The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-07-14T02:16:28Z Afford Opens Disability Services in South Australia and Western Australia 2020-07-14T02:16:28Z afford-opens-disability-services-in-south-australia-and-western-australia Leading Australian not-for-profit disability organisation, Afford (The Australian Foundation for Disability), today announced its expansion into South Australia and Western Australia to provide locals with greater choice in disability supports to achieve their goals for work, home and life under the NDIS. Throughout its 68-year history, Afford has advocated for choice and opportunity for people living with disability. Afford’s expansion into South Australia and Western Australia comes after 150% growth across the organisation over the past three years. Commanding leadership in the disability sector, Afford has been recognised as the #1 Disability Care Provider in Australasia(1) and has won industry admiration(2) for unsurpassed staff job satisfaction. Afford offers South Australian and Western Australian residents living with disability greater choice in disability supports that extend beyond traditional programs and hours of operation. WATCH: About Afford “Afford’s whole-of-life approach to disability supports means that we get to know our clients, find out what they like and what their goals for life may be. “We look at every aspect of an individual’s life to help them get the most out of the NDIS do the things they love. We take the time to do this because we care,” said Afford CEO, Steven Herald. The not-for-profit currently supports some 4,000 people every day across New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. Across South Australia and Western Australia, 60,762(3) people living with disability are already benefiting from the NDIS. Afford will provide support for individuals and their families to get the most out of their NDIS plans. In addition, the 17,809(3) people in South Australia and 12,349(3) people in Western Australia receiving support for the first time, can benefit from the experience of Afford’s Support Coordination team to help them navigate NDIS terminology to secure funding for necessary supports. “Afford is different from other disability providers. We set a high expectation that every staff member delivers exceptional care for our clients every day,” commented Mr Herald. “Our staff are dedicated to their role of helping people with disability. They have this passion because we invest in training, employee development, and wellbeing to create supportive and innovative workplaces.” “As an organisation, we think outside of the box to adapt and deliver new life experiences for our clients so they can participate in activities and programs that they truly love,” Mr Herald added. For South Australian and Western Australian residents, Afford service and support hubs offer community access through one-to-one support and day programs. Individuals can explore more of their community and local events, extend their friendships, and develop skills in a supportive environment. Comfortable homes modified to suit the needs of people of all abilities are on offer for short-term care with Afford Respite. Independent living with 24/7 support when required is available in Afford’s Group Homes across South Australia and Western Australia. When residents join an Afford home, the Afford Lifestyle promises residents choice, independence, respect, and opportunity to live life on their terms under the NDIS. Health and wellbeing supports introduced into South Australia and Western Australia will see Afford’s Allied Health team of professionals in speech pathology, occupational therapy and psychology work with locals to provide tailored therapeutic and interventional supports. Afford services are opening in the South Australian suburbs of Elizabeth, Enfield, Pooraka and Gawler. In Western Australia, locals in Cannington, Mirrabooka, Mandurah, Rockingham, Stirling, and Joondalup will benefit from more choice in disability supports in their regions. As one of Australia’s longest-serving not-for-profit disability organisations, Afford goes above and beyond traditional service offerings to adapt to new operating environments to support individuals achieve their goals for work, home and life under the NDIS. For more information visit or call 1300 233 673. ENDS Media Contact: Maria Crema: Crema PR m 0402 239 929 e Sources:(1) Enablement Awards 2018(2) Voice Survey Change Champion, Large Category, and Best Workplace Award – The Vice Project 2019(3) The NDIS Rollout – About Afford - Australian Foundation for Disability is a registered charity providing disability services to thousands of people across Australia. The supports provided by Afford include Shared Living; Overnight Respite; Social and Community Programs; Transition to Work Programs; Transition to Retirement Programs; Carer Support; Disability Employment Services; Supported Employment; Allied Health Support, Support Coordination and Supported Holidays. Australian hospitals and aged care facilities need swift contact tracing protocols in place as threat of COVID 19 community transmission increases. 2020-07-13T23:09:29Z australian-hospitals-need-swift-contact-tracing-protocols-in-place-as-threat-of-covid-19-community-transmission-increases ●      Dr Norman Swan asks if Australian hospitals have “got their act together” ●      Outbreaks in high-risk healthcare facilities are “unacceptable”  ●      Bluetooth wearable card system Contact Harald could minimise staff disruptions in last week's Coronacast, Dr Norman Swan questioned if all Australian hospitals have “got their act together” in terms of infection control and if they have “things in place should they start to get community spread of the virus and protocols there”. Dr Swan also commented that Victorian hospitals appear to have come “late to the party”. Effective contract tracing is one common hurdle that will affect all public and private hospitals – and other healthcare services such as aged care facilities - in being able to maintain adequate staffing levels should community transmission of COVID-19 start to ramp up in states and territories beyond Victoria. Contact Harald is a locally developed wearable contact tracing system designed to enhance and speed up local-initiated contact tracing efforts. It takes the initial “manual” out of manual tracing efforts.   Healthcare facilities of all sizes will need to have ready-to-implement systems in place to limit disruption and ensure they have staff available for duty - not stood down if deemed a “potential contact” - should cases of COVID-19 be detected within these high-risk workplaces.  As Dr Swan said, cases in hospitals were totally unacceptable because they are a high-risk environment. “Tracking and tracing is the primary way to help control and minimise the impact of outbreaks,” said Melbourne-based Elissa Reid, Head of Product and Health for Contact Harald. “With hospital and aged care workers among the current recent infection numbers in Victoria, including healthcare staff at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, it’s important that the industry stays vigilant,” said Ms Reid. “With “close contacts” of positive cases also required to quarantine for 14 days, this could have disastrous effects for hospitals and aged care facilities, leaving them struggling to roster trained staff to provide uninterrupted essential health services,” says Ms Reid. “We developed Contact Harald to help minimise the risk to business continuity – and healthcare environments have been the focus of our initial system development.”   