Placeholder Content Image

Government launches new campaign to tackle elder abuse

<p>The federal government has launched a new campaign to tackle elder abuse. </p> <p>According to the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, one in six older Australians experienced abuse last year, with 61 per cent of victims not seeking for help or advice. </p> <p>The Albanese government will spend $4.8 million on the campaign which includes a series of commercials.</p> <p>Council on the Ageing Australia chief executive Patricia Sparrow said the organisation believed cases were under reported.</p> <p>"That's why we think it's incredibly important to raise this awareness," Sparrow said.</p> <p>"It mostly comes from someone they know, which makes it very difficult for older people to report it or know what to do." </p> <p>Labor senator Jenny McAllister told <em>Sky News</em>: "This is something that the community needs to start thinking about. It's a scourge.</p> <p>"We need to eliminate it and the right place to start is with conversations with people we know and care about."</p> <p>"If you're feeling a little uncertain, if you think something is wrong and you're an older Australian you should speak up about it," she added. </p> <p>With an ageing population, it's important to raise awareness that elder abuse is not just physical violence, but emotional, financial and psychological abuse too. </p> <p>The commercials will run on TV, online and at medical clinics from July 28 and they aim to encourage older people to open up about the poor treatment they receive, including from their children and grandchildren. </p> <p>Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will formally announce the campaign at the National Elder Abuse Conference in Adelaide on Monday. </p> <p>He said that elder abuse was a shameful and often hidden form of cruelty and mistreatment. </p> <p>"It is ugly, it is unacceptable and it must be eliminated," he said.</p> <p>"It is critical that we continue to work together as a community to promote the rights and safety of older people, and ensure that everyone is able to age with dignity and respect."</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Do you have a mental illness? Why some people answer ‘yes’, even if they haven’t been diagnosed

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jesse-tse-1429151">Jesse Tse</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-haslam-10182">Nick Haslam</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722"><em>The University of Melbourne</em></a></em></p> <p>Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders have become more prevalent, especially among <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/overview/prevalence-and-impact-of-mental-illness#changeovertime">young people</a>. Demand for treatment is surging and prescriptions of some <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35176912/">psychiatric medications</a> have climbed.</p> <p>These upswinging prevalence trends are paralleled by rising public attention to mental illness. Mental health messages saturate traditional and social media. Organisations and governments are developing awareness, prevention and treatment initiatives with growing urgency.</p> <p>The mounting cultural focus on mental health has obvious benefits. It increases awareness, reduces stigma and promotes help-seeking.</p> <p>However, it may also have costs. Critics worry <a href="https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy-today/2023/april-2023/the-big-issue/">social media</a> sites are incubating mental illness and that ordinary unhappiness is being pathologised by the overuse of diagnostic concepts and “<a href="https://www.bustle.com/wellness/is-therapy-speak-making-us-selfish">therapy speak</a>”.</p> <p>British psychologist <a href="https://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/lucy-foulkes">Lucy Foulkes</a> argues the trends for rising attention and prevalence are linked. Her “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0732118X2300003X">prevalence inflation hypothesis</a>” proposes that increasing awareness of mental illness may lead some people to diagnose themselves inaccurately when they are experiencing relatively mild or transient problems.</p> <p>Foulkes’ hypothesis implies that some people develop overly broad concepts of mental illness. Our research supports this view. In a new study, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666560324000318?via%3Dihub">we show</a> that concepts of mental illness have broadened in recent years – a phenomenon we call “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1047840X.2016.1082418">concept creep</a>” – and that <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-023-05152-6">people differ</a> in the breadth of their concepts of mental illness.</p> <h2>Why do people self-diagnose mental illnesses?</h2> <p>In our new <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmmh.2024.100326">study</a>, we examined whether people with broad concepts of mental illness are, in fact, more likely to self-diagnose.</p> <p>We defined self-diagnosis as a person’s belief they have an illness, whether or not they have received the diagnosis from a professional. We assessed people as having a “broad concept of mental illness” if they judged a wide variety of experiences and behaviours to be disorders, including relatively mild conditions.</p> <p>We asked a nationally representative sample of 474 American adults if they believed they had a mental disorder and if they had received a diagnosis from a health professional. We also asked about other possible contributing factors and demographics.</p> <p>Mental illness was common in our sample: 42% reported they had a current self-diagnosed condition, a majority of whom had received it from a health professional.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the strongest predictor of reporting a diagnosis was experiencing relatively severe distress.</p> <p>The second most important factor after distress was having a broad concept of mental illness. When their levels of distress were the same, people with broad concepts were substantially more likely to report a current diagnosis.</p> <p>The graph below illustrates this effect. It divides the sample by levels of distress and shows the proportion of people at each level who report a current diagnosis. People with broad concepts of mental illness (the highest quarter of the sample) are represented by the dark blue line. People with narrow concepts of mental illness (the lowest quarter of the sample) are represented by the light blue line. People with broad concepts were much more likely to report having a mental illness, especially when their distress was relatively high.</p> <p>People with greater mental health literacy and less stigmatising attitudes were also more likely to report a diagnosis.</p> <p>Two interesting further findings emerged from our study. People who self-diagnosed but had not received a professional diagnosis tended to have broader illness concepts than those who had.</p> <p>In addition, younger and politically progressive people were more likely to report a diagnosis, consistent with some <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666560321000438">previous research</a>, and held broader concepts of mental illness. Their tendency to hold these more expansive concepts partially explained their higher rates of diagnosis.</p> <h2>Why does it matter?</h2> <p>Our findings support the idea that expansive concepts of mental illness promote self-diagnosis and may thereby increase the apparent prevalence of mental ill health. People who have a lower threshold for defining distress as a disorder are more likely to identify themselves as having a mental illness.</p> <p>Our findings do not directly show that people with broad concepts over-diagnose or those with narrow concepts under-diagnose. Nor do they prove that having broad concepts <em>causes</em> self-diagnosis or results in <em>actual</em> increases in mental illness. Nevertheless, the findings raise important concerns.</p> <p>First, they suggest that rising mental health awareness may <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25934573-900-why-being-more-open-about-mental-health-could-be-making-us-feel-worse/">come at a cost</a>. In addition to boosting mental health literacy it may increase the likelihood of people incorrectly identifying their problems as pathologies.</p> <p>Inappropriate self-diagnosis can have adverse effects. Diagnostic labels may become identity-defining and self-limiting, as people come to believe their problems are enduring, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032724002489?via%3Dihub">hard-to-control</a> aspects of who they are.</p> <p>Second, unwarranted self-diagnosis may lead people experiencing relatively mild levels of distress to seek help that is unnecessary, inappropriate and ineffective. Recent <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37844607/">Australian research</a> found people with relatively mild distress who received psychotherapy worsened more often than they improved.</p> <p>Third, these effects may be particularly problematic for young people. They are most liable to hold broad concepts of mental illness, in part due to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X22000682?via%3Dihub">social media</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10810730.2023.2235563">consumption</a>, and they experience mental ill health at relatively high and rising rates. Whether expansive concepts of illness play a role in the youth mental health crisis remains to be seen.</p> <p>Ongoing cultural shifts are fostering increasingly expansive definitions of mental illness. These shifts are likely to have mixed blessings. By normalising mental illness they may help to remove its stigma. However, by pathologising some forms of everyday distress, they may have an unintended downside.</p> <p>As we wrestle with the mental health crisis, it is crucial we find ways to increase awareness of mental ill health without inadvertently inflating it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231687/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jesse-tse-1429151">Jesse Tse</a>, PhD Candidate at Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-haslam-10182">Nick Haslam</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/do-you-have-a-mental-illness-why-some-people-answer-yes-even-if-they-havent-been-diagnosed-231687">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Yes, Australia’s big supermarkets have been price gouging. But fixing the problem won’t be easy

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bree-hurst-174985">Bree Hurst</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carol-richards-153226">Carol Richards</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hope-johnson-125018">Hope Johnson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rudolf-messner-1373038">Rudolf Messner</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>A much-awaited report into Coles and Woolworths has found what many customers have long believed – Australia’s big supermarkets engage in price gouging.</p> <p>What <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices/Terms_of_Reference">started</a> as a simple Senate inquiry into grocery prices and supermarket power has delivered a lengthy 195-page-long <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Supermarket_Prices/SupermarketPrices/Supermarket_Prices">report</a> spanning supermarket pricing’s impact on customers, food waste, relationships with suppliers, employee wages and conditions, excessive profitability, company mergers and land banking.</p> <p>The report makes some major recommendations, including giving courts the power to break up anti-competitive businesses, and strengthening the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</p> <p>It also recommends making the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct mandatory for supermarket chains. This code governs how they should deal with suppliers. The government’s recent <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2024-510813">Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code</a> also recommended making it mandatory for the supermarket giants.</p> <p>But at this point it’s hard to say what, if anything, the recommendations will mean for everyday Australians and the prices they actually pay.</p> <h2>Price gouging isn’t illegal</h2> <p>At the heart of the Senate inquiry was the question of whether Australian supermarkets were price gouging. According to the committee, the answer is a “resounding yes”, despite the evidence presented by supermarkets to the contrary.</p> <p>Price gouging is when businesses exploit a lack of competition by setting prices well above cost price. But the practice is <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/pricing/setting-prices-whats-allowed">not explicitly illegal</a>.</p> <p>The committee put forward a number of recommendations that could help reduce price gouging. These include making it an offence to charge excess prices and establishing a new “Commission on Prices and Competition” to examine price setting practices in different sectors.</p> <p>The committee also wants the ACCC to be given enhanced powers to investigate and prosecute unfair trading practices, and to be better funded and resourced.</p> <p>The committee says supermarket claims that price gouging does not exist should mean the giants have nothing to fear under tougher legislation. However, it says:</p> <blockquote> <p>the evidence brought forward by people willing to speak out about the business practices of Coles and Woolworths suggests that maintaining margins and increasing margin growth is occurring at the expense of suppliers, consumers, and best business practices, and without proper justification.</p> </blockquote> <h2>It’s unlikely we’ll see relief anytime soon</h2> <p>Will these recommendations actually deliver any relief on prices? It’s hard to say at this point. The recommendations put forward are comprehensive, but they’re unlikely to result in any short-term change for consumers.</p> <p>At any rate, the Albanese government does not support many of them. In the report’s additional commentary, Labor senators argue that Australian competition law already addresses excessive pricing by prohibiting misleading and deceptive conduct. They also don’t support establishing a new commission to examine prices.</p> <p>Rather, the report calls for a dramatic overhaul of current regulatory settings, which it says are “not appropriate or fit for purpose”. This is not going to be an easy or fast process.</p> <h2>What does the report mean for the Greens’ divestiture bill?</h2> <p>While the inquiry was underway, the Greens <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;page=0;query=BillId%3As1413%20Recstruct%3Abillhome">introduced a bill</a> which would give courts “divestiture powers”. This means a corporation could be ordered to sell some of its assets to reduce its market power.</p> <p>While the bill lacks support from the major parties, the committee suggested that such divestiture powers should be introduced specifically for the supermarket sector. Where abuse of market power was able to be proven, supermarkets could be forced to sell certain stores.</p> <p>While Australia does not have divestiture powers in this context, some other countries do. In New Zealand, the UK and the US, courts can force corporations that are abusing their market power to sell components of their business. Such powers are very rarely used, but the deterrent they impose can be <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-time-to-give-australian-courts-the-power-to-break-up-big-firms-that-behave-badly-226726">highly influential</a> on corporate behaviour.</p> <p>Labor rejects creating any forms of divestiture power in the report’s additional commentary. But the Coalition isn’t entirely against the idea, noting that it “does not believe the committee has persuasively found that divestiture powers should not be pursued at all” and that “divestiture powers should be targeted to sectors of concern”.</p> <h2>What’s next?</h2> <p>At this stage, the report suggests there’s only one action all political parties agree on at this stage: making the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct mandatory and ensuring its full enforcement. We’re unlikely to see much unity on the other recommendations.</p> <p>In a scathing commentary, the Coalition argues the report represents “a missed opportunity to address some of the structural imbalances in our supermarket sector that are impacting Australia’s growers, farmers, small businesses, and ultimately consumers”.</p> <p>While this is a harsh assessment, the reality is that unless these structural imbalances in our food system are addressed, we’re unlikely to see meaningful change.</p> <p>The report draws on substantial evidence to paint a troubling picture of the food system in Australia – in particular, how growers and consumers are struggling. The task for regulators is working out what mechanisms can be used to address the imbalance of power in the market, in a way that doesn’t force growers or Australian consumers to bear the cost.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229602/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bree-hurst-174985">Bree Hurst</a>, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Law, QUT, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carol-richards-153226">Carol Richards</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hope-johnson-125018">Hope Johnson</a>, ARC DECRA Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rudolf-messner-1373038">Rudolf Messner</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-australias-big-supermarkets-have-been-price-gouging-but-fixing-the-problem-wont-be-easy-229602">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Yes, adults can develop food allergies. Here are 4 types you need to know about

