The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-04-14T23:02:56Z RRT help with meals for Cyclone-hit Kalbarri 2021-04-14T23:02:56Z rrt-help-with-meals-for-cyclone-hit-kalabarri 14 April 2021   The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) is helping provide breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as emergency RRT Food Boxes to Kalbarri locals displaced by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.   The team helped serve up more than 90 meals last night at the evacuation centre in Geraldton and will be providing further support through today.   RRT have also donated 35 of their emergency food boxes with another pallet (80 food boxes) on its way.   RRT Food Boxes contain a variety of non-perishable, long-life food that can feed a family of four for up to 48 hours.   There are estimates more than 50 per cent of Kalbarri’s buildings have been damaged by the Cyclone and thousands of locals are without power and other essential services in the wider region.   RRT is made up of volunteers from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.   Alex Sharpe, Western Australia Regional Team Leader for RRT, said it was Christian values of care and compassion that motivated them to help.   “While the region has been given the ‘all clear’ from the Cyclone, it is now the hard work in clean up and recovery begins.   The storm damage is significant with Emergency WA estimating it to be over an area 700km long and 150km wide.   “There is a shortage of supplies in the area over coming days, so we are only happy that we can help in a small way by providing meals to some of the hardest hit by Cyclone Seroja.”   Media enquiries: Bas Bolyn 0447 486 195       About the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established the RRT in 2013 to express the Church’s principles of care and compassion. The RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies. Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.       At Centurion we are all about your security, safety, and providing value for money! 2020-11-27T00:47:59Z at-centurion-we-are-all-about-your-security-safety-and-providing-value-for-money Centurion Garage Doors provides real security at a fraction of competitor pricing with our tried and proven mechanical latch lock.The latch lock automatically locks your garage door when in the closed position, making it unable to be manually opened from the outside. 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Giving you no need to worry about hacking apps.Visit Our Website For More Information Today at www.cgdoors.com.au JESI poised for accelerated global growth 2020-11-11T06:48:38Z jesi-poised-for-accelerated-global-growth Brisbane, 11th November 2020: Innovative remote worker and journey management company JESI, has received a multi-million-dollar funds injection from Microsoft aligned VC firm, Future Now Capital Management. The investment will serve to fast-track JESI’s global growth rollout and underpin its ‘customer first’ value add strategy. With the recent appointment of Chairperson Brad Seymour, who has an established reputation for scaling global business’, the JESI company is geared and supported to take on the exciting next phase of its customer-centric expansion.Queensland headquartered, JESI has developed market leading SaaS solutions that significantly improve the protection, monitoring and management of remote and mobile workforces. With origins and a strong presence in the global resources sector, JESI counts Rio Tinto, Orica, BHP, Sandvik among its clients. Other target industry verticals include NGO’s, linear infrastructure and AEC.Already on a growth trajectory, JESI has seen a strong up curve in business and interest through the COVID months with scalable functionality in the solution able to provide a connected eco-system for ‘work from home’ employees. Clearly though, the Future Now investment will turbocharge staff growth, service capabilities and development projects. “Technology integrations will be a key development focus in achieving the company projected growth outcomes” said Kathy Wilson General Manager of Customer Success. “our existing customers are looking to evolve with interoperability solutions and connected technology. JESI software enables them with a compelling value proposition”.JESI CEO Joe Hoolahan said, “The pandemic has bought to the fore the need for enterprises to protect their workers as they work remotely while at the same time ensuring they remain connected. We are also acutely aware that reliable activity data is increasingly becoming a key business metric and we already witnessing how our customers are using the data to drive workforce movement efficiencies,” Joe Hoolahan added.JESI is the first investment for newly founded, Future Now Capital Management, a Sydney based venture capital firm. In 2019 Future Now Capital Management executed a world first partnership with Microsoft that will see investors in the Fund gain direct exposure to companies selected for Microsoft’s accelerated growth programs. Future Now Capital Management will oversee the Fund’s investments into, and the growth strategies of, the portfolio companiesBrad Seymour, JESI Chairperson said, “I am incredibly excited about firstly, the product excellence and relevance of JESI in today’s new world, and secondly, the opportunity for JESI to grow exponentially with Future Now’s backing. I look forward to working with the team through this scale-up stage and beyond.”JESI Management Solutions are now actively recruiting talent to join their team. To explore what roles are on offer refer to the https://jesi.io/careers-at-jesi/ page. Australia’s agricultural future: growing with technology 2020-09-28T21:09:47Z australias-agricultural-future-growing-with-technology Drought, climate variability, biosecurity, global competition and consumer preferences are some of the greatest challenges facing Australian farmers, their impacts threatening our position amongthe most efficient primary producers in the world. However, Australia’s primary producers have a long history of embracing innovation and adopting technology to improve productivity and adapt to harsh conditions.The Future of Agricultural Technologies report released today by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) identifies and discusses the technologies that could address these challenges and bring about both incremental and transformational changes to increase the profitability, sustainability and productivity of our agriculture industry.The report was commissioned by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council, with support from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. It is the fifth report in ACOLA’s Horizon Scanning series, which draws on the expertise of Australia’s Learned Academies and the Royal Society of Te Apārangi.