While the striking green Contact Harald cards cannot prevent an infection, what they do is dramatically speed up the essential task of contact tracing, once it has entered a community.  ‘We are ready to help healthcare facilities conduct a trial of our system, so they are ready to provide a best practice protocol for contact tracing needs – be it COVID-19 or other highly contagious communicable diseases,” said Ms Reid. “Speed and privacy are of the utmost importance.  When any potential new case of a transmissible disease is identified, memory-based recall can prove problematic.   “When Contact Harald is in use in a facility, anyone who has tested positive can have their card data uploaded at the facility to identify those staff, patients and families, visitors and others entering a facility have come in contact with, and send SMS and email alerts as needed,” Ms Reid said.   Contact Harald is currently conducting trials of its contact tracing technology in health and aged care settings in Australia and overseas markets. To learn more or to register your interest in contact tracing trial go to COVID-19 is the number one business-related cause of mental health challenges for small business 2020-07-13T02:46:56Z covid-19-is-the-number-one-business-related-cause-of-mental-health-challenges-for-small-business Research released today by MYOB has revealed the number one cause of business-related mental health challenges for one in three small business owners has been COVID-19 (36%), followed by financial concerns like cash flow (26%). MYOB’s long running Business Monitor surveyed more than 1,000 Australian SMEs between April and May, at the height of the pandemic. It highlights the financial and related mental health impact COVID-19 has had on small business owners across Australia.MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea, said the impact of COVID on the small business sector is hard to overstate, as evidenced by the data.“Almost half of the small business owners and operators agree that running a business has had a direct impact on any feelings of stress and anxiety, with one in five business owners saying that running their business in 2020 has caused depression. “Businesses whose owners and operators are aged between 18 and 39 were most likely to agree that they had felt anxiety or stress (68% agreed). “We have been talking to small businesses about their mental health and wellbeing for the last couple of years and recently launched a partnership with Smiling Mind to create dedicated small business owner content in the Smiling Mind app. We could not have predicted how important this content would become for the 2.4 million small businesses in Australia,” Ms. Lea said. In your opinion, what is the key business-related cause of mental health challenges?The COVID-19 pandemic and its wider economic impact (36%)Financial concerns / cash flow (26%)Attracting and/or retaining customers (9%)Not having enough family time (7%)Staffing issues (6%)Retail and hospitality businesses were most likely to state the key business-related cause of mental health challenges was the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact (46%). “As part of our research, we drilled down into how small business owners are feeling. We asked 780 business owners what their most immediate concern is, with the most common response having to access Federal support to supplement incomes (29%) and a close second was their mental health (26%) tied with business and personal finance (26%). It’s clear the uncertainty of small business owners' finances and cash flow is having a direct impact on their mental wellbeing,” Ms. Lea added. Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said looking after your mental health is more important now than ever, and there are resources to support small business owners.“There’s never been a tougher time to be in business.“Many small business owners will be focused on staying afloat right now, but it’s important to balance that with looking after yourself.“The fact is, 1 in 4 Australians will experience depression or anxiety in their lifetime. Small business owners’ mental health may be intrinsically linked with the state of their small business.“It’s important small business owners know that there is help available if they need it. The work MYOB is doing with Smiling Mind is extremely useful for small business owners. My Business Health, a free web portal on ASBFEO’s website, offers dedicated holistic support to employers and sole traders,” Ms. Carnell said.For more information on ways you can get access to mental health tools and resources for small businesses visit: My Business Health and Smiling Mind or download the Smiling Mind app. GFA World Supplies 37 Million With Safe Water in ‘Thirstiest’ Continent 2020-07-10T03:52:13Z gfa-world-supplies-37-million-with-safe-water-in-thirstiest-continent TOOWOOMBA, Qld -- A leading mission agency today revealed it has provided safe drinking water for a staggering 37.5 million people in Asia, the world’s “thirstiest” continent. The number of people helped by Australia-based GFA World and its world wide partners, is roughly equivalent to 1-1/2 times more than the entire population of Australia.   GFA World reported millions of water-deprived families across Asia -- home to six out of every 10 people on the planet -- now have safe, reliable drinking water thanks to the organisation’s deep wells and BioSand filters.   In the past two decades, GFA World and its partners around the world have provided more than 30,000 wells and 58,000 filters.   In 2019 alone, the faith-based organisation -- manned entirely by local workers, many traveling from village to village on foot -- helped drill 4,856 new “Jesus Wells” and distribute 12,243 new water filters in communities, many of which were stricken by waterborne diseases.   “In the world’s thirstiest continent, GFA World workers and churches are committed to meeting people’s most vital physical need -- safe drinking water,” said the organisation’s founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan, as the mission agency released a new report titled Don’t Drink The Water (Unless You Know What’s In It).   The report comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) says one in every three people in the world doesn’t have access to safe drinking water, and the United Nations predicts that by the year 2050 up to 5.7 billion people worldwide could be affected by water shortages.   Finding safe drinking water is not just a problem in Asia. Whereas drinking water quality in Australia is high by world standards, in the U.S, as many as 63 million people -- nearly one in every five Americans -- have been exposed to potentially unsafe drinking water, GFA World’s report says, citing lead and arsenic contamination.   Demand for Water to Skyrocket In the next 20 years, global demand for water is expected to surge by more than 50 percent, according to the U.N.   “This desperate situation is especially acute in Asia, where millions of families get their drinking water from the only source available to them -- often a dirty river or stagnant pond, which are breeding grounds for parasites and deadly bacteria,” Yohannan said.   Drinking contaminated water can lead to fatal diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and diarrhea. Globally, diarrhea kills almost 2,200 children every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).   By providing safe water, GFA World hopes people who’ve never heard about God’s love will see “love in action.”   In one community, the local pastor began praying for a new well when the old village water source dried up, forcing villagers to trek every day to the river. Days later, a team arrived to drill a new Jesus Well. Although skeptical at first, locals soon realized the new well was heaven-sent, the report says.   Going Deep, Finding Lasting Solutions Beginning with the first well in the year 2000, Jesus Wells -- up to 460 metres in depth -- tap deep underground reserves and bring year-round, clean water to thousands of villages across Asia, each well supplying hundreds of people on average and providing a central community gathering place.   Because local people receive training to maintain the wells, the water keeps flowing. One team recently found a Jesus Well still going strong after 20 years.   Meanwhile, portable BioSand filters -- another clean-water solution, costing around $32 each -- remove most contaminants, making water 98 percent pure. ###   GFA World is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at   Australian travel expert encourages operators to pivot and adapt amidst Covid-19 pandemic 2020-07-07T08:36:48Z australian-travel-expert-encourages-operators-to-pivot-and-adapt-amidst-covid-19-pandemic A leading Australian travel industry expert has encouraged operators to pivot and adapt in order to survive, and even thrive, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.Marten Labo Pudun, managing director of Blue Ocean Travel, believes in order to survive, travel operators must commit to following new hygiene and safety protocols including temperature checking and physical social distancing protocol, as well as a focus on promoting domestic travel to Australia’s most iconic destinations“The tourism industry is one of resilience, having faced, and recovered, from many unexpected curve balls in the past, including terrorism, tsunamis, and extreme climate change,” said Mr Labo Pudun.Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, most tourism operators have been dealt with both the drying up of sales as well as the necessity to refund existing bookings due to the cancellation of travel from immigration border restrictions.Blue Ocean Travel has taken care of 500 consumers during this challenging time, including 300 business clients amd 200 Malaysian students who were stuck in Australia during the lock-down.The travel agency looked after booking air tickets, hotel accommodation, airport transfers, amongst other arrangements.Mr Labo Pudun credits his agency's efficient consultation regarding travel insurance policies for speeding up the refund process to clients.“This has been a really effective approach in maintaining client loyalty and safeguarding the business in the long term,” said Mr Labo Pudun.Mr Labo Pudun said there are a number of procedures that all travel industry operators will need to follow in order to restore consumer confidence and safeguard the public from a Covid-19 second wave or other unexpected breakout.“Most flights will remove all magazines and newspapers by introducing new ancillary products to emerging customer demand such as one-off lounge passes and extra fees to keep adjacent seats free,” said Mr Labo Pudun.“Hotels will modify their service procedures by closing buffets, gyms, indoor swimming pools and increasing distance between tables in restaurants.“Most tourist attractions such as theme parks are committed to reducing crowding up to 30 to 50 percent of previous levels by introducing pre-registration schemes.“This will lead to visitors providing health QR code issued by the Government based on previous travel histories and potential exposure to the virus.”Moving forward, Mr Labo Pudun strongly believes that all major Australian travel agencies will need to focus more on promoting domestic travel to our most iconic destinations including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Forest, Gold Coast, Twelve Apostles, Uluru, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania, as the international travel industry will take longer to recover.“As Australia is enriched with a plethora of breathtakingly beautiful travel destinations, the domestic travel industry will recover more quickly than other countries lacking large domestic travel hot spots,” said Mr Labo Pudun. About Marten Labo PudunInherited with Lun Bawang indigenous Dayak tribes of Borneo, Marten Labo Pudun is a zealous proponent for the Australian-Malaysian community. He is the first Lun Bawang Malaysian. Marten migrated to Australia to obtain higher tertiary education and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce & MBA in 1994 from Charles Sturt University. He has been working resiliently in the Australian tourism industry for two decades.During his journey as a managing director of Blue Ocean Travel Pty Ltd, Marten has accomplished remarkable experience in recognising the challenges facing international students and visitors from multicultural and diverse backgrounds during their travels and studies in Australia.Marten has made a remarkable contribution and display of support toward all of Blue Ocean Travel’s thousands of clients, by not only proving to be a loyal service provider but also by showing his solidarity as a philanthropic Australian-Malaysian.- ends -For more information or interview requests, please contact: Joanne RahnDirectorzanthii communicationsPhone: 0402 148 334Email: joanne@zanthii.comFacebook: Grandad Inspires Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom on 3-month road trip 2020-07-06T12:26:39Z grandad-inspires-aussies-to-bounce-back-to-freedom-on-3-month-road-trip A BUNDABERG grandad has come out of retirement after 11 years to inspire Aussies to Bounce Back to Freedom after Covid-19 with a road trip from Bundaberg to Darwin from July 13 to October 25, 2020. Author of 7 books, Hans Jakobi, 66, has gone from being suicidal and surviving multiple tragedies, including three serious bushfire threats to his home and an eight-year drought, to being a successful businessman and funding his own retirement at 55. Known as The Lifestyle Entrepreneur, he and his wife of 41 years, Colette, have travelled to more than 70 countries since then and now will hit the road on a Bounce Back To Freedom Tour. On the tour, he will interview and film Australians who have lost their jobs or businesses to find out what they are doing to recover from the crisis and what strategies they have worked out to prosper from the turmoil. “The way people have panicked in this crisis has had a deep impact on me and I feel compelled to spread a message of hope, opportunity and support to replace the narrative of fear,” Mr Jakobi said. He said the best and most secure way to prosper