Rosie Batty – Australian of the year

Image Source: SMH

In a bittersweet moment yesterday, Rosie Batty was named Australian of the year for campaigning against family violence. To those not in the know, Ms Batty’s son Luke was murdered a year ago by his biological father. Since Luke’s death, Ms Batty has spoken up about domestic violence and the need for a cultural change. She has been immensely courageous to find her voice in the wake of her personal tragedy.

Domestic violence is rife even in 2015. Yet, not everyone speaks about it. Not everyone knows about it. These are stats that you should know:

One in three women experiences violence at the hand of someone they know.

On average, one woman is killed every week by an intimate partner.

One in four children has been exposed to domestic violence. 

These statistics are real. And they are scary. Yet, there aren’t enough services to support women and children in a violent environment. It seems hypocritical for the prime minister to present Ms Batty with this award while at the same time cutting funding to women’s refuges in the last 12 months. Yes, in spite of knowing that one in three women experiences violence at the hands of someone they know, there still isn’t enough being done to help them.

Hopefully, with Rosie Batty’s help, our governments will be able to see some sense and actually do something around domestic violence. Hopefully, they will begin to take it more seriously. Sadly, the deaths are far too many. And an AVO is just not going to cut it.

People need to realise that domestic violence is not just about physical violence. It is emotional, psychological, and sexual. We may see the physical scars but we are not always aware of the psychological ones. Sadly, these are the women who need others to speak out for them more than ever. These are the women who need to be given hope.

If you know a friend, family member or neighbour in a violent relationship, do something. Say something. Don’t just remain silent. Sure, it might happen behind closed doors but you are still a human being. And I think as human beings, we need to look out for other human beings. Plain and simple.

We all need to talk about domestic violence.

We all need to stand up against it.

Rosie Batty has started the conversation. Let’s continue it.

Until next time,


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Travel Tales: Bright

Our final stop on our holidays was Bright in the alpine region of Victoria. This of course, was after a week spent hiking the Overland Track, three days in Hobart and then a couple of days in Foster and one in Mallacoota. We drove for about six hours to Bright stopping at Lakes Entrance, Omeo and then through a foggy alpine region and Mount Hotham for some sustenance and photos. We got to Bright in the afternoon and checked into the motel which was right in the middle of the town. G suggested driving up to Mount Buffalo but I declined, wanting instead to explore the town. JC ended up doing the same and we felt a bit guilty for not accompanying G.

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Flowers in Omeo
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The alpine area en route to Bright

 

 

I checked out some of the shops before I made my way to Bright Brewery where JC was. It was such a great atmosphere. At the back of the brewery, right in the middle of the town, was this huge swimming area filled with kids and families. It looked like a lot of fun! And then, at the brewery itself, we listened to some live music while trying out some of their ciders and ales. After a couple of drinks, we figured we were better off having something to eat but to still wait for G for dinner.

As we headed to the local Woolies, we got side-tracked by some more live music! This time, it was at a wine bar. We got ourselves a cheese platter to enjoy the music and politely declined the free wine tasting. Yes, we actually said no to alcohol! Probably because for me at least, the two pale ales had already made me far too relaxed! Once G joined us an hour later, we headed back to the Brewery for some more ‘brew’ and food.

Later, we grabbed an ice cream and walked around the entire town to walk off the food! I fell in love with Bright. It truly ‘bright’ened up my spirits and it was a shame we were only there for one night. It was as good as Hobart for me. Funnily enough, this was the only place I forgot to take pictures with my proper camera and instead just took in the moments and a few photos with my phone! Go figure. I think I was caught up in the moment that the thought of using my proper camera just slipped my mind.

Out and about in Bright
Out and about in Bright

The next day, we left pretty early {around 7ish} to make our way back to Sydney. After a few stops along the way, I got back around 4 p.m. While I had a great time being away, it was good to be home again!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my travels this summer. My next trip away will most likely be around June-July to Canada. I’m looking forward to that!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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Travel Tales: Goodbye Tasmania. Hello regional Victoria.

If you have been keeping up with my travels over the summer, I first hiked the Overland track and then spent some time in Hobart, Bruny Island and Port Arthur. After three days in Hobart, we started our road trip. We had to catch the ferry — the Spirit of Tasmania — from Devonport to Melbourne. The ferry was in the evening but we headed off around 8 that morning. We stopped at Ross which was a beautiful historic little town and drove up Mount Barrow for some views and lunch.

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Local Council at Ross

 

View from top of Mount Barrow
View from top of Mount Barrow

We eventually made our way to Devonport and got on the Spirit of Tasmania by 6 p.m. Having never been on a cruise, this was probably the closest I came to being on one. The three of us had a cabin with four bunk beds. It was tight but not bad for one night. After 3 hours of eating, wandering around the ferry and checking the scenery as the boat departed, we ran out of things to do and just went to bed.

Lighthouse at Devonport
Lighthouse at Devonport
Goodbye Devonport. And goodbye Tassie!
Goodbye Devonport. And goodbye Tassie!

We were woken up 4:50 a.m. by the captain to let us know we were reaching Melbourne. By the time we disembarked though, it was 6:30. Let’s just say, we weren’t too happy with that. We headed to Southern Cross station to pick up JK who was going to spend the weekend with us. We then made our way towards Foster but given that we could only check in after 2:00 p.m., we decided to head to Phillip Island after breakfast.

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Good morning Melbourne!
Pyramid rock
Pyramid rock
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Penguin on Phillip Island
Phillip Island
Phillip Island
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Check out the shades of blue
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Little Bunny!

