Tag Archives: australia

Anonymous Donor Encourages Contributions To Australian Marriage Equality

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Source & photo credit: Australian Marriage Equality on Facebook.

Australian Marriage Equality received an offer for a very generous donation of up to $20,000 last month; though, there was a catch. The anonymous donor has provided incentive for people to help out the amazing cause, offering to donate up to $20,000 by matching dollar for dollar the amount given to the organisation before midnight January 15th.

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Source: Australian Marriage Equality on Facebook.

Alongside other equal rights associations, they’ve campaigned tirelessly to raise the amount needed to total $40,000 – $20,000 from supporters and $20,000 from the kind donor. Even with all of their efforts, they’re still coming up short. As of around 8:45pm, they had raised an incredible $15,822 – still $4,180 shy from the $20,000, but there is still time.

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Source: Equal Marriage Rights Australia on Facebook.

If you support marriage equality in Australia, tonight would be an amazing time to speak up in a pertinent way. By donating whatever you can before midnight (every dollar helps), you’re ensuring that they receive double that amount. There has never been a better time to support our fellow Aussies; so please, give with love so that we can support those who are not yet allowed to love freely enough to legally marry. Click here to go directly to their donation page, or follow the link from their Facebook post here.

UPDATE: As of 10pm they’ve reached $16,491! Can we get them over the line in time?

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UPDATE: They’ve reached 18,193! 20 minutes to go!

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UPDATE: Just $745 short of their $20,000 goal, Australian Marriage Equality has received an extention from their generous donor until 3am (midnight in Western Australia). Can they get there? Thanks to the generosity of the general public, I think that they can.

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Cory Bernardi – Conservative ‘Values’ Or An Excuse To Be A Bigot?

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It is tough to decipher whether or not the conservative bigots are truly a dying breed, but they are certainly no longer being tolerated. While those who spout their hate speech feel justified and supported, the rest of us are standing against them with a stronger, more unified voice – we will no longer allow these fear-mongers to spread their hateful speech unchallenged.

Bernardi’s views have again surfaced since the recent release of his controversial new book, ‘The Conservative Revolution‘ in which he accuses women of undergoing abortions only as “an abhorrent form of birth control” and speaks out strongly against what he calls ‘non-traditional’ families including step-families, same-sex parent families and single-parent families. The book features a glowing review from Andrew Bolt on the cover which, even without the disgraceful content, is reason enough for people to turn away from the book. Bernardi has also previously made anti-Islamic remarks, called for a ban of the Burqa, has called migrants “welfare squatters” and equates homosexual relations to beastiality.

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Description: “An unapologetic advocate for mainstream values, Cory Bernardi presents a bold vision for a stronger nation that is founded on conservative principles. He takes the fight to the political left and calls for an overturning of the existing moral relativism that threatens Australia’s way of life. Bernardi argues that the best way to tackle this threat is to protect and defend the traditional institutions that have stood the test of time, something that he has done during his time as a senator in the Australian Parliament. Bernardi’s work courageously promotes the conservative cause and sets out a path to a better Australia through a commitment to faith, family, flag, freedom and free enterprise. This volume reminds us that conservative principles – not the populist whims of the left – generate enduring stability, success and strength. That is why we need a conservative revolution.”

Many publications are describing the outrage over Bernardi’s 19th-century views as ‘attacks’ on him, including the statements made by fellow Liberal, Warren Entsch, whereas Bernardi’s statements are simply being described as ‘his values’. I’d beg to differ. Bernardi’s own words are a series of attacks; he attacks literally everyone who does not fit his idea of a conventional family; again, including (but not limited to), homosexuals, single parents, step-parents, and women have have/will undergo an abortion. His conservative ‘values’ are outdated and hateful, and the reaction to such ridiculousness has been loud and clear.