from this crisis was to start an online home-based business. “I want to inspire ordinary, everyday people, encourage them and give them hope to embrace this crisis as their opportunity to start their own online business and profit despite the crisis,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some people who will have benefited from the crisis because they’ve adapted to the opportunities created and will be loving it, while others will have a lot of stress and anxiety.” Mr Jakobi will hit the road with his latest book, Why You Need to Start Your Own Online Business Now! “My mantra is that you can build and run a business from anywhere in the world with just a laptop computer, a mobile phone and an internet connection,” he said. To walk his talk and also inspire his 3 children and 5 grandchildren, he and his wife will make the 12,000km return trip in a 2008 Sunland 24 foot caravan to Darwin and document his journey as he inspires locals, films their stories and builds a new online business from scratch. “People learn more from what they see than what you say so I want to inspire people. In the next 10 years, I will give it my best, keep traveling, support my children, mentor my grandchildren and others about business,” Mr Jakobi said. “I want to be around positive, aspirational people and then I will retire again.” For more details, visit New Australian Consumer Comparison Website 2020-07-06T03:11:54Z new-australian-consumer-comparison-website New Australian Consumer Website to Help You Make Important Choices Making important life decisions such as purchasing your first home or getting health insurance can be quite unnerving. With the myriad of information available on the internet, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, a new Australian consumer comparison website is now up and running to assist you. “” maintains a comprehensive panel of different brands to help the consumer review his or her options right then and there, online. Better still, MakesCents is completely independent and not owned by the suppliers it recommends to Aussies. and the Services They Offer Makes Cents can help you decide on the following areas: ·      Compare Life Insurance You need to be prepared for life’s uncertainties. A life insurance guarantees that your beneficiaries will be compensated if anything happens to you. Makes Cents enables you to compare 14 insurers at the same time through their platform. They only collaborate with the best and reliable insurance providers. You’ll be able to sleep at night knowing you’re in good hands. ·      Compare Electricity and Gas Do you feel that you’re shelling out too much money on utilities? Are you tired of getting poor customer service? Perhaps it’s already time to look for other options. Gas and electricity suppliers will always want to do business with you, but they don’t always offer the best deal. Since Makes Cents is 100% independent, you’ll be able to review all deals and make an educated decision.  ·      Compare the best prices for Solar Going solar is a great investment for yourself and for the environment. You will be able to save tons of money in the long run, whilst helping the environment heal by reducing your carbon footprint. Makes Cents has partnered with 20+ licensed suppliers to make sure that you get the best set-up that is suitable for your needs. ·      Compare the best Home Loans Are you planning to buy a new home or perhaps refinance your existing loan? Makes Cents will be able to find a great deal for you, depending on the state of your finances for free. You will also be able to know how much you will save if you switch to a new lender. ·      Compare the best prices for Health Insurance Your savings can be depleted immediately if you fail to prepare for health emergencies. With private health insurance, you can seek treatment from a doctor of your choice. You will be assisted in paying the expenses incurred in and out of the hospital as well. With Makes Cents, you can choose an insurance provider that can cater to your specific needs. Understand What Makes Sense in Life with Are you looking forward to trying the services they have to offer? Over 25,000 Aussies consumers have already tried and tested this new consumer website with superb money-saving results.  Visit today, and start making sound decisions based on data compiled especially for you.   NEW - RESBUTLER.COM COVID 19 COMPLIANT RESTAURANT BOOKING SYSTEM INVENTED BY PETER PETROULAS 2020-07-06T00:55:26Z new-resbutler-com-covid-19-compliant-restaurant-booking-system-invented-by-peter-petroulas NEW - COVID 19 COMPLIANT RESTAURANT BOOKING SYSTEM WOLD FIRST AUSTRALIAN INVENTION   PHYSICAL DISTANCING MANAGEMENT # AUTONOMOUSLY & DYNAMICALLY REORGANISES AND SOCIALLY DISTANCES TABLES # AUTONOMOUSLY & DYNAMICALLY ALLOCATES BOOKINGS TO TABLES AS THE TABLES ARE SOCIALLY DISTANCED # PERMITS COMPLETE EDITING OF ALL BOOKINGS ON-LINE AND ALL EDITS ARE AUTONOMOUSLY AND DYNAMICALLY SOCIALLY DISTANCED # COMPLETELY MANAGES ALL TABLES AND BOOKINGS (INCLUDING WALK-INS) DURING A SERVICE TO ALWAYS ENSURE COMPLETE SOCIAL DISTANCING COMPLIANCE     COMPLETE CONTACTLESS ORDERING # PRE-ORDERING, WHY WAIT TO GET TO THE RESTAURANT TO ORDER # PRE-ORDERING CONCIERGE SERVICE AVAILABLE, FOR EXAMPLE ORDER SOME FLOWERS FOR YOUR LOVED ONE TO AWAIT YOU ON THE TABLE FOR YOUR ARRIVAL # IN-SERVICE ORDERING, # CONTACTLESS PAYMENT ON YOUR PHONE   The world’s first and only COVID 19 table management system, is now available. TO INTERVIEW FOUNDER AND INVENTOR PETER PETROULAS, please email or call Max Markson on 0412501601   Unlike any other online booking system, ResButler can manage a restaurant’s tables and booking allocations to achieve controlled and strategic optimisations while meeting government guidelines of social distancing. Res Butler is the FIRST and ONLY table management system that uses intelligent and dynamic technology and the FIRST and ONLY system that can offer a complete dynamic yield management system, including dynamically allocating VIP guests to their required table. It also offers a contactless experience to allow the customer to pre-order, in-service order and complete payment on their phone.     ResButler has been Invented and Founded by Sydney airline and hospitality executive Peter Petroulas. It will be available to restaurants, cafes and bars globally. Peter says “managing restaurant bookings is harder than managing airline bookings as restaurants have inventory (tables and chairs) that are flexible and move while an airlines seats are fixed and cannot move. Also, within a restaurant it is mandatory for all people within a booking to be seated together while this is not mandatory for bookings on an aircraft. Lastly a restaurant service is more challenging as people are given full a al carte experiences while on aircraft food is pre-made and choices are limited”. As a result of these complexities, no one has been able to develop and invent a “proper” restaurant table management system during the last 22 years that online restaurant booking systems have been available. Peter Petroulas and the ResButler team have been working on this solution for the last 4 years. While the ResButler system was not developed as a result of the current COVID 19 pandemic, due to the intelligence and flexibility built into the system, Petroulas says: “I am excited to have ResButler ready for launch just as the COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to relax here in Australia. The system will be able to provide not only customers, but also restaurant owners the reassurance of having people come through their doors where all guidelines will be autonomously followed and guaranteed due to the intelligence and creativity of ResButler which will hopefully restore some normality during these times as well as allow restaurants to plan for the future.”         