“Australia’s diverse agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector is a $69 billion industry, delivering significant benefits for our nation—particularly at a time where our economy is facing unprecedented challenges. However, reaching the Government’s goal of $100 billion by 2030 will likely require more than just incremental technological advancements,” Dr Finkel said.“Historically, Australian producers have been rapid adopters of innovation, and these emerging technologies will help our agriculture sector to transform and tackle current and future challenges.”Professor Stewart Lockie, one of the Chairs for the ACOLA Expert Working Group, said, “Innovation in our agriculture sector is critical for our economy, our food security and so much more. With a supportive policy environment, workforce and investment, we are confident that the future of agriculture in Australia will be one in which data analytics and artificial intelligence are as at-home on the farm as they are in any other high-tech industry”.The digitisation of farms through the ‘Internet of Things’ and data gathering and use will likely play a central role in future farm management strategies, allowing farms to track resources, monitor animal and plant health, support farm labour activities and enable precision agriculture.Other technologies could help us develop new products to meet climatic conditions and respond to consumer preferences, such as authenticating a product’s origins and quality assurance.ACOLA Chair, Professor Joy Damousi said that increasing technology uptake in our agriculture sector can also help Australia to maximise opportunities for regional employment, business development and Indigenous landholders. She also noted that there are clear roles for all stakeholders in supporting the sector to realise the potential of these new technologies, including to stimulate the agricultural technology and innovation ecosystemand build consumer confidence.The report examines the opportunities presented by nine technologies to improve the efficiency and profitability of agricultural production, develop novel agricultural industries and markets, and to contribute to a range of social and environmental values. The report explores technologies such as sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, machine learning, large scale optimisation and data fusion, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and distributed ledger technology. Importantly, the report highlightsthe range of challenges and considerations for governments, industry and the wider sector to further develop and enable the adoption of these technologies. A copy of the report and summary paper is attached (and will be available at https://acola.org/hs6-future-agricultural-technologies/)The Horizon Scanning Series is commissioned by Australia’s Chief Scientist, on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council. Previous reports have focused on artificial intelligence, precision medicine, synthetic biology and the role of energy storage in Australia. Reports can be accessed at https://acola.org/programs/horizon-scanning-series/ Expert Working GroupProfessor Stewart Lockie FASSA (Chair: from Sept 2019)Dr Kate Fairley-Grenot FAICD FTSE (Chair: Dec 2018 – Sept 2019)Professor Rachel AnkenyProfessor Linda Botterill FASSAProfessor Barbara Howlett FAAProfessor Alex McBratney FAAProfessor Elspeth Probyn FAHA FASSAProfessor Tania Sorrell AM FAHMSProfessor Salah Sukkarieh FTSEProfessor Ian Woodhead Media contactFor more information or to arrange interviews, contact: Ryan WinnChief Executive, ACOLA0484 814 040 About ACOLAACOLA is the forum whereby Australia’s Learned Academies and our Associate members come together to contribute expert advice to inform national policy; and to develop innovative solutions to complex global problems and emerging national needs. Through the learned academies, ACOLA has access to more than 3,000 of Australia’s greatest minds to bring together critical thinking and evidence to inform robust policy decisions. Katharina Ferster, Co-Founder School Beyond Limitations 2020-09-10T14:23:51Z katharina-ferster-co-founder-school-beyond-limitations It was always a fixed idea of mine to found a school. I don’t know where this came from and when I sensed this innate desire. I was always too fast and stubborn for school, for my teachers and my peers. That is why I always felt bored throughout my school years and throughout my studies in Mathematics at university – and still was one of the best students. “I know that I know” – I said over and over again. Only when my own two children were born and started to attend school I started to look for alternatives: for a school concept that would focus on the individual development of each child’s creativity and that would aim to guide the students to their own innate knowing: I know that I know. I was not successful. My children attended a Rudolf Steiner school. I trained myself in personal development, coaching and business creation. The more I developed in that direction and the more I built a successful business the less I could support the outdated traditional education concept. I was looking for freedom for my family. I wanted to take my children with me while traveling without being tied to school holidays. I wanted my children to spend their time with their father whenever they wanted as their father did not live with them anymore. I wanted my children to learn freely by being able to pursue their projects based on their interests and skills according to their pace without being pushed into a standardised system.During our world journey I tried out worldschooling and homeschooling. However, it was not enough. And then I met Martina Geromin, the co-founder of School Beyond Limitations. As our move to Cyprus was coming closer the idea