Retirement Life

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Dutton is turfing vulnerable refugees out onto the street mid-pandemic

<p>Dutton and Alan Tudge have come to the decision that the current pandemic and downturn in the economic climate is a good time to start evicting asylum seekers and refugees out of their long-term accommodation, and cutting off their financial support.</p> <p>As the <a href="https://twitter.com/homesafewithus">@HomeSafeWithUs</a> coalition <a href="https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2009/S00048/hundreds-more-refugees-being-abandoned-to-homelessness.htm">outlines</a> last week a number of refugees and asylum seekers were notified of this coming change in circumstance, which could ultimately affect up to 845 individuals, including 284 children.</p> <p>Brought into play in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/asylum-seekers-left-destitute-at-the-hands-of-dutton/">August 2017</a>, this policy involves notifying refugees and asylum seekers held in onshore community detention – with no right to work – that they will be turfed out of their housing in two weeks’ time, with their income support being cut off in three weeks.</p> <p>These refugees and asylum seekers were either brought to Australia from offshore immigration detention to undergo medical treatment prior to the commencement of Medevac in February 2019, or they’re part of the <a href="https://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/publication/legacy-caseload#:~:text=The%20'legacy%20caseload'%20refers%20to,2012%20and%201%20January%202014.">legacy caseload</a>, which are people who arrived by boat in either 2012 or 2013.</p> <p>Indeed, right now, many refugees and asylum seekers already in the community on temporary visas have lost their employment due to the COVID crisis, and they’re not eligible for pandemic income support.</p> <p>So, Dutton’s seen fit to throw these other community detainees into this current economic wasteland, with no real rental or employment record.</p> <p><strong>Final departure visas</strong></p> <p>“This is creating fear and insecurity. The hope is that some people will agree to go home,” explained @HomeSafeWithUs spokesperson Pamela Curr. “The trouble is that they can’t go home. Many people come from countries that wouldn’t accept them back.”</p> <p>“These people’s cases go back seven years and sometimes more,” she told <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/offences/drink-driving/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers</a>. “They’re required to go and find somewhere to live, when they’ve got no record of renting anything in Australia, no income and no rights to Centrelink.”</p> <p>As Curr tells it, community detention has been an ongoing legal limbo for these people, with the federal government not having decided what should happen to them. So, the state’s current solution is to push them out onto the street and see what happens.</p> <p>In a practical sense, this involves placing these “illegal maritime arrivals” on a <a href="https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/bridging-visa-e-050-051">bridging visa E (BVE)</a>, which grants working rights and can be valid for three to six months.</p> <p>Back in mid-2017, these visas were termed “final departure bridging E visas”, which clearly expressed government intentions.</p> <p>“Many of these refugees on bridging visas rely on community groups for housing and food to save them from total destitution,” Curr advised. And she added that the latest group transferred out of community detention “have little prospect of gaining employment in the COVID recession”.</p> <p><strong>The true con artist</strong></p> <p>Dutton announced the BVE policy on 28 August 2017, when he <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Fnews%2Fnsw%2Fasylum-seeker-scammers-exploiting-medical-welfare%2Fnews-story%2F4f6d49023d01b2a93de6034da85ac48b&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21suffix=97-B">told the Daily Telegraph</a> that an initial 70 asylum seekers would have their income cut off within a fortnight and they’d also lose their long-term accommodation after three weeks.</p> <p>The home affairs minister spruiked the heartless policy using <a href="https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/labors-asylum-seeker-scammers.3639627/">his usual technique</a>: demonise the victim.</p> <p>According to Dutton, offshore detainees were running a medical scam to make their way to the mainland to live in rent-free accommodation and obtaining a better deal than pensioners.</p> <p>These people were permitted to come to Australia to seek treatment but were then using “tricky legal moves” to prevent being sent back to indefinite detention, Dutton claimed. “This con has been going on for years,” he added.</p> <p>Initially, the government only saw fit to throw single refugees out onto the streets, however <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australian-government-is-causing-humanitarian-crisis/">by May the following year</a>, the department confirmed that a further 100 individuals were being served notices, which included families with children under 18 years of age.</p> <p><strong>Cruel policy</strong></p> <p>Ms Curr recalled that she’d been in contact with a couple of young single Somali women living in Brisbane, who were served with BVE documents. This gave them no choice but to sleep in a car that a friend was kind enough to park in the driveway of the house they were evicted from.</p> <p>The women were able to camp in the car for five nights, and when they needed to use a bathroom, a fellow asylum seeker still living in community detention allowed them to use hers. That was until the friend’s flatmate notified the authorities as to what was going on.</p> <p>“So, the immigration department told this woman that if she let her friends use the toilet or the shower, they would re-detain her,” the long-term refugee rights advocate continued. “That was the way it was being dealt with.”</p> <p>Release them into the community</p> <p>The @HomeSafeWithUs coalition is comprised of 20 refugee advocacy groups that have been organising accommodation to house another cohort of offshore detainees that were brought to Australia last year under the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/everyone-is-fearful-an-interview-with-mantra-refugee-detainee-ismail-hussein/">now revoked Medevac laws</a>.</p> <p>The 180-odd men are being detained in Melbourne’s Mantra Hotel and Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point Central Hotel. However, with the onset of the pandemic the government has simply left them in this accommodation, without any means to properly protect themselves or room to socially distance.</p> <p>These detainees have compromised health, making them extra vulnerable to COVID-19. Whilst they’ve been languishing in the hotels, a staff member at each location has tested positive for the virus. And the department carried out thorough security checks on all of them before they came out.</p> <p>“What we propose doing is to offer the government an option other than the continued detention of those people who’ve been brought over from Nauru and Manus under Medevac,” Ms Curr made clear.</p> <p>People have offered beds to accommodate the refugees held in hotels and also those in centres.</p> <p><strong>Prolonged and indefinite</strong></p> <p>While much of the public is aware that the government has been detaining certain refugees and asylum seekers for over seven years now, Ms Curr explains that advocates have located some people in the onshore detention system that have been there for over a decade.</p> <p>And then there are others who have been positively assessed as refugees but are still detained in immigration centres. Curr explains that the Migration Act now permits the minister to have the final word on anyone’s release, regardless of any ruling from the tribunal or the court.</p> <p>“We want a fair process, not this business of shoving applications in the bottom draw and not processing them,” Ms Curr concluded. “People arrived here in 2013 to seek asylum, they’ve lodged an application and they haven’t even had an interview from the department.”</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/dutton-is-turfing-vulnerable-refugees-out-onto-the-street-mid-pandemic/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

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Why Australia needs a national ban on conversion therapy