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316">Clare Collins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p>If you didn’t have food allergies as a child, is it possible to develop them as an adult? The short answer is yes. But the reasons why are much more complicated.</p> <p>Preschoolers are about <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">four times more likely to have a food allergy</a> than adults and are more likely to grow out of it as they get older.</p> <p>It’s hard to get accurate figures on adult food allergy prevalence. The Australian National Allergy Council reports <a href="https://nationalallergycouncil.org.au/about-us/our-strategy">one in 50 adults</a> have food allergies. But a US survey suggested as many as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">one in ten adults</a> were allergic to at least one food, with some developing allergies in adulthood.</p> <h2>What is a food allergy</h2> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">Food allergies</a> are immune reactions involving <a href="https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/allergy,-asthma-immunology-glossary/immunoglobulin-e-(ige)-defined">immunoglobulin E (IgE)</a> – an antibody that’s central to triggering allergic responses. These are known as “IgE-mediated food allergies”.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms that are <em>not</em> mediated by IgE are usually delayed reactions and called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">food intolerances or hypersensitivity</a>.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms can include hives, swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, throat or chest tightening, trouble breathing, chest pain, rapid heart rate, dizziness, low blood pressure or <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/acute-management-of-anaphylaxis-guidelines?highlight=WyJhbmFwaHlsYXhpcyJd">anaphylaxis</a>.</p> <p>IgE-mediated food allergies can be life threatening, so all adults need an <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-management/newly-diagnosed/action-plan-essentials">action management plan</a> developed in consultation with their medical team.</p> <p>Here are four IgE-mediated food allergies that can occur in adults – from relatively common ones to rare allergies you’ve probably never heard of.</p> <h2>1. Single food allergies</h2> <p>The most <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">common IgE-mediated food allergies</a> in adults in a US survey were to:</p> <ul> <li>shellfish (2.9%)</li> <li>cow’s milk (1.9%)</li> <li>peanut (1.8%)</li> <li>tree nuts (1.2%)</li> <li>fin fish (0.9%) like barramundi, snapper, salmon, cod and perch.</li> </ul> <p>In these adults, about 45% reported reacting to multiple foods.</p> <p>This compares to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">most common childhood food allergies</a>: cow’s milk, egg, peanut and soy.</p> <p>Overall, adult food allergy prevalence appears to be increasing. Compared to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14657884/">older surveys published in 2003</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15241360/">2004</a>, peanut allergy prevalence has increased about three-fold (from 0.6%), while tree nuts and fin fish roughly doubled (from 0.5% each), with shellfish similar (2.5%).</p> <p>While new <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">adult-onset food allergies are increasing</a>, childhood-onset food allergies are also more likely to be retained into adulthood. Possible reasons for both <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">include</a> low vitamin D status, lack of immune system challenges due to being overly “clean”, heightened sensitisation due to allergen avoidance, and more frequent antibiotic use.</p> <h2>2. Tick-meat allergy</h2> <p>Tick-meat allergy, also called α-Gal syndrome or mammalian meat allergy, is an allergic reaction to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or α-Gal for short.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33529984/">Australian immunologists first reported</a> links between α-Gal syndrome and tick bites in 2009, with cases also reported in the United States, Japan, Europe and South Africa. The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">US Centers for Disease Control estimates</a> about 450,000 Americans <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7230a2.htm">could be affected</a>.</p> <p>The α-Gal contains a carbohydrate molecule that is bound to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">protein</a> molecule in <a href="https://alphagalinformation.org/what-is-a-mammal/">mammals</a>.</p> <p>The IgE-mediated allergy is triggered after repeated bites from ticks or <a href="https://www.insectshield.com/pages/chiggers">chigger mites</a> that have bitten those mammals. When tick saliva crosses into your body through the bite, antibodies to α-Gal are produced.</p> <p>When you subsequently eat foods that contain α-Gal, the allergy is triggered. These triggering foods include meat (lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, kangaroo), dairy products (yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, cream), <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin">animal-origin gelatin</a> added to gummy foods (jelly, lollies, marshmallow), prescription medications and over-the counter supplements containing gelatin (<a href="https://www.drugs.com/inactive/gelatin-57.html">some antibiotics, vitamins and other supplements</a>).</p> <p>Tick-meat allergy reactions can be hard to recognise because they’re usually delayed, and they can be severe and include anaphylaxis. Allergy <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/mammalian-meat-tick-faq">organisations produce management guidelines</a>, so always discuss management with your doctor.</p> <h2>3. Fruit-pollen allergy</h2> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy, called pollen food allergy syndrome, is an <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">IgE-mediated allergic reaction</a>.</p> <p>In susceptible adults, pollen in the air provokes the production of IgE antibodies to antigens in the pollen, but these antigens are similar to ones found in some fruits, vegetables and herbs. The problem is that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">eating those plants</a> triggers an allergic reaction.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">most allergenic tree pollens</a> are from birch, cypress, Japanese cedar, <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/latex-allergy">latex</a>, grass, and ragweed. Their pollen can cross-react with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">fruit and vegetables</a>, including kiwi, banana, mango, avocado, grapes, celery, carrot and potato, and some herbs such as caraway, coriander, fennel, pepper and paprika.</p> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy is not common. Prevalence <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">estimates are between 0.03% and 8%</a> depending on the country, but it can be life-threatening. Reactions range from itching or tingling of lips, mouth, tongue and throat, called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20306812/">oral allergy syndrome</a>, to mild <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives">hives</a>, to anaphylaxis.</p> <h2>4. Food-dependent, exercise-induced food allergy</h2> <p>During heavy exercise, the stomach produces less acid than usual and gut permeability increases, meaning that small molecules in your gut are more likely to escape across the membrane into your blood. These include food molecules that trigger an IgE reaction.</p> <p>If the person already has IgE antibodies to the foods eaten before exercise, then the risk of triggering food allergy reactions is increased. This allergy is called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37893663/">food-dependent exercise-induced allergy</a>, with symptoms ranging from hives and swelling, to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30601082/">Common trigger foods include</a> wheat, seafood, meat, poultry, egg, milk, nuts, grapes, celery and other foods, which could have been eaten many hours before exercising.</p> <p>To complicate things even further, allergic <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33181008/">reactions can</a> occur at lower levels of trigger-food exposure, and be more severe if the person is simultaneously taking non-steroidal inflammatory medications like aspirin, drinking alcohol or is sleep-deprived.</p> <p>Food-dependent exercise-induced allergy is extremely rare. Surveys have estimated prevalence as between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1555415517300259">one to 17 cases per 1,000 people worldwide</a> with the highest prevalence between the teenage years to age 35. Those affected often have other allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and dermatitis.</p> <h2>Allergies are a growing burden</h2> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">burden on physical health, psychological health</a> and health costs due to food allergy is increasing. In the US, this <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38393624/">financial burden was estimated as $24 billion per year</a>.</p> <p>Adult food allergy needs to be taken seriously and those with severe symptoms should wear a medical information bracelet or chain and carry an <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-to-use-an-adrenaline-autoinjector-epipen-anapen">adrenaline auto-injector pen</a>. Concerningly, surveys suggest only <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">about one in four adults</a> with food allergy have an adrenaline pen.</p> <p>If you have an IgE-mediated food allergy, discuss your management plan with your doctor. You can also find more information at <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/">Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223342/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316"><em>Clare Collins</em></a><em>, Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-adults-can-develop-food-allergies-here-are-4-types-you-need-to-know-about-223342">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Biggest spenders of the Voice campaign finally revealed