Statements are emerging from various figures in the public eye, including the recent comments from Liberal MP, Warren Entsch. Entsch took particular exception to Bernadi’s attack on non-traditional families and the homosexual population. He explains that “he’s obviously got an obsession with people that are gay, it worries me. You’ve really got to watch out for those that have these obsessions. He who protests the loudest…” He also questioned what Bernardi’s reaction would be if he were to discover that a family member of his own is gay, “would he advocate sterilisation?” Entsch asks. Given the ridiculousness of Bernardi’s claims, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would.

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Warren Entsch. Source: The Cairns Post

Senator Bernardi is having trouble coming to terms with the backlash from his fellow MP, telling News Corp Australia that “the lawyers are having a look at it“. Best of luck to Bernardi I suppose; there are endless masses of intelligent and open-minded people who are speaking out against him, will he try to take legal action against them all?

Another well-known Aussie figure has spoken out against Berdardi on the show that she co-hosts, ‘The Project’. Carrie Bickmore responded to Bernardi’s now well-known question, “why then the levels of criminality among boys and promiscuity among girls who are brought up in single parent families, more often than not headed by a single mother?” Bickmore is herself a single mother, after losing her husband, Greg Lange to cancer in 2010, just three years after she gave birth to their son, Oliver. As an inspirational, working woman who is by all accounts an incredible mother, Bickmore was ready to take down Bernardi with her concise sentence, “I grew up in a non-traditional family and I’m currently raising a son in a non-traditional family, so he can get stuffed.” She furthered her strong statement by reassuring others that, “If you’re offended by Bernardi, don’t be, he’s not worth being offended by“. Representing so many, Bickmore’s quote went viral, sparking an emotive response and earning her strong support.

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The news of Bernardi’s despicable attacks has now spread world-wide to the very well-respected, George Takei. Takei has garnered the favour of over 5.5 million on Facebook with his humour, personality and for being an advocate of homosexual rights. This morning he posted the link to Bernardi’s book on Amazon with the description, “In Australia, opposition to marriage equality has a champion in conservative politician Cory Bernardi, who warns in his book that it would lead to polygamy and bestiality. Our friends Down Under penned some epic reviews…Oh Myyy.” – George Takei on Facebook

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From George Takei’s Facebook.

The comment section is equally as hopeful, given that the news of Bernardi’s views (being an elected official) could give way to the consideration that our country is really as backwards as some already believe. The top comments (and subsequent responses) speak volumes…

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From George Takei’s Facebook.

The reviews in which Takei refers to are indeed a welcome sight. They detail the collective public perspective of Bernardi and his beliefs, bringing the overall book rating to a dismal (and deserved) 1.8 out of 5. Of course we need to account for the random conservatives who have rated this rubbish with a gloating 5/5, though there are also some reviews who have given the high rating in an ironic sense. The following is an example of this ironic 5/5:

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From Amazon.com

The rest are a variety of outraged yet witty responses that give Bernardi the same level of respect to which he has given those he has slandered. The most ‘helpful’ reviews are certainly the most entertaining, giving George Takei (and the rest of us) all a good chuckle.

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From Amazon.com

Another image that went viral this week was the peaceful graffiti painted on Bernardi’s Liberal MP sign. The rainbow of love and equality represents a simple message to Bernardi that hatred is no longer tolerated.

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As for his political career? He will certainly not survive another round of elections given that even his own party has turned their back on him. Nobody wants to be associated with such unpopular/publicly condemned views, not even the Liberals. Bernardi’s efforts and forceful speech brings to mind the Westboro Baptist Church – an infamous hate organisation acting under (what they perceive to be) the ‘word of God’. Good luck with your ‘conservative revolution’, Bernardi. Your uprising is, and will always be, nothing more than the hateful rantings of a fool and his minions. So please, by all means keep picketing in circles. Yes, the country needs to be rid of those who are hold negative values, but unfortunately for you and your supporters Mr. Bernardi, that would be you.

UPDATE: Cory Bernardi breaks his Twitter silence to announce a second print run of his book. What he doesn’t realise is that people only purchased it to see what all of the fuss was about – like those who can’t look away from a car accident.