<p>In recent weeks, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/queensland-has-become-the-first-australian-state-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy">Queensland</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/act-bans-gay-conversion-therapy-with-sexuality-gender-bill/12600956">the ACT</a> became the first Australian jurisdictions to ban conversion therapy.</p> <p>Both passed laws making the <a href="https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/PS02_2014.pdf">widely discredited</a> practice a criminal offence.</p> <p>While this is progress, it is not enough to adequately protect LGBTIQ Australians from the devastating impact of conversion therapy. A national approach is needed.</p> <p><strong>What is conversion therapy?</strong></p> <p>Conversion therapy involves practices aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse people.</p> <p><strong>Get your politics analysis from academic experts, not vested interests.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>The goal is achieve an exclusively <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">heterosexual and cisgender identity</a> (in other words, where a person’s gender identity matches that assigned at birth).</p> <p>In Australia, <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">religious-based</a> conversion therapy is most common, and includes things like counselling for “sexual brokenness”, prayer, scripture reading, fasting, retreats and “spiritual healing” .</p> <p>According to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, so-called “<a href="https://irct.org/uploads/media/IRCT_research_on_conversion_therapy.pdf">therapeutic</a>” measures can also include forms of abuse like beatings, rape, electrocution, forced medication, confinement, forced nudity, verbal abuse and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-01/penis-lie-detector-helped-doctors-conduct-gay-aversion-therapy/10768044">aversion therapy</a>.</p> <p>Even more extreme measures <a href="https://theconversation.com/some-christian-groups-still-promote-gay-conversion-therapy-but-their-influence-is-waning-91523">throughout history</a> have included castration, lobotomy and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-fgm-in-victorian-london-38327">clitoridectomy</a>.</p> <p>Crucially, conversion therapy does not refer to interventions that help affirm a person’s lived gender identity, such as for transgender people.</p> <p><strong>How widespread is it?</strong></p> <p>There are no studies of the prevalence of conversion therapy in contemporary Australia, but a 2018 Human Rights Law Centre/La Trobe University <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">report</a> pointed to the United Kingdom as a reasonable comparison.</p> <p>The UK’s 2018 <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-lgbt-survey-summary-report">national LGBT survey</a> saw 2% of respondents report having undergone conversion therapy, with a further 5% reporting they had been offered it. People from multicultural and multi-faith backgrounds were up to three times as likely to report being offered it.</p> <p>As The Age <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/i-am-profoundly-unsettled-inside-the-hidden-world-of-gay-conversion-therapy-20180227-p4z1xn.html">reported in 2018</a>, conversion therapies are commonly encountered in religious settings.</p> <p><em>[They are] hidden in evangelical churches and ministries, taking the form of exorcisms, prayer groups or counselling disguised as pastoral care. They’re also present in some religious schools or practised in the private offices of health professionals.</em></p> <p><strong>Why does it need to be banned?</strong></p> <p>The practice <a href="https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/researchandreports/report-on-inquiry-into-conversion-therapy-executive-summary">causes real harm to survivors</a>, many of whom live with acute and long-lasting distress, psychological damage, feelings of guilt and <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">isolation</a> as a result. Conversion therapy encourages internalised homophobia, self-hatred, shame and confusion about sexuality and gender identity.</p> <p>In addition to direct harms, the practice also <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">violates human rights</a>.</p> <p>It is opposed by many professional medical and human rights bodies, including the <a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/news-and-media/Media-releases/2018/The-APS-does-not-support-gay-conversion-therapy">Australian Psychological Society</a>, <a href="https://ama.com.au/ausmed/no-place-conversion-therapy">Australian Medical Association</a> and the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/u-n-calls-global-end-conversion-therapy-says-it-may-n1230851">United Nations</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1752928X20300366?dgcid=author">Independent Forensic Expert Group</a> recently released a statement, stressing the “lack of medical and scientific validity of conversion therapy”.</p> <p>Conversion therapy has <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">already been banned</a> in a number of countries including Brazil, Malta, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/germany-5th-country-ban-conversion-therapy-minors-n1203166">Germany</a> and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-lgbt-politics/spains-health-minister-calls-for-end-to-gay-conversion-therapy-idUSKCN1RF2IR">parts of Spain</a>, and the United States.</p> <p>Canada is moving towards a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/canada-lgbtq-conversion-therapy-criminalize">national ban</a>, while the European Parliament has <a href="http://lgbti-ep.eu/2018/03/01/european-parliament-takes-a-stance-against-lgbti-conversion-therapies-for-the-first-time/">condemned the practice</a>. In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged a ban <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53477323">in the UK</a>.</p> <p><strong>Australia’s progress to date</strong></p> <p>In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/dangerous-and-discredited-labor-pledges-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy-20190422-p51g8x.html">federal Labor</a> promised a nationwide ban.</p> <p>But Prime Minister <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/24/coalition-takes-tougher-line-on-gay-conversion-therapy-after-labor-promises-ban">Scott Morrison</a> said while he didn’t support conversion therapy, it was “ultimately a matter for the states”.</p> <p>On top of Queensland and the ACT, <a href="https://engage.vic.gov.au/conversion-practices-ban">Victoria</a> also intends to ban the practice, and South Australia’s <a href="https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/south-australia/south-australian-ban-on-conversion-therapy-to-be-shaped-by-survivors/197249">Labor opposition</a> is calling for a ban.</p> <p><strong>A national approach is required</strong></p> <p>While Australia is making welcome progress, a much more comprehensive approach is needed. Conversion practices remain legal in most of Australia, despite their clear harms.</p> <p>Queensland’s ban <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/queensland-outlawed-gay-conversion-therapy-survivors-say-the-ban-doesn-t-go-far-enough">has been criticised</a> for not capturing the <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">less-formalised practices</a> in religious settings.</p> <p>It is important to note the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">recommends</a> banning conversion therapy beyond just healthcare to include religious, education, and community settings.</p> <p>Lawmakers so far have also focused on balancing the rights of LGBTIQ people with religious freedoms. For example, the ACT legislation <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/act-bans-gay-conversion-therapy-with-sexuality-gender-bill/12600956">was amended</a> after Christian schools <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-26/sexuality-gender-conversion-therapy-bill-in-legislative-assembly/12596372">raised concerns</a> the definition of “conversion” was “vague and imprecise” (the ACT Law Society <a href="https://www.actlawsociety.asn.au/article/criminal-offence-a-heavy-handed-approach-to-conversion-therapy">also criticised</a> the bill as “too broad”).</p> <p>The Morrison government’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-religious-discrimination-bill-enshrines-the-right-to-harm-others-in-the-name-of-faith-131206">controversial</a> religious discrimination legislation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-pandemic-kills-indigenous-referendum-delivers-likely-mortal-blow-to-religious-discrimination-legislation-140079">stalled due to COVID-19</a>, may also raise difficult questions for state lawmakers.</p> <p>Legal groups, such as the <a href="https://www.liv.asn.au/Staying-Informed/LIJ/LIJ/January-2020/Religious-freedom-bill-contravenes-healthcare-righ">Law Institute of Victoria</a>, have already criticised the proposed legislation for allowing health professionals to put their religious beliefs before the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.</p> <p>State-based bans could also be undermined by federal religious freedom exemptions.</p> <p><strong>A new system is needed</strong></p> <p>Australia needs to enact a ban that works in concert with federal human rights and anti-discrimination law, overseen by the Australian Human Rights Commission.</p> <p>This is essential to counter any ramifications of the proposed religious freedom legislation and address recommendations made by the UN.</p> <p>Ultimately, law reform also needs to go hand in hand with complaint mechanisms and other support for victims. This includes community awareness campaigns to tackle the deep discrimination and prejudice at the heart of conversion practices.</p> <p><em>Written by Larissa Sandy, Anastasia Powell and Rebecca Hiscock. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-australia-needs-a-national-ban-on-conversion-therapy-145410">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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10 old-time remedies that actually work

<p>These remedies have been known about for hundreds of years and you might have heard about some of these incredible tips from your grandmother! </p> <p>See the ten best remedies that actually work. </p> <p><strong>1. Old-time home remedies</strong></p> <p>Researchers have produced hundreds of studies in the past five years about the effectiveness of home remedies, but not all the old-time solutions really help. That’s why this list focuses on treatments with evidence to back them up. Remember that even natural cures can interact with medications. If you take pills regularly or have a chronic health condition, check with your doctor before trying these.</p> <p><strong>2. Buttermilk for age spots</strong></p> <p>You can skip the expensive skin creams. This rich by-product of butter contains lactic acid and ascorbic acid. One study showed that this combination lightened age spots more effectively than lactic acid alone. Apply to the spots with a cotton ball, then rinse with water after 20 minutes.</p> <p><strong>3. Comfrey for back pain</strong></p> <p>This medicinal plant has been used for centuries to treat joint and muscle pain. A study of 215 patients found that applying concentrated comfrey cream to the lower and upper back reduced muscle pain. You can buy it in health food stores and online.</p> <p><strong>4. Aloe for burns</strong></p> <p>“Aloe is a very soothing remedy for burns,” says dermatologist, Dr Purvisha Patel. One study demonstrated it was more effective than other treatments for second-degree burns. Make sure you use pure aloe, not a scented version. If you own an aloe plant, simply cut open a leaf and apply the liquid directly to the affected area. For serious burns, you should still see a doctor.</p> <p><strong>5. Ground flaxseed for constipation</strong></p> <p>“It’s almost as if nature tailor-made ground flaxseed to relieve constipation,” says gastroenterologist Dr Will Bulsiewicz. “It is a great source of both insoluble and soluble fibre, which add bulk to the stool and promote the growth of good bacteria.” Ground flaxseed is an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help soften stool and relieve constipation. Aim for two to three tablespoons a day as part of a fibre-rich diet.</p> <p><strong>6. Thyme tea for coughs</strong></p> <p>Thyme is a natural expectorant that relaxes the respiratory tract and loosens mucus. Studies have found that using thyme in combination with primrose or ivy relieves the frequency and duration of coughs. To make thyme tea, place two tablespoons of fresh thyme (or one tablespoon dried) in a cup of hot water. Allow it to steep, then drain out the herb. Add honey to taste.</p> <p><strong>7. Blackberry tea for diarrhoea</strong></p> <p>Blackberries are rich in tannins, substances that can tighten mucous membranes in the intestinal tract. They have long been used as a treatment for diarrhoea. Make blackberry tea by boiling one or two tablespoons of fresh or frozen blackberries or dried blackberry leaves in one and a half cups of water for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink several cups a day. You can also buy blackberry tea, but make sure that it contains blackberry leaves and not just flavouring.</p> <p><strong>8. Lavender oil for foot odour</strong></p> <p>Lavender essential oil not only smells good but also has antibacterial properties that help kill germs. Before bed, rub a few drops of oil onto your feet and massage it in. Pull on a pair of socks to protect your sheets.</p> <p>9. Globe artichoke extract for GORD and heartburn</p> <p>Compounds in artichoke leaves called caffeoylquinic acids stimulate the release of bile from the gallbladder, which helps relieve nausea, gas, bloating, and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and heartburn. Since the leaves are mostly inedible, look for artichoke extract capsules in health food stores or online.</p> <p><strong>10. Cherries for gout</strong></p> <p>People who ate about 20 cherries every day were less likely to experience flare-ups of gout, according to a study of 633 patients with the condition. Cherries contain compounds that help neutralise uric acid.</p> <p><em>Written by Jen McCaffery and Tina Donvito. This <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/20-old-time-home-remedies-that-actually-work" target="_blank">article</a> first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V" target="_blank">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p> <p>​</p>

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Small businesses are being starved of funds: here’s how to make their loans cheaper

<p>The government has widely touted its support for small businesses – most notably the provision of loans subsidised by the Reserve Bank.</p> <p>In its economic update on Friday the Reserve Bank talked up its low-cost <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-than-a-rate-cut-behind-the-reserve-banks-three-point-plan-134140">Term Funding Facility</a>. Take-up was “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2020/aug/pdf/00-overview.pdf">increasing steadily</a>”.</p> <p>The scheme gives banks <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2020/aug/pdf/box-e-the-reserve-banks-term-funding-facility-tff.pdf">ultra low-interest money</a> (0.25% per year for three years) on the understanding they will lend it to households and businesses that need it.</p> <p>The first allocation was a proportion of each lenders’ loan book. The second was conditional on the the lender expanding lending to business.</p> <p><strong>Join 130,000 people who subscribe to free evidence-based news.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>For every extra dollar the bank extended to large business, it would get one extra dollar of funding from the Reserve Bank. For every extra dollar it lent to a small or medium size business it would get an extra five dollars.</p> <p>Yet the official figures suggest that the overwhelming bulk of the new money has gone to big businesses, those with turnovers of more than A$50 million per year.</p> <p>Medium-sized businesses have barely got a look-in. Lending to small businesses has actually gone backwards.</p> <p><strong>Outstanding credit to businesses</strong></p> <p>Loans outstanding for big businesses are 7.4% higher than at the start of the year, loans outstanding for medium-sized businesses are just 1.3% higher, and loans outstanding for small businesses are down 0.6%.</p> <p>Not only have banks channelled the overwhelming bulk of their new lending to large businesses, they have also done so at lower interest rates.</p> <p><strong>Credit spread reductions for businesses</strong></p> <p>Why have small businesses missed out? One explanation might be that they are not interested in borrowing.</p> <p>However, ask any economist, and she will tell you that demand for a good is usually a function of its price.</p> <p>This ought to be also be true for business credit. The Reserve Bank says small businesses are being charged as much as 4.5%.</p> <p>If the interest rate was lower there is a fair chance the amount borrowed would rise.</p> <p><strong>Banks don’t think they’re worth the risk</strong></p> <p>Another explanation might be that banks don’t see much profit in lending to small businesses. Start ups are risky, even more so in a recession. But the Term Funding Facility was specifically set up to counter this.</p> <p>Unfortunately it has proved inadequate to the task. The Reserve Bank’s offer of a three year loan fixed at 0.25% has not been generous enough to appeal to a banking sector whose cost of funding from traditional sources has also plunged.</p> <p>What can it do to re-calibrate the Term Funding Facility? It is is due to expire in January and will need to be extended in one form or another.</p> <p><strong>They might if the money was free</strong></p> <p>One solution would be to take a leaf out of Europe’s book and make the interest rate on part of the next phase of the program negative, essentially free money.</p> <p>The European Central Bank’s scheme offers loans at rates as low as -1% to banks that are willing to expand lending to small and medium-sized businesses.</p> <p>This offer has helped drive the interest rate faced by small and medium-sized businesses as low as 2%, well below the 4.5% sometimes charged in Australia.</p> <p>If the Reserve Bank offered part of the Term Funding Facility at a negative interest rate for banks that expanded lending to small businesses, it would likely see some expansion.</p> <p>It would both help stimulate the economy and increasing financial stability by making small business failures less likely.</p> <p>Some might argue against this by saying that negative interest rates are unprecedented in Australia. But this argument does not hold water.</p> <p>The times, and almost every proposed solution to our current problems, are unprecedented too.</p> <p><em>Written by Isaac Gross. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/small-businesses-are-being-starved-of-funds-heres-how-to-make-their-loans-cheaper-143834">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Want to see a therapist but don’t know where to start? Here’s how to get a mental health plan

