Life & Love News


Tens-of-thousands of Australians are currently filled with dread, contemplating the social minefield known as the Xmas Holidays.  They are among the 1-in-5 Australians who are part of a stepfamily.   For many of them, the interaction that comes with this season is an emotional battle with their past, their identity and their future.

Peak organisation STEPFAMILIES AUSTRALIA has released a ‘Stepfamily Survival Guide for the Holidays’, as well as offering useful new apps to help people communicate on their own terms.

“More than a million of us are in stepfamilies, and they can be a truly wonderful experience,” notes Stepfamilies Australia CEO Karen Field.

“But blended doesn’t always mean mended, and emotions can be particularly raw at this time of year – especially when dealing with new and old parents and partners and siblings, not to mention different cultures, religions and traditions.”


Guide to Stepping Up to a Less Stressful Christmas Season

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Welcoming Melbournes beautiful Spring weather, Soul Star Festival brings together a holistic and spiritual festival packaged in a fun, entertaining and super cool experience that will be held at Laurens Hall in North Melbourne on Thursday 24 November, 2016. 

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Soul Star will see three guest speakers including international YouTube sensation, emotional healing coach and comedian, JP Sears, who will be sure to keep you laughing while delivering life changing and inspirational messages. Along speaking will be one of Australias most well-known nutritionist, author, TV personality, yoga teacher, crystal lover and Happy Placefounder, Lola Berry.

Also speaking will be internationally recognised meditation teacher and co-founder of the meditation app 1Giant Mind’, Jonni Pollard who spends a great deal of time with social and political figures, CEOs and executives of fortune 500 companies, professional artists and athletes, where he teaches them how to embody wisdom and increase their capabilities. Jonni is most known for his ability to take deep complex spiritual concepts and translate them into such simple terms and techniques for anyone to understand and embody.

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To all members of our TAT family, readers and contributors, who celebrate Diwali..

We wish you Safety, Good Health, Happiness, Prosperity and Good Fortune.

May they all be with you in the coming year.


This is an INVITATION to the

Make Bullying History Gala Dinner

Reduce bullying in schools by up to 70% within 12 months

Saturday, 6.30pm, October 29, 2016. Novotel Sydney, Parramatta.

$120 per head or $1000* per table of 10 (* if purchased prior October 17)

Australia is top #3 in the world for the most number of teenagers that commit suicide because of bullying.

The Make Bullying History Foundation is making an impact and have reduced bullying in some schools by up to 70% in 12 months

but they need your support to continue to do so.

The night will include a delicious two course dinner, drinks, a charity auction and five star entertainment.

Please call 0452 446 443 or email to book or for further information.

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Earlier this month, at the grand age of 90, Peter Tripovich has just completed a walk all the way around Australia.
The jubilant Echuca man strode down Melbourne’s Bourke St mall, arms held high in victory at the end of a decade-long quest.
The RAAF veteran and farmer began the walk when he was 79, wanting to raise money for children in poorer countries who were “worse off than ourselves”.
He started on the approximately 20,000 km walk around Australia in Melbourne, choosing to work with the charity, International Children’s Care Australia and aiming to raise $200,000. His anti-clockwise circuit continued for 15,000km when he reached Pemberton, WA. At that time, he needed to return home to tend his wife who had terminal cancer. He spent the next four years caring for her, during which time he flew to the mountainous Thai/Burmese border region to help build shelters for children and villagers. An experience that’s had a lasting effect on him.
Last Australia Day, at the age of 89, he returned to Pemberton for the final 3500 km jaunt to Melbourne. Each day he woke at 3 am and walked between 30-40 km. He was followed all the way by his support staff of three.

Peter is a true “aussie battler that overcame”.
If you would like to help Peter reach his $200,000 goal – visit ICC Australia

More than 80 per cent of Australians believe our society is becoming a lonelier place, according to new survey results released today by Lifeline Australia.

