The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-10-23T02:47:36Z Rodeo 4 Life Announces Elite Bull Riding Superstars in Australia’s Richest Bull Ride Rodeo Spectacular! 2019-10-23T02:47:36Z rodeo-4-life-announces-elite-bull-riding-superstars-in-australia-s-richest-bull-ride-rodeo-spectacular MEDIA RELEASE: 23 October 2019  “Rodeo 4 Life” Announces Elite Bull Riding Superstars in Australia’s Richest Bull Ride Rodeo Spectacular! Today, Rodeo 4 Life announced its line-up of elite bull riding champions* who’ll thrill audiences when Australia’s richest bull ride and country music arena spectacular explodes at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong on Saturday 30 November to help save lives! In an Australian first, Rodeo 4 Life combines electrifying rodeo sports entertainment starring Australia’s toughest bull riding champions from across Australia with a full length live concert by seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins, performing some of his greatest hits. Rodeo 4 Life will be a thrilling night of entertainment featuring a star-studded line-up of bull riding daredevil cowboys who’ll fight the odds to stay mounted for the full 8 seconds on the legendary JP Gill and Sons’ mightiest rodeo bulls as they compete for the championship title and a whopping $30,000 in prize money! Rodeo 4 Life’s cowboy line-up includes bull riding superstars Cliff Richardson (NSW), Troy Wilkinson (NSW), Wade McCarthy (WA), Mathew Bee (QLD), Troy Cross (NSW) and Toby Collins (VIC) who’ll be going for gold to take home the Rodeo 4 Life inaugural title and the grand prize! But these bull riding legends won’t have an easy ride! They’ll be challenged by young gun cowboys already with a string of titles under their belts including; Wyatt Milgate (QLD), Sam Woodall (VIC), Joe Down (VIC), Bryden Atkins (VIC) and Ty Thomson (QLD) - all aiming to smash records to win the Rodeo 4 Life title and the pot of gold! Producer Doug Vickers OAM, a long-time rodeo man who’s produced many large-scale rodeo events across Australia said, “We’re thrilled to have such a fine line up of champions in this spectacular event that will keep the audience on the ‘edge of their seats’ when Rodeo 4 Life rocks The Gong in a thrilling, action-packed night of electrifying live rodeo and country music entertainment.” While Rodeo 4 Life will be exhilarating, Australia’s bull riding champions won’t just be bucking for the grand prize when they burst from chutes on powerful  bulls in the ride of their lives; they’ll risk all by ‘riding for a greater cause’ – to raise bucks that can save lives through funding organ transplant research at the RPA Transplant Institute (RPATI). Champion cowboy Troy Wilkinson who currently holds the highest bull riding score in Australia with a record of 93 and the titles of 2015 APRA Bull Riding Champion, 2017 PBR Australia Champion and 2017 PBR World Finals Qualifier, said, “Rodeo 4 Life will be massive and the competition as tough as it gets!” “We’ll all be riding our hearts out for this important cause and hoping to bring home the grand prize in Australia’s richest bull riding rodeo arena spectacular.” Rodeo 4 Life producer Doug Vickers is more than a businessman, he’s also a grateful RPA liver transplant recipient who’s doing much more than setting the bar high for Australian rodeo sports entertainment; he’s also increasing awareness of organ donation and funding essential life-saving organ transplant research with 100% of profits dedicated to research conducted at the RPATI. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) has long been Australia’s pioneers in organ transplant research and surgery having saved thousands of lives through developing breakthroughs to benefit all Australians. Thanks to the funds raised from Rodeo 4 Life, the RPATI will be able to continue with the development of a world first organ perfusion system that will be able to extend organ viability from the current length of just a few hours to become viable for several days. This will allow more organs to be made available for transplant and a greater number of Australian lives to be saved. “Rodeo 4 Life champion bull riders and the audience will be part of something that’s so much more than a night of exciting entertainment - they’ll have the time of their lives while giving seriously ill people time to live,” Mr Vickers said. “By promoting the need to register to become an organ donor and funding this vital research at RPATI, we’ll be increasing the number of organs that can be transplanted and together we’ll save more lives,” he said. Travis Collins, who’s well known for his tireless fundraising efforts by dedicating his talents to causes close to his heart to help others said, “It’s an incredible honour to perform at Rodeo 4 Life. While music, song writing, recording and performing is my life, there is something very special about being part of something bigger that has the power to save the lives of many.” Book now at Ticketmaster or -ENDS- *Full list of Rodeo 4 Life Bull riding champions on page 3.   MEDIA CONTACTS INTERVIEW REQUESTS Insight Communications on: 02 9518 4744 INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES 1.      Rodeo 4 Life Champion Cowboys 2.      Doug Vickers OAM - Rodeo 4 Life producer and RPA Liver transplant recipient 3.      Travis Collins - Seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year 4.      John ‘Happy” Gill of JP Gill & Sons – Rodeo 4 Life stock contractor   RODEO 4 LIFE LINKS 1.      Rodeo 4 Life Website: 2.      Rodeo 4 Life Facebook: 3.      BOOK NOW at Ticketmaster: 4.      Organ Donor Register:   RODEO 4 LIFE MEDIA CENTRE – DOWNLOADS 1.      Photographs of spokespersons, cowboys, rodeo images and bulls can be downloaded here:     JOURNALIST NOTES RODEO 4 LIFE CHAMPION BULL RIDERS (IN ALPHA ORDER) 1.      Ben Atkins from Tongala, Victoria, is a long-time crowd pleaser in bull riding competitions and was a NFR Finalist in both 2007 and 2008. 2.      Bryden Atkins from Chiltern, Victoria, was 2 time APRA Junior Bull Riding Champion and 2009 NRCA Junior Bull Riding Champion. Bryden also holds the 2014, 2015, 2016 RSA Woodalls Series Ride-Tuff Bull Riding Champion title and was a 2015 United Bucking Bulls inc. (UBBI) World Series Qualifier. Bryden’s been an APRA Bull Riding Qualifier multiple times and his recent wins at Barooga and Chiltern APRA Pro-Rodeos. 3.      Mathew Bee from Tarome, Queensland, won the title of RSA Ridetuff Series Rookie Bull Riding Champion in 2014 and 2015. In 2015 he was the RSA Rookie Bull Riding Champion and in 2016 and 2018 he took the title of NRCA Australian Bull Riding Champion. 4.      Brumby Brandenburg from Bloomsbury, QLD will be looking to take home his first bull riding title when he takes on some of Australia’s champions at Rodeo 4 Life. 5.      