Victorians binning bad food waste habits

Victorians are trading the rubbish bin for the garden bin as councils look to tackle national food wastage issue.

 

The newly released Victorian Local Government Waste Services Report has found Victorians are swapping regular garbage to garden organics waste, with a 17% increase in green waste last year.

 

The report said that food and garden organics collections, which mixes food scraps such as meat and bread with traditional green waste, was a large driving force in the change.

 

Glen Eira Council, which began the food scrap recycling service in May this year, introduced free kitchen bins and garden organics bins in a push to increase food scrap recycling.

 

“Of about 30000 tonnes of garbage going to landfill about half is food waste,” said Glen Eira Recycling Communications Officer Carmen Chesson.

 

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Jessie Alice, The Inconvenience Store   Photo: Blake Van Zanden

 

Ms Chesson also said that the Council was considering changing the frequencies of bin collections, with a survey of its residents next month. The bin changes would see garden organics becoming the new weekly collection while regular waste would switch fortnightly pick-ups.

 

“The bin frequency collection is the next big thing. I suspect once it [garden organics waste] switches to weekly more people will be using it,” she said.

 

Ms Chesson also said that there was a lot of interest from local businesses however a council run food scrap recycling service may not be possible.

 

“The composting facility is not designed for commercial quantities and it is a really divided mix between council and private waste services,” said Ms Chesson.

 

One such business aiming to reduce food waste is Thornbury’s new

pay-as-you-feel grocer The Inconvenience Store.

 

The store run by Food Without Borders is a zero-waste grocer and café which aims to save and reuse food that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

“It’s the new social responsibility. Food waste is a big issue and we need to connect to the food banks and places like The Inconvenience Store and making sure that food isn’t going to waste,” said Program Coordinator for Food Without Borders Jessie Alice.

 

Ms Alice said that a big part of reducing Victoria’s food waste came down to the choices made by the consumer.

“It starts with your grocery shopping. Being slightly organised with your shopping so you aren’t overbuying,” said Ms Alice.

 

Ms Alice also said that shopping with the season could help

both local farmers while limiting food waste.

 

“You don’t get a really good idea about it at a supermarket, however, do your homework. If you are shopping seasonally you are most likely supporting a local farmer,” said Ms Alice.

 
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Immersive and innovative: the future of storytelling online

 

Interactivity is becoming a critical facet in how we tell stories in the connected age. Digital storytelling has evolved through Web2.0s increasing infiltration and ease of production/consumption to what media researcher Bryan Alexander notes is a “continually expanding arena for storytelling” (21). The relevance of the web as an “arena of storytelling” has led to the media convergence of once legacy media outlets, forcing print, radio and television broadcast services to merge with new forms of media (Uricchio 17). While this means that the future of some old media forms may be in doubt, new and old media methods have merged to create digital stories that are accessible, engaging, immersive and facilitate discourse within the audience.

 

Once an exclusive television broadcasting service, the SBS has merged with the new media forms that Web2.0 brought to the world to create interactive storytelling experiences. One example the digital merger of media forms is the SBS’s online documentary Cronulla Riots, (SBS) which investigated the 2005 racially motivated riots in Sydney. As the documentary is based around interactivity, it can be labelled as an interactive documentary or i-doc (Aston & Gaudenzi 125-6). Cronulla Riots adopts multiple forms of media in the form of still images, videos, soundscapes, maps and text to immerse the audience into the investigation of the event, essentially becoming part of the process by discovering information within the documentary.

 

 

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Watch: Cronulla Riots

 

 

Cronulla Riots contains a linear narrative with nine chapters however the documentary interacts with us by offering chances to digress from the primary story to explore key themes, character profiles and facts. Questions are even asked to challenge our assumptions or to show the wider picture of an issue. For example, the documentary asks: “Are people that use the Australian flag doing so for racist purposes?” If we choose an answer, the documentary consults a mind map which reveals relevant information about national icons being appropriated for racist purposes. We can also opt to ignore these secondary sources or to further explore the mind map to discover new facts before returning to the primary narrative allowing us an active role in the documentary. Media researcher Dayna Galloway calls this the active adaption category of interactive documentaries, characterised by user – document information exchange to which the user is aware of (333).

