Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

World’s oldest man at 112 reveals secrets for a long life

<p>A retired Japanese farmer was named the world’s oldest man on the 12th of February 2020 at the age of 112 years and 344 days.</p> <p>Grinning Chitetsu Watanabe was given a certificate by the Guinness World Records at his care home in Niigata, the city in northern Japan where he was born in in 1907.</p> <p>The father of five was thrilled with his award and says he still has his sweet tooth despite not having any. He also loves custard pudding and cream puffs as they don’t need to be chewed.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WCGWuH51Irk"></iframe></div> <p>Chitetsu returned to his home town after 18 years in Taiwan, where four out of five of their children were born there. Taiwan was also where he married his wife, Mitsue.</p> <p>According to Yoko Watanabe, wife off Tetsuo, the first son of Chitetsu, moving back was the one of the most difficult times for the family.</p> <p>"Both Chitetsu and Tetsuo told me that getting to places and sourcing food was a struggle. Having to live under that circumstance with four young children must have been tough", Yoko said to the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2020/2/japans-chitetsu-watanabe-confirmed-as-the-worlds-oldest-man-living-at-112-years-607687?fbclid=IwAR0UfHi2am1kCSihd9LnxAuCoTWWQ9uVPHDBXm6dykE8JeG5ZbQgVEN2NNw" target="_blank">Guinness World Records.</a></em></p> <p>However, Chitetsu hasn’t let anything get him down in his long life. When he spoke to a local paper, he explained that the secret to his long life was “not to get angry and keep a smile on your face”.</p> <p>Yoko explained his temperament to the local paper.</p> <p>"I've lived together with him for over 50 years, and I've never seen him raise his voice or get mad,” she said.</p> <p>“He's also caring. When I was working on my patchwork hobby, he was the one who praised my work the most. I think having lived with a big family under one roof, mingling with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped keep a smile on his face as well."</p> <p>Chitetsu now lives in a rest home and is not as active as he was before. However, up until last summer, his daily activity included exercises as a part of rehabilitation, origami, calligraphy and math exercises.</p> <p>He is just four years shy of the record for the oldest man ever, which was held by Jiroemon Kimaru who was born on 19th April 1897 and passed away at the age of 116 and 54 days on the 12th of June 2013</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Politicians look out for themselves and it is at the expense of the people

<p>The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists <a href="https://thebulletin.org/2020/01/press-release-it-is-now-100-seconds-to-midnight/">announced on 23 January</a> that it’s set the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight. This means that the clock, which symbolises “the gravest perils facing humankind, is now closer to midnight than at any point since its creation in 1947”.</p> <p>Midnight equals Armageddon: the end of days for humanity. And this is the first time those who control the clock have started dealing in seconds.</p> <p>There are several reasons the scientists have taken us closer to the brink than we’ve ever been before. And they’re the two existential threats of nuclear annihilation and the climate crisis, which have both been exacerbated by “cyber-enabled information warfare”.</p> <p>“The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode,” the Bulletin makes clear in its <a href="https://thebulletin.org/2020/01/press-release-it-is-now-100-seconds-to-midnight/">press release</a>.</p> <p>The Doomsday Clock was created by the Chicago Atomic Scientists to warn humanity about the risks of nuclear weapons following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This group of scientists was part of the Manhattan Project, which was a US-led effort that produced the first nuclear bombs.</p> <p>And while the Bulletin also suggests solutions as to how humanity can pull itself out of these predicaments, doing so would likely depend on the 1 percent curtailing its interests, and as <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/time-care">Oxfam’s annual wealth report</a> revealed last week, this doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.</p> <p><strong>100 seconds to midnight</strong></p> <p>Bulletin board member Professor Sharon Squassoni <a href="https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/">told a press conference</a> that the Doomsday Clock was set back in November, prior to recent <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/global-war-anyone-trumps-got-one-brewing-with-iran/">military actions between</a> the US and Iran, as well as North Korea’s  <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-22/north-korea-ends-nuclear-talks-with-us/11887832">abandonment of nuclear talks</a> with the United States.</p> <p>Squassoni further explained that the time set shows we’re “rapidly losing our bearings in a nuclear weapons landscape that may expand beyond our recognition. And recent events only confirm” this.</p> <p>While the threat of nuclear weapons might sound like some distant throwback to the Cold War, <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/world/the-doomsday-clock-ticks-closer-to-midnight/">writing in The Nation</a>Katrina vanden Heuvel sets out that the reason it’s so problematic right now is that the “edifice of arms control is being dismantled”.</p> <p>As of last August, president Trump has completely pulled out of the <a href="https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2019-09/news/us-completes-inf-treaty-withdrawal">INF Treaty</a>, which ensured the US and Russia <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-toy-guns-be-banned/">banned</a>intermediate land-based nuclear missiles. This leaves the New START nuclear reduction treaty between them, however it expires in a year’s time and its renewal is uncertain.</p> <p>And the Trump administration is also threatening to pull out of the Treaty on Open Skies, which provides that 35 state parties can take unarmed aerial surveillance flights over each other’s territories, which allows the US and Russia to monitor the other’s nuclear arsenal.</p> <p><strong>Our warming planet</strong></p> <p>The Doomsday Clock was set to <a href="https://thebulletin.org/2019/01/press-release-welcome-to-the-new-abnormal/">two minutes to midnight</a> in 2018, which is where it remained last year. This was the closest the minute hand had ever been to twelve, and it represented the two dual threats of nuclear destruction and changing climate.</p> <p>As far as the IPCC is concerned, humanity has until 2030 to seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. And while the UN body said that <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/">in October 2018</a>, these climate predictions keep getting more dire as the situation progresses.</p> <p>At last week’s press conference, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pulled up bushfire-stricken Australia for special mention in relation to the climate crisis.</p> <p>“The Australian government is in utter and complete denial. Under its current leadership, Australia is fostering denial in an incredibly mendacious way,” <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/australia-singled-out-for-climate-denial-at-doomsday-clock-event-20200124-p53uac.html">said Bulletin board executive chair</a> Jerry Brown. “Until Australians throw out their current leaders, they will continue this way.”</p> <p>And the Bulletin’s not the only one calling out our nation either. The journal Nature recently ran<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00152-y"> an editorial</a> where it described the Australian government dragging its feet on climate, due to its repeated prioritising of “the coal industry’s needs over the planets”.</p> <p><strong>Online manipulation</strong></p> <p>Bulletin chair Robert Rosner <a href="https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/">told reporters</a> that what’s of “particular concern is the undermining of the public’s ability to sort what’s true from what’s patently false by information warfare subverting our ability to arrive at a consensus on the solutions needed to achieve positive change”.</p> <p>And according to the Bulletin scientists, it’s “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns” that are exacerbating the nuclear and climate threats by undermining efforts to bring about the changes needed to draw back from the brink.</p> <p>British social activist George Monbiot posited <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/18/demagogues-power-rewilding-party-trust-power-government">last month</a> that the reason why reactionary politicians, such as Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison, have triumphed in recent elections is that online campaigning systems have been developed that influence the public with “provocative lies”.</p> <p>So, so going on Monbiot’s reasoning, those benefiting financially from the fossil fuel and arms industries are manipulating mainstream and social media messaging to persuade “the poor to vote for the interests of the very rich”, which translates as politicians conducting business as usual.</p> <p><strong>End extreme wealth</strong></p> <p>And this is the crux of the matter, the systems that are perpetuating the threats the Bulletin has pinpointed as threatening life as we know it are benefiting the 1 percent, which is continuing to grow more powerful.</p> <p>Oxfam released its latest annual report just three days before the Doomsday announcement. And the <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/time-care">Time to Care</a> report found that the 1 percent now own twice as much as 6.9 billion people. And as there’s just over 7.7 billion people on Earth, that’s almost the entire planet’s population.</p> <p>The charity organisation states that “governments are massively under-taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations and failing to collect revenues that could help lift the responsibility of care from women and tackle poverty and inequality”.</p> <p>Oxfam recommends ending extreme wealth in order to end extreme poverty. And considering the nuclear and climate threats are mainly caused by the very rich pursuing more wealth, it can be asserted that changing the paradigm from unhindered economic growth could save humanity.</p> <p>As the thing with the Doomsday Clock is, the scientists can always turn back time.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/politicians-look-out-for-themselves-at-the-expense-of-the-population/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

A hero no more? Why princess Anne's kidnapping saviour must give up his medal

<p><span>The man who aided in helping Princess Anne from being kidnapped has been forced to give up a medal he received in recognition of his incredible bravery over 46 years ago. </span><br /><br /><span>The Queen’s daughter was only 23 at the time and on her way to Buckingham Palace after s charity event when her car was suddenly cut off in the middle of the road by another vehicle. </span><br /><br /><span>Jumping out of a car, stepped Ian Ball, gun in hand, who proceeded to shoot the royal's chauffeur and security officer before telling Princess Anne she had to go with him.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OG-MBHe1U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OG-MBHe1U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dix Noonan Webb (@dixnoonanwebb)</a> on Feb 6, 2020 at 1:30am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>In a 1980s interview about the kidnapping attempt, the Royal Princess revealed she took a surprisingly no-nonsense approach with her attacker.</span><br /><br /><span>"He opened the door, and we had a sort of discussion, hah, about where or where not we were going to go," she admitted calmly in the interview as she recalled details. </span><br /><br /><span>"He said I had to go with him, can't remember why. I said I didn't think I wanted to go. I was scrupulously polite, because I thought 'it's silly to be too rude'.</span><br /><br /><span>"We had a fairly low-key discussion about the fact that I wasn't going to go anywhere, and wouldn't it be much better if he moved away and we'd all forget about it?"</span><br /><br /><span>Interestingly enough, Princess Anne was not rude until Ball accidentally tore her gown when she was stepping out of the vehicle and Anne got angry. </span><br /><br /><span>However, he was not forced to face the wrath of the royal as out of nowhere, 6'4 former boxer Ronald Russell took a swing at the back of Ball's head and distracted him.</span><br /><br /><span>Ball took off running as more police arrived and was later arrested in part thanks to Russell's well-timed punch.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OYRRAnDll/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OYRRAnDll/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dix Noonan Webb (@dixnoonanwebb)</a> on Feb 6, 2020 at 4:01am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><br /><span>Princess Anne left the incident without a scratch on her and Russell was later awarded the George Medal from bravery by the Queen, who was beyond grateful that her daughter was safe.</span><br /><span>"The medal is from the Queen, but I want to thank you as Anne's mother," Her Majesty told Russell as she presented him with the medal.</span><br /><br /><span>Sadly, 46 years later Russell is being forced to let go of the medal, something he said he “would never ever do”. </span><br /><br /><span>Following years of declining health, the 72-year-old has decided to sell the royal memento, which could go for as much as $38,000.</span><br /><br /><span>However, he has a simple request for the person who buys the keepsake. </span><br /><br /><span>"What I would like is whoever does eventually buy the medal, I would hope they might invite me somewhere to tell them about what happened on the night," he told the <em>BBC.</em></span><br /><br /><span>Russell recalled Princess Anne remained calm and collected when Ball confronted the royal with a gun, telling her assailant: "Just go away and don't be such a silly man."</span><br /><br /><span>Moments later Russell made a move to protect the princess, and squared up against Ball despite the danger he’d be putting himself in. </span><br /><br /><span>"Ball stood there glaring at me with the gun and I hit him," Russell said. </span><br /><br /><span>"I hit him as hard as I could, and he was flat on the floor face down."</span></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