Joey Buckingham from Mossman Queensland, holds the titles of 2017 Great Northern Bull Riding Series Rookie Champion and 2016 Mareeba Rodeo Novice Bull Ride Winner. In 2015 he was an ABCRA NQ Zone Qualifier and in 2014 he was an Australian High School Rodeo Finals Qualifie 6.      Sam Champ from Meldale, Queensland holds the title of 2015 APRA Sunshine Circuit Bull Riding Champion. 7.      Toby Collins from Maldon, Victoria is the 2018 Cloverdale Bull Riding Champion, a 2016 (PRCA) Texas Circuit Finals Qualifier and in 2011 he won the title of APRA Rookie Bull Riding and Saddle Bronc Champion! 8.      Troy Cross from Boorowa NSW, has been a national finals qualifier six times and holds the title of 2009 Christchurch New Zealand World International Winner.  9.      Jonathan Couling from Singleton NSW, holds the 2014 and 2017 East to West Coast Bull Riding Champion titles and was a WRA and LRA Bull Riding Finalist in 2016 in Alberta Canada. 10.   Sam Daly from Cobden, Victoria has a string of rodeo titles to his name including 2010 and 2011 RSA Junior Steer Riding Champion, 2012 SCRS Rookie Bull Riding Champion and the 2016 Ride Tough Woodall Series Rookie Bull Riding Champion. 11.   Joe Down from Warrnambool, Victoria is a four-time Dalby Qualifier, the 2018 and 2019 APRA Rookie Bull Riding Champion. Joe holds the 2018 and 2019 RSA Rookie Bull Rider titles. 12.   Jesse Glass from Qurindi, NSW has been working the rodeo circuit since high school and was a two-time Qualifier in the RSA National Finals Bull Ride & Steer Wrestling, ABCRA NFR and was a National High School Finals Qualifier. 13.   Lane Howlett from Roma Queensland, finished in the top 10 in the 2018 APRA season and took 4th place at Mt Isa in 2018.  Lane holds the 2019 Sunshine Circuit Bull Riding Championship title. 14.   Sean Lynch from Wagga Wagga NSW, is a National Finals Qualifier in both the APRA and ABCRA Championships. 15.   Kyle Maskiell from Longford Tasmania is an RSA Champion Bull Rider. 16.   Jack McArther from Cooyar, Queensland holds the 2017 APRA Bull Riding Championship title. 17.   Wade McCarthy from Muckenburra, West Australia holds the titles of 2018 West Australian All Round Champion Cowboy, 2018 West Australian Bull Riding Champion and 2014 ABCRA Australian Bull Riding Champion. 18.   Wyatt Milgate from Biboohra, Queensland is one of Rodeo 4 Life’s youngest competitors with a string of bull riding titles to his name. Wyatt is a two-time NRCA Qualifier, a five time ABCRA Qualifier and in 2017 and 2018 he was the ABCRA NQ Zone Junior Bull Ride Champion. Wyatt holds the titles of NQRA 2018 Novice Bull Ride Champion and the 2017 and 2018 Great Northern Series Bull Ride Champion. 19.   Cliff Richardson from Gresford, NSW has represented Australia 3 times at the PBR Global Cups and qualified for the 2018 PBR Velocity Finals in Las Vegas USA. He was 2018 runner up PBR Australia Nation Champion, the 2018 PBR Australia Last Cowboy Standing Event Champion, 2018 ABCRA Runner Up Nation Bull Riding Champion, 2017 ABCRA Nation Bull Riding Champion, 2017 ABCRA Central Circuit Bull Riding Champion and in 2011 he was the ABCRA Rookie All Round Cowboy, Rookie Bull Riding Champion and Rookie Bare Back Champion. 20.   Dylan Richardson from Maffra Victoria, is one of Rodeo 4 Life’s youngest bull riders. Dylan holds the 2016 National Rodeo Council Services Australia Junior Bull Rider title and the 2019 RSA Junior Bull Rider title. 21.   Anthony Ryan from Warrnambool, Victoria holds the title of 2011 RSA Novice Bull Riding Champion. 22.   Trefor Sproule from Singleton, NSW is a 3 time ABCRA National Finals Qualifier. In 2016 he was the XTREAM Bulls Runner Up Champion and in 2010 a ABCRA Finals Round Winner. 23.   Ty Thomson from Mt Walker, Queensland holds the titles of 2012 Calf Riding Champion (NRA), 2016 Junior Bull Riding Champion (NRA) and was named Novice Bull Riding Champion (NRA) in 2018. 24.   Troy Wilkinson from Upper Horton, NSW holds the highest bull riding score in Australia with a record of 93 and the titles of 2015 APRA Bull Riding Champion, 2017 PBR Australia Champion and 2017 PBR World Finals Qualifier. 25.   Sam Woodall from Heywood, Victoria holds a number of titles including the 2018 Australian Professional Rodeo Association Rookie Bull Riding Champion, 2017 National Rodeo Council of Australia Bull Riding Champion, 2017 APRA Southern Cross Rodeo Circuit Rookie Bull Riding Champion, 2016 Rodeo Services Association 2nd Division Bull Riding Champion, 2014-16 Rodeo Services Association Junior Bull Riding Champion and 2012 - 16 RSA Woodall Rodeo Promotions Junior Bull Riding Champion.   RODEO 4 LIFE Giving the audience the time of their lives to give seriously ill people the time to live! Rodeo 4 Life on Saturday 30 November 2019, at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, is Australia’s richest bull ride spectacular with $30,000 in prize money up for grabs with seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins performing live in concert. Rodeo 4 Life is the inspiration of Doug Vickers OAM, rodeo sports producer and liver transplant recipient. Rodeo 4 Life will be conducted in accordance with policies, rules and industry standards of Rodeo Services Australia (RSA), and the NSW Code of Practice for animals used in rodeo events. Rodeo 4 Life will be conducted in accordance with animal welfare standards, registration and licensing systems of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). An RSPCA representative will be invited to be on site to oversee the event and a veterinarian will be in attendance. Whilst the event is raising funds to go toward Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Transplant Service; the hospital or Sydney Local Health District is not involved in the conduct or organisation of this event. DOUG VICKERS OAM Doug Vickers was born and raised in Townsville, North Queensland. In 1970 he joined the Australian military serving in the RAAF in Australia and overseas. In 1991, Doug Vickers was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for his service to the military. In 1999, following his discharge from military service, Doug went on to teach at the National Aerospace Centre of Excellence until 2013 when he ventured into the world of business purchasing Loam and Stone Landscape supplies and establishing his engineering company which he operates today. On 23 December 2015, Doug underwent a life-saving a liver transplant at RPA. After receiving the gift of life and the lengthy recovery period that followed, Doug learned of the funding challenges faced by researchers at the RPA Transplant Institute and became passionate about creating a unique event that could generate essential funds for vital research that could save the lives of others. With a family background in rodeo sports dating back to the late 1940s and having produced many large-scale rodeo events across Australia and served on the Judges Panel for both the APRA and ABCRA Associations, Doug initiated Rodeo 4 Life to generate much needed funds to support organ transplant research at the RPA Transplant Institute.  