The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-06-22T04:24:20Z NATIONAL SHOCK ADS EXPOSE NDIS AGE DISCRIMINATION 2021-06-22T04:24:20Z national-shock-ads-expose-ndis-age-discrimination The national campaign, Disability Doesn’t Discriminate, is being launched today. It exposes the disgraceful and deliberate decision, made in 2013, to exclude the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from the Age Discrimination Act. Spinal Life Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mark Townend, who is leading the campaign said the amendment made it lawful for the NDIS to refuse funding to people who become disabled over the age of 65. “Disability can impact anyone at any time and doesn’t discriminate, so why should age matter? It is unfair, unjust, and unacceptable, and it must end now,” Mr Townend said. One in five Australians, approximately 4.4 million people, live with a disability. Almost half (44.5%) are over 65. Australians over 65 who are excluded from the NDIS, are forced onto the My Aged Care Scheme, which provides a maximum of $52,000 a year in support packages and has a waiting list of up to 18 months. “It is unconscionable. A younger person with the same spinal cord injury, can qualify for the NDIS and receive a funding package of up to $250,000 a year while older Australians struggle to afford care, wheelchairs, equipment, and other support. At Spinal Life Australia we hear these heart-breaking stories every day. The campaign gives Australians the opportunity to add their voice to the call to end age discrimination. Each website sign-up triggers an email to the person’s local Federal MP calling for:  1.      NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds to amend the legislation to end age discrimination 2.      Them to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to stop people over the age of 65 being legally excluded 3.      Two key Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations that address equity for people with disability to be immediately adopted   “Some of our members have missed out on NDIS funding packages by weeks. These are Australians who have fought in wars, paid taxes all their working life, and don’t deserve to be discriminated against,” Mr Townend said. It was two years ago next month that 74-year-old Terry Cokeley had a cycling accident and became a quadriplegic. Because he’s over 65 he doesn’t qualify for NDIS and the extra funding package that would make life easier for him and his wife Alison. “The injury that Terry has is not age-related, so why should he be discriminated against because of his age? Alison said. We need you to add your voice to help us stop age discrimination and inequity so people over the age of 65 have the same access to funding and support as younger Australians. www.disabilitydoesntdiscriminate.com.au Link to Media Kit, including Television Commercials HERE Rodent Problems 2021-06-17T04:00:45Z rodent-problems Without a doubt rodents present more of a problem during cooler and winter months, which sees a spike in rodent activities in homes. A common myth is that rodents will only enter older homes, which is not always the case. Rodents like most other common pest species will seek warmth during colder months and their survival depends on it. That is why, during winter rodent problems in homes becomes a major concern. Rodents seeking to hide in your home is also a way for them to seek protection from predators and start an early breeding season. Rodents in homes can wreak havoc, including causing major damages to structural, electrical, insulation and disturb your comfort. Usually, untreated rodent problems in a home may require professional repairs resulting in thousands of damages. Moreover, an alarming 20-25% of residential fires are caused by rodents. Can you risk your home and loved ones during this winter? Here are our top tips for combating rodent problems this winter: Prevention is better than cure: Regular pest treatment, including rodent control is one of the best ways to combat your pest problems and avoid expensive costs and damages to your home and assets. Early detection: Looking for common rodent signs can help beat them before things get out-of-hand. Check for smear marks, gnawing, smell, or droppings around your home. Limiting entry point: Check for possible entry points to your home. Common entry points are under garage doors, draining and air-conditioning ducting.   Seek professional advice: if in doubt do not risk it, contact a local and trusted company. At A.M.G Pest Management we provide free rodent inspection as part of every general pest treatment. Beat the pests this winter and give us a call for an obligation free quote. At A.M.G Pest Management we are proudly working to provide our clients the highest quality services at affordable prices, that is our guarantee.     For more information or to obtain a quote visit www.amgpest.com.au FUNERAL DIRECTORS BANNED FROM HOSPITAL AND PALLIATIVE CARE REFERRALS 2021-06-17T02:11:07Z funeral-directors-banned-from-hospital-and-aged-care-referrals Funeral directors across the UK will be banned from paying hospitals and care homes for referrals, says UK regulator. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation in 2018 amid complaints that "extremely vulnerable" consumers were at risk of being exploited. The legally enforceable rules are being brought in after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation, whose findings were published last summer, found that some funeral directors were providing “unacceptably low levels of care of the deceased” to UK consumers.  Under the rules announced on Wednesday, from 17 June, funeral directors will be banned from making payments to incentivise hospitals, hospices, care homes or similar institutions for referring customers to a particular funeral director. They are also blocked from soliciting business through coroner and police contracts. Peter Erceg, Owner of eziFunerals says, “Organising a funeral is one of the hardest things that anyone must do, and it is vital that people are treated fairly. Customers need clear information so that, if they wish, they can determine which funeral director can transfer a loved one into their care.” According to Nigel Davies, of Lonergan & Raven Funerals, a Past President of the National Funeral Directors Association of Australia (​NFDA), the practice of offering incentives is still occurring in some facilities, which inevitably encourages such 'soliciting’. Independent funeral directors have also been expressing concerns about the deals the larger corporates have pushed with the hospitals and palliative centres for many years. Those corporates have contacted many major public hospitals, palliative centres, and private age care facilities with a simple offer: “You can cut costs and close your mortuaries, and we will do your transfers for free: as long as you hand over the family contact information and let us ‘negotiate’ with them.”, he says. “We hear of too many stories of hospitals and palliative care facilities releasing a body to a funeral director without the family’s knowledge. And when the family decides to appoint another funeral director, there is a dispute over the body and additional costs that were not of the families making. Families have enough stress in coping with the grief of a loved one and this poor practice just adds to the family’s grief”. says Erceg.    