<p>Last week, the Australian government announced it will provide <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/additional-covid-19-mental-health-support">ten extra</a> Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy sessions for Australians in lockdown areas due to COVID-19.</p> <p>In such a stressful time, many people are <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-is-stressful-here-are-some-ways-to-cope-with-the-anxiety-133146">experiencing poorer mental health</a>, and some need additional support. However, our mental health system is <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Former_Committees/mentalhealth/report/c02">complex and fragmented</a>, so it can be challenging to find the care you need.</p> <p>Here’s how to start seeing a therapist if you never have before.</p> <p><strong>What is a mental health treatment plan?</strong></p> <p>Under Medicare, you can already <a href="https://gpmhsc.org.au/info/detail/5d8b726e-e985-45ea-8bc5-00d1ec3cc5ca/mental-health-and-how-your-gp-can-help">access ten subsidised sessions</a> per calendar year with a registered psychologist, social worker or occupational therapist. Twenty sessions are now subsidised “for anybody who has used their initial ten services in a lockdown area under a public health order,” <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/doorstop-interview-in-melbourne-on-2-august-2020">said</a> Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Currently this includes all of Victoria.</p> <p>But to get access to these sessions, first you need to get a <a href="https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/betteraccess_factsheet_for_patients">mental health treatment plan</a> from your GP. This involves an assessment of your physical and mental health, and a discussion of your particular needs. The GP then helps you decide what services you need.</p> <p>All GPs who write mental health treatment plans have undergone <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-first-point-of-contact-and-your-partner-in-recovery-the-gps-role-in-mental-health-care-124083">additional training in mental health</a>. There are also plenty of <a href="https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2-findingamentalhealthfriendlydoctor.pdf">GPs with further interest and expertise</a> in this area. It can be helpful to ask for recommendations from friends and family if you are unsure who to see.</p> <p>Physical and mental health issues <a href="https://nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/Physical%20health%20and%20wellbeing%20-%20final%208%20Apr%202016%20WEB.pdf">frequently overlap</a>, so a visit to a GP is an opportunity to assess any physical issues that may impact mental health as well. The GP should explore a person’s strengths and vulnerabilities, before agreeing on a plan for care.</p> <p>Generally, this process takes 30-40 minutes, so it’s important to book a longer consultation with your doctor. At the end of this consultation, you can have a copy of the plan, and it’s also sent to the therapist of your choice. Once the mental health plan is billed to Medicare, you can get subsidised sessions with your preferred therapist. You will need to make the appointment with the therapist, but GPs or practice nurses will often help make this appointment for patients who are feeling too unwell to manage this phone call.</p> <p><strong>Using telehealth</strong></p> <p>Telehealth enables you to get care from your GP by phone or video. The Medicare requirements of telehealth are changing rapidly, so check when you make your appointment to see if telehealth is available and to make sure you will be eligible for a Medicare rebate for this consultation.</p> <p>At the moment, <a href="http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-TempBB">to get a Medicare rebate for telehealth</a>, you must have seen the GP in their practice face-to-face at some point in the past 12 months.</p> <p>But this requirement doesn’t apply to:</p> <ul> <li>children under 12 months</li> <li>people who are homeless</li> <li>patients living in a COVID-19 impacted area</li> <li>patients receiving an urgent after-hours service</li> <li>patients of medical practitioners at an Aboriginal Medical Service or an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.</li> </ul> <p>So if you live under the Victorian lockdowns, you can get a mental health care plan via telehealth, even if you have not seen the GP before.</p> <p>Once you’ve got your care plan, you can do the therapy sessions via telehealth too. And you can now <a href="http://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-TempBB">claim them under Medicare</a> (though this wasn’t the case before COVID-19).</p> <p><strong>Choosing a therapist</strong></p> <p>Your GP can help you choose a therapist, but it’s important to think about what you need from a psychologist. Psychological care can range from coaching when life is particularly challenging, to deep and complex work helping people manage mental health disorders or trauma.</p> <p>Also consider the sort of person you prefer to see. Some people prefer practitioners from a particular cultural group, gender or location. You may have a preference for a very structured, problem-solving style, or you may want someone with a more conversational style. You may also have a preference for the type of therapy you need. If your GP can’t recommend someone appropriate, or if you are having trouble finding someone who is available to meet your needs, the Australian Psychological Society has a <a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist">searchable database of therapists</a>.</p> <p>Psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers must be registered under Medicare to provide these services, so it’s important to check this with the receptionist when you make your appointment. The Medicare rebate varies according to the qualifications of the practitioner, and a psychologist’s fees may be well above the rebate, so clarify your expected out-of-pocket expenses when you make an initial appointment.</p> <p>A clinical psychologist has additional training, and will give you a rebate of around $128, whereas a general psychologist has a rebate of around $86. Remember that a psychologist may charge well above the rebate, so you may be out of pocket anywhere from nothing to over $200.</p> <p>If you decide seeing a therapist under a mental health plan is not the right option for you, there are some alternatives. Some non-government organisations, like <a href="https://headspace.org.au/">Headspace</a>, provide counselling services through Medicare for no additional cost, as do some <a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/for-the-public/about-psychology/What-does-a-psychologist-do/Psychologists-in-schools">schools</a>. Some workplaces also have psychological options like the <a href="https://www.eapaa.org.au/site/">Employee Assistance Program</a>.</p> <p>Some people benefit from <a href="https://theconversation.com/5-ways-to-get-mental-health-help-without-having-to-talk-on-the-phone-143491">online programs</a> that teach psychological techniques. <a href="https://headtohealth.gov.au/">Head to Health</a> also provides a searchable database of evidence-based sites to explore. Most are free or very low cost.</p> <p>If you are very unwell, local mental health services attached to public hospitals can provide crisis support and referral.</p> <p>These are difficult times.</p> <p>It’s important to at least discuss your situation with someone you trust if you’re having difficulty sleeping, your mood is affecting you or your family, or you’re having frightening or worrying thoughts. Your GP is a good, confidential first port of call.</p> <p><em>If you or someone you know needs assistance, contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Louise Stone. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-to-see-a-therapist-but-dont-know-where-to-start-heres-how-to-get-a-mental-health-plan-143990">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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87-year-old woman berates William and Kate in hilarious exchange

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could not hold back their tears of laughter after an aged care resident berated the pair for their “bingo calling” skills during a visit to Cardiff.</p> <p>Prince William and Kate Middleton both visited Shire Hall Care Home in Wales three months after conducting a virtual bingo session for the staff and residents.</p> <p>Joan Drew-Smith, 87, did not forget the pair’s appearance via live stream either and claimed they both did a "b-----y s-----y job" at it.</p> <p>The spirited elderly woman was certainly open and vocal about the couple’s lack of bingo calling skills during their session in May, claiming it "wasn't as good as it should have been," to the press.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837210/prince-william-kate-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9a045a92f35745f7878e577352846078" /></p> <p>Upon reuniting with Drew-Smith, the Duke asked if she remembered him.</p> <p>"'Hello Joan, do you remember we did the bingo with you? You said we weren't very good!" Prince William said.</p> <p>Drew-Smith replied with a simple "yes", adding "You did a b------y s-----y job".</p> <p>Though initially taken aback by Drew-Smith's blunt feedback, however they both into a fit of laughter moments later.</p> <p>Drew-Smith continued her comedy routine, by asking Kate Middleton if she was the prince’s "assistant."</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDhXPtBHS03/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDhXPtBHS03/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">#special#photos#uk#london#british#royalfamily#queen#queenelizabeth#princephillip#princecharles#princessdiana#princessanne#princeandrew#princeedward#thecrown#monarchy#cambridge#princewilliam#katemiddleton#dukeofcambridge#duchessofcambridge#cute#princegeorge#princesscharlotte#princelouis#flower#flowerstagram#beautiful#art#royal#flowerstagram</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/uk.monarchy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> uk.monarchy</a> (@uk.monarchy) on Aug 5, 2020 at 1:37pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Laughing in response, the Duchess replied: "I have been for a long time."</p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the quaint Welsh town to see for themselves the brand-new beach huts installed as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council's £6 million (10.9 million AUD) regeneration project in the community.</p> <p>The pair also met with aged care residents, and thankfully enough met a much more welcoming resident.</p> <p>Margaret Stocks, 95, told the pair: "I did enjoy it,", claiming she "hadn't played," bingo before, despite being the victor of the virtual game.</p> <p>"Neither had we!" the Duchess responded, admitting that's why the pair were "so bad" at calling the numbers.</p> <p>"It was a new experience for us," William added.</p> <p>The Prince shared his admiration for Drew-Smith's candid nature, and only had praise for her when speaking to a staff member: "I love Joan, she's brilliant. If only everyone was as honest as her."</p>

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Coronavirus victim left in home care bed for “10 hours after death”

