The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-02-23T23:36:07Z EZIFUNERALS PUTS CUSTOMERS FIRST WITH ITS ‘FAIR FUNERAL PROMISE’ 2020-02-23T23:36:07Z ezifunerals-puts-customers-first-with-its-fair-funeral-promise eziFunerals today reinforced its ongoing commitment to Australian customers with its ‘Fair Funeral Promise’ aimed at not exploiting bereaved people at their time of grief. The Fair Funeral Promise is an initiative run by eziFunerals to tackle the underlying causes of rising funeral prices. It is another example of eziFunerals always putting its customers first, so they can get a fair funeral. It is a free and voluntary commitment that: recognises funerals can be expensive and many people need fair and affordable options. helps people to find funerals that are within their means and budget. provides open and transparent funeral prices, including third party costs. Troy Upfield, Managing Director for Chapter House Funerals, Victoria said: “We had no hesitation in signing the Fair Funeral Promise. At Chapter House, we are committed to open and transparent pricing. Funeral affordability is a growing issue and it is absolutely key that we play our part to help tackle this. “Being the first independent funeral home to sign the Fair Funeral Promise highlights our long-term intentions in wanting to ensure that quality funerals remain both an accessible and affordable option.” Peter Erceg, Owner, eziFunerals, says:  “Funeral consumers in Australia have been clear in what they want from funeral directors and they have been clear about what they expect from us at eziFunerals. “People organising a funeral can be exploited at one of the most emotional and stressful times in their lives. Misleading sales practices, huge upfront costs and unclear fees are far too common, with thousands of dollars of ‘extras’ regularly added for items not wanted or needed by unwary consumers. That’s why eziFunerals only supports Independent Funeral Directors and not funeral brands owned by public listed companies. This initiative will build on the success we’ve had in recent years in growing consumer awareness and confidence in eziFunerals. This confidence is key attracting new customers by working with the independent funeral directors to make funerals more personal, affordable and community driven.” MEDIA RELEASE: Top Margaret River winemaker achieves carbon negative status 2020-02-20T02:40:01Z media-release-top-margaret-river-winemaker-achieves-carbon-negative-status Cullen Wines in Margaret River Western Australia is now ''carbon negative''. The company has offset its carbon emissions since 2006 and has successfully reduced its carbon footprint so that they take more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit. To compensate for their carbon emissions, Cullen Wines has been buying carbon credits which support tree planting in Carbon Neutral’s Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor 400km north of Perth. The distinguished winery is a leader in biodynamic, sustainable and solar-powered practices. Cullen Wines Managing Director and Chief Winemaker Vanya Cullen said the company's philosophy of "quality, integrity and sustainability" led it to approach carbon solutions provider Carbon Neutral. "It is the way forward and our little piece to balance carbon and climate change," Ms Cullen said. Carbon Neutral identified and calculated the emissions associated with Cullen's day to day operations. Tractor use, agricultural practices, air miles, packaging and freight, were among the components measured. Carbon Neutral Chief Executive Officer Ray Wilson said “the fact that Cullen Wines is now carbon negative is impressive. This is a great case study of how a business has reduced carbon intensity over time through production efficiencies and has now become 'carbon negative' through soil carbon sequestration.” Carbon Neutral studied the amount of organic carbon stored in the soil of Cullens’ 31ha vineyard over the five years from 2014. “Broadly, it is well recognised the amount of organic carbon stored in Australian soils could be increased by changing land management practices”, said Mr Wilson. “This will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase farm productivity and potentially create offsets.” Moves towards reducing – or even eliminating – a carbon footprint align with the West Australian State Government’s push for WA farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture practices, said Mr Wilson. The Government estimates land degradation to cost WA's agricultural production sector more than $2 billion each year. Cullen Wines implemented dedicated changes, including intensive soil management and composting alongside the existing biodynamic methods. The amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) at testing sites on the Wilyabrup winery indicate that soil in the ground has increased more than 2602 tonnes between 2014 and 2019, on average 520 tonnes a year. Wine critic and writer Ray Jordan said Cullen Wines’ focus on environmental benchmarks is to be commended. “By any measure, winemaker Vanya Cullen’s decision to adopt a rigorous biodynamics approach in the vineyard and winery, together with other environmentally sound initiatives aimed it eliminating carbon footprint, has been a resounding success,” Mr Jordan said. “But it is in the quality and consistency of the wines that the impact is most profound. The flagship Diana Madeline is among Margaret River’s elite cabernets with its brightness and energy features of the biodynamic approach. The chardonnays share a similar status with the purity and precision capturing the best of this variety.” “This has really opened our eyes to what you can do,” said Mr Wilson. “The numbers around soil carbon achieved by Cullen’s has astounded us.” Cullen Wine’s environmental success shows how reducing an organisation's carbon footprint without compromising mission or profit is within reach. Ms Cullen urges fellow growers and producers to “go carbon neutral now”.   BACKGROUND • Carbon Neutral aims to reduce and repair the consequences of the impact of the human race on the planet. • Carbon Neutral works with organisations to help them minimise their impact on the environment by measuring, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. • The Carbon Neutral group has planted more than 30 million trees. • A tonne of organic carbon equates to 3.67 tonnes of carbon dioxide drawn out of the atmosphere. • Cullen Wines was established in 1971 and moved to total organic viticulture in 1998. • In 2004, the Cullen Vineyard became certified A Grade Biodynamic by the BFA of Australia and its Mangan Vineyard and Winery was certified in 2008. • The first major goal of the revived Soil and Land Conservation Council in 2019 was to implement the draft State Soil Health Strategy, addressing key soil issues in WA such as salinity and soil carbon. • Action on climate change was a prominent subject covered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month.   