The Australian Constitution does not protect our rights

<p>The <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-afp-press-raids-towards-a-totalitarian-state/">AFP raids</a> last year brought the issue of press freedoms front and centre. The bushfires led to heated debate over the potential for <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/while-a-successful-climate-class-action-is-unlikely-the-courts-have-a-role-to-play/">a class action</a> against the government’s climate inaction. And concerns over the right to privacy have been ongoing since the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/rip-privacy-mass-surveillance-to-be-ramped-up-in-nsw/">1980’s push for the Australia card</a>.</p> <p>Often, as these political debates are raging on social media, you’ll come across a comment that suggests the Australian Constitution protects citizens’ rights, and the government is simply failing to uphold them.</p> <p>But the fact is this isn’t the case. It’s rather an idea popularised by the heavy cultural saturation the US media has had upon Australia in recent years. <a href="https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/">Since 1791</a>, the United States has had a bill of rights which protects the freedoms of its citizens, and is enshrined in The US constitution and the amendments to that document.</p> <p>By contrast, this nation’s founding document does not contain a bill of rights, and only provides protection for a handful of freedoms. And unlike all other western democracies, Australia is the only such country without a human rights act to provide individuals with freedoms and legal safeguards.</p> <p>This means government can pass laws without considering whether they infringe upon citizens’ rights; without worrying about legal consequences. And this is what’s been happening for many years now.</p> <p><strong>Threadbare protections</strong></p> <p>Amongst the lawmakers that drafted the Australian Constitution, there was debate over whether a bill of rights should be contained in the document. But when it was put to the vote, the proposal lost out with <a href="http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/ljf/app/&amp;id=/A60DA51D4C6B0A51CA2571A7002069A0">19 votes for and 23 against</a>.</p> <p>As noted by the Queensland chapter of the Young Presidents Association in 1997, the reason it didn’t fly was <a href="http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/ljf/app/&amp;id=/A60DA51D4C6B0A51CA2571A7002069A0">because of fears</a> that rights protections would undermine a number of discriminatory laws that were in place at the time, which primarily disadvantaged First Nations people and Chinese residents.</p> <p>So what was left was just <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-australia-have-a-bill-of-rights/">five rights</a> which are explicitly guaranteed by our Constitution. <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s41.html">Section 41</a> provides of the document guarantees the right to vote. The protection of property against acquisition on unjust terms is protected by <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s51.html">subsection 51(xxxi)</a> of the document.</p> <p>The right to a trial by jury is contained in <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s80.html">section 80</a>; but it should be noted that over the years, the courts have found that this right only extends to trial by indictment; in other words, trials in the higher courts such as the District and Supreme Courts. Freedom of religion is protected under <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s116.html">section 116</a> of the document, while <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s117.html">section 117</a> prohibits discrimination based on state of residency.</p> <p>In addition to these explicit rights, the High Court found in the 1992 case of <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/HCA/1992/45.html">Australian Capital Television versus the Commonwealth</a> that, taken together, sections <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s7.html">7</a> and <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s24.html">24</a> of the Constitution <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/RP9697/97rp10">imply a qualified right of political communication</a>.</p> <p>Th ABC case enabled former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown to successfully challenge 2014 anti-protest laws that had been passed in Tasmania. Indeed, the High Court <a href="http://eresources.hcourt.gov.au/downloadPdf/2017/HCA/43">reasoned in October 2017</a> that these laws contravened the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/high-court-rules-that-anti-protest-laws-are-unconstitutional/">implied right of political communication</a> by deterring protesters.</p> <p><strong>Checking in with authorities</strong></p> <p>Former <a href="https://www.nswccl.org.au/">NSW Council of Civil Liberties</a> president Stephen Blanks <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/its-time-for-an-australian-bill-of-rights/">told Sydney Criminal Lawyers</a> in 2017 that “one of the problems with the Australian legal system now is that if people’s human rights are infringed” the only recourse is to “make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission”.</p> <p>Mr Blanks advocates for the establishment of a federal human rights act. He sees this an interim measure, prior to the amendment of the Constitution, so that it incorporates a rights protection bill within it. Amending the US Constitution is what happened with the bill of rights over there.</p> <p>Constitutional law expert UNSW Scientia Professor George Williams explained <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-need-for-a-bill-of-rights-an-interview-with-unsw-professor-george-williams/">in November 2017</a> that the need for Australian human rights protections has become more urgent since the government set about passing multiple rights eroding national security bills post-9/11.</p> <p>The professor explained that compared to nations with rights protections – such as the US and the UK – Australia has passed a much greater volume of national security-counterterrorism laws that “go further”. And the number of these sorts of bills that have been passed at the federal is up around 80.</p> <p>At the moment, the <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr6404%22">Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2019</a> is sitting before federal parliament. It was introduced by federal MP Andrew Wilkie. And it’s the second such rights protection bill the independent member has tabled over the past few years.</p> <p>“The value of a bill of rights has become more important, because of the increasing power of the state,” Mr Wilkie <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australia-needs-a-bill-of-rights-an-interview-with-mp-andrew-wilkie/">said in 2017</a>, just after he introduced the first bill. “And many people feel that their rights have been eroded on account of laws that have been passed by a range of governments.”</p> <p><strong>A case in point</strong></p> <p>Concerns have long been raised around <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/bikies-charged-under-controversial-consorting-laws/">NSW consorting laws</a> that were passed in 2012. This occurred initially as they were introduced, as well <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/yvxa57/an-analysis-of-all-the-shitty-laws-introduced-by-the-nsw-government-since-2011">as a few years later</a> when NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge released statistics that revealed the biased way in which these laws had been applied.</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s93x.html">Section 93X</a> of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) makes it an offence for an individual to communicate with at least two convicted criminals, after they’ve been warned not to by police. And an offender doesn’t have to have fallen short of the law in the past, and they can be sent away for up to 3 years.</p> <p>In 2014, three men who’d been charged under these laws challenged their validity in the High Court, arguing that they impinged upon the implied right of association in the Constitution. However, the court <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-need-for-a-bill-of-rights-an-interview-with-unsw-professor-george-williams/">dismissed the appeal</a>, as it found that no such right exists under Australia’s federal law.</p> <p><strong>What the bloody hell is Morrison up to?</strong></p> <p>“So long as the agenda is driven by people whose interest is primarily power, rather than the public good,” Blanks explained, “it’s very difficult to get a coalition in favour of human rights legislation.” Indeed, the current federal system sees rights eroding bills swept through <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/eroding-our-civil-liberties-is-a-bipartisan-move/">with bipartisan support</a>.</p> <p>And at present, we’ve got a prime minister who’s trying to ram through legislation that aims to uphold one right over all others. And this is one of the few rights that’s already provided protection under the Constitution: the right to freedom of religion.</p> <p>Scott Morrison’s pet project – the <a href="https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/religious-freedom-bills-second-exposure-drafts.aspx">Religious Discrimination Bill 2019</a> – doesn’t <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australia-needs-a-bill-of-rights-not-religious-freedom-to-discriminate/">simply aim to guarantee</a> religious freedoms, but it also undermines both federal and state anti-discrimination frameworks that have been built up since the 1970s, if a breach is conducted in the name of faith.</p> <p>And while many are confused as to why our PM is prioritising religion at this point in time, one thing is certain, and that is there’s no federal legislation guaranteeing citizens’ rights that the “bigots’ bill” can be weighed up against to see if it infringes upon the rights of minorities, as it certainly does.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-australian-constitution-does-not-protect-our-rights/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Why retirees are flocking to this sunny seaside town

<p>By Mark Skelsey</p> <p>Thanks to its sunny skies and pristine marine environment, the Queensland seaside township of Hervey Bay has become one of Australia’s retirement hotspots.</p> <p>With close to 900 people aged over 45 deciding to make the move there from other parts of Australia in 2017/18, it’s now the fourth most popular retirement destination in the entire country. And it’s easy to see why.</p> <p>Hervey Bay is home to the historic wooden Urangan Pier, which stretches almost a kilometre out to sea. The pier was originally built to support the export of sugar, timber and coal but now provides the perfect aquatic lookout to spot schools of fish and stingrays and dolphins.</p> <p>If you’d like to actually get into the water, Hervey Bay is the perfect year-round destination for swimming, sailing, fishing, yachting, waterskiing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling and more. It’s also home to what is arguably the best whale-watching in Australia, in gorgeous calm waters that are sheltered from winds and swells by Fraser Island.</p> <p>A further part of Hervey Bay’s seaside charm is its main Esplanade, which runs alongside the bay and features cosmopolitan and alfresco cafés, shops and parklands.</p> <p><strong>Fraser Shores retirement villages in Hervey Bay</strong></p> <p>Many of Hervey Bay’s incoming residents are finding their way to the two conveniently located <span><a href="https://www.frasershores.com.au/">Fraser Shores retirement villages</a></span>.</p> <p>Operated by Blue Care (a service group of UnitingCare Queensland), these two villages are collectively home to some 441 single-storey homes.</p> <p>Incoming residents can choose from a wide selection of spacious brick-and-tile, two- and three-bedroom homes – including an executive model with three bedrooms, two en-suites and a hobby room. Home prices range from $290,000 to $525,000.</p> <p>Fraser Shores’ homes have won the Masters Builders Queensland’s <span><a href="https://www.frasershores.com.au/testimonials/awards.html">Top Homes of the Year Award</a></span> for design, character and value for money.</p> <p>All designs offer careful orientation and large doors and windows for maximum cross-ventilation. This helps village residents take advantage of coastal breezes. All homes are also built at ground level for easy access and feature spacious modern kitchens, bedrooms and living areas.</p> <p>Finally, each home is equipped with an emergency call system, which is monitored on-site 24 hours a day by trained staff with first aid certification.</p> <p><strong>Resort-style facilities</strong></p> <p>The homes are surrounded by amazing resort-style facilities, where residents have unlimited use of the full-sized bowling green, swimming pool, community centre, licensed bar, fitness centre, craft and computer room, outdoor barbeque areas, libraries and so much more.</p> <p>Incoming residents have the opportunity to meet new friends and be part of an active and supportive community. A well-organised residents’ committee arranges functions and social activities such as outdoor and indoor bowls, pool and billiards, movie nights, tai chi, line dancing, yoga, arts and crafts, exercise and computer classes.</p> <p>Residents at Fraser Shores can also access a range of Blue Care community services, offering individually tailored support and care for peace of mind if and when they need it.</p> <p>Finally, the villages’ community lawns and gardens are beautifully maintained, leaving more time for activities, relaxing or socialising.</p> <p><strong>Everything is close by</strong></p> <p>The Fraser Shores villages are close to a commercial and professional centre, housing medical specialists, a large general medical practice and a wide variety of shops and services. The region’s new state-of-the-art St Stephen’s Hospital is also just down the road.</p> <p>In addition, onsite recreational vehicle, caravan and boat storage gives you the freedom to plan your travels with ease, including when you want to chase fun, sun and adventure with the ‘grey nomad’ brigade.</p> <p>The villages themselves are also close to major centres around the country.</p> <p>Hervey Bay is just a 3.5-hour drive or 40-minute flight from Brisbane, and also enjoys direct flights to Sydney.</p> <p><strong>Stunning climate</strong></p> <p>Many residents move to Hervey Bay to avoid the winter chills of Australia’s southern states, as the region enjoys a warm climate even during winter, with average high temperatures of 23°C during August, and average low temperatures of 10°C. This compares favourably to average August high temperatures of just 18°C in Sydney and a chilly 16°C in Melbourne.</p> <p><strong>Enquire now</strong></p> <p>Fraser Shores Retirement Villages embody quality, resort-style living with great value for money, in an attractive coastal environment which is the envy of the rest of Australia.</p> <p>To make an inquiry about Fraser Shores,<span> <a href="https://www.frasershores.com.au/contact-us/details.html">click here</a></span>.</p> <p><em>This content has been prepared by <a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/">Downsizing.com.au</a> on behalf of Blue Care, an agency of UnitingCare which manages more than 30 retirement villages across Queensland.</em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Muslim minorities are facing genocide in Asia