<p><span>A coronavirus victim was reportedly left for more than ten hours in a body bag dead on her aged care home bed because the centre had no refrigeration units.</span><br /><br /><span>Thelma, a grandmother-of-14, succumbed to the deadly coronavirus at Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility, which is one of the worst affected centres in Victoria, on Tuesday morning.</span><br /><br /><span>However 10-hours later after her death, Thelma’s son Tom Hyatt received a call from the aged care centre that left him shocked.</span><br /><br /><span>“Well this is the deal she goes, ‘we’ve got no refrigeration facilities here so we can’t put her in the fridge’,” Hyatt claims the aged care centre told him.</span><br /><br /><span>“’And your mother’s in a plastic bag and she’s deteriorating while we’re talking’.”</span><br /><br /><span>Tom and his brother Laurie told 7NEWS their mother’s death did not receive the dignity she deserved</span><br /><br /><span>Hyatt said the aged care home phoned him on Wednesday morning to apologise for the offensive language.</span><br /><br /><span>The grandmother-of-14 has since been collected by a funeral home but sadly her sons claim they’ve been told that viewing her body is no longer possible.</span><br /><br /><span>Thelma was among nine COVID-19 patients whose death was recorded in Victoria on Wednesday.</span><br /><br /><span>Seven of those cases were linked to aged care facilities.</span><br /><br /><span>These deaths follow after several aged care homes in the state have been struggling to deal with the outbreaks of coronavirus, which has since prompted the federal government to take action.</span><br /><br /><span>Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the majority of the aged care system have avoided the worst of the crisis.</span><br /><br /><span>“We have seen some very distressing and concerning situations arise in a handful of those facilities,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.</span><br /><br /><span>Centres with the largest outbreaks are no longer operating as normal aged care homes, he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“They have moved effectively into an in-patient care type facility, akin to what you would see in a hospital,” Morrison said.</span><br /><br /><span>A number of residents have been moved to hospitals where beds have been freed up.</span><br /><br /><span>This new influx of space is a result of the Victorian government’s decision to restrict elective surgeries.</span><br /><br /><span>The Australian Defence Force staffed a night shift at Epping Gardens after stood-down workers were quarantined.</span></p>

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Alzheimer’s breakthrough discovery

<p>Australian researchers are optimistic as they believe they have discovered a treatment that could revise the impacts of memory loss in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>The Macquarie University Dementia Research Centre study builds on previous research that found an enzyme in the brain could modify a protein so it prevents the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.</p> <p>The latest research went further by finding the gene responsible for the enzyme that could help restore or improve memory in mice suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>The study also suggests the gene therapy, which involves genetic material being introduced to cells to help replace abnormal genes, may also be helpful for those who are in their 40s and 50s and suffer from dementia.</p> <p>Researchers have discovered gene therapy is safe when given in high doses and for a long period of time.</p> <p>Dr Arne Ittner, one of the leaders of the study, says a better understanding is required of what happens to the molecules in the brain during dementia.</p> <p>"Our work delivers a very powerful piece in this puzzle," he said in a statement.</p> <p>His brother and co-research leader, Professor Lars Ittner, said he was ecstatic to see a decade worth of research transition into clinical development that could benefit those living with dementia.</p> <p>"This provides hope as there is a lot of therapy out there focused on prevention but not much for those already affected by the disease," he said.</p> <p>The two researchers said the possible success of this new therapy could be within reach in five to 10 years.</p>

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Queen Elizabeth II honours Captain Sir Thomas Moore with Knighthood

<p>Queen Elizabeth II has knighted Captain Sir Thomas Moore in an effort to recognise his valiant fundraising efforts and boosting the spirits of Britain during the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>Moore, 100, raised 33 million pounds ($59.2 million) for the National Health Service (NHS) in April by pledging to walk 100 laps of his backyard in celebration of his 100th birthday.</p> <p>He captured the hearts of the world with his hard work and caught the attention of the Queen, who knighted him in one of her first official outings since the coronavirus pandemic began.</p> <p>Moore stood in front of the Queen, holding onto a wheeled walking frame.</p> <p>"I have been overwhelmed by the many honours I have received over the past weeks, but there is simply nothing that can compare to this,'' he tweeted after the ceremony.</p> <p>"I am overwhelmed with pride and joy."</p> <p>Moore was so excited about the Knighthood that he broke protocol by revealing the private conversation he had with the Queen herself.</p> <p>"She did mention I'm 100, and I said to her, 'Well, you've a long way to go yet,' so she's alright," he said.</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/CCv5Iehnbu1/?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/CCv5Iehnbu1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily)</a> on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:31am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Queen Elizabeth II has been sheltering at Windsor Castle since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March.</p> <p>Sir Tom's knighthood was one of the first official duties that the Queen has carried out since the pandemic began.</p>

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Queen to knight Tom Moore in her first in-person engagement since lockdown

<p>Tom Moore made headlines around the world with his valiant efforts to walk 100 laps of his back garden in order to raise money for the UK National Health System (NHS).</p> <p>He chose the number 100 in order to celebrate his 100th birthday and captured hearts around the world with his sweet goal.</p> <p>He raised more than $50 million for the NHS and is about to receive a knighthood for his charity work.</p> <p>Much to the surprise of Moore, the Queen herself is making it her first in-person engagement since the lockdown.</p> <p>In a statement from Buckingham Palace, it was revealed that the Queen would confer the Honour of Knighthood on Captain Sir Thomas Moore at an Investiture at Windsor Castle on the 17th of July. </p> <p>The statement added: "During the ceremony, The Queen will use the sword that belonged to her father, George VI and will award Captain Sir Thomas Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor."</p> <p>Strict social distancing measures will be in place for the event, with the entire ceremony taking place inside the confines of Windsor Castle.</p> <p>"Members of the public are asked not to attend Windsor town centre or gather in the hope of seeing any of the ceremony, which will not be visible from any external viewpoint," the Palace explained.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">A message from Tom 'I could never have imagined this would happen to me. It is such a huge honour and I am very much looking forward to meeting Her Majesty The Queen. It is going to be the most special of days for me'<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FridayWillBeAGoodDay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FridayWillBeAGoodDay</a> <a href="https://t.co/zha2bCIMzi">pic.twitter.com/zha2bCIMzi</a></p> — Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) <a href="https://twitter.com/captaintommoore/status/1283363304249991168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>When Moore's knighthood was announced, he said he was "overwhelmed with the gesture".</p> <p>"Never for one moment could I have imagined I would be awarded with such a great honour," he said.</p> <p>"This started as something small and I've been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond. We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe."</p>

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Sam Newman wages war on Caroline Wilson: “What a piece of work”

<p><span>Controversial former AFL player and Channel 9 star Sam Newman is going out with his arms swinging as his TV career comes to an end.</span><br /><br /><span>Nine parted ways with Newman after he made explosive comments about George Floyd, the American man who died in police custody and ignited the Black Lives Matter movement across the world.</span><br /><br /><span>The 74-year-old ex-Geelong Cats player said Floyd was a “piece of s***” and consequently Nine got push-back from some sponsors.</span><br /><br /><span>Wilson and Newman used to go head to head back on his time with the Footy Show and she was one of the more vocal critics of his comments about Floyd.</span><br /><br /><span>“Sam, you’ve got a terrible history in the area of race relations, and you’ve done it again, unleashing a series of bitter and divisive rants,” she said on Footy Classified before Newman left Channel 9.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">This paper published this delightful piece of racism - then pretended they didn’t. Carolin Wilson was their Chief football writer at the time. Can only presume she ok’d it. <a href="https://t.co/GIqeIarZp8">pic.twitter.com/GIqeIarZp8</a></p> — Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Origsmartassam/status/1281122243087499264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 9, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><br /><span>“What an unfortunate piece of timing that the Sunday Footy Show decided to bring you back this week and portray you as the venerable football bead after you had unleashed so much bitterness.”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Disgraceful and reprehensible. Why would Carolin Wilson remain employed? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DoubleStandards?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DoubleStandards</a> 🤮 <a href="https://t.co/C7MGCs5Kl9">pic.twitter.com/C7MGCs5Kl9</a></p> — Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Origsmartassam/status/1281183494182330368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 9, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><br /><span>Newman responded by pointing out in Wilson’s closet, tweeting: “What a piece of work Caroline Wilson is … Check HER record on disabled sport and fellow women commentators.</span><br /><br /><span>“You’ll be staggered.”</span></p>

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The ‘Sport’ of Stenography!