On 8 August 2019, in an Australian first Doug Vickers OAM announced Rodeo 4 Life as Australia’s richest bull ride extravaganza and country music concert with 100% of profits dedicated to funding research at the RPA Transplant Institute. Rodeo 4 Life will be held on 30 November 2019 at WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong NSW. RODEO 4 LIFE ENTERTAINMENT TRAVIS COLLINS Rodeo 4 Life will star seven-time Golden Guitar winner and back-to-back CMC Male Artist of the Year, Travis Collins performing some of his greatest hits including Just Another Girl, Call Me Crazy, and Hard Light. A dynamic guitarist, vocalist and live performer, Travis Collins has established himself as a leading artist in the Australian music industry.  Travis is a multiple CMAA and CMC Award winner with a growing string of hit albums, #1 songs, awards and a decade of winning fans all across the country under his belt. Well-known for his masterful guitar playing and powerhouse vocals as he is for his depth of song-writing and high energy live performances, Travis Collins continues to cement his footprint as a mainstay on the Australian music landscape. GLEN MORGAN - RODEO ANNOUNCER Glen Morgan is a name synonymous with Australian rodeo sports. Glen rode saddle broncs for more than 15 years winning 13 Australian titles. Glen also and competed in Canada and the U.S.A in the 1980s and 1990s before retiring from championship rodeo competition to become one of the best rodeo announcers in the business. GENE MCDONALD - RODEO PROTECTION CLOWN Rodeo protection clowns are risk takers who do more than entertain the audience during bull riding rodeo sports - they put their life on the line to distract the bulls away from grounded riders.  Gene will have one of the most important and dangerous roles in the Rodeo 4 Life arena - to protect the star cowboys from the bulls when they hit the ground so they can get back to the chutes in safety. BIG AL WILSON - RODEO CLOWN It wouldn’t be a Rodeo spectacular without Big Al Wilson, Australia’s class act Rodeo Clown.  A former pro bull rider and a seasoned veteran of rodeo entertainment, Big Al Wilson has won the title of Australia’s Rodeo Clown of the Year, 15 times. For 20 years, Big Al Wilson has performed at Australia's largest rodeos including at all the National Finals in Australia and New Zealand, the National Finals for ABCRA, NRCA, APRA and NZPRA, and will be the star Clown again this year at all National Finals Rodeos.  JP GILL & SONS CHAMPION RODEO BULLS Rodeo 4 Life will star some of Australia’s mightiest rodeo bulls, bred and trained by legendary JP Gill & Sons, our official stock contractor. “Happy” John P Gill, and his sons - John, Jason and Jarrod could easily be considered Australia’s “Rodeo Royalty” with a family bloodline of western-style performers dating back to the early days of Australia’s Wild West Buck Jumping Shows. From humble beginnings JP Gill & Sons have bred a bloodline of champion rodeo bulls beginning with Dr Jekyll and 007 purchased from Noel Cook of the Running N Quarter Horse Ranch at Nathalia, Victoria.   RPA TRANSPLANT INSTITUTE The RPA Transplant Institute was founded in 2006 to promote and support transplant research projects undertaken by scientists and transplant clinicians at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.  The RPA Transplant Institute is part of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), Australia’s pioneers in kidney and liver transplantation research and surgery with organ transplantation one of the many miracles of modern medicine created at RPA. Cashless debit card especially harmful in small communities, punishes regional Australia, says AASW 2019-10-21T00:53:12Z cashless-debit-card-especially-harmful-in-small-communities-punishes-regional-australia-says-aasw The Cashless Debit Card stigmatises and punishes people based on their location and unemployment status, AASW National President Christine Craik said today. In its submission to the Senate committee inquiry into the Northern Territory Income Management Scheme, the AASW reiterated its opposition to the Cashless Debit Card for those on Centrelink benefits. The AASW maintains that the proposed expansion is based on a flawed evaluation which was discredited by many experts because of a lack of rigour. The AASW called on the government to listen to the experiences of the communities in which the card has been introduced. Ms Craik said, “There is significant stigma associated with the card and many people describe a deep sense of shame when they are forced to pay using the card. These may be people who have never smoked, abused alcohol nor engaged in gambling and yet are treated as though they cannot be trusted with cash. Just because they live in regional, rural and remote Australia,” Ms Craik said. “The card imposes significant hardship because cash is still important in small communities. For example, the card prevents people from buying things at local markets, or buying second-hand goods. It hampers children’s educational opportunities by preventing their parents from paying for their school excursions.” The AASW is concerned that the Cashless Welfare Card is disproportionately harmful to the economy of Aboriginal communities. “It affects smaller Indigenous businesses who may not be equipped to accept the card. It puts at risk the independent Indigenous credit union, which currently provides banking services to remote Indigenous communities and is a major employer of local Indigenous people in its region,” said Ms Craik. “What we have seen so far is that it significantly disadvantages Indigenous populations and undermines their right to self-determination, autonomy and dignity. The AASW therefore strongly opposes the proposal to extend the Cashless Debit Card.” ENDS Celebrating social workers on International Allied Health Professionals Day 2019-10-14T02:02:50Z celebrating-social-workers-on-international-allied-health-professionals-day Today is International Allied Health Professionals Day and on this day, the AASW renews its call for mandatory registration of social workers. International Allied Health Professionals Day is a day to celebrate the contribution of allied health professionals in the community. For the AASW, it is an opportunity to pay tribute to the tireless commitment of qualified social workers in their often challenging and complex work. “Social workers provide key supports to vulnerable individuals, families and communities,” said AASW National President Christine Craik. “We work in a wide range of areas, including mental health, family violence, child protection, aged care, disability, housing, drug and alcohol to name a few. Working at the forefront of Australia’s most pressing social issues makes us skilled, knowledgeable and passionate advocates. We see the impact of public policy on the lives of our clients every