The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 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 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: Facebook: 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 Media contacts:          Tristan Tipps-Webster, Executive Director, Reconciliation NSW 0408 054 154 Email: 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   “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: Web: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:   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.” The Social Studio helps change the lives of young people from new migrant and refugee communities 2020-06-16T02:52:58Z refugee-week-2020 Refugee Week 2020 runs from Sunday June 14th to Saturday June 20th and The Social Studio is using this time to highlight the continued need to support Australia's refugee community, while sharing positive stories of success from its members. Founded in 2009, The Social Studio provides skill development, training and a safe place of belonging that strives to create awareness and address the challenges for diverse young people from refugee backgrounds. The social enterprise is an RMIT University accredited fashion school, an upcycled clothing label, a retail shop, an ethical clothing manufacturer and a community space created from the style and skills of young people from new migrant and refugee communities. Among the main barriers faced by young people from refugee backgrounds are unemployment, isolation and difficulties accessing education and training. The Social Studio addresses these challenges in four ways: creating jobs; providing education; encouraging community engagement and social inclusion. Alek Nyok, a The Social Studio board member and South Sudanese-Australian community member, said: “Many young people from refugee backgrounds can face unique challenges settling in our country but with the right support and encouragement they make valuable contributions in a range of areas. The Social Studio’s approach is a practical way of harnessing skills and talent of refugee and new migrant communities.” Alek herself came as a child refugee to Australia when she was 10 years old. As a teenager in country Victoria, Alek connected with The Social Studio as part of a high school extension and later graduated from its fashion school. Now working as a data analyst, Alek is also an active volunteer in Melbourne’s South Sudanese community, and an invaluable member of The Social Studio board. The Social Studio CEO, Cate Coleman said Refugee Week is an opportunity to reflect on the resilience and capability of young people from refugee backgrounds. “The Social Studio offers a platform through art, creativity and design for these positive community narratives to shine.” By facilitating a range of projects that provide social support including legal advice, counselling, tutoring and formal training in clothing production, retail and fashion, The Social Studio has been able to help change the lives of over 800 new migrant and refugees since its inception. The Social Studio continues its incredible work through public donations and revenue generated through sales from the clothing produced by new and emerging designers at its Melbourne studio. The Social Studio label is designed and made to an extremely high quality, ethically made using only reclaimed and up-cycled materials gathered from local industry. Over the last decade over 20 tonnes of material has been salvaged from landfill. All income generated through the Studio is invested in creating social benefits for students, staff and their communities. Ways to support The Social Studio throughout Refugee Week 2020 and beyond: - Donate to The Social Studio: $25 can provide a student with a sewing starter kit $50 can fund all pattern making paper required for one semester $100 can provide an essential student pack for one fashion or design student for one year $500 can provide teaching support for an entire class in our TAFE program for one week $1000 can cover training costs for our TAFE programs for one semester - Shop TSS label - new Collingwood store opening soon- Buy an Art Scarf online: Follow the journey on social media via @thesocialstudio to hear stories from The Social Studio's community PATTY MILLS ANNOUNCES THE FORMATION OF THE TEAM MILLS FOUNDATION 2020-05-26T22:54:25Z patty-mills-announces-the-formation-of-the-team-mills-foundation SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (27 May 2020): Three-time Olympian, NBA Champion and proud Indigenous Australian Patty Mills announced today the formation of the Team Mills Foundation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting and championing culture, diversity, women and underprivileged families and enacting positive change for the environment worldwide. Through innovative strategies and a creative approach, the Team Mills Foundation creates a new model for communities across the globe to come together, spark conversation and ignite action to achieve the ultimate goal of a brighter future for those who need it most.  The announcement of The Team Mills Foundation coincides with the start of National Reconciliation Week; a time for Australians to learn about the shared histories, cultures and achievements and strengthen the bonds with the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The theme for National Reconciliation Week for 2020 is “In This Together”, and much like the “All Hands In” mantra of the Team Mills Foundation, it represents how working as a collective can achieve powerful results. The Foundation is welded to the ideal of “community”, shared values and respecting traditions and is brought to life by Patty Mills’ passion and desire of giving back and thriving on the success and wellbeing of others. The mission for the Team Mills Foundation is simple: Make a positive, long-lasting impact on communities worldwide. “I am incredibly excited to announce the launch of Team Mills Foundation; an organisation built on taking courageous and ongoing action to bring long-lasting improvement to people’s lives.” says Patty Mills.  “Our Foundation is personal but relatable, as it reflects values that have been instilled in me by my previous generations and through our customs and traditions. Our vision is to make a tangible difference at the intersection of those values and people’s lives, shining light on critical issues as well as providing opportunities and pathways of success to empower and unlock people’s tremendous potential.”    “I play basketball, and I’m grateful for what the sport has provided for me and my family, but I’m even more appreciative for the voice and platform that has come along with it. It has allowed me to follow through with my successes on the court to inspire, support and make change in other people's lives, especially the ones who need it most.” “Striving for greatness in my field, to create history, to accomplish the unimaginable - sure, it's for me, but it turns out -  it isn’t. It’s for everyone and everything that will be directly impacted by this Foundation.” The Team Mills Foundation will strive to bring awareness and opportunities to the issues and causes that align with the six core values that the Foundation is built upon: FAMILY. Having a greater understanding of who you are, where you come from and appreciating the people that have helped you. Being the best person you can be so that you can support and inspire your loved ones. ENVIRONMENT. Doing our part by giving back to our environment to ensure our next generation understands the values of caretaking for our earth. This will also be a way to protect, preserve and keep traditional cultures alive through the knowledge and practices used by Indigenous peoples. CULTURE. Keeping the culture alive. Recognising, protecting and preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and traditions. Through a creative approach, constantly finding ways to bridge the gap between traditional and modern society.  PATHWAYS AND OPPORTUNITIES. Striving for greatness by creating pathways and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to excel in their given fields or interests.  EMPOWERING WOMEN. Giving women a platform and voice to feel empowered, confident, and strong by supporting them in that role.   MULTICULTURAL AND DIVERSITY. Understanding and recognising multicultural diversity with the means to appreciate and learn from the differences, to celebrate and build on the similarities.  Through collaborative, community-focused partnerships and activations the Team Mills Foundation aims to work closely with local groups and organisations to put a spotlight on important causes and innovative projects and as well as put practices in place for long-term, sustainable solutions. In 2019, “The Community Water Project” was launched in partnership with Zero Mass Water and Australian Indigenous Basketball; an initiative aimed at providing clean, sustainable drinking water for six very remote drought-stricken Indigenous communities.  More recently, the #GiveMamaCoffee Mother’s Day Drive brought together the community of San Antonio to support eight local coffee shops who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging the community to shop small, but think big. To further the campaign’s reach nationally and internationally, a “GoFundMe” page was set up to receive virtual coffee donations. The #GiveMamaCoffee Mother’s Day Drive raised over $100,000USD with all funds donated to the Family Violence Prevention Services - Battered Women and Children’s Shelter of San Antonio, Texas. Putting knowledge in practise, The Team Mills Foundation are thrilled to partner with The Firesticks Alliance, a relationship that stemmed from a recent trip to Australia in March whilst visiting the bushfire-affected communities. Learning from Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffenson and The Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation, Team Mills Foundation aims to share the knowledge of cultural burning practices, and improved ‘reading’ of country, to help restore the land. By continuing to educate and spread awareness of these practices, there is much evidence that, if adopted, could greatly benefit not only Australians, but all people worldwide. More details surrounding this dynamic partnership will be revealed at a later date,  To learn more about the values and causes of the Team Mills Foundation and how to get involved, visit or follow the Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube using #TeamMillsFdn and #AllHandsIn. -ENDS- About Team Mills Foundation The Team Mills Foundation is dedicated to supporting communities around the world; from environmental and wildlife conservation efforts, to providing clean drinking water for communities, supporting women and children shelters and giving a voice to minorities through multiculturalism and diversity. No matter the challenge, The Team Mills Foundation are going all hands in on the things that hit home. Together, we can make a positive change and long lasting impact worldwide. NEW BOOK THE FORGOTTEN BY WILL DAVIES WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ALBERT WONG IS OUT NOW! 2020-04-15T04:43:38Z