The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-03-23T04:02:25Z New study from EternityX Australia finds Western media alone is an ineffective way to connect with Chinese speaking audiences in Australia 2021-03-23T04:02:25Z new-study-finds-western-media-alone-is-an-ineffective-way-to-connect-with-chinese-speaking-audiences-in-australia SYDNEY, 23 March 2021 - Leading AI marketing platform EternityX Australia (eternityx.com) today released a whitepaper for Australian advertisers titled Chinese speaking consumers in Australia – their media and communication preferences. The whitepaper examines the media consumption habits, behaviours and preferences of Chinese-speaking consumers in Australia and gives insight to marketers on the most effective ways to engage this highly lucrative audience set.   Findings from the whitepaper – which were drawn from an online survey among 501 Chinese-speaking adults across Australia in December 2020 – revealed that time in Australia is the biggest determining factor in Chinese speaking consumers’ media choices. While Chinese speakers use both Chinese and Western media in Australia, four out of five channels regularly used are Chinese media channels. Furthermore, it can take up twenty years before Western media channels are favoured over Chinese channels. This applies to both the traditional media channels of TV and print, along with digital, social and streaming channels.   Census data shows there were almost 600,000 Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) speakers in Australia in 2016, almost twice the number in 2011, with the 2021 Census expected to show further strong growth. For many Chinese Australian consumers, English remains a barrier and speaking Chinese at home, which 84% of respondents indicate they do, persists even after many years in Australia. Luke Bussell, Director, EternityX Australia comments, “Our study has shown that Chinese consumers are young, wealthy and educated with a high tendency towards discretionary spending. As a result, they should be on the radar of all Australian advertisers. We also know that marketing communication in Chinese heavily impacts their consumer behaviour, and for the many with limited English, Chinese media is a necessity, not a choice.” Further findings from EternityX’s whitepaper uncovered the following: ●      Chinese TV streaming services have 82% more regular viewers who speak Chinese than free-to-air TV networks in Australia ●      60% of Chinese-speaking consumers say they appreciate the effort taken by brands who translate their advertising into Chinese ●      57% of respondents say trust brands who translate their advertising into Chinese ●      53% say they are more likely to purchase from a brand who translates their advertising into Chinese ●      59% of the sample identified luxury goods or beauty products as where they preferred to spend discretionary funds, with those earning over $150,000 spending on average a substantial $2537 a month on luxury goods or beauty products. Bussell continues, “What we’re seeing from Chinese speaking consumers in Australia is a very strong bias towards Chinese media channels. Combine this with the positive impact that advertising on Chinese media channels has on brand trust and purchase intent and it’s quite clear that Western media on its own is an ineffective way to connect with and influence Chinese-speaking consumers in Australia. “At EternityX we are committed to helping marketers and advertisers navigate the complex Chinese media landscape both locally and abroad and understanding consumer behaviour is a crucial part of this. There is a huge opportunity that a lot of Australian advertisers are missing when it comes to meaningfully engaging Chinese-speaking audiences and it is our mission to close this gap.”   The release of EternityX Australia’s whitepaper follows the omni-channel marketing platform’s launch into the Australian market earlier this year. The Chinese speaking consumers in Australia – their media and communication preferences whitepaper is available for advertisers and marketers to download now at https://pages.eternityx.com/emt/australia_whitepaper/.   ###   About EternityX Headquartered in Hong Kong, EternityX has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, New York, Singapore and Sydney. Since 2018, EternityX has performed 2,000+ campaigns for 300+ local, regional and international advertisers including the likes Richemont Group, LVMH, Hilton, L'Oréal, P&G and HSBC. The company’s highly advanced platform, professional insights and unparalleled inventory enables agencies and brands to effectively reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers in a cost- and time-effective manner, through partners such as iQiyi, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, WeChat and Bilibili.   Connecting regional and international brands with the Chinese market, EternityX is an award-winning AI-empowered open-to-connect marketing technology platform. With advanced multi-dimensional audience profiling to comprehend audience needs throughout the consumer journey, we can precisely reach your consumer through premium sites & apps programmatically. Our international team offers one-stop customised solutions everywhere, helping marketers overcome all obstacles and build a business intelligence strategy that increases brand-consumer lifetime value and maximises campaign effectiveness. MASKED art exhibition honours local Covid medical heroes 2021-02-17T08:06:29Z masked-art-exhibition-honours-local-covid-medical-heroes A UNIQUE arts exhibition will open at One Arts Gallery in Surfers Paradise on March 5 to celebrate our Gold Coast Covid-19 medical heroes. MASKED is a group exhibition delivered by the Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO) and their International Women's Arts Group.  It will feature 15 mask-related artworks and 30 paintings by five artists (Atousa Salehpour, Elham Lalehdoust, Esmeralda Maximo, Hengameh Shamlou and Rocio Alexandra), as well as guest artists Nasrin Vaziri from Gold Coast MAGIC and Chad & Charles from The Arts Exchange. MASKED project co-ordinator Nasrin Vaziri said the mask was a symbolic element and how the artists show their appreciation of medical people who have been working on saving people’s lives during the pandemic. "Through their work, artists explore masked faces highlighting the status of medical staff in various mediums and forms including traditional, contemporary, abstract and photo-painting,” Mrs Vaziri said.  “The aim of this project is to demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the workers who risked their lives for the health of the community.” Each artist will exhibit artworks with different mediums and styles, including acrylic, photo-painting, oils and mixed media.  “Through this project, we aim to engage the skills of our international artists to encourage a harmonious society.” This exhibition will be held at One Arts Gallery in collaboration with Gold Coast MAGIC.  The opening launch will be during Queensland Women's Week on March 5, just before International Women's Day on March 8. Mrs Vaziri said this project had provided career development opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse female artists living on the Gold Coast.  “Through the delivery of a variety of workshops, we assisted the women to explore culture and identity in the context of the pandemic. We also explored ideas and concepts in art and taught them about exhibiting, arts opportunities on the Gold Coast, council's facilities and funding opportunities.” The Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO) in Southport was funded by the City of Gold Coast Council for this project in November 2020. “Through various services and programs, MFO aims to promote a more accepting, harmonious and cohesive society where everyone, regardless of their cultural background, gender or faith, feels supported, safe, respected and welcomed,” MFO director Cornelia Queenie Babbage said. “MFO believes that arts and cultural projects provide a fantastic means to promote the positive impacts of diversity and greatly enrich our city.” This project is funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. MASKED will open at ONE Arts Gallery, 13 Verona Ave, Surfers Paradise, on March 5 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm with refreshment and live music. Entry is free and open to the public. The exhibition will remain on display until March 31. The gallery is open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday. On March 8, The Art Exchange will also host a special Coffee ‘n’ Canvas sip and paint to raise money to support domestic violence victims for International Women’s Day at One Arts Gold Coast. Painters will be taken step-by-step through creating a delicate painting featuring a butterfly sitting on water surrounded by natural beauty. As Chad and Charles from The Art Exchange say, ‘this isn’t fine art, it’s fun art’. For more details about MASKED, call Nasrin on 0434 932 537 or Rana on 0402261258. For more details on the Coffee ‘n’ Canvas sip and paint, call Charles from the Art Exchange on 0413 099 925. 'The Theory of Relativity’ opens next month 18-27 March! 2021-02-16T01:30:20Z the-theory-of-relativity-opens-next-month-18-27-march Whimsical Productions has been rehearsing for The Theory of Relativity opening next month, 18-27 March, at the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville. The Theory of Relativity was written over five years ago by Neil Bartram (music, lyrics) and Brian Hill (book) as part of the Canadian Music Theatre project and presented at the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2015. Since then, the show became licensed globally by Music Theatre International (MTI) and has steadily been building via the original cast soundtrack.   The show has also proved popular in schools and universities around the world because of its focus on young people, the flexible casting choices and the themes surrounding this unconventional song-cycle musical. At the time of writing, The Theory of Relativity has become the #1 top trending musical on the Music Theatre International website, which is quite an achievement for a show in a year where COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact on the arts and live performance industries. But to audiences here in Sydney, the show remains largely unknown.  This presented an opportunity for Whimsical Productions to produce this new musical and build their own artistic vision of the piece. Co-Director/Choreographer Michael Osborne was the person to originally pitch the show: “I came across the show via a simple search into available Musical theatre license rights. I was looking for a show that would fit within the core values of Whimsical Productions which are creativity, diversity and growth.” “It needed to be new, fresh, adaptable and something already written because we had been working with local writers to develop their shows and I thought it would also be good to try an international licensed work to test ourselves, continue to champion our diverse talent and plan for future growth” The creative team of Helen Kim (Co-Director) and Gianna (Music Director) were appointed back in 2019, auditions were held in February 2020 and rehearsals initially commenced in March 2020 for one week before COVID-19 lockdowns came into effect. Musical Director Gianna Cheung explains the sudden impact of COVID-19 in rehearsals: “At the beginning of the lockdown we did try to do a couple of rehearsals over Zoom, but obviously as an ensemble that was really difficult.” “So we decided to work individually with each cast member and I could work with them on their song and vocal technique, while Helen and Michael would work on their initial character development and so on.    “We did that for about three weeks because it might have reopened in three weeks but who knew it was going to be nearly a year of restrictions!” “It was quite scary. We almost didn't put it back on.” “Unfortunately, because of all the changes we had to re-cast almost half of our cast.  We started again in the first week of December, took a break over Christmas and then the restrictions got tighter when we returned in 2021. So, we have been very flexible working our rehearsals around the COVID-safe requirements and we are 4 weeks from opening now!” Co-Director Helen Kim also shared her experience of what connected her to this musical: “I love musicals. Growing up, my mum and I would catch iconic shows in Sydney like The Lion King and Wicked though I never imagined that I could also be on stage. Firstly, I wasn't a 'triple threat' – I was only comfortable singing in the Karaoke room and secondly, I hadn't seen an Asian-Australian on a musical stage. “I was fortunate to meet Melody Duan, the founder of Whimsical Productions, who offered me the chance to take on a co-director role for The Theory of Relativity. When I read the script, I fell in love with it immediately. I'm thrilled yet nervous for my first time directing a musical. But, I'm mostly excited about this new adventure and the chance to promote diversity in the arts industry. The Theory of Relativity is a coming-of-age story about a group of university students searching for answers on the nature of love, life and loss. There will be a combination of songs, monologues and storytelling.  This musical celebrates the students’ very own voices, very real with #nofilter. Think of a blend of sounds from ‘Glee’ and ‘The Book of Mormon’ with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ references and a dash of ‘Chicago’ and ‘Mean Girls’ in it. Audiences can expect a stripped back musical theatre, a simple black box set with the entire ensemble on stage for the duration of the performance to reflect all of the characters searching for the unknown.” The Theory of Relativity is a 1 Act musical (approximately 80-90 minutes) and recommended for a mature audience. PERFORMANCE DATES THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Preview) FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Opening) SATURDAY 20 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm WEDNESDAY 24 MARCH 2021 7:30pm THURSDAY 25 MARCH 2021 7:30pm FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2021 7:30pm SATURDAY 27 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm *We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to allow for QR barcode scanning and COVID-safe screening. CAST ADAM: Paul Mai AMY: Claire Broderick CAROLINE: Nicole De Villa CATHERINE: Grace Chim JENNY: Rosanna Lam JULIE: Anne-Marie Cavaco MIKE: Ethan Taylor MIRA: Lisa-Marie Long OLIVER: Matthew Yuen PAUL: Jeremy Kindl RYAN: Konrad Ryzak SARA: Olivia McNamara PRODUCTION TEAM CO-DIRECTOR: Helen Kim CO-DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Michael Osborne MUSIC DIRECTOR: Gianna Cheung PRODUCER: Melody Duan STAGE MANAGER: Mellita Kang LIGHTING DESIGNER: Mehran Mortezaei LIGHTING OPERATOR: Emma Johnston SOUND OPERATOR: Jacob Lawler RADIO MICROPHONE TECHNICIAN: Oliver Agbisit PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Veronica Clavijo, Edwin Tay, Lisa-Marie Long, Ethan Taylor, Matthew Yuen, Nicole de Villa DANCE CAPTAIN: Olivia McNamara VOICE CAPTAIN: Jeremy Kindl SWINGS: Michael Osborne & Melody Duan CREDITS Music & Lyrics by NEIL BARTRAM  Book by BRIAN HILL The Theory of Relativity was developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Originally Produced by Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT. The Musical was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in 2015. The Theory of Relativity is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by Hal Leonard Australia. GETTING TO THE THEATRE PACT Centre for Emerging Artists is situated at 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville, NSW.  