CEO Pete Shmigel said findings from the national charity’s recent Loneliness Survey highlight the lifesaving importance of caring real-world relationships, as well as the need for whole communities to play a role in combating Australia’s suicide emergency – with deaths at 10-year-high levels.

“For a society that is more technologically connected than we have ever been, these results suggest we’re overlooking good old-fashioned care and compassion when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Shmigel said.

“Of the 60 per cent of respondents who said they ‘often felt lonely’, a large cohort lived with a partner and/or children. This is consistent with Lifeline data showing that, while a majority of callers (55 per cent) to our 13 11 14 crisis line live alone, often without strong support networks, there are many who feel unable or unwilling to seek help from loved ones in their own homes.

“Furthermore, with about 70 per cent of survey respondents having never called Lifeline or a similar service, we as a community need to be more mindful of how the people in our lives are coping, and send a strong message that no person in crisis should have to be alone – help is available.”

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My journey begins. I am 12 years old, I’m moving on from the north-west coast of Tasmania.  I am on a train; my last port of call before my last stop, to my new home, hopefully my very last placement. I stand on the platform, waiting to go to my new home.

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Who are you? A caring and passionate woman - I like to help others. Ive been on an incredible journey in life, particularly my past and that is why I am writing; so maybe others will come share their memories. Why do you contribute to Tangent and what does it mean to you? I think its good to share life stories with people, as they can relate and understand parts of their own life. They may have been there themselves. 3 Words that describe you? Love life, self-aware and gifted. What is your disability? PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) How has it affected your life? It has probably affected my life in every way. It doesnt affect me as much now, as Ive learnt to live with it and cope with it. What is your goal? To finally be myself. I am myself now, but its taken me a long time to accept who I am and acknowledge this is who I am.

Profile: View Beverley's profile here


Three words. It just took three words to make my heart thump and armpits sweat. “Can you present,” my boss asked me, “at next week’s meeting.” Not a question; a given.

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With an over-active imagination and a brain that analyses too much; stories, ideas, ruminations and ‘what-ifs’ constantly swirl around Kristine’s head, burning with a desire to be expressed in the written form. With her first attempt at writing a screenplay as a child after listening to Vivaldi’s 'Winter'; teaching English to high school students in both Australia and overseas; to freelance writing for magazines and a corporate website, Kristine loves how words can paint pictures and provoke thought. And in today's media-enriched world, Kristine thanks the Literature Gods for the bottomless trough of fodder to feed her frenzied fantasies and fervent reflections.

Profile: View Kristine's profile here


There once lived a girl who was the middle child of a large family; she had at least three older siblings and at most three younger ones. I say at least three older because the girl’s mother had suffered a still birth and two infant deaths before finally a son was born (then the rest) who survived past childhood. The girl’s parents worked in traditional folk medicine, this meant the kids were around lots of herbs and dried things (like baby mice carcasses, snakes, mushrooms) when they were younger. The girl’s father died when she was 10. I am not sure how old he was when he died, but let’s take a guess at mid 40s. Altogether, the parents had three sons, two daughters, a fourth son and then a final daughter at the mother’s ripe old age of 40.

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Welcome to correspond through social media links below or for as long as available.

Profile: View Philomena's profile here


Boundaries are social constructs. They are invisible constructions of our minds and of society that make us feel uncomfortable or scared to step outside the norm. It’s healthy and normal to break these boundaries, and without this, the world wouldn’t be the same as it is today. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and even Lady Gaga wouldn’t have been so successful if they hadn’t shocked people by making decisions untainted by others.

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Years ago I was going through a situation with a horrible boss. My sleep was poor, my diet was wretched and my climb out of bed each morning was hell.

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Eugen M. Bacon studied at Maritime Campus, less than two minutes walk from The Royal Observatory of the Greenwich Meridian. A computer graduate mentally re-engineered into creative writing, Eugen has a PhD in writing. She has published over 100 short stories and creative articles, and has in work a creative non-fiction book and a literary speculative novel. Her short stories are published in journals, magazines & anthologies worldwide. Eugen is editor of MELBOURNE Magazine and sub-editor of FICTION Magazine at The Australia Times.