<p>Developments involving <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/muslim-australians-increasingly-victimised/">Muslim populations</a> in India have echoes of the fate that’s recently befallen Islamic minorities elsewhere in the region. There are now fears that a new humanitarian crisis could unfold in India, similar to those involving the Uyghurs and the Rohingyas.</p> <p>Following its return to office last May, the Hindu nationalist BJP government published an updated version of the National Register of Citizens <a href="https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/nrc-timeline-through-the-years/articleshow/70921378.cms?from=mdr">in August</a>. It’s a census that was created in 1951 in the north-eastern state of Assam to track illegal immigrants. And it’s <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49520593">the first time</a> it’s been updated.</p> <p>The BJP distanced itself from the register, after the 1.9 million mainly Bengali people left off it were found to be not just Muslims. Indeed, a sizable number of those unable to provide documents revealing they’ve been in the country since Bangladeshi independence in 1971 are Hindus.</p> <p>Some unregistered Assam residents <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49520593">have since been</a> detained in temporary camps set up in the state’s correctional facilities. They have a right to appeal, although it’s an expensive process. And no one knows where those awaiting deportation are meant to be sent, as Bangladesh isn’t taking them.</p> <p>But, as of <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/india-anti-muslim-citizenship-bill-191209095557419.html">mid-December</a>, those non-Muslim people left off the register have been saved, because the government passed new legislation that protects certain illegal immigrants from neighbouring Islamic countries. And it provides them with a fast-tracked path to citizenship.</p> <p><strong>Solidifying Hindu supremacy</strong></p> <p>Indian parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/india-table-controversial-citizenship-bill-parliament-191209041402071.html?utm_source=website&amp;utm_medium=article_page&amp;utm_campaign=read_more_links">on 9 December</a>. It provides citizenship to illegal immigrants from persecuted religious minorities – Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, Jains and Sikhs – from neighbouring Muslim nations, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.</p> <p>So, immigrants who are followers of those six religions are able to apply for citizenship after they’ve been in the country for six years. And the legislation is stark in that it doesn’t allow Muslims fleeing dangerous situations those same protections.</p> <p>This is especially so in India, as Muslims not only make up the <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/hindus-drop-80-percent-india-population-muslims-census-150826052655585.html">largest minority in the country</a>, but the Islamic population – which is close to 15 percent of 1.3 billion people – is the second <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/01/the-countries-with-the-10-largest-christian-populations-and-the-10-largest-muslim-populations/">largest Muslim populace on the planet</a>. And it’s estimated to be the biggest by 2060.</p> <p>The bill is widely criticised for enshrining religious discrimination into law in a secular nation that’s no stranger to sectarian violence erupting between the Hindu majority and Muslim minority. In fact, current PM Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat during that state’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/07/narendra-modi-massacre-next-prime-minister-india">2002 Muslim pogroms</a>.</p> <p>And in November last year, Indian home minister Amit Shah <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/india-anti-muslim-citizenship-bill-191209095557419.html">announced</a> that the country would undergo a citizenship registry process – similar to that carried out in Assam – so as to weed out undocumented immigrants. And those found to be illegal and Muslim will have no protection.</p> <p><strong>Mass incarceration in China</strong></p> <p>Meanwhile, in the far western region of China known as the Xingang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) has been detaining – without criminal charge or trial – <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/stop-the-mass-detentions-an-interview-with-world-uyghur-congress-president-dolkun-isa/">over one million Uyghurs</a> and other central Asian Muslim minorities in political re-education camps.</p> <p>There’s no dispute as to whether the Uyghur people should be living in the area – that many refer to as East Turkistan – but rather, it’s Indigenous locals, who question whether they should be ruled by Beijing.</p> <p>And hence, the political indoctrination many are undergoing within the new detention camps.</p> <p>In 1949, as the CCP took power <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/stop-the-mass-detentions-an-interview-with-world-uyghur-congress-president-dolkun-isa/">in China</a>, its troops rolled into Urumqi: the capital of Xinjiang. And from there, Beijing began its tense occupation of the region, which has involved the gradual deconstruction of Uyghur culture, via the passing of laws and the application of brute force.</p> <p>These tensions spilled over in 2009, when huge Uyghur demonstrations in the capital, turned into civil unrest, which was then followed by a number of violent reprisals perpetrated by Uyghur people, both in the local area and elsewhere in China <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/beijing-launches-all-out-offensive-against-uyghur-minority/">over 2013 and 2014</a>.</p> <p>World Uyghur Congress president Dolkun Isa told Sydney Criminal Lawyers <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/beijing-launches-all-out-offensive-against-uyghur-minority/">in March 2017</a> that CCP secretary Chen Quanguo had implemented a huge security and surveillance program in the region, after he’d cut his teeth in monitoring Tibetans. And by the next month, the gulags began operating.</p> <p>As the reports of mass incarceration began to make their way to the outside world, Beijing denied its camps were prisons, stating they were merely training centres. However, leaked documents obtained by the New York Times <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/16/world/asia/china-xinjiang-documents.html">in November</a>reveal a purposeful indoctrination operation.</p> <p><strong>A stateless people</strong></p> <p>And while similarities can be seen between the incarceration of those of Islamic faith in China, with the Muslims who have been detained in northern India, the aim of deporting those undocumented people in Assam is similar to the pushing out of the Rohingya population in Myanmar.</p> <p>The plight of the Rohingya people came to international attention when <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/vdxba4/inside-sittwe-the-point-of-no-return-for-myanmars-displaced-rohingya">an estimated 25,000</a> fled their homelands in rickety boats in early 2015, which led to a situation where many were left stranded at sea, as various countries turned back the boats.</p> <p>At that time, in Myanmar’s north-western state of Rakhine, around 140,000 Rohingyas were living in internally displaced persons camps, following 2012 sectarian riots that saw members of the Rakhine Buddhist population violently attack and burn down Muslim villages.</p> <p>Then in August 2017, Myanmar security forces began <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/myanmar-cuts-off-aid-to-devastated-rohingya-populations/">a huge crackdown</a> on the Rohingyas – who are denied citizenship – in response to some incidents at police posts. This disproportionate attack involved mass killings and burnings, which led 740,000 locals to flee across the border.</p> <p>Today, there are around <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/inside-the-worlds-largest-refugee-camp-conversations-with-rohingya-refugees/">900,000 Rohingyas</a> living in government-run refugee camps in southern Bangladesh. The largest of their kind in the world, these camps have an air of permanency about them, even though the people long to return to their homelands with their rights installed.</p> <p>And it’s a situation similar to this, that critics fear may be the outcome of developments taking place in India right now, as people without citizenship documents are pushed into detention camps and told they’re no longer welcome, as they belong somewhere else.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/muslim-minorities-are-facing-genocide-in-asia/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Senior driver slammed for parking in disabled spot: “I’m not the a**hole here”

<p>A senior man has been shamed by an angry bystander for parking in a disabled park space outside a Coles supermarket in Sydney’s northwest. </p> <p>A man took to Facebook to share photos from Coles at Epping on Sunday of a Ford Falcon with a a senior Australian man in the driver’s seat parked in the bay allegedly without a permit.</p> <p>The man claims he confronted the older man, who claimed he was 74, about where he was parked. </p> <p>The senior man replied to say he was waiting to pick up his wife from church.</p> <p>The disgruntled bystander advised him the disabled spot was not for older drivers but said there are seniors spots soon to come for the shopping centre.</p> <p>The senior man asked the other man if he would like to see his seniors’ card or his driver’s licence. </p> <p>“OK, I’ll move you are extremely rude,” he said.</p> <p>“No, I’m not the a**hole here,” the disgruntled man responded.</p> <p>“How dare you use such language,” the old man replied.</p> <p><span>On Facebook, people called the elderly man “ignorant”.</span></p> <p>People took to the Facebook comments to label to 74-year-old “ignorant”</p> <p>“Ignoramuses think because they are 'old' that disabled parks are for them,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>“No that is seniors parks - there is a difference. Many older people I have been finding think they are entitled to use these spots illegally.”</p> <p>Others labelled him entitled but some had sympathy for him.</p> <p>“While I don't agree with someone parking in these spots without a permit, maybe his wife can't walk far,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>Another man wrote other people should show more compassion for the older man.</p> <p>“I pray you never get old and someday need a permit. Not all disabilities can be seen by the eye,” he wrote.</p> <p>National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/elderly-man-waiting-for-wife-abused-parking-in-disabled-spot-coles-191631822.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a></em><span> </span>people with disabilities are the only ones who should be allowed to use disabled parking spaces.</p> <p>“There is room for retailers to create more spaces for seniors and people with mobility issues such as those who use walkers,” Mr Henschke said.</p> <p>“There are pram spots – maybe we should consider doing the same thing with older Australians who have walkers.</p> <p>“That would go some way to solving the problem and we should encourage the elderly to go out more and engage with society.”</p> <p>However, he added he didn’t “want to see disabled people lose their spaces”.</p> <p>In NSW, parking in a disabled bay without the correct permit can attract one demerit point and a $572 fine.</p> <p>Medically recognised disabilities include blindness, paraplegia, cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease.</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Too little, too late? Morrison will mourn bushfire victims