<p><em><span>Carmel Taylor was a stenographer and personal assistant prior to taking a role of teaching Business Studies. She maintains her passion for shorthand and has many international connections with people who share her interest. Carmel is a Fellow of the Commercial Education Society of Australia.</span></em></p> <p>The definition of ‘Sport’ in the Cambridge Dictionary is<span>: “</span><em>a game, competition or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job” – </em>how aptly this describes shorthand writing, or stenography.  Let me tell you why – shorthand writing is competitive, requires adhering to rules, concentration, precision and physical endurance, and is usually a hobby or to assist work.</p> <p>The ‘activity’ of shorthand writing, being able to write at speed, lends itself naturally to competitions – competitions to acquire one’s own personal best or to compete against others.</p> <p>For many years The Commercial Education Society of Australia conducted speed examinations for individuals to become accredited which assisted them to ‘qualify’ for professional positions or for the continued achievement of their own PB.</p> <p>European stenography associations offer opportunities to stenographers, from beginners to veterans, to compete in annual speed competitions in their much-loved hobby. One such competition is the German Seniors Championship.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836846/carmel-taylor-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3276c889178f448783248a4b9827c737" /></p> <p><em>Image: Carmel Taylor</em></p> <p>In sporting events like the Commonwealth Games, participants are required to ‘try out’ or quality before being granted a place in the next level of expertise. This concept of ‘qualifying’ is also common in the history of writing shorthand. For an example of where stenographers vied to become among the elite in Australia, we look at court reporters. The Evidence Act for Licensing Shorthand Writers ensured that those who qualified for the licence to work in courts or parliament were the cream of the crop. Opportunities arose several times a year for stenos to sit these rigorous exams, which often also required proficiency in legal jargon and a broad general knowledge. A day of testing included writing a ten-minute session of dictation at 150 words per minute, before reading back the 1500 words verbatim to the examiners.  Nerves contributed to a significant failure rate. Those who were successful were among the doyens of the profession, who were often capable of writing in excess of 240 words per minute.</p> <p>Internationally, speed championships gave competitors the opportunity to gain worldwide notoriety in the field. In USA the Annual Boston Speed Contest was considered so prestigious that some contestants came from Europe. In 1907 Mr Godfrey of London travelled for the second year in a row to compete and win the contest and whilst awaiting the sea voyage back to the UK, he gave high-speed exhibitions of his writing – such was his celebrity status!</p> <p>In Australia too high-speed competitions were popular. Melbourne radio station 3LO promoted a speed competition in order to allure more people into stenography to stem the shortage of licensed stenographers. I know what you might be thinking - on initial thought, shorthand writing doesn’t particularly stand out as a sport for the radio!  However, radio was the primary source of entertainment with a dedicated audience who were used to forming mental images from words. Candidates in Australia and New Zealand wrote from several passages dictated over the radio then mailed in their ‘neat’ shorthand notes and transcripts. These were to be endorsed by a “Wireless Licence holder”, which was basically a tax imposed if you owned a wireless.</p> <p>In 1950 Milan, Italy hosted the Inaugural Stenographic Olympics. Qualified participants travelled internationally to compete for Olympic medals. Even a postage stamp was released to celebrate the occasion, such was the importance of the event to the host country.</p> <p>So, other than a competitive attitude, what does it take to be successful in this sport-like activity?  For a start, learning shorthand requires intensive learning and memorising as to when to apply the many rules associated with the skill. To use a sporting term – one needs to ‘read the game’.  A top athlete is someone who has an understanding of a sport on a different level to that of an occasional player. The theoretical rules of shorthand must be so engrained that they can be instantly applied on hearing what has to be written and even anticipate what is to come. It is said that ‘speed is in the brain’ – outlines will not appear quickly on paper if the brain doesn’t have an absolute depth of knowledge of the theory.</p> <p>In any sport, concentration on what is happening in the field is imperative. This aspect assists applying the label of ‘sport’ to chess. Chess appeared as an exhibition sport in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and may be included in Olympics in the future.  As chess players point out, concentration for a sustained period of time requires intense mental stamina which training helps achieve. Likewise, the stenographer cannot afford one moment of mental lapse – this would result in gaps in the transcript. Astute concentration is required to decipher accents, voice modulation and volume.</p> <p>Sport requires precision to score and defeat an opponent. When a football is kicked it is important to hit the mark, be it through the goal or towards a team mate; when serving a tennis ball or taking advantage of that drop shot, where the ball lands can be a game-changer. In shorthand, if an outline is not written with absolute precision under pressure (size and position) it may not be transcribable. Slap-dash doesn’t work.</p> <p>We cannot think about sports without immediately linking with physical fitness and stamina. Stenographers are constantly in training to ensure their hands can ‘go the distance’ for the duration of the speech, pushing through the writer’s cramp by maintaining physical fitness.</p> <p>Occasionally tennis matches extend in duration into extraordinary and exhausting lengths of time. Likewise, in 1922 The Daily Express in Wagga Wagga reported on the outstanding feat of two parliamentary stenographers in Innsbruck who, in relay, recorded between them a debate lasting for an epic 32 hours. Overall, they recorded more than 250,000 words, taking half-hour shifts (except when each went home for a bath, then the other wrote for several hours straight).  This grueling effort is equivalent to several marathons and certainly drew upon all the attributes of sporting excellence, endurance, commitment and fitness.</p> <p>Many of us play sport for enjoyment, physical fitness and social interaction, as opposed to achieving professional status. Likewise, shorthand writers in Pitman Shorthand Writers of Australasia Facebook Group and those who attend U3A Melbourne revision classes and other groups worldwide are not in competition nor have the need to break records. We do, however, certainly gain the benefits of our ‘sport-like’ activity based on aspects of the definition: ‘<em>an activity needing physical effort and skill done according to rules for enjoyment!’</em></p> <p><em><span>Written by Carmel Taylor. </span></em></p>

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The death of the open-plan office? Not exactly but a revolution is in the air

<p>“What will it take to encourage much more widespread reliance on working at home for at least part of each week?” asked Frank Schiff, the chief economist of the US Committee for Economic Development, in <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1979/09/02/working-at-home-can-save-gasoline/ffa475c7-d1a8-476e-8411-8cb53f1f3470/">The Washington Post</a> in 1979.</p> <p>Four decades on, we have the answer.</p> <p>But COVID-19 doesn’t spell the end of the centralised office predicted by futurists since at least the 1970s.</p> <p>The organisational benefits of the “propinquity effect” – the tendency to develop deeper relationships with those we see most regularly – are well-established.</p> <p>The open-plan office will have to evolve, though, finding its true purpose as a collaborative work space augmented by remote work.</p> <p>If we’re smart about it, necessity might turn out to be the mother of reinvention, giving us the best of both centralised and decentralised, collaborative and private working worlds.</p> <p><strong>Cultural resistance</strong></p> <p>Organisational culture, not technology, has long been the key force keeping us in central offices.</p> <p>“That was the case in 1974 and is still the case today,” observed the “father of telecommuting” Jack Nilles <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/what-telecommuting-looked-like-in-1973/418473/?sf43013774=1">in 2015</a>, three decades after he and his University of Southern California colleagues published their landmark report <a href="https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.5555/540203">Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff: Options for Tomorrow</a>. “The adoption of telework is still well behind its potential.”</p> <p>Until now.</p> <p>But it has taken a pandemic to change the status quo – evidence enough of culture resistance.</p> <p>In his 1979 article, Schiff outlined three key objections to working from home:</p> <ul> <li>how to tell how well workers are doing, or if they are working at all</li> <li>employees’ need for contact with coworkers and others</li> <li>too many distractions.</li> </ul> <p>To the first objection, Schiff responded that experts agreed performance is best judged by output and the organisation’s objectives. To the third, he noted: “In many cases, the opposite is likely to be true.”</p> <p>The COVID-19 experiment so far supports him. Most <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/54-percent-adults-want-mainly-work-remote-after-pandemic-study-2020-5">workers</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/working-from-home-remains-a-select-privilege-its-time-to-fix-our-national-employment-standards-139472">managers</a> are happy with remote working, believe they are performing just as well, and want to continue with it.</p> <p><strong>Personal contact</strong></p> <p>But the second argument – the need for personal contact to foster close teamwork – is harder to dismiss.</p> <p>There is evidence remote workers crave more feedback.</p> <p>As researchers Ethan Bernstein and Ben Waber note in their Harvard Business Review article <a href="https://hbr.org/2019/11/the-truth-about-open-offices">The Truth About Open Offices</a>, published in November 2019, “one of the most robust findings in sociology – proposed long before we had the technology to prove it through data – is that propinquity, or proximity, predicts social interaction”.</p> <p>Waber’s research at the MIT Media Lab demonstrated the probability that any two workers will interact – either in person or electronically – is directly proportional to the distance between their desks. In his 2013 book <a href="https://www.humanyze.com/people-analytics-book/">People Analytics</a> he includes the following results from a bank and information technology company.</p> <p><strong>Experiments in collaboration</strong></p> <p>Interest in fostering collaboration has sometimes led to disastrous workplace experiments. One was the building Frank Gehry designed for the Chiat/Day advertising agency in the late 1980s.</p> <p>Agency boss Jay Chiat envisioned his headquarters as a futuristic step into “flexible work” – but <a href="https://www.wired.com/1999/02/chiat-3/">workers hated</a> the lack of personal spaces.</p> <p>Less dystopian was the Pixar Animation Studios headquarters opened in 2000. Steve Jobs, majority shareholder and chief executive, oversaw the project. He took a keen interest in things like the <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/healthy-living/new-work-order-from-google-and-pixar-to-innocent-the-future-of-the-office-starts-here-8687379.html">placement of bathrooms</a>, accessed through the building’s central atrium. “We wanted to find a way to force people to come together,” he said, “to create a lot of arbitrary collisions of people”.</p> <p>Yet Bernstein and Waber’s research shows propinquity is also strong in “campus” buildings designed to promote “serendipitous interaction”. For increased interactions, they say, workers should be “ideally on the same floor”.</p> <p><strong>Being apart</strong></p> <p>How to balance the organisational forces pulling us together with the health forces pushing social distancing?</p> <p>We know COVID-19 spreads most easily between people in enclosed spaces for extended periods. In Britain, research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows workplaces are the most common transmission path for adults aged <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/17/scientists-age-groups-covid-19-workplaces-shops-restaurants">20 to 50</a>.</p> <p>We may have to get used to wearing masks along with plenty of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1438463918305911?via%3Dihub">hand sanitising</a> and disinfecting of high-traffic areas and shared facilities, from keyboards to kitchens. Every door knob and lift button is an issue.</p> <p>But space is the final frontier.</p> <p>It’s going to take more than vacating every second desk or imposing barriers like cubicle walls, which largely defeat the point of open-plan offices.</p> <p>An alternative vision comes from real-estate services company Cushman &amp; Wakefield. Its “6 feet office” concept includes more space between desks and lots of visual cues to remind coworkers to maintain physical distances.</p> <p>Of course, to do anything like this in most offices will require a proportion of staff working at home on any given day. It will also mean then end of the individual desk for most.</p> <p>This part may the hardest to handle. We like our personal spaces.</p> <p>We’ll need to balance the sacrifice of sharing spaces against the advantages of working away from the office while still getting to see colleagues in person. We’ll need new arrangements for storing personal items beyond the old locker, and “handover” protocols for equipment and furniture.</p> <p>Offices will also need to need more private spaces for greater use of video conferencing and the like. These sorts of collaborative tools don’t work well if you can’t insulate yourself from distractions.</p> <p>But there’s a huge potential upside with the new open office. A well-managed rotation of office days and seating arrangements could help us get to know more of those colleagues who, because they used to sit a few too many desks away, we rarely talked to.</p> <p>It might just mean the open-plan office finally finds its mojo.</p> <p><em>Written by Andrew Wallace. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-death-of-the-open-plan-office-not-quite-but-a-revolution-is-in-the-air-140724">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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The coastal banksia has its roots in ancient Gondwana