was born to set up an online school. We wanted students to learn in a social steady environment that would never change, even if they were to move or travel again; with teacher-mentors who would take them by their hands until completion of their goals; an environment that is not based on judgement or grades, instead it was meant to be an environment with a strong emphasis on personal development in which each individual learns at her/his pace; an environment that acknowledges that children are in their knowing and as such they are allowed to think and act freely, beyond any limitations. That was the starting point for School Beyond Limitations. I wholeheartedly thank Martina and all parents who bravely undertook the first steps with us. Now, School Beyond Limitations is an internationally recognised school which increasingly captures interest and appreciation. It is a place that allows students to blossom as they understand that they are unique, that everything is possible and that they alone can choose responsibly about their life choices. Yes, I’d say that we are about to change the education system and, furthermore, we offer our students an unforgettable experience that will shape their adult lives considerably. Social workers urge government to lead economic recovery by investing in social housing 2020-08-04T06:23:42Z social-workers-urge-government-to-lead-economic-recovery-by-investing-in-social-housing During National Homelessness Week, 2-8 August this year, Australian social workers are calling for more investment in social housing to help end homelessness.Last month, the AASW submission to the Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia, called on the federal government to build or acquire additional social housing. AASW National President Christine Craik said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we can respond to homelessness quickly as a response when there is a threat to public health, and this quick response has protected some of the most vulnerable people in our society. “During this pandemic, the Victorian government has housed many who were homeless as part of a public health response until April next year. We welcome this move, and would argue that this initiative needs to happen on a more permanent basis, not just during a pandemic and needs to be implemented across the country. “We are supporting the Everybody’s Home campaign this week. Building social housing and repairing empty or substandard public housing needs to be prioritised in all neighbourhoods across Australia. This kind of initiative will result in local jobs, economic stimulus and work towards social cohesion across the country. This pandemic has wreaked havoc with our most vulnerable communities and if there is to be one positive thing to come out of this, let that legacy be that this was the time we took a different path around social housing and committed ourselves to eradicating homelessness forever. “For anyone, becoming homeless can feel like a personal failure and many of our cultural myths and negative stereotypes around homelessness and poverty feed into this. You can tell a lot about the health of a community by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. We need to challenge these myths and those negative stereotypes about homelessness and mobilise politically to end homelessness for good. We urge everyone to use this week to engage with the Everybody’s Home campaign.”Social workers know the effects of housing insecurity on vulnerable people. We know the ways in which this intersects and complicates other systemic disadvantage, including family violence, child protection and mental health. See the Scope of Social Work Practice areas in Homelessness, Family Violence, Child Protection and Mental Health. Scope of Social Work Practice – HomelessnessScope of Social Work Practice – Family ViolenceScope of Social Work Practice – Child ProtectionScope of Social Work Practice – Mental HealthENDS MULTI BEST-SELLING AUTHOR LAUNCHES ‘GLOBAL GOOD NEWS CHALLENGE' 2020-08-03T04:51:08Z multi-best-selling-author-launches-global-good-news-challenge A former journalist turned media master is on a mission to spread good news to the masses and says digital currency has the capacity to bring communities together in the face of the global pandemic. The bestselling author and journalist of 36 years who established her own media agency in 2002 in Southport on the Gold Coast, is launching the 8-day ‘Global Good News Challenge’ on 3 August in an effort to help combat suicide, depression and anxiety rates. Aldwyn Altuney, of AA Xpose Media, who recently joined Qoin (Eds; pronounced ‘coin’), Australia’s newest digital currency, is inspired to share positive stories and is using the Qoin platform to spread her message further. “Globally, around one million people commit suicide each year and that has increased since Covid-19. I personally had four close friends take their own lives before the age of 45 and, throughout my own life, I’ve also battled with depression and suicidal tendencies,” Ms Altuney said. “Next Monday, I’m launching an 8-day ‘Global Good News Challenge’, which will run from 3-10 August. Since COVID-19 hit, the public has been inundated by negative news and this challenge will promote positivity.” An advocate for empowerment, Ms Altuney believes alternative currencies to cash are “no longer a luxury, but an essential” and she acquired $10,000 in Qoin when she first joined as part of her own wealth strategy. She intends to both accept payment in Qoin and engage businesses through the Qoin network, as well as promote her message of positivity. “Qoin is a brilliant idea. I think it’s really important to have alternative currencies. Qoin not only brings communities together, but it empowers people to be able to do business and do life without relying on the traditional banking system. “People need to get smarter at having alternative ways of trading and dealing with their money. Silver, gold and barter used to be the way and now it’s digital currencies. “As a business owner, what I love most about Qoin is there are no fees.” Over six months, more than 7000 small business merchants, including many in Southport, are now accepting Qoin, the newest digital currency, built on blockchain, that offers cashless transactions. And now Southport is being specifically