new-book-the-forgotten-by-will-davies-with-contributions-from-albert-wong-is-out-now THE FORGOTTEN REMEMBERED # NEW BOOK REMEMBERS THE FORGOTTEN ON ANZAC DAY # UNTOLD TRUE STORY OF CHINESE ANZACS FINALLY TOLD # HOW CHINA HELPED AUSTRALIA WIN WORLD WAR 1 New book THE FORGOTTEN by historian Dr Will Davies with contributions from high profile businessman Albert Wong is out now and tells the story of the forgotten and largely ignored members of the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War, who worked tirelessly for the British and French armies, but who received little pay, endured severe living conditions and died as a result of starvation, influenza and neglect. Running parallel to this in THE FORGOTTEN is the unknown story of those Chinese Anzac soldiers, unsung heroes, men of Chinese-Australian heritage who, despite racism, marginalisation and bigotry, stepped forward to enlist and die for Australia so far from home. This book is offered in the hope that, by telling their story, we might shed new light on a forgotten and unknown chapter of history, and in the process, remember and celebrate their part in the final victory. The Forgotten celebrates the shared history between China and Australia and the combined efforts to promote peace. The Governor General David Hurley has written the forward  for the book. The Forgotten is published by Wilkinson Publishing as a dual English and Chinese language edition in the one book and retails for $29.99 from and TO INTERVIEW ALBERT WONG AND WILL DAVIES and receive review copies and books as giveaway contest prizes email or call Max Markson 0412 501 601 Exploding Vapes, Why? 2020-04-05T20:23:24Z exploding-vapes-why Today's article will further look at and discuss why e-cigarette devices explode and how best to avoid this from happening. There have been reports of devices exploding and people dying, but why are these devices exploding, let's take a detailed look. The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are buying all your device bits and pieces from reputable sellers and that you are not purchasing aftermarket or non-recognised fake parts. This is one of the most common reasons why e-cigarette devices malfunction and do not work correctly thus causing harmful effects. Other ways to prevent this type of malfunctions from occurring are; taking battery safety extremely seriously considering the correct use of atomisers using and changing coils research and only use appropriate products read and follow instruction manual charge and store batteries and devices properly Parents urged to build kids’ ‘maths muscles’ to improve results 2020-02-13T07:13:49Z parents-urged-to-build-kids-maths-muscles-to-improve-results Ratika Khandelwal from Mathnasium, an internationally renowned mathematics learning centre, said there was a dire need to refocus attention on the importance of the subject following Australian students’ failure to exceed the OECD average in maths in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). “Focusing on improving skills just a little each day will go a long way to help children foster a respect for the subject and excel at it. But it starts at home. “Education is ultimately the culmination of parents, school, teachers and students working together to generate better results, but parents can do more. As a parent myself, I know we need to take more responsibility for our role in children’s education and helping shape their skills and mindset around learning.  Parents need to step up and make maths a normal part of the day. “It is as simple as getting the kids involved in activities like basic addition or subtraction at the supermarket, halving or doubling a recipe, or estimating how long it takes to get to school, for example. It’s all about doing things that make maths fun and helps build their confidence in the subject.” Ms Khandelwal’s advice is echoed by Seung Yi, National Maths Coordinator at Australian Christian College, who agreed students should be dedicating time every day to improving their mathematic skills. “We’re definitely not where we should be in mathematics in Australia, and the trend is indicating that we are continuing to fall further behind the rest of the world. It needs to be adequately addressed and fast,” he said. “It’s not hard to spend regular time at home developing basic number skills – addition, subtraction, division, multiplication. Just imagine if students worked on basic maths drills every day.” Ms Khandelwal shared her tips to make maths easy at home, based on the Mathnasium method of teaching that uses a unique combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile, and written techniques to help children learn math. 1. Have kids use cash/coins instead of cards to pay for things. Have them calculate how much a few items will cost and the expected change. 2.  Buy analog clocks and have children tell time that way or buy them a watch with an analog clock. 3. Let them help with cooking/baking to learn about measurements and calculations - halve or double a recipe for added practice. 4. Have them measure things in the house using their hands, feet, and a ruler to compare. 