Walking 80kms along the rough terrain of the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia might not be everyone’s idea of an Easter getaway, but for Amy Wieck, it was in honour of her brother Jacob who passed away from cancer six years ago.
Jacob Wieck passed away at the young age of 20 from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancerous tumour that is found in bones and soft tissue, and usually affects young people.
Amy’s loss of her brother and her love for adventure inspired her to join Sony Foundations walk for youth cancer.
“Ever since I have heard about and researched the Larapinta Trail, I have always had an interest in hiking it one day,” Amy said.
“However, I knew that when I eventually did hike it, it would have to be for a purpose and along came the Sony Foundation’s Trek the Larapinta Trail for You Can Stay,” she said.
The Sony Foundation ‘You Can Stay’ program provides regional and rural cancer patients aged 15 – 25 years and their families with free accommodation at Quest Apartment hotels near the hospital for the duration of their treatment.
Amy and her family wish this program was around when Jacob was going through cancer treatment. They were forced to travel over 100kms to the hospital in Sydney from their home in Shellharbour, costing them a lot of money and time away from the support of family and friends.
“While Jacob was undergoing treatment in Sydney, there weren’t any types of free accommodation available,” Amy said.
“Jacobs wishes were for there to be somewhere where young people with cancer can come stay with their families, so instead I am raising much-needed funds for other youth cancer patients and their families, so they can spend time together through their cancer journeys,” she said.
After an exhausting six days of trekking through the heat and harsh terrain of the Northern Territory, it was her brother’s strength that pushed Amy to reach the top of Mount Sonder, one of the territory’s highest mountains for sunrise.
“Thinking about Jacob’s strength through his journey helped me push through, especially climbing up Mount Sonder in the last 2km, I kept getting bursts of energy here and there and I just knew in the back of my mind that it was Jacob somehow saying you can do it,” she said.
“I’ve achieved something incredible for an amazing cause and most of all to make my brother’s wishes and dreams come true in his absence,” she said.
Every $100 raised, funds for one night of emergency accommodation for a young cancer patient.
You can still support Amy and help make a difference for young people and their families going through cancer treatment.
The Rip Curl Pro is expecting to draw tens of thousands of tourists to the Surf Coast after the annual Easter event was cancelled the past two years due to Covid-19 government restrictions.
In its 59th year of competition, the world’s longest-running surfing event sees surfers from all over the globe travel to Bells Beach over the Easter holidays to watch the pros take on the famous wave.
Bells Beach hosts the historic Rip Curl Pro surfing competition each year over the Easter period, however, Victorian Covid-19 government restrictions have caused the annual event to be cancelled two years in a row.
Surfing Victoria’s Operations Manager Pete Murphy says the two-year break has only lead to more excitement for the event.
“People are frothing,” Murphy says. “They cannot wait to get back to the event.”
“It’s going to be crazy. Over the course of one day, there are around ten thousand people that come down.”
The hallmark event lands its significance on the Victorian calendar alongside the Melbourne Cup, the AFL grand final and Formula One Grand Prix. Bells Beach is renowned for its huge swells and is named one of the best surfing destinations in Australia. The Bells trophy is one of the most highly sought after titles on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour.
Each year, the Rip Curl Pro brings about $30 million worth of economic benefit to the Surf Coast towns and their surroundings.
“I think people make the effort to come here and the byproduct of that is that they get to see other areas around Victoria and particularly the Surfcoast and the Great Ocean Road,” Murphy says.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every sector across Australia, and the hospitality industry took one of the hardest hits. As local pubs, bars and restaurants were forced to close their doors last Easter, sales and tourism plummeted.
Local restaurant 4 Pines is one of many hospitality venues in Torquay that was devastated to see the event cancelled the past two years.
Restaurant Manager Dean McLardie is busy preparing for the event that brings more crowds than the Christmas break does in summer.
“It’s by far the busiest time of year especially the Easter weekend in the middle of the event we see a massive influx in sales and foot traffic,” McLardie says.
“So this year we will be expecting to see better sales with the reduction in restrictions and actually having the event bring people to the town.”
Getting around the buzz of the town, 4 Pines will be doing a special beer release to celebrate the event and live streaming it for those who want to watch it with a burger and a pot of beer.
For the first time in two decades, the Rip Curl Pro will open the Australian WSL championship tour. The event will run over the Easter period from Sunday the 10th of April 2022 until Wednesday the 20th of April 2022.
