covered in meal prep planning. Get your shopping list down on paper, and critique: Do the items on your shopping list complement the items you already have at home? Yes, cross check against Tip 2! Low-waste is key! Be as honest and creative as possible. Spontaneous purchases often lead to waste, or overindulgence. Try the meal planner template on SUSTOMi’s website as a useful guide. Get creative with the food already in the home: Look for food items with the potential to form a key part of a dish. Sweet potatoes and carrots left over from last week’s shop can potentially form the base of a soup. Voile! Got an extra 2 slices of bread now going slightly too hard? Now you’ve got croutons for your soup or bread crumbs for homemade schnitzels. 5.       Use transparent fridge containers: Silicone fridge pouches are excellent for the environment and your sanity! Grab and go with everything in plain sight. SUSTOMi is offering 25% off fridge pouches until 30 April! IMAGES: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7xmzgfb58p2esm4/AAB6n5Hi_--_8LpC75iyG4BUa?dl=0 #sustomi #lowwaste #mealprep #foodstorageideas     About SUSTOMi SUSTOMi was established in 2016 by Bronwyn Kidd in Tasmania, Australia. The business mission is to encourage Australians to live healthier, low-waste lives through their philosophy, Your life: freshly sorted.   SUSTOMi hosts a podcast, Life freshly sorted, featuring special guests offering their wisdom on low-waste living. This podcast is available on a number of platforms including iTunes and Spotify.   Alongside its educational value, SUSTOMi also sells alternatives to household plastics to help shift consumption habits. These products include beeswax wraps, silicone fridge pouches and silicone lids.     Interactive online breastfeeding education for expectant parents 2020-05-10T22:42:28Z interactive-online-breastfeeding-education-for-expectant-parents The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has introduced new online breastfeeding education sessions to give support and information to families. Breastfeeding Education Live (BEL) interactive webinars are led by qualified breastfeeding educators. They cover topics like how to position and attach a baby to the breast, read a baby’s cues and whether the baby is getting enough milk. There is also information on resources and support they can use when the baby arrives. BEL webinars were designed to allow all families access to breastfeeding information even if they live in remote or rural areas. They are even more welcome, now that many other services are closed due to COVID-19. BELs are held on weekends and some weeknights. Registration is through the ABA website. Sessions cost $20 for ABA Members and $125 for non-members. ‘A lot of expectant parents have never held a baby, let alone seen one being breastfed’, says Margaret Grove, ABA President. ‘Many have missed out on the traditional learning through the generations. That’s why it’s so important that they have access to the kind of prenatal education that ABA is providing.’ ‘Online sessions are different from face-to-face interaction but they have many benefits. Many enjoy attending BELs from the comfort of their own home. They are able to ask questions and interact with other expectant parents in a small group.’ ‘The aim is to empower expectant parents and give them the confidence they need to breastfeed their baby.’ ENDS Spokesperson Margaret Grove 0414 773 714 To arrange an interview with another Australian Breastfeeding Association spokesperson, please contact marketing@breastfeeding.asn.au Nitty Brown 0412 675 092 Lizzie Stafford 0402 542 852 Photo Opportunity Photos available on request. Contact marketing@breastfeeding.asn.au Resources For more information about Breastfeeding Education Live visit https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/classes Find out about ABA services available during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/aba-services-downloadable-flyer For more information about breastfeeding and COVID-19 visit: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/covid-19 About the Australian Breastfeeding Association: The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is Australia's largest breastfeeding information and support service, providing assistance to more than 80,000 mothers each year. ABA also provides up-to-date information and continuing education for thousands of health professionals working with mothers and babies. It is our vision that breastfeeding is recognised as important by all Australians and is culturally normal. As Australia’s leading authority on breastfeeding, we support, educate and advocate for a breastfeeding inclusive society. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/ Empowering Mums of today to shape the brands of tomorrow 2020-05-07T05:59:33Z empowering-mums-of-today-to-shape-the-brands-of-tomorrow Today’s Mums are completely overwhelmed by brand choices on their supermarket shelves, retail stores, Instagram feeds and everything in between. Brand loyalty is diminishing as these women are on a continuous quest to find ‘the next best thing’ to satisfy her and her family’s needs. In a world where a Mum’s endorsement is sales gold, what’s turning her away? Not enough brands are actively involving mothers, still largely in charge of household spending, in the development of products, messaging and campaigns and make costly assumptions instead.  