Phishing attacks and government surveillance concerns top new Ponemon Institute cyber report by Yubico 2020-02-19T23:34:08Z phishing-attacks-and-government-surveillance-concerns-top-new-cyber-report-by-yubico Yubico, the leading provider of hardware authentication security keys, today announced results of the company’s second annual State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report, conducted by the Ponemon Institute. Ponemon Institute surveyed 2,507 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as 563 individual users.  One of the key findings from Australia is that organisations are most concerned about the privacy and security of personal data.  The Report found that IT security practitioners and individuals are both engaging in risky password and authentication practices, yet expectation and reality are often misaligned when it comes to the implementation of usable and desirable security solutions. The tools and processes that organizations put in place are not widely adopted by employees or customers, making it abundantly clear that new technologies are needed for enterprises and individuals to reach a safer future together. “IT professional or not, people do not want to be burdened with security — it has to be usable, simple, and work instantly,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and Co-Founder, Yubico. “For years, achieving a balance between high security and ease of use was near impossible, but new authentication technologies are finally bridging the gap. With the availability of passwordless login and security keys, it’s time for businesses to step up their security options. Organizations can do far better than passwords; in fact, users are demanding it.” Key Australian findings from this research include: ·       All individuals surveyed (globally) are especially concerned when it comes to government surveillance (65%) and protecting details of their health status (53%).  ·        Almost half of Australian organisations surveyed have experienced a phishing attack (47%) or ransomware attack (13%), with 52% saying their organisation changed their password practices following an attack.  ·       64% of Australian organisations have a password policy for their employees however only 36% said this policy was strictly enforced.  Global findings included: ·       Individuals report better security practices in some instances compared to IT professionals. Out of the 35% of individuals who report that they have been victim of an account takeover, 76% changed how they managed their passwords or protected their accounts. Of the 20% of IT security respondents who have been a victim of an account takeover, 65% changed how they managed their passwords or protected their accounts. Both individuals and IT security respondents have reused passwords on an average of 10 of their personal accounts, but individual users (39%) are less likely to reuse passwords across workplace accounts than IT professionals (50%). ·       Fifty-one percent of IT security respondents say their organisations have experienced a phishing attack, with another 12% of respondents stating that their organisations experienced credential theft, and 8% say it was a man-in-the-middle attack. Yet, only 53% of IT security respondents say their organisations have changed how passwords or protected corporate accounts were managed. Interestingly enough, individuals reuse passwords across an average of 16 workplace accounts and IT security respondents say they reuse passwords across an average of 12 workplace accounts. ·       Additionally, mobile use is on the rise. Fifty-five percent of IT security respondents report that the use of personal mobile devices is permitted at work and an average of 45% of employees in the organisations represented are using their mobile device for work. Alarmingly, 62% of IT security respondents say their organisations don’t take necessary steps to protect information on mobile phones. Fifty-one percent of individuals use their personal mobile device to access work related items, and of these, 56% don’t use 2FA. ·       Given the complexities of securing a modern, mobile workforce, organisations struggle to find simple, yet effective ways of protecting employee access to corporate accounts. Roughly half of all respondents (49% of IT security and 51% of Individuals) share passwords with colleagues to access business accounts. Fifty-nine percent of IT security respondents report that their organisation relies on human memory to manage passwords, while 42% say sticky notes are used. Only 31% of IT security respondents say that their organisation uses a password manager, which are effective tools to securely create, manage, and store passwords. ·       IT security respondents say they are most concerned about protecting customer information and personally identifiable information (PII). However, 59% of IT security respondents say customer accounts have been subject to an account takeover. Despite this, 25% of IT security respondents say their organisations have no plans to adopt 2FA for customers. Of these 25% of IT security respondents, 60% say their organisations believe usernames and passwords provide sufficient security and 47% say their organisations are not going to provide 2FA because it will affect convenience by adding an extra step during login. When businesses are choosing to protect customer accounts and data, the 2FA options that are used most often do not offer adequate protection for users. ·       IT security respondents report that SMS codes (41%), backup codes (40%), or mobile authentication apps (37%) are the three main 2FA methods that they support or plan to support for customers. SMS codes and mobile authenticator apps are typically tied to only one device. Additionally, only 23 percent of Individuals find 2FA methods like SMS and mobile authentication apps to be very inconvenient. A majority of Individuals rate security (56 percent), and affordability (57 percent), and ease of use (35 percent) as very important. ·       It is clear that new technologies are needed for enterprises and individuals to reach a safer future together. Across the board, passwords are cumbersome, mobile use introduces a new set of security challenges, and the security tools that organisations have put in place are not being widely adopted by employees or customers. In fact, 49% of individuals say that they would like to improve the security of their accounts and have already added