day, we know how it affects them, and we are aware of the toll this takes on social workers who advocate tirelessly in this space.” Despite the vital role that social workers play, there are currently no mandatory registration requirements for social workers, leaving the most vulnerable people in our society potentially without protection. The AASW welcomes steps that are underway to formally register qualified social workers in South Australia, and calls for registration to rolled out Australia-wide. “We have campaigned for years for the registration of social workers in Australia,” said Ms Craik. “Regulation and registration can protect the public from unprofessional practice, ensure that those practising as ‘social workers’ are in fact qualified social workers, and ensure that social workers who breach the Code of Ethics can be held to account. Without a national system of statutory regulation for all social work practitioners, the Australian public is not offered the same level of protection as social work service users in other countries.” Representatives from the AASW recently gave formal evidence on the Social Workers Registration Bill at Parliament House in South Australia. Centrelink’s debt recovery system is a war on the poor, says AASW 2019-10-10T01:15:13Z centrelinks-debt-recovery-system-is-a-war-on-the-poor-says-aasw Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system is a war on the poor and the vulnerable, AASW National President Christine Craik said yesterday. Speaking at a Senate Inquiry into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery scheme, Ms Craik described the scheme as harsh, unfair and a denial of natural justice. In its submission to the inquiry, the AASW pointed out that people usually apply for Centrelink benefits following a crisis or a major change in their lives. They are often vulnerable and distressed. “Social workers have experience of supporting people through these hardships and we know that the confusion and unpredictability of daily life for people in these situations, alongside the difficulties in being able to contact Centrelink, often makes it difficult to fully understand or meet the bureaucratic benchmarks that are required,” Ms Craik said. The AASW acknowledged that changes have been made to the scheme, but points out that the fundamental principles remain the same. “It is bad enough that people receive a letter which puts the onus on them to prove that they have not incurred a debt. But when vulnerable people, like the people we work with, are presumed guilty and asked to produce documents going back six years, their anxiety and distress levels often increase and for good reason. “For example, it is difficult to keep track of documents when you are experiencing homelessness, and difficult to take everything you need if you are having to flee a violent perpetrator. In cases like this, re-establishing contact, and asking for favours from anyone in their past, can seriously threaten their safety.” For Ms Craik, it gets back to trust that our government organisations are going to treat people fairly without a beginning presumption of guilt. “For many people on Centrelink who have paid taxes all their lives and trusted that the system will take care of them should they need it, they find that this trust is betrayed and do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.” The AASW calls on the government to work with the community sector and people who have been in this situation to design a debt recovery process that is fair, accurate and responsive to the difficult life circumstances in which many Australians find themselves. World Mental Health Day: The AASW calls for significant sector reform 2019-10-09T23:45:15Z world-mental-health-day-the-aasw-calls-for-significant-sector-reform On World Mental Health Day, marked annually on 10 October, the AASW calls on all Australian governments take action to address the suicide epidemic we currently have in this country. “We need a need a multifaceted and systemic approach to mental health supports that are person-centred and human rights-based,” said AASW National President Christine Craik. “Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for people aged 15-44[1], and the suicide rate is more than four times higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities[2]. During Mental Health Month, it is important to not only challenge how people understand mental health and suicide, including negative assumptions and stereotypes, but to talk about how to have supportive conversations with friends and family who may be at risk,” said Ms Craik. “Social workers see firsthand the resilience and courage of individuals and families impacted by suicide, and the effects that the inability to access adequate care can have of the lives of so many. “Our mental health system is crisis-driven and does not adequately address the full psychosocial needs of individuals, groups and communities. Mental health is a complex issue, but we do know that prevention and early intervention are key in order to address family violence, homelessness, sexual assault and other issues that lead to poor mental health and its devastating impacts. We need a much greater focus on early intervention, recovery and community to effectively support individuals, families and communities,” said Ms Craik. “We need to see mental health as fundamentally a human rights issue. “By taking a human rights approach to mental health, we need to focus on the needs of traumatised individuals and disadvantaged groups, and to the interaction between discrimination and marginalisation. It demonstrates the importance of many principles that underpin the service system such as equality of access to services and the need for standards and accountability in the delivery of services,” she said. “Furthermore, the mental health system is built on colonising practice and is deeply failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The disproportionate rates of suicide are a national emergency that needs immediate state and federal action. “Change is possible and central to this is strengthening the participation and collaboration of people with lived experience within the system.” The AASW represents over 12,000 professional social workers, many of whom work at the forefront of mental health and suicide prevention and support. The AASW encourages people seeking external support for mental health issues to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or their online chat or trial text service at, 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636, Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800, MensLine on 1300 78 99 78, Emergency Services on 000, or to visit their GP. ENDS To interview Christine Craik, please contact Angela Yin on 0413 532 954. [1] [2] Australian social workers declare a climate emergency: AASW 2019-10-07T01:08:32Z 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. ENDS Ticket stubs feeding hungry bubs: Humanitix helps OzHarvest provide 100,000 meals to people in need. 2019-10-02T02:50:17Z ticket-stubs-feeding-hungry-bubs-humanitix-helps-ozharvest-provide-100-000-meals-to-people-in-need Humanitix gives event impact, as organisers use the platform to sell tickets, with booking fees going towards closing the education gap. One project, the Humanitix Nutrition For School Children program, works with delivery partners around the world to make sure no child goes to school hungry.      