<p>The recently disclosed financial reports of the failed Voice to Parliament referendum in Australia have shed light on the substantial investments made by both the Yes and No campaigns.</p> <p>According to newly released disclosures, the Yes campaign significantly outspent its counterpart, with expenditures nearing $55 million – more than double the amount spent by the No campaign.</p> <p>Under Australian law, any campaign expenditure exceeding $15,200 must be reported to the Australian Electoral Commission. These reports, made public almost six months after the referendum's defeat, offer a comprehensive overview of the financial landscape surrounding the proposal to embed an Indigenous voice within the country's constitution, which ultimately saw a 60-40% defeat.</p> <p>Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition spearheaded the Yes campaign, amassing $47.5 million in donations and spending $43.8 million. Additionally, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), home to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, received $11.12 million in donations, allocating $10.3 million toward campaign efforts.</p> <p>On the opposing front, No campaign groups collectively spent over $25 million. Australians for Unity, also recognised as Fair Australia, invested $11.1 million, while Advance Australia allocated $10.3 million, despite receiving only $1.3 million in donations during the reporting period.</p> <p>A noteworthy highlight of the disclosures is the substantial contributions from various entities. The Paul Ramsay Foundation emerged as the largest individual donor, contributing $7.01 million to Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition. Other notable donors include corporate entities such as ANZ, Woodside Energy, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, all of which supported initiatives associated with the Yes campaign.</p> <p>Conversely, mineral magnate Clive Palmer's Mineralogy led the No campaign with a spending of $1.93 million. Additionally, political parties played a role in the referendum's financial landscape, with the Liberal Party of Australia, the Nationals, and the Australian Labor Party all making significant contributions.</p> <p>Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull notably donated $50,000 to the Yes campaign, reflecting a bipartisan interest in Indigenous recognition efforts. Moreover, local governments and independent candidates also made notable contributions to the referendum discourse.</p> <p>The Paul Ramsay Foundation, a significant donor to the Yes campaign, has been actively involved in addressing social disparities in Australia. With a focus on enabling equitable opportunities for marginalised communities, the foundation's support for Indigenous recognition aligns with its broader mission of fostering sustainable social change.</p> <p>While the referendum may have concluded, the broader pursuit of Indigenous rights and recognition remains an ongoing journey for the nation.</p> <p><em>Image: Two Way Street</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Yes, Kate Middleton’s photo was doctored. But so are a lot of images we see today

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/t-j-thomson-503845">T.J. Thomson</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Rumours and conspiracies have been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/28/style/princess-kate-middleton-health.html">swirling</a> following the abdominal surgery and long recovery period of Catherine, Princess of Wales, earlier this year. They intensified on Monday when Kensington Palace released a photo of the princess with her three children.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C4U_IqTNaqU/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C4U_IqTNaqU/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Prince and Princess of Wales (@princeandprincessofwales)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The photo had clear signs of tampering, and international wire services <a href="https://apnews.com/article/kate-princess-photo-surgery-ca91acf667c87c6c70a7838347d6d4fb">withdrew the image</a> amid concerns around manipulation. The princess later <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1767135566645092616">apologised for any confusion</a> and said she had “experimented with editing” as many amateur photographers do.</p> <p>Image editing is extremely common these days, and not all of it is for nefarious purposes. However, in an age of rampant misinformation, how can we stay vigilant around suspicious images?</p> <h2>What happened with the royal photo?</h2> <p>A close look reveals at least eight inconsistencies with the image.</p> <p>Two of these relate to unnatural blur. Catherine’s right hand is unnaturally blurred, even though her left hand is sharp and at the same distance from the camera. The left side of Catherine’s hair is also unnaturally blurred, while the right side of her hair is sharp.</p> <p>These types of edits are usually made with a blur tool that softens pixels. It is often used to make the background of an image less distracting or to smooth rough patches of texture.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=358&fit=crop&dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=600&h=358&fit=crop&dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=600&h=358&fit=crop&dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=450&fit=crop&dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=754&h=450&fit=crop&dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/581145/original/file-20240312-26-rhmkk1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=754&h=450&fit=crop&dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">At least eight logical inconsistencies exist in the doctored image the Prince and Princess of Wales posted on social media.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C4U_IqTNaqU/">Photo by the Prince of Wales/Chart by T.J. Thomson</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Five of the edits appear to use the “clone stamp” tool. This is a Photoshop tool that takes part of the same or a different image and “stamps” it onto another part.</p> <p>You can see this with the repeated pattern on Louis’s (on the left) sweater and the tile on the ground. You can also see it with the step behind Louis’s legs and on Charlotte’s hair and sleeve. The zipper on Catherine’s jacket also doesn’t line up.</p> <p>The most charitable interpretation is that the princess was trying to remove distracting or unflattering elements. But the artefacts could also point to multiple images being blended together. This could either be to try to show the best version of each person (for example, with a smiling face and open eyes), or for another purpose.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C</p> <p>— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1767135566645092616?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 11, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <h2>How common are image edits?</h2> <p>Image editing is increasingly common as both photography and editing are increasingly becoming more automated.</p> <p>This sometimes happens without you even knowing.</p> <p>Take HDR (high dynamic range) images, for example. Point your iPhone or equivalent at a beautiful sunset and watch it capture the scene from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows. What happens here is your camera makes multiple images and automatically stitches them together to make an image <a href="https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/photography/hub/guides/what-is-hdr-photography.html">with a wider range of contrast</a>.</p> <p>While face-smoothing or teeth-whitening filters are nothing new, some smartphone camera apps apply them without being prompted. Newer technology like Google’s “Best Take” <a href="https://blog.google/products/photos/how-google-photos-best-take-works/">feature</a> can even combine the best attributes of multiple images to ensure everyone’s eyes are open and faces are smiling in group shots.</p> <p>On social media, it seems everyone tries to show themselves in their best light, which is partially why so few of the photos on our <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15551393.2020.1862663">camera rolls</a> make it onto our social media feeds. It is also why we often edit our photos to show our best sides.</p> <p>But in other contexts, such as press photography, the <a href="https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/telling-the-story/visuals">rules are much stricter</a>. The Associated Press, for example, bans all edits beyond simple crops, colour adjustments, and “minor adjustments” that “restore the authentic nature of the photograph”.</p> <p>Professional photojournalists haven’t always gotten it right, though. While the majority of lens-based news workers adhere to ethical guidelines like those published by the <a href="https://nppa.org/resources/code-ethics">National Press Photographers Association</a>, others have let deadline pressures, competition and the desire for exceptional imagery cloud their judgement.</p> <p>One such example was in 2017, when British photojournalist Souvid Datta admitted to <a href="https://time.com/4766312/souvid-datta/">visually plagiarising</a> another photographer’s work within his own composition.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Photographer Souvid Datta appears to have plagiarized Mary Ellen Mark: <a href="https://t.co/iO1Lm8CowU">https://t.co/iO1Lm8CowU</a> <a href="https://t.co/jswHyApGNj">pic.twitter.com/jswHyApGNj</a></p> <p>— PetaPixel (@petapixel) <a href="https://twitter.com/petapixel/status/859824132258537472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>Concerns around false or misleading visual information are at an all-time high, given advances in <a href="https://theconversation.com/nine-was-slammed-for-ai-editing-a-victorian-mps-dress-how-can-news-media-use-ai-responsibly-222382">generative artificial intelligence (AI)</a>. In fact, this year the World Economic Forum named the risk of misinformation and disinformation as the world’s greatest <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2024/01/ai-disinformation-global-risks/">short-term threat</a>. It placed this above armed conflict and natural disasters.</p> <h2>What to do if you’re unsure about an image you’ve found online</h2> <p>It can be hard to keep up with the more than <a href="https://theconversation.com/3-2-billion-images-and-720-000-hours-of-video-are-shared-online-daily-can-you-sort-real-from-fake-148630">3 billion photos</a> that are shared each day.</p> <p>But, for the ones that matter, we owe it to ourselves to slow down, zoom in and ask ourselves a few simple <a href="https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck-resources/how-we-check-the-facts/">questions</a>:</p> <p>1. Who made or shared the image? This can give clues about reliability and the purpose of making or sharing the image.</p> <p>2. What’s the evidence? Can you find another version of the image, for example, using a <a href="https://tineye.com/">reverse-image search engine</a>?</p> <p>3. What do trusted sources say? Consult resources like <a href="https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/">AAP FactCheck</a> or <a href="https://factcheck.afp.com/">AFP Fact Check</a> to see if authoritative sources have already weighed in.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225553/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/t-j-thomson-503845">T.J. Thomson</a>, Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication & Digital Media, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-kate-middletons-photo-was-doctored-but-so-are-a-lot-of-images-we-see-today-225553">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Hero image: The Conversation / X / Instagram</em></p>

Technology

Placeholder Content Image

Should Taylor Swift be taught alongside Shakespeare? A professor of literature says yes