extra layers of protection beyond a username and password. However, 56% of individuals will only adopt new technologies that are easy to use and significantly improve account security. Here’s what is preferred: biometrics, security keys, and password-free login. ·       A majority of IT security respondents and individuals (55%) would prefer a method of protecting accounts that doesn’t involve passwords. Both IT security (65%) and individual users (53%) believe the use of biometrics would increase the security of their organisation or accounts. And lastly, 56% of individuals and 52% of IT security professionals believe a hardware token would offer better security. Data for this survey was collected by Ponemon Institute on behalf of Yubico. Ponemon Institute was responsible for data collected, data analysis and reporting. Ponemon Institute and Yubico collaborated on the survey questionnaire. All survey responses were captured October 24 to November 15, 2019. To download the complete report and associated infographic, visit yubico.com/authentication-report-2020. Uniden releases new high-end series of ultra-compact, smart dash cams 2020-02-19T21:48:50Z uniden-releases-new-high-end-series-of-ultra-compact-smart-dash-cams Uniden is releasing two new high-end series of ultra-compact smart dash cams built for bright and low-light conditions with the DV30 featuring a 2.5k Video Resolution Front Camera and Full HD 30fps rear camera on the DV30R, with both providing a 140-degree wide angle lens. The media release and high-res images are available to download here. Please let me know if you'd like further details or product for review. Kind Regards, John Wanna, Consultant, Write Away Communication Sydney | Brisbane | Alstonville Ph: +61 2 9978 1400 www.writeaway.com.au    GFA World Highlights Lent Season, Calls Christians to Pray for Coronavirus Crisis 2020-02-19T03:11:05Z gfa-world-highlights-lent-season-calls-christians-to-pray-for-coronavirus-crisis TOOWOOMBA, QLD -- As the global coronavirus crisis continues to escalate, mission agency GFA World, today challenged Christians to pray and fast for divine intervention during the upcoming Lent season.   Unveiling a new devotional website for Lent 2020, https://www.gfaau.org/press/lent/, GFA World called Christians to pray and fast for others who are suffering -- including those impacted by the deadly coronavirus outbreak, victims of sex trafficking, children enslaved in forced labour, and others suffering cruel injustice.   Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, focusing on fasting, repentance, and charity. Many Christians who observe Lent refrain from eating certain foods such as meat for a period of time, using the cash savings to help others in need. Others voluntarily give up an activity they enjoy, and instead use the time to pray and encourage others.   “Our world today desperately needs God’s intervention and grace,” said Danny Yohannan, GFA World vice-president. “The Lenten season is a purposeful opportunity in which we seek God and ask Him to give us His heart for the suffering people of the world. At this time, it’s especially important and appropriate to pray for His mercy upon all those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as other tragedies such as sex trafficking and exploitive labour.”   The coronavirus is just one of many critical issues facing the world today. Billions of people around the world are surrounded by rampant poverty, hunger, disease, and sexual exploitation, leaving them with no hope.   “Lent is a time when we can choose to make a simple sacrifice to embrace a cause that is close to the heart of God,” said Yohannan. “Tangible actions and conscious choices we make during the season of Lent should bring us closer to Jesus, help us to become more like Him, and provide us with a real opportunity to be Christ’s hands to those who need to know He loves them.”   One Billion Adherents According to estimates, this year more than a billion Christians around the world will observe Lent. The Lenten tradition is practiced by the majority of Christians globally.   “Many Christians are rediscovering the richness of the Lenten tradition, and are growing closer to Jesus through self-denial, sacrificial giving, fasting, and times of fervent prayer,” Yohannan said.   “There are beautiful elements of this Christian tradition that are important to hold on too.  Observing Lent is a hands-on way to help our hearts recapture the reverence and holy awe of God in our lives.”   GFA World has produced a booklet titled The Seasons of Lent: Stepping Stones to Spiritual Renewal and Growth, authored by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, president of the Texas-based agency that he founded in 1979 to help Asia’s extreme poor. The booklet -- a practical guide to observing Lent -- is available free at https://www.gfaau.org/press/lent.    ###   GFA World (GFA, www.gfaau.org) is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear the "good news" of Jesus Christ. In GFA World’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 4,000 clean water wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 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 https://press.gfa.org/news.       MedAdvisor appoints Former Xero MD and Tech Investor Chris Ridd as Board Chair 2020-02-19T01:09:27Z medadvisor-appoints-former-xero-md-and-tech-investor-chris-ridd-as-board-chair For Immediate Release  Melbourne February 2020 -- MedAdvisor Limited, Australia’s leading digital medication management company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Ridd as a Non-Executive director of the company and its new Chair of the Board. Chris replaces Mr Peter Bennetto who will continue to support the transition as a Non-Executive Director of MedAdvisor.  As MedAdvisor forges ahead with its global expansion plans and growth, the board has decided to bring in new capabilities to support this phase of growth. With more than 30 years working in the technology sector, including 15 years at Microsoft and Australian Managing Director at cloud accounting company, Xero, Ridd has the right skills to help the company navigate its next phase of growth. Including scaling the platform, attracting talent and driving performance.  