Without having this customer at the forefront of critical decisions, there is a disconnect between what mums want and what companies deliver. The result is disheartened consumers. It’s time to address this gap and give Mums the power to redefine the retail landscape according her needs. The platform gaining popularity both with thousands of Aussie Mums and the brands who want to speak to them, is Mumpower. Mumpower.com.au, is the one stop shop for consumer brands, to unite a panel of Mums to test and assess product, messages, trends and best campaign ideas, in return for retail vouchers, products and gifts. This free consumer hub involves Mums in projects that ensure her voice is heard and needs respected, by brands that value them. And makes it easy for brands to discover unknowns, and empower more Mums with a great shopping experience. “We’re on the lookout for more Mums to join our research panel who love sharing ideas and being involved in discussions and testing products from the comfort of their homes including products for baby, kids, food, health, home and lifestyle essentials. In return for rewards, you will shape tomorrow’s brands,” explains Mumpower Founder and Director, Christie Nicholas. The latest brand Mums are invited to evaluate is global breastfeeding authority, Medela, who are excited to collaborate with Mums and discover new breastfeeding trends, insights and preferences. “Mums are at the heart of what we do so staying connected is important. This generation of Mums are facing different lifestyles factors influencing breastfeeding habits, including more breastfeeding friendly workplaces, busier schedules, a growing demand for online breastfeeding networks and let’s not forget Iso! We want Mums to tell us what matters to her most so we can shape our products and services that ensure Mum is totally supported, informed and happy with breastfeeding choices available to her.” Medela Australia Managing Director, Jarrod Percy. And Mums themselves are relishing the journey. “I love giving feedback. Especially since I’m the one who usually does the shopping. It makes me feel like this brand is listening to me and I think more highly of them. I’ve been involved in testing baby wipes, bedding, food. It’s fantastic when I see the product on shelves and know I played a role in making sure Mums would like it.” Mumpower Panellist, Janine. Mums interested in sharing opinions and testing products in return for rewards are invited to join the free panel, by heading over to Mumpower.com.au -End-   For more information please contact Mumpower: Christie Nicholas| E: cnicholas@mumpower.com.au | P: 03 9598 9128 I M: 0418 511 347 Maddison Magri | E: media@mumpower.com.au | P: 03 9598 9128 Up to 50% of Australians don't have a legal Will 2020-05-06T04:28:13Z up-to-50-of-australians-don-t-have-a-legal-will May 2020: Up to 50% of Australians do not have a Will. This means that they aren't prepared to take care of their families and legacies after they're gone. It's in the "too hard" basket. Working with a lawyer to prepare a Will can cost up to $3,000 - and not having one in place could cost their loved ones thousands more in fees and administration.  Without a Will, your assets are divided by the state according to the closeness of your relations, or where none may be found, the estate can be taken by the government.  Having a will in place is the only way of ensuring that your assets are taken care of in accordance with your plans and wishes, and provides a legal option for securing your beneficiaries and managing distribution.  Willed is a platform that empowers every Australian to create a Will in under 20 minutes, building and managing it through an online portal designed to streamline and simplify the experience. Users can nominate their executor and their beneficiaries and divide their assets without any friction or complications. For Mum Nastassja Kuran, making a Will has been on her mind for years, knowing it would make a difference to her family’s future.  “I've wanted to complete my Will for about three years - after my daughter was born I thought it was really important to have a Will in place, but I just kept putting it at the bottom of my list and the back of my mind because I just thought it was all too hard and expensive and it's just not something that I was prioritising.” “When I heard about Willed, I knew that I wanted to look into it because it seemed so simple. After I actually went and started diving into the process, it was super clear super and it just talked me through the steps, and it was literally done in 20 minutes.” “Now that my will is complete, I feel a sense of relief, I feel like this thing that I have to do isn't hanging over my head anymore. I feel like future and the future of my family and my children is secure and I really feel good about having done this.“ Aaron Zelman, CEO of Willed, said that the mission and technology of the platform was focused on helping Australians think about what comes next and become more organised.    “Our goal is to help every Australian to prepare a Will, and look after what matters the most to them, whether it’s causes and charities they want to continue to support, whether it’s their kids and loved ones, or whether it’s their family pet,” he said.    “When you pass away without a Will in this country, it can be a hugely complicated matter, leaving the people closest to you scrambling to deal with legal fallout and coordinate with the state to distribute your assets, at a time when they’re already dealing with so much stress; we want to solve that problem, and to do it with sensitivity and care.” Willed is serviced and supported by Vault Legal, ensuring that the platform and the documentation produced through it are legally vetted and verified.  About Willed Willed is a platform that empowers every Australian to create a Will in under 20 minutes, building and managing it through an online portal designed to streamline and simplify the experience. Users can nominate their executor and their beneficiaries and divide their assets without any friction or complications.   About Aaron Zelman Aaron Zelman is the founder of Willed, a platform for building better Wills that allows every Australian to look after their legacy. As a life insurance advisor, Aaron has worked diligently to improve professionalism in his industry, and has made educating clients and providing them with a streamlined, friendly and authentic experience a high priority over anything resembling sales tactics. Aaron’s unique approach has won him profiles and references in Money Management, Sydney Morning Herald, Risk Info and IFA Magazine, and has seen him win Risk Adviser of the Year awards multiple times and host industry forums with representatives from ASIC and Life Insurance company CEOs alike, among other distinctions in the field.