Renters rights in NSW

What are the effects on people of long-term renting? Photo: Day Donaldson/CC/Flickr


Rates of home ownership are in decline across Australia and young Australians are more likely than ever to face a long future in the rental market. Renters Rights in NSW looks at the current policy settings for renters in our state and the effects on young people and families. This story features interviews with Dr Hazel Blunden from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW and the Johnson-Lewis family of Canada Bay.

Living rough: winter is coming

Could you help please ... An estimated 100,000 Australians live without homes. Photo: Andrew Baldacchino/CC/flickr
Could you help please … An estimated 100,000 or more Australians live without homes. Photo: Andrew Baldacchino/CC/flickr


Observing commuters struggling to stay dry during the severe weather in Sydney recently, Missionbeat’s Shane Sturgiss noticed a discarded blanket in a doorway.  In their haste to seek shelter and warmth, commuters passed the discarded blanket without noticing it.  But it was at this point Shane realised, this blanket was once a person’s possession, their protection, their warmth and their home.  Where was the blanket’s owner now?

Bolting for Barnardos

All money raised by The Beach Bolt will go to Barnardos to support families and communities in need. Photo: Lighttruth/flickr/CC
All money raised by The Beach Bolt will go to Barnardos to support families and communities in need. Photo: Lighttruth/flickr/CC


Barnardos Australia has announced a new addition to Sydney’s running event calendar: The Barnardos Beach Bolt.

Billed as a high-energy community event, The Barnardos Beach Bolt will take place on Coogee Beach starting at Grant Reserve on the southern end of Coogee and finishing up on the north end at Dunningham Reserve.

Coogee Beach, the venue for June's Barnardos Beach Bolt - the only run on grass, pavement, stairs and sand. Photo: Robyn Jay/flickr/CC
Coogee Beach, the venue for June’s Barnardos Beach Bolt – the only run on grass, pavement, stairs and sand. Photo: Robyn Jay/flickr/CC

The new one mile race is the latest in an already long list of running events on the city’s calendar with 25 events scheduled between now and the end of the year. But it can claim to be the only race in Sydney to cover running on grass, pavement, stairs and sand. All proceeds go directly to Barnardos.

In a statement on the event press release Barnardos Australia Marketing Director Manisha Amin said, “No child deserves to live in suffering. Children in Australia suffer every day and die at alarming rates. All money raised by The Beach Bolt event will assist the charity and its work supporting families and communities in need.”

The event will cater for all members of the community with races for all ages and fitness levels. Runners are also encouraged to ask family and friends to sponsor them in order to raise funds for the kids’ charity.

The Barnardos Beach Bolt starts at 9am on Sunday June 14, 2015.

To register go to

Report card: the course so far

Petersham TAFE’s Certificate IV class … sinking their teeth into journalism. Photo: Ed Brown



Twenty students have just experienced their first two weeks at Petersham TAFE in Sydney and are almost a day through their third. The course is Certificate IV Screen and Media (Journalism) and it is for people “who want to acquire knowledge and skills to pursue employment and/or further training in news media in the area of journalism,” as stated on the website. The course covers multiple parts of journalism, how to write both soft and hard stories, how to research for stories, the basics of interviewing and more.

The course is very multimedia, opening up various options for people who are not sure what kind of journalism they want to get into. It is also very accessible, as there are no entry requirements. Anybody and everybody can study here.

The feedback on the course has been positive. “So far I’ve enjoyed the course, yeah, quite involved in it. I’ve written about six stories so far,” says Paul, who is 24 years old. Paul has leapt right into news writing, with a growing collection of completed articles under his belt. “I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into journalism and actually getting out there with my work,” he said.

When it comes to parts of the course they really like, students say they like the social aspect of studying at TAFE. “What I enjoy the most is finding people that have the same interests as I do,” says Abdul, aged 18.

“The high point for me is getting to meet new people,” says Peter, who also thinks that the social aspect of the course is the best part.

Many of the students think they have learnt a lot so far, while some feel that they will need to wait a bit longer before saying that. “I think I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve started,” Abdul says.

“It makes me feel a lot more confident,” says Traudy, who also thinks she has a learnt a lot. Traudy was a bit scared of technology before starting, but now two weeks in she is feeling much better when it comes to using computers and various social media sites.

On a less positive front, some students admitted that they wished the course was a bit more practical, although there are practical parts of the course, such as radio class on Tuesdays, when the students practise interviewing each other. The positives strongly outweigh the negatives, however.

This group of Certificate IV students is definitely thinking about what they want to do after they have completed the six-month course. Some are considering doing the Diploma and going on to university. Others want try get work, and some just are not sure yet. “This is essentially a way of building a foundation in order to be a journalist,” George says.

All in all, the students are clearly enjoying themselves and are looking forward to the months to come.


Protest for Palestine

People gather in Sydney to protest Israel’s attacks on Palestine. Photo: Jay Liu



A large crowd of more than 500 protesters gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall on Sunday to call for an end to the ongoing bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas which has claimed more than 1000 Palestinian lives, mostly civilians. The objective of this peaceful protest run by the Palestinian Action Group Sydney was for passionate Palestinian protesters to vent their frustration over relentless rocket attacks from Israel against Palestine.

The speaker led the crowd in chants such as “One, two, three, four, we don’t want your bloody war! Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terror state!” Their mantras rang out loud and clear for the leaders of the warring nations to hear: “Free, free Palestine!”, “Shame, shame Israel!” and “Shame, shame USA!”

Approximately 50 police officers, some dressed in riot uniform, including five mounted units performed crowd control and cordoned off vehicle access to main streets along the protest route during the march. These included George Street, Pitt Street, Castlereagh Street, Elizabeth Street and all the way to College Street.

Antony Loewenstein, a journalist and prominent speaker from the Jewish community, made a speech emphasising a growing international voice asking for Israel to cease its hostility and conclude aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip. “You see on a daily basis what Israel is doing in our name. When I say our name, I mean Australia’s name, the West’s name. And we can stand here today and say not in our name.”

The collective hopes from all who attended yesterday’s protest and people across the globe is that we will soon see a conclusion to the bombardment of Palestine by Israel and an end to retaliatory rocket fire. Negotiations are ongoing.

If you want to be involved in the next protest, you can stay informed by liking the Facebook page at

VIDEO: SBS reported on Sunday that there were 500 people marching in protest against Israel today in the Sydney CBD. JAY LIU challenges their count.