Robert Read, CEO of MedAdvisor, said: “MedAdvisor is growing internationally with a strong tech platform. Having great people around who have highly relevant experience is critical to our ability to execute on the strategy we have set. We are ecstatic to have Chris appointed to our board and lead the company as Chairman. He brings with him extensive experience as a tech leader with a track record scaling high growth businesses. We are looking forward to working with Chris to take MedAdvisor’s health tech platform through its next stage of growth on a much larger, global scale.” Chris Ridd – Non- Executive Director and Chair (Incoming), commented: “My passion for backing Australian-built technology and helping it reach its full potential is what I’ve built my career on and it’s what has drawn me to MedAdvisor. I’m excited to be joining MedAdvisor as the Chair of the Board and intend on guiding the business as it scales globally, working closely with the management and the board to execute and expand the company’s growth in the global health market.” MedAdvisor thanks Peter for his contribution to the company’s growth. He has been instrumental in steering MedAdvisor from a small start-up in 2015 to now where the company has achieved 60% of the pharmacy market share. Under his tenure as Chairman, the Company has made significant advances in its world leading technology and has achieved growth in total revenues of 73% (CAGR) since FY2016.  Peter Bennetto – Chairman (Outgoing) and Non-Executive Director stated: “I am delighted that Chris will join us and Chair MedAdvisor. I have thoroughly enjoyed leading a business that helps people every day and I am looking forward to working closely with Chris along with the leadership team at Medadvisor and my fellow board members as MedAdvisor expands internationally.”  Ridd currently holds Non-Executive Director positions with private equity backed technology businesses, Compass Education, SalesPreso, Moula and myprosperity.   ---ENDS---For more information   Jennifer Duraisingam Corporate Communications Manager Tel: +61 3 9095 3036 jenniferd@medadvisor.com.au   About  About MedAdvisor MedAdvisor is a world class medication management platform focused on addressing the gap and burden of medication adherence. Founded with a desire to simplify medication management, the highly automated and intuitive Australian software system connects patients to medication related tools and education materials from their community pharmacy. Available free on mobile and internet devices, the platform also incorporates a variety of valuable and convenient features including reminders, pre-ordering of medications and medicines information, which together has been shown to improve adherence to chronic medications by ~20%. Since launching in 2013, MedAdvisor has connected over one million users through ~ 60% of Australian pharmacies and a network of thousands of GPs across Australia, and in 2018 was recognised in the AFR Fast 100. Rural Aid with APT Travel Group to deliver approximately 326 hay bales to Jingellic, NSW farmers 2020-02-18T06:11:12Z rural-aid-with-apt-travel-group-to-deliver-approximately-326-hay-bales-to-jingellic-nsw-farmers Five road trains loaded with approximately 326 bales of hay, valued at $75,000, will roll into Jingellic on Wednesday, 19 February, bringing relief to 27 local farmers. The Jingellic hay drop is thanks to the generosity of the APT Travel Group and their agents at Focus Travel Vietnam and Focus Travel Cambodia. In 2019, APT Travel Group, through their One Tomorrow Charitable Fund Foundation, raised over $50,000 through donations and workplace giving for our Aussie farmers. Added to this, when APT Travel Group’s agents, Focus Travel – based in Vietnam and Cambodia – heard of the devastation caused by the Australian bushfires, they also rallied to help their regional neighbours. Focus Travel Vietnam and Cambodia employees and their industry contacts raised $3500 to assist our Aussie farmers impacted by bushfires. Rural Aid’s Business Development Manager in Victoria, Nicole Whelan thanked APT Travel Group, their One Tomorrow Charitable Fund and Focus Travel Vietnam and Cambodia for their generosity in supporting our Aussie farmers experiencing hardship caused by our natural disasters. “APT Travel Group have been a great support to Rural Aid and our Aussie farmers through their generous donation and their employees stepping up to volunteer at the recent Hay Mate concert held in Victoria,” Nicole Whelan said. “I look forward to continuing this relationship with them in whatever capacity they decide to assist our Aussie farmers and their communities impacted by drought, fire and in some areas – flood.” Focus Travel Vietnam and Cambodia have been agents for APT Travel Group for over 10 years and many Australian travellers have utilised their expertise when travelling in South East Asia. “Their Australian bushfire relief story, below, is a wonderful story of empathy and generosity towards a nation experiencing hardship caused by natural disasters,” Nicole Whelan said. “A nation that has supported Vietnam and Cambodia through tourism and many other avenues, which is now being supported in return.” Rural Aid Counsellor, Glenda Carter, will also be attending the APT Travel Group hay drop at Jingellic. OneTomorrow Vietnam & Cambodia Bushfire Relief Story “When you eat the fruit, be grateful to the planter.” Popular Vietnamese proverb. In the wake of disaster, hope can spring from the most unexpected of places. 2019 saw the beginnings of Australia’s worst bushfire season to date with fires burning well into the new year. The devastation rallied Australians to raise money to support those affected by the natural disaster, as well as emergency services and volunteer organisations. This compassion extended beyond our borders, to our friends over in Vietnam and Cambodia. Those who, while not directly affected by the fires, felt the nation’s pain as though it was their own. Donations were raised by the staff at Focus Travel Vietnam and Focus Travel Cambodia, as well as current and former Tour Directors and local guides in these countries. Together, the Vietnam and Cambodia team raised an incredible $3500 AUD. Special mentions must be made of Focus Travel Cambodia, who responded instantly to the cause. Also, to Focus Travel Vietnam’s director Minh and employee Nhan, who were the driving forces behind the wonderful effort made by the Vietnam office. When asked, staff of Focus Travel Vietnam were emphatic that this was all Nhan’s initiative. From a young age, Nhan has lived by the popular Vietnamese proverb, “When you eat the fruit, be grateful to the planter.” It’s all about a mindful way of living with gratitude. Now, as a mother of two, Nhan’s philanthropic ethos is mirrored by her two children. Often, Nhan and her sons visit children’s centres to show their support for kids in need. Described as having a heart “as big as a whale”, upon seeing much of Australia in a state of emergency and holding a deep appreciation for APT Travel Group (ATG) as her employer, Nhan felt she had to help. So, after mobilising her colleagues and inspiring Minh, Nhan was able to pull together an impressive portion of the overall