A cancer diagnosis during the adolescent and young years can be highly challenging for young people and their families. The Sony Foundation along with the Youth Cancer Advisory Board has created events for young people to enjoy while they are undergoing cancer and allow them to meet others going through similar experiences. Today I will be joined by fellow cancer patients Molly Dawson and Aliona Grytensko where we will be discussing why it is so important for youth to connect and meet others on cancer journeys and how it can save their lives.
When Jo Toone decided to renovate her home, she did not expect it to be delayed for the best part of a year.
The Geelong resident is one of the thousands of people in Australia who have been caught in the middle of the country’s timber shortage after the COVID-19 pandemic stimulated demand for the building material globally.
“We have been pushed back by four months while our builder has waited for timber for a frame and about another two and a half months to produce our roof trusses, which in turn ground the renovation to a holt again,” Jo said.
According to Master Builders Victoria, builders are experiencing significant supply issues with materials and trades and this is impacting the progress of construction across Australia.
The cost of timber has also risen, due to increased global demand for building products as a result of COVID-19 across the US and Europe.
Mitre 10 states overseas timber prices are at record levels, with USA prices rising by up 80 per cent. These rates are placing strain on timber imports into Australia, as European mills make more money selling to Europe and Northern America than they do to Australia.
Australia usually imports about 20 per cent of structural timber, which has dropped to below 10 per cent in recent months. This has added extra pressure to the local Australian softwood timber industry, which is working at capacity to try to keep up with the demand.
Torquay builder, Cooper Bingham said the COVID-19 pandemic was to blame for the high demand in housing construction, with people renovating instead of holidaying.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping people at home, they are spending more money on their houses since they can’t travel overseas,” he said.
The federal government’s HomeBuilders grant has also encouraged people to act quickly and take advantage of the benefits while they’re available.
Cooper claims it’s a bittersweet situation for domestic construction workers who are receiving daily phone calls and emails for new builds, but lack of timber sees them struggling to hold down contracts.
“There’s a lot of work available but there is a lack of supplies and timber so we can’t commit to signing contracts,” he said.
“Clients are getting frustrated as we cannot guarantee how long they will have to wait before we can make a start on their houses, but all we can do is be honest and upfront with them and keep them in the loop about timeframes.”
Jo is one of many clients trying to renovate their homes and is feeling the irritation of these timber delays.
“It’s just super frustrating, the front lounge has been a dressing room for long enough!” she said.
Master Builders Victoria is working with the government and industry partners to find a solution, however the delays and shortages of timber are yet to be resolved.
As thousands of people across Australia took part in ‘Dry July’, a Torquay woman put a twist on the fundraiser by going waste-free instead – and raised money for Sea Shepard in the process.
Ele Allen, also known on Instagram as naturally.ele, has taken to social media to share her waste-free journey and encourage her followers to make changes to reduce the amount of plastic they use.
“I saw all these posts about ‘Dry July’ and thought, wow, if people can raise this much money by giving up alcohol for amazing causes, then I can give this a go. I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to go completely waste-free in July and raise money for Sea Shepard,” she said.
Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organisation that works to protect our oceans and wildlife.
Ele, 20, has raised more than $400 for Sea Shepard and has gained a large Instagram following after the Australian brand Go For Zero with over 28.6k followers, took interest in her idea and reposted it to its page.
“I want to use my social media platform positively, to try and show people how easy and affordable being waste-free is. If I find something at the supermarket that is waste-free and super cheap, I post it on my Instagram and show people there are great alternatives out there that are good for the environment too,” she says.
Ele shares daily tips and recommendations on her Instagram of waste-free products, encouraging others to make changes to their lifestyle.
“My main goal is to show people how easy it is, and that they don’t have to go completely waste-free, but every little change counts, even if it’s just swapping to a KeepCup instead of buying takeaway cups for coffee every time,” Ele says.
According to National Geographic, half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the past 15 years, with some taking 400 years to break down. Ele stresses we must act now if we want to save the planet before it’s too late.
“We need to change now, as the facts have stated that if we don’t make the change in the next decade, it’ll be too late.”
The waste warrior has decided to continue living a waste-free lifestyle after she has seen how easy the changes are and will keep advocating and sharing ways to eliminate waste.
The winding roads are left quiet. Towns are vacant. Shops are closed. Landmarks are empty. The famous 243km road with spectacular views of the Southern Ocean falls silent as Matt Jones locks up his vans, uncertain of how long until he will be able to return to the road.