Profile: View Eugen's profile here


Sugar. It’s bandied around all the time these days in the media – it’s evil, it’s addictive, and it’s poison. You’re nothing but a lazy ignoramus if you don’t watch your sugar intake – or so the message is inferred.

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With an over-active imagination and a brain that analyses too much; stories, ideas, ruminations and ‘what-ifs’ constantly swirl around Kristine’s head, burning with a desire to be expressed in the written form. With her first attempt at writing a screenplay as a child after listening to Vivaldi’s 'Winter'; teaching English to high school students in both Australia and overseas; to freelance writing for magazines and a corporate website, Kristine loves how words can paint pictures and provoke thought. And in today's media-enriched world, Kristine thanks the Literature Gods for the bottomless trough of fodder to feed her frenzied fantasies and fervent reflections.

Profile: View Kristine's profile here


Article by: Kelly Sargent


Recently a friend from Finland confided in me about her frustration and confusion about Australian guys: to my surprise I was able to reassure her of some really bizarre behaviours. Not that these are always the case, but there are certain things Aussie guys do that are very puzzling, and after years of observation, I was able to help clear up some confusion.

Of course the following is a big generalisation; and should you not like that, don’t read on.

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Article by: Jana Salt


My mum came home one day and couldn’t find our dog. She searched for twenty minutes before finding him curled outside in a bush, soaked from the rain. His bladder was bursting and he wasn’t able to relieve himself or walk.

He was tested at the Animal Hospital and $3000 later, they diagnosed him: bladder stones that were likely caused by a degenerative liver shunt. Continue reading

I am a woman and sometimes, I don’t even understand my own behaviour. I can’t even begin to imagine how men feel! When we’re mad, we refuse to tell you why. When we’re upset, we don’t let you see us cry. When we’re asking if our butt looks big, we expect you not to lie.

Just in case you’ve been trying to find ways to de-code our little puzzled minds, I’m here to help you understand what we actually mean by the actions we make, and the words we speak! Get ready to take some notes; this is an intuitive insight into the female mind!

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Profile: View Ashlee's profile here


It had been almost six months and I was thinking to myself where is this all going? I really liked the guy, it seemed he really liked me, but for some reason things weren’t moving forward. I lacked clarity about the type of relationship I was in. We kissed with such passion and made love with intensity, but he was still an enigma to me.  Continue reading

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Article by: Kelly Sargent

Today I received a card from my mum who passed away a year and a half ago, at 58 years young. The confusion and mixed emotions of this surprise arrival sparked many emotional questions.

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Being cheated on by your spouse is an act of selfishness and carelessness on their behalf. What a cheating spouse might not realise is there are so many after effects caused by such a deep betrayal of trust.

It has been three years since my spouse cheated. It has changed me. It changed my whole perspective on love and life. But I am proud to say I got through it all.  Continue reading

Profile: View Ashlee's profile here


Eighty per cent of Australian women would consider surgically removing their ovaries to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, if they were found to be carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which increases their risk of the disease.

The study, commissioned by Ovarian Cancer Australia, also found that if a family member tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation, more than 75 per cent of women would want to know and would consider preventative surgery. Continue reading


That’s not entirely true – I always assumed I’d have them eventually, but now that nearly everyone I know is married and having kids, I’m questioning if I should have kids of my own.  Continue reading

Aimee is a graduate from the University of the Sunshine Coast, she has a Bachelor of Communication with double major in Communication Studies and Creative Writing.

Profile: View Aimee's profile here


What do you feel when I type

Does it sound like music the way I want it to Continue reading

Tracie Lark aka The Literary Gangster has been in many roles in her 30 years of life so far: travel agent, writer, editor, teacher, tutor, actor, traveler. She is from NSW and did a stint living in Indonesia in 2011-2012. Tracie self published her own book of poetry 'The Longing & Other Fairytale Feelings' in November 2014 and she enjoys the delicacy of short story in her spare time. She is currently hacking away at her first fiction novel. Tracie had two stories published in Celapene Press' publication 'Short and Twisted 2014' and she has appeared on ABC's RN Earshot with a produced version of her story 'Jean'. She has had an array of poetry published online in TAT Poetry and on PenTales.