donation. Minh made the largest contribution on behalf of Focus Travel Vietnam, by pledging to triple all donations raised by the Vietnam office. Minh will be in the Melbourne ATG office on 17th February to personally hand in the money raised by the Cambodia and Vietnam offices. Our gratitude towards Nhan and our friends over in Vietnam and Cambodia cannot be expressed enough. Generosity shown by those who, despite their circumstances and the oceans of distance between them and the bushfires, still rallied together for a country in crisis and opened their hearts. About Rural Aid Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au/snapshots for Rural Aid’s latest assistance statistics. Follow Rural Aid for updates on:FB: @ruralaidaustralia | @buyabaleofhayIN: Rural Aid LtdTW: @ruralaidaust | @buyabale On-site contact: Nicole Whelan - Rural Aid Business Development Manager Victoria - 0408 593 348 Craig James - OneTomorrow Charitable Fund (APT Travel Group) - 0423 121 711 ENDS Education Perfect’s technology minimising impact on 100 Coronavirus affected schools in China 2020-02-17T20:57:48Z education-perfect-s-technology-minimising-impact-on-100-coronavirus-affected-schools-in-china As a leading global education software provider, EP's online learning tool is already helping support over 100 schools in China affected by the Coronavirus.  Seeing a dramatic increase in support calls from impacted schools using the platform in South East Asia and China, EP launched a taskforce to help aid schools in need. EP is also looking at ways to assist schools currently not using the platform during this uncertain time. EP’s Head of Community, Tim Vaughan, highlighted the urgency of the situation in the region - “This is unprecedented and many schools are now having to navigate the delivery of their lessons entirely online. EP presents a unique opportunity for schools to elevate the roles of their teachers through rich data and insights, whilst providing students with an engaging and effective learning experience remotely. Plugging directly into a school's existing Learning Management System, schools can minimise the impact of the current disruptions.”  Currently used by over 1 million students across 1,800 schools, as a cloud-based software, EP enables schools to deliver curriculum-aligned lessons and assessments remotely. By allowing teachers to monitor and measure how students are engaging with their learning in real time, teachers can maximise their efficacy - even in a remote setting.    The impact of learning in a remote setting was highlighted by EP’s recent engagement with the  ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) Group. With their Spring Leadership Conference postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, member schools have had the opportunity to access EP and continue their teaching and learning online. The response was overwhelmingly positive which only highlighted the need to make EP available for more schools.  EP are a New Zealand-based organisation, originally started by Craig and Shane Smith, two brothers who were struggling with their learning at school, with the platform now being used in 27 countries around the world.   “Being able to support schools who are affected by these disruptions is very much in the Kiwi spirit. This commitment is a small reflection of the investment teachers are putting into the lives of students everyday. It is great to see technology and the EP platform helping to solve this global problem.” - CEO, Alex Burke. Schools, organisations and governments who are being affected by Coronavirus disruptions are encouraged to register for further details. epforlearning.com   GFA World Christmas Gifts bring Hope and Transformation 2020-02-17T03:23:48Z gfa-world-christmas-gifts-bring-hope-and-transformation TOOWOOMBA, QLD - GFA World (www.gfaau.org), for fourteen years, together with many friends around the globe, has had the privilege of blessing thousands of families in impoverished communities with Christmas gifts: like cows, chickens, sewing machines, tool kits, goats, bicycles and water filters -- gifts that break the cycle of poverty and show Christ's love. In 2018 alone, 241,732 families were touched with a special gift and their lives will never be the same! Be encouraged by these stories of hope and transformation:   Francis and his wife, Shanti, received a goat for Christmas in 2008. He is a leper and is not able to work. Their goat had a kid a few months later. They grew their goatherd, sold milk and eventually were able to sell goats.   Mankumari was one of the beneficiaries who received a cow as a Christmas gift in 2006. The following years Mankumari was able to make lots of profit as the cow started to give birth to calves. Today, Mankumari sells over 21 litres of milk everyday and has six cows.   Ranjita had learned tailoring but was not able to buy a sewing machine as her family struggled from financial limitation. Rajnita says now she can make some money from stitching clothes using the sewing machine she received at a GFA gift distribution.   Tavish dreamed for years of leading his family out of poverty, and when he received a cow as a gift, he saw that dream unfold. The income Tavish earned through his cow enabled him to enroll his kids in school, establish the family's home in a permanent location and even buy goats to expand his livelihood. Because of his simple cow, Tavish's family is walking out of poverty, and his life testifies to his community of God's love and compassion!   Here are more encouraging stories from people impacted by GFA's Christmas catalogue gifts!   Other small gifts with a BIG impact include: • Mosquito Net - Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquito nets save lives and offer a restful night's sleep, free from the sting of disease-laden mosquitoes. • Pull Cart - Enable families to carry their wares wherever potential customers gather. Pull cart recipients are able to grow their existing businesses or even start new ones! • Fishing Net - Thousands of people in Asia rely on fishing to feed their families. The people who receive these fishing nets can cast them upon the waters every day and sell the fish they catch in local markets. • Tin Roof - Roofs made of thatch are a common sight across Asia, but they don't offer good protection from annual monsoon rains, which means families must spend precious resources repairing or replacing their possessions. These lightweight, sturdy tin roofs give needy families a safe, dry place to call home. • BioSand Water Filter - Many people in Asia do not have clean water, and as a result, they battle waterborne illnesses—or even succumb to death. Constructed of concrete, sand and rocks, BioSand Water Filters remove 98 percent of biological impurities. They provide safe water for drinking and cooking for a family and often for the neighbours too! The clean water will improve health and hygiene and will give peace of mind—all of which are expressions of Christ's care.   