<p>The year 2019 will be forever remembered as the year Australia burned.</p> <p>In the worst fire season for many years, fires have torn across the country for several months.</p> <p>Climate change debates have raged, and fingers pointed at our leaders as thick, dangerous smoke engulfed the skies of the east coast for days on end.</p> <p>In the midst of the crisis, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australians-are-screaming-for-a-new-breed-of-leaders/">left for his Hawaiian holiday</a> rather than standing at the helm and captaining the ship.</p> <p>Indeed, while numerous <a href="https://primeministers.moadoph.gov.au/topics/i-had-to-come-to-see-for-myself">former Australian leaders, including Gough Whitlam, have cut their overseas trips short and returned home</a> to act as a source of strength, unity and support for the nation in times of need, Mr Morrison ‘upped and left’, smiling while donning Hawaiian garb.</p> <p><strong>The tragedy of lost lives</strong></p> <p>But in amongst all the headlines and political posturing, we must not forget the tragedy of lost lives.</p> <p>Thirty two people have died in the fires since September 2019. Twelve of them were firefighters, including three from the United States who died when their water tanker crashed near the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales.</p> <p>The US sent more than 200 trained fire fighters to assist with the Australian bushfires over the Christmas-New Year period. They were part of a large international contingent that has travelled here to help our nation in our time of need. Our friends Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Japan have also sent dozens of volunteers, helicopters and troops.</p> <p>More than two thousand homes and buildings have been lost along with countless numbers of wildlife. Eighteen million acres of land has been burned to the ground – an area far greater than Brazil’s 2019 Amazon fires and 2018’s California wildfires combined. There are are grave fears for various species of vulnerable Indigenous flora and fauna caught in the fire path. Some experts have estimated that the land and some of the animal species will take about 100 years to fully recover.</p> <p>And while there are more than 100 fires still burning across the nation, many seem to have abated thanks to recent downpours of much needed rain. Although with hot, windy conditions still forecast and the summer season only half-way through, there are fears some fires could re-ignite, and that others could gain dangerous momentum.</p> <p>The fire service is warning that there is still no time for complacency, and the danger has not yet subsided.</p> <p>Politicians to mourn victims and honour emergency services</p> <p>In the meantime, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-26/parliament-to-pay-tribute-to-lives-lost-in-summer-bushfires/11902290">first day of Federal Parliament for 2020 will be devoted to mourning</a> those who died during this summer’s bushfire emergency, as well as paying tribute to the work of the nation’s emergency services and volunteers. He says there will be a special event for the families of those who have lost loved ones.</p> <p>The Prime Minister will move a motion of condolence in Parliament – but given his conduct during the crisis, many consider the move to be a gesture that is “too little, too late.”</p> <p><strong>Loss of credibility</strong></p> <p>Many Australians will not easily forget that Mr Morrison decided to go on holiday at the peak of the bushfire crisis.</p> <p>Then, earlier this month he sanctioned the release of <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-05/pm-tweets-video-about-coalitions-bushfire-response/11841196">Liberal Party advertising to various social media channels</a> showing himself in the field – which conveniently edited out the footage of angry locals refusing to shake his hand. The polished marketing video speaks of the Federal Government’s contributions to the disaster in on-screen text along with a large DONATE button at the top, which many have pointed out calls for donations to the Liberal Party – not bushfire funds.</p> <p>It was another serious political gaff that has angered many Australians who consider it poorly timed and much too self-congratulatory, considering this was a man who in the eyes of many failed to act decisively, and show true leadership, when his country needed him the most.</p> <p>He stands accused of acting too late in response to the fires, blaming the states, refusing to acknowledge that the issue of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/calls-for-states-to-take-action-on-climate-change/">climate change</a> action is important to most Australians, and then seeking to grab political gain out of the crisis.</p> <p>In recent weeks his decision to call out Defence Force reserves, and to deploy more equipment to assist with the fire fighting has been welcomed, along with his decision to postpone his visit to Japan and stay at home until the crisis is under control.</p> <p>But <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-liar-from-the-shire-thousands-march-demanding-action-from-morrison/">his credibility is seriously in question</a>, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/how-do-you-rate-morrisons-performance-in-2019/">and after a tumultuous 2019</a>, when thousands of Australians <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/aussies-launch-petition-to-oust-morrison/">signed a petition to remove him from government</a>, he has a long way to go regain the faith of a large proportion of the voting public.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/too-little-too-late-morrison-will-mourn-bushfire-victims/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p> <p> </p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

10½ commandments of writing

<p>Every author is asked by new writers for advice. There is, however, no all-encompassing, single answer that also happens to be correct. Quite a lot of commonly offered suggestions (“write every day”) don’t work for everyone and must be approached with caution.</p> <p>A few years ago, I set out to create a list that will benefit all new writers. I put ten commandments through the wringer of my peers, who suggested modifications and noted that this list applies not just to new writers but to writers at every stage of their career. Indeed, I’ve needed reminding of more than one myself.</p> <p>Here, then, are the 10½ commandments of writing – with an extra one for free.</p> <p><strong>1. Read widely</strong></p> <p>To succeed as a writer, you must occasionally read. Yet there are wannabe-novelists who haven’t picked up a book in years. There are also, more tragically, writers too busy to engage with the end-product of our craft. If the only thing you’re reading is yourself you are bound to miss out on valuable lessons.</p> <p>The same applies to reading only within a favourite genre. A varied diet will strengthen your literary muscles.</p> <p><strong>2. Write</strong></p> <p>No need to thrash out 1,000 words a day or pen a perfect poem before breakfast, but you do have to write. The fundamental qualification for being a writer is putting words on the page.</p> <p>If you aren’t doing that now, it’s possible you never will.</p> <p><strong>3. Follow your heart</strong></p> <p>When you really want to write literary fiction, but the market wants paranormal romance, write literary fiction. Chasing paranormal romance will be futile. Writing well is hard enough without cynicism getting in the way.</p> <p>Passion doesn’t always pay, but it increases the odds of your work finding a home.</p> <p><strong>4. Be strategic</strong></p> <p>But the choice is never between just literary fiction and paranormal romance. You might have poetry and narrative non-fiction passion projects as well, and it’s possible narrative non-fiction will appeal to the widest audience. If a wider audience is what you want, narrative non-fiction is the one to choose.</p> <p>If, however, you don’t give two hoots about your audience, write what you like.</p> <p>There are lots of different kinds of writers and lots of different paths to becoming the writer you want to be.</p> <p><strong>5. Be brave</strong></p> <p>Writing is hard, intellectually and physically. It also takes emotional work, dealing with exposure, rejection, fear and impostor syndrome. It’s better you know this upfront, in order to fortify yourself.</p> <p>These crises, however, are surmountable. We know this because there are writers out there, leading somewhat normal lives, even healthy and happy ones. You can too, if you don’t give up.</p> <p>The ones who persist are the ones who prevail.</p> <p><strong>6. Be visible</strong></p> <p>Many writers would prefer they remain hidden in a dark cave for all eternity. But stories demand to be communicated, which means leaving that cave. Whether it’s you or your written word, or both, broaching the bubble of self-isolation is important.</p> <p>This doesn’t mean assaulting every social platform and attending every festival and convention. Find the kind of engagement that suits you and embrace it, and don’t overdo it. Remember: you still have to write.</p> <p><strong>7. Be professional</strong></p> <p>Don’t lie. Don’t belittle your peers and don’t steal from them. Keep your promises. Communicate. Try to behave like someone people will want to work with – because we all have to do that, at some point.</p> <p><strong>8. Listen</strong></p> <p>Heed what people you’re working with are saying, because you never know what gems of knowledge you might glean – about craft, about the market, about something you’re working on – among the knowledge you (think you) already possess.</p> <p><strong>9. Don’t settle</strong></p> <p>Every story requires different skills. You’ll never, therefore, stop learning how to write. The day you think you’ve worked it out is the day the ground beneath you begins to erode, dropping you headlong into a metaphorical sinkhole – and nobody wants that. Least of all your readers.</p> <p>Readers can tell when you’re getting lazy, just like they can tell when you’re faking. You’re one of them. Deep down, you’ll be the first to know.</p> <p><strong>10. Work hard</strong></p> <p>Put in the hours and you’re likely to get some return on your investment. How many hours, though?</p> <p>There’s a wonderful saying: “Even a thief takes ten years to learn her trade.” Writing is no different to any other career. Hope for overnight success; plan for being like everyone else.</p> <p><strong>The bonus commandments</strong></p> <p>When I put this list to my friends, several raised the importance of finding your people. Although I agree this is an important principle, I would argue it is implicit in commandments 6-8: these have no meaning without engaging. I decided to encapsulate this as <strong>10.5. Embrace community</strong></p> <p>After I’d been teaching and giving talks on this topic for several years, someone suggested another commandment that lies beneath the rest. It is so fundamental none will work unless you have this in spades. It is <strong>0. Really want it</strong>, which sounds so obvious that it barely needs stating – except it does.</p> <p>One day, I may no longer want to write. If that happens, I will take every mention of writing from this list and substitute the name of a new vocation – because this list applies to everything.</p> <p><em>Written by Sean Williams. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/10-commandments-of-writing-129069">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Inside the story: The Trauma Cleaner - a beautiful meditation on death and decay

<p>Sarah Krasnostein’s <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34964868-the-trauma-cleaner">The Trauma Cleaner</a> has won many awards since it was published in 2017, including the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Australian Book Industry Award General Non-Fiction Book of the Year.</p> <p>While the title may speak of a provocative premise – <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/28/i-started-dry-retching-the-compassion-of-a-trauma-cleaner">what is a trauma cleaner</a>? Are there really jobs like this? – it’s not just the content that makes it a wonderful read, it’s also the writing style. Every word, every sentence, is carefully considered, re-considered and re-considered some more, resulting in what can only be described as beautiful language.</p> <p>I was truly blown away by the power and precision of the prose. Sounds, tastes and smells emanate from the page, creating a visceral experience of protagonist Sandra’s extraordinary, often traumatic, life.</p> <p><strong>Orchestration of words</strong></p> <p>Krasnostein uses exquisite turns of phrase. Language is used to excavate facts and polish ideas that are hard to get rid of – things that stick. As Krasnostein writes, the book is “a catalogue of the ways we die physically and emotionally, and the strength and delicacy needed to lift the things we leave behind”.</p> <p>Introducing her subject, Krasnostein writes:</p> <p><em>During my time with Sandra, I met a bookbinder, a sex offender, a puppeteer, a cookbook hoarder, a cat hoarder, a wood hoarder […] I heard Sandra bend and flex language into words and idioms she made her own: “supposably”, “sposmatically”, “hands down pat!”</em></p> <p>It is this careful and playful orchestration of words – facts transformed into a scintillating narrative – that makes the book hard to put down. Every page lures you in, making you hungry for more.</p> <p>Beneath the beautiful language, resonance strikes and asks us to think of our own lives. Expressions hit like a sudden gust of wind. They bring tears to your eyes. We are not asked to feel sad, but to feel what was, and still is, being experienced by these people – to feel the complexity of the circumstances.</p> <p><em>Imagine Ailsa, the girl who loves to bake, the woman whose cakes are light and high and whose dark religion tells her to fear her effeminate son […] Imagine that baby as a boy frozen in his bed, straining to read the sound of a motor in the driveway over the noise of his own racing heart.</em></p> <p>Krasnostein’s language evokes in us the visceral aspects of a situation – the pain and pleasure of those involved. She says of Sandra, then still Peter, practising his female voice in the shower when wife Linda is out: “the refrain of thrumming along his veins that signifies his only certainty and which says: you don’t belong here”.</p> <p>Later, of his eventual parting from wife and children towards a new life as Sandra:</p> <p><em>When he steps around the food flung on the floor or smells the milk turning in bottles in the sink, or when cries momentarily shatter his sleep like a glass flung against a wall, he doesn’t really notice because in his mind he is dancing at [gay club] Annabel’s with Joe.</em></p> <p>Krasnostein is adept at laying out facts with no judgement or flourish, allowing their trauma to speak to us individually. She refuses to manipulate her readers, instead touching the facts lightly with a sense of perspective: “she will never fear what is ahead of her, only what is behind her”.</p> <p>From one trauma to the next, we learn of the murder of Sandra’s girlfriend, Maria, by a nightclub bouncer. Krasnostein uses repetition to speculate on his motives:</p> <p><em>Maybe he has it in for her. Maybe he has it in for dykes. Maybe he’s jealous of her. Maybe he’s jealous of the girlfriend. Maybe he’s repulsed that he’s jealous of either of them […] Maybe he just wants to feel the force of bone on muscle.</em></p> <p>Krasnostein gives us story perspective in a light, non-manipulative way. That last line is sparse yet stark, simple yet powerful.</p> <p>And then this, which winds all the facts into a clean knot that represents the very core of Sandra’s life journey: “Sandra does not need a physics lesson to understand that time dilates; life taught her early that some seconds are cruelly quick and others are tortuously slow”.</p> <p>Krasnostein pores over language, refining it until it says the most it can in the fewest words possible. “Something you might try to ignore, like a full bladder on a cold night”. “What chips some people like a mug cracks others, like an egg”. “The couch is a grave”.</p> <p><strong>Writing of writing</strong></p> <p>The Trauma Cleaner also speaks about the process of its being written, with authority and poignancy:</p> <p><em>I scrap draft after draft of my timeline and even when I am assisted in my task by Sandra’s recollection, the narrative remains a tangled necklace. Events link into one another only so far before they halt, abruptly, as some great knot where they loop over each other so tightly that some seem to disappear altogether.</em></p> <p>In some ways, the narrative arc of the book is not Sandra’s own journey, but Krasnostein’s understanding of Sandra and what she represents for all of us. This is achieved with a lightness of touch, the author never getting in the way of the reader’s own interpretations.</p> <p>Krasnostein writes at the start of the book:</p> <p><em>And here it hits me what it is we are doing by telling this story. It is something at once utterly unfamiliar and completely alien to Sandra: we are clearing away the clutter of her life out of basic respect for the inherent value of the person beneath.</em></p> <p>And then at the end of the book, after we have witnessed all of Sandra’s trauma, humour and resilience, an ordaining of our protagonist in language that is at once beautiful and beatific: “Sandra, you exist in the Order of Things and the Family of People; you belong, you belong, you belong”.</p> <p><em>Written by Craig Batty. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/inside-the-story-the-trauma-cleaner-a-beautiful-meditation-on-death-and-decay-127436">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Should old judges be forced to retire?