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004">Liam E Semler</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Does Taylor Swift’s music belong in the English classroom? No, obviously. We should teach the classics, like <a href="https://www.folger.edu/explore/shakespeares-works/shakespeares-sonnets/">Shakespeare’s Sonnets</a>. After all, they have stood the test of time. It’s 2024 and he was born in 1564, and she’s only 34. What’s more, she is a pop singer, not a poet. Sliding her into the classroom would be yet another example of a dumbed-down curriculum. It’s ridiculous. It makes everyone look bad.</p> <p>I’ve heard all that. And plenty more like it. But none of it is right. Well, the dates might be, but not the assumptions – about Shakespeare, about English, about teaching, and about Swift.</p> <p>Swift is, by the way, a poet. She sees herself this way and her songs bear her out. In Sweet Nothing, on the <a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/taylor-swift-midnights/">Midnights</a> album, she sings:</p> <blockquote> <p>On the way home<br />I wrote a poem<br />You say “What a mind”<br />This happens all the time.</p> </blockquote> <p>I’m sure it does. Swift is relentlessly productive as a songwriter. With Midnights, she picked up <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/04/entertainment/taylor-swift-album-of-the-year-grammys/index.html">her fourth Grammy for Album of the Year</a>. And here we are, on the brink of another studio album, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tortured_Poets_Department">The Tortured Poets Department</a>, somehow written and produced amid the gargantuan success of Midnights and the Eras World Tour.</p> <h2>An ally of literature</h2> <p>Regardless of what The Tortured Poets Department ends up being about, Swift is already a firm ally of literature and reading. She is <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-donates-6000-books-to-library/">a donor of thousands of books</a> to public libraries in the United States, an advocate to schoolchildren of the importance of reading and songwriting, and a lover of the process of crafting lyrics.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbCSboujF4">2016 Vogue interview</a>, Swift declared with glee that, if she were a teacher, she would teach English. The literary references in her songs are endlessly noted. “I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl,” she wrote in a <a href="https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a26546099/taylor-swift-pop-music/">2019 article for Elle</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mdgKhdcQrNw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Her interview Read Every Day gives a good sense of this. Swift speaks about her writing process in ways that make it accessible. She explains how songs come to her anywhere and everywhere, like an idea randomly appearing “on a cloud” that becomes the first piece in a “puzzle” that will be assembled into a song. She furtively whisper-sings song ideas into her phone when out with friends.</p> <p>In her <a href="https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/read-taylor-swifts-full-nsai-songwriter-artist-of-the-decade-award-speech">acceptance speech for the Nashville Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award</a> in 2022, Swift explained how she writes in three broad styles, imagining she is holding either a “quill”, a “fountain pen”, or a “glitter gel pen”. Songcraft is a joyous challenge for her.</p> <p>If, as teachers of literature, we are too proud to credit Swift’s plainly expressed love of English (regardless of whether we like her songs or not), we are likely missing something. To bluntly rule her out of the English classroom feels more absurd than allowing her in.</p> <p>Clio Doyle, a lecturer in early modern literature, has <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-taylor-swift-belongs-on-english-literature-degree-courses-219660">summarised</a> Swift’s suitability for English in a recent article which concludes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The important thing isn’t whether or not Swift might be the new Shakespeare. It’s that the discipline of English literature is flexible, capacious and open-minded. A class on reading Swift’s work as literature is just another English class, because every English class requires grappling with the idea of reading anything as literature. Even Shakespeare.</p> </blockquote> <p>Doyle reminds us Swift’s work has been taught at universities for a while now and, inevitably, the singer’s name keeps cropping up in relation to Shakespeare. This isn’t just a case of fandom gone wild or Shakespeare professors, like <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/why-taylor-swift-is-a-literary-giant-by-a-shakespeare-professor-20230518-p5d9cn.html">Jonathan Bate</a>, gone rogue.</p> <p>The global interest in the world-first academic <a href="https://swiftposium2024.com/">Swiftposium</a> is a good measure of how things are trending. Moreover, it is wrong to think Swift’s songs are included in units of study purely to be adored. Her wide appeal is part of her appeal to educators, but that doesn’t mean her art is uncritically included.</p> <p>The reverse is true. Claire Hansen <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/pop-star-philosopher-poet-taylor-swift-is-shaking-up-how-we-think-20240207-p5f342.html">taught Swift in one of her literature units at the Australian National University</a> last year precisely because this influential singer-songwriter prompts students to explore the boundaries of the canon.</p> <p>I will be teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together in a literature unit at the University of Sydney this semester. Why? Not because I think Swift is as good as Shakespeare, or because I think she is not as good as Shakespeare. These statements are fine as personal opinions, but unhelpful as blanket declarations without context. The nature of English as a discipline is far more complex, interesting and valuable than a labelling and ranking exercise.</p> <h2>Teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets</h2> <p>I teach Shakespeare’s sonnets as exquisite poems, reflective of their time and culture. I also teach three modern artworks that shed contemporary light on the sonnets.</p> <p>The first is Jen Bervin’s 2004 book <a href="https://www.jenbervin.com/projects/nets">Nets</a>. Bervin prints a selection of the sonnets, one per page, in grey text. In each of these grey sonnets, some of Shakespeare’s words and phrases are printed in black and thus stand out boldly.</p> <p>The result is a <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/palimpsest">palimpsest</a>. The Shakespearean sonnet appears lying, like fertile soil, beneath the briefer poem that emerges from it. Bervin describes this technique as a stripping down of the sonnets to “nets” in order “to make the space of the poems open, porous, possible – a divergent elsewhere”. The creative relationship between the Shakespearean base and Bervin’s proverb-like poems proves that, as Bervin says, “when we write poems, the history of poetry is with us”.</p> <p>The second text is Luke Kennard’s prizewinning 2021 collection <a href="https://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/notes-on-the-sonnets/">Notes on the Sonnets</a>. Kennard recasts the sonnets as a series of entertaining prose poems. Each poem responds to a specific Shakespearean sonnet, recasting it as the freewheeling thought bubble of a fictional attendee at an unappealing house party. In an interview with C.D. Rose, Kennard <a href="https://thequietus.com/articles/30078-luke-kennard-interview-the-answer-to-everything-notes-on-the-sonnets">explains</a> how his house party design puts the reader</p> <blockquote> <p>in between a public and private space, you’re at home and you’re out, you’re free, you’re enclosed. And that’s similar in the sonnets.</p> </blockquote> <p>The third text is Swift’s Midnights. Unlike Bervin’s and Kennard’s collections, in which individual pieces relate to specific sonnets, there is no explicit adaptation. Instead, Midnights raises broader themes.</p> <h2>Deep connection</h2> <p>In her Elle article, Swift describes songwriting as akin to photography. She strives to capture moments of lived experience:</p> <blockquote> <p>The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melody you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal.</p> </blockquote> <p>Her point is that the pop songs that “cut through the most are actually the most detailed” in their snippets of reality and biography. She says “people are reaching out for connection and comfort” and “music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive”.</p> <p>Midnights exemplifies this. It is a concept album built on the idea that midnight is a time for pursuit of and confrontation with the self – or better, the selves. Swift says the songs form “the full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour”.</p> <p>The album, she says, is “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” for those “who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve […] we’ll meet ourselves”.<br />Swift claims that Midnights lets listeners in through her protective walls to enable deep connection:</p> <blockquote> <p>I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggle with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and […] I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.</p> </blockquote> <p>Midnights is not a sonnet collection, but it has fascinating parallels. There is no firm narrative through-line. Nor is there a through-line in early modern sonnet collections such as Shakespeare’s. Instead, both gather songs and poems that let us see aspects of the singing or speaking persona’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. Shakespeare’s speaker is also troubled through the night in sonnets 27, 43 and 61.</p> <p>The sonnets come in thematic clusters, pairs and mini-sequences. It can be interesting to ask students if they can see something similar in the order of songs on the Midnights album – or the “3am” edition with its seven extra tracks, or the “Til Dawn” edition with another three songs.</p> <p>Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, in their edition of <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/all-the-sonnets-of-shakespeare/AE1912C43BE4F50391B25B83C0C03B1F">All the Sonnets of Shakespeare</a>, say Shakespeare’s collection is “the most idiosyncratic gathering of sonnets in the period” because he “uses the sonnet form to work out his intimate thoughts and feelings”.</p> <p>This connects very well with the agenda of Midnights. Both collections are piecemeal psychic landscapes. The singing or speaking voice sometimes feels autobiographical – compare, for example, sonnets 23, 129, 135-6 and 145 to Swift’s songs Anti-hero, You’re On Your Own, Kid, Sweet Nothing, and Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. At other times the voices feel less autobiographical. Often there is no way to distinguish one from the other.</p> <p>Swift’s songs and Shakespeare’s Sonnets are meditations on deeply personal aspects of their narrators’ experiences. They present us with encounters, memories, relationships, values and claims. Swift’s persona is that of a self-reflective singer, just as Shakespeare’s is that of a self-reflective sonneteer. Both focus on love in all its shades. Both present themselves as vulnerable to industry rivals and pressures. Both dwell on issues of power.</p> <h2>Close reading</h2> <p>Shakespeare’s sonnets are rewarding texts for close reading because of their poetic intricacy. Students can look at end rhymes and internal rhymes, the way the argument progresses through <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/quatrain">quatrains</a>, the positioning of the “turn”, which is often in line 9 or 13, and the way the final couplet wraps things up (or doesn’t).</p> <p>The songs on Midnights are also rewarding because Swift has a great vocabulary, a love of metaphor, terrific turns of phrase, and a strong sense of symmetry and balance in wording. More complex songs like Maroon and Question…? are great for detailed analysis.</p> <p>Karma and Mastermind are simpler, yet contain plenty of metaphoric language to be unpacked for meaning and aesthetic effectiveness. Shakespeare’s controlled use of metaphor in Sonnet 73 makes for a telling contrast.</p> <p>The Great War, Glitch and Snow on the Beach are good for exploring how well a single extended metaphor can function to carry the meaning of a song. Sonnets 8, 18, 143 and 147 can be explored in similar terms.</p> <p>Just as students can analyse the “turn” or concluding couplet in a Shakespearean sonnet to see how it reshapes the poem, they can do the same with songs on Midnights. Swift is known for writing effective bridges that contribute fresh, important content towards the end of a song: Sweet Nothing, Mastermind and Dear Reader are excellent examples.</p> <p>Such unexpected pairings are valuable because they require close attention and careful articulation of what is similar and what is not. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, for example (the famous one on lust), and Swift’s Bigger than the Whole Sky (a powerful expression of loss) make for a gripping comparison of how intense feeling can be expressed poetically.</p> <p>Or consider Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”) and Sweet Nothing: both celebrate intimacy as a defence against the pressures of the public world. How about High Infidelity and Sonnet 138 (where love and self-deception coexist), considered in terms of truth in relationships?</p> <p>There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain in teaching Swift’s Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together. There’s no dumbing-down involved. And there’s no need for reductive assertions about who is “better”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223312/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004"><em>Liam E Semler</em></a><em>, Professor of Early Modern Literature, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-taylor-swift-be-taught-alongside-shakespeare-a-professor-of-literature-says-yes-223312">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Yes, it’s getting more humid in summer. Here’s why