Limited street parking available on site. The venue is walking distance from Erskineville (250m), Newtown (900m) & Macdonaldtown (1km) train stations and there are a range of bus services and taxi stand on Erskineville Road. COVID-SAFE GUIDELINES Whimsical Productions will ensure it follows the COVID safe plan to ensure all cast, crew and patrons are safe with hand sanitiser available and regular cleaning of surfaces.  We ask that patrons please wear a mask indoors and maintain a safe distance from each other. The venue capacity will be 50% to maintain social distancing and will be monitored closely. Please refer to the latest COVID guidelines on the PACT website http://www.pact.net.au/ Jason Singh announces 2021 tour 2021-02-04T22:30:00Z jason-singh-announces-2021-tour One of Australia’s best male vocalists, Jason Singh has announced his first tour since 2019, performing the hits of his band, Taxiride, along with his solo material and a selection of favourite classics throughout March and April, 2021.Bringing two sets of solid 90s nostalgia across twelve cities and towns in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, Jason Singh plays Taxiride (Hits, Bits & Beyond) features the dynamic frontman in acoustic mode, with that his powerhouse vocals front and foremost.Bidding wars, exotic overseas studios and years of international touring established Taxiride as one of Australia's biggest musical exports, with Jason Singh and his impressive set of pipes and sky scraping pop sensibility at the helm.Garnering two consecutive Number One platinum selling albums, nine Top 40 hit singles including the Top 5 hits “Get Set”, “Everywhere You Go”, and the most played song on Australian radio in 2002, “Creepin’ Up Slowly”, Taxiride were at the top of the Australian music industry.Twenty years later, including a hiatus, a reunion and an established solo career, it's time to join Jason Singh as he continues the ‘Ride’ in a series of shows taking you on a journey beyond the hits."I'm proud of everything I've done," Jason says, "Taxiride is where it all started for me. I’m excited about playing these shows and getting to play a collection of songs I've rarely, some never, played live.”The HITS BITS & BEYOND show will see Jason perform all the iconic hits along with material from deep within the Taxiride catalogue - including "Skin", "Saffron" and "World’s Away".With a studio album, a covers album and a string of singles including two dance club hits, Jason will also feature a variety of his solo material, which has seen him tour extensively with a long list of accomplished artists including Mariah Carey, Rick Astley, HANSON and John Farnham.Stories, influences and insights from over 20 years of touring; you can be sure, as Jason Singh plays Taxiride, that each show is set to be a different ride. www.jasonsingh.com.au www.jasonsingh.com.au/tour Facebook: @jasonsinghtaxirideInstagram: @jasonsinghtaxiride MEDIA CONTACT:Erin Jameson+61 419 323 663 | erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com LISTINGS INFO:Friday, March 19Arcobar - 18+8 Arco Lane, Heatherton, VIC03 9551 1424Tix: $30 - phone bookings only (dinner & show)Doors: 6.30pm (7pm dinner)Show starts: 8pm Saturday, March 20Volta Arts and Culture - 18+15 Field St, Ballarat, VIC0419 379 757Tix: $30 + bf - EventbriteDoors: 7.00pmShow starts: 8pm Thursday, March 25Brass Monkey - 18+115A Cronulla St, Cronulla, NSW02 9544 3844Tix: $76.50 (includes dinner) - OztixDoors: 6.30pmShow starts: 8pm Friday, 26 MarchThe Bridge Hotel – 18+119 Victoria Road, Rozelle, NSWTix: $30 + bf - MoshtixDoors: 7:30pmShow starts: 8pm Saturday, March 27Centro CBD - 18+28 Stewart St, Wollongong02 4225 3556Tix: $30+bf (show only); $55+bf (dinner & show) - TryBookingDoors: 6.00pmShow starts: 8pm Sunday, March 28Lizotte’s Newcastle - 18+31 Morehead St, Lambton, NSW02 4956 2066Tix: $30+bf (show only); $72+bf (lunch & show) - lizottes.com.auDoors: 12pmShow starts: 2pm Friday, April 9The Lounge (Royal Hotel) - 18+1259 Sandgate Rd, Nundah, QLD07 3051 7619Tix: $29.90+bf OztixDoors: 7.30pmShow starts: 8:30pm Saturday, April 10Wallaby Hotel - 18+45 Railway St, Mudgeeraba, QLD07 3558 3316Tix: $29.90+bf OztixDoors: 7.30pmShow starts: 8:30pm Friday, April 16Sooki Lounge - 18+1648 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave, VIC03 9754 7567Tix: $30.00+bf OztixDoors: 7.30pmShow starts: 8pm Saturday, April 24Railway Hotel Murchison- 18+4910 Goulburn Valley Hwy, Murchison East, VIC03 5826 2552Tix: $30.00+bf EventbriteDoors: 7.30pmShow starts: 8pm The Theory of Relativity - #1 Top Trending Musical during COVID-19 2021-01-24T22:26:38Z the-theory-of-relativity-1-top-trending-musical Friday 22 January, 1pm AEST From Drama Desk Award nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, this unconventional musical is a joyous and moving look about our surprisingly interconnected lives.   Through a seemingly unrelated collection of songs, scenes and monologues, The Theory of Relativity introduces a compelling array of characters experiencing the joys and heartbreaks, the liaisons and losses, the inevitability and the wonder of human connection. Whether you're allergic to cats, in love for the first or tenth time, a child of divorce, a germaphobe or simply a unique individual, audience members are sure to find something that they'll resonate with. Featuring a vibrant and diverse cast across Sydney, Whimsical Productions is proud to continue its commitment to promoting creativity, diversity and growth in Australian theatre. The Theory of Relativity is a 1 Act musical (approximately 80-90 minutes) and recommended for a mature audience. PERFORMANCE DATES THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Preview) FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Opening) SATURDAY 20 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm WEDNESDAY 24 MARCH 2021 7:30pm THURSDAY 25 MARCH 2021 7:30pm FRIDAY 26 MARCH 2021 7:30pm SATURDAY 27 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm *We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to allow for QR barcode scanning and COVID-safe screening. VENUE PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville CAST ADAM: Paul Mai AMY: Claire Broderick CAROLINE: Nicole De Villa CATHERINE: Grace Chim JENNY: Rosanna Lam JULIE: Anne-Marie Cavaco MIKE: Ethan Taylor MIRA: Lisa-Marie Long OLIVER: Matthew Yuen PAUL: Jeremy Kindl RYAN: Konrad Ryzak SARA: Olivia McNamara PRODUCTION TEAM CO-DIRECTOR: Helen Kim CO-DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Michael Osborne MUSIC DIRECTOR: Gianna Cheung PRODUCER: Melody Duan LIGHTING DESIGNER: Mehran Mortezaei STAGE MANAGER: Mellita Kang PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Veronica Clavijo, Edwin Tay, Lisa-Marie Long, Ethan Taylor, Matthew Yuen, Nicole de Villa DANCE CAPTAIN: Olivia McNamara VOICE CAPTAIN: Jeremy Kindl SWINGS: Michael Osborne & Melody Duan CREDITS: Music & Lyrics by NEIL BARTRAM Book by BRIAN HILL The Theory of Relativity was developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Originally Produced by Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT. The Musical was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in 2015. The Theory of Relativity is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by Hal Leonard Australia. COVID-SAFE GUIDELINES Please refer to the latest COVID guidelines on the PACT website http://www.pact.net.au/ ABOUT WHIMSICAL PRODUCTIONS We would like to thank you for supporting Whimsical Productions: The Theory of Relativity! Whimsical Productions is a non-profit, independent theatre company based in Sydney, Australia. Formed in 2016 and officially launched early 2017, Whimsical Production’s objective is: To produce theatrical works in the most creative and diverse way possible. For more information on how to partner with Whimsical, please visit our website: www.whimsicalproductions.com.au or email whimsical.prods@gmail.com Thank you and we look forward to meeting you all! Whimsical Productions Inc. ABN: 27 589 457 440 Space for Cemetery Software in Unique Funeral Traditions Around the World 2021-01-19T01:52:35Z space-for-cemetery-software-in-unique-funeral-traditions-around-the-world Death and taxes, they say, are inevitable. But that tells us nothing of the innovative and curious ways in which death is “celebrated” across the world. Yes, death signifies the passing of a human being from this mortal world. Some believe that we just cease to exist as conscious beings, but many, many others around the world – across cultures and traditions – believe otherwise. For many, death is a milestone in our existence, where our souls transition from this world into the next. Those who work in the world of modern death care today would see funerals and interment connected to cemetery software and management. Death is conceived differently across traditions, cultures, religious communities, and even occupations. A Glimpse into Lesser-Known Funeral Traditions For many of us in the West, death is a sombre affair, and the funeral process tends to be a colourless one. Yet, it’s what we consider to be normal. In traditional Christian and Jewish funerals, the bereaved attend the church or synagogue wearing all (or mostly) black. The prayer ritual takes place and eulogies are given. Once at the cemetery or graveyard, flowers – often roses – are gently placed into the casket of the dead before the deceased is lowered into the ground. In a similar vein, wearing all (or mostly) white is customary when one attends a Hindu funeral. For Muslims, a process similar to that of the Jews and Christians takes place – to some degree – and while wearing black is not a custom, it’s customary to wear clothes that don’t attract much attention. What’s common across all these religious and cultural traditions is this: death is a momentous event! It’s for this reason that other traditions from around the world have considered the rituals and rites surrounding death as something not to be seen entirely as a sad, dreary event, but something to be celebrated, where the dead receive a send-off or are interred in curious and fascinating ways. It also opens up various avenues for cemetery software and digital memorial requirements in the contemporary world. As we cement ourselves further and further into the digital age, we should perhaps take a leaf from their proverbial books and reshape our collective mindsets about how we perceive death and how we remember the dead. This is where cemetery management and digital memorial overlap. Is death the end? For many, they’re almost certain that it isn’t! How do others send off their lost loved ones today with traditions that may possibly shake up our sensibilities? Death as the Everyday – The Philippines In the Philippines, there are a host of contrasting practices revolving around death, interment, and funerals. Taking a look at the Tinguan people, those who passed in their community take their place on a chair, sat upright and dressed in their best clothes. To put the icing on the cake, as it were, a cigarette is placed between their lips, too. A lively death get-up or a severe smoking warning? You decide.  The Caviteño people, who live near Manila, opt for something a tad more romantic, burying their dead in a hollowed-out tree trunk. Just as some might ensure they’ve got a casket ready before they pass on, the Caviteño select their preferred tree while they’re still alive. Among the Benguet of northwestern Philippines, the dead are blindfolded and placed next to the house’s main entrance. It’s a stark reminder that death is something we’re all going to taste, as well as a reminder that the bereaved have loved ones waiting for them on the other side. Similarly, the Apayo people of this nation bury their dead under the heart of the home – the kitchen. Play for the Dead, Care for the Dead Jazz burials in New Orleans and skull burials in the Republic of Kiribati, in the Central Pacific, could not be more different, yet they’re one of the more vivid ways of sending off the dead and – this may sound strange to some – caring for the dead. In New Orleans, jazz and music is entwined with the city’s culture. It comes as no surprise, then, that jazz accompanies many a funeral procession, with a big horn band at the helm! The music begins with more solemn tunes, gradually transitioning into more lively jazz and blues melodies as onlookers and the bereaved engage in furious dancing. In Kiribati, the dead are exhumed from their graves. Their skulls are taken to be oiled, polished, and preserved by their families. The skull is then displayed in their homes, with offerings of food and tobacco made to it. To some degree, the funerary tradition of Famadihana in Madagascar sees people dig up their dead every half a decade or so. The dead partake in dances, they’re perfumed and taken care of, and stories are shared about them and with them. Transforming the deceased body While lack of burial space in South Korea has led to the phenomenon of burial beads – bodies are cremated and pressed into jewellery-like beads – Australia is working on the idea of the Earth Funerals. It’s a proposal that tackles lack of burial space in urban areas by advocating for natural, environmentally-friendly burials in newly-planted vegetation belts around Australian cities. This builds on ecologically-friendly burial practices – something that most Muslims, many Jews, and others practice today – where plain, cloth shrouds are used instead of caskets or coffins for burials. The Dead Tell Tales – Cemetery Software Allows for Richer Stories All these practices have one thing in common – there’s a narrative around death. Those who passed live on through memory and through the stories we tell about them, their lives, and the impact they’ve had on us and the world. No matter the culture, funeral rites and cemetery managers serve the community. Throughout time, these rites have evolved and we’ve continuously innovated the way we manage burials and cemeteries.  While each culture and tradition has (sometimes wildly) different death practices, cemetery software can lighten the load and make the management process simpler. This allows cemetery administrators and managers the time and resources to serve their community better and to help tell stories of those in the community who have left, enriching cultures and keeping traditions alive. Image source: tahoedailytribune.com photographylife.com amusingplanet.com neworleans.com blog.funeralone.com Hong Kong protest activists go undemocratic: shut other people’s mouths up, creating fake book reviews 2020-10-15T01:08:06Z hong-kong-protest-activists-go-undemocratic-shut-other-people-s-mouths-up-creating-fake-book-reviews Hong Kong Protest Leaders – Sick Facts that Western Countries do not know written by Hong Kong citizen, Selina Co (in Australia), is a rare book that speaks against the protests. It informs Western countries on the vast anti-protest voices in the Hong Kong Community.   