<p>The Australian Constitution says that <a href="http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/~/link.aspx?_id=1A4B10F0E0C645D68D16DC6953E7CE52&amp;_z=z">High Court Justices (judges) must retire when they reach the age of 70</a> – but this was not always the case.</p> <p>There was no such cut-off age before 1977 – up until that time, justices were granted life tenure, meaning that the job was their’s for life as long as they didn’t do anything serious enough to get fired, lose the mental capacity required to be a judge or choose retirement.</p> <p>Most states follow the precedent set by our Constitution. In NSW, however, <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/joa1986155/s44.html">section 44 of the Judicial Officers Act 1986</a>prescribes a retirement age of 72 for both magistrates and judges.</p> <p><strong>The Law Before 1977</strong></p> <p>Back in 1976, the High Court included two elderly statesmen named Edward McTiernan and Sir Garfield Barwick.</p> <p>Justice McTiernan holds the record for the longest-serving judge in Australia. He adamantly refused to retire despite reaching the age of 82, after serving as a judge for more than 45 years.</p> <p>Not everyone approved of McTiernan’s continued presence in the High Court, and he was criticised for taking longer and longer to write his judgments.</p> <p>McTiernan finally retired in 1976. But he might have stayed longer if it wasn’t for an unfortunate accident – the tough old nut broke his hip while chasing a cricket in his hotel room with a rolled-up newspaper.</p> <p>The broken bone confined McTiernan to a wheelchair and the Chief Justice, <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MqLawJl/2013/12.pdf">Sir Garfield Barwick, refused to allow a ramp to be installed in court</a>; giving McTiernan no choice but to retire.</p> <p><strong>The 1977 Referendum</strong></p> <p>Shortly after this, <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s72.html">section 72 of the Australian Constitution</a> was amended to require all newly appointed High Court justices to retire at 70 years of age.</p> <p>Interestingly, this was one of just eight referenda out of 44 to actually succeed in Australia.</p> <p>More than 80% of Australians voted in favour of the change– the highest support rate for any referendum in history.</p> <p>The mandatory retirement age of 70 applies to all Commonwealth (Federal) judges, including those in the High Court, Federal Court and Family Court of Australia.</p> <p><strong>Should the Law Change?</strong></p> <p>Life expectancies have increased considerably since 1977, so it might be time to ask whether a higher retirement age should be set.</p> <p>Judge Graham Bell of the Family Court says that 55 or 60 is the new 70 – and argues that judges of the highest court in the land shouldn’t be kicked out just because they reach 70.</p> <p>According to Bell, the fact that many judges go on to lecture at universities, sit on tribunals and royal commissions, and even work in the private sector is proof that turning 70 doesn’t mean that you have one foot in the grave.</p> <p>As a case in point, highly respected former High Court Justice Michael Kirby has certainly kept himself busy since his retirement in 2009. Kirby has been appointed to the Arbitration Panel of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Commissioner of the UNAIDS Commission in 2013 and President of the Human Rights Council – to name just a few of his esteemed positions.</p> <p>And former High Court Justice Ian Callinan has served as an ad hoc judge in the International Court of Justice. Many other retired judges have similarly taken-on formidable positions well beyond the age of 70.</p> <p>This year, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/new-justice-appointed-to-high-court-of-australia/">Geoffrey Nettle was appointed to the High Court</a> at the age of 64, meaning that he has less than 6 years on the bench before he will have to retire. He has joked that this may be best for Australia, saying that <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/feared-and-admired-justice-geoffrey-nettle-joins-the-high-court-20150203-134tp7.html">“any damage I may do now is limited.”</a></p> <p>While many judges retain their acute intellect well beyond the age of 70, it doesn’t look like the law will change anytime soon, as any such amendment would require yet another referendum.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-old-judges-be-forced-to-retire/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

3 quotes that defined the first Democratic debate of 2020

<p><strong>Dennis Jett, Pennsylvania State University</strong></p> <p><em>“I was part of that deal to get the nuclear agreement with Iran, bringing together the rest of the world, including some of the folks who aren’t friendly to us. And it was working.” - Joe Biden</em></p> <p>The Iran nuclear deal took two years to negotiate and <a href="https://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/world/full-text-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal/1651/">runs to over 20,000 words</a>.</p> <p>Joe Biden no doubt had a part in selling the agreement, as it was one of the <a href="https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/foreign-policy/iran-deal">Obama administration’s top foreign policy</a> objectives. The agreement placed strict and verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program and even Trump, during his first year in office, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/trump-to-announce-he-will-withdraw-us-from-iran-nuclear-deal.html">certified Iran was complying</a> before he came up with <a href="https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/key-moments-in-the-unraveling-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal">additional demands</a>. He then <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal.html">withdrew from the deal</a>.</p> <p>That move convinced American allies that U.S. leadership had <a href="https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/06/05/the-trump-effect-in-europe/">become as erratic as it was unreliable</a>. It also removed the incentive for Iran to limit its ability to develop nuclear weapons and relied on sanctions to force Iran to capitulate.</p> <p>Since the U.S. withdrew, Iran has responded by continuing to develop its nuclear capability, making the time it would need to construct a bomb increasingly shorter. The recent killing <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/08/soleimani-killing-assassination-legitimate-act-war-terror/2831498001/">of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani</a> by U.S. drone strike will only encourage Iran to reconsider the steps it must take to defend itself. That <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/israel-heading-towards-preventive-war-against-iran-98987">may prompt Israel</a> to again contemplate a preemptive strike.</p> <p>In his speech on Jan. 8, Trump explained his rationale for killing Soleimani – a speech that included <a href="https://www.factcheck.org/2020/01/factchecking-trumps-iran-address/">several dubious claims</a>. I predict that his effort to force Iran to its knees will have no more success than his attempt to negotiate with North Korea to get them to give up their weapons.</p> <p>If Trump then resorts to military action against Iran, he will likely find it impossible to convince anyone that his justification for acting is either credible or legitimate.</p> <p>And if Biden – or any of the others on the stage tonight – become president a year from now, putting the deal back together again will be difficult if not impossible.</p> <p><strong>Amy K. Dacey, American University</strong></p> <p><em>“We should stop asking our military to solve problems that cannot be solved militarily.” - Elizabeth Warren</em></p> <p>The final debate before the Iowa caucus is a challenging one for candidates. The strategic question at hand is: Do they fight with other primary candidates – or deescalate the differences that exist between them, even if small?</p> <p>While the first six debates focused on domestic policy, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/iran-news-rouhani-says-us-caused-plane-strike-today-over-donald-trump-killing-qassem-soleimani-2020-01-14/">the recent conflict between the U.S. and Iran</a> was at the forefront of voters’ and candidates’ minds on Jan. 15.</p> <p>This debate shined a light on the candidates’ foreign policy experience, in contrast with the policies of the sitting president. Most recently, Biden has been seen by Democratic primary voters as <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/14/democrats-trust-biden-sanders-on-foreign-policy-amid-iran-tensions.html">the candidate most trustworthy on foreign policy</a>.</p> <p>President Donald Trump’s administration has <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2019-12-03/trump-didnt-shrink-us-military-commitments-abroad-he-expanded-them">expanded U.S. military commitments abroad</a>. Even after declaring <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-cabinet-meeting-15/">“I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home,”</a> <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2019-12-03/trump-didnt-shrink-us-military-commitments-abroad-he-expanded-them">Trump has kept 174,000</a> active military deployed overseas.</p> <p>The focus on foreign policy in the early minutes of the debate opened a door for candidates to remind voters that their positions reinforce the Obama administration’s commitment to only send troops into harm’s way when it was necessary and with <a href="https://time.com/4622417/president-obama-armed-forces-speech-transcript/">a strategy and defined goals</a>, while at the same time openly questioning the military decisions of the Trump administration, especially in recent days.</p> <p>Warren’s comments sent a clear message that diplomacy and other means, such as international alliances and negotiation, are to be considered.</p> <p><strong>Pearl K. Dowe, Oxford College, Emory University</strong></p> <p><em>“We are not going to have a shortage of MBAs, we are going to have a shortage of plumbers.” - Amy Klobuchar</em></p> <p>During the debate, moderators raised the question about Pete Buttigieg’s opposition to free public college access for the wealthiest 20% in the country.</p> <p>Klobuchar attempted to pivot the conversation to the economic value of education, saying that there should be an emphasis on filling blue collar jobs that are currently vacant.</p> <p>This statement echoes a question in today’s society about the value of higher education and who should be able to access it. This <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/opinion/college-useful-cost-jobs.html">public debate</a> has resulted from rising tuition costs, increased student loan debt and stagnation of wages.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics data</a> confirms that, in every state, those with college degrees earn more than those without degrees. College graduates average a weekly income of US$1,173, compared to $712 for those with only a high school diploma. A high school diploma no longer offers a career path that can lead to a middle-class life.</p> <p>Key members of the Democratic voting block – <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2017/12/04/black-women-are-earning-more-college-degrees-but-that-alone-wont-close-race-gaps/">women and people of color</a> – face significant barriers to closing the income and wealth gap with white men.</p> <p>In my view as <a href="https://app.oxford.emory.edu/WebApps/Directory/index.cfm/view/9635">someone who studies African American political behavior</a>, Klobuchar was correct that the conversation about jobs should be broader. But careers with limited mobility and low wages do not offer an effective avenue to economic prosperity. Her comments did not fully acknowledge why people are willing to go into debt in order to receive education beyond high school.</p> <p>African Americans often view education not only as an avenue to a career that allows for the potential of upward mobility, but also to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/30/stop-blaming-black-parents-for-underachieving-kids/">a greater sense of freedom for oneself and one’s family</a>. Klobuchar’s comment dismisses this long history of deep commitment to earning a freer life.</p> <p><em>Written by Dennis Jett, Amy Dacey and Pearl Dowe. Republished with permission of The Conversation. </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