Adam McCurdie, Co-CEO at Humanitix says the positive impact from is growing as more organisers use the platform.  “We’re a unique charity in that we don’t ask for donations. We just ask event organisers to run their awesome event on our platform – their booking fees can change lives.”  “At Humanitix we believe education is the ticket to opportunity. With access to primary and secondary schooling, and the support needed to stay in school, kids live healthier, more fulfilling lives. They can escape the traps of poverty. Our programs include scholarships for Indigenous students, education programs for young girls and nourishing Aussie kids and their families, through the great work of OzHarvest.” Ronni Kahn AO, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest said education is essential to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for vulnerable people.  “OzHarvest relies on the amazing support of like-minded organisations like Humanitix to help keep our wheels turning and whilst food rescue fills hungry bellies, education transforms lives.  We are thrilled to work with Humanitix, who share our vision for a better world, and are committed to making positive change.” Event organisers love that their events can have such an impact. Says Group Marketing Manager Mikaila Faber from The Sydney Collective: “One of the things we’re passionate about at The Sydney Collective is giving back to our local communities. Through Humanitix we’re able to run events like our Melbourne Cup and New Years Eve event, and then direct the booking fees to projects we truly care about. Humanitix has been a dream to use and are always there to lend a helping hand.” Humanitix is now the fastest growing ticketing platform in Australia, and has contributed more than $350,000 to education programs. More and more event organisers are choosing to add purpose their events, as well as enjoying the price point, unique features and charity status of the Humanitix platform.  The team is available for interviews Contact Adam Long, Chief Growth Officer on 0421 498 170 or  Download photography, logos and the media kit here. For Journalists: Possible story angles Ticket stubs feed hungry bubs: Humanitix and OzHarvest provide 100,000 meals. Two Aussie organisations giving kids a chance, starting with their bellies.  FAQ What is Humanitix? Humanitix is the not-for-profit ticketing platform giving events impact. We make event management a delight, and then direct 100% of the profit from booking fees towards education projects, such as education programs for young girls.  Who uses Humanitix? Anyone running events – whether an independent community event, festival or international conference. By ticketing their event with Humanitix, Singularity University funded 10,000 days of education, the Football Federation of Australia funded 2 years of girls’ education from a single match, and The Grounds of Alexandria funded 15,000 meals for disadvantaged children.  What has Humanitix achieved? Humanitix is now the fastest growing ticketing platform in Australia, and has contributed more than $350,000 to education programs.  Why is Humanitix different? Humanitix is an exciting case of scalable social innovation, capable of transforming both the role of business and radically growing the funding pool for education programs. It’s a charity for the tech-generation. Why education? We believe education is the ticket to opportunity. With access to primary and secondary schooling and the support needed to stay in school, kids live healthier, more fulfilling lives and can escape the traps of poverty. Our work ranges from scholarships for Indigenous students, through to meals for disadvantaged Aussie kids, through to education programs for young girls around the world. How did it get started? Humanitix was created by Joshua Ross and Adam McCurdie, who left lucrative jobs in finance to make Humanitix happen. Funding has come from many foundations, including Google and Atlassian’s, as well as a range of philanthropists. Where can I find out more? Visit    Or contact Adam Long, Chief Growth Officer: 0421 498 170 or  SOUL SEED LAUNCHES “SUPER SEED SNAPS” IN WOOLWORTHS NATION-WIDE 2019-09-29T23:00:00Z soul-seed-launches-super-seed-snaps-in-woolworths-nation-wide Media Release: Monday 30 September 2019 Over date-based snacks? Supermarket hemp foods favourite, Soul Seed, has launched a new range of “Super Seed Snaps” into 744 Woolworths stores across Australia. Found in the health food aisle, Super Seed Snaps are gluten free with 5g+ of protein, fibre plus a variety of vitamin and mineral-rich super seeds including hemp, flax, chia and pumpkin. The baked snacks are ideal for lunchboxes, briefcases and handbags alike. There’s a flavour for every mood and palette - Salted Caramel, Turmeric & Black Pepper, Rich Choc and Spicy Sriracha. Soul Seed Founder Cade Turland says, “9 times out of 10, when I flip to the nutrition panel on a snack, the first ingredient I read is ‘dates’. “We set out to create a snack with a real point of difference in the health food category. Something tasty, filled with whole foods and of course featuring our favourite nutrition-packed super seed, hemp. That’s where Super Seed Snaps were born.” Soul Seed’s millennial founders Cade Turland and Forbes 30 Under 30 Listmaker, Georgia Branch, have been blown away by the growth of the brand. Launched in 2018, Soul Seed has quickly become Australia’s widest reaching hemp foods brand. Soul Seed’s ethos is to bring whole food nutrition to the whole family. The products can be found in both Coles and Woolworths as well as Ritchies IGA stores. For samples, interviews and images please contact Georgia Branch | ABOUT SOUL SEED Part of Trichomia Pty Ltd hemp brands (also owner of Hemple), Soul Seed is Australia’s widest-reaching supermarket hemp foods brand. Soul Seed’s cold pressed Australian hemp seed oil, protein and seeds can be found at Coles and Ritchies IGA while their Super Seed Snaps range can be found at Woolworths nation- wide. Trichomia Pty Ltd investors include MMJ (ASX:MMJ). Delivering dignified and fitting funeral services 2019-09-23T21:31:34Z delivering-dignified-and-fitting-funeral-services Funeral Celebrants Association Australia (FCAA) expresses its dismay at the alleged practices aired in ABC 4 Corner’s Funeral Industry program on Monday 23 September 2019. Funeral Celebrants are a