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/steven-sherwood-272">Steven Sherwood</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Has Sydney felt more like Cairns lately? You’re not imagining it – millions of Australians up and down the east coast have sweltered through exceptionally high humidity in recent weeks.</p> <p>It’s due to normal weather patterns combined with a boost from global warming. Right now, the temperature of the sea surface is <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDYOC052.Aus.SSTAnomaly.shtml">1–3°C above normal</a> for this time of year up and down the east coast. It’s particularly hot around the Queensland-New South Wales border and Tasmania’s east coast.</p> <p>When we have high ocean temperatures, we get more water evaporating. This is taken up by the air, which can hold more moisture when the air is hotter. This moist air is then carried to us by winds, and the sweating begins.</p> <h2>Where does humidity come from?</h2> <p>Humidity is just gaseous water held in the air after evaporating from liquid water or ice. It is called a vapour because it condenses into rain — the more humid, the more likely rain is.</p> <p>Higher humidity makes us feel hotter in warm weather, and slows the drying of laundry on a clothesline or of plants in the garden.</p> <p>How do we measure it? Two common ways are the “dew point” and “relative humidity”.</p> <p>At any given air temperature, there’s a limit to how much vapour the air will retain. Any vapour above this limit will just condense out. But the limit roughly doubles with every 10°C of warming; the dew point is the temperature where the vapour would hit the limit. The less vapour there is in the air, the colder the dew point.</p> <p>Relative humidity is the ratio of how much vapour the air has compared to the maximum it would retain.</p> <p>If you’re in Tasmania and see that relative humidity is at 100%, you might be confused. But this measure essentially tracks how “full” the air is. At 100% relative humidity, the dew point matches the actual temperature and no more vapour can be added. If the dew point is 10°C below the actual temperature, relative humidity is about 50%.</p> <p>How do we measure it? The dew point can be measured directly using a chilled mirror and a laser to detect condensation. More often it’s calculated from measurements of relative humidity and temperature.</p> <p>Relative humidity determines whether material exposed to the air will moisten or dry out. That’s why relative-humidity sensors use cheap water-absorbing materials (early ones used a strand of human hair!).</p> <h2>What does a changing climate mean for humidity?</h2> <p>The world’s higher ocean temperatures are unambiguously attributable to global warming, largely from the greenhouse gases we have added by burning fossil fuels. To date, more than 90% of all the extra heat thereby trapped has gone into the oceans.</p> <p>The amount of water vapour over the oceans has increased by roughly 5% since the industrial era began, in lockstep with global warming.</p> <p>Global warming will continue until we stop it. That means the atmosphere will keep getting more humid.</p> <p>If the world manages to keep global warming below 2°C, we should avoid the worst health outcomes from more humidity. But even then, we would expect up to another 5% increase in peak water vapour.</p> <p>Right now, we are seeing higher-than-normal temperatures in most of our surrounding oceans, with only a few exceptions. The areas hit hardest by rising humidity are mostly those that are already humid, like Queensland and the Northern Territory.</p> <p>Although peak dew points are rising, you may be confused to hear average relative humidity is actually <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1722312115">falling over land</a>. That’s because the land is warming so fast the average dew points aren’t quite keeping up with temperature, lowering the ratio.</p> <p>That means, alas, that Australia faces a double whammy: increasing water stress and bushfire risk as well as sweatier summers.</p> <h2>Humidity can be very dangerous</h2> <p>Our natural cooling system in hot weather is evaporation of sweat. Sweat forms on your skin, and the air evaporates it, taking the heat with it.</p> <p>But this only works to a point. When the dew point is higher, our self-cooling methods get less and less effective. How important this is depends on how hot you feel. On a moderate but muggy day, you might feel fine until you need to climb four flights of stairs and end up sweaty and exhausted. On a hotter but less muggy day you’d feel the heat at the outset, but would more easily handle the stairs.</p> <p>The Bureau of Meteorology uses something called “<a href="https://media.bom.gov.au/social/blog/1153/apparent-feels-like-temperature/">apparent temperature</a>” to capture the combined effect of temperature and humidity, although this assumes you’re not exerting yourself.</p> <p>How you feel with more exertion can be captured by other measures, such as the “wet bulb globe temperature” now being used at sporting events such as the Australian Open.</p> <p>The Bureau has recently begun providing <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/places/nsw/sydney/forecast/detailed/">humidity and apparent temperature forecasts</a> as a beta product, which is great for activity planning.</p> <p>This type of information will become more important as the heat builds. As humidity increases during peak humid heat episodes, it makes heat stress worse and moves us toward our body’s physical limits.</p> <p><a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2316003120">Recent research</a> has shown the combination of humidity and heat could make parts of the planet unlivable if Paris Agreement targets are not met, beginning in India and spreading elsewhere in the tropics – including the Top End of Australia.</p> <p>We need to prepare now for increasing heat, while doing everything we can to stop the routine burning of fossil fuels as soon as possible to maintain a margin of safety for humanity.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221748/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/steven-sherwood-272"><em>Steven Sherwood</em></a><em>, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Climate Change Research Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-its-getting-more-humid-in-summer-heres-why-221748">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

"Google it ya lazy mongrels”: Hollywood star's powerful post on Voice Referendum

<p>Hollywood superstar Jason Momoa has divided his 17 million followers after endorsing the Yes campaign for the upcoming Voice referendum. </p> <p>The <em>Aquaman</em> actor, 44, who is of Indigenous Polynesian descent, took to Instagram to repost a  viral ‘Yes vote’ video that was released on Thursday, and features Indigenous musician and writer Adam Briggs and comedians Jenna Owen and Vic Zerbst. </p> <p>"The post read: “#yes23 is a referendum taking place in Australia on October 14. The aim is to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people a Voice in parliament so they can weigh in on issues that affect their lives.</p> <p>“Simple as that. How do I know this? I googled it. But many Australians are confused or freaked out about what it means. </p> <p>"Don’t be! It’s a good thing! Just do good things! Also Google it ya lazy mongrels.”</p> <p>He also added  “VOTE YES to THE VOICE on OCT 14.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cx9zZMDOkZg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cx9zZMDOkZg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jason Momoa (@prideofgypsies)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Momoa's stance divided his followers, with some claiming that he had no right to weigh in on Australian politics, despite his indigenous heritage.</p> <p>“Stay out of Australian politics mate, do your thing in America and that, but putting your 5 cents in terms on the Yes or No vote is not with you,” wrote angry follower. </p> <p>“Celebrity puppets sharing government propaganda campaigns. The world continues to get weirder,” another added. </p> <p>However, many praised the star for using his platform and lending his voice to the Yes campaign. </p> <p>“Thanks for sharing this. It is a big deal here and causing a lot of controversy and misinformation,” one fan commented. </p> <p>“Thank you and Taika for the solidarity. The lead up to the referendum has been really rough on our communities and it’s actually really nice to get some encouragement from our Indigenous brothers from across the seas,” another added. </p> <p>“I can’t even begin to thank you for sharing this. I will not read any more of the comments,” a third commented. </p> <p>“Thank you for adding your voice to the thousands across Australia who will be voting yes. Every voice counts,” added a fourth. </p> <p>The video itself is a three-minute skit-style clip where Briggs talks to two ignorant women - who had casual biases echoing the No campaign - about the upcoming Voice referendum.</p> <p>He kindly calls them out for their lack of information, with their excuse being that they haven't “had heaps of time” because of "life".</p> <p>“Have you got your phone? Let’s see what you do have time for,” Briggs asks in the clip and as he opens up their search history, and jokingly says: “‘Did Aaron leave Love Island 13 because he had gonorrhoea?’ Big questions." </p> <p>He then googles the proposal and finds a basic explainer in seconds. </p> <p>“The Voice referendum means we are voting to have a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice who may make representations to parliament on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.</p> <p>"The Voice will give independent advice to parliament and will be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the wishes of communities. That advice then goes to parliament who continues to hold the ultimate power for legislative change," they said. </p> <p>“OK, well, that is quite clear, I’d just vote yes to that?” the woman adds. “How did you find that? You went on Google, and it’s, the first result? OK, well you need to tell people about that Google thing.”</p> <p>The clip ends with a message that says: "Vote Yes to that referendum thing."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ Getty: </em><em>Mike Marsland/WireImage </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Ray Martin's scathing Voice to Parliament speech

<p>Ray Martin has ripped into No voters while discussing the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum, calling them "dinosaurs and d**kheads". </p> <p>The veteran TV presenter spoke to supporters of the Yes campaign at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville, in Sydney's inner west, and did not hold back on what he thought of those voting no on October 14th.</p> <p>He called out those who are voting No, suggesting they are too lazy to educate themselves by performing a simple Google search, and instead are being driven by division and fear.</p> <p>Martin said, “If you don’t know, find out what you don’t know.” </p> <div id="story-primary" data-area="story-primary"> <p>“What that excellent slogan is saying, is if you’re a dinosaur or a d**khead who can’t be bothered reading, then vote No.” </p> <p>He went on to argue that No voters kept begging Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the details of the referendum, but the details “could not be simpler”. </p> </div> <p>“At this stage of the game, the details simply don’t matter. They never did matter, honestly. They’re irrelevant,” he said. </p> <p>“Over the next 10 to 20 years, no matter who is in government, the details will change, inevitably. As will the members of the Voice delegation from around Australia, according to the needs, the priorities and the policies that are meant to close that bloody gap. </p> <p>“You can’t write all that in the constitution in 2023.”</p> <p>He explained that as governments and priorities will change over the years, so will the roles and responsibilities of the Voice representatives. </p> <p>“It’s a big country with lots of different demands and needs. How do you give the details of all that in the Australian constitution? Of course you don’t.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

