Spectrum News

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 michael@mkgevents.com.au 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

Mental Health Australia, the peak group for mental health in Australia, has today issued a Position Statement on marriage equality.

The statement highlights the negative effects of ongoing discrimination on the mental health of LGBTIQ Australians and calls on the Parliament to pass laws to establish marriage equality.

 “LGBTIQ Australians experience routine discrimination, along with all its negative mental health effects.  Marriage equality is squarely a mental health issue” said Mr Frank Quinlan CEO of Mental Health Australia.

 “Determinants of mental health are the same for LGBTIQ Australians as they are for the rest of the community, but ongoing discrimination creates additional challenges.”

 “LGBTIQ Australians experience triple the rate of depression and double the rate of anxiety when compared to their heterosexual counterparts.”

 “LGBTIQ Australians are also between 3.5 and 14 times more likely to attempt suicide.”

  “More than half of the LGBTIQ population have experienced verbal homophobic abuse.”

 “No part of the population should be reliant on the outcome of a plebiscite to free them from discrimination,” Mr Quinlan said.

 “$160 million saved on a plebiscite would go a very long way towards providing much needed mental health and suicide prevention programs for LGBTIQ Australians”

 The Position Statement is available at www.mhaustralia.org/general/marriage-equality-statement

Embark on a Delicious Celebration of the Senses

The future will look rosy, sparkling, sun-dappled and everything in between as the 3rd annual Wine & Cheese Fest firmly plants its roots back in Williamstown and returns to Seaworks on Sunday 23 October from 11am-6pm.

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Over 60 fine quality wine, cheese and gourmet food providores will be showcasing their artisinal products accompanied by live music entertainment, DJs and stunning views of the city and seascape. From wheels of fine cheeses and savoury sauces, to home-style pastries, pickled preserves, smoked and cured meats, luscious desserts and of course a huge array of wine, ciders and beers for all palates, the Wine & Cheese Fest is a tantalizing feast for the tastebuds.

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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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Lifeline Australia is today excited to announce that property development and investment company PAYCE will be lending their considerable support to Lifeline Australia’s participation in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

PAYCE will be the primary supporter of Lifeline Australia’s CEO Pete Shmigel and Lifeline National Ambassador DJ Tigerlily (Dara Hayes), who will be competing in the prestigious marathon together in November. They will be running under the Lifeline banner to build awareness of the national suicide emergency in Australia and raise funds for the vital services that Lifeline provides.

Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel runs the Blackmores half-marathon in Sydney to prepare for the NYC Marathon in November

“Having PAYCE come on board as our biggest supporter for the New York Marathon is massive,” Mr Shmigel said. “The idea of running the New York City Marathon is daunting, but it is nothing compared to the crises that some of our help-seekers face every day. We are very excited to have found a partner in PAYCE for this event.

“PAYCE’s contribution is going to allow us to make a real difference in communities and across our Network. To give some perspective, $50K pays for about 2000 calls (one day’s worth) to be answered by Lifeline Centres across the country, or for 100 people to be trained to work on our 24/7 crisis support helpline, 13 11 14.”

PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd, said it is a pleasure to support Lifeline Australia.

“At PAYCE, we are keen supporters of grassroots community work and are excited to partner with Lifeline Australia to help provide more crisis services to Australians in need. We anticipate this will be the start of a great partnership with Lifeline.”


This week DJ Tigerlily also launched her own fundraising campaign for Lifeline in the New York City Marathon. The popular 24-year-old musician has been outspoken on a range of issues, from mental health and body image to online bullying to social media, and hopes to make a bigger difference in her role as Lifeline National Ambassador.

For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

NB: Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone crisis line 13 11 14 is pronounced ‘thirteen eleven fourteen’

A survey completed by Essential Media shows similar results to the surveys done by PFLAG that 60% of people of Australia are strongly in favour of marriage equality, 68% are strongly against public funding for the Yes and No campaigns and 70% are strongly concerned about hate speech and the negative impact it may have on LGBTI people and the community generally.

National Spokesperson for parents with LGBTI loved ones, Shelley Argent, said,

I cannot understand why Mr Turnbull and his Government are intent on a wasteful, non binding plebiscite that only benefits the nay sayers and their negative campaign.

An increase of nastiness and divisiveness on both sides of the debate has already started on social media.  Mr Turnbull needs to recognise that a plebiscite, should it be called, will not be respectful.

Additionally, we call on Mr Shorten, Leader of the Opposition to stand by his word and block the proposed legislation in the Senate.

It should be noted, a survey initiated by PFLAG in July showed that of the 5500 LGBTI people surveyed 85% definitely do not want a Plebiscite and 65% would prefer to wait for a new government or for Mr Turnbull to have a change of heart and allow a Free Vote.

Attorney General, George Brandis stated late last week that he knew that 70% of Australians were in favour of marriage equality, so he believed the Plebiscite would easily win.

However, the Government is still prepared to waste $160+ million dollars and put unnecessary stress and anxiety on LGBTI people and their families.  Meanwhile, LGBTI people’s rights continue to be withheld because of a right wing minority  group will never change their minds or understand the feeling of being considered second rate.

It is time for Mr Turnbull to stand up, show leadership and make it clear to Abetz & Co that they are not leading this country, he is. If Mr Turnbull wants to be remembered as a Leader of worth he needs to do what he knows is right.

Advocates have welcomed a new poll showing Australians support marriage equality, support a parliamentary free vote on the issue and are concerned a plebiscite may result in anti-gay hate speech and abuse.

 The Essential poll, released today, also shows the public is strongly against funding for the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cases if a plebiscite is held.

 Spokesperson for LGBTI advocacy group, just.equal, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said,

 “This poll shows Australians back marriage equality, support a free vote on the issue and are concerned about a plebiscite.”

 “We will use this poll to lobby Coalition members to push for a free vote and to lobby Labor to finally close the door on a plebiscite.”

 According to the Essential poll, 60% of Australians support marriage equality, with majority support across the supporters of all parties, including the Coalition.

 53% of Australians support a free vote in Parliament should a plebiscite be blocked, with only 29% against. There is majority support for a free vote across all parties.

 48% are concerned about hate campaigns during a plebiscite compared to 39% against.

 A whopping 68% reject the Government’s proposal for public funding for the respective sides.

 Mr Hinton-Teoh said many LGBTI people will take heart that more Australians than not share their concerns about hate campaigns.

 “As Malcolm Turnbull says, a majority of Australians are sensible, fair-minded people. It is precisely these qualities that lead us to share a deep concern with a plebiscite.”

Image attribution: Fibonacci Blue, Flickr

By Darren Tendler (editor of the soon to be released SPECTRUM magazine).

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American Muslim of Afghan descent, murdered 49 people and injured 53 others at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando, Florida, before he was shot and killed by police.

This was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunmen in the modern history of the United States of America.

It was the largest mass killing of LGBT+ people in the Western world since the Holocaust.

It was the deadliest terrorist attack in the USA since the 2001 September 11 attacks.

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Freelance and contracted journalist working for myself, Race Media (digital media company specialising in gambling, racing, sports & gaming content) and TAT. I completed a Bachelor of Journalism degree at Monash University in 2013, and am the editor of the FORUM magazine. My writing largely focuses on topical social issues.

Profile: View Darren's profile here

Email: darren.tendler@theaustraliatimes.com.au