Max Markson 0412 501 601   AN EVENING WITH MEL GIBSON Melbourne January 30 2021   MEL GIBSON WILLIAM SHATNER COSPENDIUM The ultimate Cosplay & Gaming convention. MELBOURNE January 30 & 31 2021   ON THE ROAD WITH BILL CLINTON Nelson Mandela, Kim Kardashian, Arnold Schwarzenegger,Tony Blair, Al Gore, Mike Tyson, Pele and more.By Max Markson. Book available now at   Markson Sparks! Suite 411 4th Floor 410 Elizabeth St Surry Hills Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA 2010   WILLIAM SHATNER ‘TO BOLDLY GO’ TO COSPENDIUM 2021 2020-07-06T00:18:09Z william-shatner-to-boldly-go-to-cospendium-2020 WILLIAM SHATNER ‘TO BOLDLY GO’ TO COSPENDIUM 2021 Legendary Star Trek actor heading to Australia for brand new cosplay event   ICONIC STAR TREK, BOSTON LEGAL AND TJ HOOKER ACTOR TO FEATURE AT NEW AUSTRALIAN COSPLAY AND ESPORTS CONVENTION INTERVIEW, MEET & GREET, PHOTO OPPS & AUDIENCE Q&A AT COSPENDIUM 2021   Actor, author, singer, producer, director, businessman & philanthropist William Shatner will attend the new two-day pop culture, cosplay and gaming convention Cospendium on Saturday 30th January AND Sunday 31st January 2021at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.   Register interest for tickets at:   As well as a stellar career in Star Trek, the Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winning actor has also starred in globally successful TV series Boston Legal and TJ Hooker as well as over 50 movies across eight decades including the Miss Congeniality films and cult classic Dodgeball.   Shatner will take part in a Q&A session on the Cospendium main stage as well as meet ‘n greets and one-on-one photos & autograph signings with fans over both days of the debut convention.   “When you’ve been around as long as I have and worked in this business for so long, there’s a heck of a lot to share. I’m very excited to be bringing the spirit of the Starship Enterprise, Boston Legal and more down under,” says William Shatner.   “One of the surprising things I discovered years ago about conventions is that they’re filled with love. It’s very special to be up on that stage and share a unique moment with thousands of people at once – I can’t wait to feel the love when we usher in the first-ever Cospendium!”   Fans can also expect gaming tournaments, artist & cosplay stalls, cosplay competitions, prize giveaways and plenty more, from the brand-new event striving to become the ultimate cosplay convention.   “I’ve been a William Shatner and Star Trek fan since I saw the first episode in 1966 and just thought ‘WOW!’” says Cospendium founder Philip Rainford.   “I went to Star Trek conventions with my teenage daughter in the ‘90s in full costume and now my grandkids have the chance to attend our new convention with Captain Kirk himself. It’s just amazing.”   To purchase tickets or a full experience package with William Shatner, visit: ABOUT COSPENDIUM 2021 Running for an entire weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, Melbourne.   The convention commences on Saturday 30th January 2021, with celebrity meet ‘n greets, gaming tournaments, artist & cosplay stalls, cosplay competitions, prize giveaways, and plenty more!   The debut convention aims to restore a sense of intimacy and community to the culture that the founders believe has been lacking for too long.   ABOUT WILLIAM SHATNER Since he was in his early 20’s, William Shatner has maintained his status as a star of both TV and the silver screen. He achieved the status of a pop culture icon thanks to his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series and film adaptations. He is also well known as the eponymous TJ Hooker and Boston Legal’s Denny Crane.   Shatner has maintained an impressive side career in music and spoken-word recordings, having released eight albums since the ‘60s. He is also routinely involved in a range of charity work and raises American Saddlebred horses.   WHAT IS COSPLAY? Cosplay, or costume roleplay, is a global phenomenon where fans of franchises from all forms of media dress up as their favourite pop culture icons. At conventions such as Cospendium 2020 , You’ll be sure to run into everyone from Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark and Star Trek’s Spock to Princess Zelda and One-Punch Man.   According to trading platform Liquid, the global cosplay industry is estimated at a value of more than $45 billion and is growing at a rate of 15 per cent each year.   To register interest for ticket sales and for more information, visit: Facebook Instagram MEL GIBSON TO STAR AT COSPENDIUM 2021 IN MELBOURNE 2020-07-06T00:14:57Z mel-gibson-to-star-at-cospendium-2020-in-melbourne MEL GIBSON TO STAR AT COSPENDIUM 2021 Legendary actor to kick off convention debut at brand new cosplay event # WORLD FIRST APPEARANCE BY MEL GIBSON AT A POP-CULTURE CONVENTION # MAD MAX, LETHAL WEAPON & BRAVEHEART STAR TO SPEAK AT NEW AUSTRALIAN COSPLAY EVENT # INTERVIEW, MEET & GREET, PHOTO OPPS & AUDIENCE Q&A AT COSPENDIUM 2021Actor, producer, director, businessman & philanthropist Mel Gibson (Mad Max, Braveheart & Lethal Weapon)will attend the new two-day pop culture, cosplay and gaming convention Cospendium on Saturday 30th January 2021 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. TO INTERVIEW MEL GIBSON email or call “ Mad Max” Markson 0412 501 601 Buy or register interest for tickets at: Featuring celebrity meet ‘n greets, gaming tournaments, artist & cosplay stalls, cosplay competitions, prize giveaways and plenty more, Cospendium aims to become the ultimate cosplay convention. This debut convention marks Mel Gibson’s very first appearance at a Comic Con-style event anywhere in the world. He will be available for meet ‘n greets, one-on-one photos with fans and a panel discussion including audience Q&A’s about his iconic movie career.  “I look forward to meeting all my fans in Melbourne and sharing all the thrilling, funny and sometimes very weird stories from my life and career. I’ll see you all at Cospendium soon.” Says Mel Gibson. “It’s an enormous honour to have Mel Gibson, one of Australia’s favourite sons, as a special guest at our first-ever Cospendium,” says Cospendium founder Philip Rainford.“It’s even better that it’s Mel’s first ever convention too! I can already see the Mad Max and Braveheart fans in their cosplay outfits.” To register interest in one-on-one meet ‘n greets &photos with Mel Gibson, visit Mel Gibson is the second featured guest to be announced for Cospendium 2021, following the reveal of William Shatner, star of Star Trek and Boston Legal, as the convention’s debut special guest.  