Lessons from the Emerging Writers’ Festival 2016

The Emerging Writers’ Festival is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at supporting emerging writers. I attended this year’s 10-day festival for the first time. I didn’t go to every event, but here are some lessons I took away from the ones I went to. Industry Insiders: Pitch Perfect With: Jacinda Woodhead (Overland Journal), Cate Blake (Penguin/Random House), Jo Walker (Frankie), Cassidy Knowlton (Crikey) Pitch Perfect brought together four publishers and editors to give us a behind the…

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Scenes from the Midsumma Pride March

Rainbow flags waved proudly in St. Kilda this weekend. Yesterday was Melbourne’s iconic Midsumma Pride March, which recognises and celebrates Victoria’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and transgender community. In almost four years of living in Melbourne, I had not attended, but this year I had a friend marching to honour the memory of someone he and his friends lost last year. The theme was Marriage Equality. It was a great event. Of course, there were various…

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Australia Day, Invasion Day

Isn’t today’s Google Doodle beautiful? For its 2015 Doodle 4 Google competition, Google asked Aussie kids, in years 1-10 to draw a doodle based on the theme “If I could travel back in time I would…” Out of more than 24,000 submissions, this is the National Winner. It’s called Stolen Dreaming by Ineka Voigt of Canberra High School, ACT. If I could travel back in time I would reunite mother and child. A weeping mother…

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I read The Happiness Project so you don’t have to

Ok, that’s not why I read The Happiness Project. I saw it at my local second-hand shop one day for a dollar and it piqued my curiosity. It seemed like one of those frou-frou, feelgood, self-help books, but it wasn’t that bad. I actually liked it and found it insightful. Would I pay $14 for this little, mass-market paperback (books are expensive in Australia)? Hmmm, probably not. Would you? If not, worry not! I read it…

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Hello, 2016

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I had a great year.  In January, I got to go behind the scenes of Strictly Ballroom. In February, I attended the fantastic Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the NGV. In June, I (finally) received my temporary residency visa. In August, I attended the Effective Altruism conference, which changed how I donate money to charity. In October, I had my gallbladder removed. That doesn’t sound like…

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5 ways you know that Aldi f*cking hates you

This hilarious entry from Hugzilla, Five Ways You Know That ALDI Fucking Hates You, perfectly captures how I, and I suspect many others, feel about Aldi. Your first clue that ALDI hates you is right there at the entrance: you need a fucking gold coin to operate their trolleys. This says two things: 1) we don’t believe you are a trustworthy person 2) we don’t care for your convenience, so fuck you Apparently there is…

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5 ways to be an obnoxious hospital patient

About two weeks ago, I started experiencing terrible stomach pains. I spent much of that Sunday in bed and in pain. Since I’m a doctor (I’m not), I diagnosed it as indigestion. It was probably something I ate that didn’t sit well with me. We’ve all been there, right? The pain continued into the night and I didn’t get any sleep. Around dawn, I told my partner that maybe I ought to go to hospital. Why not…

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Refining the fine art of not giving a f*ck

Warning: This entry contains a lot of profanity. Without asterisks. When I was a teenager, I didn’t give a fuck what people thought of me. Frenemies made fun of me for wearing combat boots (the real deal purchased from a military surplus store) with short, floral dresses. I did not give a fuck because I knew I was fucking awesome. Boys made fun of me because I was a card-carrying feminist. I did not give…

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An Introduction to Effective Altruism

Most people I know are concerned about the world. Some care deeply about the environment and many are passionate about a variety of social issues. We support crowdfunding campaigns, attend public demonstrations, sign petitions, and generously donate to charity. But how effective are we? I’ve been thinking about this question for some time. The search for answers led me to the Effective Altruism movement. I think Effective Altruism is something anyone can do. What is Effective Altruism? Effective Altruism…

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What’s Your Favourite Takeaway?

The following post is by Menulog.com.au. Australia votes: our favourite takeaways revealed Pizzerias leading the vote as Australia’s favourite eateries Australia is halfway through voting in the nation’s premier takeaway awards, which attracts tens of thousands of votes from the public every year for 5500-plus restaurants. With four weeks to go before the winning restaurants are announced in each state, award organiser Menulog is giving the country a sneak peak of the current leaders (without revealing…

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On Private Health Insurance

Last June, shortly after my application for a de facto partner visa subclass 820 was being lodged, I received a bridging visa. That made me eligible for Medicare, which I enrolled in immediately. For my American readers, Medicare is Australia’s publicly funded universal health care scheme. Now that it’s been nearly a year, I received a letter from the Department of Health to inform me that I will soon be affected by Lifetime Health Cover, which involves a…

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The Road to Residency Part 6: Temp Visa Granted

Nearly two years after I began the application process, my temporary visa has finally been granted. Immigration took so long that my visa medical assessment expired. My migrant agent called and informed me I needed to do it again. His office scheduled it with Bupa. It was bad enough the first time with Medibank and it was downright awful the second time around. At Medibank, I was allowed to wear my clothes throughout most of the…

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