<p>If you fondly remember May Gibbs’s <a href="https://maygibbs.org/story/gumnut-babies/">Gumnut Baby</a> stories about the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, you may also remember the villainous <a href="https://maygibbs.org/characters/big-bad-banksia-men/">Big Bad Banksia Men</a> (perhaps you’re still having nightmares about them).</p> <p>But banksias are nothing to be afraid of. They’re a marvellous group of Australian native trees and shrubs, with an ancient heritage and a vital role in Australian plant ecology, colonial history and bushfire regeneration.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.anbg.gov.au/banksia/">genus Banksia</a> has about 173 native species. It takes its name from botanist <a href="https://theconversation.com/botany-and-the-colonisation-of-australia-in-1770-128469">Sir Joseph Banks</a>, who collected specimens of four species in 1770 when he arrived in Australia on board Captain Cook’s Endeavour.</p> <p>One of the four species he collected was <em>B. integrifolia</em>, the coastal banksia. This can be a small to medium tree about 5m to 15m tall. In the right conditions, it can be quite impressive and grow up to 35m.</p> <p>It’s found naturally in coastal regions, growing on sand dunes or around coastal marshes from Queensland to Victoria. These can be quite tough environments and, while <em>B. integrifolia</em> tends to grow in slightly protected sites, it still copes well with sandy soils, poor soil nutrition, salt and wind.</p> <p><strong>From ancient origins</strong></p> <p>Coastal banksia – like all banksias – belong to <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/14599266?q&amp;versionId=45817129">the protea family</a> (Proteaceae). But given the spectacular flowering proteas are of African origin, how did our Australian genera get here?</p> <p>The members of the Proteaceae belong to an ancient group of flowering plants that evolved almost 100 million years ago on the southern supercontinent Gondwana. When Gondwana fragmented more than 80 million years ago, the proteas remained on the African plate, while the Australian genera remained here.</p> <p>The spikes of woody fruits on the Australian banksia, sometimes called cones, are made up of several hundred flowers. The flower spikes are beautiful structures, soft and brush-like. But with <em>B. integrifolia</em>, they are pale green, similar to the foliage, and can be hard to see within the canopy at a distance.</p> <p>Up close, these fruit spikes can look quite spooky, almost sinister, especially when wasps have caused <a href="https://www.sgaonline.org.au/gall-of-australian-native-trees/">extensive gall formation</a>. Galls are swellings that develop on plant tissues as a result of fungal and insect damage, a bit like a benign tumour.</p> <p>Maybe this is what led May Gibbs to cast them as <a href="https://www.maygibbs.org/characters/big-bad-banksia-men/">the baddies</a> in her Gumnut Baby stories. While the galls may look unsightly, they rarely do serious harm to banksias.</p> <p><strong>Indigenous use</strong></p> <p>Given the fruit spikes of coastal banksia look like brushes, it’s not surprising Indigenous people once used them as <a href="https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/542119/Guide-to-the-Aboriginal-Garden-Clayton-Campus.pdf">paint brushes</a>.</p> <p>The flowers <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/BT/BT9850705">are very rich in nectar</a>, which attracts insects and birds. If you run your hand along the flower spike you, like generations of Aboriginal people before you, can enjoy the sweet taste if you lick the nectar off your hand. You can also soak the flowers in water and collect a sweet syrup.</p> <p>In the garden, <em>B. integrifolia</em> is wonderfully attractive to native insects, birds and ringtail possums. It’s easy to establish and, until it grows more than a few metres high, can be successfully moved and transplanted.</p> <p>Unlike many other banksia species, coastal banksias don’t need fire to release their seed. For many Australian species, the woody fruits remain solid and sealed, and it’s only when fire comes through that they burn, dry, crack open and release their seed.</p> <p>This can happen with <em>B. integrifolia</em> too, but in a garden setting the fruits will mature, dry and crack open and release the seeds, which germinate readily. This makes propagating coastal banksia easy work.</p> <p><strong>In touch with its roots</strong></p> <p>Perhaps one of the more important, but less obvious, attributes of <em>B. integrifolia</em> are its roots. These are a special type of root possessed by members of the protea family.</p> <p>The roots form a dense, branched cluster, a bit like the head of a toothbrush, that can be 2-5cm across. They greatly increase the absorbing surface area of the roots, as each root possesses thousands of very fine root hairs.</p> <p>Proteoid roots can be very handy in sandy and other poor soils, where water drains quickly and nutrients are scarce.</p> <p>These roots, also described as cluster roots, are often visible in a garden bed just at the interface of the soil with the humus or mulch layer above it. They’re very light brown, almost white, in colour.</p> <p><em>1. integrifolia</em>, like other banksias, also has the ability to take in nitrogen and enrich the soil, which can be very handy in soils low in nitrogen. It’s like a natural living and decorative fertiliser.</p> <p>Proteoid roots are unfortunately very well suited to the presence of <em>Phytophthora cinnamomii</em> (the cinnamon fungus). It causes dieback in many native plant species, but can be particularly virulent for banksias.</p> <p>But <em>B. Integrifolia</em> is one of the more <a href="https://www.google.com/books/edition/Native_Australian_Plants/1G4lAQAAMAAJ?hl=en">resistant species</a> to the fungus. Promising experiments have been done on grafting susceptible species onto the roots of <em>B. integrifolia</em> to improve their rates of survival.</p> <p>This could be important, as banksias have a role in bushfire regeneration in many parts of Australia, so the occurrence of the fungus can compromise fire recovery.</p> <p><em>Written by Gregory Moore. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-coastal-banksia-has-its-roots-in-ancient-gondwana-138434">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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How to maintain a slower pace of life after lockdown

<p>Before lockdown, our lives were defined by speed. Rushing around, living life at rocket pace was the norm. Keeping up with work responsibilities, social obligations and the latest tech or fashion trends was a neverending feat. Only a privileged few <a href="https://hbr.org/2018/12/the-growing-business-of-helping-customers-slow-down">could afford to slow down</a>.</p> <p>But in lockdown, the pace of life slowed <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-the-pandemic-has-changed-our-perception-of-time-139240">dramatically overnight for everyone</a>. People literally stopped running to work. The office, gyms, pubs, clubs and restaurants closed. Global travel shut down. Staying at home became the new normal. People began playing board games and puzzles, gardening, baking and other analogue pursuits with their new found time.</p> <p>Now that we are gradually emerging from lockdown, one tentative step at a time, is it possible to hold on to the benefits of being slowed down, and not go back to our old rushed way of living? <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/45/6/1142/4999270">Our research</a> shows that in order to experience the benefits of slowing down, people must decelerate in three ways.</p> <p><strong>1. Slowing down your body</strong></p> <p>We call this embodied deceleration – when the body itself slows down. For example, when people walk or cycle as their primary forms of transportation, rather than taking the tube, train or bus.</p> <p>During lockdown, we have all had to stay close to our homes, and public transport has been for essential workers only. As we come out of lockdown, the city of London, for example, is expecting more people to continue walking and cycling rather than taking faster forms of transport, and is altering the built environment of the city to facilitate this.</p> <p>If possible, try to continue these slower forms of moving, as <a href="https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Resonance%3A+A+Sociology+of+Our+Relationship+to+the+World-p-9781509519927">they do not only provide</a> physical benefits. Moving at a slower pace allows for feeling a stronger connection between body and mind, which can gradually open up mental space for deep reflection. It is about getting into a mindset in which you have time to think, not just react.</p> <p><strong>2. Controlling your technology use</strong></p> <p>You don’t need to give up technology entirely. This is about having control over technology, and also communicating more face-to-face.</p> <p>During lockdown, we have all relied on technology to a great extent – to do our work remotely as well as keep in touch with our loved ones. Yet technology has been used to rekindle vibrant and meaningful connections to those who are important to us. From Zoom happy hours with long lost friends to watching movies with a partner, technology has been used to reinforce close connections.</p> <p>Try to continue these practices as you emerge from lockdown. For example, keep up your involvement with the WhatsApp neighbourhood group, which checks in on vulnerable community members. This keeps you grounded in the local, and continues your use of technology to facilitate close, meaningful and long lasting, rather than superficial and short, relations with others.</p> <p><strong>3. Limiting your activities</strong></p> <p>This is engaging in only a few activities per day and – crucially – reducing the amount of choices you make about buying things. During lockdown, when we were all confined to our homes, the only activities to be engaged in and choices to be made were where to set up our home office, what to eat for each meal, and where and when to take a walk. Now, as we begin to see others outside of our household, as restaurants and bars begin to open for takeaway and shops start to reopen, the amount of activities and things we can consume starts to rise.</p> <p>Try to remember the feeling of making your own food, and sharing it with your household, rather than running back to eating many meals out and on the go. As you emerge from lockdown, try to maintain practices like stopping work to eat your lunch in the middle of the day, and take tea breaks, preferably with others and outdoors when you can. There is much value to be gained from having the rhythm of your daily life be one which you can savour.</p> <p>In general, all three dimensions of slowing down speak to simplicity, authenticity and less materialism. Although many people desired these in their life pre-lockdown, it was hard to achieve them, as we felt there was no getting off the sped-up rollercoaster.</p> <p>Now, when we have all experienced the benefits of living a life which emphasises these values – the amount of things purchased during lockdown was quite small, and many people decluttered their homes – there is an incentive to hold on to this rather than rush back to our old, accelerated life.</p> <p>We are seeing societal changes which facilitate maintaining this new, slowed down rhythm. New Zealand is talking about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/20/jacinda-ardern-flags-four-day-working-week-as-way-to-rebuild-new-zealand-after-covid-19">moving to a four-day work week</a>, for example, and Twitter <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/keeping-our-employees-and-partners-safe-during-coronavirus.html">says employees</a> can continue to work from home indefinitely.</p> <p>The current moment offers a unique opportunity to push back against the cult of speed and to continue life in this slower, more meaningful form.</p> <p><em>Written by Giana Eckhardt and Katharina C. Husemann. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-maintain-a-slower-pace-of-life-after-lockdown-140088">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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The story behind the Queen’s jewellery for Philip’s 99th birthday

<p>The royal family has released a new photograph of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of the duke’s 99th birthday on June 10.</p> <p>The image, taken at Windsor Castle on June 1, shows the Prince donning a Household Division tie and the Queen wearing a dress by Angela Kelly and a historic brooch.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBOsiR6HsKl/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBOsiR6HsKl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">📸 This new photograph of The Duke of Edinburgh and The Queen was taken last week in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle to mark His Royal Highness’s 99th birthday tomorrow. . Copyright: Press Association</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/theroyalfamily/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Royal Family</a> (@theroyalfamily) on Jun 9, 2020 at 2:35pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Dating back to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rct.uk/sites/default/files/null/diamonds_fact_sheet_1.pdf" target="_blank">1911</a>, the Cullinan V brooch features an 18-8-carat heart-shaped diamond at its centre with pave-set border of smaller diamonds.</p> <p>The centre stone is one of those cut from the famous 3,106-carat Cullinan, the largest diamond ever discovered. Other stones from the 621g diamond – found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905 – were set on other royal jewellery pieces, including the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre.</p> <p>The Cullinan V was first owned by the Queen’s grandmother Queen Mary, who wore the brooch as part of the suite of jewelleries made for the Delhi Durbar in 1911.</p> <p>Elizabeth later inherited the piece in 1953 and has since featured it as part of her outfit on many occasions. She was last seen wearing the brooch during the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding at St George’s Chapel in October 2018.</p>