approached following research undertaken by Qoin that shows Southport businesses and merchants are keen to get involved in digital currencies. Qoin Australia Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Barker says: “We have done our homework in Southport and we have a dedicated sales team of independent agents that are in contact with Southport businesses. “The current economic climate off the back of COVID-19 has encouraged many business people to open their eyes to new ways of doing business and that includes digital currency.” Mr Barker says the time is ripe for digital currencies, like Qoin, as ‘coronavirus has paved the way for small businesses to consider digital currencies to attract new customers and facilitate in-store transactions’. CREAM Collection to Support Hospo Industry with new #GOURMETTOYOU 2020-03-27T06:07:39Z cream-collection-to-support-hospo-industry-with-new-gourmettoyou Pam Burnett, founder of sustainable hospitality apparel company, CREAM Collection, is launching a new online hub to help support restaurants to promote their altered service offerings. #GourmetToYou has been designed to help spread the word for restaurants that have had to radically change their business due to the COVID-19 crisis, yet continue to want to provide exquisite food to customers throughout this difficult time. Pam Burnett comments: “The hospitality industry has never experienced anything quite like this before, and this situation is going to unfortunately continue for some time. We are all in this together, and we will pioneer through this together as well.” “All my clients and customers are chefs or restaurant owners, and many have become close friends. My heart is breaking for all those who have been affected, both personally and professionally, and for those people who are now housebound until some semblance of normality can be restored.“ It is for these reasons that Pam and her team at CREAM have been determined to find a way to help the hospitality industry continue to thrive. Gourmet To You is an online hub, using Facebook and Instagram, that is showcasing all restaurants around the country who are offering takeaway or home delivery options, allowing those who appreciate fine food to continue to enjoy it from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Pam continued: “Gourmet To You was created for the love of our chefs, restaurants and the finest and most delicious of food. So, while we wait until restaurants can open their doors once again, we are here to help.” For all restaurants offering alternative services, please visit Gourmet To You on Instagram and/or Facebook @gourmettoyouau and send a message so they can let everyone know about it. Alternatively, email pam@creamcollection.com.au. For more information, please contact: Emma Kirkaldy @ CRE8IVE on T: 0406 025 771 or emma.kirkaldy@c8.com.au Toxic bushfire smoke can be countered with air purifiers, creating clean air to breathe 2019-12-10T06:45:29Z toxic-bushfire-smoke-can-be-countered-with-air-purifiers-creating-clean-air-to-breathe Sydneysiders and others in NSW and the ACT who are affected by bushfire smoke can at least have clean, fresh air in their homes, car and office if they use an air purifier. Asthmatics are the worst affected, but even non-asthmatics are suffering from the smoke with eye, nose and throat irritations as well as coughing and shortness of breath. Dr Ivan Hanigan, a public health researcher and fellow with the University of Sydney's Rural Clinical School, recently announced concerns about air pollution.1 "The short-term impact on air pollution such as small airborne particles and toxic gases is of substantial public health concern. "Our studies show that there appears to be no safe lower threshold of exposure to small airborne particles and there is likely premature mortality and lost life expectancy in Australia," Dr Hanigan said. Large particles in bushfire smoke irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. The finer particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and are more harmful. Smoke also contains toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.2 Using an air purifier in the home, car and office can clean the air, removing smoke particles and other fine dust, carbon monoxide, vehicle exhaust fumes, pollen and allergens, viruses, mould and pet hair. The highest standard of air purifiers use HEPA filters, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and designates that the filters are able to trap 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Five-step filtration process Jaka Exstrada from one of Australia's largest suppliers of air purifiers, Andatech, said intelligent Ionmax HEPA air purifiers utilise a five-step filtration process to completely and efficiently filter and clean the air. "Starting with the pre-filter, it removes large airborne articles from the air. The HEPA air purifier filter then removes microscopic particles from the air, while the carbon filter removes undesirable odours and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). "The next step is the Titanium Dioxide filter and the UV lamp, which work hand-in-hand to break down harmful contaminants in the air and kill mould, bacteria and viruses. Finally, the Ionmax UV HEPA air purifier releases negative ions into the air to help revitalise and refresh indoor air. "By placing an Ionmax air purifier in the home, vehicle or workplace, users can enjoy healthier, cleaner air free of bushfire smoke and pollutants. Also, because they are portable and quite compact, they are easy to move around different rooms," he said. www.andatech.com.au/air-purifiers/ Ends Notes: 1 https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/11/06/what-caused-air-pollution-in-new-delhi-sydney-experts-respond.html 2 https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Smoke-hazard-from-bushfires Prices of Andatech air purifiers: Ionmax ION390 is $369 (HEPA filter) Ionmax ION401 is $299 (Ionic tower) Ionmax ION420 is $299 (HEPA filter) Marvel Habanero $149, $219 & $249 (incl cordless) Marvel Aladdin is $99 & $149 (incl cordless) Further enquiries: Issued on behalf of Andatech by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Wendy McWilliams on 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665. Email: wendy@wmcpr.com.au About Andatech: Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety and wellness products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment, and air quality products. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, in workplaces, at hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of 7 drug groups providing error-free results. Air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, humidifiers and aroma diffusers. https://www.andatech.com.au/ A large selection of images is available. To request a photo, please send an email to Wendy. A healthy environment is a fundamental human right: Human Rights Day 2019-12-10T00:33:46Z a-healthy-environment-is-a-fundamental-human-right-human-rights-day On Human Rights Day, the AASW calls on all governments to commit to immediate action on climate change and celebrates the advocacy of young people in striving for a more just and sustainable world. Having access to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a fundamental human right and something that governments worldwide are failing to achieve. The theme this year is 'Youth standing up for human rights’ and it also marks 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is incredibly pertinent given it is young people and children who are showing real leadership in the fight for climate justice. Article 24 of the Convention states that appropriate measures must be taken against the dangers and risks of environmental pollution for the wellbeing of a child. Australian social workers strongly support young people’s collective action to claim their right to a sustainable future, as they have shown in the Fridays for Future which sees young people across Australia and internationally rally for action on climate change. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “Young people are actually fighting for their own and for everyone else’s human rights, because global leadership is failing to act on climate change. “We reject suggestions from our country’s leaders that it is climate activists who are making young people anxious, or that young people should not protest and rally on the issue of climate change. “Article 15 of the Convention upholds their right to do so, stating that we must ‘recognise the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly’. “If young people are anxious, it is because they can see the consequences of climate inaction from our political decision-makers. We know as social workers, that having a voice and working towards some control of your own future actually combats anxiety and mental health issues. Like everyone else, they are seeing the lungs of the world disappearing in catastrophic weather events both here in Australia and overseas. “We commend young people for exercising their right under the Convention to advance what we are seeing and experiencing is a national and global emergency.” Today reminds us that young people are the ones who will live with the long-term consequences decisions taken today. Like all of us, young people want to see our decision makers focus on our long-term needs and the right of all young people to a clean and healthy planet. Decision-makers must resist the temptation to put convenience and short term interests ahead of long-term protection of rights. The climate activism of young people shows that they understand this also. Ms Craik said, “The right to a clean, life-sustaining natural environment is key for the vision of the future for many children and young people. They believe that the generation who are currently making decisions do not appreciate the long-term consequences of their climate inaction for future generations. “In this context it is important to recognise today’s young people in their collective action and to recognise how important this action is in setting up a sustainable, healthy and just world.” Hollywood stars support ‘next epic’ Aussie sci-fi franchise 2019-10-30T01:35:18Z hollywood-stars-support-next-epic-aussie-sci-fi-franchise HOLLYWOOD stars including Priscilla Presley, US actor Cliff Simon (aka Stargate’s Lord Ba’al) and Bruce Logan from team Star Wars, have thrown their support behind the work of Hunter Valley author A.J. Cootes, who will officially launch the first book in the Almythea franchise in Australia this November. Almythea has been 20 years in the making and excitement is building worldwide for what is being touted as the next epic franchise in the sci-fi fantasy adventure genre. The main launch will be at Supanova in Brisbane from November 8-10, following other book launches in the Hunter Valley on November 3 and on the Gold Coast on November 7. A percentage of proceeds will go to Beyond Blue to help fight anxiety, depression and suicide. Priscilla Presley will play Petelia (Queen of the ‘fleafs’ – pixie-like creatures that act as her messengers and spies, when they’re not messing up) in the upcoming films and Cliff Simon will play Grey Paw (a rebellious, smouldering, immortal Obi Wan Kenobi type). He has also written the foreword for the book. A.J. Cootes began writing after his best friend, Greg Wilson, was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. Greg’s ensuing battle with depression inspired the pair to co-author the artist’s biography, My Brush with Depression, in the hope it would help others facing similar problems. Growing up, A.J. loved movies and stories that encouraged his imagination and altruism. His favourites are the Star Wars films, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and other books by Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway. The story of Almythea begins with: “In a world ruled by evil, it will take an outcast to save the people.” For centuries, Almythea has been ruled by the tyrannical alien overlord The Lost One and his duplicitous, seductively-sinister lieutenant, Raven Weaver. The once peaceful planet, now enslaved, wastes away as it is mined and stripped of rare refractive crystals. When Little Hawk, a young warrior, confesses to a crime he didn't commit to protect Broken Arrows, the woman he secretly loves, he is exiled to the Badlands. Formidable creatures force him to battle not only for his life but also against his inner demons. On the brink of death, Little Hawk encounters the mysterious and rebellious shaman, Grey Paw – changing the course of Almythea's future…” A.J. Cootes writes from his