About eziFunerals eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company. For more information, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au. Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches In-Air SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance Solution 2021-06-16T04:25:24Z thermo-fisher-scientific-launches-in-air-sars-cov-2-surveillance-solution Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced the Thermo Scientific AerosolSense Sampler launch, a new surveillance solution designed to deliver fast and highly reliable insight into the presence of in-air pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2.  Individual testing will continue to be a cornerstone in the COVID-19 pandemic response because it enables and informs clinical diagnoses, patient triage, and treatment decisions. As society returns to pre-pandemic activities, expanded and complementary monitoring of environments will provide valuable insights into virus presence. The AerosolSense Sampler is the next step in providing highly reliable information to help keep their employees and the public safe.    The AerosolSense Sampler is an in-air pathogen surveillance solution, which collects representative aerosol samples of ambient air and traps in-air pathogens on a collection substrate. The sample can be readily analysed through subsequent laboratory testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodology. Confirming the presence of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 in a space during a known time interval enables decision makers in hospitals and other indoor facilities to take actions to protect their employees and provide the public with confidence. "Such factors as emerging variants, semi-vaccinated populations and varying levels of compliance with COVID-19 personal safety protocols, continue to pose risks to a society looking to return to life as it was before the pandemic," said Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "It is important that easy-to-use, highly reliable solutions be available to allow hospitals, nursing homes, schools, businesses and government institutions to identify the presence of in-air pathogens quickly, so safety protocols can be put into action, validated, or strengthened." Dr. John Broach, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts and an early user of the AerosolSense Sampler said, "Monitoring the efficacy of infection control practices is invaluable to protecting health care providers on the frontlines. Combatting COVID-19 is a multi-front battle, and this surveillance solution can be implemented seamlessly within institutions to alert them to the presence of SARS-CoV-2, so that they can take appropriate steps to prevent its spread." Thermo Fisher designed the AerosolSense Sampler to capture a wide variety of in-air pathogens and has specifically validated it for the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. For more information, www.thermofisher.com/aps. About Thermo Fisher Scientific Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $30 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more than 80,000 colleagues delivers an unrivalled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services and Patheon. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com   80% of Job Seekers Say It Is Taking More Than 6 Months to Fina a New Job 2021-06-15T21:24:22Z 80-of-job-seekers-say-it-is-taking-more-than-6-months-to-fina-a-new-job   MEDIA RELEASE     80% of COVID-related Job Seekers Say It Is Taking More Than 6 Months To Find A New Job   Sydney, 16 June 2021: Despite the better-than-expected Australian economic data of the last few months, not-for-profit job and mental health support initiative Project Displaced says up to 80% of its community are finding it is taking more than 6 months to find a new job, compared to November last year when the average job search was taking 4 months or longer. Research undertaken by Project Displaced in May 2021 analysed social and quantitative feedback from more than 800 unemployed people who have used Project Displaced’s services. “We are really pleased to see that the long-term unemployment forecasts have performed better than anticipated but what we have discovered is that this optimistic outlook isn’t shared by everyone looking for a job right now, and that the enduring economic impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching” says Project Displaced founder, Anthony Cohen. Anthony Cohen, himself a former Qantas employee, adds, “We are still seeing significant demand for Project Displaced’s career counselling – from Brisbane to Broome and everywhere in-between, although the majority still come from the larger city centres such as Melbourne and Sydney.” Project Displaced is a registered Australian charity that supports displaced workers; offering free one-one-one and group classes that assist job seekers through the entire job search process, as well as specialised mental health first aid.   Since its inception in March 2020, the largest groups of unemployed people seeking help from Project Displaced are still from those industries which have been hit hardest by COVID-19:  The airlines / aviation sector made up 45% of Project Displaced bookings, and 27% were from five distinct sectors (IT, Leisure / Travel, Marketing / Advertising / Sales, Events Services and Hospitality sectors).       Research summary points:   1.    Soundbite: For those people still looking for a job, it’s taking them nearly three times as long to get a job compared to before COVID-19. Evidence: ·      Before COVID-19, research estimated it took approximately 82 days (just under 3 months) to get a job. ·      In November 2020 80% of our network / community said they had been looking for a role or managed to secure a role in over 4 months. ·       Our latest research says that today people are taking 6 months to secure a job or are still looking   2.    Soundbite: Job hunting is long and emotionally draining Evidence: ·      Whilst 11% of respondents feel that there were no jobs available for people like them (with their skills or background), o   39% said the length of time it is taking to go through the recruitment process is the most frustrating part of looking for a job right now o   A further 39% said that the emotional toll of job hunting is the most frustrating part of the process for them   Project Displaced has also seen an increase (more than 20%) in job seekers looking for help with their resilience and mental health during the job hunt.  This is across both one-on-one coaching sessions and also the popular webinars they run on these subjects to try and help more job seekers.   3.    Soundbite: 80% of job seekers are still struggling with transitioning to new industries after theirs has been decimated by the pandemic Evidence: ·      Polls of our community suggest that job seekers coming from the hardest hit industries (airline, travel, tourism, hospitality) are struggling to identify what latent or transferable skills they have and struggle with moving to a new industry (practically and mentally).     “The out-take is that the overall unemployment numbers don’t tell the complete story.  Since the end of JobKeeper, some job seekers have taken any job they can find – even if it isn’t the right fit, or viable long-term – just to pay the bills.  