Retirement Life

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Local news sources are closing across Australia

<p>The Yarram Standard and Great Southern Star, both of which have covered South Gippsland for well over a century, <a href="https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/05/25/regional-newspaper-describes-pain-closure/">won’t be returning</a> from their coronavirus-enforced suspensions.</p> <p>The two papers are the latest in a growing number of news outlets to close their doors. The economic fallout associated with the virus has been described as an “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/apr/09/coronavirus-us-newspapers-impact">extinction event</a>” for the media – and news outlets in suburban, regional and rural areas are being particularly hard hit.</p> <p>These challenges have renewed interest in the phenomenon of “news deserts”: towns, communities and local government areas where the supply of news appears to have been reduced to nothing.</p> <p>In June 2019, <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Digital%20platforms%20inquiry%20-%20final%20report.pdf">the ACCC estimated</a> there were 21 news deserts around Australia, 16 of them in rural and regional areas. This number has almost certainly grown in the period since.</p> <p>The loss of local news is a concern. Local papers fill a special role in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.5172/rsj.2012.21.2.126">building community spirit and social cohesion</a> in a way that metropolitan papers do not. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878x16648390">Research shows</a> that civic leaders believe local media does a better job of reflecting the needs of communities than state or national media.</p> <p>The closure of local newspapers has also been <a href="https://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/public-finance-local-news.php">linked to higher borrowing costs and financial waste in local government</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08997764.2013.785553">decreasing voter turnout and higher incumbency rates for elected officials</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Australian Newsroom Mapping Project</strong></p> <p>As a researcher at the Public Interest Journalism Initiative, I have been tracking changes in news production and availability for the <a href="https://piji.com.au/research/the-australian-newsroom-mapping-project/">Australian Newsroom Mapping Project</a>.</p> <p>Our approach is simple: we are displaying what has changed in news production and availability in Australia since January 2019.</p> <p>The changes we are capturing include</p> <ul> <li>the entire closure of a masthead or withdrawal from broadcast license areas</li> <li>the closure of a specific newsroom</li> <li>changes to publication or broadcast frequency</li> <li>the end of print editions.</li> </ul> <p>We have logged over 200 contractions since the end of March alone, clear evidence of the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/another-savage-blow-to-regional-media-spells-disaster-for-the-communities-they-serve-139559">swift and savage force</a>” with which COVID-19 has affected news.</p> <p>Two types of change stand out: a greatly accelerated shift to digital-only publishing and the closures of newsrooms, particularly in regional New South Wales. Between them, these two types of change represent about two-thirds of all entries in our data.</p> <p>Australian Community Media, publisher of about 160 newspapers in regional and rural areas, has closed most of its non-daily papers <a href="https://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/6722552/updated-hunter-newspapers-shuttered-due-to-coronavirus-downturn/?cs=17267">until the end of June</a>. How many of them reopen next month is a big question: many of the changes in our data that were first described as temporary have become permanent.</p> <p>News Corp’s <a href="https://www.newscorpaustralia.com/news-corp-australia-announces-portfolio-changes/">recent announcement</a> that dozens of community newspaper titles will be digital-only is the highest-profile example, but far from the only one.</p> <p><strong>It’s not all gloomy news</strong></p> <p>Though the map overwhelmingly indicates declining news availability, we are also gathering information about growth.</p> <p>In Murray Bridge, South Australia, for example, a journalist furloughed from the Standard continued local coverage <a href="https://murraybridgenews.substack.com/">through his own initiative</a>. In <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-22/wimmera-mallee-news-to-launch-horsham-times/12273328">Horsham</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-24/rival-publisher-fills-void-after-acm-newspaper-closure-in-ararat/12178372">Ararat</a>, Victoria, rival publishers from nearby areas stepped in to fill the coverage gap with new papers.</p> <p>And in the year prior to COVID-19, News Corp opened a dozen new digital community sites, including in regional centres like Wollongong and Newcastle.</p> <p>Some of the contractions logged on our map have also improved as communities rally around their local papers.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/torresnews/">Cape and Torres News</a> in northern Queensland, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/apr/16/coronavirus-closed-a-broken-hill-newspaper-but-the-community-fought-to-save-it">the Barrier Daily Truth</a> in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and <a href="https://bunyippress.com.au/">The Bunyip</a> in Gawler, South Australia, are just a few examples of papers that have been able to return due to public support.</p> <p><strong>The challenge of news data maps</strong></p> <p>Any research is only as good as its data, and it is an enormous challenge to build a complete database of all news production across Australia. Missing a single publication can be the difference between listing a region as a news desert and not.</p> <p>To be manageable, <a href="https://www.usnewsdeserts.com/">similar projects</a> focus on commercial newspapers at the expense of other media, recognising the role print still has as the primary source of original news. This approach can provide a misleading picture in places where radio, TV or digital news are dominant.</p> <p>There is also the question of where entries go on a map. We place geographic markers according to either the location of the newsroom or somewhere in the community that it primarily serves. That approach makes sense, but can misrepresent the scale of the problem.</p> <p>For instance, the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/win-shuts-down-five-newsrooms-as-regional-broadcasters-struggle-20190619-p51zdz.html">closure of the WIN TV newsroom</a> in Wagga Wagga, NSW, last June affected the entire Riverina, but is represented on our map as only a small red dot in the city.</p> <p>It is possible to overcome these problems, but to do so is enormously resource intensive.</p> <p><a href="https://newsecosystems.org/njmap/">A new project</a> at Montclair University in the US, for example, is mapping local news in New Jersey, including variables such as coverage areas, population density and income. The researchers are analysing the content of each media outlet to determine if the towns it says it is covering are actually showing up in its stories.</p> <p>The scale of the work required to establish a reliable map just for New Jersey seems overwhelming, and it is hard to imagine how much money and time a research team would need to replicate it nationally.</p> <p><strong>Feeling ‘in the dark’ when local newsrooms close</strong></p> <p>Building other variables into our data, such as population density or journalism jobs statistics from the ABS, is an appealing idea that could bring more nuance to our project.</p> <p>The underlying data for our work is <a href="https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/19dJYVMpE0ZdgnGsaQvbbI7jcWAhgCovK?usp=sharing">open to public scrutiny</a> and we have benefited enormously <a href="mailto:newsmap@piji.com.au">from submissions</a>, which help us gain better insight into local media across the country.</p> <p>Readers sometimes reach out to tell me about the importance of their local paper for community life. One reader of the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DungogChronicle/">Dungog Chronicle</a> in Dungog, NSW, which closed in April, wrote: “<em>its closure diminishes our strength as a community, our identity as a Shire, and our willingness to take part in local decision-making.”</em></p> <p>The newspaper was first published in 1888 and covered the city for more than 130 years. The reader told me: “<em>There is less spring in our step without the Chronicle. It has been a faithful conduit for all local news for the 30+ years that I have been here, and I feel in the dark without it.”</em></p> <p><em>Written by Gary Dickson. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/local-news-sources-are-closing-across-australia-we-are-tracking-the-devastation-and-some-reasons-for-hope-139756">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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4 ways Australia’s coronavirus response was a triumph and 4 ways it fell short

