Johanna is the editor of Aussie Mum Network and loves experimenting with new recipes, taking photo's and writing.
* This is purely satire. Just in case you hadn't guessed. When there are so many wild accusations being thrown around...stick with the cold, hard facts you can verify from trusted sources. Be relentless in pursuit of the truth.
There has been much discussion over the years about women's representation in the Parliament's of Australia. So lets look at how many women are currently serving in every State, Territory, and the Federal Parliament.
The top 3 parliament's in Australia for women's representation are:
1 2. 3.
The A.C.T Parliament is in the unique position of being the only parliament in Australia that has more women than men. So how do the rest stack up...Northern Territory is in second place with 44% women, and in third place, Tasmania with 41% women. These are the three least populated states & territories in Australia. When we start looking at the states where the majority of the Australian population lives, Victoria comes out on top with 39% women.
So which Parliaments have the least amount of women?
1. 2. 3.
The South Australian Parliament has the dubious honour of having the lowest female representation in Australia with 26% of the parliament made up of women. Our most populous state, NSW, has the second worst representation, with just 27% of parliamentarian's women. Queensland Parliament is in third place with 28% women. We have female premiers in both QLD and NSW, despite the woefully low number of women in those parliaments, well done ladies.
Shockingly, our Federal Parliament has claimed 4th place for lowest representation in Australia, with women occupying only 32% of the MP and Senate positions in Canberra.
Victoria's parliament has the 4th highest number of women with 39% and Western Australia is 5th highest with 36%.
So how do the two major parties stack up in terms of female MP's and Senators?
The LNP has the lowest female representation of any party by a big margin, with just 23% of all their sitting MP's and Senators across Australia. The ALP is closer to equal representation for women at 42% of all current MP's and Senators. The Green's are way ahead of both major parties, with women representing 59% of their sitting MP's and Senators. It is clear which parties have more women in Parliament, but does it matter?
When you cast your vote, it shouldn't make a difference which party you choose when we are talking about women having equal representation in politics. Whether you vote for one of the major parties, a minor party, or an independent, it should not disproportionately affect how many women are in parliament. But right now it does, regardless of which party is in power. For example, in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, Labor governments are in power, and yet the highest number of women in any of those parliament's, is 39% in Victoria. In almost every parliament in Australia, the LNP is dragging down the representation of women. Regardless of how the majority of voters cast their ballot, and whether a Labor or a Liberal government is formed, the low number of female parliamentarian's in the LNP, results in the same outcome. Less women representing Australian's.
When I hear politician's saying quotas are a bad idea, or that the very idea of them is anti men, I'm perplexed. Looking at the true picture of women's representation in Australian politics, what else can you do, but laugh at such a ridiculous notion. But it's not really all that funny. Women make up at least 50% of the population, and yet across the entire country, are only 33% of our political representation.
We need equality in our political system, because politicians make the laws and policy decisions of our country, states and territories. Does the low number of women in our parliament's impact on the everyday lives of Australian women? In order to try and answer this question, I will be taking a closer look at some of our laws and policies over the coming months.
* All figures have been compiled from the current lists of members for every state, territory and federal parliament, and include members in both chambers. These figures rely on the accuracy of the member lists on the parliamentary websites of Australian Capitol Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland, and the Federal Parliament of Australia.
WARNING: SATIRE AHEAD
Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day. Fairfax Media announced it would cut 25% of staff in its newsrooms at Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Fairfax journalists are striking for 7 days in protest of the cuts. Which got me thinking, what would the world be like if there were no news? Would it make any difference? I'm boycotting all news for a week, and trying to decipher what is going on in the world, based only on headlines and 140 character limits.
Are we giving POTUS a golf ball? Or is Malcolm seeking vengeance for THAT phone call? I start to wonder if the Prime Minister will make it through US immigration and back to Oz...
We're all doomed to bankruptcy because of our sausage fingers. I feel despondence washing over me.
My god, something did happen between Malcolm and Trump. Was Malcolm working in cahoots with Frank this whole time? Where is Malcolm? I imagine Lucy making frantic phone calls, trying to liquidate assets to raise bail. Pink mansion anyone?
My suspicions are starting to look accurate. Tony Abbott has regained the Prime Ministership.... To ensure we're good patriots, a 10 page glossy brochure is being distributed to all households, outlining the doctrine of Team Australia. I start to sweat...have we finished that deal to buy Vegemite back? Can I eat my Vegemite toast, or do I need to wait until it's back on the list of proscribed foods Team Australia eats?
Confusion sets in. Has Paul Keating somehow usurped Bill & returned to the top job? I feel a small thrill at the thought of watching live streams of parliamentary debate. Back to the good old days of doing people slowly.
It emerges Wikileaks is streaming porn for intelligent people. I imagine Wikileaks becoming worlds most visited website overnight.
Start to suspect the Australian Parliament has been taken over by a Sith Overlord.
My worst fears are confirmed. Is that Prime Minister number 32? I try to look on the bright side. How much worse can it possibly get?
Steven Seagal has taken over the world, & is running it from a Georgian-Uzbek fusion restaurant in Moscow......
Day 2 without the news is looking grim.
We need journalists to bring us the news and stories that matter. Head to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for details on how you can support Fairfax Journalists. www.meaa.org/campaigns/fair-go-fairfax/
Bespoke subscription services for everything from wine to beauty products have become popular over the last few years. The attraction of having your tastes catered to, and products delivered straight to your home, has seen subscription services soar. Bookabuy has entered this market with a bespoke offering delivering literature personalised to your reading tastes.