While most reviewers have been appreciative about this book, few fake book reviews start to pop-up in Amazon, Kobo and Google Play.  The Amazon 1-star Review by “Hung Hoi Chun” claimed the book fails to mention “the majority of protests were peaceful", which is actually in P.26 of the book. In Google plays, the 1-star review criticises the “Chinese Communist”, “womenize” and “Uighurs”, which are not even related to the book. There were no purchase records found from the concerned parties in Amazon and Google Play. In Kobo, a 1-star rating and a 2-star rating has no contents – the reviewers could not tell what they knew about the book. Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hong-Kong-Protest-Leaders-democratic-ebook/dp/B08D3917C3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Hong+Kong+protest+leaders&qid=1602717558&sr=8-1 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/hong-kong-protest-leaders-sick-facts-that-western-countries-do-not-know Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Selina_Co_Hong_Kong_Protest_Leaders_Sick_facts_tha?id=ogz2DwAAQBAJ   Google Play has removed the fake review; but has kept the 1-star rating from that reviewer. Amazon and Kobo have refused to remove the fake reviews as of today.   Hong Kong Protest Leaders – Sick Facts that Western Countries do not know analyses why large number of Hong Kong locals are against the movement when the others are fully dedicated. It lists out different accusations and allegations against both Chinese/Hong Kong governments and protest leaders, presented with videos, their own speeches, interviews with locals, statistics and local newspapers, translated from Cantonese to English.  It suggests how the unrest has brought more harm than benefits to the Hong Kong community. Many facts are revealed to western countries for the first time. Advertise to Niche and Ethnic Audiences in Australia with adStartr 2020-09-26T10:21:53Z advertise-to-niche-and-ethnic-audiences-in-australia-with-adstartr BRISBANE, September 18, 2020 – Advertisers can finally reach niche and ethnic audiences in Australia, thanks to adStartr’s new catalogue of ad space. With adStartr, brands, non-profits, and governments can advertise to Australia’s ethnic communities easily and in the right language. This platform removes the logistical and language barriers that usually prevent campaigns from penetrating multicultural Australia.  No Easy Way to Reach Ethnic Communities  As an entrepreneur, adStartr founder Bipul Kafley has experienced the frustration of trying to run targeted advertising campaigns to ethnic communities in Australia. “Advertising to a narrow – often local – audience gives the highest ROI, but there are language barriers, and a lot of manual research,” says Kafley.  What is adStartr?  Kafley’s adStartr is an online marketplace where all this research has already been done for you. You can find ad cost, audience analysis, distribution, publication dates, and ad formats in one place. You can also place your own ads in a visual editor and translate them into six different languages.  A Boost for Diversity in Advertising  In August, Media Diversity Australia released an alarming report on the lack of diversity in Australian media (Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories, 17th Aug 2020). “As a media startup, adStartr will address the lack of inclusivity and translation barriers in the existing advertising sector,” says Federal MP Julian Simmonds.  The office of Queensland Senator Murray Watt has also applauded the initiative. “adStartr looks to connect the many different multicultural communities in Australia with each other, and with the rest of the world,” says Rowan Holzberger. “Australia is one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world. It is vital we unlock our human capital – not just to celebrate what we are, but to realise our full economic potential.”  Reach Almost Any Niche Audience  In addition to ethnic groups, adStartr helps advertisers to reach other highly specific communities. They can reach the LGBTQ community in the USA via Out In Jersey magazine, for example. Alternatively, they can target specific geographic areas with Moove Media.  Do You Have Ad Space?  It’s free to list ad space on adStartr. If you’re a niche or ethnic publisher, phone Bipul Kafley at (07) 3040 0677 (advertising includes newspaper, magazine, outdoor signage, indoor signage, podcasts, and more - click here for a complete list). Register at adStartr today, where diversity meets ads.  About adStartr  adStartr is an online marketplace where advertisers can place ads in niche independent publications with a few clicks. The platform is home to a series of ethnic media outlets. With adStartr, advertisers can reach the Arabic, Bangladesh, Korean, Chinese, and Indian communities in Australia directly.  Melbourne Business Woman, finalist in top finance industry awards 2020-08-25T01:05:12Z melbourne-business-woman-finalist-in-top-finance-industry-awards Melbourne business woman and overnight entrepreneur Arpana Patel of Avenue Accounting Services, has been named a finalist in the Small Business Advisor category of the AMP Women in Finance Awards, announced on August 3rd. The Awards are dedicated to recognising the outstanding women shaping and influencing the financial services industry.   “This really is a huge honour for me, as I never expected to be recognised for an award like this,” explains Ms Patel. “My choice to become an entrepreneur and start my own Accounting and Taxation business was really made for me and it happened overnight.  My marriage had ended and with two young children to care for, I had to act fast. I had to shift my mindset and take a leap of faith and start my own business.”      Arpana wants to help lead change and be an example to others who may be facing similar challenges in their lives, she faced some individual challenges including having to care for her child with special needs whilst establishing and managing her business. “There are a lot of barriers and stereotypes that women experience. I want to help change that. I want to show others who may be facing adversity that you can turn things around, you can create new possibilities and achieve great things if you set your mind to it.”   Although Australia has made significant strides towards equality, women still continue to experience inequality in many aspects of their lives.  Women and mothers who experienced hardship due to marriage breakdown, job loss or health issues are often at a higher risk of financial insecurity and more likely to experience financial distress.  When asked about the importance of financial security, Ms Patel explains that her services help to ensure small business owners can improve their financial literacy and achieve their financial goals.   “Great client service, transparent pricing and tailoring a solution to the unique needs of our small business clients are some of the reasons our business has grown since it was established in 2014,” says Ms Patel. In recent times with the rise of the global pandemic Avenue Accounting Services have continued prosper despite a difficult business environment.   AMP Women in Finance Award Winners will be announced via a live broadcast on Thursday 10th of September 2020 at 6pm.   