He greets me with an unnatural smile, one that showed politeness rather than happiness. Replying “I’m good thanks” when I asked how he was as though he was reading from an English textbook, but his tired, dark eyes told me otherwise. He looked stressed. Worried even. Like any business owner who has no idea what the future of their business will entail. It’s been six months now since Matt Jones was forced to shut down his business due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. He owns a company that operates private customised tours and experiences of the Great Ocean Road and surrounding regions in Victoria and South Australia. As restrictions are beginning to ease for regional Victorians, local hospitality businesses are able to open back up, but Jones’ business is still left in the unknown, with the majority of its tour guests being international and predominantly interstate guests. Similar many other small business owners in Victoria, Jones is holding onto a glimmer of hope that one day soon this pandemic will be over, and his business will be operating as normal.
Looking back on how it unfolded, Jones is shocked by how quickly COVID-19 affected his business.
“We went from a summer where we were booked out every day with all our vans on the road to virtually nothing overnight. Back in March, I thought this lockdown would only be going for a month or so. It’s now September and there are still no answers on when our businesses will be able to operate again. No one expected it to go for this long. I definitely didn’t.”
“It’s strange seeing what was once a busy road has now become so quiet with no tourists. I still go down towards Lorne to surf, and the iconic landmark Great Ocean Road sign has no one taking photos in front of it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it empty like that in my lifetime.”
When I look at him sympathetically, he changes his sadness and expresses that the locals have formed an incredible bond during the restrictions.
“It has been great to see the strong local community support for existing tourism and hospitality businesses that are still open. The camaraderie has been incredible with everyone looking out for each other.”
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic destinations and is known as one of the most spectacular driving routes in the world. With incredible views of the pristine beaches as it hugs the scenic coastline and cliffs, it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations in Victoria. With over 2.8 million tourists visiting the Great Ocean Road between July 2018 and June 2019, the number of tourists has dramatically decreased due to travel bans and restrictions. Many of these small towns rely on tourists for their main source of revenue with things like accommodation, hospitality, tours and equipment hire. There are many tourist-attracting events on the Great Ocean Road that are uncertain whether or not they will be able to go ahead yet. Lorne is one of the popular Schoolies destinations in late November, along with the Pier to Pub swim that occurs each year in January. The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race is also a large tourist attraction that happens in January and is also assessing plans to see if it will go ahead. After major world surf event, The Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro was cancelled in April, it saw a huge revenue loss as the event which attracts thousands of tourists each year and creates more than $2 Million into the local economy annually.
Meg Law, creative director of Chatterbox Marketing explains that tourism on the Great Ocean Road in 2020 has taken a huge hit in COVID-19 and it will be at least 12 to 18 months before we see the Great Ocean Road operating again.
“Depending on the duration of the crisis, the potential aftermath of this devastation could result in anywhere between a 60-80% decline in the international tourism economy in 2020/21. To support the tourism sector, we will need to shift our focus and develop some serious recovery measures and fast, before the industry simply cannot get back on its feet. These include considerations on lifting travel restrictions, restoring traveller confidence and rethinking the tourism sector for the future.”
Regular holidaymaker on the Great Ocean Road, Ella Toone reminisces on her weekends in Lorne as she pulls out photos of her surfing. She moans as she shows me a photo of her surfing. “Wow, I was actually getting so good. Now I probably won’t even be able to stand up.” She jokes but with a slightly disappointed tone in her voice. Her face says it all. She misses it. She looks at the photos with a small smile and her eyes light up. You can tell it’s her happy place. She pulls out another photo of her and her friends at the beach in Lorne. “I mostly miss my friends. I haven’t seen these girls since March, it’s so hard to believe it’s now September and there is still no information of when we will be able to start travelling down the coast again. I’m totally over these stage four restrictions in Melbourne. Everyone is. There is only so much longer we can all do it for before we go insane.”
Globally the iconic destination has taken a big hit. The reputation of Melbourne and Victoria has been damaged and are being targeted as ‘areas to avoid’ for overseas travellers. This alone will take a significant amount of marketing to repair the stigma and aftermath effects of the damage already done.
Jones, like many other business owners, are praying that restrictions will begin to ease up in time for the peak season between November and April.
“The most challenging thing is the uncertainty of when we’ll be able to recommence tours and the planning for this. Seeing our tours stop virtually overnight was difficult to see after putting in so much hard work to establish brand awareness and generate regular tours. However, we have used this period to put our energy into developing some exciting new experiences and refreshing existing experiences and General business development. We’re hopeful that the travel restrictions for Victoria will be over before our peak season.”