One thing Prince Harry will be barred from doing after stepping down

<p>Since Prince Harry stepped down from being a senior royal, he will no longer be allowed to wear his military uniform as part of the regulations for retired service personnel.</p> <p>While Prince Harry will be able to wear medals that he received for his service, this does not include his uniform.</p> <p>Prince Harry was commissioned in 2006 and left the Army in 2015, having undergone two operational tours of Afghanistan twice in that time. In the Army he was referred to as ‘Captain Wales’.</p> <p>However, under the terms of the deal to step away from his royal duties, he gave up all military appointments.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834044/prince-harry-military-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b1bbaefe31a24dcd9f072057f6aa31a1" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Members Of The Royal Family Attend The 91st Field Of Remembrance At Westminster Abbey</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Under the new agreement, his resignation from three honorary roles in the military will prevent him from wearing his uniform in a public setting and events such as Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday at the cenotaph.</p> <p>Lord West of Spithead, the former First Sea Lord, said: “The next time he [the Duke of Sussex] is at a military event he should be in civilian clothes because he is no longer involved with any military units. It is very unfortunate. It is very sad to be losing him from the military.”</p> <p>Prince Harry’s highest military title was as Captain General of the Royal Marines, a role which was handed to him by the Queen in December 2017, in succession of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.</p> <p>He was also made Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington and honorary Commodore-in-Chief of The Royal Navy’s Small Ships and Diving Operations.</p> <p>The Duke will still be able to don his medals but unlike his brother, Prince William, who did not serve in a conflict zone and has also retired from the Armed Forces, he is not able to wear his uniform as he no longer has any military honorary appointments.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834045/prince-harry-military-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/184882f7d4674644860f0182795c2044" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Members Of The Royal Family Attend The 91st Field Of Remembrance At Westminster Abbey</em></p> <p>The choice made by Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan to spend more time abroad in north America and to step down from their position as ‘senior’ Royals caused alarm within the Royal Marines.</p> <p>It is not clear who will now take on the role of Captain General.</p> <p>Lord West said: “A number of people in the Royal Marines had expressed concerns that they didn’t want a part-timer carrying out such an important role. It will be interesting to see who the next captain general will be.</p> <p>“The Duke of Edinburgh took it very seriously and he was delighted to pass it on to Harry. The Royal Marines will be sad to see Harry go but they were not happy to have a Captain General who was going to be only part-time in the UK.”</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Expert weighs in: In this new world of bushfire terror, I question whether I want to have kids

<p>As fires continue to burn along Australia’s south-east, it’s impossible to ignore how climate change can wreak devastation and disrupt lives.</p> <p>Australia has always experienced bushfires. However, climate change <a href="https://theconversation.com/weather-bureau-says-hottest-driest-year-on-record-led-to-extreme-bushfire-season-129447">means</a> this year’s bushfires were so extreme in their ferocity and spread they could be <a href="https://www.space.com/australia-wildfires-space-station-astronaut-photo.html">seen from space</a>. And this is just a taste of what’s to come.</p> <p>I’m a marine scientist, and research the effects of climate change on coral reefs. Aside from bushfires, coral bleaching is one of the most severe manifestations of climate change in Australia. Watching corals turn white and die is just another daily reminder of the disasters our children will be up against.</p> <p>Until now, my partner and I have both wanted to be parents one day. Now I’m not so sure. Here are the things I’m weighing up.</p> <p><strong>The forces at play</strong></p> <p>I am not alone in these family planning concerns. In September last year I hosted a Women in STEM seminar and photography <a href="https://www.emergingcreativesofscience.com/women-in-steam">exhibit</a> showcasing female scientists at the University of New South Wales. One of the major points of discussion was how to plan for a family, knowing how climate change will affect the quality of life of the next generation.</p> <p>Cases of “<a href="https://theconversation.com/the-rise-of-eco-anxiety-climate-change-affects-our-mental-health-too-123002">eco-anxiety</a>” when it comes to family planning are on the rise. <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/it-doesn-t-feel-justifiable-the-couples-not-having-children-because-of-climate-change-20190913-p52qxu.html">Many couples</a> in my generation are rethinking what it means to start a family. Even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/prince-harry-reveals-how-many-kids-he-and-meghan-will-have/news-story/1f6acaf856c50b6e613cd882aa0d9f74">said last year</a> they’ll have only two children at most, for the sake of the planet.</p> <p>But other factors also affect family planning decisions, such as religious, cultural and societal expectations. And of course there are the views of partners and spouses to take into account.</p> <p>In my case, I come from a large Italian-American, Catholic family. My family expects me to settle down and have babies as soon as possible. But my partner and I both agree the planet cannot sustain a growing population that results from these traditional religious expectations.</p> <p><strong>Would going childless make a difference?</strong></p> <p>Studies show having fewer children is one of the most effective ways an individual can mitigate climate change. Choosing to have one less child prevents <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541#erlaa7541f1">58.6 tonnes of carbon emissions</a> entering the atmosphere each year, according to a 2017 study. That’s like 25 Australians going car-free for the rest of their lives.</p> <p>In fact, even if you do your bit to reduce emissions in your lifetime, such as riding a bike and using energy-saving lightbulbs, having two children means your <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-family-planning-could-be-part-of-the-answer-to-climate-change-32667">“legacy” of carbon emissions could be 40 times greater</a> than that saved through lifestyle changes.</p> <p>But having one less child is not a quick fix for climate change. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4246304/">As research in 2014 pointed out</a>, even one-child policies imposed worldwide, coupled with events causing catastrophic numbers of deaths, would still leave the world population at 5–10 billion people by 2100 – enough to cause stress on future ecosystems.</p> <p>So it’s critical we, as consumers, start now in making our lifestyles more environmentally friendly if the world’s population continues to grow.</p> <p>The above research concluded the most immediate and effective way to keep the planet’s warming at bay is policies and technologies to reign in global emissions.</p> <p><strong>The planet our children will inhabit</strong></p> <p>On our current business-as-usual trajectory, we’re on track for at least a <a href="https://climateactiontracker.org/global/temperatures/">4℃</a>temperature increase by 2100. Even if the temperature increase was limited to 2.8℃ (now an optimistic scenario) major changes in <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/07/major-us-cities-will-face-unprecedente-climates-2050/">weather patterns would occur by 2050</a>.</p> <p>These changes would bring more <a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-change-and-drought-factsheet/">severe droughts</a>, <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/updates/articles/a023.shtml">flooding</a>, <a href="https://time.com/5627355/climate-change-heat-waves/">heatwaves</a>, <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/">sea level rise</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/11/what-are-the-links-between-climate-change-and-bushfires-explainer">bushfires</a>. This is not a future I want for my children.</p> <p>Already, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0315-6">climate hazards have been implicated</a> in pre- and post-natal health problems for children. Children whose mothers were exposed to floods while pregnant exhibited increased bedwetting, aggression towards other children and below-average birth weight, juvenile height and academic performance.</p> <p>What’s more, exposure to smoke from fires during pregnancy may have affected brain development and resulted in premature birth, small head circumference, low birth weight and foetal death</p> <p>This season’s bushfires caused a <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/spike-in-ambulance-calls-for-help-before-smoke-haze-worsens-20200107-p53pea.html">51% spike</a> in people needing help for respiratory issues on one of the most extreme days in Melbourne. Children are among the most vulnerable to respiratory issues stemming from poor air quality.</p> <p>But it’s not just physical health in question – mental health is also at risk.</p> <p>Today’s children already know that without major change, the world they were born into will limit their quality of life. It’s not only affecting their <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-dread-and-worry-keeping-young-australians-up-at-night-20191115-p53aw5.html">mental health</a>, but also their process of identity formation, with children experiencing an “<a href="https://theconversation.com/the-terror-of-climate-change-is-transforming-young-peoples-identity-113355">existential whiplash</a>”.</p> <p>They’re caught between two forces: the belief held by previous generations that if you work hard you’ll have a high quality of life, and knowledge that climate change will make parts of the planet inhabitable.</p> <p><strong>Weighing it all up</strong></p> <p>Of course, improvements in family planning are not solely a matter for the developed world. As <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2102">experts have stated</a>, family planning has the potential to empower women in developing nations, giving them the basic human right to choose whether to have children.</p> <p>Policies to support this – such as better access to contraception and giving more girls a quality education – <a href="https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/11/08-062562/en/">would be a “win-win”</a>, improving reproductive rights and slowing the population growth to combat climate change.</p> <p>As for my own situation, my mind isn’t yet made up. I am seriously considering not having kids altogether. Or perhaps my partner and I will have only one child, or adopt.</p> <p>But one thing is clear. Whether you want to create a healthier planet or you’re concerned about the Earth your children will inherit, climate change should weigh heavily on your family planning decisions.</p> <p><em>Written by Melissa Pappas. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/in-this-new-world-of-bushfire-terror-i-question-whether-i-want-to-have-kids-126752">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