The ‘yes’ Voice campaign is far outspending ‘no’ in online advertising, but is the message getting through?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrea-carson-924">Andrea Carson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/max-gromping-1466451">Max Grömping</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-strating-129115">Rebecca Strating</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/simon-jackman-310245">Simon Jackman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>With early voting set to open next week for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum, this is a critical time for campaigners to win over voters.</p> <p>If the <a href="https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n11054/pdf/ch01.pdf">2022 federal election</a> is anything to go by, Australians have developed a taste for early voting, with fewer than half of all voters actually going to a polling station on election day.</p> <p>If the same voting patterns apply to the referendum, this means more than half of Australians, particularly <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/government-and-opposition/article/correlates-of-early-voting/49D19E94A1D26F9AFE1B72DCB56AFF3F">older voters</a>, may have cast a vote before voting day on October 14.</p> <h2>What’s happening in the polls?</h2> <p>Public polls indicate support for the “yes” campaign continues to decline, despite, as we’ve shown below, huge spending on advertising and extensive media coverage of its message.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://simonjackman.github.io/poll_averaging_voice_2023/poll_averaging.html">Professor Simon Jackman’s</a> averaging of the polls, “no” currently leads “yes” by 58% to 42% nationally. If this lead holds, the result would be <a href="https://www.aec.gov.au/elections/referendums/1999_referendum_reports_statistics/1999.htm">even more lopsided</a> than the 1999 republic referendum defeat, where the <a href="https://www.aec.gov.au/elections/referendums/1999_referendum_reports_statistics/summary_republic.htm">nationwide vote </a> was 55% “no” to 45% “yes”.</p> <p>The rate of decline in support for “yes” continues to be about 0.75 of a percentage point a week. If this trend continues, the “yes” vote would sit at 39.6% on October 14, 5.5 percentage points below the “yes” vote in the republic referendum.</p> <p>If “yes” were to prevail on October 14, it would take a colossal reversal in public sentiment, or it would indicate there’s been a stupendously large, collective polling error. Or perhaps both.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe style="width: 100%;" src="https://simonjackman.github.io/poll_averaging_voice_2023/level_plot_standalone.html" width="100%" height="688"> </iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>What’s happening in the news and social media?</h2> <p>Using Meltwater data, we have seen a massive spike in Voice media coverage since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the referendum date at the end of August.</p> <p>In the most recent week we analysed, from September 14-21, we saw a huge jump of mentions of the Voice to Parliament (2.86 million) in print media, radio, TV and social media. This compares to about a quarter million mentions in the first week of the “yes” and “no” campaigns, which we documented in our <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-no-campaign-is-dominating-the-messaging-on-the-voice-referendum-on-tiktok-heres-why-212465">last report</a> of this series monitoring both campaigns.</p> <p>Voice coverage now constitutes 6.7% of all Australian media reporting, up from 4.2% in week one. To put that in perspective, mentions of Hugh Jackman’s marriage split from Deborra-Lee Furness comprised 1.5% of total weekly coverage, while mentions of the AFL and NRL amounted to 4.1% and 1.7%, respectively.</p> <p>Media coverage of the Voice peaked on September 17 with 38,000 mentions, thanks to widespread coverage of the “yes” rallies that day around the country.</p> <p>This was followed closely by 35,000 Voice mentions the next day, led by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s <a href="https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/voice-to-parliament/voice-will-see-lawyers-in-sydney-and-melbourne-get-richer-dutton/video/40349a54a9f0c2f48baec7ba7263a000">claim</a> on Sky News that a Voice to parliament would see lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne “get richer” through billions of dollars worth of treaty negotiations.</p> <p>Our analysis of X (formerly Twitter) data provides further insight to these trends, showing the nationwide “yes” rallies on September 17 received the most public engagement about the Voice during the week we analysed.</p> <hr /> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=269&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=269&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=269&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549754/original/file-20230922-21-tp54x2.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">X (Twitter) data accessed via Meltwater.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <hr /> <h2>Who is advertising online?</h2> <p>This week, we specifically turned our attention to the online advertising spending of the campaigns. We also examined the types of disinformation campaigns appearing on social media, some of which are aimed at the Australian Electoral Commission, similar to the anti-democratic disinformation campaigns that have roiled the US.</p> <p>The main online advertising spend is on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms. We have real-time visibility of this spending thanks to the ad libraries of Meta and Google.</p> <p>The Yes23 campaign has far outspent any other Voice campaigner on these platforms. In the last three months, its advertising expenditure exceeds $1.1 million, compared to just under $100,000 for Fair Australia, the leading “no” campaign organisation.</p> <hr /> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=241&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=241&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=241&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=303&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=303&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549942/original/file-20230925-23-7tl134.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=303&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Top five Voice campaign spenders on Facebook and Instagram since June 2023.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Meta ad library</span></span></figcaption></figure> <hr /> <p>Yes23 has also released a far greater number of new ads in September (in excess of 3,200) on both platforms, compared to Fair Australia’s 52 new ads. The top five spenders from both sides are listed below.</p> <p>As early voting nears, this graph shows Yes23 ad spending outpaced Fair Australia on both Google and Meta platforms in week three, as well.</p> <hr /> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=484&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=608&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=608&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549762/original/file-20230922-23-1bi7ov.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=608&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Campaign ad spending on digital platforms from Sept. 14-21.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Authors provided.</span></span></figcaption></figure> <hr /> <p>The advertising spending data shows how drastically different the strategies of the two main campaigns are. Yes23’s approach is an ad blitz, blanketing the nation with hundreds of ads and experimenting with scores of different messages.</p> <p>In contrast, the “no” side has released far fewer ads with no experimentation. The central message is about “division”, mostly delivered by the lead “no” campaigner, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price. All but eight of the ads released by the “no” side in September feature a personal message by Price arguing that the referendum is “divisive” and “the Voice threatens Aussie unity.”</p> <p>To win, “yes” requires a majority of voters nationwide, as well as a majority of voters in a majority of states. The “no” side is strategically targeting its ads to the two states it believes are most likely in play – South Australia and Tasmania. It only needs to win one of these states to ensure the “yes” side fails.</p> <hr /> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=797&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=797&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=797&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1001&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1001&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549949/original/file-20230925-20-zgr4wg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1001&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Campaign ad spend on Meta platforms across the states since mid-August. (Dark blue = greater the ad spend).</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <hr /> <h2>Referendum disinformation</h2> <p>The Meltwater data also reveal a surge in misinformation and disinformation targeting of the AEC with American-style attacks on the voting process.</p> <p>Studies show disinformation surrounding the referendum has been <a href="https://osf.io/qu2fb/">prevalent</a> on X since at least March. To mitigate the harms, the AEC has established a <a href="https://www.aec.gov.au/media/disinformation-register-ref.htm">disinformation register</a> to inform citizens about the referendum process and call out falsehoods.</p> <p>We’ve identified three types of disinformation campaigns in the campaign so far.</p> <p>The first includes attempts to redefine the issue agenda. Examples range from the false <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-02/fact-check-indigenous-australians-support-for-the-voice/102673042">claims</a> that First Nations people do not overwhelmingly support the Voice to <a href="https://stephenreason.substack.com/p/the-voice-to-parliament-the-united">conspiracy myths</a> about the Voice being a globalist land grab.</p> <p>These falsehoods aim to influence vote choice. This disinformation type is not covered in the AEC’s register, as the organisation has no provisions to enforce truth in political advertising.</p> <p>The register does cover a second type of disinformation. This includes spurious claims about the voting process, such as that the referendum is voluntary. This false claim aims to depress voter turnout in yet another attempt to influence the outcome.</p> <p>Finally, a distinct set of messages targets the AEC directly. The aim is to undermine trust in the integrity of the vote.</p> <p>A most prominent example was Dutton’s <a href="https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/voice-voting-rules-confusion-stinks-dutton-20230824-p5dz41">suggestion</a> the voting process was “rigged” due to the established rule of counting a tick on the ballot as a vote for “yes”, while a cross will not be accepted as a formal vote for “no”. Sky News host Andrew Bolt <a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1256952825005993">echoed</a> this claim in his podcast, which was repeated on social media, reaching 29,800 viewers in one post.</p> <p>Attention to the tick/cross issue spiked on August 25 when the AEC <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/25/indigenous-voice-to-parliament-referendum-aec-poll-unfairness-claims-rejected">refuted</a> the claim (as can be seen in the chart below). Daily Telegraph columnist and climate change denialist Maurice Newman then linked the issue to potential <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/maurice-newman-aec-rules-on-voting-could-create-confusion-uncertainty/news-story/c76bc3e1e031c2f349710dd1e9f3b51e?btr=15aad1c65d873d8f896d09618a96e228">voter fraud</a>, mimicking US-style attacks on the integrity of voting systems.</p> <hr /> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=267&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=267&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=267&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=336&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=336&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/549852/original/file-20230924-23-ob3ltn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=336&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Disinformation attacking AEC or referendum over past month.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Authors provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <hr /> <p>The volume of mentions of obvious disinformation on media and social media may not be high compared to other mentions of the Voice. However, studies show disinformation disproportionately grabs people’s attention due to the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-019-0224-y">cognitive attraction</a> of pervasive negativity, the focus on threats or arousal of disgust.</p> <p>All three types of disinformation campaigns attacking this referendum should concern us deeply because they <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00104140231193008">threaten trust</a> in our political institutions, which undermines our vibrant democracy.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213749/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrea-carson-924"><em>Andrea Carson</em></a><em>, Professor of Political Communication, Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/max-gromping-1466451">Max Grömping</a>, Senior Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-strating-129115">Rebecca Strating</a>, Director, La Trobe Asia and Associate Professor, La Trobe University, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/simon-jackman-310245">Simon Jackman</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-yes-voice-campaign-is-far-outspending-no-in-online-advertising-but-is-the-message-getting-through-213749">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Two massive music icons join the Yes Campaign

<p>With three weeks to go before the nation votes to decide on whether the constitution should be changed to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, two music legends have joined the Yes campaign. </p> <p>Australian singer Kamahl has flipped his initial No vote to a Yes within a week, after “sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons." </p> <p>The singer took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share the reasons why he had a change of heart. </p> <p>“I'm damned if Vote YES and I'll be damned if I Vote NO ! Having spent sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons, I'll be damned and I'll Vote YES !” he wrote.</p> <p>“Coincidentally I was in ‘Journey out of Darkness’ in 1967 as the Aboriginal prisoner, just before THE Referendum”.</p> <p>Just last week the music icon encouraged his followers to vote No in the referendum by changing the lyrics to John Farnham’s song <em>You’re the Voice</em> to “What’s the Voice, I just don’t understand it. It’s just noise and it’s not clear. Vote no-o-oh-oh, o-o-o." </p> <p><em>“We’re not going to vote Apartheid. We don’t want one race privilege. Vote no-o-oh-oh," he sang. </em></p> <p>The 88-year-old flipped his vote after meeting Indigenous comedian Dane Simpson and constitutional lawyer Eddie Synot and listening to their arguments. </p> <p>“I’m embarrassed, until Monday or Tuesday I didn’t realise they (Indigenous people) were considered not human,” he said, after Simpson and Synot explained the voice to Kamahl. </p> <p> “I can’t …For me, it is a heart and mind thing,” he said, while breaking down into tears. </p> <p>The singer explained to Simpson and Synot that he was hesitant to speak up because he had "insufficient knowledge on how the whole thing works”.</p> <p>In a sensational backflip on the issue, the singer also added that he hoped that "the right people with the right mind, heart, ability and knowledge make it a reality," and wished that there was a way of "doing it without looking like a race of people were being advantaged.”</p> <p>“At the end of the day, I am here to help rather than hinder. If the Yes vote helps, then so be it,” he said. </p> <p>“It is a positive thing to do. I don’t think I would achieve anything by voting No … if there is good I can do, I would rather do it than regret it another time.”</p> <p>The <em>Sounds of Goodbye </em>singer is not the only one backing the Yes campaign. On the other side of the world, American rapper MC Hammer – famous for his number one hit song<em> U Can't Touch This</em> – has shared his support for the Yes campaign ahead of the Voice referendum. </p> <p>“I’m with you. Australia it’s time. Repair the breach. #Yes2023,” the rapper tweeted. </p> <p>The 61-year-old admitted that he didn't know what the Voice referendum was until one of his followers brought it up in a post shared on the platform. </p> <p>“Australia has no treaty with its Indigenous people, and has done little in comparison to other British dominions like Canada, New Zealand and the United States to include and uplift its First Nations people,” he said.</p> <p>He then quoted human rights lawyer Professor Megan Davis, one of the most central figures of the Yes campaign. </p> <p>“A successful referendum will set a precedent that will be “really useful for other indigenous populations around the world in relation to recognition,” he quoted the human rights lawyer. </p> <p>This comes just days after<a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/cathy-freeman-reveals-her-stance-on-the-voice" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Cathy Freeman</a> shared her stance on the Voice and asked Aussies to  "stand together and to show our support for Australians who need it the most."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Cathy Freeman reveals her stance on the Voice

<p>Cathy Freeman has revealed her stance on the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum, joining the Yes campaign in their latest promotion video. </p> <p>The Olympic champion, who is a proud Kuku Yalanji and Birri Gubba woman, spoke out for the first time in support of the Voice, and asking other Aussies to "stand with me". </p> <p>"I can't remember a time when change has felt so urgent, where momentum has been so strong," Freeman says in the video.</p> <p>"From small towns to big cities, something is in the air. I know all Australians feel it too."</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0X1H4ms2BtI?si=8Fu5guV41zxs2sge" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"We have the chance to be part of a moment that brings people together, to work hard for something that we can all believe in."</p> <p>"And right now, each of us can be part of something that really matters. To stand together and to show our support for Australians who need it the most."</p> <p>"To recognise Indigenous peoples in our constitution for the very first time, to give our kids the very best start in life, an equal start in life."</p> <p>"And to open our hearts and change our future."</p> <p>She concluded the video by urging undecided Aussies to join her at the polls and vote Yes in the historic referendum.</p> <p>"I'm voting yes, and I am asking that all Australians do too. So please stand with me and write Yes on October 14," she said. </p> <p>Freeman has joined the campaign just after an estimated 200,000 people turned out across the country to march in support of the Yes campaign, just four weeks before the vote is set to take place. </p> <p>Australians will head to the polls on October 14th to either vote Yes or No to instate an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which will act as an advisory board to amplify issues plaguing Indigenous communities.</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube - Yes23</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