For further information about Avenue Accounting Services please visit: https://avesoltax.com.au/ or about the AMP Women in Finance Awards, visit: https://www.womeninfinanceawards.com.au/ Media Enquiries: Contact Small Chilli Marketing  Sydney woman receives UNAA NSW recognition and is a finalist in FIVE AusMumpreneur NSW State Award Categories 2020-08-21T03:30:15Z sydney-woman-receives-unaa-nsw-recognition-and-is-a-finalist-in-five-ausmumpreneur-nsw-state-award-categories   Press Release   Sydney, Australia, 21st August 2020, Eman Soliman the Founder & CEO of EduTech Australia  ™, the one-stop innovative digital education organisation is committed to fostering collaboration and creativity in digital education and business. EduTech Australia supports schools, teachers, corporate, governments, low SES communities, special education and individuals. EduTech Australia strives to bring innovation in digital education and drive Australia and the world to 21st Century learning to secure Australia's prosperous future.   Their range of Japanese STEAM innovative products, programs and services are thoughtfully geared to support individuals in this realm while leading the way in digital learning experiences.   Eman is a driven, successful entrepreneur with a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others via digital education. She believes that digital technology used for learning purposes are significant drivers in the transformation of teaching and learning, and vital in closing the achievement gap.   In two short years, the Sydney single Mum of two boys has been recognised by the United Nations  Association of Australia – NSW Division, and is a finalist in the national AusMumpreneur awards in five categories including Digital Innovation, Women will Change the World, Multicultural Business Excellence, Making a Difference (Education) and Making a Difference (Business).   EduTech Australia are paving the way for a revolution in digital education in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and in the Middle East. Their programs include: Artec Japanese award-winning robotics and coding – Education4ALL equity program - STEM IN SPORT program - EduTech Australia’s Innovators Academy Franchise - International Robotics Competition Series - Robo-Rec International challenge and camp - Kids Entrepreneurship Education - teachers development - digital apps.  Eman Soliman, Founder and CEO of EduTech Australia says:   “I am so honoured to be a finalist in five categories of the business AUSMUMPRENEUR awards for 2020 for NSW. I am passionate about changing the world via digital, robotics and STEAM education and want to achieve justice and equality for all students in Australia and other world regions.”    Eman was born in Alexandria, Egypt. She is known for making the impossible possible. She has faced domestic violence, hardship, homelessness and health scares and has always shown determination and continues to strive to make positive changes to the lives of others. Eman’s passion about creating a digital education revolution to change the world continued via her innovative work in digital, robotics and STEAM education.  She was recognised for her outstanding work by the United Nations Association of Australia - NSW Division nationally (UNAA-NSW).  When she was notified of her recognition from the UNAA-NSW Eman said:    “Within six months of launching; EduTech Australia has been recognised by the United Nations Associations of Australia- NSW Division for successfully embedding Seven of the Seventeen United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals into our Policies and Values, and for demonstrating outstanding engagement with these, Global Goals. In particular because of our national and international equity program #Education4ALL click here.    This empowers EduTech Australia to continue on our mission of supporting schools and students with one goal Education4ALL. Closing the gender gap for girls & women in STEAM education ... providing quality digital education for all... offering sustainable STEAM and robotics programs... creating social impact globally. Providing equal opportunity to all students to thrive... enhancing quality teaching and learning. Globally technology and innovation are transforming our economy, 85% of jobs require STEAM skills, these skills are the solution to our workforce and the challenge of economic growth. The importance of STEAM subjects is critical to help students build real skills required in real jobs. Businesses are struggling to find the right skilled talent for their workforce, and digital disruption is putting more jobs at risk.    We have been working hard to create a digital education revolution in Australia and globally. Creating significant differences in the lives of many and helping. to shape the innovators of tomorrow. “ Eman is an advocate for women’s rights & gender equality. She excelled as an Australian National and NSW State Champion in Jet Ski sport, and was the first Australian racer to become the Women’s Racing Advocate and International Racing Leader with the Australian Jet Ski Association (AJSA) Eman was also the Brand Ambassador and sponsored racer (international) with the Australian Jet Ski Network and Australian Jet Ski TV. Leading by example, Eman gained national and international respect and featured extensively in global media while representing Australia.   As a female professional Jet skier, she presents a positive role model, inspiring many women to follow her lead in a male-dominated sport. She was the face of NSW racing from 2014 to 2017 and was 1 in 2 women racing in Australia, sometimes being the only female competing. Eman holds top ranking in NSW & Australian Championships such as overall 2nd place showroom stock NSW, overall 4th place across multiple classes in NSW including Open Professional Experts and 5th to 8th  place in Australia in Showroom Stock and Stock in the Runabout Enduro Open.   Eman is an advocate for women’s rights & gender equality. She was awarded Women Racing Advocate by the AJSA in recognition of her mission to promote Integrity and a Fair and Clean Jetski Sport. With the help of the AJSA, Eman is currently working on a new Jet Ski Project linking Australia with the government in the Middle East to promote the Jetski Sport and to enhance cultural integration, social cohesion, and gender equality.   Eman concludes: “Overall, education is the platform that makes it possible to defeat all barriers. I dreamt of creating a business that changes the world, not just my world, and to ensure global synergy and prosperity. The whole community has an obligation to support digital & STEAM education and schools, to shape our future as a country and improve our economic growth. By using innovative approaches to enhance and establish community, business and industry partnerships and by working together, we can build sustainable development and improve our future.   Education4ALL ... In light of global challenges, I designed this program and aligned it to deliver on seven goals of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to join the world on this great mission, and to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.  