vital and professional component of the Australian funeral industry, according to FCAA President, Di Ingelse. “Our Members are passionate about delivering meaning and dignified services for the deceased, working closely with their next of kin and/or closest friends, to prepare and deliver services. “We work with families and friends at times of deep grief, and to our strict Code of Practice,” Ms Ingelse said. “Good and professional Funeral Celebrants frequently spend much time face-to-face with families in organising meaningful services. Families are often unaware of the many options, ideas and rituals that they may consider and include as part of the funeral service. As passionate professionals, we walk families through this challenging time to ensure sincere services,” she explained. “Families may not be aware that there are many venues where services can be held, including the family backyard – services do not have to be held in a chapel or church; nor do they know they can have an extended service time. “When a family knows they may only have 35 minutes in a chapel to say farewell to a loved one, they can be dismayed – they often say ‘35 minutes for a long and rich life?’.   Funeral service options do not necessarily add cost, but what they do add to meaning and helping mourners say farewell, can be enormous.” Today’s funeral service should be about choice, transparency and meaning – “We cannot change that a person has died, but we can ensure a fitting and valued farewell service to assist with the grief process.  Providing a fitting and dignified service for the deceased and their family and friends is essential,” Ms Ingelse said. It is always helpful if the deceased discussed or wrote instructions for their funeral arrangements. “We encourage all people to have conversations about their final wishes – do you wish to be an organ donor, buried, cremated or even aquamated;  who do you wish to speak at your service, where do you want the service to be held, for example,” Ms Ingelse said. There are lots of free planning tools to use for end of life planning including the plan a funeral section of the FCAA website. The FCCA encourages families to take time to make decisions about funerals and memorial services. Here are just a few suggestions: ·      Speak with family and friends for recommendations on choice of Funeral Celebrant and Funeral Director ·      Write a list of questions and talk to funeral providers. Compare their approach, services and quotes before making a provider decision ·      Reflect on funeral services you have attended – what made them a positive memory? What didn’t you like? ·      What rituals would positively reflect on the life of the deceased? (Ask your Funeral Celebrant for ideas) ·      Where would you like to hold the service and when? There are endless options. ·      Consider music, poetry, stories, artwork and other tributes options ·      How can children be involved in the service? (Decorate the coffin, display artwork, write and/or read special messages about the deceased, for example) Funeral operators must comply with Australian laws. If you are unhappy with a service, you should speak with the provider. If you remain unsatisfied, speak with your state or territory fair trading or consumer affairs organisation. “The death of a loved one is a very difficult time. Each person thinks and feels differently about death and grief processes. It is important to acknowledge these and be aware of support services to help those in need,” Ms Inglese added. END                                                     NOTES: Funeral Celebrant Association Australia, established in 2007, is the only dedicated not-for-profit association dedicated to funeral celebrancy in Australia. Our Funeral Celebrants across Australia work to a Code of Practice and commit to annual Professional Development. Our website aims to answer consumer questions assist them in ensuring meaning funeral and memorial services for their loved ones. Find an FCAA Funeral Celebrant at Find a Celebrant.   Spokespeople: President and WA                   Di Ingelse, Perth, Ph 0409 928 688 Committee member, Qld       Judy Magub – Ph 0418 151 007 Committee member, NSW     Sharon Swinbourne, Sutherland Shire – Ph 0410 524 002 Treasurer and NSW                Joy Allen, Sydney         Ph 0407 304 236 Regional areas                                    Chris Longhurst, Riverina NSW – Ph 0400 982 636      Social Media              Facebook @funeralcelebrantsaustralia and Instagram @funeralcelebrants Email                 ;   Australian Supermarket IGA Joins the Edible Bug Revolution 2019-09-16T10:17:24Z australian-supermarket-iga-joins-the-edible-bug-revolution Supermarket trailblazers IGA have announced they will be the first chain of Australian supermarkets to stock edible crickets. The addition of Grilo products to IGA shelves comes on the back of increasing demand from customers for more sustainable sources of protein. “We are passionate about bringing our customers new and exciting products that they wouldn’t usually be able to find,” says the HG Retail Group. For people looking to reduce their environmental impact while also meeting dietary needs edible crickets offer the perfect substitute. “Grilo Protein is one of these such products and we are proud to support this innovative and local company who is committed to supplying healthy, sustainable and future conscious food that tastes great!” – Rob Outridge, IGA Owner, Maleny. Eating crickets has previously been uncommon in the West, largely due to the ‘ick’ factor associated with eating bugs. However, consumers are now recognizing that not only are crickets mild in flavour, but their nutrient density, sustainability and versatility make them a more sustainable and delicious protein alternative. IGA’s move to add Grilo products to their shelves is incredibly exciting and demonstrates the growing understanding for the need to find food solutions that meet both planet and human needs. We believe the growing trend of consuming insects will result in a healthier planet and healthier bodies. Here are three reasons why Grilo products will now be on IGA shelves: Environmental Alternative Crickets are the most sustainable source of protein on earth. They require far less resources (water, land, feed and energy) than other popular sources of protein, such as chicken, beef or pork, and produce 80 times less methane than cows. Given that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions is a result of livestock production, cricket’s growing popularity should result in a significant lowering of emissions. Nutrient Dense Crickets are extremely nutrient dense, containing 69% protein, vitamin B12, Omega 3, iron, potassium and calcium. Their digestibility is higher than that of plant proteins, making it easier for the body to extract and absorb all those nutrients. Given the busy lives lead by most people and the impact