ABOUT COSPENDIUM 2021Running for an entire weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Cospendium will launch on Saturday January 30, 2021 and run until the evening of Sunday January 31 2021. The convention will feature celebrity meet ‘n greets, gaming tournaments, artist & cosplay stalls, cosplay competitions, prize giveaways, an immersive viking banquet and plenty more! Featured guests include Mel Gibson and William Shatner, with more to be revealed soon.The debut convention aims to restore a sense of intimacy and community to the culture that the founders believe has been lacking for too long. ABOUT MEL GIBSONMel Gibson’s incredible body of work has spanned over 40 years and includes over 50 movies, grossing in excess of $5 billion. These include his role as Max Rockatansky in the Mad Max trilogy, Martin Riggs in the four-movie Lethal Weapon franchise, William Wallace in Braveheart as well as classics such as What Women Want and Bird on a Wire. As a director, he earned his stripes directing The Passion of the Christ (grossing over $1 billion), Apocalypto and Hacksaw Ridge (winner of two Academy Awards). Of course, he was also the first person ever named ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by People Magazine! In 1995 Gibson produced, directed and starred in Braveheart which was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 5 Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. Mel also won the Golden Globe for Best Director for Braveheart.  WHAT IS COSPLAY? Cosplay, or costume roleplay, is a global phenomenon where fans of franchises from all forms of media dress up as their favourite pop culture icons. At conventions such as Cospendium 2020 , You’ll be sure to run into everyone from Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark and Star Trek’s Spock to Princess Zelda and One-Punch Man. According to trading platform Liquid, the global cosplay industry is estimated at a value of more than $45 billion and is growing at a rate of 15 per cent each year. To register interest for ticket sales and for more information, visit: Facebook Instagram Breast Cancer goes from 0-150mph in under 9 seconds 2020-07-05T23:59:58Z breast-cancer-goes-from-0-150mph-in-under-9-seconds Breast Cancer goes from 0-150mph in under 9 seconds ‘Don’t Wait for the Green Light’ is Andy’s sometimes humorous but highly emotional new book about her fight to get back on the race track. Perth, Western Australia, July 2020: Andy Kahle turned her blog - written to keep her family up to date while she was undergoing cancer treatment - into her new book, “Don’t Wait for the Green Light”. Instead of being your standard Breast Cancer survival story, this book is a collection of emotional and often humorous situations that Andy found herself in while she put her motor racing on hold to fight a disease that affects 1 in 8 women. “Everyone needs something to inspire them to keep fighting, and mine was the knowledge that I would get back in my race car. ” While superstition says that back luck comes in 3’s, Andy didn’t allow this to sway her “need” to race down the quarter mile in Australia’s first compact car - the Holden Torana. First she blew up the transmission the day before she was supposed to get her racing licence, then her husband - Mick - slipped in the shower and impaled himself on the tap, that very same evening. And if you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop … just as the racing season was coming to a close, and hubby was on the mend, Andy was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, forcing her dream on hold. There is a saying in drag racing, that if you wait until you see the green light before you leave the start line, you will miss out. So is the case in real life. Sometimes it’s better to put your foot flat to the floor and accelerate to where you want to be. While Andy’s book “Don’t Wait for the Green Light” starts with the uncertainty of a life changing diagnosis, Andy takes this as an opportunity to look at everything with her trademark wry humour. Situations such as the mood lighting and 70s style attire while getting a mammogram, or the nervous foot jiggling, plastic chair wobbling of her husband while she read outdated magazines in the doctors waiting room, Andy has managed to maintain the gravity of her journey while still demonstrating the importance of enjoying every moment and focussing on her ultimate goal of racing again. Available in paperback or e-book, via Amazon, Andy has also provided the option to purchase a signed copy of “Don’t Wait for the Green Light” direct from her charity race car website - Therapy on Wheels. (   Despite being told she had a high risk of recurrence, at the age of 51 Andy Kahle has now been cancer free for over 10 years. Andy has also continued to race since the completion of her cancer treatment and now has a new race car on the way. This one has been custom built to allow Andy and her team to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer by offering passenger rides down the drag strip … but that’s a whole other story.  Contact Details:  Andy KahlePhone: 0437 312 394LinkedIn: Email: andy@TherapyOnWheels.asn.auWeb: Facebook: Carat and Thinkerbell join Our Watch to highlight non-physical abuse during COVID-19 confinement 2020-07-05T22:43:20Z carat-and-thinkerbell-join-our-watch-to-highlight-non-physical-abuse-during-covid-19-confinement :  The COVID-19 crisis and the associated forced isolation and restricted movement, has led to an increase in reports of domestic and family violence.   Women who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing intimate-partner violence have become more vulnerable as they are forced to stay at home with their abusive partners.   In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Our Watch, a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, launched an updated No Excuse for Abuse campaign to raise awareness of non-physical abuse, which is often overlooked or excused. Carat and Thinkerbell assisted Our Watch to ensure the campaign reached the broader public, and making sure potential victims and perpetrators could access support, and the community could develop a better understanding of what constitutes violence against women.   The campaign was launched to educate the public on different forms of non-physical abuse, including financial, technological and emotional abuse.  The campaign also signposts people who need urgent support to contact 1800 RESPECT and Mensline.   The multi-channel campaign across TV, OLV, Social and Search was further boosted by using network talent to connect with the audience.  An important part of Carat’s media plan was to leverage the relationships morning show hosts have built with their audiences.  Supported by Sunrise and Studio 10, the hosts interviewed Our Watch Ambassadors Tarang Chawla and Rebecca Poulson.  These discussions were pertinent to raising awareness of the various forms of abuse.                     The creative concept leverages the insight that various forms of violence can be subtle and is often excepted through off-handed excuses such as ‘it’s only because….’.  By muting these common but ultimately dangerous excuses, the idea encourages people to recognise non-physical violence as a serious issue that can be just as harmful as physical violence.   