Education4ALL equity program aims to ensure inclusive, equitable quality digital education, promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, achieve justice in digital education and close the gender gap for girls in STEAM. The program supports students from low socio-economic communities in Australia and around the world “   To see a video of an example of the outcome of Eman and EduTech Australia’s outstanding work please click here To help Eman continue her mission, please vote for her in both People's Choice Categories: Making A Difference Business and Making A Difference Education. One vote per category. To vote for Eman go to https://ausmumpreneur.com/peoples-choice-voting/ -ENDS-   Media Contact: Candice Meisels candice@candicepr.com 0481 369 484  Social workers welcome an increase in Medicare mental health sessions in lockdown areas: a start but not the full answer 2020-08-04T01:53:11Z social-workers-welcome-an-increase-in-medicare-mental-health-sessions-in-lockdown-areas-a-start-but-not-the-full-answer The AASW welcomes the announcement by the Health Minister Greg Hunt on Sunday, 2 August on the increase in Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS)-funded mental health sessions in response to the escalating COVID-19 lockdowns.AASW National President Christine Craik said, “Our social workers who provide these sessions for those accessing mental health supports under Better Access tell us that the expansion of the number of allowable sessions is critical. The effect of the continuation of the lockdown in Victoria, and the growing uncertainty and anxiety that COVID-19 is causing, will see many people requiring additional and long-term support.The AASW has consistently, and persistently, called for an increase in allowable mental health sessions, over a long period of time and not just in response to the COVID-19 situation.Ms Craik said, “As stated in our numerous submissions to the MBS Review, and more recently the COVID-19 Inquiry, we believe MBS Better Access needs to be based on need and level of complexity. One size does not fit all. “Increasing the number of sessions will allow social work mental health professionals to better support individuals to work through the anxiety and complicated presentations we are seeing at this time. And while it is a welcome start, it will not alone be sufficient to address the growing mental health needs of the community and the growing demand on mental health professionals and services. We also need to see an extension of the use of telehealth and technology to support people where it is appropriate. For example, there is a huge need for work to address recovery for those who have experienced family violence. This has never been met in the current structure”We have welcomed the focus the government has placed on the mental health needs of the community through the pandemic, and now is the time to implement the recommendations of the MBS Review Taskforce on Better Access. Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) have reported instances of their service users rationing their sessions despite significant concerns about the implications of this, combined with a worsening of symptoms as this pandemic continues. AASW social workers report observing an increase in service users presenting with suicidal thoughts and concerning behaviours. “It is clear that if we are to work to support the mental health of Australians through this pandemic and into recovery, there needs to be adequate service provision, and this is a long-term proposition, not a short-term situation.”The federal government’s MBS review has identified the need for an increased number of sessions and the AASW looks forwarding to continuing to work with government on this issue alongside addressing pay parity for all mental health professionals who are undertaking the same work. All social workers in Australia are supporting people through this current crisis. To locate an accredited mental health social worker, visit the AASW’s GP webpage .ENDSAbout Accredited Mental Health Social Workers Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) are recognised providers with Medicare Australia and other programs, delivering clinical social work services in mental health settings and utilising a range of evidence-based strategies. Members of the public can receive a referral from their GP under Better Access. For more information, see our website. Beauty pageant hopeful and ethical fashion designer partner to advocate for human rights in Australian first collaboration 2020-08-03T10:21:22Z beauty-pageant-hopeful-and-ethical-fashion-designer-collaborate-to-advocate-for-human-rights-in-australian-first-1 Ms Australia World 2020 national finalist, Pan Sandar Myint and ethical fashion designer, Gina Berjeel have joined forces in an Australian-first collaboration to advocate for equal human rights for vulnerable refugees. Ms Sandar Myint from Sydney originates from one of the world’s most prosecuted ethnicities known as “Rohingya” from Myanmar, and has chosen her beauty pageant platform to advocate equal human rights for the Rohingya community in Australia. Ms Sandar Myint has chosen to collaborate on her pageant outfits with Gina Berjeel, an Australian ethical fashion designer employing female refugees from Iraqi, Syrian and Afghanistan backgrounds. “This will be the first time ever in the Australian beauty pageant industry for a Ms Australia World national finalist and an ethical fashion designer to make an ethical fashion statement in support of equal human rights of Rohingya, Syrian, Iraqi and Afghanistan refugees,” said Ms Berjeel. Based on UN reports, the world’s fashion industry employs over 75 million people globally by being the second largest polluting industry after the oil industry. “Fast fashion has a significant impact on human societies around the world because the global fashion industry is worth three trillion dollars, accounting for 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product,” said Ms Sandar Myint. “To generate high profits, most fashion firms operate their factories in Asian countries for cheap labour. USA, Europe, Australia, UK and Japan import most garments from China and Bangladesh. “This generates vulnerable human rights issues including under-aged child labour, unfair labour wage and environmental degradation.” Based on the report of ABC’s War On Waste, nearly 6000KG of clothing waste is disposed every ten minutes in Australia. “It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt that is enough for one person to drink for 900 days,” said Ms Sanda Myint. “Textile factory labour workers earn only $100 per month while working in hard working environments and conditions. “This imbalance of humanitarian exploitation occurs due to the unethical standards of fast fashion. “This is the irony of beauty in fast fashion. With the Ms Australia World crowning event postponed until March 2021, Ms Sandar Myint has been productive by launching her own female empowerment web series. “Empower Success Media is my own female empowerment web series on You Tube where I present on such topics as Cyberbullying and The Art of Make up & Confidence,” said Ms Sandar Myint. “The Covid-19 pandemic has taught me that humanitarian efforts are of utmost importance. This is the perfect time for us all to change our actions to moral and ethical ones to save our beautiful world.” - ends - For more information or interview requests, please contact: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: joanne@zanthii.