 

Offering the audience an active role in the documentary is not the only way Web2.0 has changed the way we consume stories. Galloway notes that there are also passive adaptive, immersive and expansive interactive documentaries (336). Passive adaptive stories modify content depending on unconscious interactions between the user and the system (Galloway 332 – 3). Immersive stories aim to place the audience in the stories environment by using multiple media forms (Hernandez 103 – 4). Therefore, the immersive documentary falls heavily upon audio-visuals to convey its story while aiming to limit real-world stimulus by using full-screen visuals, headphones or augmented reality systems (Galloway 333 – 4). The expansive category uses massive peer – peer interactions to create content. An example of an expansive documentary is Kevin Macdonald’s Life in a Day (2011), which stitched together crowdsourced videos on video sharing site YouTube to create a feature-length documentary. These categories represent a shift from storytelling being a passive experience to an active exploration of the storyteller’s vision.

 

The technologies and techniques brought on by Web2.0 have developed to create a story that can interact with, and immerse the audience in the digital author’s vision (Aston & Gaudenzi 127). Interactivity in non-fiction digital storytelling offers journalists and media outlets massive amounts of flexibility in how a story can be told. The New York Times can now send a reader to investigate the crime scene of the Las Vegas Gunman’s hotel suite, made up by composite images (Buchanan) while Reuters could send them to witness the reality of living in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh (Weiyi & Scarr). Interactivity in digital storytelling offers the chance to let the audience go beyond words, and delve deeper into the emotions and humanity that underpin the stories that need to be told.

 

 

 

References:

 

Alexander, Bryan, and Ebooks Corporation. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media. Praeger, 2011.

 

Aston, Judith, and Sandra Gaudenzi. “Interactive Documentary: Setting the Field.” Studies in Documentary Film, vol. 6, no. 2, 2012, pp. 125–139.

 

Balendra, Jaya, director. Cronulla Riots, 2013, Eye Spy Productions, Cronulla Productions, SBS

 

Buchanan, Larry, et al. Inside the Las Vegas Gunman’s Mandalay Bay Hotel Suite, The New York Times Online, 4 October 2017, accessed 24 September 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/04/us/vegas-shooting-hotel-room.html

 

Cai, Weiyi and Scarr, Simon. “The Rohingya Crisis Life in the Camps” Reuters, 4 December 2017, accessed 24 September 2018 http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/MYANMAR-ROHINGYA/010051VB46G/index.html

 

Flew, Terry. “Democracy, Participation and Convergent Media: Case Studies in Contemporary Online News Journalism in Australia.” Communication, Politics &Amp; Culture, vol. 42, no. 2, 2009, pp. 87–115.

 

Galloway, Dayna, et al. “From Michael Moore to JFK Reloaded: Towards a Working Model of Interactive Documentary.” Journal of Media Practice, vol. 8, no. 3, 2007, pp. 325–339.

 

Hernandez, Richard Koci, et al. The Principles of Multimedia Journalism: Packaging Digital News. 2016.

 

Mcdonald, Kevin, director. Life in a Day, 2011, LG, Scott Free Productions, YouTube

 

Thomson, Helen. Wikis, Blogs & Web 2.0 technology. 25 May 2008, University of Melbourne, accessed 24 September 2018, http://copyright.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/1773830/wikisblogsweb2blue.pdf

 

Uricchio, William, et al. Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism. MIT, Boston, 2015.

Andrews Government responds to Parliamentary inquiry into drug law reform

The Andrews Labor Government says that it will focus on minimising drug-related harm to the community and users in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Drug Law Reform.

 

Part of the plan involves the trial of the medically supervised injecting room in North Richmond, which the Andrews Government says is already saving lives.

 

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Rosie Cluett, Taskforce Counsellor Photo: Blake Van Zanden

“Our staff have safely responded to 140 overdoses in just two months, many of which would have otherwise been fatal,” said Martian Foley, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing.