of good nutrition on mental and physical health, the need for accessible, easily prepared nutrients is great. Versatile & Delicious Given their mild, nutty flavour, crickets are extremely easy to incorporate into meals and smoothies; sweet or savoury. Alternatively, Grilo energy bars are an extremely convenient and delicious means of meeting daily protein requirements. For more information or for an interview contact: Camila Meyer Co-founder at Grilo Protein Click here for images. Grilo organic cricket powder and smoothie protein blends available at IGA Energy Bars made with organic cricket powder: banana caramel, chocolate mint and cacao fudge “We are passionate about bringing our customers new and exciting products that they wouldn’t usually be able to find,” says the HG Retail Group. IGA: first Australian supermarket chain to stock edible bugs products Grilo roasted crunchy crickets AASW Strongly Opposes Newstart Drug Testing 2019-09-12T03:19:09Z aasw-strongly-opposes-newstart-drug-testing The mandatory drug testing of Newstart recipients, accompanied by a possible reduction in income support payments, is deeply unethical and does not understand the complex nature of addiction, said Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) National President Christine Craik. "There is absolutely no evidence that drug use is more prevalent among people who are unemployed, or that drug use is the most significant cause of unemployment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that mandatory drug testing of people living on income support payments is effective." she said This is a punitive, vindictive and ideologically driven approach to policy that ignores evidence and punishes some of the most vulnerable members of society. Creating a national narrative that shifts the attention from the lack of assistance needed by vulnerable people, to blaming them for their vulnerability, is not a sign of a compassionate government. "People who are struggling with drug and alcohol use require treatment and support, and denying income support is not a form of treatment. If the government is seriously concerned with the impact of drug use then much greater attention needs to be paid to the availability and accessibility of drug treatment services. The sector is poorly resources with huge waiting lists and this policy would only compound the problem" The income support system was originally developed as a commitment to fairness, equality and mutual responsibility. By contrast, both fairness and equality are missing from this policy that punishes people for being poor. "Denying people income support payments will lead to destitution, increased homelessness and ill-health among people who already experience poverty. The flow on impacts will also be significant and this policy lacks any consideration about how it will affect families, loved ones and communities, including the possible increases in family violence and other forms of abuse." "Social workers understand that meaningful supports and long term change comes from working in collaboration and empathy, not coercion" she said. Given that there is no relationship between drug use and employment, there can be no justification for testing people on the basis of their employment status. AASW National President Christine Craik: Christine has worked as a social worker in family support, housing, community health and hospitals with a focus on domestic violence, sexual abuse and refugees for almost 3 decades. Christine holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Management and is currently completing her PhD. Christine has been National Vice President of the AASW since 2011, and is currently Chair of the Finance, Audit, Compliance and Risk Committee. She has chaired many committees, including the Governance review of 2015/6. Christine currently lectures full time in the undergraduate and post graduate Social Work Degrees at RMIT University. To interview Christine Craik, please contact the Debra Parnell M. 0412014428 Ghosts in the System – Thousands Living in Sexual Servitude, Forced Marriage and Forced Labour in Australia 2019-09-08T22:08:53Z ghosts-in-the-system-thousands-living-in-sexual-servitude-forced-marriage-and-forced-labour-in-australia 9th September 2019 - No identity, and therefore no ability to get medical treatment or official help, Charlotte* lived in sexual servitude and slavery, fearing for her life every day for 12 years.   This is not a story from hundreds of years ago. It’s not something that occurred in a far-off country. It happened right here, in Australia, in 2019.   Official estimates state that 15,000** people currently live in circumstances of slavery within Australia – this includes victims of human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage and forced sexual exploitation – however Sally Irwin, founder of Freedom Hub, believes actual figures could be much higher. Fivers for Survivors Day, held this year on October 16th, is calling on businesses, schools, clubs and individuals to give just $5 to help survivors of slavery in Australia rebuild their lives.   “There are thousands of people in Australia who are effectively ghosts in the system. Official statistics often can’t capture them because they essentially ‘don’t exist’; their identities have been stolen from them, passports taken, all means of communication cut off. Without the ability to access assistance or services they are trapped in slavery living in abhorrent circumstances,” said Irwin.   Irwin’s organisation, Freedom Hub, is a For Purpose enterprise that works to provide after-care services for survivors of modern slavery in Australia.   “Once the survivor is removed from the situation of slavery there is still so much more that needs to be done for them. Our Survivor School helps them reintegrate into society, build a life for themselves and overcome their trauma to really thrive,” Irwin said.   Shardi* came to Australia in 2016 as a slave with the family that ‘owned’ her. Unpaid, over worked and verbally abused, after 14 months she found an opportunity to run and escaped with nothing but the clothes she was wearing. Freedom Hub helped provide Shardi with clothing, accommodation and food, along with Survivor School classes to help her rebuild her life. She now dreams of using her passion and skills to become a chef.   Freedom Hub’s Survivor School has helped over 70 survivors like Charlotte and Shardi, a process which can take years and cost up to $20,000 per person. Survivor School provides work-ready courses, including basic employment and office skills, practical applications for success and paid work experience. The school also provides peer support and long-term support, including outings, workshops, employment help and tutoring.   “This Fivers for Survivors Day we’re asking people to come together to give a small donation so that jointly we can make a massive difference. Whether it’s a morning tea in the office, drinks after work or a collection amongst your friends, mobilise your network and help make an impact in the lives of modern slavery survivors like Charlotte and Shardi for as little as $5,” said Irwin.   As a For Purpose business every cent donated through Fivers for Survivors Day goes straight to Freedom Hub’s Survivor School program, directly benefitting individual survivors.   Fivers for Survivors Day seeks to raise awareness of the issue and occurrence of modern slavery in Australia, as well as much-needed funds to support survivors. Fivers for Survivors Day is on the 16th October and asks businesses, clubs, schools, groups and anyone who would like to be part of the day to donate just $5. Donations can be made at All donations are tax deductable.   - ENDS -   For more information, or to arrange an interview with Sally Irwin, please contact: Niki Hennessy Conscious Communication 0434 486 196   About Freedom Hub: The Freedom Hub Venue, Cafe and School is a registered charity with a mission to rehabilitate and empower victims of human trafficking and slavery like practices in Australia. Freedom Hub’s SURVIVOR SCHOOL runs free classes to help survivors regain confidence and become work ready. It’s cafés in Sydney and the Gold Coast are "businesses for purpose" to provide profit to sustain the School.   To register your support and receive a resource and media kit please email:   *Names have been changed to protect individuals’ identity **Global Slavery Index 2018 $20,000 funding pledged to assist change-makers and creative visionaries 2019-09-06T03:05:34Z 20-000-funding-pledged-to-assist-change-makers-and-creative-visionaries Australian individuals and enterprises on a mission to make a difference can apply for $20,000 funding to help them do so. Applications are now invited for the second annual CameraPro Explorer’s Grant, established to further change-making initiatives and bring them exposure through photography/video. Last year’s Explorer’s Grant has helped to support and promote a variety of remarkable projects: ·         Meet the Ocean – an educational non-profit using virtual reality to inspire/teach the public about marine conservation and rehabilitate kids in hospital ·         Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre – a refugee-led school in Indonesia teaching 1,500 refugee children from Afghanistan unable to attend local schools ·         Rafiki Africa Ministries, Buwooya Mission School, EthiopiAid and Action Ethiopia – locally run Ugandan and Ethiopian aid organisations assisting disadvantaged children, women and local farmers Nonprofit organisations, as well as amateur or professional photographers and videographers, can apply for the 2019 CameraPro Explorer’s Grant from now until 30 September 2019.   About Founded in 2007, CameraPro is an independent Australian photographic retailer based in Brisbane. Through its newly established Explorer’s Grant, CameraPro proudly assists Australian photography and video practitioners in addressing and raising awareness of worthy causes. Find out more at Sisters of Charity Foundation to meet with domestic violence survivors 2019-09-05T00:55:28Z sisters-of-charity-foundation-to-meet-with-domestic-violence-survivors Moving Forward is a specialist case management service for women and children who are experiencing, escaping or have left domestic and family violence. Based in Sydney’s south, it provides comprehensive practical support as well as therapeutic and educational workshops and case management. “For the past five years the Sisters of Charity Foundation has supported our organisation with an annual grant of $10k,” says Moving Forward Manager Jan Christie. “Every year we purchase grocery vouchers to distribute to the women and children we support. “We have found if they are able to financially support themselves and their family they are less inclined to stay or go back to an abusive relationship.” Foundation visitors will join Moving Forward’s staff and clients for lunch, and speak one-on-one with brave domestic violence survivors who are ready to share their stories. “We’re grateful to be allowed to gain this deeply personal insight,” says Sisters of Charity Foundation CEO Reba Meagher. “Although we’ve had regular updates from Moving Forward over the years, there’s nothing quite like hearing directly from someone your donation has helped. For me it reinforces why we do what we do. “Moving Forward provides a much-needed service to the community and we’re proud to support them.”   About the Sisters of Charity Foundation Every year the Sisters of Charity Foundation is able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that receive little or no funding from other sources, that benefit the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community, no matter their gender, ethnicity, age or ability. AUSTRALIA'S MOST INNOVATIVE EMPLOYMENT SERVICES PROVIDER (DES) 2019-09-03T23:35:44Z australia-s-most-innovative-employment-services-provider-des Help Enterprises, a Queensland based not-for-profit organisation is pleased to have been announced the Winner of the '2019 National Award for Innovation in Disability Employment'. On August 13th in Melbourne at the National Employment Services Association (NESA) 2019 Awards for Excellence, Help Employment & Training excelled above all other disability employment service providers nationally to win this prestigious award. The award was supported by the Australian Government Job Access and presented to HELP by the Federal Minister for Families & Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston. In announcing the award, NESA wrote: "HELP Employment & Training have revolutionised the experience of job seekers with disability in their region with a new multi-channel service model that provides greater transparency, independence and control, as well as a more personalised service for local job seekers." Greg Luck, CEO of Help Employment & Training said “We are so proud that our team have received such a prestigious national award.” “We do things differently at HELP and are achieving great results for the benefit of our customers....jobseekers and employers.” “We not only move Heaven and Earth to get our job seekers employed, but we also do the same for employers. Workforce diversity and inclusion is a key business imperative these days and we provide businesses with advice, strategies, suitable candidates and ongoing support after the employee starts their new job, at no cost.” “Employers don’t have to do this alone or fear it, HELP is there for them also. If employers are not tapping into this rich talent pool of candidates with amazing abilities, then they are simply missing out.” Mr Luck said. Help Employment & Training, is a division of Help Enterprises, a non-profit, which for over 50 years has been dedicated to the mission of ‘Enhancing the lifestyle and independence of people with disability’.