Our Watch CEO, Patty Kinnersly, said: “By teaming up with Carat and Thinkerbell Our Watch has been able to create a clever campaign with a clear and concise message that resonates with its target audience.  We want the community to understand that non-physical forms of abuse, such as controlling how a partner spends their money or using verbal put-downs, are serious, inexcusable and preventable.  There is no excuse for abuse of any kind.”   You can watch the No Excuse for Abuse ads and find out more about the different types of abuse here   If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000.  If you are worried about your behaviour, call Mensline on 1300 789 978 or visit     Media Agency: Carat: Janine Virtue (Client Lead), Nisha Rajamani (Client Director), Grant Abrahams (Digital Director), Emma Boyd (Senior Executive),  iProspect: Tejal Mistri (Digital Strategist)   Creative Agency: André Pinheiro – Tinker Nikia Shepherd - Lead Thinker Adam Ferrier – Chief Thinker and Founder Jim Ingram – Chief Tinker and Founder Josh Green – Thinker  Katie Ayling – Production Tinker    Partners:  Television: Network Seven, Nine Network, Network Ten Online Video: EMX Engine Social: Facebook SEM: Google   GFA World Extends Lifeline of God’s Love, Eyes Next 40 Years 2020-07-02T03:58:30Z gfa-world-extends-lifeline-of-god-s-love-eyes-next-40-years TOOWOOMBA, QLD -- Marking more than four decades of life-changing ministry on July 3, leading mission agency GFA World, today spotlighted recent achievements -- and anticipates the next 40 years will extend its lifeline of God’s love across Asia and beyond.   In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, “super cyclone” Amphan that swept through India and Bangladesh, the worst locust invasion in nearly 30 years, and the threat of mass starvation, GFA’s mission organisation is a lifeline and life-changer for millions in crisis.   Local GFA World workers serve in hundreds of Asia’s most desperate slums, thousands of villages, and among the most socially marginalised -- including those with leprosy -- to show God’s love through compassion and change the world.   “We celebrate God’s faithfulness amid all the trials and tribulations of the past 40-plus years,” said GFA World founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “I believe that in the next 40 years, we will do even greater things in the cities and villages of Asia and around the world.”   2019 marked 40 years of ministry for GFA World, serving the poor and needy in 16-plus nations. In the past year: Local teams helped the poorest of the poor in 872 slum communities  315,000 women received free healthcare training Nearly 60,000 women learned to read and write More than 12,000 women were trained in a vocational skill, such as sewing Nearly 50 Sisters of Compassion teams helped people afflicted with leprosy More than 4,800 new clean water sources -- called Jesus Wells -- and 5,400 toilets were built in desperately needy communities 380,000 lifesaving mosquito nets were given to families most at-risk from malaria “These truly life-changing opportunities are possible only because of God’s love and favour, and the commitment of local churches, local workers, partners worldwide, and the support of government agencies across Asia,” Yohannan said.   “Faced with an avalanche of crises and catastrophes in recent months, local teams and millions of affected families have shown their determination to never give up -- even when the odds seem impossible.”   ‘Never Give Up’ The never-quit attitude of local workers and the families they serve is reflected in Yohannan’s new book, Never Give Up: The Story of a Broken Man Impacting A Generation ( -- written to encourage others “not to give up during turbulent and distressing times in their lives.”   GFA World’s history-making story ( began July 3, 1979 when Yohannan and his wife, Gisela, launched their world-changing vision to share God’s love with those in Asia -- a vision featured in Yohannan’s groundbreaking book Revolution in World Missions, now with more than four million copies in print.   Yohannan’s heart was to “share the love of Christ” in Asia, not through the usual method of sending foreigners, but through national workers prepared to go anywhere, no matter the cost.   From humble origins in a Texas-based house group, GFA World has grown into one of the world’s biggest mission agencies, touching the lives of millions of Asia’s poor and partnering with thousands of indigenous workers.   “It’s been incredible to watch God move across Asia over the past four decades, allowing us to be his hands and feet to a broken generation,” Yohannan said, “and there’s much more to come.”   ###   GFA World is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at     POST COVID-19, AUSTRALIAN CEOs AND DIRECTORS OPTIMISTIC ON TECH AND SCIENCE - BUT CONCERNED ABOUT INVESTMENT AND GOVERNMENT PLANS 2020-06-29T20:47:20Z post-covid-19-australian-ceos-and-directors-optimistic-on-tech-and-science-but-concerned-about-investment-and-government-plans Sydney. 30 June 2020.   Futurologist & Author Rocky Scopelliti today released Australia 2030! Where the bloody hell are we?, a new Australian-first book on Australian professionals sentiment about the decade ahead, based on a major study conducted before and during the eye of the COVID-19 storm.   The study revealed that whilst 89 per cent of CEOs are positive about technological and scientific developments over the coming decade, 78 per cent were not confident that government has effective plans with industries for the economic, technological, social and cultural transformation over the coming decade. Additionally, during the COVID-19 period, 88 per cent became concerned that Australia is not investing enough in technological, scientific and skills development compared to other countries over the coming 10 years.   “One massive societal amygdala hijack” Scopelliti explains that people have hit pause on common sense.   “The speed, scale and impact of COVID-19 has left us knowing that not all decisions and choices made follow an orderly, predicable pathway”.     Australia 2030 explores ‘what’s on the other side’ and how do professionals feel about it. The research contrasts our views about the future and how they changed when the massive societal amygdala hijack set in. The insights centre on the collision of eight megatrends and predicts the future tipping points that collectively will define Australia politically, economically, environmentally, regionally, socially, trustworthily, knowledgably, scientifically and technologically over the coming decade.   “This programmatic decade will see major technological and scientific advances such as gene editing, artificial intelligence, nano technology and many more that will present us with many choices – perhaps some more profound than many decades before,” said Scopelliti. “But for many of those, going backwards or changing our minds will no longer be an option.”   Australia 2030 is a fascinating investigation of how Australian professionals are being affected by the 4th Industrial Revolution, how they're adapting to thrive within it and how companies can do the same. The research revealed that 31 per cent of CEOs don’t think their companies will be around in the next 10 years and that 53 per cent believe that leadership qualities such as values-led policy change, integrity, honesty, transparency, humility and accountability will be the most important for world leaders over the next 10 years.   