Each of the items in the Gifts for the Poor category is truly a gift of compassion. Some gifts generate income for years to come, while others meet immediate practical needs and could save lives. In addition, recipients have a chance to experience the redemptive love of Jesus—the best gift they could ever receive.   Watch "Christmas Gift Distribution - Saving Lives through Donors' Gifts" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0wiJGvgKkw   From our GFA family to yours, wishing you a very blessed and Merry Christmas and a joyous and peaceful New Year in the Lord!   Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, GFA World (www.gfaau.org) is a leading faith-based humanitarian and mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions, especially to those who have yet to hear the "good news" of Jesus Christ. In 2018, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,100 villages and remote communities, over 4,700 wells drilled, over 11,400 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 240,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.   Coronavirus protection now available 2020-02-15T06:48:21Z coronavirus-protection-now-available-1 A spray has been developed that leaves a protective barrier against Coronavirus, Influenza, Gastro and many other infections. It is available as a hand sanitiser, surface spray and room fumigant.  Coronavirus is not only contracted when you come into contact with someone who is infected with it, you are far more likely to contract it by touching a surface that an infected person has sneezed upon or touched.  According to a National Geographic article “How coronavirus spreads on a plane”, surfaces can remain infected for months. BITRE Aviation Statistics indicate there are over 100 million people passing through Australian airports each year, so there is a very high risk of infectious viruses spreading via surface contamination.  The spray that Mission Control HQ have developed not only kills Coronavirus, Influenza and other viruses, it also bonds to the surface and continues to kill any new pathogens it is exposed to for days, weeks, even months. Disinfectants kill germs but within minutes the surface can become infected again, when someone else with unclean hands touches it. Introducing the first Hospital Grade Disinfectant and Germ Barrier. A natural and eco-friendly product made in Australia and affectionately called “Nuke”. Nuke™ bonds to surfaces, then penetrates and ‘explodes’ germs that come into contact with it. Use the spray on surfaces that get touched by many, to protect everyone that touches it. Use the atomiser on hands, for personal protection, or to clean touch screens that are shared. Because you never know how clean things are. Also available as a concentrate which can be used as strong cleaning product, a room fumigant or as refills for the spray and atomiser (dilution ratios are on the bottle). Beaming with Love for Valentine’s Day 2020-02-13T06:04:20Z beaming-with-love-for-valentine-s-day Media Release Friday, 14 February Beaming with Love for Valentine’s Day  win a $250 Valentine’s Day Meal for two     Beam e-scooters is giving its riders a chance to win a $250 meal for two by sharing the love this Valentine’s day.    Riders just need to go to Beam’s instagram feeds (@Beam.Auckland,  or @beamchristchurch) follow Beam and scroll down to the comments and tag the person they would like to take for a romantic spin on Friday.  Beam will then send the subject of affection a $5 free Beam credit voucher.    In addition, riders who post a picture of themselves and their beloved riding Beam scooters (one each, no riding on the same scooter now!) on #BeamLoveRides go into the draw to win a $250 voucher for a meal for two anywhere in their city.    Beam Community Manager Adam Rossetto said that following the official launch of Beam Auckland last week and the launch of its Beam Safe Academy, the Valentine’s Day promotion would be the first of many special offers for Beam riders in that city.    “It’s just our way of saying thanks to our riders for their support, and giving a little bit back. “   “Taking a ride into the sunset is a lovely way to spend a Valentine’s Day, so all you need to do is follow us on insta and tag the person you want to share a ride with and we’ll reward them with Beam credits. If you post a photo of yourself and your preferred dinner companion on Beam scooters on #BeamLoveRides you could win a dinner voucher for $250.“   “We will be planning many more promotions for our riders to show how much we appreciate their support and to make Beam number one in New Zealand”, Mr Rossetto concluded.        Terms and Conditions ⠀ This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook. T's & C's can be found by clicking on our bio on Instagram.     Media contacts: Brad Kitschke Head of Public Affairs ANZ  +61403809630 brad@ridebeam.com  Adam Rossetto Community Manager +61 402 766 404 adam@ridebeam.com  BuzzFeed Partners with BIG W to bring Tasty cookware to Australia 2020-02-13T03:26:56Z buzzfeed-partners-with-big-w-to-bring-tasty-cookware-to-australia  BIG W and Tasty today unveiled an exclusive new line of kitchen products, bringing the fun, ease and accessibility of Tasty’s signature recipes to consumers across Australia. Featuring all the tools necessary to prepare Tasty’s recipes at home, the brightly coloured cookware range is made up of over 28 affordable products, starting from just $8, and includes non-stick cookware to high-quality bakeware to kitchen gadgets, and more. According to Teresa Rendo, GM Commercial, BIG W customers are keen to create great food at home using quality products, without the high-end price tag of many cookware brands: “Tasty’s affordable new kitchenware is ideal for customers moving out for the first time, or who want to upgrade their current cookware. The non-stick and easy to clean silicone finishes will help make cooking a breeze, whilst the pops of colour will brighten any home!”  