From scandal to true love: All the royals who gave up their titles

<p>Ahead of the bombshell announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex saying they have the intention to step back from the duty of being “senior royals” this January, there has been growing speculations that they might go as far to let go of their titles altogether.</p> <p>However, the act of renouncing a title is not new for royals all across the world. Whether by choice, law, request, punishment or scandal, there are a number of kings, queens, princes and princesses that have forgone their privileges and given up their titles for a different life.</p> <p><strong>1936: King Edward VIII</strong></p> <p>While it had been his birth right to ascend the throne, he gave it up after just 11 months and chose to abdicate in order to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson.</p> <p>An infamous speech he gave to the British public explained that he had “found it impossible” to remain king without Wallis betrothed to him.</p> <p>"I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love,” he said.</p> <p>While he was allowed to keep his title of His Royal Highness, Duke of Windsor following his abdication, the scandal followed him for the rest of his life and drove him out of England as punishment. They lived their lives as celebrities and travelled all across the globe throwing expensive, lavish parties. Not only that, but they sympathised with the Nazis.</p> <p>They were both buried side by side at Windsor Castle as Duke and Duchess.</p> <p><strong>1947: Prince Philip</strong></p> <p>Just a mere ten years after his uncle-in-law, Philip renounced his own right ot the throne. This time however, it was so that he could join the British Royal Family rather than leave it.</p> <p>Philip was born a prince of both Denmark and Greece, so in him choosing to marry Princess Elizabeth, he gave up not one but two thrones.</p> <p>Always seen walking a few steps behind his Queen, the prince went on to father four children, his eldest Prince Charles who is the next in line to the British throne behind his mother.</p> <p>Prince Philip gave up his regular royal duties and appearances at the tender age of 96.</p> <p><strong>1972: Ubolratana Rajakanya</strong></p> <p>Asia has its own secret scandals and royal family to gossip about, and in this case it was Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya who gave up everything she knew for love. In choosing to marry Peter Ladd Jensen, a fellow student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she left behind her father King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit in Thailand. After moving to the US to live with Jensen, she went on to give birth to three children and maintained a strong relationship with her parents.</p> <p>When the pair divorced in 1998, the former princess of Thailand returned home with her children. After losing her royal title and marriage, Ubol was dealt another tragic blow when she lost her autistic son Bhumi in the deadly 2004 tsunami.</p> <p><strong>1981: Peter and Zara Phillips</strong></p> <p>While Princess Anne is the daughter of the Queen of England, it doesn’t mean she didn’t want a normal, unobtrusive and private life for her two children. Surprisingly, her kids were not automatically given a royal title when they were born and unlike her brothers, Charles, Edward and Andrew, she required the Queen to offer the titles as a gift.</p> <p>However, the offer was promptly declined for Peter and Zara. Peter remains 14th in line for the throne whilst Zara is behind his two daughters at 17th.</p> <p><strong>2014: Princess Srirasmi</strong></p> <p>After marrying into the royal family of Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and nearly a decade later, Princess Srirasmi became embroiled in a family scandal. Seven of her family members were charged with serious criminal charges, including defamation of the monarchy. Under her husband’s orders, Princess Srirasmi was stripped of her title receiving 200 million baht ($5.5m/£4.3m) as a divorce settlement.</p> <p>Now she watches on as her son and ex-husband continue their lives in the royal household, without her. Since the pair’s divorce, her parents have also been arrested and later admitted to misusing their royal connections.</p> <p>2015: Princess Cristina</p> <p>The sister of King Felipe VI, Princess Cristina, married Iñaki Urdangarín in 1997. Together they were appointed as the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and enjoyed their lavish royal lifestyle together and with their four children. That was, until Urdangarin was convicted of embezzling €6 million ($6.6m/£5m) of public funds and using his title of Duke for political corruption. </p> <p>Cristina was charged with tax fraud and became the first member of the Spanish royal family to stand trial. Due to this, the King had no choice but to strip his little sister of her titles. Urdangarin received a six-year prison sentence and, in 2017, Cristina was acquitted of all charges. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see all the royal family members who gave up their titles.</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

A life of long weekends is alluring but not practical

<p>When Microsoft gave its 2,300 employees in Japan <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity">five Fridays off in a row</a>, it found productivity jumped 40%.</p> <p>When financial services company Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand trialled <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/feb/19/four-day-week-trial-study-finds-lower-stress-but-no-cut-in-output">eight Fridays off in a row</a>, its 240 staff reported feeling more committed, stimulated and empowered.</p> <p>Around the world there’s renewed interest in reducing the standard working week. But a question arises. Is instituting the four-day week, while retaining the eight-hour workday, the best way to reduce working hours?</p> <p>Arguably, retaining the five-day week but cutting the working day to seven or six hours is a better way to go.</p> <p><strong>Shorter days, then weeks</strong></p> <p>History highlights some of the differences between the two options.</p> <p>At the height of the Industrial Revolution, in the 1850s, a 12-hour working day and a six-day working week – 72 hours in total – was common.</p> <p>Mass campaigns, vigorously opposed by business owners, emerged to reduce the length of the working day, initially from 12 hours to ten, then to eight.</p> <p>Building workers in Victoria, Australia, were among the first in the world to secure an eight-hour day, <a href="https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/publications/research-papers/download/36-research-papers/13812-heritage-note-no-1-2017-the-origins-of-the-eight-hour-day-in-victoria">in 1856</a>. For most workers in most countries, though, it did not become standard until the first decades of the 20th century.</p> <p>The campaign for shorter working days was based largely on worker fatigue and health and safety concerns. But it was also argued that working men needed time to read and study, and would be <a href="http://ergo.slv.vic.gov.au/explore-history/fight-rights/workers-rights/origins-8-hour-day">better husbands, fathers and citizens</a>.</p> <p>Reducing the length of the working week from six days came later in the 20th century.</p> <p>First it was reduced to five-and-a-half days, then to five, resulting in the creation of “the weekend”. This occurred in most of the industrialised world from the 1940s to 1960s. In Australia the 40-hour five-day working week became the law of the land <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/70-years-ago-today-the-40hour-five-day-working-week-began-20180101-h0c3dd.html">in 1948</a>. These changes occurred despite two world wars and the Great Depression.</p> <p><strong>Stalled campaign</strong></p> <p>In the 1970s, campaigns for reduced working hours ground to a halt in most industrialised countries.</p> <p>As more women have joined the paid workforce, however, the total workload (paid and unpaid) for <a href="https://theconversation.com/grappling-with-the-time-bomb-of-australias-work-rest-and-play-5330">the average family increased</a>. This led to concerns about “time squeeze” and overwork.</p> <p>The issue has re-emerged over the past decade or so from a range of interests, including feminism and environmentalism.</p> <p><strong>Back on the agenda</strong></p> <p>A key concern is still worker fatigue, both mental and physical. This is not just from paid work but also from the growing demands of family and social life in the 21st century. It arises on a daily, weekly, annual and lifetime basis.</p> <p>We seek to recover from daily fatigue during sleep and daily leisure. Some residual fatigue nevertheless accumulates over the week, which we recover from over the weekend. Over longer periods we recover during public holidays (long weekends) and annual holidays and even, over a lifetime, during retirement.</p> <p>So would we be better off working fewer hours a day or having a longer weekend?</p> <p>Arguably it is the pressure to fit family and personal commitments into the few hours between getting home and bedtime that is the main source of today’s time-squeeze, particularly for families. This suggests the priority should be the shorter working day rather than the four-day week.</p> <p>Sociologist Cynthia Negrey is among those who suggest reducing the length of the workday, especially to mesh with children’s school days, as part of the feminist enterprise to alleviate the “sense of daily time famine” she writes about in her 2012 book, <a href="http://politybooks.com/bookdetail/?isbn=9780745654256">Work Time: Conflict, Control, and Change</a>.</p> <p><strong>Historical cautions</strong></p> <p>It’s worth bearing in mind the historical fall in the working week from 72 to 40 hours was achieved at a rate of only about 3.5 hours a decade. The biggest single step – from six to five-and-half days – was a reduction of 8% in working hours. Moving to a six-hour day or a four-day week would involve a reduction of about 20% in one step. It therefore seems practical to campaign for this in a number of stages.</p> <p>We should also treat with caution results of one-off, short-term, single-company experiments with the four-day week. These typically occur in organisations with leadership and work cultures willing and able to experiment with the concept. Employees are likely to see themselves as “special” and may be conscious of the need to make the experiment work. Painless economy-wide application cannot be taken for granted.</p> <p><em>Written by Anthony Veal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-life-of-long-weekends-is-alluring-but-the-shorter-working-day-may-be-more-practical-127817">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Smash hit Senior Moments returns for sequel with no equal

<div> <div> <p><span>A show for people who can remember being told the King was dead - that's George, not Elvis.</span></p> </div> </div> <p>The <em>Senior Moments</em> gang is back for another bout of hilarity from legendary performers Tony Barber, Max Gillies and Normie Rowe.</p> <p>These days Australian TV icon Tony Barber of <em>Sale of the Century</em> fame is having more and more “Senior Moments”. So is master satirist Max Gillies (<em>The Gillies Report</em>) and original rock legend Normie Rowe (<em>Les Misérables</em>).</p> <p>It’s no coincidence. They are appearing as part of the classic cast in the new show that follows the smash hit comedy revue <em>Senior Moments</em>. After wowing more than 55,000 seniors Australia-wide on their national 2019 season, the <em>Senior Moments</em> gang is back with a new show for another national tour in 2020.</p> <p><em>Senior Moments 2: Remember, Remember</em> is another 90 minutes of hilarious comedy sketches, songs and inspired senior silliness from a cast old enough to know better.</p> <p>“The show is suitable for all ages,” says Max Gillies, “As long as that age is in the high double digits or you can remember when we still used pound notes and milk came in glass bottles.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833944/senior-moments-hero.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/088a1889a1024f71b4afc9f8da5f9208" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The gang getting ready for the show</em></p> <p>Among the highlights of the show: Tony Barber will be asking the questions in the quiz show sketch “Senior of the Century”. Yes, the senior contestants may be a little slower on the buzzers, and their short-term memory may not be what it used to be, but they still remember when “Boomer” used to be a kangaroo that people liked, not a generation young people blamed for everything.</p> <p>The show may be called <em>Senior Moments</em>, but Tony still can’t get away with asking the same question twice in a row.</p> <p>This is a show for people who remember when ‘wireless’ meant the radio, not an internet connection option.</p> <p>Amongst the silliness, Normie Rowe plans to sing one of his classics, but only if Max Gillies doesn’t sing one of his. But Max has even persuaded Bob Hawke to make a cameo!</p> <p>The <em>Senior Moments 2</em> cast also includes Kim Lewis (<em>Sons &amp; Daughters</em>), David Callan (<em>The Goon Show Live</em>) and Dave Gibson (<em>Andrew Denton Breakfast Show</em>) with the shockingly young virtuoso Mitchell Price-Norgaard dazzling on piano.</p> <p>It’s a second serving of hilarious sketches and wonderfully witty songs performed by legendary show business seniors ageing disgracefully before your eyes.</p> <p><em>Senior Moments 2: ‘Remember Remember’</em> is a seriously funny revue for slightly old people. If that’s you (be honest!) then grab some tickets before you forget!</p> <p><strong><em>Senior Moments 2</em> is touring Australia in Feb-March 2020. Dates and Tickets via the website. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.seniormomentsshow.com.au/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">www.SeniorMomentsShow.com.au</a></strong></p> <p>Here's what people said about the original <em>Senior Moments</em>.</p> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2454727404755605" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>I just loved your show ... saw it at Sutherland... so funny. The writing and acting were just excellent. And the walking...</p> Posted by <a href="#">Meaghan Lee</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2454727404755605">Thursday, April 4, 2019</a></blockquote> </div> <div id="fb-root"></div> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2453677374860608" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>An absolute MUST to go and see. Especially if you're 50+. Laughed from start to finish - Only problem was.... I resemble most of it !!!</p> Posted by <a href="#">Chris Guest</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2453677374860608">Tuesday, April 2, 2019</a></blockquote> </div> <div id="fb-root"></div> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2429443733950639" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>Thank you for a delightful afternoon of fun at Chatswood on Wednesday. Best wishes for your future shows. Noela</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/people/Diamond-Fish/100012601412031">Diamond Fish</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/seniormomentsshow/posts/2429443733950639">Friday, February 22, 2019</a></blockquote> </div> <p><em>This is a sponsored article written in partnership with the <a href="https://www.seniormomentsshow.com.au/">Senior Moments</a> gang.</em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Australia’s oldest man at 110 reveals his secrets for long life