secluded farm in the Hunter Valley and is a director of the Greg Wilson Studio. He resides with his wife, Joyce, and inseparable friend and business partner Josie Wilson (collectively known as the Hippies on the Hill). He is happiest when he is writing, playing with his dog, Hemingway, and tending to his hens, led by Princess Layer, in the Cluckleberry Inn coop. There will be six instalments in the Almythea franchise The Chronicles of Almythea – Rise of Wingtar; The battle for our souls; The New Kingdom; Three will fall and one will rise; Battle of the Ancients (prequel part one) and the 1,000 year war begins (prequel part two). Numbers will be limited at the book launches on the Gold Coast and in the Hunter Valley, which will be hosted by nearby resident Channel 7's Better Homes and Gardens host Johanna Griggs and ‘Media Queen’ Aldwyn Altuney, from the Gold Coast. For event details, book sales and more information, visit www.almythea.com ENDS Media contact only: For advance copies of the book, interviews with A.J. Cootes or celebrities involved, contact project manager Lynn Santer on 0410 513 009 or marketing manager Aldwyn Altuney on 0409 895 055. The sneezin’ season is here so reduce hay fever symptoms with an air purifier 2019-10-10T00:38:29Z the-sneezin-season-is-here-so-reduce-hay-fever-symptoms-with-an-air-purifier Australians, particularly Victorians, should prepare for a worse grass pollen season than last year, according to botanist Dr Ed Newbigin from the University of Melbourne. As reported by ABC Science* last week, the 2019 season is looking like it will be worse than 2018 for hay fever sufferers as last year was a low-pollen year. With nearly 1 in 5 Australians suffering allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and the sale of hay fever medicines doubling as a result, it's good to know that an air purifier can trap almost 100 per cent of allergens. Simply using an air purifier could help reduce the need for expensive and invasive medicines such as nasal sprays and oral antihistamines, and they can be used in the home, at the office and even in vehicles. Simon Haberle, a professor of natural history said that short-term pollen data from around Australia suggests there is a lengthening of the pollen season, and that pollen is increasingly abundant. Hay fever does occur throughout the year but peaks in October and November with the worst states being ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, closely followed by Western Australia and New South Wales. Allergy triggers Common triggers include pollens, house dust, animal fur, fungal spores and air pollutants. The highest standard of air purifiers use HEPA filters, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and designates that the filters are able to trap 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Paul Beggs, an environmental health scientist from Macquarie University, said there's a lot of research showing that increases in CO2 in the atmosphere makes some pollen grains more potent, increasing allergenicity. Unlike many health conditions, allergic rhinitis is most common in the middle years of life: 15 to 59 years and is triggered by an allergic reaction. One of Australia's largest suppliers of portable air purifiers is Andatech with its Ionmax products that range from a personal unit that can be used in cars, trucks and on aeroplanes, to a larger model, the ION390, which can be placed in open spaces at home and in offices. The unit combines three forms of efficient air purification technologies: HEPA filtration, UV light and negative ions. Five-step filtration process The intelligent Ionmax ION390 UV HEPA Air Purifier utilises a five-step filtration process to completely and efficiently filter and clean indoor air. Starting with the pre-filter, the ION390 removes large airborne articles from the air. The HEPA air purifier filter then removes microscopic particles from the air, while the carbon filter removes undesirable odours and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The next step is the Titanium Dioxide filter and the UV lamp, which work hand-in-hand to break down harmful contaminants in the air and kill mould, bacteria and viruses. Finally, the ION390 UV HEPA Air Purifier releases negative ions into the air to help revitalise and refresh indoor air. Ionmax air purifiers help to clean and filter the air not only of dust, hair and dander, but also from airborne allergens, bacteria, viruses, odours and harmful chemicals. With added benefits such as negative ionisers, UVC lamps and improved filters, Ionmax air purifiers ensure clean, healthy air anywhere and anytime. By placing an Ionmax air purifier in the home or workplace, users can enjoy healthier, cleaner air free of pollutants. And because they are portable and quite compact, they are easy to move around different rooms. Ionmax air purifiers are energy efficient and affordably priced so clean and healthy indoor air is accessible to everyone. Andatech air purifiers are available from selected stores including JB Hi-Fi, Betta Home Living, Winning Appliances, Sleep Solutions and online at www.andatech.com.au https://www.andatech.com.au/air-purifiers/ Ends Further information & References: Dr Ed Newbigin comments: https://about.unimelb.edu.au/newsroom/news/2019/october/worse-grass-pollen-season-predicted-for-victoria *ABC Science report: https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2019-10-01/climate-change-pollen-hay-fever/11545464 Federal Government statistics: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/allergic-rhinitis-hay-fever/contents/allergic-rhinitis-by-the-numbers Melbourne pollen count and forecast: https://www.melbournepollen.com.au/ Prices of Andatech air purifiers: RRP of ION390 is $369 (HEPA filter) RRP of ION401 is $299 (Ionic tower) RRP of ION330 is $149 (car & desktop model) RRP of ION420 is $299 (HEPA filter) Marvel Habanero 2 is $349 (cordless) Marvel Aladdin is $199 (compact with e-Nano filter) About Andatech: Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety and wellness products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment, and air quality products. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, in workplaces, at hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of 7 drug groups providing error-free results. Air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, humidifiers and aroma diffusers. https://www.andatech.com.au/ HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE (products and in-situ): Please send an email to Wendy McWilliams at wendy@wmcpr.com.au Australian social workers declare a climate emergency: AASW 2019-10-07T02:08:32Z australian-social-workers-declare-a-climate-emergency-aasw “Australian social workers have joined social workers worldwide in declaring a climate emergency,” said AASW National President Christine Craik, who attended the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Asian-Pacific Social Work Conference in September. "Climate change is the greatest challenge that we face and as social workers, and we are united in our call for immediate action from governments in Australia, and across the world. The changes confronting our environment because of global warming are already profound and extensive, making climate policy an urgent responsibility for governments,” she said. “As social workers, we work with communities who are hardest hit by climate change and we appreciate that while climate change is affecting the entire population, the social, health and economic burden is falling most heavily on already vulnerable people.” A significant number of environmental disasters as a result of climate change are occurring in the Asia-Pacific region (especially Pacific island nations) and the burden on communities and the consequences of this make it very much an issue for Australian social workers. “The socioeconomic status of individuals, groups and communities is directly linked to their ability to adapt to increased extreme weather events like heatwaves and floods. As we continue to see heat records being broken, increased electricity prices alone can further compound poverty and disadvantage.” For social workers, climate change is also a social justice issue. “Despite what our Prime Minister might say, Australia is failing to address climate change as evidenced by the continued drop in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals global rankings. Australia is now ranked 37th in the world SDG Index (down from 26th) and behind New Zealand, Canada, the USA and the UK. “Climate action is needed urgently, and we need to begin by listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as they have lived sustainably with the land for over 40,000 years,” she said. In declaring a climate emergency, the AASW renews its call for immediate government action to reduce emissions and meet our SDG and IPCC commitments. Climate action will be a key stream at the 2019 AASW Conference. The theme is “Challenging Inequality: Working together for a just society” and it will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia from 7-9 November 2019. https://www.aasw2019conference.com.au/ ENDS Digital Agencies JV Offer 20 SME's $2 Million Free Marketing To Dominate Google 2019-09-21T02:22:46Z digital-agencies-jv-offer-20-smes-2-million-free-marketing-to-dominate-google Your Digital Marketing Agency Sends A Lifeline To SMEs Digital marketing is a subject that scatters the minds of many business owners worldwide these days. Prospecting new clientele, building an audience and engaging that audience in products and services of the business leads many business owners to the conclusion that digital marketing is necessary to grow a business, but they don't know what works and what doesn't. Two Australian global media agencies are bringing clarity to this business dilemma in a stunning collaboration putting their money where their mouth is in a $2 million promotional bonanza extravaganza. Baxton Media and The Market Influencers are offering 20 businesses $100,000 each in extended free digital marketing services intending to dominate Google in each business' marketplace through their joint venture, Your Digital Marketing Agency. We caught up with the team behind this initiative to uncover what seems to be an incredible act of generosity. Stephanie Potter heads up Social Media Agency, The Market Influencers, and Gabrial Pennicott heads up PR Media Marketing Agency, Baxton Media. "Every day our agencies engage with business owners with SEO horror stories which leave business owners bewildered," Potter said. "We're sick of seeing businesses get ripped off by faceless business owners domiciled in Asia, Europe and Africa," Pennicott said. "In our experience, most business owners have become disillusioned with digital marketing, because they just don't know what works and what doesn't," Potter said. Understanding the digital media landscape is crucial for every business nowadays. In 2020, Social Media investment is set to explode from $48 Billion to a staggering $78 Billion, which indicates the exponential growth in the marketing platforms. Facebook has more than 1.2 billion active users. Friends are on it, mum’s on it, other companies are on it, even the nine-year-old neighbour is on it – that's why businesses know they need to be on it. Instagram reports an average of 95 million photos and videos are shared on it every day – a number that continues to boom as usership figures rapidly rise. LinkedIn has over 380 million members worldwide, making it the number one place to develop thriving relationships with other businesses. Twitter is the ideal place to give any business a giant digital megaphone, with around 500 million tweets posted every day. YouTube has grown to be the second-largest search engine on the web, and gives a business a global platform to engage with users. While the Google+ social media platform shutdown in April 2019, Google still dominates the search marketplace with a staggering 78% of users using the search engine performing billions of searches daily. Potter says, "Businesses waste a huge amount of time, effort and money creating social media posts that do absolutely nothing for them." Similarly, businesses are drawn into expensive pay-per-click advertising which effectively creates a pipeline into their bank accounts and causes cash flow issues to many smaller businesses" Pennicott said. The agencies are successful in their own right, boasting impressive clients. Yet, they aligned themselves with SME's stating they "level the playing field" by "supporting the underdog". The agencies utilise world-leading technology to organically catapult clients