The emotional toil this is having on their own mental health and on the family unit is significant and we fear that we won’t see the full devastating impact of this for some time – which is why it is critical that services like ours are there to support those who continue to be impacted by job loss and underemployment” said Anthony Cohen. Project Displaced has a number of former and current job seekers who are happy to be available for comment and to share their own job search stories and experience with Project Displaced.   About Project Displaced   Founded in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID lockdowns, ProjectDisplaced is a non-profit organisation registered with the Australian Charity and Not-for-profits Commission that supports displaced workers; offering free one-one-one as well as group classes that assist job seekers through the entire job search process, as well as specialised mental health first aid. We are independent, non-denominational and run entirely by volunteers with more than 70 qualified volunteers from the recruitment, human resources, business leadership, mindset coaching and mental health first aid sectors offering their services free of charge, 7 days a week. We know that one of the most powerful tools a job seeker can have is a career coach – but coaching is expensive.  We believe that everyone with a right to work in Australia should also have access to high quality, professional support to help them regain their confidence, change industries and get back into employment. This includes providing free resume reviews, free interview preparation, career coaching, and mental health first aid that is provided by qualified HR practitioners and recruiters who generously volunteer their time and expertise to help our job seeker community. Started by Sydney-based Anthony Cohen, who worked for Qantas for more than 16 years, his partner is an orchestral musician, and both have had their work contracts put on hold or cancelled. The COVID-19 crisis hit them and their extended network very personally, and this inspired Anthony to take direct action. “We set up Project Displaced to help our community through this terrible and very sudden crisis,” explains Anthony. “After both my partner and I lost our jobs, I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, so I came up with the idea of Project Displaced.” Project Displaced is also recording the breadth and depth of the impact of this crisis across industries so that there may be a clearer picture of that impact. Job seekers are encouraged to boom a free consultation or join any of the free group job search classes at the Project Displaced website; and join the community on Facebook. https://projectdisplaced.org.au https://facebook.com/ProjectDisplaced info@projectdisplaced.com   ENDS – For further information or to arrange an interview please contact: ·      Anthony Cohen on 0413 022 499 or info@projectdisplaced.com ·      Sophie Blue on 0416 006 821 or Sophie.blue@blueplanetpr.com.au   Decarbonisation - powering Rottnest Island 2021-06-15T04:23:19Z decarbonisation-powering-rottnest-island The transition to a low carbon economy has rapidly accelerated around the world. The interruption of Covid-19 has been seized by governments and industries as an opportunity to rethink how the risks of climate change should now be considered. The result is increasing accountability for corporate boardrooms and elected officials to be able to answer: what are you doing to address the impacts of climate change? The first answer is to align current operations with a plan to mitigate the worst effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. International treaties such as the Paris Agreement require participating nations to develop net zero emissions strategies in an effort to limit global temperature rise below 2°C. With the next United Nations meeting in the EarthCheck Destination of Glasgow (COP26, November 2021) it is widely expected that these goals will be tightened and timelines for Net Zero 2050 moved up. In order to keep pace with accelerating requirements, decision makers must be accounting for their present impacts and working to continually minimise their own emissions. The second answer is to consider the long-term impacts of climate change within risk assessments. How prepared is the business or community to be resilient in the face of fluctuations and permanent shifts brought on by climate change? As has been stated, actions to reduce the impacts of climate change must be made today, but it is also important to consider how steps taken today can simultaneously minimise risk. By addressing both parts of this question, responsible parties can have assurance that they are taking the necessary steps to ensure that short-term strategy is relevant to address long-term realities. Decarbonisation is a holistic approach to addressing both parts of the climate change question. So what is Decarbonisation? At the most basic level, decarbonisation is the process of removing the greenhouse gas emissions from processes and operations. To systematically approach this task, EarthCheck has devised five Key Target Areas: ENERGY, WASTE, WATER, TRANSPORT AND CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE. The term decarbonisation speaks to the conversion of all activities within this scope to a tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) metric. In this way, the actions undertaken to address the five key target areas have a direct impact on reducing the measurable greenhouse gas emissions of the facility, precinct or community. By framing decarbonisation with these five key target areas, EarthCheck is able to systematically address the mitigation of climate change impacts through current emissions reduction while also dealing with adaptations to climate change that consider risk and resilience for the future. This holistic approach is critical to ensuring that immediate actions lead to successful long-term outcomes. What's an example? The EarthCheck Gold Certified Destination of Rottnest Island is committed to increasing renewable energy penetration and minimising environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy technologies are ever improving, allowing them to obtain energy from natural resources that can be constantly replenished. Electric power on the Island is generated and supplied through an integrated power generation system including a 600kW wind turbine, 600kW solar farm and a power generation plant with low-load diesel and standard diesel generators. The Island Authority has even developed an app for those interested in seeing real-time energy demands and provisions on the Island. You can download the app for your iPhone or Android today!  