<p>Australia’s response to the coronavirus outbreak so far has been among the most successful in the world. From a peak of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers#at-a-glance">more than 400 cases a day, the rate has fallen to fewer than 20 new cases a day</a>.</p> <p>Australia has avoided the worst of the pandemic, at least for now. Comparable (albeit larger and more densely populated) countries, such as the United Kingdom and United States, are mourning many thousands of lives lost and are still struggling to bring the pandemic under control.</p> <p>The reasons for Australia’s success story are complex, and success may yet be temporary, but four factors have been important.</p> <p><strong>Success 1: listening to experts</strong></p> <p>The formation of a <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/national-cabinet-update">National Cabinet</a>, comprising the prime minister and the leaders of each state and territory government, was a key part of Australia’s successful policy response to COVID-19.</p> <p>States and territories have primary responsibility for public hospitals, public health and emergency management, including the imposition of lockdowns and spatial distancing restrictions. The Commonwealth has primary responsibility for income and business support programs. Coordination of these responsibilities was crucial.</p> <p>The National Cabinet was <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/advice-coronavirus">created</a> quite late – in mid-March 2020 when cases were beginning to increase exponentially – but has proved an effective mechanism to resolve most differences as Australia’s dramatic and far-reaching measures were put in place.</p> <p>Within a week of the National Cabinet being formed, Australia began to place restrictions on social gatherings. On <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/coronavirus-nsw-victoria-act-shutdown-non-essential-services/12079124">March 22</a>, ahead of a National Cabinet meeting that evening, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory announced they were proceeding in the next 48 hours to shut down non-essential services. This helped push all other governments into widespread business shutdowns announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that night, to take effect the following day.</p> <p>National cooperation was further enhanced by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (<a href="https://www.health.gov.au/committees-and-groups/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc">AHPPC</a>), comprising Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy and his state and territory counterparts. From the start of the crisis, this forum helped underpin Australia’s policy decisions with public health expertise, particularly with regard to spatial distancing measures. Murphy has frequently flanked Morrison at national press briefings.</p> <p><strong>Success 2: international border closures and quarantine</strong></p> <p>Australia’s <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-0">decision to close its borders</a> to all foreigners on March 20, to “align international travel restrictions to the risks” was a turning point. The overwhelming number of new cases during the peak of the crisis were directly linked to overseas travel, and overseas sources account for nearly <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/australian-covid-19-cases-by-source-of-infection">two-thirds of Australia’s total infections</a>.</p> <p>A week after closing the borders, Australia instituted mandatory two-week quarantine for all international arrivals. Together, these measures gave Australia <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31016-3">much more control over the spread of the virus</a>.</p> <p><strong>Success 3: public acceptance of spatial distancing</strong></p> <p>Australia’s rapid adoption of spatial distancing measures reduced the risk of community transmission.</p> <p>Perhaps galvanised by images of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30074-8">Italy’s health system on the brink of collapse</a>, Australians quickly complied with shutdown laws. In fact, many people had already <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-kept-our-distance-before-the-covid-decrees-phone-data-reveals-australians-goodwill-20200430-p54oho.html">begun reducing their activity</a> before the restrictions were imposed.</p> <p>Australians’ compliance is demonstrated by the low number of community transmissions, despite having less strict lockdown laws than some other countries such as France and New Zealand.</p> <p><strong>Success 4: telehealth</strong></p> <p>One of the federal government’s early moves was to radically expand Australians’ access to telehealth. This allows patients to consult health professionals via videoconference or telephone, rather than in person.</p> <p>Australians have <a href="https://www.greghunt.com.au/australians-embrace-telehealth-to-save-lives-during-covid-19/">enthusiastically embraced telehealth</a>, with more than 4.3 million medical and health services delivered to three million patients in the first five weeks. A <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/gp-news/media-releases/2020-media-releases/may-2020/racgp-survey-reveals-strong-take-up-of-telehealth">survey of more than 1,000 GPs</a> found 99% of GP practices now offer telehealth services, alongside 97% offering face-to-face consultations.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Australia has also had failings, and it might have been in an even better position today if it had acted more decisively. Although it eventually “went hard”, the federal government spent the early weeks of the crisis mired in uncertainty.</p> <p><strong>Failure 1: the Ruby Princess</strong></p> <p>About 2,700 passengers from the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/10/anatomy-of-a-cruise-how-the-ruby-princess-came-to-dock-and-disembark-with-coronavirus">Ruby Princess cruise ship</a> were allowed to disembark freely in Sydney on March 19, despite some showing COVID-19 symptoms. The ship has become Australia’s largest single source of infection. About <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-23/coronavirus-across-australia-if-ruby-princess-never-docked/12172314">700 cases (10% of Australia’s total)</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-13/australia-coronavirus-death-toll-rises-ruby-princess-fatality/12239626">22 deaths</a> (about 20% of Australia’s deaths) are linked to the ship.</p> <p><strong>Failure 2: too slow to close borders</strong></p> <p>While Australia was comparatively quick to ban foreign nationals coming from China, it was slow to introduce further travel restrictions as the virus began to spread throughout the rest of the world.</p> <p>It took more than six weeks after Australia’s first confirmed case for the federal government to introduce universal travel restrictions. Before this, restrictions were targeted at specific countries, such as Iran, South Korea and, belatedly, Italy – despite other countries such as the US posing similar or even greater risks.</p> <p><strong>Failure 3: too slow to prepare the health system</strong></p> <p>Australia was too slow to ready its health system for the prospect of the virus spreading rapidly. When cases began to rise exponentially, Australia was ill-prepared for a pandemic-scale response.</p> <p>This was particularly evident in the testing regime. At first, some people with symptoms went to community GP clinics and hospitals, without calling ahead, putting others at risk. On March 11 the federal government <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/24-billion-health-plan-fight-covid-19">announced</a> 100 testing clinics would be established, but this was <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/opening-of-100th-covid-19-gp-led-respiratory-clinic">only completed two months later</a>, once the peak of the crisis had passed.</p> <p>The result was that as cases began to increase in mid-March 2020, Australia suffered <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/professional/chief-medical-officer-update-on-coronavirus-testin">supply shortages for testing</a>.</p> <p>Australia also struggled to meet the rising demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Australia’s <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2F75585d2b-2ea4-429c-bc62-d82fe6ee120d%2F0000%22">stockpile of 12 million P2/N85 masks and 9 million surgical masks</a> was not sufficient, and neither had it stockpiled enough <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/no-gowns-visors-gloves-national-medical-stockpile-to-be-reviewed-20200424-p54mxk.html">gowns, visors and goggles</a> to cope with the crisis. GPs complained of inadequate supplies hampering their work.</p> <p>Eventually, on <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/national-cabinet-update">March 26</a>, elective surgeries were curtailed so PPE could be diverted to the pandemic frontline.</p> <p><strong>Failure 4: shifting strategies and mixed messages</strong></p> <p>The lack of a clear, overarching crisis strategy has resulted in a reactive policy approach, featuring confusing messages.</p> <p>At first there was confusion about exactly which businesses or events (such as the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/mar/09/no-chance-of-australian-grand-prix-going-behind-closed-doors-organisers">on-again</a> then <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-13/australian-formula-1-grand-prix-cancelled-over-coronavirus/12052142">off-again</a> Melbourne Grand Prix) should be shut down. There were also inconsistencies between the Commonwealth’s position and the states’. For example, most states closed or partially closed their public schools around Easter and began reopening them when cases went down more than a month later. Despite concerns raised by some state governments, Prime Minister Morrison repeatedly insisted there was no risk in sending children to school. Childcare centres remained officially open throughout.</p> <p>The mixed messages have been particularly pronounced on Australia’s approach to the virus itself. The federal government initially talked about “slowing the spread”, but some states argued for a “stop the spread” strategy. This tension increased confusion about how far Australia’s lockdown restrictions should go. <a href="https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/why-australia-s-corona-wars-have-only-just-begun-20200430-p54oo1">Debate raged</a> between people who argued that “herd immunity” was Australia’s only realistic option, and those who pushed for “elimination” of COVID-19 in Australia.</p> <p>Confusion reigned for too long. Even an <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-160420">April 16 statement</a> from Morrison, designed to clarify the long-term strategy, conflated two different strategies by declaring Australia was continuing to “progress a successful suppression/elimination strategy for the virus”.</p> <p>In the end, the case count provided its own answer. Several states began to record multiple days and weeks with no new cases, showing that elimination may indeed be possible.</p> <p>As restrictions unwind, a new norm will set in. The risk of COVID-19 emerging again means Australians’ way of life will have to fundamentally change. Significant risks remain, particularly for states that ease restrictions too fast. Continual monitoring will be required to prevent further outbreaks or a second wave.</p> <p><em>Written by Stephen Duckett and Anika Stobart. </em><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/4-ways-australias-coronavirus-response-was-a-triumph-and-4-ways-it-fell-short-139845"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Government to refund $720 million extorted through robodebt

<p>The Federal Government has announced it will refund more than $720 million dollars to people who were unlawfully issued with debt notices under Robodebt, which many have labelled an extortion scheme targeting those without means to challenge it.</p> <p>And although the decision won’t bring back those driven to depression and even to suicide as a result of the burden of having to pay money or face the prospect of a criminal prosecution, it will vindicate the thousands victimised by the government’s patently illegal conduct.</p> <p><strong>The class action</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/class-action-brought-over-robodebt/">A class action by more than 13,000 Australians was set to proceed later this year</a>. The suit had been under way for some time, but gained momentum after a lawsuit, brought by Victoria Legal Aid in the Federal Court last year <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/robodebt-is-unlawful-federal-court-rules/">determined that raising debts which relied solely on income averaging was unlawful</a>.</p> <p>As a result, over the past few weeks Centrelink has been in the process of contacting anyone who was affected by Robodebt’s flawed algorithms which based calculations on income averaging’, to notify them of the class action, but now the Federal Government has announced that it will refund 470,000 debts, along with interest and fees.</p> <p><strong>Illegal system</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/robodebt-class-action-is-coming/">Robodebt</a> was introduced by the Turnbull Government in 2016.</p> <p>At the time, the government hailed it as a huge triumph, saying it would “crack down on dole bludgers and welfare rorters” and “recover” billions of dollars over a period of just a few years.</p> <p>The previous system, which was not automated, only generated about 20,000 letters a year. But in the early days of the new automated system, that number skyrocketed to around 20,000 letters a week.</p> <p>But instead, it targeted many thousands of average Australians, sending notices asking them to pay debts they don’t owe. Many more have received notices with inflated debt figures based on incorrect calculations or misinformation within the system. Others, receiving payments such as Youth Allowance and Newstart have were asked to verify their income dating back as far as 2010.</p> <p>Alarm bells about potential mistakes in the automated system were raised across the nation about 6 months into its existence, during December and January 2016, when Centrelink began tweeting the contact number for Lifeline.</p> <p>Centrelink staff were simply unable to cope with the sheer volume of calls and complaints about the automated debt notices. Those who had received notices were being charged fees and interest and being pursued relentlessly by debt companies, or threatened with deductions from their current salaries until the debt was paid.</p> <p><strong>Powerless against the system</strong></p> <p>When Centrelink was unable to help people in a timely way, many felt completely powerless against the ‘system’ – the way that the scheme operated,  the onus was on individuals to disprove their debt, rather than for the Government to authenticate it.</p> <p>Around the same time, the Federal Government also introduced Departure Prohibition Orders (DPOs) that stopped anyone who <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/if-you-owe-money-to-centrelink-dont-try-to-leave-australia/">owed a debt to Centrelink from leaving Australia</a>, irrespective of the size of the debt, until either the amount owing was paid in full, the debtor makes an agreed lump sum payment, or enters into a repayment plan.</p> <p>For some, the financial distress proved too much. <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/centrelinks-flawed-robo-debt-system-is-killing-our-most-vulnerable/">More than 2000 people died after receiving a robo-debt notice between July 2016 to October 2018</a>. While no cause for their death has ever been reported, and the Department of Human Services said it was ridiculous to draw conclusions from these numbers, it is known that almost a third were classified as ‘vulnerable’ – which means they  had complex needs like mental illness, drug use or were victims of domestic violence.</p> <p>The damage has been done. But at least now, there is justice for the majority of Robodebt victims who will start <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/29/robodebt-was-a-flagrant-abuse-of-government-power-it-should-never-have-seen-the-light-of-day?fbclid=IwAR2XYRRtO3DuycBcLZxt-PkiJhy5dfIjzwILsB_cRvYs8LWE_Pvd2Epyjyk">receiving their refunds in July this year</a>.</p> <p>It is possible that many more cases may be eligible for refunds, because despite the fact that the Government has pledged to pay back $721 million, according to information released by the Senate, more than 680,000 debts have been raised over the years, with a value of about $1.4 billion.</p> <p>Anyone who believes they have been affected should contact Centrelink.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/government-to-refund-720-million-extorted-through-robodebt/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

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