As the roadmap for restrictions to ease is slowly being released, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for these small businesses on the Great Ocean Road. The focus on domestic tourism products will be paramount to getting business back up and running. Victorians should be paying attention to where they source their products from and try buying locally. By booking a tour or purchasing a gift voucher to give to friends or family for birthdays, anniversaries or even Christmas which is just around the corner will be more important than ever to keep these small tourism attractions and products afloat.
Despite her frustrations of not being able to visit her favourite holiday destination, Ella Toone is optimistic that she will be able to return in the near future. “These tough restrictions for Melbourne can’t last forever.” She reminds herself, presenting her with something to look forward to. “I will never take travelling down the coast for granted now, I’m beyond excited to get back to Lorne. It’s where I’m most happy.” The way her face lights up when she talks about it, you know she is telling the truth.
Meg Law is hopeful that Victorians will be able to help boost the tourism economy as soon as restrictions begin to ease. “Victorians can help small businesses get back up on their feet by travelling regionally and intrastate and supporting tourism as much as possible. While the Victorian borders are closed now is the time to hit the road and explore your own State. Forget about doing the ever-popular ‘Lap of Oz’ or international travel for a while and focus on local road-trips and staying at the quality regional accommodation providers dotted throughout Victoria”. Law is encouraging businesses to adapt their business strategies, as marketing on a shoestring will be more important than ever with businesses relying on social media. “Essentially we are moving into the age of adaptivity. As the world tries to anchor itself amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the new reality of an impending economic downturn, tourism destination, attractions and providers will need to apply a new perspective on marketing, destination development and community engagement.”
In the face of these uncertain times, Jones still has hope that he will be able to dust off his vans and remove the cobwebs to do what he loves, showcasing his favourite winding road. It will be a slow but gradual return for his business until interstate and international visitors are able to return. But, like he says, “Afterall, seeing the Great Ocean Road or Twelve apostles online in a virtual setting is one thing but travelling there in person will always win tenfold.”
This video discusses how artificial intelligence is used in our everyday
lives, and how technology is constantly advancing, and we are soon to have a
future filled with AI. Through researching and creating my video, I discovered that
I already was using artificial intelligence more than I thought I was. I didn’t
realise how common it is used in my everyday life, through using my car, uber,
google maps, spotify, and google searches.
The message I wanted to convey to the audience is that artificial
intelligence already exists, and whilst it may seem like it’s a large and
technical term, we all know what it is because we use it daily. The main idea I
chose to explore was how we are currently using artificial intelligence in our
everyday lives, and how it is advancing In the future for travel and weather.
Throughout the creation of my video I made sure I planned ahead of time,
considering it was going to be a long 6 – 8 minute video. I researched and read
scholarly sources surrounding the topic to make sure I knew what I was going to
be talking about. I tried to engage a lot more with my audience by using a lot
of face-to-face talking to the camera as well as the audio narration compared
to my previous videos which contained less time on the camera and more audio
narration. I feel a lot more comfortable filming myself, so it was less time
consuming to film.
Editing is not my strong point, so I ensured that I watched lots of YouTube
videos to help me learn new and advanced tools on iMovie, to create a better
video, and more advance edits. I used fade in and fade outs to create a smooth
transition between music and narration and had to edit my music volume so that my
audience wouldn’t have to adjust the sound themselves throughout the video. I tried to be as engaging as possible, using
different tones in my voice, and using hypothetical questions to make the audience
think and stay engaged. I added in a “like and subscribe” overlay over a video,
which I never knew how to do before, and it seems really affective at the end
and stands out.
I also ensured I used the rule of thirds to position my face slightly to
the left of the camera with my eyes on the top line. This helped make sure I wasn’t
too close or far away from the camera, and that my audience had a clear shot of
The music I used was Visions By Lakey Inspired
(CC BY – SA 3.0). I chose to use this music as it was slightly upbeat without
being over the top and it’s a nice transition to mask the silence between clips.
I tried to film as much content as I could to make it easier for myself,
however as I was away on holidays throughout the time of the assignment, I wasn’t
able to get as much footage as I had of liked. I sourced a range of royalty free
videos to use that were the most appropriate and fitted the topic.