In technology we trust, but not the systems and actors “With trust at its historical low, we have crossed the inflection point, upon which the question has changed from ‘who do we trust’ to ‘what do we trust’. The implications of this suggest that restoration of trust as it was bestowed, and to recipient actors in the past, is no longer a plausible pursuit, rather we will see the transition from placing our trust in governments, or other institutions to technology. The research found that 60 per cent of Australian professionals believe we will trust technology more than institutions such as government over the coming 10 years – even 31 per cent would trust decisions made by robot intelligence on their behalf,” said Scopelliti.   The 4th Industrial Revolution can be overwhelming. It is characterised by emerging technology breakthroughs, which have potentially highly disruptive effects in the areas of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials science, energy storage, blockchain and quantum computing.   In 2030, 68 per cent of Australian professionals anticipate there will be treatments for illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, ageing-longevity, physical disability and mental health and 74 per cent expect to reflect back on that technological and scientific advancements improved our future. However, geopolitically, we find ourselves socially, culturally, economically, technologically and scientifically divided and unclear on the impact of the Asian century with 76 per cent of CEOs either unsure or disagreeing that the world would be better led by Asia, than the past decade when it was led by Europe and the US.   Interpreting the surveys’ findings, Scopelliti advises:   With 86 per cent of Australian professionals feeling positive about the role of technological and scientific development over the coming decade, we need to get our ‘juvenescence’ on to keep pace with a world of accelerated change. We must learn to adapt just as quickly, again and again at the pace set by Asia.     “Transformation is not a one-time event, nor an end state. Those who understand the principle of adaptation, leverage their capacity to learn, evolve and thrive in a continuous state of youthfulness. Even corporates and institutions must embrace this juvenescence if they want to survive, remain relevant and achieve exponential growth,” said Scopelliti.   Scopelliti’s expertise and pioneering research into the confluence of demographic change with emerging digital technology has influenced the way we think about our social, cultural, economic and technological future. More than 150 boards and leadership teams – including Fortune 100 companies – seek his strategic advice annually.   About the Australia 2030 research:   It’s often said that hindsight is 2020. So, as the third decade of the new millennium kicks off, I put that wisdom to the test. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (in 2020), and with ground-breaking new research, Australia 2030, investigates Australian professionals’ attitudes towards the coming decade. These attitudes were formed the decade before and during a time when the nation’s and the world’s worst crisis since the last world war is unfolding.   The question of how to increase our capacity to adapt to a world of accelerated change, has been thrust upon all of us by COVID-19, and it will be the test of that wisdom that will define the society we will become in 2030. The central questions we are all searching for answers to are what to believe – who, what, how and where the bloody hell are we? which road do we take? and what is on the other side anyway?   By invitation, 673 Australian professionals (170 classified as CEOs, Chairman, Board Directors) participated in the quantitative and qualitative study conducted during January–April 2020 that is referred to as the Australia 2030 research. It considered our attitudes towards the decade ahead, including the following questions:   ·       How confident are we in the government’s plans for our future? ·       What issues do we predict will affect Australia and the world? ·       What qualities do we expect from our leaders? ·       What contribution do we want organisations to make in our society? ·       What are the priorities in their organisations today? ·       What is our place in the world and region? ·       How do they feel about demographic changes with the aging population and the rise of Millennials? ·       Who do they believe has the greatest role to play in making the world a better place? ·       What contribution do they believe businesses should be making to society? ·       What are our concerns about our jobs and the workplace? ·       Who do we trust to control our best interests? ·       How do we feel about the impact of technological & scientific developments on our personal, professional and family lives? ·       Are we optimistic or pessimistic about technological & scientific developments? ·       What parts of their life they expect will change the most in 2030 due to technological and scientific developments? ·       What do they think they will be experiencing in 2030? BALLARAT BOOKS, WARRNAMBOOL BOOKS AND LINK EDUCATIONAL REBRAND AS CAMPION EDUCATION 2020-06-29T04:30:10Z ballarat-books-warrnambool-books-and-link-educational-rebrand-as-campion-education The Campion Group continues to focus its strategy on growth, increasing its presence across Australia significantly over the last 5 years. Campion Education continues to focus on its core purpose of partnering with schools to help simplify the back-to-school process for their teachers, parents, and students each year, with substantial growth in digital and eBook services over time. It will be business as usual with Campion Education continuing to serve Ballarat Books, Warrnambool Books and Link Educational customers from four retail locations across Victoria including; Sebastopol, Federation University Ballarat, Warrnambool and Glen Waverley. The store in Armstrong St, Ballarat will be relocated to the Sebastopol location. Managing Director James Cathro said Campion Education was “excited to join forces with these three Victorian businesses and work towards uniting our strengths, learning from their successes and incorporating some of Campion Education’s market leading technology and 23 years’ experience in the education industry”. “We are pleased to have such a large number of excellent people joining us from these businesses who will provide a wealth of knowledge and experience in these markets, and assist us to merge our businesses, while continuing to support and serve our customers in the best way we can,” he said. Business changes will include the introduction of Campion Education’s market leading suite of digital services, assisting schools and students in determining and fulfilling their educational needs each year, combined seamlessly with their required physical books and stationery.   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 and 800,000 students with printed and digital resources from Australia’s widest range of publishers, as well as all forms of stationery and art supplies. ###