The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-06-07T23:30:00Z Media release 2021-06-07T23:30:00Z media-release Special eBook releaseAnniversary edition of Julietta Jameson’s Christmas Island, Indian Ocean marks 20 years since the Tampa crisisHow a tiny island and a boat full of refugees changed Australia forevereBook available July 15, 2021 through select major digital bookstores and participating librariesISBN: 978-0-6451128-7-0 “At last, a book that tells us all about Christmas Island: a place we have previously heard about as an entry point for people seeking asylum in Australia, but otherwise a blank spot in most Australian minds.”- Julian Burnside AO QC Melbourne-based author, Julietta Jameson will release a new, edited version of her moving 2003 book, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, which will be available for the first time in eBook format from July 15, 2021.This special anniversary edition marks twenty years since the ‘Tampa crisis’, when a Norwegian freighter rescued hundreds of asylum seekers from a sinking Indonesian fishing boat and attempts to deliver them safely to Christmas Island were thwarted by the Australian government, sparking outrage amongst humanitarians and attracting global media attention for all the wrong reasons.It is a deeply-affecting account of Jameson’s journey to Australia’s most isolated territory … an extraordinary place, at an extraordinary time.Originally published in paperback form by ABC Books, the eBook version of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean has been revisited by the author, who during the lengthy editing process, found that the questions and issues raised at that time are every bit as relevant and important today as they were then.Says Jameson, “This book came about when, one morning in the latter stages of 2001, I heard an ABC Radio interview with Captain Don O'Donnell, the harbour master of Christmas Island. He was describing the moving send-off the islanders had given the Tampa when she finally sailed away, her human cargo having been taken off her deck by the SAS and delivered to the Australian war ship, the Manoora, to eventually be taken to Nauru. As a journalist, an avid hobbyist on matters of the human condition and from the point of view of my own confusion about this and many other things in my life, I decided to go to the island and see what was going on for myself. “As I set off, Australian public debate on the ‘Tampa crisis’ and the government's ensuing ‘Pacific Solution’ to ‘stopping the boats’ was passionate, polarised and front-page news, which almost feels quaint in 2021, given how normalised and widely accepted strong-arm tactics – some might say cruelties – towards asylum seekers have become. “Editing this book for the twentieth anniversary of the Tampa crisis, as I revisited my reflections of and at the time, it seemed like the questions I'd asked twenty years earlier had barely touched the sides of what was to come. Moreover, the answers I thought I had found had been dashed against the jagged rocks of hardened hearts and minds.“But I believe it is valuable to look at where we came from, in order to understand how we got here. At the very least, the remarkable humanity the Christmas Islanders showed in the latter part of 2001 might serve as a reminder of the humanity in us all.” ABOUT THE AUTHORJulietta Jameson is an Australian author who has lived and written in Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Melbourne as well as more remote places such as Australia’s Christmas Island for this book, the New South Wales outback for Tibooburra and the Legend of the Tree of Knowledge, and Italy, Greece and Switzerland, following the travels of the poet Lord Byron for her book, Me, Myself and Lord Byron.She has also written biographies and her journalistic career has spanned the gamut: hard news, finance, the arts, celebrity and travel. In addition, she writes screenplays for cinema and TV. Julietta is based in Melbourne, Australia. MEDIA CONTACT (for interview, extract and review requests):Erin Jamesonerin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com / +61 419 323 663 CHRISTMAS ISLAND, INDIAN OCEANCopyright © Julietta Jameson 2003 First published February 2003This edited edition © Julietta Jameson 2021 Published July 2021 How to be happily single & avoid depression this Valentine’s Day 2021-02-10T01:17:02Z how-to-be-happily-single-avoid-depression-this-valentines-day WHILE Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day of joy and romance, many single people spend the day feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that relationship problems are the top cause of suicides today and psychologists worldwide suggest that Valentine’s Day on February 14 is the start of an annual rise in suicide rates that peak in April. It doesn’t have to be this way however as there are many positives to being single, as Gold Coast author Louisa Pateman shares in her new book Single, Again, and Again, and Again… “It takes courage to be single and it’s a big myth that when you meet ‘the one’, you will live happily ever after,” Ms Pateman said. “Your ultimate goal should be happiness - single or not. We all have our own unique life journey. If I had waited for ‘the one’, I wouldn’t have had such an amazing life.” Louisa, 47, has travelled to 73 countries, had multiple properties and chose to have her son solo using a sperm bank at age 37 after stressing out about her biological clock ticking and having more than 13 failed relationships since the age of 21. A civil engineer for 25 years, she created exciting and rewarding life experiences through travel, investing and spending time with girlfriends. “I spent 20 years looking for my soulmate and my son, Nicholas, is now the love of my life. I wouldn’t give him up for any man,” she said. Her tips for being happily single include: Embrace/ accept your situation for what it is and what you have Learn to be present- enjoy the moment Find other single people you can relate to but don’t exclude yourself from couple situations. Find opportunities where you can be around people you can connect with, who have lived part of your journey Love yourself and appreciate your self worth. You determine your own worth by what you will and won’t put up with Find inner contentment and the good in all your challenges. Don’t be a man/ woman hater or shun couples. If you are bitter, resentful or hold grudges from past relationship failures, that bitterness permeates your present experience. Find exciting and rewarding life experiences that you can do on your own. When you come out of a relationship, write down a list of all the things you want to do without a partner and do it, like going on a girl’s retreat or writing a book (eg. I was up 10pm to 2am most nights when writing my book). Stay optimistic about life. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have - big and little things. List things you’re grateful for and realise things aren’t that bad. Look at life from a macro perspective and realise how small your issues are in the overall scheme of things Remind yourself that not everyone in a relationship is happy. You may be better off than some people who don’t have the courage to be single Ms Pateman’s tips are also in line with Singles Awareness Day (or Singles Appreciation Day), which is celebrated on February 15 each year. “It is a celebration of love in all forms recognising the love between friends, family and loving yourself. You have to accept you are where you are,” Ms Pateman said. “I’m not saying you can get rid of your desires. I’m saying if you don’t have courage to live a rewarding life on your own, life could pass you by and you could miss out on a lot of opportunities.” For more details or for a copy of the book Single, Again, and Again, and Again…, visit ENDS ___________________________________________________ MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: AA Xpose Media Director/ Photojournalist Aldwyn Altuney ph: 0409 895 055 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 page. 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’. Grandad Inspires Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom on 3-month road trip 2020-07-06T12:26:39Z grandad-inspires-aussies-to-bounce-back-to-freedom-on-3-month-road-trip A BUNDABERG grandad has come out of retirement after 11 years to inspire Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom after Covid-19 with a road trip from Bundaberg to Darwin from July 13 to October 25, 2020. Author of 7 books, Hans Jakobi, 66, has gone from being suicidal and surviving multiple tragedies, including three serious bushfire threats to his home and an eight-year drought, to being a successful businessman and funding his own retirement at 55. Known as The Lifestyle Entrepreneur, he and his wife of 41 years, Colette, have travelled to more than 70 countries since then and now will hit the road on a Bounce Back To Freedom Tour. On the tour, he will interview and film Australians who have lost their jobs or businesses to find out what they are doing to recover from the crisis and what strategies they have worked out to prosper from the turmoil. “The way people have panicked in this crisis has had a deep impact on me and I feel compelled to spread a message of hope, opportunity and support to replace the narrative of fear,” Mr Jakobi said. He said the best and most secure way to prosper from this crisis was to start an online home-based business. “I want to inspire ordinary, everyday people, encourage them and give them hope to embrace this crisis as their opportunity to start their own online business and profit despite the crisis,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some people who will have benefited from the crisis because they’ve adapted to the opportunities created and will be loving it, while others will have a lot of stress and anxiety.” Mr Jakobi will hit the road with his latest book, Why You Need to Start Your Own Online Business Now! “My mantra is that you can build and run a business from anywhere in the world with just a laptop computer, a mobile phone and an internet connection,” he said. To walk his talk and also inspire his 3 children and 5 grandchildren, he and his wife will make the 12,000km return trip in a 2008 Sunland 24 foot caravan to Darwin and document his journey as he inspires locals, films their stories and builds a new online business from scratch. “People learn more from what they see than what you say so I want to inspire people. In the next 10 years, I will give it my best, keep traveling, support my children, mentor my grandchildren and others about business,” Mr Jakobi said. “I want to be around positive, aspirational people and then I will retire again.” For more details, visit 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 For more information, please contact: Emma Kirkaldy @ CRE8IVE on T: 0406 025 771 or Mercy Ships volunteers to feature on 7Plus's 'Mighty Ships' 2020-01-23T03:03:28Z mercy-ships-volunteers-to-feature-on-7plus-s-mighty-ships 22 January 2020: The work of volunteers serving with the Mercy Ships charity on board Africa Mercy, the world's largest charity hospital ship, will be featured in an hour-long episode of the TV series Mighty Ships. ‘Mighty Ships: Africa Mercy’ will screen on the Seven Network's video on demand service 7Plus until September. The program shows life on board and the work being done by a volunteer crew of more than 460 people in West Africa. “There are hundreds of Australians who have served as volunteers on one of the ships operated by Mercy Ships over the last 40 years. This hour-long episode on the hospital ship will bring back many memories for them,” says Alan Burrell, Managing Director of Mercy Ships Australia. Mighty Ships was produced for Discovery Channel Canada, and acquired by the Seven Network in Australia. The Emmy-award winning series is a behind the scenes look at some of the sea's most impressive vessels, from pirate-hunting naval frigates and high-tech ocean dredgers to luxury cruise ships and lethal nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Among such ships is the Africa Mercy, which docks in the world's poorest nations as volunteers provide free medical care to the poorest of the poor. The ship is equipped with five operating theatres, an 82-bed hospital, state-of-the-art equipment and accommodation for volunteer crew members. Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free health care services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, treating more than 2.5 million direct medical beneficiaries.  Australian volunteers include surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers and others who donate their time and skills to serve. The hour-long program will show an emphasis on the behind-the-scenes operation of the hospital ship serving the needs of the world's poorest nations in West Africa. Mighty Ships: Africa Mercy Africa Mercy is a floating hospital capable of delivering top-notch medical care. You're invited to come aboard on a six-month life and death mission as the ship and her crew bring hope to western Africa, one of the world's poorest regions. For the crew of Africa Mercy, treating the ailing patients will only be half the challenge. In order to reach those who need them, they will have to outsmart faulty technology, outmanoeuvre South Atlantic squalls, and outwit marauding pirates. Braving the dangerous waters off the western coast of Africa in a converted ferry carrying ship, these volunteers will do whatever it takes to bring their mobile hospital to the people who need it most. Watch now at ENDS   About Mercy Ships  Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development aid to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in 56 countries providing services valued at more than $1.53 billion, with more than 2.6 million direct beneficiaries. Each year, more than 1,200 volunteers from over 40 nations serve with Mercy Ships. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations one at a time. Mercy Ships Australia is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. For more information, visit Notes to Editors   High resolution photos are available upon request, with attribution to Mercy Ships.  For more information please contact:  Melissa MasonNational Office ManagerMercy Ships Australia(07) 5437 PISA TEST RESULTS NOT A “WAKE-UP CALL” 2019-12-04T02:39:18Z pisa-test-results-not-a-wake-up-call Sydney, Australia, 4th December 2019: Australian schools have recorded their worst results in reading, maths, and science, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The results have been described by PISA national project manager Sue Thomson as a “wake-up call”. Cluey Learning argues, however, that the PISA test results are not a wake-up call, rather that alarm bells were missed in the lead up to these shock findings. Chief Learning Officer, at Cluey Learning, Dr. Selina Samuels comments: “These results are certainly alarming. But are they really a wake-up call? Australian students and their parents and teachers have been worried about their academic performance for quite some time. Cluey’s research tells us that 40 per cent of school children have used or are being considered for extra educational support. We speak to students and parents and teachers throughout the country every day. Students tell us that they lack confidence, that they feel under prepared and that they do not know how they are going to compete with others. Parents are worried that their children are getting lost in the system, with their individual learning needs going unmet. They say it again and again: that with the best will in the world, teachers in the conventional classroom are not able to meet all the needs of every student. Teachers lament that they cannot devote the time needed to every student. The Grattan Institute’s report “Targeted Teaching” investigated the decline of Australian students’ achievement in international tests such as PISA, and concluded that, “A huge spread of achievement levels in Australian classrooms is making it hard for teachers to implement best education practice and target their teaching to the needs of every individual student.” That was in 2015. Although it is probably inevitable that blame will be laid in many quarters, these results are not the fault of Australia’s teachers any more than they are of our students and their parents. Indeed, it is the teachers, like the students, who have been warning us about the need to take education and school reform seriously. I do not believe that for many – if not most – of my profession, these results will come as much of a wake-up call at all.” -ENDS- NOTES TO EDITORS: Dr. Selina Samuels (qualifications: BA (Hons), LLB, Ph.D., Med) is available to discuss: Why the PISA test results are not a “wake-up” call The alarm bell warnings Australia missed ahead of the PISA test results Why blaming teachers for the PISA test results is the wrong way forward What Australia needs to be concentrating on to improve student performance What Australia can learn from other countries’ approaches to education For interviews with Selina please contact Hayley Kerrigan | | 0475 586 400 About Cluey Learning: Cluey Learning delivers personalised online tutoring support for students in Years 2 -12, across Maths, English and Chemistry. All content is mapped to the Australian National Curriculum and is based on the unique learning needs of each individual. Cluey has supported over 5,000 Aussie families, run over 25,00 sessions and has been rated 4.7/5 by parents and students. 