Profile: View Tracie's profile here



The Law of Attraction gained widespread popularity in 2006 when the book the Secret became an international phenomenon. Since then, the Law of Attraction has evolved from a seemingly mystical and enigmatic new age idea into a mainstream practice for attracting everything from money, love, health, and business. For those who have been hiding under a rock for the past ten years and are still unaware of this powerful universal law, the basic premise of the Law of Attraction can be summed up in three words: “like attracts like”. That is, what we attract into our lives is an exact match to our dominant thoughts and feelings, so if your thoughts are predominantly focussed on love, and your feelings positively match those thoughts, by default you will attract love into your life. Unfortunately, the same goes for negative thoughts and feelings, so if you are feeling and thinking about the lack of love in your life, you will continue to attract a lack of love.

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Ashlee is a self-confessed knowledge junkie, habitual learner, spiritual seeker, animal lover, drifter, dreamer, and Law of Attraction advocate. Writing is Ashlee’s passion, it is her form of escape from the real world. She also enjoys yoga and meditation, and is currently completing her final year of a BA in ancient and modern history, with plans of undertaking a post-graduate degree in psychology.

Profile: View Ashlee's profile here



A good friend of mine, and bride-to-be recently asked me what it takes to have a successful marriage. I was surprised by the question and then she explained that my marriage is one that she admires, and she looked to me for advice as she and her fiancé prepare for the rest of their lives together.

The question led to me to reflect on my relationship and on what I have learnt in the five years that I have been married. Upon my reflection it seems my friend was right to ask me for my advice. It turns out that I do know a few
things about being married.

Here are my tips for newlyweds and new couples on how to have a strong and successful relationship.
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Sarah is an avid lover of books of most genres, including Sci-Fi and thriller. She also enjoys reading fantasy and memoir. She loves to write, both fiction and non-fiction and living in the lovely Williamstown in Melbourne always offer quiet places for her to read or to be inspired. Sarah has a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing. Alongside her full-time job in insurance and working for TAT she is working on a few of her own novels and short story collections including her first memoir. Sarah is currently studying Bachelor of Professional and Creative Writing at Deakin University which will completed by mid 2019. She loves to travel and loves sharing her experiences with others and is always planning her next destination!

Profile: View Sarah 's profile here


Breaking the taboo of talking about periods, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has released an innovative new animation that helps women of all ages and cultures understand what happens in their body.

“All you need to know about periods” is a gentle, simple and engaging 2 minute 20 second animation that explains in clear steps what happens during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

After a series of focus groups and discussions with clinicians around Australia, Jean Hailes identified a gap in understanding of the menstrual cycle in some multi-cultural communities and among some adolescents.

“The illustrations are done in a warm, hand-drawn style,” says Jean Hailes Deputy CEO, Dr Mandy Deeks. “In conjunction with the friendly voice-over, the animation appeals to young women as well as older women where menstruation might not be widely discussed. Women whose levels of English might be low can also easily understand the messages.”

Dr Deeks says the link to the animation on the Jean Hailes website should be freely shared and can be viewed online or via a smart phone. “Our animation can put any girl or woman’s mind at rest—that having a period is a natural and very normal part of life. No one is alone in their experiences.”

Jean Hailes is grateful to the Collie Foundation, managed by Equity Trustees, for funding for the animation’s creation.

View the animation.

The period animation’s permanent home is on the Jean Hailes website.


ABOUT JEAN HAILES FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a not-for-profit organisation committed to improving women’s knowledge and understanding of complex health issues. Jean Hailes has a unique model, comprising three fully integrated business units: The Medical Centre; Translation, Education & Communication Unit and the Jean Hailes Research Unit, which is a formal partnership with Monash University.