It was written for nuclear disarmament – but today You’re The Voice is the perfect song for the ‘yes’ campaign

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-tregear-825">Peter Tregear</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>The serendipity of the pairing between John Farnham’s 1986 hit single You’re the Voice and the Voice to Parliament referendum is obvious, but it goes well beyond the fact the two share the key word “voice”.</p> <p>The original was composed by a team of British songwriters in response to an anti-nuclear demonstration in London’s Hyde Park in 1985. Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta and Maggie Ryder had planned a song-writing session on the day an <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/27/world/100000-in-london-protest-arms-race.html">estimated 100,000 marched through central London</a> in support the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.</p> <p>Thompson, however, overslept. As an act of self-admonishment he decided to express his remorse by conceiving a song that emphasised the importance of personal agency in achieving political change.</p> <p>This is the kernel of meaning in You’re the Voice. It is also what makes it so especially well suited to support a campaign about a referendum to give Indigenous Australians a constitutionally recognised Voice to Parliament nearly 40 years later.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">OUR NEW AD IS LIVE!</p> <p>You’re the Voice that will make history.</p> <p>On 14 October, we know we all can stand together with the power to be powerful.<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HistoryIsCalling?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HistoryIsCalling</a>, so <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VoteYes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VoteYes</a>. Are you in? John Farnham is.<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UluruStatement?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UluruStatement</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayTrue2Uluru?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StayTrue2Uluru</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YoureTheVoice?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YoureTheVoice</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VoteYes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VoteYes</a> <a href="https://t.co/4ujYd9gk0M">pic.twitter.com/4ujYd9gk0M</a></p> <p>— ulurustatement (@ulurustatement) <a href="https://twitter.com/ulurustatement/status/1698260272165875951?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <h2>The grain of Farnham’s voice</h2> <p>Thompson was not at all convinced at the time Farnham <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/why-john-farnham-was-nearly-rockblocked-from-youre-the-voice/news-story/9e048f2d4550a8b4c1a28e2eba4909f6">could do the song justice</a> when he requested it for inclusion in his album Whispering Jack.</p> <p>And yet the particular qualities of Farnham’s singing is also arguably crucial to the song’s success, then and now.</p> <p>The music’s combination of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentimental_ballad#Power_ballads">power ballad</a> tempo with <a href="https://music.amazon.com.au/playlists/B078H6J6BF">pub anthem</a> singability calls for a kind of full-throated vocal performance that takes more than a little inspiration from African American gospel traditions.</p> <p>Singers drawn from these traditions include giants of popular musical culture like James Brown, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. It is not exaggerated praise to suggest Farnham here delivers a performance that stands with their best.</p> <p>And it was career changing for him, helping Farnham to put to rest his earlier image as a clean-cut purveyor of sentimental pop songs like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0c55lXRAeg">Sadie the Cleaning Lady</a> and relaunch his career.</p> <p>Farnham’s singing here exemplifies what Roland Barthes famously described in <a href="https://courses.lsa.umich.edu/jptw/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2017/08/Barthes-ImageMusicText.pdf">an essay from 1972</a> as the “grain of the voice”: the element of a singer’s individuality which helps convey the sincerity and authenticity of what is being sung.</p> <p>You’re the Voice further highlights the grain of Farnham’s singing via the exclamation “oh, whoa!” regularly punctuating the song’s chorus. In a powerful moment of sonic symbolism, the exclamation is eventually taken up in the advertisement (like the sentiment of the song itself, it is no doubt hoped) by a chorus of supporters.</p> <h2><em>You</em> are the voice</h2> <p>Indeed, if it is to succeed, the referendum will need to convince an especially broad coalition of Australians to vote for “yes”.</p> <p>The song supports this goal from its very title: <em>you</em> are the voice. It asks each of us, individually, to consider how we can act for the common good.</p> <blockquote> <p>We have the chance to turn the pages over <br />We can write what we want to write <br />We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older.</p> </blockquote> <p>The song’s explicit call to action has now been connected to the forthcoming referendum: now is the moment to use your voice at the ballot box to give, in turn, a constitutionally enshrined voice to indigenous Australians.</p> <p>The “yes” campaign’s appeal to collective responsibility is one aspect of the referendum process that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/16/lidia-thorpe-calls-for-referendum-called-off-indigenous-voice-to-parliament-no-campaign">concerns some Indigenous critics</a>. The very enterprise of constitutional reform, after all, presumes the legitimacy of the Australian constitution which in turn presumes the legitimacy of the original act of colonial dispossession.</p> <p>But the bigger threat to the “yes” campaign arguably comes from those who see the idea of an <a href="https://ipa.org.au/ipa-today/the-indigenous-voice-to-parliament-has-the-potential-to-be-divisive">Indigenous voice to parliament itself as divisive</a>.</p> <p>Yet, as the song goes:</p> <blockquote> <p>This time, we know we all can stand together <br />With the power to be powerful <br />Believing we can make it better.</p> </blockquote> <p>The use of You’re the Voice here reinforces the view that supporting the Voice to Parliament is a positive act of national reconciliation that we, as a nation, can take together.</p> <p>It is an injunction to take personal and collective responsibility for the history and character of the country we all share.</p> <h2>Politically inclusive</h2> <p>The advertisement is the work of Mark Green of <a href="https://themonkeys.com.au/">The Monkeys advertising agency</a> and historian <a href="https://www.clarewright.com.au/">Clare Wright</a>.</p> <p>It focuses on a family as they watch key moments which shaped Australia’s collective identity. It looks at key moments of reconciliation, Indigenous achievement and Indigenous protest; but also broader moments in collective action.</p> <p>In a particularly astute move, the advertisement overlays images of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/01/john-howard-port-arthur-gun-control-1996-cabinet-papers">John Howard’s 1996 gun reforms</a> in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre as Farnham delivers the lines:</p> <blockquote> <p>We’re all someone’s daughter<br />We’re all someone’s son<br />How long can we look at each other<br />Down the barrel of a gun?</p> </blockquote> <p>Implicit in this conjunction is a reminder to us that support for the “yes” vote, like any nation-changing political act, can come from any side of politics.</p> <h2>Democratising the message</h2> <p>There are many more layers we could tease apart in You’re The Voice. Its extended bagpipes solo originated as an homage to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, connecting it to the egalitarian, <a href="https://www.popmatters.com/141796-let-there-be-rock-2496022409.html">working class culture</a> Scott’s music addresses.</p> <p>Then there is the way the bagpipes, combined with the song’s use of side-drum rhythmic patterns, evoke the sound world of a military tattoo or march. This simultaneously elevates the register of its message. The song – and now the ad – is an implicit call to arms.</p> <p>The inclusion of You’re the Voice in the “yes” campaign thus provides powerful support for its central message.</p> <p>Farnham himself recognises this. Upon release of the advertisement, Farnham <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/john-farnham-backs-voice-permits-his-anthem-to-front-yes-campaign-ad-20230901-p5e18t.html">spoke about</a> how, when it was first released in 1986, the song “changed his life”.</p> <p>Generously, he concluded: "I can only hope that now it might help in some small way, to change the lives of our First Nations Peoples for the better."</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-tregear-825">Peter Tregear</a>, Principal Fellow and Professor of Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/it-was-written-for-nuclear-disarmament-but-today-youre-the-voice-is-the-perfect-song-for-the-yes-campaign-212769">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

Backlash for John Farnham over use of iconic song in Voice campaign

<p>John Farnham, the celebrated Australian music legend, has allowed his timeless classic, "You're the Voice", to serve as the official soundtrack for the Yes campaign in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum of 2023. This decision, however, has sparked mixed reactions from the public.</p> <p>Farnham's decision to lend his 1980s hit to the campaign holds particular significance as Australia gears up for the pivotal referendum on October 14.</p> <p>In a heartfelt statement, Farnham expressed his motivation for this gesture, saying, "This song changed my life. I can only hope that it now might help, in some small way, to change the lives of our First Nations people for the better."</p> <p>Tim Wheatley, the son of Farnham's late longtime manager Glenn Wheatley, added, "Win or lose this referendum, this song will forever remain on the right side of history."</p> <p>The campaign video featuring the song will be widely disseminated, appearing on television, social media and various digital platforms.</p> <p>However, the decision to use Farnham's iconic track has not been without controversy. Some critics argue that the campaign missed an opportunity to promote the event using an Indigenous artist, thereby highlighting the importance of Indigenous voices in this critical moment.</p> <p> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">A very sad day today to hear John Farnham allowing his song to be used for the YES Campaign.<br />Selling yourself out to a divisive political stance.<br />Have been a fan of yours for decades. You have just sold your soul to half of Australia.<br />Shame on you.<br />Vote No to the Voice</p> <p>— Bobby Abruzzo (@wbfc1954) <a href="https://twitter.com/wbfc1954/status/1698126419912745206?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also expressed his reservations about the choice of song. He remarked, "In a sense, it's the appropriate theme song for the Yes campaign because remember that the key line in the lyrics there is, you know, 'you're the Voice, try to understand it.' I honestly don't think most Australians understand it. And they want to be informed."</p> <p>The two-minute campaign ad is a poignant montage that showcases significant moments in Australian history, all experienced through the lens of television. As Farnham's hit plays in the background, viewers witness iconic events such as Cathy Freeman's historic victory at the 2000 Olympics, former Prime Minister John Howard's landmark gun reform in 1996, and Kevin Rudd's heartfelt apology to the stolen generations in 2008.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I used to think the song "You're The Voice" was for all Australians.<br />Disappointed that John Farnham has decided to make it divisive and political.<br />Have your say privately by voting John but not like this.<br />Still wish you well in recovery.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VoteNO23Australia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VoteNO23Australia</a> <a href="https://t.co/29lxkmCFWG">pic.twitter.com/29lxkmCFWG</a></p> <p>— Jenny (@JennyandFreedom) <a href="https://twitter.com/JennyandFreedom/status/1698123945176891520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 3, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em> </p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