BIG W’s focus on practical solutions that inspire aligns perfectly with Tasty’s mission of making cooking fun and accessible for beginners and experienced cooks alike, with Matt Drinkwater, Head of International at BuzzFeed commenting: “We’re so proud to partner with BIG W to launch our first cookware line in Australia. The exciting Tasty kitchen range expands the brand far beyond social media feeds, and brings it into people’s homes with products they’ll love.” Tasty reaches over 325 million people globally and can be viewed across social platforms including Facebook, YouTube and TikTok; through Tasty.co and the Tasty app. The growing Tasty portfolio includes additional brands Proper Tasty, Tasty Demais, Tasty Miam, Einfach Tasty, Tasty Japan, Bien Tasty, Tasty Vegetarian, Tasty Grill, and Tasty Jr. BIG W understands that every day’s a big day and offers many convenient ways to shop, including same day free Pick up and online delivery, as well as payment options such as Afterpay and Zip Pay. For more information, visit www.bigw.com.au  ENDS Images can be downloaded here. Mind Medicine Australia celebrates its first anniversary - A year of many achievements, exciting new developments in the pipeline, and special film events in Melbourne and Byron Bay 2020-02-12T20:05:46Z mind-medicine-australia-celebrates-its-first-anniversary Mind Medicine Australia (MMA), one of the nation’s most progressive mental health charities, celebrates its first anniversary today on Thursday, 13 February 2020. The organisation was established for the development of research-backed and regulatory-approved Medicine-Assisted Therapy—that is, psilocybin and MDMA assisted psychotherapies—in Australia. It’s been a fast-paced year for MMA, and packed with numerous achievements, several of which have paved the way for new and exciting advances for Medicine-Assisted Therapy in 2020. These include Australia’s inaugural International Summit on Psychedelic Therapies for Mental Illness coming to Melbourne this November, the country’s first Medicine-Assisted Therapist Training Program, and the planning of an Asia-Pacific Centre of Psychedelic Medicine in Australia. To mark the first-anniversary milestone, two special film events will take place on Wednesday, 19 February, at Cinema Nova in Melbourne. After its premiere screening sold out last year, Trip of Compassion, the highly acclaimed Israeli documentary that follows PTSD patients undertaking MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, returns for an encore showing at 6.30pm. The equally popular Fantastic Fungi, an eye-opening exploration of the complex and healing nature of the mushroom world, screens separately at 7.15 pm. Both films will be followed by a Q & A, with a panel featuring Peter Hunt AM and Tania de Jong AM, co-founders of MMA, along with Renee Harvey, a clinical psychologist from Imperial College London and psychiatrist Dr Nigel Strauss. Next month, Trip of Compassion will premiere in Byron Bay on Saturday, 7 March, at 8 pm at the Byron Theatre. A Q & A will follow the screening with a panel that includes Steve McDonald, a local army veteran who has been successfully treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. For bookings, visit mindmedicineaustralia.org/events/. Peter Hunt AM, Chair of MMA, says there is much to celebrate on the organisation’s first anniversary: “10 educational events rolled out nationally to over 2000 people,  40 pieces of editorial coverage in the media, 50 appearances by our team at outreach events, and more than 80 regular financial donors secured. MMA has been enormously successful so far in raising awareness and support for Medicine-Assisted Therapy in Australia.  As we begin our second year of operations, and as our vision continues to grow, we ask the public, government, medical community and corporate leaders for further help, so that we can move several steps closer to making this treatment available to the millions of Australians suffering from mental illnesses.” Tania de Jong AM, Executive Director of MMA, agrees that significant progress has been made over the past year in fostering public approval for the availability of Medicine-Assisted Psychotherapy in Australia. “We have seen a tide-change in the curiosity about the use of these therapies for depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, dementia and other mental illnesses. In response to this mounting public interest, we have worked closely with key stakeholders to expedite several initiatives that will help to introduce Psilocybin-assisted and MDMA-assisted psychotherapies in Australia as quickly as possible, and to keep them affordable, so that their cost is not a barrier to their accessibility." MMA is a funding partner for Australia’s first Medicine-Assisted Therapy clinical trial at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. The study has seen participating palliative care patients experiencing end-of-life anxiety and depression being given psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound derived from what is colloquially known as magic mushrooms, in conjunction with psychotherapy in a clinically controlled environment. This landmark research has set an important precedent for the mental health sector in Australia, enabling more clinical trials of Medicine-Assisted Therapy to follow at major Australian institutions soon. Australia’s inaugural International Summit on Psychedelic Therapies for Mental Illness will be hosted by MMA from 19–20 November at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, bringing together healthcare professionals, scientists, academics, philanthropists, lawmakers, policy leaders, businesspeople, investors and consumers. The two-day event will feature a wide-ranging program with a mix of international and local keynotes, workshops, hot spots, panel conversations, and a gala dinner with Q & A. The speakers’ line-up will feature 14 international researchers and thought leaders, alongside Mind Medicine Australia Ambassadors. Early bird tickets are on sale now at summit.mindmedicineaustralia.org The first-ever Medicine-Assisted Therapist Training Program in Australia will begin with a workshop in Melbourne between 16–17 November. The course will be conducted by leading practitioners from the US and UK for qualified healthcare professionals who are eager to gain a detailed understanding of this ground-breaking treatment for mental illnesses. The full training program will commence in 2021, and graduates will be well-positioned to meet the demand for Medicine-Assisted Therapy in the likelihood that it becomes available in Australia in the coming years. For more information, visit mindmedicineaustralia.org/psychedelic-therapist-training-program/ MMA is thrilled to be developing partnerships with Imperial College London and John Hopkins University in the US to develop an Asia-Pacific Centre of Psychedelic Medicine in Australia. While planning for the centre has only just begun, MMA can reveal it will be the first of its kind in this country and is envisioned to be a world-class institution for the region. More information will come later in 2020. The development of Medicine-Assisted Therapies utilising Psilocybin and MDMA in Australia follows international research