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 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. World Mental Health Day: The AASW calls for significant sector reform 2019-10-10T00:45:15Z 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 2019-10-07T02:08:32Z 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. ENDS The true story of Ukrainian Andrii Antonenko and his miraculous survival 2019-09-27T07:18:02Z the-true-story-of-ukrainian-andrii-antonenko-and-his-miraculous-survival-1 Reading Nobody’s Soldier about the life of Ukrainian Andrii Antonenko is a privilege and is hard to put down. This true story starts when Andrii was just seven and his family was forced off their 27-acre farm and transported to a labour camp in the Arctic Circle as part of the Stalinist regime’s bid to confiscate farms and turn them into collectives. This was just after Andrii’s father was taken away by the communists and beaten by the political police, returning home bloodied and beaten after refusing to give in to their demands of giving up his land to the state. Andrii’s fascinating life story was told to his son Peter, as spoken through his mother and transcribed from audio tape to the written word. “The idea of putting the story into some form of a memoir was as a result of many fishing trips where dad would tell me snippets of his life and philosophies born out of his life experiences,” said Peter Antonenko. “I found the stories fascinating and wondered how anyone could be so kind, insightful, gentle and thoughtful after the many horrific events, trials and tribulations he had experienced.” The word ‘escape’ is one that pops up frequently in the book as Andrii continually manages to extricate himself from incarceration and capture by the Russians on numerous occasions, the Germans more than once, and even the British who kept wanting to send him back to occupied territory. That’s one of the reason’s Nobody’s Soldier is a page-turner. It’s hard to believe that one person could go through so much, firstly at such a young age, and then later on, when he almost died on several occasions. Survival thanks to inner strength, ingenuity and luck Andrii’s recollections are vivid and you can imagine being next to him, following him as he tries to survive: the freezing weather; being shot; the constant threat of starvation; a torpedo; being beaten and attacked; and finally, tuberculosis (TB). Born in 1922, Andrii had six siblings and was caught up in Joseph Stalin’s communist rule of the Ukraine and conscripted into the Red Army in 1941, just prior to the German invasion of Russia in World War II. Throughout his life until he found freedom in England, Andrii had a strong desire to maintain a relationship with his separated family members. Hiding from seen and unseen enemies was a priority so travelling on foot was a preference and didn’t require money. One journey involved Andrii and a friend travelling 1800 kilometres; 150 kilometres from Russia to the Ukrainian border and then almost all the way across Ukraine. It took six weeks for him to be reunited with his family. While always living in constant fear, Andrii never gave up and overcame extraordinary obstacles with his strong will, gentle personality and unquenchable love for his country. He was a strong believer in destiny and fate and felt that it was not his time to die. Ultimately, through luck and deception, he managed to pass himself off as a Pole and join the Polish division of the British Army in order to escape being repatriated by the by the Soviets and sent back to be murdered as part of their cleansing process. While being treated for TB in England, Andrii met his future wife who was in the British Army defusing bombs and hand grenades. In 1959 they and their two sons emigrated to Australia as ten-pound poms. It is a happy ending from a very humble and brave man, Andrii Antonenko, who died in 2005. His wife Kathleen died in 2016. Nobody’s Soldier is published by Sid Harta and available at all good bookstores with an RRP of $24.95. It is 269 pages and includes many photos of Andrii and his family. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards a foundation/bursary scholarship in Andrii’s name to assist young pilots or students interested in aviation/aerospace human factors as a way of promoting safety. ends Extracts of book reviews: “It is hard to believe that any one person could have endured so much trauma and survived, but survive he did, long enough for one of his sons to tell his amazing story,” Valerie J. Griffiths “Andrii’s story fills me with hope and amazement at the hardship people will endure to find and live a peaceful and full life,” John Morrow’s Pick of the Week “This book is a must for anyone interested in the human impact of Stalinism and the Second World War in Ukraine and its aftermath,” Keith Gregory, author of Gaunasala Ni Bula “The first-hand account about Andrii Antonenko is an amazing and incredible story that I will never forget. The book is one of those that is hard to put down as the accounts of hardship to himself, his family and the Ukraine community over those tough years, helped me understand a little of what life was like for these amazing people in those years of hell. Nobody’s Soldier is a must read,” John Holmes, Croydon, Victoria Further information Issued on behalf of Peter Antonenko by WMC Public Relations Pty Limited. Contact Wendy McWilliams on (03) 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665. Email: If you would like to interview Peter or would like high res photos please contact Wendy McWilliams at WMC PR. Photos are taken at the book launch on 25 September 2019. With Peter is Orysia Stefyn, Chair of Ukrainian Education Council of Australia. 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. AASW Strongly Opposes Newstart Drug Testing 2019-09-12T04:19:09Z 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