Women experience higher rates of depression, anxiety and eating disorders than men but constantly fall through gaps in the health system, a new paper from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University has found.

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC) is urging the Federal Government to address poor understanding of women’s mental health needs and boost prevention, treatment and management programs.

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Comic cabaret gold
★★★★ The Scotsman

Can one arrogantly named girl gang save the world? Taking on gender inequality one glorious harmony at a time, Lady Sings it Better give the comedy-cabaret finger to the world’s greatest male musicians, reinventing tunes by David Bowie, Prince, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, John Farnham, Maroon 5 and a whole lot of boybands.

A high energy, hilarious & devilishly bizarre adventure through the darkest corners of misogynist pop, rock, hiphop and RnB, Lady Sings it Better gets audiences dancing in their seats, faces aching from laughter. Lady Sings it Better rips through your expectations of well-loved songs revealing strange themes, surprisingly hideous lyrics and untapped musical potential.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our new show to Melbourne after we had such a fun season last year,” says Director Maeve Marsden. “We’re tired of this absurd debate about whether or not feminism is needed, and if so, what form it should take. We’re taking the stance that all that’s needed for gender equality to be achieved is the perfect one-hour comedy show. What could possibly go wrong?”

A night of wicked fun that may leave you listening to the radio a little differently on the drive home
★★★★ 1⁄2 AdelaideNow

Recently nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction, the Ladies deliver complex harmonies with ambitious and unexpected arrangements, accompanied by a highly skilled band. Lady Sings it Better are committed to more than just music, though, collaborating with the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) to release a not-quite-safe-for-work comedy cabaret cover of ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails to promote women’s sexual health.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Lady Sings it Better on this project,” said ACON HIV and Sexual Health Director Karen Price. “It showcases sexual desire, it’s incredibly funny and off-kilter, and we’re confident it will resonate with a broad range of women thereby encouraging them to access more information about sexual health.”

The video reinvents the ‘condom on the banana’ demonstration from school sex education classes in a decidedly fun, feminine and fruity way:

Lady Sings it Better have enjoyed full houses and critical acclaim, performing to raucous crowds at Sydney Comedy Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Mardi Gras, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Festival of Voices (Tasmania), Glitter Festival on the Gold Coast and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

What reviewers are saying…

Sassy, passionate, and downright hilarious, Lady Sings It Better is comedic cabaret at its best.
★★★★ ArtsHub

When the performances are this strong and the crowd is this pleased, it’s impossible not to leave with a buzz.

Hilarious and musically satisfying.
Daily Review

Beautiful, talented and fully rounded individuals, hotties even, that embrace and paint the universe a resplendent colour with a minxy grin and a cheeky wink… [They] energetically prowl like six sexy and playful kittens, hanging loose in the vibrant land of cabaret.
★★★★★ Broadway Baby

A sheer joyful explosion of sound
★★★★ Adelaide Advertiser

Talk about sisters doing it for themselves…the showstopper was just the start of the show.
Australian Stage Online

Armed with tongues in cheeks, slick banter, and heavenly harmonies.
★★★★ Fest Mag

This is quality cabaret: quirky, naughty and a bit sexy.
★★★★ Adelaide Theatre Guide


Booking details:


April 11, 7.30pm at Hares & Hyenas (wheelchair accessible)

April 12 – 17, 8.30pm at The Butterfly Club


One of the most famous traditions around the ‘leap year’ is that women propose to men on the rare date of 29 February, falling just once in four years. This leap year, media personality Gretel Killeen is calling on women who have proposed or are serious about proposing to #QVtakealeap and celebrate with an adventurous day at QV Melbourne.

In a study of recent Australian brides, fiancées and women with long-term partners via Australia’s leading and largest bridal fair One Fine Day, QV Melbourne found that less than 2% of all respondents had proposed to their partners with just 4% considering popping the question.