that has been so successful that the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted them Breakthrough Therapy Status. The FDA has created Expanded Access Schemes to allow people in need to undertake these therapies ahead of the conclusion of clinical trials and is expected to give full regulatory approval for these treatments in the US soon. Visit mindmedicineaustralia.org for more information about our quest to introduce Medicine-Assisted Therapy to Australia.For all media enquiries, including interviews and images, please contact:Brad Grimshaw, Communications Consultant E: brad@mindmedicineaustralia.org  M: 0476 230 970Tania de Jong AM, Executive DirectorE: tania@mindmedicineaustralia.org  M: 0411 459 999 ATO has a new weapon to counter unauthorised tax debts, SME funder warns business owners 2020-02-12T02:31:04Z ato-has-a-new-weapon-to-counter-unauthorised-tax-debts-sme-funder-warns-business-owners February 12, 2020 - Using the ATO ‘as a bank’ by not paying tax commitments on time comes with new risks for SMEs, national business funder Scottish Pacific has warned. Scottish Pacific senior executive Wayne Smith said many business owners are not yet aware of laws passed late last year allowing the Australian Taxation Office to disclose SMEs’ tax debt to credit reporting bureaus. The new rules allow the ATO to report an SME to credit rating agencies if: that business owes more than $100,000 in tax has an ABN is more than 90 days in arrears  and doesn’t have a payment arrangement in place or being negotiated.  Mr Smith said the new law provides even more incentive for businesses not to run up debts with the ATO. “Traditionally, many SMEs have used the ATO almost like a ‘line of credit’ by not paying their commitments on time,” Mr Smith said. “It’s not the best option but if a business is tight for cash they often make a decision to pay other creditors and delay paying the ATO, thinking they will eventually put a payment arrangement in place.  “This action will now likely have an adverse impact on credit ratings and credit insurance limits, making it harder to maintain or extend credit terms with suppliers.” Details on the new credit reporting law are here. Scottish Pacific’s most recent SME Growth Index research found that more than a quarter of SMEs (27.8%) say meeting tax payments on time would create cash flow difficulties for their business. Mr Smith said during the GFC years the ATO showed leniency in allowing businesses to run up tax obligations, as they didn’t want to be seen as putting SMEs out of business in such a tough economic environment. This leniency is now being systematically reined in. “Years ago, the ATO had one blunt instrument – if you don’t meet obligations and there was no payment arrangement in place, the only option was to wind up the business,” he said. “Then the DPN (Directors’ Penalty Notice) was introduced, effectively making directors personally liable for unauthorised company tax debts. Now, with this new initiative, the message is clear: the ATO is no longer prepared to be viewed as a line of credit.”  “With forecasts for a poor economic outlook in 2020, if ever there was a time to make sure you have a sustainable funding structure in place for your business, that time is now.”   Time to get the right funding in place for SMEs Mr Smith encouraged business owners to use the post-Christmas, pre-February BAS time to take the opportunity to consider their cash flow management and working capital arrangements. “We’d encourage business owners to invest time with their funder, whether it be a non-bank like Scottish Pacific or a bank, or with their broker or accountant, to really consider what is the most appropriate form of funding for their business situation, and get that funding in place so they don’t end up on the wrong side of this credit reporting initiative,” he said. He also encouraged them to access the FitsME Guide (and for their accountants and brokers to access the more detailed Business Funding Guide version) created by the Small Business Ombudsman (ASBFEO) and Scottish Pacific. This free download has comprehensive information on a range of business funding options, as well as handy tips to help SMEs become “finance fit”. Invoice finance as a cash flow solution Mr Smith said that one funding option that works for many Australian and New Zealand SMEs is invoice finance. Invoice finance, also known as debtor finance, offers a line of credit linked to and secured by outstanding accounts receivable. Businesses can access this form of funding as needed or as a long-term working capital solution. “As your business grows, the facility you’ve put in place grows with it, and unlike a traditional bank overdraft there is generally no need for real estate security,” Mr Smith said. “Invoice finance provides a stand-alone facility that can sit alongside your other business borrowings (for example overdrafts, term loans, and asset finance).  “There are no capital repayment requirements and the facility helps you grow your business and increase purchasing power through improved cash flow.”   Scottish Pacific is Australasia’s largest specialist working capital provider, helping thousands of business owners with the working capital they need to succeed. Scottish Pacific lends to small, medium and large businesses ranging from start-ups to SMEs with revenues of more than $1 billion. www.scottishpacific.com SERENITY PRESS SIGNS SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK 2020-02-11T22:37:02Z serenity-press-signs-sarah-duchess-of-york Press ReleaseFor Immediate ReleasePerth, 12th FEBRUARY 2020, SERENITY PRESS, has acquired the Australian/New Zealand rights for a seven-book deal with Sarah, Duchess of York. The seven books consist of newly written titles including five picture books and a two young chapter books that will engage young readers for many years to come. The first book will be available mid 2020.Sarah, Duchess of York is the author of over 25 books, including the hugely popular Budgie the Little Helicopter and Little Red series.Serenity Press publisher Karen Mc Dermott says: ‘We are delighted to welcome the Duchess to our press. Her beautiful books are aligned with our core value of sharing nurturing stories that empower young minds. We cannot wait to bring these books into readers’ hands.’The acquisition is an exciting addition to the current Serenity Press list, which includes fairytale, fantasy and folklore authors Kate Forsyth, Juliet Marillier, Sophie Masson and Jane Talbot.The Duchess’ office has shared that the Duchess is looking forward to publishing her work in Australia and New Zealand with Serenity Press.-ENDS- Media Contact:Candice MeiselsPR Consultant and Strategistcandice@candicepr.com0481 369 484