5. At Easter have them create a bar chart of the types or names of lollies/eggs they get and how many. 6. At the supermarket have them weigh different produce to get an understanding of weights. Current family law system does not adequately protect women and children from violence, say Australian social workers 2019-12-19T01:52:44Z current-family-law-system-does-not-adequately-protect-women-and-children-from-violence-say-australian-social-workers Commission’s Family Law System Review without delay. AASW National President Christine Craik said that the current family law system does not adequately protect women and children from family violence. Ms Craik said, “Although the family law system recognises physical violence, it has not identified coercive control such as psychological, emotional and financial abuse. Family violence and abuse is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men and its victims are overwhelmingly women and children. “Since the current system cannot always recognise or intervene when violence and abuse are present, it does not always respond to the needs of the people who are trying to escape this abuse. This means that it denies them their right to safety.” The family law system is built on the assumption that both parties enter the system as equals, but social workers know that this is unlikely to be the case where violence and abuse is involved. Ms Craik said, “Having lived under years of fear, coercion, and humiliation, women who are attempting to escape abuse and violence are more susceptible to threats and more easily discouraged by the slow and complex legal process. Social workers have observed many instances where perpetrators know this and use the adversarial process to their advantage. This is called systems abuse, and the current Family Law system enables this abuse.” Ms Craik was speaking as the AASW made its written submission to the joint select committee on the Family Law system. The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Family Law System Review was conducted by some of the most respected professionals in their fields and heard from service users, health and community service professionals and legal practitioners. It made 60 recommendations for a widespread reform of the legislation and improvements to the system. The AASW endorses the Review’s main finding that the current Family Law system is under-resourced and therefore struggles to deal with the ever-increasing complexities of the families who use it. Changing the Family Law system so that it protects people from abuse means improvements to all aspects of it, and this is what the Review proposed. Ms Craik said, “It represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acknowledge, validate and take steps to protect women and children from abuse.” CLOSING THE INDIGENOUS LITERACY GAP KEY TO EDUCATING FUTURE GENERATIONS 2019-12-02T23:21:50Z closing-the-indigenous-literacy-gap-key-to-educating-future-generations Campion Education, Australia’s largest supplier of education resources to secondary schools, partnered with The Indigenous Literacy Foundation in 2018, upon hearing about the vital programs they provide, as well as a shared vision and focus on providing education for all children across Australia. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation are a national book industry charity, which aims to reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in remote Indigenous communities across Australia, by lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of reading. They do this through 3 core programs; Book Supply, Book Buzz and Community Literacy Projects. Campion Education supports this great cause through donations from parents and students at its 14 Retail Service Centres across Australia, as well as fundraising events including the Great Book Swap, held every year on Indigenous Literacy Day in September. Mark Rubbo, Indigenous Literacy Foundation Board Member met with Campion Education’s Managing Director, James Cathro to accept Campion Education’s latest donation of more than $1,700, on behalf of the Foundation. “Campion Education’s vision is to deliver innovative education resources to children across Australia. We care about the education of all children, and we support a number of causes that assist children to achieve their education goals” says James Cathro, “reading is so important for children to assist in brain development, helping to develop vocabulary, critical thinking and memory skills. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is a crucial organisation in raising literacy in remote areas of Australia, and we believe it is such an important cause.” Only 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above the national minimum reading standards. “We are working tirelessly to improve Indigenous literacy, but there is still a long way to go,” says Indigenous Literacy Foundation Executive Director, Karen Williams “Our Foundation relies on the generosity of individuals, organisations and communities, and we are so thankful to partners like Campion Education who provide valuable and ongoing support for our programs.” Campion Education also supports other charitable organisations including Skyline Education Foundation Australia, to assist in the education of all children across Australia. If you or your workplace are interested in supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, please visit their website here: Campion Education An Australian family-owned business, Campion Education is the largest supplier of education resources to secondary schools in Australia.  We continuously seek to provide innovative educational resources, solutions and services which enable schools to focus on providing the best learning outcomes for their students. Drawing on 23 years of experience, Campion Education supplies nearly 3,000 schools with printed and digital resources from Australia’s widest range of publishers, as well as all forms of stationery and art supplies. Original Piece of the Berlin Wall Travels from Blacktown to Woollahra For Commemoration 2019-11-01T03:53:27Z original-piece-of-the-berlin-wall-travels-from-blacktown-to-woollahra-for-commemoration An authentic piece of the Berlin Wall hiding away in a storehouse in Blacktown, Sydney for over a decade, is to be transported to the German Cultural Centre, the Goethe-Institut in Woollahra, for permanent public display.    