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Arsonists Strike In Blakeview, SA On New Year’s Eve

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A calm NYE afternoon. A dry grass field that is only hours away from being lit.
Source: Leesa Little

The small, semi-rural suburb of Blakeview (near Adelaide) was struck by arsonists this New Year’s Eve, threatening the many homes that were separated from it only by a single road.

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Working quickly – this far-left area of the blaze was dealt with promptly.
Source: Leesa Little

The grassfire spread quickly across the dry field, meaning that the response to the scene had to be quick – and it was. Given the size of the field, the strong Adelaide winds tonight and the dry heat, the threat to the area was very real, as the locals quickly realised.

Five Country Fire Service trucks and two Metropolitan Fire Service crews attended the scene and worked for nearly an hour to completely eliminate the blaze. While it did take awhile to rid of each spot-fire, they had the whole situation under control relatively quickly. Maneuvering their trucks over the tricky ditch, firemen worked with grace to handle what was a potentially disastrous scenario. Police did their best to divert any traffic away from the blaze, which started around 10:30pm. Police also issued a search helicopter that explored the site for around 20-30 minutes after the blaze was eliminated, seeking the three male suspects that were witnessed fleeing the scene.


Source: Leesa Little

The Metropolitan Fire Service initially reported that houses were under threat, but thanks to all involved, the fire has been eliminated and there has been no property damage. Again, given the circumstances, it is incredible that the men and women of Elizabeth’s Fire Services were able to put an end to the threat so quickly. Watching one of the firemen stumble towards the police officer who was assisting them – looking absolutely exhausted – served as a sobering reminder that these men and woman are always working tirelessly behind the scenes to protect us.

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Weary, one of the firemen discusses the situation with a police officer, then reflects on the battle he just emerged from.
Source: Leesa Little

What many viewed as a side-show, was indeed a very real threat to homes and lives, and these people saved us all. So to them, and to the assisting police officers, thank you and sorry that this is how you had to begin 2014.

Personal note: I saw a single firework from the same area only minutes before the blaze took hold. While police believe this to be arsonists, I am sure that it will soon emerge that this was a result of illegal fireworks. This information has been reported to crimestoppers.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney Cancels NYE Water Festival Event – Offers Two Flimsy Options Instead Of Refund

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Source: The NYE Festival website

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney has caused an uproar by cancelling the NYE plans of thousands of Aussies tonight due to a “major technical production issue”.

The Wet ‘n’ Wild music festival, billed nearly everywhere as the “first ever festival to be held at a water theme park” has now been postponed to Australia Day. Ticket holders – who forked out between $110-$200 per ticket – are fuming, as the announcement has been made only hours before the festival was due to begin.

Palming off any blame onto the event organisers, Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney made sure that they were as far removed as possible from any statements that they made about the cancellation. They were careful to pin it on the event organisers (who they hired), even naming and shaming the company itself.

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Source: Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney Facebook page.

“One Cube Entertainment, an external entertainment promotions company organizing the event, has made the decision to postpone the planned NYE Festival promoted at Wet’n’Wild Sydney due to a major technical production issue.
A new date has been selected for the event, which will now take place on Australia Day 2014 (Sunday 26 January).

A spokesperson for One Cube Entertainment stated “We have made the very difficult decision to postpone our New Years Eve event at Wet n Wild Sydney. This decision is in the best interest of our patrons due to some last minute production issues. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and are currently working on something bigger and better for Australia Day at Wet n Wild. This new lineup will include the addition of some brand new headliners being announced shortly.”

Ticket holders have the option of using the existing purchased ticket for:
NYE with the same lineup and Intl’s Tonight @ The Roxy, 6pm til late
OR
Australia Day (Sun 26 Jan) @ Wet n Wild Sydney (more details announced in a few days)”

Source: The NYE Festival website

Given that the festival was due to commence at 4pm, making the announcement at 10am was perhaps the harshest of blows – those who have travelled have already arrived in Sydney. Similarly, accommodation has been booked and with the festival having been 95% sold out, over 20,000 irritated party-goers will now quickly be seeking a place at one of the few places that are not yet sold out, or where crowds have not already gathered. Offering what they believe to be an equivalent alternative, ticket holders can attend the Roxy hotel with their ticket tonight, if choosing not to (or are unable to) attend the water-park on Australia Day. Hopefully they don’t exceeded capacity at the Roxy – have they even checked?