The app will take you on a journey through the exciting renewable energy scheme that is making Rottnest Island more self-sufficient and sustainable. Use the app to explore the Island, visit the solar farm and wind turbine and discover ways to reduce your ecological footprint. Don't forget to look out for the educational signs dotted across the Island! Wind Turbine The Rottnest Island wind energy project has been evolving from as far back as 1979. Construction of several wind turbines on Rottnest Island was proposed as part of a plan to find the most effective and least costly electricity supply to remote locations. Two original wind turbines of different design were erected on Forbes Hill, however difficulties experienced by these turbines led to their removal in the early 1990s. Prior to the installation of the new wind turbine generator in December 2004, Rottnest Island was totally reliant on liquid petroleum fuels for power generation. Solar Farm Rottnest Island is moving towards a sustainable future by increasing the amount of renewable energy used to create electricity on the Island, and by better integrating the availability of renewable energy with electricity demand. In 2017, Rottnest Island constructed  a 600kW solar farm, with associated control systems, energy efficiency improvements, and technologies to better manage demand, including the use of excess renewable energy to power the Island’s water desalination plant. It is anticipated that current renewable energy systems, including the existing wind turbine, solar PV, control system upgrade, demand side management and energy efficiency through water use improvements via the WWTP upgrade, will result in 45% of the Island’s energy (electrical) supply within the next 5 years sourced from renewable energy. Rottnest is one of only a few small islands worldwide to have achieved this benchmark.   If you'd like to find out if decarbonisation is right for your destination or organisation please visit the link here. For further examples of how EarthCheck supports destinations towards decarbonisation please view our Great Barrier Reef case study here. OLDER AUSTRALIANS DESERVE SUPPORT AND RESPECT NOT ABUSE 2021-06-11T05:30:17Z older-australians-deserve-support-and-respect-not-abuse-1 One of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society is elder abuse.  On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is drawing attention to the marked increase in cases of elder abuse being reported across Australia.  AASW CEO Cindy Smith said that as COVID-19 restrictions ease we are seeing older people returning to activities that are sadly leading the incidence of abuse to coming to light. “With older people beginning to return to GPs, community health services, aged care services and other supports, social workers are reporting that many more cases of elder abuse are now being picked up by these services across the country.” “Social workers are also reporting an increase in the severity of cases, particularly for older people who were in COVID lockdowns with abusive family members. A trend which is very concerning.”  Ms Smith said that awareness campaigns, such as Victoria’s Respect Older People: Call it out campaign, have also led to a greater recognition of the types and impacts that elder abuse can have on an older person. “The more people who know this, the better equipped we are as a society to end elder abuse. However, we also need more funding for frontline elder abuse services, and we need more aged care staff, whether they work in residential or in-home care, to be better trained to pick up on signs of elder abuse and to be able to respond effectively.” “As we have seen with the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety elder abuse is far too common, but now that a light has started to shine on its prevalence, we need to take the opportunity to ensure that no older Australian ever experiences abuse again,” she said. Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.  To interview Cindy Smith, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. ‘Australian Female Founder Making Waves on Changing the Face of Leadership Across the Globe’ 2021-06-10T22:20:13Z australian-female-founder-making-waves-on-changing-the-face-of-leadership-across-the-globe ‘Australian Female Founder Making Waves on Changing the Face of Leadership Across the Globe’     Sonia McDonald CEO & founder of LeadershipHQ knew that the world needs a new way of leading and leadership. If there is one thing that COVID has shined a light upon is that leaders and organisations who lead with kindness, courage and inclusiveness are the ones who will stand out during this pandemic. This is why she and her team have created the Global Outstanding Leadership Awards to champion this leadership for our generations of today and tomorrow. We are championing the change we want to see.   Leaders who selflessly lead with authenticity, compassion and impact due credit has never been more needful at a time like this. The prestigious Outstanding Leadership Awards celebrates the enormous contributions of five-star leaders who serve with courage, kindness, and inclusivity.   An ivy league of brands harnessing their shared vision have spectacularly combined to showcase a befitting recognition of stellar leadership under the auspices of LeadershipHQ. In the wake of an era that has been fraught with disruptive change and challenges, demonstrating the need for, and acknowledgement of courageous, kind, and inclusive leadership should be everyone's cup of tea. The Outstanding Leadership Awards 2022 comes as a timely, well-deserved recognition in this wise.   The second instalment of the internationally acclaimed awards, this platform is primed to reward the exploits of a few distinguished individuals and teams who have demonstrated their ilk in leadership. A swathe of visionary brands featuring Central Queensland University, Kay by Design, McDonald Inc., Specialists in Communications, Veriskills/QTAC and Digital 8 have all lent their voice to the global recognition of a bunch of courageous, inclusive and authentic leaders.   "Nothing quite celebrates the virtue of people-first leadership, and the truth in 'rising by lifting others' more than the Outstanding Leadership Awards. Our motivation for this initiative is to reward leaders that lead with courage, kindness, and deep consideration for diversity and inclusion," said CEO of LeadershipHQ, McDonald Inc., and renowned leadership advisor, Sonia McDonald. "Throughout the corporate world, media, and political space, there is an urgent void that only this kind of positive change in leadership can fill. I'm uber-excited about the prospects of our partners jointly showcasing and creating leaders of today and tomorrow who espouse this type of leadership yet again."   Leaders do not exist in a vacuum. They express their leadership capacity flowing from a set of prevailing sectors, circumstances, cultural influences, backgrounds, and enabling environments. This reality finds expression in the proliferation of categories of leadership to be awarded in this event namely (and in no particular order):   ·      Start-Up Leader ·      Women in Construction Student ·      Student Leader ·      Women In STEM ·      SME Business Leader ·      Community Leader ·      Public Sector Leader ·      Future Leader ·      Indigenous Leader ·      Team Leader of the Year ·      Courageous Leader of the Year ·      Courageous Team – Public Sector ·      CEO- Large ·      CEO- Medium ·      Courageous Team – Community ·      Courageous Team – Corporate   The selected nominees will not just epitomise all the key criteria for their nominated category but demonstrate in all walks that they are leaders par excellence.     For this prestigious event, the distinguished panel of expert judges boast an array of exquisite leaders like David Thodey, Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Andrew Leakey, and a host of other similarly amazing leaders who have made efforts and set examples for the adoption of people-first, courageous leadership across the Globe.   Sonia added "We, along with our partners are being part of the conversation around a movement of positive change across the globe that will set the paradigm for kind, courageous and inclusive leadership. This bodes well for our prospects of having an even better quality of leadership - and leaders - now, and beyond."   