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zanthiiau Reconciliation NSW welcomes funding from the NSW Government for 2020-21 2020-07-29T05:41:05Z reconciliation-nsw-welcomes-funding-from-the-nsw-government-for-2020-21 The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs has committed $240,000 for the 2020-2021 year for Reconciliation NSW to continue its valuable work in leading reconciliation efforts for NSW. Reconciliation NSW’s co-chairs, Lindon Coombes and Cecilia Anthony, say the funding will allow the organisation to continue to support, educate and inspire the people of NSW to advance reconciliation across the state. “Reconciliation cannot only be symbolic. For reconciliation to be achieved there needs to be a series of real, practical outcomes in relation to the ongoing racism and systemic disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For more than two decades, Reconciliation NSW has worked to achieve this vision, to create a reconciled, just and equitable community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians in NSW,” Mr Coombes said. “This funding will allow us to continue our work with individuals, organisations, schools and communities across the state to progress their reconciliation journeys and for NSW be a leader in reconciliation across Australia.” “We recognise the whole of government commitment of the NSW Government to reconciliation in NSW and appreciate the support from Aboriginal Affairs.  This one year funding commitment continues a funding tradition of more than 20 years by the NSW Government.  ” “Reconciliation NSW helps NSW to be a leader in acknowledging and accepting our true shared histories and valuing and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as a proud part of a shared national identity.” said Ms Anthony. Executive Director of Reconciliation NSW, Tristan Tipps-Webster, said the funding will support an online reconciliation hub, webinars and face to face workshops as well as community events that promote reconciliation to schools, local councils, early learning centres, corporates and the broader community, as well as providing essential public liability insurance, resources and support to our 24 Local Reconciliation Groups across the state who hold over 50 events annually to promote reconciliation in their communities. “These LRGs are committed to building deep, meaningful and respectful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in order to make real improvements in their local communities for a better NSW,” Ms Tipps-Webster said. Reconciliation NSW will partner with AANSW for another year to deliver reconciliation outcomes for the people of NSW. For more information go to http://www.reconcilitionnsw.org.au Media contacts:          Tristan Tipps-Webster, Executive Director, Reconciliation NSW 0408 054 154 Email: tristan@reconciliationnsw.org.au Spice up your Isolation cooking 2020-07-14T05:48:32Z spice-up-your-isolation-cooking Media Release For immediate release Spice up your Isolation cooking with Foodie Trials all new Spice Experience Box   With Foodie Trials regular tours and cooking classes in hibernation, owner of  Himanshi Munshaw Luhar found herself with time she doesn’t usually have. This has given the business a chance at a new creative opportunity in the form of a Spice Experience Box.  “I love spices, I love the way they can transform a meal and open up your senses. I love sharing the stories of how spices have forged the way for travels and ingrained themselves in a new cuisine” says Munshaw Luhar   This is an experience much like a tour or a class, but it comes into your home. When you order the spice box for yourself or a FOODIE lover. Foodie Trails will send out this carefully curated and beautifully presented gift box with carefully selected single-origin spices, sourced from local Victorian shops. With the spices is a recipe book written Munshaw Luhar’s sister Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal author and food historian. These easy to use recipes, will transform the contents of your fridge and pantry. The spice experience continues online with exclusive access to a series of online spice masterclasses, where Munshaw Luhar shares the origins of the spices, their travels, their health benefits and how to prepare them and use them in your daily cooking. Additionally, the experience also includes curated content of cooking demonstrations, additional links to recipes and videos of travel, spice markets, and the growing and sourcing of the spices from the farms. The Spice Experience gift box is priced at just $79 and can be ordered through the website at www.foodietrails.com.au/spicebox   “There is so much to know and share about the joys of cooking with spices and I can't wait to share it with you. Mother’s often play such a key role in kids’ lives around food and cooking so I’ve been especially excited to get it ready in time for mother’s day giving families the chance to experiment in isolation cooking” says Munshaw Luhar.     For Further information and images please contact   Email: Himanshi@foodietrails.com.au Web: https://www.foodietrails.com.au/spicebox Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodietrails Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/foodietrailsau/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/foodietrails   About Foodie Trails Melbourne based Foodie Trails brings people together for cultural experiences. Foodie Trails cultural food walks, home-style cooking classes and festivals introduce guests to new foods, backgrounds and a different viewpoint. Breaking down cultural barriers and stereotypes in a relaxed and enjoyable setting, we share a meal because "nothing brings people together like good food" World Refugee Week 2020: AASW continues calls for an end to mandatory detention 2020-06-18T00:21:10Z world-refugee-week-2020-aasw-continues-calls-for-an-end-to-mandatory-detention During World Refugee Week 2020, the AASW continues calls for the Federal Government to put an end to its punitive practice of mandatory detention. AASW National President Christine Craik said, “This year’s theme for World Refugee Week is Celebrating the Year of Welcome. The Australian government, however, consistently breaches the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees, our welcome is one to offshore detention, immigration detention centres and other forms of incarceration for those who have broken no laws. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that policy changes can be made quickly and to the benefit of vulnerable people. This has not occurred within the people seeking asylum and refugee population, who have been left exposed to the effects of coronavirus in detention. “As World Refugee Week started, there have been attempts by the government to move a group of people seeking asylum with pre-existing medical conditions from hotel accommodation in Queensland back to offshore detention. These people seeking asylum were transferred to Australia under the now repealed medevac legislation. They are at significant risk of severe complications or death if they are moved back to immigration detention while COVID-19 is still a threat.” The pandemic has a more severe impact on vulnerable groups and people in detention are no exception. Ms Craik continued, “There is nothing stopping the government from releasing this group, and all people seeking asylum, into the community where they can be free to continue their lives in safety and security. Keeping these people in detention is cruel and tortuous, and its only purpose is to send a terrible message to others who wish to seek asylum in Australia that ‘You are not welcome here’.” “Australia needs to be better than this and we can do better than this. “The practice of mandatory detention needs to end now. It causes immeasurable damage to those vulnerable people who have already worked so hard to flee harm. If we want to properly celebrate World Refugee Week, and the resilience and tenacity of people seeking asylum and refugees; this is the only way.”