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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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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International Women’s Day Carnival

It’s International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Every year, there is more to celebrate and it’s also a reminder of the work there is left to do. Here’s a carnival roundup of some great articles about International Women’s Day. In Long live International Women’s Day? I certainly hope not, Georgina Dent reminds us why we even have such a day. Do they consider the reason such events, or such an occasion, remains…

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Australia Day

If you were to ask me how Australian I feel, I’d say very little. There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not reminded that not only am I a foreigner, which is bad enough, but that I’m American, which is probably the worst kind of foreigner. My otherness is highlighted most strongly on Australia Day. What is Australia Day? Celebrated annually on the 26th of January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of…

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Australian-American Roundup

Foster’s, Australian for beer. Throw a shrimp on the barbie. Lies, all lies. As it turns out, Foster’s is an Australian brand of lager, but it was created by two Irish-American brothers who arrived in Melbourne from New York in 1886, and now it’s owned by a British brewing group. More importantly, Australians don’t actually drink it. Outback Steakhouse? Yeah, that’s not Aussie either, but it didn’t stop some poor customer from complaining. Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed…

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Your Guide to Melbourne Metro Trains

For the last few weeks I’ve been taking public transport to and from work. I generally enjoy it. You see and hear a lot of interesting and humorous things on the train. Sometimes I run into a friend and that always makes the journey more enjoyable. The train is packed when I take it both in the morning and afternoon. At first, I was confused about how to fit in with the rush hour train…

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Melbourne, Most Liveable & Friendly City

Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city. Again. And it’s also the friendliest. For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne came in number one in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking, which surveyed 140 cities. The survey rated cities out of 100 in healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment, and infrastructure. Melbourne received 97.5 out of 100. Aside from the arts, cultural, and sporting environments that add to the quality of life…

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My Australian English

There are certain words that will probably never come out of my mouth. For starters, I can’t shorten much in the way Aussies do. I still say sunglasses, breakfast, and chicken rather than sunnies, brekkie, and chook. Speaking in abbreviations is forced and unnatural for me. Like text speak. I can’t do that either. I text in complete, grammatically-correct, properly-punctuated sentences. It’s not because I’m a snob (I am a little bit of a snob). It’s because…

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My Place in Australian Politics

You know how Buzzfeed has all those quizzes? Which Contemporary Artist Are You? Which “Twin Peaks” Character Are You? What Kind of Pocket Are You? Really, I’m not making that up. I need What Australian Political Party Do You Belong In? There are several political parties, but the two major players here are the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal Party of Australia (Libs). At first glance, this sounded to me like two sides of the U.S. Democratic…

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