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Image attribution - Flickr: Charlotte Astrid

Article by Jessica Morris

As a very boisterous child, I loved ballet. I wanted to learn all about dancing and wear pointe shoes, perform and be admired on stage. I was told I was too big to be a ballerina. I shouldn’t have listened, but before I could fathom a reasonable decision, I was singing in a choir instead. In the background, because I had a crushing feeling that my size meant I wasn’t supposed to be in the spotlight like I wanted to be. Continue reading

Article by Kelly Sargent


What is going to happen to the girl on the next table after this meal? What is going to be done to her at night? And the night after and the night after until someone steps in and offers her an alternative life?”

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Pixabay: jill111

Article by Vanessa de Largie


I didn’t want to die.

I didn’t want to exit this life via domestic violence. The abuse was getting worse and I had to commit to saving myself. My parents’ deaths from cancer had given me strength. My inability to cope with physical, emotional and sexual abuse whilst grieving, forced me to take action. Continue reading

Flickr: Practical Cures

Article and poem by Sarah Gill

In January 2014 just after my birthday I suffered a bit of a mental breakdown, things had been accumulating for a few weeks prior but I didn’t really understand what was happening to me. Continue reading

Flickr: Cliff Johnson

Article by Darren Tendler

As writers, we can embellish and elaborate on fundamental values required to foster and strengthen romantic relationships, to appear as though we are bursting with expertise.

But strip away the furniture and paint, and the four walls to any devoted kinship are respect, honesty, hard work and attraction. Continue reading

Article by Emily Lighezzolo


I am sure many of you have found yourself in the middle of an awkward situation before (of your own making, more often than not). Suffocating in embarrassment you look up to see that “Exit this Way” sign. It’s mocking you; its fluorescent green lights blinking in your peripheral vision. Continue reading

Opinion: Vanessa de Largie

Dear Apparent Feminists,

I’m grateful that Australia is finally having a conversation about violence against women, thanks to the wonderful work done by Rosie Batty.

Unfortunately this much needed dialogue has brought out the vultures. I feel like I’ve been thrown into a blender of hatred which apparently is justified when you are advocating to stop violence against women. How can this be?  Does anyone else see the absurdity?

One only has to visit Clementine Ford’s Facebook page to witness a never-ending stream of vitriol by Ford and her supporters, towards any man who dares to have an opinion. Admittedly I’m a past supporter of Ford’s.  I’ve written her emails and sent her a copy of my book on domestic violence.

Recently an article by Jack Kilbride was published by New Matilda. Although I may not agree with the contents of his article, Kilbride did not deserve the disproportionate response he received. It was indeed a witch-hunt.

In general, commentators seem anxious to make headlines rather than offering sincere support and advocacy to women. In the past year, digital media has become a spiteful, vengeful and man-hating pit where issues of domestic violence, verbal abuse and rape are used as an excuse to spit venom at men and cause controversy.

I’m a survivor of domestic violence and rape. It’s taken me two decades to get to a point where I can talk about it. I still have days, where I feel incredibly vulnerable but I see myself as a work in progress.

Do these apparent feminists realise how damaging the ‘anger’ and ‘bandwagon antics’ are to actual survivors like myself and our families? It tears us apart – it’s damaging.

These women do not represent me or how I feel. I don’t subscribe to their brand of male-hating feminism. I don’t hold all men accountable for my rape, only the perpetrator that did it.

Spitting vitriol at males doesn’t change what occurred, it only creates an environment of hostility between the sexes and blocks the possibilities of an open and honest discussion. The dialogue surrounding ‘violence against women’ has to be inclusive of males.

If violence against men is how we fight violence against women – count me out!


Vanessa de Largie

The Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF) hopes to connect all mitochondrial disease sufferers.

One of its main purposes is to provide support and practical information that will improve the quality of life for sufferers and their families.

The AMDF wants to raise the profile of this debilitating disease among the medical profession and society at large. The support of the Australian philanthropic community will be essential to fulfil its ultimate aim, a cure.

For more information visit their website