to the top of Google and to create social media audiences with impacting engagement resulting in 24/7 lead generation developing new customers which in turn increases business revenue. So confident of their abilities Pennicott and Potter have committed their Agencies to $2 million of free digital marketing for 20 businesses across Australia, UK and the USA. When asked what criteria a business must meet to be eligible, Potter says "a demonstrable commitment to customer service and business growth is sufficient." Pennicott says "applications can be made on the YDMA website, where we'll assess each application to ensure we're a good fit for each other." Businesses can register their interest at Your Digital Marketing Agency Website. Emergency management sector continues to grow, diversify and ride the waves of change at largest AFAC yet 2019-09-20T01:25:22Z emergency-management-sector-continues-to-grow-diversify-and-ride-the-waves-of-change-at-largest-afac-yet Records were smashed at Australasia’s largest-ever emergency management conference, with AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ seeing more than 4,000 attendees over four days in Melbourne. AFAC19 included speakers and exhibitors from over 17 countries including the US, Canada, Germany and Fiji, and an expo stage that shared over 30 practical presentations. This year the event hosted a record 194 exhibitors. This was also the second time AFAC19 was held alongside the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference and the first time alongside the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) Australia Conference. Stuart Ellis, CEO, AFAC said AFAC19 had been a remarkable success. “This year was our biggest conference to date, and we explored many of the big issues affecting the wider community including climate change and technological advancements. As well as reflecting on our current work, we also challenged the sector to look forward and consider how all agencies can evolve to better reflect the communities we serve. “AFAC19 was a vital opportunity to open up conversations around the changing nature of emergency management to look at how we can do things differently.” This year’s speaker presentations focused on a push towards greater diversity and inclusion, empowering communities to be better prepared for emergencies, and helping with community resilience in the wake of emergencies and disasters. Keynote speaker, Dr Robert Glasser, opened the second day of the conference with his presentation on preparing for an emerging era of disasters. Dr Glasser used his experiences as former head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and his role as Special Representative to the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction to detail the realities of the impact climate change will continue to have on disaster and emergency management and how emergency responders can prepare for this. “As our planet continues to warm, we will be entering an unprecedented time, an era of disasters unlike anything we’ve experienced before. “It’s human nature to assume the future will unfold in the same way as the recent past. However that is a dangerously flawed way of managing disaster risk,” said Dr Glasser. The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook was released at AFAC19 by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. The 2019/20 fire season has the potential to be a very active season across Australia, as has already been seen in Queensland and New South Wales, following a very warm and dry start to the year. Other highlights of AFAC19 included: A high calibre and diverse range of speakers, subject matter experts and attendees, numbering 4,061 over the four days of the conference The largest number of exhibitors and the most spectacular exhibition floor in the history of the event Unprecedented cross-industry collaboration leading to one of the most successful exhibitions and conferences in AFAC history Strong support and open embracing of the themes of diversity and inclusion by all participants and attendees. Code 3 who have exhibited at AFAC for a number of years were thrilled with the turnout at the exhibition and the success of this year’s event. Jon Julian, National Sales Manager – Emergency said “AFAC19 was an incredible opportunity for Code 3 to showcase our C3DNA technology and generate a huge amount of interest and exposure for our emergency lighting and warning device products. The whole exhibition hall was spectacular, we are extremely happy with the success of AFAC19 and cannot wait to see what is in store for AFAC20.” As AFAC looks forward to 2020, the focus of the event will shift to Connecting communities. Creating resilience. The 2020 AFAC conference will be held in Adelaide from 25-28 August at the Adelaide Convention Centre and is set to build on the incredible momentum of the 2019 conference and exhibition. Further information is available at www.afacconference.com.au -ENDS- Media contacts: Zadro Elizabeth Williams, Group Account Director | elizabeth@zadroagency.com.au +61 2 9212 7867 | +61 411 201 354 Yvette Schlegelmilch, Account Manager | yvette@zadroagency.com.au +61 2 9212 7867 | +61 423 954 224 Images: All images can be found on the AFAC Flickr page and can be used royalty-free with attribution to AFAC19. Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) Website: www.afacconference.com.au/ Facebook: @AFACnews Twitter: @AFACnews LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/australasian-fire-and-emergency-service-authorities-council YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu18lYmKgFcL27XBKFI7Klw Hashtag: #AFAC19 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Facebook: @bnhcrc Twitter: @bnhcrc LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bushfire-and-natural-hazards-crc-a0919043/ YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/bnhcrc Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience Website: www.aidr.org.au/adrc Facebook: @AIDRnews Twitter: @AIDR_news Linked In: https://au.linkedin.com/company/aidr Hashtag: #ADRC2019 Institution of Fire Engineers Website: https://www.afacconference.com.au/ife/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InstitutionOfFireEngineersAustraliaBranch/ Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/institution-of-fire-engineers/