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Source: NYE Water Festival Facebook page

Adding insult, it seems that by postponing the event they’ve ensured that refunds are not an option. So those who have already travelled a considerable distance or are simply unable to attend on Australia Day, will just have to swallow the hefty ticket costs for themselves. Here’s hoping that this is not the case – perhaps given all of the negative feedback, Wet ‘n’ Wild will give ticket holders the option of a refund at some point.

Among the annoyed patrons are those who have already made plans (and bought tickets) to perhaps the largest Australia Day event in Sydney, a competing music festival – the Big Day Out. Many are wondering if this has been considered by the event organisers, or if they simply believe that people will be compliant with the change and disregard their Australia Day plans.

One thing’s for sure, disappointed guests have given their review score on Facebook a real well-earned beating.

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Despite the outrage, it is doubtful that Wet ‘n’ Wild will suffer from the mistake – they’ve already had to cease their sales of season passes and cease admission to prevent overpopulation on certain days. While people are fuming, there is no denying the popularity of a water park in sunny Sydney.

It’s impossible not to feel for these displaced patrons; we can now only hope that while it will not detract from the impact of the travel and accommodation costs that they have incurred, Wet ‘n’ Wild will, at the very least, offer them a full refund at some point. As it stands, they have absolutely no plans to do so.

Frightening Trends: Rooftopping

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Source: Rooftopper, Tom Ryaboi’s website.

While the unbelievably dangerous act of ‘rooftopping’ has emerged as a scary new trend throughout the country, it has in fact been of international popularity for a number of years. In recent months, it’s either just started to spread throughout Australia, or has only now been noticed by authorities. Either way, there’s no denying how incredibly risky and terrifying this trend is.

‘Rooftopping’ involves climbing to ridiculous heights and without harness, taking a photo to commemorate the moment. Photographer, Tom Ryaboi even boasts this dangerous pass-time as being his photographic edge. Posting numerous photos of himself in compromising positions, Tom’s main attraction on his website seems to be his first-listed category – rooftopping.

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Source: Rooftopper, Tom Ryaboi’s website.

Though most well-known rooftoppers are proud of their activity, many deny that they are influencing others. Particularly at risk are the impressionable youth, who, with all of the means to share their photos via social media, are becoming increasingly willing to do anything to give their amateur photography an edge.

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Instagram user and high-school student, ‘Nadanator’ posts one of Tom Ryaboi’s photos, along with her enthusiasm to follow the trend.

Like many other rooftoppers, Tom Ryaboi makes sure to conceal his identity in each of these shots to protect from the authorities – a move that is now being imitated by Australia’s more impressionable youth as the police try to crack down on the perpetrators. According to abc.net.au, Queensland police have started to use the images posted on social media sites to identify and fine the culprits as a possible deterrent. Unfortunately however, while the police are doing their best to put a stop to the trend, rooftoppers are proving to be defiant and brazen about their activity. ABC (abc.net.au) reports the response from Brisbane rooftopper, Blu Art Xinja, who says that the consequences don’t serve as a deterrent; he told them, “I think it is dangerous for people to get on top of buildings, but I personally don’t mind danger – a lot of people don’t,” continuing with, “Even if someone died in an accident from it I don’t think it would be deterrent if you like doing it anyway.” – from abc.net.au

Despite the fact that ‘rooftopping’ is what most consider to be a life-risking activity, well-known rooftoppers have a collection of loyal followers that believe in the “art” of their work. After doing the interview for ABC, Blu Art Xinja took to his Facebook page to brag about the article and of course his fans had his back.

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Source: Blu Art Xinja’s Facebook page.

While we’re all hoping for the craze to subside for the sake of safety, Blu Art Xinja has only one reason for his hope that the attention falls away – “I do hope the craze dies down so I can keep doing it with less eyes watching me.” he told abc.net.au