 

Liberal Opposition leader Matthew Guy said that the medically supervised injecting rooms sent a message to children that taking ice and heroin was ok.

 

“It’s dangerous, it’s wrong and we’ll close it down,” Mr Guy said.

 

However, Australian Drug Foundation spokesperson Laura Bajurny said that there had already been positive feedback from the medically supervised injecting rooms trial.

 

“Some of the personal feedback that even now is coming out of the north Richmond trial is really moving… its people who use drugs being treating like a human being for the first time,” said Ms Bajurny.

 

Apart from the medically supervised injecting room trial, grants will be provided to needle and syringe programs to enable free overdose reversal drugs like Naloxone to users, the Andrews Government said in its response.

 

Rosie Cluett from drug and alcohol counselling service Taskforce said that harm minimisation was a broad concept that was not all about abstinence.

 

“It may be about safe injecting practices, it may be about reducing from a bottle of wine to two glasses a night. It is a very broad concept,” said Ms Cluett.

 

“Sometimes it might be that they are homeless, and that might be a really difficult thing for that person. So, you can’t talk about reducing drug and alcohol use if they have nowhere to live,” said Ms Cluett.

 

Although focusing on harm minimisation, the Andrews Government said it would not change its stance on pill testing and decriminalisation of drugs.

New Colombo Plan sees more Australians heading to Asia to work and study

The Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan has seen over 40000 Australian students and scholars heading to Asia since its inception in 2014.

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Photo: Blake Van Zanden

Deakin University student Haylee Mantell said the New Colombo Plan was a driving force in her decision to study in Asia. “Without the New Colombo grant, a 3-month internship overseas wouldn’t have been a possibility,” she said.

Mrs Mantell worked in Indonesia on an internship with global marketing firm Edelman. “Studying an international relations degree, it was worth having an international experience where I could apply my University degree in a work setting.”

In 2018, the New Colombo Plan will accommodate around 13000 students to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and China. The Australian Government is aiming for the New Colombo plan to become a “rite of passage” for undergraduate students.

Mrs Mantell said that her internship in Indonesia gave her “invaluable experience working in an international environment,” which she said will help her find a graduate position later in the year.

Research from the Department of Education and Training backs up this sentiment finding that studying abroad increases the chances of finding full-time employment post-graduation.

Satire Matters

The age of Trump, fake news and turmoil within Australian politics has spawned a gold rush for satire. From Abbott eating raw onions spawning #oniongate to the coverage of Australia’s oppressive gun control laws, satire has provided us with some entertainment and unfortunate truths through a worryingly riotous period in the worldwide political landscape.

The recent online media phenomenon that has caused traditional legacy journalism corporations such as Fairfax Media to drastically cut budgets and jobs, has allowed satirical publications to grow exponentially through platforms such as Facebook. Reaching an audience on social media roughly 4 times smaller than that of the ABC, the Betoota Advocates coverage of political events often generates a similar amount interest in its timely and witty coverage of political events. Their ability to engage with the online audience can be seen below in the Betoota Advocates coverage of Malcolm Roberts citizenship debacle.

The Betoota Advocate                                        ABC News

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 9.30.36 PMFeaturing fictional news pieces, comedic sketches and not being aligned with traditional journalistic practices, satire can easily be written off as having any real ability to inform or cause debate in the community. However, the line between what can be considered journalism and satire is narrowing with online publications such as the Betoota Advocate, The Chaser and The Shovel providing social and political commentary whilst using key journalistic traits to develop their stories.  A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center even found that the US audience favoured Jon Stewart, formerly of The Daily Show, was amongst their ‘most admired’ Journalists. Jon Stewart denied he was a journalist, however, the shows political and news coverage undoubtedly transcends that of a simple comedy act. John Oliver, from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, is another example of a comedian teetering on the boundary of satire and journalism. Dissecting topics such as global warming and public health care, Last Week Tonight has a clear objective of holding those in power accountable for their actions whilst along with advocating for social issues.