This rare piece of history is not small. Almost 4 metres tall, made from concrete and weighing 2.4 tonnes, the wall is well-preserved, still displaying original graffiti with the words: ‘Jeder hat Kraft’ - ‘Everyone is powerful’.   The official inauguration of the display on 23rd November 2019 will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, one of the most notable events of the 20th century.   The piece of the wall has been donated by the current owner and will be installed and displayed at Euroka Reserve, a small public garden in front of the Institut with the support of international freight company Henning Harders.   Organised by the Goethe-Institut and Woollahra Council, the public celebration will include a welcome by the Mayor of Woollahra, Councillor Susan Wynne, the German Consul General Peter Silberberg and the Goethe-Institut Director Sonja Griegoschewski. Guests will have the opportunity to see the poster exhibition “The Power of Emotions” and listen to a panel of witnesses who will share their personal memories of the historic event in 1989. Goethe Institut Director Sonja Griegoschewski shares her excitement about the event: “For almost 50 years the Goethe-Institut in Woollahra has been a cornerstone of German-Australian cultural relations. As a born Berliner, I am deeply touched by the opportunity to share such an important piece of German history with the Australian public.” “What once symbolised division is now a symbol of what brings us together. Having a piece of the Berlin Wall installed in Woollahra on the 30th anniversary of such an iconic event is an important reminder to us not to take for granted the peace and freedom we enjoy,” Woollahra Mayor Susan Wynne comments. “It is well placed at the Goethe-Institut, which is dedicated to fostering international cultural cooperation.”   “The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of a new era of freedom, not only for East Germans, but also for many other people in Central and Eastern Europe” says the German Consul General, Peter Silberberg. “It was the beginning of the processes which led to the unification of the then two German states less than a year later and paved the way to overcome the trenches that had divided Europe into East and West for more than 40 years.”   Event date: 23 November 2019 Time: 3pm to 6pm Address: Goethe-Institut, 90 Ocean Street, Woollahra 2025 NSW Contact: Sonja Griegoschewski Director Australia Goethe-Institut Phone: 02 8356 8333   About the Goethe-Institut The Goethe-Institut is the cultural liaison between Germany and Australia. We are a not for profit, independent cultural organisation with a global reach. Our mandate is to promote the study of the German language abroad, and to encourage and facilitate international cultural exchange. The Goethe-Institut has 158 branches in 98 countries. Our branch in Melbourne was founded in 1972, followed by the Sydney branch in 1974. We work with partners and networks across Australia. Media release: POLISH FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES 2019 DATES AND LINE-UP 2019-10-17T05:15:38Z media-release-polish-film-festival-australia-announces-2019-dates-and-line-up Polish Cinema In Australia, Inc is proud to announce its line-up for the seventh annual Polish Film Festival, showcasing the best of Poland’s filmmaking – plus a special screening of an Australian documentary - over two November weeks in Melbourne, with Festival highlights screening in early December for Sydney audiences. Melbourne’s much-loved independent cinemas, The Classic and Lido will be home to Polish Film Festival - Australia 2019 from November 22 to December 1; and in Sydney, the Ritz Cinemas will hold two screenings each day on the weekend of December 7 & 8. Setting the tone of quality, award-winning festival programming, opening the Festival will be Academy Award® nominated director Agnieszka Holland’s acclaimed biopic, Mr Jones, which had its Australian premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival and received Best Film nominations at the 2019 Polish Film Festival (Golden Lion) at the Berlin International Film Festival (Golden Berlin Bear). Starring James Norton, Joseph Mawle, Peter Sarsgaard and Vanessa Kirby, Mr Jones is a compelling and powerful film about Welsh journalist Gareth Jones and his efforts to expose Soviet atrocities in the 1930s. Another highlight will be Australia-based director Simon Target introducing his insightful documentary, The Polish Missionaries, featuring music by Cezary Skubiszewski. Also screening will be Jacek Borcuch’s Dolce Fine Giornata – starring "the dame of Polish cinema" and best Sundance 2019 Actor Award winner Krystyna Janda; multi-award winning director Filip Bajon’s beautifully crafted, epic period drama, The Butler; Werewolf, a disturbing World War II thriller by writer-director Adrian Panec; 53 Wars , Ewa Bukowska’s evocative psychological drama adapted from the autobiographical novel by Grażyna Jagielska; Kinga Debska’s “Best Film” nominated Playing Hard ; Olga Chajda’s outstanding directorial debut, the acclaimed LBGTQIA sensual drama, Nina; multi-award-winning director Wojtek Smarzowski’s controversial box office hit, Clergy ; and last but not least, based upon the Italian hit comedy Perfect Strangers”, Tadeusz Sliwa’s Nie znajomi (NB: in Polish only – no English subtitles). The Polish Film Festival will also feature more special guests and themed multi-cultural events, to be announced in the coming weeks. Session times and ticketing information for Polish Film Festival Australia 2019 will be announced on November 1, through Connect with Polish Film Festival Australia online: OFFICIAL WEBSITE FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Jameson – 0419 323 663 erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com FILM SYNOPSES Mr. Jones (2019) A Welsh journalist breaks the news in the western media of the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. Director: Agnieszka Holland Stars: James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard VIEW TRAILER WATCH MR JONES PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS FROM BERLINALE 2019 _________________________________________________________________________________________ Dolce Fine Giornata / Slodki Koniec Dnia (2019) Directed by Jacek Borcuch. With Krystyna Janda, Kasia Smutniak, Antonio Catania, Lorenzo de Moor. The stable family life of a poetess living in Tuscany begins to fall apart , after she develops a relationship with a young immigrant, and as she makes a controversial acceptance speech after a terrorist attack in Rome. Director: Jacek Borcuch Stars: Krystyna Janda, Kasia Smutnialk, Antonio Catania VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ The Butler / Kamerdyner (2018) Set between 1900 and 1945, the film follows a Prussian family von Krauss, and a forbidden love story between the Kashubian boy Mateusz and the German aristocrat girl Marita Director: Filip Bajon Stars: Janusz Gajos, Anna Radwan, Sebastian Fabijanski VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ Werewolf / Wilkolak (2018) Children liberated from a Nazi concentration camp have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious dogs in an abandoned mansion surrounded by the forest. Director: Adrian Panek Stars: Kamil Polnisiak, Nicholas Przygoda, Sonia Mielnicka VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ 53 Wars / 53 wojny (2018) Anna, whose husband Witek is an acclaimed 1990s war correspondent, keeps waiting for him to return safely from each war he reports from. But soon she gets overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. Its ambitious genre blend, marrying suspense and horror tropes to a tormented love story. Director: Ewa Bukowska Stars: Magdalena Bukowska, Grazyna Jagielska VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ Playing Hard / Zabawa, zabawa (2018) We look at three women. The 40-year-old prosecutor Dorota, the young student Magda and a distinguished surgeon, Teresa. They have something in common, an alcohol addiction. Director: Kinga Debska Stars: Agata Kulesza, Maria Debska, Dorota Kolak VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ Nina (2018) Nina, a teacher in her mid-30s struggling to have a child, looks for a surrogate mother. It would seem that with her husband, she has found an ideal candidate, yet Nina falls for the woman who could have given birth to her child. Director: Olga Chajdas Stars: Julia Kijowska, Eliza Rycembel, Andrzej Konopka VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ The Polish Missionaries (2018) Far from their own country, a determined band of Polish missionaries have given up their comfortable lives to heed their call in remote Papua New Guinea. There, they go beyond preaching gospel or handing out bibles – perhaps beyond even religion itself – to work with the Papuans towards a better life. Over a number of years, the missionaries build roads, hospitals and schools, while also struggling with the effects of poverty, disease and a lack of formal education in the young state. This Polish-Australian documentary delivers an uplifting example of how faith-based aid workers from wealthy nations can help those in poorer countries. Director: Simon Target Cinematography : Simon Target Editing: John Pleffer Music: Cezary Skubiszewski Produced by: Handheld Pictures Producers: Simon Target, Beata Zatorska VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ Clergy /Kler (2018) Clergy received a wide release in Poland on September 28, 2018 and grossed $29,913,342, breaking several box office records. About 935,000 viewers watched the film in its opening weekend, the best opening for a Polish film in Poland in 30 years. International rights to The Clergy have been sold to a number of foreign countries, including Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States and Canada. The film has aroused passionate debate in a deeply religious country, winning awards, but also triggering calls to be banned. Smarzowski has said he “did not want to attack faith itself” but “the men who make up the Church and those who are not saints and act like outlaws”. Director: Wojtek Smarzowski Stars: Janusz Gajos, Arkadiusz Jakubik, Robert Wieckiewicz, Jacek Braciak VIEW TRAILER _________________________________________________________________________________________ Perfect Strangers / Nie(znajomi) 2019 NB: In POLISH only Another variation of the Italian hit comedy, Perfect Strangers by Paolo Genovese, but is shining in its Polish context. Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner. When they decide to share with each other the content of every text message, email and phone call they receive, many secrets start to unveil and the equilibrium trembles. Director: Tadeusz Sliwa Stars: Tomasz Kot, Kasia Smutniak, Maja Ostaszewska, Lukasz Simlat VIEW TRAILER 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.