WWF welcomes greater protection for whales and dugongs in Queensland’s Great Sandy Marine Park


The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia has welcomed a proposal to increase gill net-free zones in the Great Sandy Marine Park. The Queensland Government made the announcement on Friday, 23 September as part of its draft zoning plan for the marine park, which covers a 6,000 km2 area that includes Hervey Bay, the Great Sandy Strait, Tin Can Inlet, and the waters off the east coast of Fraser Island.  “This area is a stronghold for dugongs, whales and other marine wildlife and we need to do all we can to increase their protection,” Richard Leck, WWF-Australia’s Head of Oceans, said. “WWF…

Inspirational mother of special needs children provides her tips on success


Kathrine Peereboom is a world-leading disability and vulnerable persons advocate and founder of Spectrum Support. Spectrum Support provides education and training to law enforcement and first responders across the country. Her work has attracted global awards for her extraordinary achievements. “Juggling motherhood with three special needs children and being a busy entrepreneur is certainly challenging but very rewarding,” Ms Peereboom said. “I was an established corporate professional before meeting my husband and becoming a mum. “Motherhood is something I always dreamed of and we have three amazing boys who certainly keep us on our toes. “When we discovered our boys’…

Leukaemia Foundation stands with First Nations communities living with blood cancer 


The Leukaemia Foundation has re-affirmed its commitment to stand with and support First Nations Australians impacted by blood cancer.  Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” aligned with the organisation’s own commitment to stand with Australians living with blood cancer, and particularly populations who are presently underserved, including First Nations Australians.  “Many First Nations Australians face barriers to accessing treatment and support,” Mr Tanti said. “We know that First Nations patients are less likely to engage with the health system than non-Indigenous populations. “For example,  First Nations Australians are 40…

Aussies donate hundreds of tortoiseshell items to help stop illegal trade


THE hawksbill turtle conservation project Surrender Your Shell, which urged Australians to hand in their tortoiseshell products, has been a success with 328 items donated to help end the illegal trade. The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia, Royal Caribbean Group and Australian Museum Research Institute joined forces on this ground-breaking project, with the results revealed in a new report launched today on World Sea Turtle Day, 16 June. “Surrender Your Shell has demonstrated that DNA testing of large numbers of tortoiseshell products could help authorities to track and dismantle this reprehensible illegal trade,” Christine Madden Hof, WWF’s Global Marine Turtle Conservation Lead, said. Hawksbills are listed as…

Leukaemia Foundation calls for Australians to roll up their sleeves and donate blood to support cancer patients


With most Australians still unaware blood donations are largely used to support cancer patients, The Leukaemia Foundation is marking this National Blood Donor Week (13-19 June) and today’s World Blood Donor Day (14 June) by calling on the national community to roll up their sleeves and donate. New research from LifeBlood has revealed that despite three-quarters (76 per cent) of Australians knowing someone with cancer, close to the same number of people (77 per cent) are also unaware that cancer treatment uses a third of all donated blood products2. The research also found that nearly half (41.2%) of those surveyed…

Improving access to healthcare for CALD communities


WHILE Melbourne’s primary health care system provides patients with quality services, these services can be difficult to access for those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, a report has found. A key finding of the 2021 report, Bridging the Health Gap, released by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV), is that the Western medical model is not culturally responsive to the primary care needs of Melbourne’s diverse community. The use of interpreters is inconsistent and underutilised, and a lack of translated materials or culturally trained advisors, makes it difficult for people from culturally diverse backgrounds to navigate the…

Donate to ‘share the dignity’ with those vulnerable to period poverty


This month, Share the Dignity is running their March Dignity Drive with an ambitious aim of collecting 500,000 period products to help those experiencing period poverty. Donations can be made at registered collection points that are then distributed across the country through various charities. Share the Dignity founder and managing director Rochelle Courtenay said the need to address period poverty is greater now more than ever. “You look at the financial strain and you look at these major floods that have happened in two of our largest states,” she said. “Before COVID there were 3.2 million Australians who live below…

Tennis legend and disability advocate Dylan Alcott named 2022 Australian of the Year


TENNIS legend and disability advocate Dylan Alcott has been named the Australian of the Year for 2022. Mr Alcott has won 15 Grand Slam Single titles in wheelchair tennis. He will also be competing for his eighth and last Australian Open Singles title tomorrow Thursday, 27 January. Mr Alcott, who is also the founder of The Dylan Alcott Foundation, which helps young Australians with disabilities gain self-esteem and respect, is the first person with a disability to win the award in its 62-year history. “I love my disability,” he said. “It is the best thing that ever happened to me.…

‘Shadow pandemic’ coined by UN report


SIXTEEN days from November 25 to December 10, are marked for activism against gender-based violence by UN Women as findings from a new report reveal violence against women exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Measuring the Shadow Pandemic: violence against women during COVID-19 confirms the deadly outbreak has given rise to a shadow pandemic of gender-based struggle.  UN Women’s executive director Sima Bahou, who coined the term ‘shadow pandemic,’ said the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated isolation and social distancing, enabling a second, shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls. “…Our new data underlines the urgency of concentrated efforts to end this.”…

Six ways Australia can get in front of climate change policy


WHILE Australia’s climate change policy ranked last in the latest Climate Change Performance Index, a new report has identified six clean export opportunities to help Australia take the lead. The annual CCPI measures the performance of 60 countries on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy. The report criticised Australia’s inaction and “lack of domestic ambition” on climate change policy while highlighting the critical need for Australia to improve its standing in the global transition to net zero. “Even though the renewables electricity is growing, experts believe that Australia has failed to take advantage of its potential,…

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