John Oliver advocating for gun control on The Daily Show, before he launched his own satire show on HBO

Although shows such as John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and the Daily Show may be blurring the lines between news and entertainment, the Pew Research Centers research also reminds us that satirical shows do fall short of what we think of as news and traditional journalism. Studying the Daily Show, the Pew Center found that the show was ‘highly selective’ in its coverage, missing key newsworthy events and aired critical coverage of the Republican party three times as often as the Democrats.

Therefore taking into consideration that whilst satire may well contribute to our intake of news, it is not always an objective and complete source. Satire may instead be seen as a subsidiary source that provides comedic commentary on contemporary political and social issues. With satire flourishing online and continuing to place an emphasis on its journalistic qualities, it is clear that it may well be seen as a form of news rather than entertainment.

Why do we wear clothing? Living with mental health difficulties as a young adult

 

Lucy first began to experience mental health issues at age 17, during the lead up to the year 12 final exams. A manic episode led to misdiagnoses of bipolar disorder from her local GP. As a result, she was prescribed high dosages of anti-depressants without being referring to a mental health specialist.  Over the next 7 years, Lucy continued to battle with her mental health, often seeking out information and consultation herself.

 

‘I had this genius thought to myself, why do we need clothing?… I took off my clothes and started to chase my friends around my home’

 

With over 4 million or 17.5% of Australians currently suffering from a mental health disorder (ABS,2015), Lucy’s experience is one that many Australians encounter at some point during their lifetime. The manic episode that Lucy encountered was a rare case in which her phycologists now believe was likely brought on by anti-depressants. This manic episode led to the misdiagnoses of bipolar, a condition that is characterized by extreme moods being low (depressed) and high/excited (manic) (Beyond Blue, 2017).

 

 ‘It became normal for me to be crying for hours every night in bed by myself … I think that’s when I realized that I had mental health difficulties’

 

Registered Psychologist Mathew Aquilina, says that manic episodes like the one Lucy experienced ‘could occur in the context of anxiety, psychosis, and mood disorders not limited to Bipolar Type 1 or 2’ which would ‘generally be the result of a cumulative effect of underlying stress, trauma, or otherwise unexpressed emotion’. In some cases such as Lucy’s, psychopharmacological substances could be the cause, however, was rare and ‘would likely occur following the prescription of an unsuitable medication or combination of such.’

 

‘You can live a normal life… and I hope that gets emphasized more as we go on to talk about mental health in the community’

 

One of the hardest things Lucy had to deal with was the stigma surrounding mental health and the and the lack of support networks available to her. Lucy believes had she have been referred to mental health specialist and had more support from those around her, the recovery process would have a lot smoother. Mathew Aquilina believes that being proactive and asking someone suffering if they ok from is a pivotal way that friends and family can help their loved ones, ‘avoid telling people to “stop” having their mental health difficulty, and expecting them to always seek help or recover themselves’.

After her own 7-year battle, Lucy has now completed a PhD in Psychology, looking to help others suffering from mental health difficulties.

If you believe that yourself or someone you know may be suffering from mental health difficulties, Mathew Aquilina recommends ‘visiting a GP, asking for a Mental Health Care Plan, and finding a psychologist or mental health professional in the local area’. Resources such as beyondblue, Life Line and Head Space are all also freely available to offer support and guidance if needed.

 

 

References

Aquilina. M Aquilina 2017, Email 13 Oct

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015, National Health Survey: Mental Health and co-existing physical health conditions, cat. no. 4329.0.00.004, viewed 13 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/C0A4290EF1E7E7FDCA257F1E001C0B84?Opendocument

beyondblue 2017, Bipolar Disorder, viewed 13 October 2017, https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/bipolar-disorder

Black Dog Institue 2017, viewed 15 October 2017, https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Headspace 2017, viewed 15 October 2017, https://headspace.org.au/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrLSNkbby1gIVAX-9Ch3JVwUXEAMYAyAAEgJynfD_BwE

Lifeline 2017, viewed 15 October 2017, https://www.lifeline.org.au/