If you know a Courageous Leader or Team, then have them recognised for their courageous Leadership by nominating them. Nominations will close on 31st January 2022!   Individuals and organisations interested in partnering with LeadershipHQ on this exciting journey should contact them here: https://www.outstandingleadershipawards.com.au/contact/   Find out more about the Awards:   To find out more about the Outstanding Leadership Awards 2022, to support the awards and to nominate a leader, visit https://www.outstandingleadershipawards.com.au/awards-2021-2/   Contact: For more information or to interview Sonia McDonald, contact: Sonia McDonald or Katie Watts 0424 447 616 | 1300 719 665 sonia@leadershiphq.com.au     SOCIAL WORKER REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL IN AUSTRALIA 2021-06-09T05:13:51Z social-worker-registration-is-essential-in-australia-1 A recent ABC investigation of a sex offender who reportedly misrepresented his qualifications and suitability to work with young people, allegedly breaching the data of dozens of vulnerable young clients and using it to groom a victim, highlights the need for our systems and procedures to better protect the most vulnerable members in our society. Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Chief Executive Cindy Smith said the story on ‘The 7:30 Report’ (7 June) is an unfortunate example of system failures which have exposed young people to risk.  “This case underscores the importance of a thorough regulatory process that is rigorous and stringent to ensure that only appropriately qualified, registered and the most suitable people are employed for these crucial roles of trust.” Ms Smith said that as the professional body representing qualified social workers in Australia, it is important that the AASW continually emphasise the advantages of, and the need for a proper registration scheme, to both government and the general public. “Social workers work with people at their most vulnerable and the safety, health and wellbeing of the people we work with will always be the driving force behind the work of our members.” “Unfortunately, at the moment there are no mechanisms to prevent someone from calling themselves a social worker when they do not actually hold a social work qualification.” “Comparable countries such as the UK, USA, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada have long recognised the complexity of social work and have regulatory schemes for social workers. It is a genuine concern to our members, and should be to the broader public, that social work is not a registered profession and this is something that must change.” Ms Smith said a Bill is expected to be introduced into the South Australian Parliament later this year to develop specific legislation for the statutory registration of social workers. “When this legislation is introduced it will significantly improve the quality and safety of social services in the South Australian community by establishing processes to confirm the qualifications of social workers working with people in vulnerable situations. Hopefully it will have a ripple effect and be replicated in every state and territory in the near future,” she said.  To interview Cindy Smith, please contact Noel McMahon on 0413 532 954. IMB Bank Community Foundation funding grants – applications close June 30 2021-06-09T00:37:06Z imb-bank-community-foundation-funding-grants-applications-close-june-30 “Anyone who is focused on improving the lives of others in their community, who has a great idea or a program already underway, should consider applying for a grant through the IMB Bank Community Foundation. If it’s a great not-for-profit idea, that helps people, we want to hear about it.” - Robert Ryan, IMB Bank CEO Images and vision available here 9 June 2021 – More demand and not enough money to go around. It’s the challenge that many not-for-profits and grassroots community groups have faced since the global pandemic hit Australian shores. In a silver lining for the charitable sector, extra funding is available from the IMB Bank Community Foundation. Not-for-profits, charities and grassroots community groups are encouraged to submit their cause or project for funding consideration by June 30 via IMB’s website: imb.com.au/community. “The last 12 to 18 months have been unprecedented with fires, floods and of course the global pandemic...now more than ever our community groups could use a helping hand. That’s where we hope IMB Bank’s Community Foundation can play a key role,” says Robert Ryan, IMB Bank CEO. “We’ve heard a lot about ‘resilience’ over the past 12 to 18 months, but it’s hard to be resilient in the face of COVID or a natural disaster unless you’ve got financial support. IMB Bank Community Foundation is here to offer that helping hand, and to build stronger, more empowered communities,” continued Mr Ryan. The Foundation has a history of supporting more than 750 community projects that deliver essential disaster relief, education, health care, sports and recreation, arts and culture, aged care, and many other services to Australians in city, regional and disadvantaged communities. “We are again calling for those people and groups, taking action and making a real difference in their neighbourhoods and networks, to come forward and apply for IMB Bank Community Foundation funding.” Following the global pandemic, almost half of charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises reported an increase in demand for their services. [1] While around 1 in 4 charities depend on giving and philanthropy for 50% or more of their total revenue,[2] in the midst of the global pandemic, 31% of social purpose organisations had not received government support. Smaller organisations and those in regional and rural areas were also less likely to have access to or receive government assistance[3]. COVID-19 has also impacted the giving behaviour of Australians, with one in four givers expected to decrease their giving this year.[4] This comes as just over a quarter (26%) of social purpose organisations report a decline in philanthropic grants and funding. To combat these statistics, the IMB Bank Community Foundation’s grant funding program aims to offer the financial boost that many of the teams and volunteers on the front-line need to continue supporting people in their local communities. “Since 1880, IMB Bank has been strongly invested in the communities in which we operate. We have enabled hundreds of local groups to access essential funds to advance and strengthen their communities. We encourage all not-for-profits to apply for funding this year by June 30,” said Mr Ryan. Projects supported by IMB Bank Community Foundation range from larger, far-reaching initiatives - such as the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute state-wide Heart Health Tour - to smaller local projects, such as sustainable gardens in bushfire-ravaged South East NSW, and inclusive netball tournaments in the Hunter region. The IMB Bank Community Foundation supports people and communities in IMB’s key markets - Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter, South Coast, Southern Highlands, Canberra and Melbourne. It is focused on building strong, resilient and forward-focused communities - which is at the heart of IMB Bank’s core philosophy. IMB Bank Community Foundation 2021 funding applications close on 30 June 2021. Community groups should visit https://www.imb.com.au/community to apply. ENDS For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Blue Planet Public Relations:   Maria Crema – maria.crema@blueplanetpr.com.au or +61 402 239 929 Sophie Blue - sophie.blue@blueplanetpr.com.au or +61 416 006 821     About the IMB Bank Community Foundation The IMB Bank Community Foundation was established in 1999 to support the communities that IMB Bank calls home. Since inception, the Foundation has supported more than 750 community projects with over $10m in donated funding. The Foundation is proud to support projects which strengthen local communities through the transfer of skills and knowledge, encouraging and supporting volunteer input, and building sustainable community assets.   [1] Reset 2020 - NATIONAL IMPACT+NEED RESEARCH STUDY, Phase 2 - September 2020 Survey Interval [2] https://www.philanthropy.org.au/tools-resources/fast-facts-and-stats/ [3] Reset 2020 - NATIONAL IMPACT+NEED RESEARCH STUDY, Phase 2 - September 2020 Survey Interval [4] https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-giving/   National report confirms incidence of blood cancer continues to rise in Australia 2021-06-09T00:32:10Z national-report-confirms-incidence-of-blood-cancer-continues-to-rise-in-australia Wednesday June 9, 2021 • Over 50 Australians to be diagnosed every day in 2021, new report confirms • Blood cancers combined cemented as Australia’s second most diagnosed cancer and second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the country • Early detection, better blood cancer understanding and movement on National Strategic Action Plan critical to reduce lives lost The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Cancer Data in Australia 2021 report, released this week, confirms more than 50 Australians will be diagnosed with a blood cancer every day this year, an increase from 47 people daily in 2020. The report also cements the status of blood cancers combined as Australia’s second most diagnosed cancer and second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. The report revealed incidence rates for cancers overall have stabilised since 2009, however blood cancer is bucking the trend, rising from 12,294 Australians diagnosed with the disease annually in 2009 to 18,485 expected to be diagnosed in 2021. “While overall cancer incidence rates in Australia have been levelling out thanks to the introduction of national screening programs, improved early detection and improved treatments, unfortunately blood cancer incidence rates have risen by more than 50% since 2009,” Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said. “Unlike other cancers, blood cancer can develop in anyone at any stage of life – there are no screening programs to detect it, there’s no way to prevent it through lifestyle change and in many cases blood cancer symptoms can be mistaken for infections like the flu and this can result in a delayed diagnosis. “This is all a stark contrast to cancers that originate in a particular organ or area of the body as a solid mass which have national screening and detection campaigns in place, and as this report shows, that early diagnosis has been key to driving down mortality for these cancers over time.” Mr Tanti said for the 15 Australians who lose their life to blood cancer every day, there was more work to be done. “These numbers truly reinforce the critical importance of organisations like the Leukaemia Foundation and groups like the Blood Cancer Taskforce which are uniting the national blood cancer community to build awareness and improve understanding of blood cancer, ensure earlier detection and deliver better treatment options that will ultimately change and save lives,” he said. “Australia now has a National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer which maps a clear path to improve outcomes for people living with blood cancer and their families by catalysing health system reform, accelerating research, enabling access to novel and specialised therapies and empowering patients. If we are serious about achieving the blood cancer community’s shared vision of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035, we need urgent and real action on this plan today. “This report clearly shows movement on the National Action Plan – together with the Leukaemia Foundation’s work to break down barriers to accessing the right treatment, supportive care, education and information about blood cancer at the right time, wherever you live – has never been more vital.” Mr Tanti urged all Australians not to postpone trips to their doctor and to address any health concerns immediately, or if you have any questions about blood cancer, to contact the Leukaemia Foundation. To access the full Cancer Data in Australia 2021 report, visit www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/contents/summary – END –Blood cancer in Australia facts and figures: • It is expected that 18,485 Australians will be newly diagnosed with blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma in 2021. This is equivalent to over 50 people per day or one person every 28 minutes. • Incidence of blood cancer continues to grow. Incidence of blood cancer has increased by 40% in the past 10 years, or 50% since 2009. • When combined, blood cancers are the second most diagnosed cancers in Australia, and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the country.  • More than 110,000 people are living with a blood cancer or blood disorder in Australia today. By 2035, more than 275,000 Australians are expected to be living with a blood cancer or blood disorder (ref). • Over 5,700 people in Australia are expected to lose their life to blood cancer or related blood disorders this year. This is equivalent to 15 people per day. • Blood cancer continues to remain the most commonly diagnosed childhood cancer (0-14 years) accounting for over 45% of all diagnoses. Australia’s most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2021, persons, all ages. Australia’s most common cause of cancer-related death in 2021, persons, all ages 1.        Breast cancer 20,030 1.        Lung cancer 8,693 2.      Blood cancers combined 18,485 2.     Blood cancers combined 5,789 3.       Prostate cancer 18,110 3.       Colorectal cancer 5,295 4.       Melanoma of the skin 16,878 4.       Pancreas cancer 3,391 5.       Colorectal cancer 15,540 5.       Prostate cancer 3,323 Source: AIHW Cancer data in Australia report Blood cancer signs and symptoms: Symptoms of all blood cancers can sometimes be subtle or even similar to other conditions, such as a flu. However, ongoing symptoms like recurrent infections, increased fatigue, night sweats, bone pain, bruising or enlarged lymph nodes should be immediately discussed with your GP or specialist. Early diagnosis can play a key role in surviving blood cancer, so it is crucially important that you are examined and treated properly. If you or someone you love is diagnosed with a blood cancer, reach out to the Leukaemia Foundation on 1800 620 420. Accessing our support is free of charge.  