I learnt a lot through creating this video. Firstly, being time
management. I was away for 2 weeks in Port Douglas on a family holiday, and
time slipped away from me to complete the assignment. Next time I won’t
underestimate the amount of work that needs to go into a big video like this
and start planning it sooner. Secondly, as I wasn’t in my own home filming, I had
to make use of the materials around me trying to get the camera, so it was
light on my face, but without background noise. As my family were home, and the
pool was directly outside, it was hard to film without kids screaming and people
talking. I overcame this issue by filming one afternoon when everyone was out
of the house, so I could not get distracted or interrupted.
Overall, I am extremely proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort
zone throughout this unit. I have noticed myself becoming more confident on
camera every time, and my editing skills have improved immensely. I look
forward to continuing using the knowledge I have gained to create videos in the
future and continue learning new things!
This video discusses how surveillance is constantly surrounding us, and how it impacts our everyday lives. Throughout the creation of the video, when I went out to find footage of surveillance cameras I was shocked about how many I found. In fact, the first step I took outside my house, I saw a camera on the neighbours house that I had never noticed before. The more and more I looked around, they were everywhere and it was rare if I couldn’t find one in a shop.
Originally I had planned to make this video have a positive view on surveillance, but after further research it made me question our freedom and privacy, and whether this type of security was it was over the top, and possibly a bit too much?
So I combined the positive outcomes of surveillance such as public safety and deterring of criminals, whilst still including the ideas that we are constantly being watched even in our own homes. One way I tried to create a sense of fear was by using scary and dark music The house in the Middle of Nowhere By Darren Curtis (CC BY – SA 3.0). It was a creative commons license that allowed me to use and adapt the music. I also made the decision to put a black and white effect over my videos to make it look more like CCTV footage and to also attempt to accentuate the fear in my audience.
I filmed myself at the beginning, middle and end to ensure I was being authentic and personal with my audience, by greeting them and also finishing off the conversation by showing my face, rather than just a voice over the video. I thought that if I showed my face again in the middle, it helps the audience stay interested and involved.
I ensured that I adopted the correct filming techniques, such as making eye contact with the lens to create the feeling of inclusiveness for my audience, and also used the rule of thirds so it was appalling to watch, and not feel claustrophobic. Surprisingly I was more confident, and it was a lot quicker to film than my first video.
The editing of the video would have to have been the most difficult part. I haven’t done much editing before, so this was the biggest challenge for me. I used a combination of my own footage and creative commons footage to use in the overlays, to give visual images of what I was discussing. I struggled to find relatable videos for my topic of surveillance, but I managed to find a few that could fit in nicely.
Problems that I encountered was during some of my filming, as some people were walking past constantly, so I was trying to make sure I didn’t accidentally get them in my footage. I struggled at first with not reading off my script and sounding like a robot, however I overcame this by practicing over and over again until I learnt my lines and it came naturally. I used iMovie to edit my video, however would like to try another application in my next video, to create a more engaging and advanced editing video.
Overall, I am super proud of how confident I was making this video, and very happy with how it turned out! I’m excited to continue making videos, and will allow more time for the editing in future videos so I can try out some new things.
Influencers are outraged by the recent trial to remove the number of ‘likes’ on Instagram. Users can no longer view the number of ‘likes’ on another person’s posts, and must click a prompt in order to see the number of likes on their own posts. The trial is taking place in Australia and several other countries, Instagram says in attempt to improve the mental health of young people.
With 1 billion active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. A study in 2017 found that Instagram was the most damaging social media platform to the mental health of young people aged 14 – 24.
Instagram hopes that the removal of likes will help improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and prevent them from comparing themselves to others based on the number of likes they get. Instagram tweeted it’s reason for the move.
“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”
Despite Instagram’s attempt to improve mental health, influencers are raging about this huge decision. This change potentially means that Instagram influencers’ content will need to be of much higher quality in order to appeal to users and brands who wish to collaborate.
19-year-old Australian Instagram model, Mikaela Testa, among many other influencers, is devastated by the trial saying it is affecting her job. She took to Facebook to voice her fury.
“Regardless of what you may think Instagram is a REAL job and those in the industry have worked hard to get where they’re at. I’ve put my blood sweat and tears into this for it to be ripped away.”
Influencers who have created a business around their use on the social media platform, are questioning whether Instagram is removing likes for financial reasons. Businesses are going directly to influencers and to advertise their brands, and Instagram is missing out on the financial benefits.
Some believe it is a cover up to make them look socially responsible, and they’re actually removing likes so they can control all engagement on the platform and force influencers and businesses to turn to buying Instagram adverts.