"The last male sanctuary": Barber shop campaigns to formally ban women

<p>An Adelaide barber shop which prides itself as "the last male sanctuary", has applied for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act, which, once approved, will allow it to formally ban women. </p> <p>The team behind Robbie's Chop Shop took to Instagram to ask over 42,800 of their followers to help with their application to Equal Opportunity SA. </p> <p>In their first pinned post on Instagram, the barber shop posted a photo of the letter explaining that they have applied for an exemption following a complaint made to the commission about their request for women to observe that it is a male-only business. </p> <p>"Unfortunately, this is not the first complaint of this type that we have received, so in order to deal with them once and for all, we have decided to make an application for an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act," they wrote in the letter. </p> <p>They added that the business prides itself in being able to provide "a safe space for men to discuss their issues", so they applied for the exemption to deal with the complaints once and for all. </p> <p>The business believes that they are "not in breach of the act" if they are able to obtain this exemption. </p> <p>"As part of our application, we would like to include statements from you, our loyal and valued customers, that explain why you love Robbie's Chop Shop, and why you feel that is so important for Robbie's Chop Shop to be a safe space for men to come together and discuss their issues," they pleaded. </p> <p>Their plea has divided followers, while some men and women agreed with them, others seem to disagree with their stance. </p> <p>"I love that this exists and love the safe space you've created for men to unload their weights of the world without being judged and freedom speak up in a space with others that may be facing similar issues," one woman wrote. </p> <p>"I’ll never understand why this is an issue. There are so many women only places around. As a woman I’d much prefer to go to a hair salon than a barber," commented another woman. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvPYHawy18U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvPYHawy18U/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 💈 Robbie's Chop Shop 💈 (@robbieschopshop)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"💯 support - Great idea to have a space for men. In the UK there are lots of ladies/women only spaces and events etc. Don’t see the issue for men having their own space in society as well. 👍" wrote one man. </p> <p>"The concept of the last male sanctuary is not to discriminate against women but to offer a place for men to come and discuss the issues in their lives, in comfort with other similar men," commented another. </p> <p>One person wrote that they hope the business is equally welcoming to non-binary or trans people. </p> <p>"I hope you would welcome trans men, non-binary people and folks of any gender wanting a masculine haircut. We all deserve to feel included and safe to approach businesses knowing we won’t be turned away based on personal attributes we can’t change."</p> <p>"More like Robbie's Mojo Dojo Casa House," another quipped in reference to Ryan Gosling's character Ken establishing the patriarchy in Barbie land in the 2023 <em>Barbie m</em>ovie. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Lidia Thorpe and Pauline Hanson team up for Voice to Parliament "no" campaign

<p>Lidia Thorpe and Pauline Hanson have been forced to team up with other supporters of the "no" campaign for the Voice to Parliament vote, as they unite to construct an essay outlining their views. </p> <p>The Greens senator and One Nation senator, along with other members of the Coalition, will have to navigate an obscure process to write a pamphlet which will be sent to all homes for the referendum. </p> <p>The Australian Electoral Commission is seeking advice from all politicians to give guidance on the essays for the pamphlet, but tensions are already rising as senators have to decide among themselves how to navigate competing ideas and write one argument for each side.</p> <p>A short 28-day deadline has already began for the essays, with the writings for each side of the campaign having to present their main argument behind their "yes" or "no" vote in less than 2000 words. </p> <p>The essays for both sides will then be compiled by the AEC into an information pamphlet, which will be sent out in the months before the referendum. </p> <p>The committee of those voting no will be dominated by the Coalition, but also includes One Nation, UAP’s Ralph Babet, and former Greens senator Thorpe.</p> <p>The yes side is dominated by Labor but also includes the Greens, the “teal” independents, David Pocock, and the Jacqui Lambie Network, as well as some Liberals.</p> <p>Hanson’s office said she would “fight tooth and nail” for input into the pamphlet, noting One Nation was the first party in parliament to officially oppose the referendum.</p> <p>Thorpe’s office also told Guardian Australia she would seek to contribute to the no essay.</p> <p>Resolving the views of Thorpe and Hanson, at polar extremes of the voice debate, into one essay is set to be a major challenge for the no committee, with the two senators having to agree on their views over the vote before it can be signed off on. </p> <p>Albanese said the pamphlet would be “one thing that [voters] consider” but also pointed to the government’s referendum education campaigns, saying some Australians didn’t know much about the constitution, and education over the matter was key before Aussies cast their vote later this year. </p> <p>Yes23 campaign director Dean Parkin said that the continued education over the Voice to Parliament vote, such as the information pamphlet presenting both sides, will help Aussies make an informed decision. </p> <p>“This referendum is about uniting and bringing all Australians together, and that’s where our efforts will be focused over the coming months. We have a lot of faith in the decency of Australian people, and we know they want outcomes to be better for us, and want to see practical change. The voice is the means for us to do that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Australia’s “most boring state” is making waves

<p dir="ltr">The South Australian Tourism Commission is in hot water with its own shadow minister after forking out the funds for influencers to come visit the state, only to have them dub it Australia’s “most boring state”. </p> <p dir="ltr">It was an interesting take, but not necessarily one that was all too surprising - it’s a long-running joke plaguing the state, and the content produced by the Tiktokers has been defended as both intentional and ironic.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Shadow tourism minister Jing Lee does not share that opinion, demanding to know “who has chosen them, why they are here, [and] how they have been selected.”</p> <p dir="ltr">7News have also reported that the opposition are calling for the campaign’s cost to be made public. </p> <p dir="ltr">South Australia’s tourism organisation put their plan into motion in 2022 when they invited 12 social media influencers with millions of followers between them on a fully funded trip to the state. </p> <p dir="ltr">Their itinerary was reportedly designed to highlight “the very best that SA has to offer”, from its “raw beauty” to its “culinary delights”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“What we’re trying to do is demonstrate that people’s perception of Adelaide is patently wrong,” South Australia’s treasurer Stephen Mullighan explained. “That was the whole idea behind it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Many of the videos that came from the campaign run with captions declaring it to be “the most boring state ever”, or with the influencers asking their followers if they were ready to run amok with them. </p> <p dir="ltr">No matter which tagline the Tiktokers ran with, the content they produced all contained the same hidden message: South Australia was not such a ‘boring’ getaway after all. </p> <p dir="ltr">The clips they featured painted a positive picture of the state, showcasing everything from dolphin cruises to wineries, spectacular dining experiences, and an oyster farm. </p> <p dir="ltr">And as SATC have been happy to report, the campaign has been viewed over 5 million times across TikTok.</p> <p dir="ltr">It still wasn’t enough for Jing Lee, who shared her belief that “the Labor government has an obsession with influencers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But Stephen Mullighan had his own thoughts on the matter - and more specifically, one of the opposition’s previous attempts at a tourism campaign. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re certainly not going to get lectured to by Jing Lee, John Gardner, and the Liberals,” he said, “who were of course responsible for the most humiliating tourism campaign [the 2019 ‘Old Mate’ campaign] that’s been rolled out in our nation’s history in recent times.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

"Change the law!": Bob Irwin's campaign against social media “idiots"

<p>Bob Irwin is calling for the Queensland government to close a legal loophole that allows social media users to enter crocodile habitats for content.</p> <p>The proposed changes would establish an offence for individuals who recklessly use a crocodile habitat, along with penalties for people who disturb crocodiles to make online content.</p> <p>Mr Irwin, father of the late Steve Irwin, has asked the Environmental Defenders Office to address the issue, calling for them to draw up amendments to the Nature Conservation Act.</p> <p>He said the online content creators were only endangering themselves and the crocs by entering the habitats. These careless individuals are filming content purely for the croc factor.</p> <p>"The government says idiots like these are not breaking any laws. Well, I say, change the law!" He said in a statement. Well, if the snap fits...</p> <p>Over 40 traditional owners, conservationists, scientists, business owners and community members have backed Mr Irwin’s proposed changes.</p> <p>In February 2023, a 4.2 metre croc was shot dead by wildlife officers after it attacked a man and ate a dog in far north Queensland.</p> <p>The man was swimming at Bloomfield River which is a well-known crocodile habitat.</p> <p>Traditional owner Kathleen Walker said the actions of reckless people are giving the otherwise safe communities a bad reputation.</p> <p>"We support the Environmental Defenders Office's recommendations in the name of creating greater protection for our totem animal, the saltwater crocodile, when human error is involved," she said.</p> <p>"We would like to see a no-tolerance approach to members of the public who take the risk in crocodile territory and for greater mitigation measures to be legislated.”</p> <p>These kinds of individuals are in de-Nile if they believe the scaly predators won’t bite.</p> <p>The notorious “crocodile hunter” Steve Irwin once said, “Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you.” So, these croc-tent creators must leave it to the professionals, no matter how jaw-some the videos turn out to be.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"Stay away!": City forced into bizarre anti-travel campaign

<p>Amsterdam has taken desperate measures in the fight to keep the city safe from “messy” tourists determined to cause chaos and call it a night out. </p> <p>The Dutch capital’s new online campaign sets out to primarily tackle the problem of young British men, warning them against their plans to “let loose” while they’re visiting. </p> <p>Hopeful British tourists - between the ages of 18 and 35 - who google things like “stag party Amsterdam”, “pub crawl Amsterdam”, and “cheap hotel Amsterdam” will be made to view short videos that stress the consequences that come with “[causing] nuisance and excessive alcohol and drug use”, according to a statement from the city’s local authorities. </p> <p>One of said videos shows an intoxicated young man being arrested after insulting police officers, with text reading: “Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night + getting trashed = €140 fine + criminal record = fewer prospects.” </p> <p>From there comes the firm and to-the-point statement: “So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away.”</p> <p>In another of the campaign’s videos, an unconscious individual can be seen in an ambulance as it rushes to hospital, this time with text that reads: “Coming to Amsterdam to take drugs + lose control = hospital trip + permanent health damage = worried family.” </p> <p>It concludes with the same message as the other. </p> <p>Amsterdam welcomes approximately 20 million tourists each year, and is well known for its red light district. It’s this same hotspot that has played a major role in establishing the city as the place to party in Europe. </p> <p>However, local residents have voiced their displeasure for years, fed up with the chaos that drunken tourists bring their way, and prevent them from enjoying their own city as they want to. </p> <p>“Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case we as a city will say: rather not, stay away,” Amsterdam’s deputy mayor Sofyan Mbarki said.</p> <p>“Amsterdam is already taking lots of measures against excessive tourism and nuisance, and we are taking more measures than other large cities in Europe. But we have to do even more [in] the coming years if we want to give tourism a sustainable place in our city.”</p> <p>From there, he went on to note that in order to keep their city a liveable place, they had to turn their attention to “restriction instead of irresponsible growth.” </p> <p>This isn’t the only - or even first - step city officials have taken towards achieving their goal, having just passed new regulations that make it illegal for anyone to smoke cannabis while in the red light district. </p> <p>The video campaign may yet expand to include visitors from beyond the UK, authorities have suggested. They also plan to launch another campaign called “How to Amsterdam”, which aims to reign in tourists already visiting. This campaign will utilise social media and street signs, with warnings about everything from drunkenness to noise, drugs, and urinating in public. </p> <p>Providers who offer bachelor party experiences have reportedly been contacted by the council as well, in the hope that they can reduce - and prevent - trouble in the city’s centre, while they also await the results of research into a potential tourist tax. </p> <p><em>Images: YouTube</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Our Partners