The weather was a bit drizzly but it was still quite lovely to walk on the boardwalk at Phillip Island. We got lucky and saw a couple of penguins hidden in their boxes. We also saw the most gorgeous little bunny rabbit! I was smitten! :) After a couple of hours or so, we decided to make our way to Foster in the rainy weather.

Foster is a quaint little town. We chose it because it was close to Wilson’s Promontory. That afternoon though, we took it easy and just hung around the motel and the town centre. The next day, G, JC and I headed to Wilson’s Prom National Park. We felt a bit lazy for a hike and thought of just checking out spots for photo ops. After checking out Tidal River though, we thought we should at least do a short hike. We went to grab our bags and well, as Murphy’s law would have it, it began to rain. So we gave up. Went back to the motel. The two boys then went to the movies while I had a nanna nap. Yep, I did catch up on a whole lot of sleep on my holidays!

Tidal river
Tidal river

The next day, we headed to Mallacoota sans JK who made his way to Melbourne to get back to Sydney. Sadly, it was another drizzly and overcast day. We still managed to check out the waterfront before heading back to our cabin for some cheese and ciders, then some dinner and then, calling it a night.

At the wharf
At the wharf

We made our way to Bright the day after but I’ll leave that story for another post!

***Linking with Grace for FYBF***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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Travel Tales: Hobart, Bruny Island and Port Arthur

Once we completed the Overland Track, we were picked up in the afternoon from Lake St. Clair and taken to Hobart. We’d booked a house in Hobart as one of us had a Land Rover. After getting to the house at about 8 p.m. the first thing most of us wanted to do was shower. Eight people. One bathroom. But we managed. We then cooked up a feast for dinner with some of the group going to the shops for meat, salad, cheese and of course, alcohol. We barbecued and cooked and then ate and drank our way into the night. {This was just the beginning of the cheese and alcohol!}

The next day, we hit Hobart town centre. Some of the group ended up going to Mona museum. I wasn’t part of that group. Instead, with the others, I spent some time in the city checking out the markets and shops, and then making my way to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. It was spectacularly beautiful. We also managed to spend late afternoon at Salamanca Place. I got sucked into a few book stores that day and purchased 6 books. So much for my plan last year to not buy any new books until I read the 90-odd books on my shelf! By the end of that day, three of our group left for Sydney leaving only five of us.

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Beautiful architecture in the middle of Hobart

 

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View of the Derwent river from the Botanic gardens

 

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Flowers in the gardens

 

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Beautiful white flower

 

Duck in the Japanese garden section
Duck in the Japanese garden section

 

 

Later that night, we drove up to Mount Wellington to capture some shots of the sunset. To say it was cold about 1200 metres above sea level was an understatement! But it was a beautiful sight!

Sunset from Mount Wellington
Sunset from Mount Wellington

 

You can't have too many sunsets
You can’t have too many sunsets

The next day, we headed to Bruny Island which is south of Hobart. Bruny Island is pretty big and we drove from one end of the island to the other stopping at a few points for a lookout and some lunch. We finished off Bruny Island with a visit to the lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the continent. Next stop is pretty much Antarctica.

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A lookout

 

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Gorgeous white beach

 

Lighthouse
Lighthouse

 

After leaving Bruny Island, we headed back home with plans to visit Port Arthur the next day. The other two members of the group left for Sydney that morning leaving JC, G and me in the Land Rover. Port Arthur was great. I loved the history of the place and the ancient buildings. I was mesmerised by the architecture just as I had been in the city of Hobart. We spent most morning and early afternoon there taking in the history and a gazillion photos.

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Port Arthur gaol

 

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The church

 

 

Finally we headed back home to prepare to leave Hobart the next day and thereby embark on our road trip back to Sydney. But to hear that, you have to wait for another post!

***Linking with Jess for IBOT this Tuesday***

 

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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Thirty One

I turned 31 earlier this week. It didn’t feel as huge as 30. And consequently, it’s been pretty low-key. I spoke to my family on the day and must admit, I didn’t want to be at work. It was lovely to receive wishes online and off it. And some from bloggers too which I always reckon is nice.  On my birthday, JK and I went out to dinner and a movie. He enjoyed the dinner but didn’t think highly of my movie choice. I chose to see Birdman. I enjoyed most of it except maybe towards the end when it got a bit too arty. I loved Edward Norton in it and thought Emma Stone was pretty fabulous too.

Today, a few of my friends and I had a picnic in the park. One of them was kind enough to bake a cake for two of us — G has his birthday this coming week. Later in the week, I’m catching up with two of my other friends to celebrate as well — and we are celebrating 3 birthdays. C had hers on new year’s eve while J has hers next week. So a combined effort just makes sense!

Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday!

This year for my birthday, I bought myself a slightly more expensive present than usual . By doing so, I also moved over to the dark side.

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Yeah…I bought myself a Macbook Air. An Apple product. After being a hardcore android supporter. The thing is, I needed to upgrade my laptop but I am not a fan of Windows 8. So I didn’t think a PC was the option. I was eyeing the Chromebook but apparently while the price is great, there are some drawbacks around speed and processing and longevity. So I bit the bullet eventually and bought the Mac as a birthday gift. I’d been eyeing it for a few months now and this was the best opportunity.

I was grateful for some other lovely pressies — books {one by Adam Gilchrist and one on travel to Canada}, an entry to tree top adventure park, candles, earrings and home made cookies. And of course, cards. I love birthday cards and even more so in this day and age when everyone prefers to just send texts or messages. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, cards still make me sentimental. And I cherish them and well, hoard them.

It’s been a good birthday. While I am not as excited as I was when I turned 30, I’m not too bummed about turning thirty one.

The thirties are a good decade to be in!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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