About The Leukaemia Foundation:The Leukaemia Foundation stands with Australia to help cure and conquer blood cancer – with care. Together we are attacking every blood cancer, from every direction, in every way we can. We stand beside every Australian to be their voice and their someone-to-turn-to, fighting to get them access to the best care. We also accelerate research that’s delivering rapid advancements in blood cancer diagnosis and treatments. Plus, we provide services and support that empower people living with any blood cancer to live well after diagnosis. You can learn more about the Leukaemia Foundation and blood cancer at leukaemia.org.au  New app protects against ransomware menace 2021-06-08T21:55:17Z new-app-protects-against-ransomware-menace At least seventy Australian firms are among hundreds of companies that are infected with the same ransomware that last week crippled giant meat processor JBS and Colonial Pipeline. Ransomware hackers encrypt company files to paralyze a firm’s operations. They also issue an ultimatum to these companies: pay up or face having your internal files published online. If companies refuse to pay, the hackers increase the pressure on firms by leaking bits of their data day by day. In some cases cybercriminals have posted photos of employee passes, customer credit card images, and CEO passports. Recent Australian ransomware attacks against businesses large and small have highlighted the need to protect data from criminals. Ransomware typically prevents users from accessing their files. A worrying new development is cyber-criminals releasing sensitive corporate data if a ransom is not paid. Syncdocs defends against ransomware on two fronts: 1. It secures files with an extra layer of security, meaning no sensitive data is exposed 2. It provides a safe and easy way to restore any data lost from the cloud Secure and Protect Google Drive Australian developed Syncdocs is the first solution to provide fully automatic end-to-end encryption for Google Drive.  Syncdocs also allows users to restore their data to the pre-ransomware state, thanks to full versioning of all files and folders in the cloud. Google only secures the Google Drive data while in transit, not at rest. That means anyone who can hack the Google account can access your Google Drive files. It is also all too easy to mistakenly share a sensitive file. Syncdocs is different: it encrypts Google Drive files locally, before they ever leave your PC, Mac or phone. Files and folders are securely protected in the cloud with military-strength AES256 encryption. Syncdocs also provides full versioning, allowing companies to “rewind” their files to any point in time and to restore their business to this date. I you want online security, ransomware protection, or simply just want to improve Google Drive, grab a free evaluation copy of Syncdocs from https://syncdocs.com Introducing the new kids on the (chopping) block, Farmers Pick. 2021-06-08T01:23:30Z introducing-the-new-kids-on-the-chopping-block-farmers-pick-1 Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they are the guys who are simply trying to do their bit to make Australia a better place. This environmentally conscious start-up is on a mission to combat food waste that costs the Australian economy $20 billion per year. So far, they’ve found a home for more than 20 tonnes of fresh fruit and veggies. And they’re just getting started.  Introducing Farmers Pick. Melbourne’s freshest produce delivery service that is bringing you weird and wonderful, fun and bendy, blemished and oddly shaped seasonal produce, direct from the farm to your door. They also offer a culinary adventure in every box with a variety of produce in all shapes and sizes celebrating the wonder of Mother Nature all as a convenient subscription model service.   Farmers Pick have teamed up with farmers across the country who are in desperate need of a solution to salvage around 25% of their harvested crops that are being wasted due to being rejected by leading supermarkets based on their appearance. The result of this rejection is that millions of tonnes of perfectly imperfect food never leave the farm or is taken to landfill each year.  Farmers Pick co-founders, Josh Ball and Josh Brookes-Duncan, knew that there had to be a way to help. Their passion for the Australian land and people drove them to creatively develop the Farmers Pick concept to help bridge the gap between Aussie farmers and people. The idea began back at the beginning of COVID on a walk through the supermarket, “...that’s when we observed how perfect every piece of produce was. We asked one another, “What happens to the curly ones?”. Nights of researching and some mornings talking to growers at farmers markets, it became clear how big of a problem we had stumbled upon. That’s when Farmer’s Pick was born, and it has become our mission to find these little guys a home.”  Every Farmers Pick box is filled with fresh seasonal produce direct from farmers. The produce varies week-to-week ensuring a good variety in every box, revolutionising the way we currently get our five-a-day! Farmers Pick also caters to all living arrangements, from singles to family’s portion sizes, ensuring affordability and value for money is achieved with boxes starting from $35 with free delivery on all orders.   Currently, up to 5 million Australians are experiencing food insecurity. As part of their commitment to help Victorians reduce their weekly food bills and have access to nutritious and fresh food, Farmers Pick has partnered with Melbourne based Alex Makes Meals, who prepare and deliver warm and nourishing meals to Victorians who need it most, by donating up to 7 meals for every box sold. Founder and fellow Aussie super-hero, Alex Dekker, shares his optimism in joining forces with Farmers Pick, “We are super excited to be working with Farmers Pick...Having Farmers Pick provide fresh produce for all of our food packages is a big part of achieving this goal. We’re thrilled to be working with another entrepreneurial company who are making a difference in our community.”  They’ve even covered the challenge of what to cook with exciting new recipes created by renowned New York City chef and fellow philanthropist, Curtis Beisser, who is dedicated to serving delicious recipes that can be made at home.  Each year we waste around 7.3 million tonnes of food – this wastage equates to about 300kg per person or one in five bags of groceries. Every Farmers Pick box you buy supports farmers, saves fresh produce from landfill and donates meals to those in need. They’re on a mission to make a difference for a better future – what’s not to love!  To learn more about Farmers Pick fresh produce boxes or to try one for yourself, visit their website https://www.farmerspick.com.au/   END   For all interviews enquiries with Founders, Josh Ball & Josh Brooks-Duncan, media enquiries and more information about Farmer Pick and combating food waste in Australia, please contact:   Olivia Novello, OM Digital  olivia@omdigital.com.au  0431 377 114     Daylesford Wine Tours asks why tour operators have been forgotten 2021-06-07T01:42:16Z daylesford-wine-tours-asks-why-tour-operators-have-been-forgotten Daylesford Wine Tours asks why tour operators have been forgotten? Cancellations are thick yet support is thinner than ever. Daylesford, 7th June, 2021: As a huge integral part of the Daylesford tourism sector, Daylesford Wine Tours has been professionally delivering clients visiting the region to wineries, Cidery, distillery, sights, dining and accommodation venues for the past 10 years. But, with the latest round of lockdowns and cancellations, owner/operator Clayton Watson questions why tour operators around regional Victoria have been completely forgotten, are not being