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>As Dexter Kruger celebrates his 110th birthday, he wants to make it clear that he is still sharp as a tack.</p> <p>Kruger is also well aware that everyone wants to know his secrets to living to such an old age.</p> <p>“I knew you were going to bring that up because everyone does,” he said to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/australias-oldest-man-dexter-kruger-turns-110/news-story/24f422827c45ecb2275a16e60e1becea" target="_blank">Courier Mail</a>.</p> <p>“Always eat when you are hungry, always drink when you are dry, always sleep when you are sleepy, don’t stop breathing or you’ll die,” Mr Kruger said, borrowing from an often-quoted old verse, with a cheeky grin.</p> <p>However, he realises that it might just be down to good genes.</p> <p>“I had two cousins who made 100, and then my ­mother’s sister made 103, and I am 110,” he explained.</p> <p>Kruger was born on January 13th, 1910 in what he describes as a different world.</p> <p>“You could say that the horse and buggy was still the transport while motor cars were coming on,” he said of his childhood.</p> <p>“The change (of technology) has been very gradual – it’s hard to realise.”</p> <p>Kruger appreciates the technology as it helps him indulge in one of his favourite hobbies, which is writing.</p> <p>“I do find the technology, especially in producing my books, just marvellous,” he said.</p> <p>As Kruger started writing at the age of 86, he has since published 12 other books and is working hard on his latest one.</p> <p>“It’s a long way off being published – it is a biography – but I have 12 other books (published),” he said.</p> <p> </p> <p>He has plenty to keep him busy on his birthday, as he will be surrounded by 50 of his friends and family.</p> <p>“We only invited about half a dozen people really, but it was sort of an open-ended invitation,” he says.</p> <p>“It’s going to be quite a day.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"><em>Photo credits: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/australiasoldestman/">Dexter Kruger - Australia's Oldest Man</a></em></div> </div> </div> </div>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Getting a divorce in New South Wales

<p>Divorce is a delicate subject, especially over the holiday period when families are meant to be coming together rather than falling apart.</p> <p>But there is no denying the holidays can have a way of magnifying tensions in relationships that aren’t strong and thriving.</p> <p>In fact, typically around the world, Christmas and the New Year tend to be the busiest times for <a href="https://www.sydneyfamilylawyers.com.au/">divorce lawyers</a> to take calls from new clients.</p> <p>In Australia the divorce rate is declining, and currently stands at 2 in 1,000 marriages. But these numbers don’t include the significant number of marriages and de-facto relationships that simply end without any kind of official paperwork. While it is not illegal to avoid divorce, there are implications to consider if you don’t formally end your relationship or marriage.</p> <p>If there are children under the age of 18 from the relationship then their ongoing needs and care must be a priority. Chances are there is property and joint financial commitments too. Superannuation can be considered a joint asset in long term relationships.</p> <p>To protect yourself, and to make a clean break so you and your former partner can both move on, it’s important to consider ‘officially’ ending the relationship.</p> <p>So, what are your options? And what is the difference between divorce, ending a de-facto relationship and annulment?</p> <p><strong>Divorce</strong></p> <p>The definition of divorce in Australia is simply the termination of a marriage. It’s called a “divorce order”.</p> <p>In Australia, you can actually apply for a divorce order online, as we have a “no fault” divorce system, meaning you don’t need to prove anyone has caused the relationship to end, you just need to show that the relationship has broken down, which in the eyes of the law, is demonstrated by being separated for 12 months.</p> <p>You also will have to live as separated for at least 12 months before you can apply for the divorce order, no matter how long you’ve been married. If you separate, but remain living together under the same roof for the sake of convenience, then you also need to prove that the relationship has ended.</p> <p>While you can take as much time as you like from splitting up to applying for a divorce, there are some minimum time restrictions. For example, if you have been married for less than two years, you will need to attend some counselling before the family court will accept your application.</p> <p>The other time restriction relates to your financial affairs. From the date of the divorce there is a 12 month time limit to be able to access the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/family-court-needs-urgent-overhaul-say-new-chief-justice/">Family Court</a> if intervention is required over financial or property matters.</p> <p>While you don’t have to get a divorce, it’s an important consideration if you want to remarry. <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/is-polygamy-a-crime-in-australia/">Polygamy is illegal in Australia</a>.</p> <p><strong>Children and divorce or separation</strong></p> <p>If you and your co-parent can’t agree custody and living arrangements of the children, then you are required to go through a process of meditation before going to court, unless there are mitigating circumstances.</p> <p><strong>De facto relationships  </strong></p> <p>De facto relationships, and their breakups, are handled under the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00101/Html/Volume_1">Family Law Act 1975</a>.</p> <p>A de facto relationship is defined by the fact that you’re not legally married to each other, and you are not related to each other but have a relationship as a couple living together on a domestic basis. The difficulty with de-facto relationships is proving when they started which can impact the settlement terms. When there is a marriage certificate, the date is recorded.</p> <p><strong>What about an annulment?</strong></p> <p>Annulment means that a marriage is declared null and void. It’s different from a divorce.</p> <p>In Australia, it is not popular to seek an annulment, but they can sometimes be granted to declare a marriage is void, in circumstances such as:</p> <ul> <li>One or both parties were already married</li> <li>If one or both people is under 17 and doesn’t have special court approval, or someone is not able to provide informed consent</li> <li>It’s a prohibited relationship (such as siblings marrying, for example)</li> <li>The legal requirements were not met at the time of the marriage (for example, the celebrant wasn’t qualified)</li> <li>If either party was forced into the marriage</li> </ul> <p>This kind of legal annulment shouldn’t be confused by an annulment that is sometimes granted by a religious faith for the spiritual side of the marriage.</p> <p><strong>Prenuptial agreements</strong></p> <p>Prenuptial agreements (otherwise known as ‘prenups’) are not common in Australia, and recent case-law has made clear they may be difficult to enforce.</p> <p><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/how-a-prenuptial-agreement-will-cover-you-when-your-marriage-falls-apart/news-story/9aa0ff72d9fd2e5dcfa8d039d645d2ae">Recent research suggests</a> that while a vast majority think they’re a good idea (74%), only about 18% of people actually have one. Prenuptial agreements don’t set a relationship up to fail, but they do protect both parties if that should happen and can make any divorce process run much more smoothly.</p> <p>Prenuptial agreements are outlined in Sections 90B-90KA of the Family Law Act 1975 deal with financial agreements by parties that are married, while sections 90UA-090UN apply to de facto couples, including same sex couples.</p> <p>The Act covers de-facto couples in all states and territories except Western Australia. prenups are best organised through a lawyer.</p> <p>Like Wills, if they are scribbled in the back of an envelope not ‘officially’ executed in accordance with the legislation, this can cause problems if anyone chooses to launch a dispute, ending in lengthy, expensive legal battles and delays.</p> <p><strong>Family violence</strong></p> <p>If the relationship is <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/changing-attitudes-an-interview-with-domestic-violence-nsw-ceo-moo-baulch/">ending because of violence</a>, then first and foremost, you need to consider your own (and your children’s) safety. The research consistently shows that the most dangerous time for a victim is as the relationship is ending. Contact the local police and get <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/">legal advice</a>. There are mechanisms that can be put in place to protect you, and police and lawyers can assist you to make a plan to leave safely, assisting you with emergency accommodation, food and clothing if need be.</p> <p><strong>Important steps</strong></p> <p>Because every relationship is unique and the reasons for the breakdown are also unique to the situation it is best to protect your own interests and seek legal advice. While many parties do ‘go it alone’ they do so at their own peril. A lawyer will have your best interests at heart and make sure that the terms of the separation or divorce are fair and equitable.</p> <p>It’s also worthwhile, once all of the custody, financial, property and legal aspects are finalised to consider getting help from a professional financial planner who can help you to understand your financial position and help you prepare for the future.</p> <p>It’s also really important to consider the benefits of hiring a life coach or finding a support group or a counsellor too. Having someone to talk to is paramount to moving forward, helping you plan the next phase of your life.</p> <p>Relationship breakdowns, no matter how amicable can still be stressful, so take time to take care of your physical and emotional health.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/getting-a-divorce-in-new-south-wales/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

5 thyroid facts everyone should know

<p>This little gland plays a huge part in controlling our heart rate, respiration, major organs and metabolism. Here's what the thyroid experts want us to know.</p> <p>1. This little gland in your neck should not be taken for granted</p> <p>For such a small organ, the thyroid – that butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck above your collarbone – wields a lot of power. It directly or indirectly controls virtually every function in the body. Here’s what you need to know.</p> <p>2. What your thyroid does</p> <p>The thyroid makes the hormones known as T4 and T3, which are used by all the cells of the body. “These hormones are essential for life,” says Dr Terry Davis. “When there is too much of them or too little then things can go seriously wrong.” Too much thyroid hormone, for example, can aggravate the heart, causing palpitations and anxiety. Too little can cause weight gain; and “because the brain is very thyroid dependent,” says Dr Davies, too little thyroid hormone can also cause depression.</p> <p>3. Thyroid issues can affect your overall health</p> <p>With great power comes great responsibility, and the thyroid is no exception. Unfortunately, there are many ways in which this gland can be thrown off, and there are a number of conditions that fall under the category of thyroid disease. The big ones are hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid, causing hypothyroidism), and Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism). “In addition, the thyroid may form growths or even thyroid cancer,” says Dr Davies.</p> <p>4. Getting your thyroid checked is easy to do</p> <p>Whether as part of your annual physical or something you schedule because you’re concerned that something is off, bloodwork can reveal troubles with your thyroid. Initially, “an excellent and sensitive blood test called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) can diagnose abnormal thyroid function very easily,” says Dr Davies. “TSH is the messenger hormone from the brain to the thyroid gland telling it to work harder. When the thyroid fails, the message gets louder so TSH is increased. When the thyroid is overworking the brain does not need to send messages so TSH is low.” If your TSH test results are not normal, you will need at least one other blood test – T4, T3, or thyroid antibody tests – to help find the cause of the problem.</p> <p>5. Thyroid conditions can arise at any age</p> <p>A study published in the Journal of Clinical &amp; Diagnostic Research found that there are a number of myths about thyroid disease. For instance: almost 40 per cent of study participants thought obese people are more likely to get hypothyroidism; about 27 per cent believed elderly people are more affected, and around 13 per cent believed women get more affected with hypothyroidism. Only nine per cent were aware that hypothyroidism can affect all age groups.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/thyroid/13-thyroid-facts-everyone-should-know?slide=all">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our <a href="https://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">best subscription offer.</a> here’s our <a href="https://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V">best subscription offer.</a></em></p>

Retirement Life