reimbursed for cancellations and why tours in vehicles specifically are being classed as a restricted service? “We have seen 100% of our bookings cancelled over the busiest month of our peak season. The tours division regionally has been completely overlooked - once again - by the Victorian Government. There’s a huge grey area within our sector where our core operators are forced to call each other to actually find out what we are and aren’t allowed to do. Currently, we are informed “The two square metre density rule is not mandatory on tour vehicles. There are no group limits for tour transport, however physical distancing of 1.5 metres between groups is encouraged where possible.” Whereas, “Tourism services by vehicles - closed“ is the real information required. As with the last lockdown, operating - even with all Covid rules & regulations adhered to - felt like we were breaking the law because we weren’t 100% sure if we were in the right. Even calling VTIC daily was a waste of time as they didn’t even know themselves!” As well as the grey area, in the last rounds of lockdowns all cancellations through accommodation venues were reimbursed whereas “we were completely forgotten”. “Every sector seemed to be covered very well by the Victorian Government but the tour operators. This isn’t haven’t a whinge. This is my wife and I’s FOR RELEASE 10 A.M. 7TH JUNE, 2021. DAYLESFORD WINE TOURS ASKS WHY? PAGE 2 livelihood that feeds my two children and we’ve simply been pushed to a very slow back-burner. It’s not bloody good enough. The small people just get trod over. We’ve got no International, no Interstate, no Melbourne and now no regional visitors allowed to tour with us.” “We have no idea what this Queen’s birthday weekend - our busiest weekend of the year - will hold. The slow trickle of information the tour operators receive will probably mean we find out we could have operated this weekend in a months time. Who knows. It’s seems strange to us that places of worship can hold up to 50 people inside at a 4 square meter rule and we can’t even have a big bus with the same square meterage rule delivering clients to an outside tasting area at cellar doors. Doesn’t everyone have to enter through the same door to a church or a bus in exactly the same manner?” “We absolutely smashed our intensive Covid cleaning of our buses - adding some 2 to 3 hours of work everyday - as well as our cellar door partners. We really upped the ante on strict guidelines, QR’s, temperature checks, tracing lists etc. much to the demise and exorbitant costs added to our small profit margin and overheads. The fact that the regional $200 vouchers were for accommodation and tours shows how integral tour operators are - why not back it up with swift information and reimbursement for our cancellations on an equal plane?” Clay is well known as an Australian actor for his roles in the Matrix franchise, playing Ian Chappell and winning an AFI for his role in Always Greener. His upcoming role in Dwayne Johnson’s “Young Rock” saw him receive numerous Covid tests to shoot in Queensland but says the film sector is covered very well by State and Federal Governments. “It’s a huge difference and drastically tangible compared to what we see with the touring sector. It’s a well oiled machine and points to how much monetary gain the government looks at on a list of first come fist served. The hierarchy is plain to see.” With the future unknown and information forthcoming even more unknown, Clay along with his counterparts in the Yarra, Mornington and further afield to the Barossa and Hunter Valleys chat constantly and wait on a baited line. “We’re spending our time watching news headlines, updates on VTIC and Vic Gov websites, calling as many people as we can get ahold of with the so-called right information, detailing buses and updating uniforms and cellar door partners - it just seems we need someone to step up and fight for us pronto!” This week will be a make or break for many of the tour operators around the regions in Victoria. “We urge the Victorian government to do the right thing and reimburse us and allow us to operate instead of being looked at like a big grey ball of “I don’t know about them”. The time has come and gone already numerous times - let us do our job and deliver customers professionally and safely as per usual.” Free French Pastries for Melbourne COVID lockdown Sufferers 2021-06-06T03:56:29Z free-french-pastries-for-melbourne-covid-lockdown-sufferers Melbourne, Australia, June 6, 2021: Melbourne start-up company, ONYA Thanks!, is delivering French-inspired pastries by Laurent Bakery to struggling Melbourne COVID lockdown residents as part of their pre-launch initiative. Co-Founder, Alice Tran, said the philanthropic initiative was grounded in the company’s core values to support and give back to the community.  “We put a call-out through our social channels for people to nominate others doing it tough during the lockdown, and started gifting surprise boxes of six mixed Laurent Bakery doughnuts,” added Ms Tran.  “Our company is currently in its pre-launch phase, but the situation was deserving of our support and we wanted to lift spirits with some incredible pastry treats free of charge. “We are running this promotion until the lockdown ends and we hope to bring a smile to the faces of many more Melbourne residents before then.” ONYA Thanks! was created by husband-and-wife duo, Albert and Alice Tran, after organising gift deliveries during lockdown but left feeling disappointed when required to ask the gift recipient their address, ruining the surprise.  Ms Tran said ONYA Thanks! provided a solution to the problem of self-disclosure when trying to gift a surprise package to a family member, friend or colleague.   “ONYA Thanks! is provided the recipient’s name and contact number, and arranges delivery on behalf of the sender, which retains the all-important element of surprise,” added Ms Tran. “We also create a trusted privacy barrier where a recipient may be hesitant to disclose their personal address to a sender, and instead feel comfortable doing so with ONYA Thanks! as a reputable service.  “Our concept was originally designed for corporate gift-giving situations where many people are now working from home or remotely, so it’s not as simple as just sending a gift to an office address anymore. “But it works in any situation where the sender doesn’t have the receiver’s address, so gifting for a birthday, anniversary, engagement, baby announcement, or any other occasion can be done without giving away the surprise of where the gift is coming from.”  As well as partnering with Laurent Bakery, ONYA Thanks! has also recently secured Brown Brothers’ Brown & Co. vegan-friendly rosé to its gift range. To find out more about ONYA Thanks!, search @onya.thanks on Facebook or Instagram. The ONYA Thanks! website will go live in July.  -ENDS- About ONYA Thanks!: ONYA Thanks! was created by Melbourne couple Albert and Alice Tran. The company’s unique delivery model helps retain the element of gift-giving surprise by facilitating its gift box delivery on behalf of the sender. Gift boxes are filled with a range of local Australian products including wine and pastries. ONYA Thanks! is derived from the colloquial term good on ya, thanks! in a nod to good old fashioned Australian dialect. Currently servicing the metro Melbourne area, the company has planned expansion into Sydney and Brisbane over the next 18 months.