All the books are individually chosen to suit the specific reading tastes of the recipient. Whether you love romantic fiction, cooking or sport, Bookabuy can deliver it to your door. On their website www.bookabuy.com.au there are some broad categories to get you started, including books for the kids, Science Fiction and the Classics, amongst others. Personally I'm obsessed with politics and funnily enough I couldn't see that category listed. Come on, surely there are millions of politics buffs in Australia...on second thoughts. So I asked if it's possible to get books that aren't listed in the categories on the Bookabuy website, and indeed it is. You can get as specific as you want about what you like, and the Bookabuy team will cater to even the most eclectic of tastes. You can find out more about their subscription offers, gift vouchers for the bookworm in your life, or give the whole thing a try with their Mystery Book offering. To find out more visit www.bookabuy.com.au
One of the vital things that often get forgotten, or worse, misplaced or stolen on holidays are copies of essential travel documents including passports.
I'm not sure what I did before the whole streaming TV revolution came along. It's the only thing I watch now when I've got time for TV, and with my device I get all the free to air channels streaming services too. I still watch Masterchef on TenPlay, Q&A on ABCiView, Prime Suspect on Plus7, & all the Nordic Noir SBS On Demand is dishing up, but now I've got a mind boggling additional trove of top quality content with Stan, Presto and Netflix. Here are two of my recent favourites from the streaming channels.
House of Cards - Netflix
If you haven’t seen this delicious piece of political fiction, you are missing out. Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is a Democrat and the house whip in the United States Congress. Frank is married to Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, and together they start out looking like your standard ambitious political couple trying to get ahead in Washington. But there is getting ahead, and then there is doing whatever it takes, whatever the cost, to win. It becomes apparent very quickly, that these two are short more than a few scruples, and just when you think they won’t stoop any lower; they sprint towards the 6th circle of hell.
In full flight Frank is spectacular. He never stops plotting and scheming, and is quick to take full advantage of even the most diabolical situations, usually ones he engineers for himself, and occasionally due to the inevitable fallout of his machinations.
By the end of Season 1, I loved & loathed Frank in equal measure. I couldn’t help but admire his scheming. Sure my moral compass was appalled by the fact he is a violent psychopath, but his political instinct for survival is something else. Claire is important in season 1, but does not really come into her own until Season 2. This is a show that keeps paying off as the characters reveal more of themselves. Claire is slightly better at showing glimpses of humanity, but lets be honest they are few and far between. Just when you think she is the light to Frank’s shade, she goes and does something even shadier than even he has managed.
Claire and Frank appear to be on a kamikaze mission to be at the top, & stay on top, regardless how many people they have to expend to get there. What I’m waiting to see in Season 5, due out in 2017; how long it takes before Claire attempts to throw Frank under the bus, seize power and rule without him? She is after all, the popular one in this demented duo. I held out watching this for months, but now I’m not sure why I waited.
Binge Watch Factor: Pace yourself. There are 4 whole seasons to get through!
Unreal - Stan
This is better than all the reality-dating shows you've ever watched. Way, way better. Unreal is a fictional look at what it takes to make one of those ubiquitous romance shows with all their roses, angst and ruthless competition. But here we see things from the perspective of the crew and the producers, and the lengths they go to in order to make the show a ratings winner. You won't look at those reality dating shows the same way again after seeing this gem.
Shiri Appleby, plays Rachel, an emotionally repressed pragmatist who stops at nothing to get the story, occasionally punctuated by moments of conscience. Season 1 gives you the sense that Rachel is so married to her job, that her identity would be fractured, if she could no longer plot bigger and better ways to screw over contestants in order to have the best show on TV.
Season 2 is still unfolding at the moment, and is just as enthralling as season 1. This week’s episode included a shocking twist, and I'm am hating having to wait every week for the next episode to drop.
Binge Watch Factor: Hard to resist watching an entire season in one night.
Some research from Get Qualified Australia landed in my inbox this week that I can totally relate to. I took a voluntary redundancy from my old job early last year. After 15 years at the one organisation that was a scary moment, but I needed to concentrate on my toddler and baby. The first few years of having children means some tough choices about work for many of us and deciding to return to work is daunting. Apparently I am not alone in feeling this way.
Get Qualified Australia's research found only 32% of us feel confident returning to work after giving birth. It found 36% of mums are somewhat confident about returning to work and 32% are not confidebt. Our confidence steadily decreases as we age and and the biggest insecurities we have about returning to work relate to balancing work and family commitments and whether our skills and knowledge are up-to-date. 67% of us feel that our current qualifications and skills are out of date and this only increases the longer we wait to return to work.
The majority of stay-at-home mums have been out of the workplace for over five years and are highly motivated to kick-start their career again. With house prices & rents so high it's easy to understand why 66% of us are saying our financial contribution to our family is essential. 72% of mums also felt that they need to up-skill in order to re-enter the workforce.
Jasmina Dugalic from skills recognition and RPL specialist, Get Qualified Australia (www.gqaustralia.com.au), says
“It’s unsurprising that so many Australian women have concerns about returning to work after the birth of their child, given that such a high percentage feel that their skills and qualifications are no longer up-to-date. Most Australians aren’t aware that they could secure a qualification, often without the need for any study using their prior work experience. Through RPL and skills recognition, women are able to save time and money on completing study in order to upskill and secure a qualification. This would certainly increase confidence for women continuing their career once they have kids.”
This is something I have been contemplating as I browse job sites. Getting more skills doesn't just increase your employability, it also gives you a confidence boost, knowing you have relevant skills that are sought after by employers.
Children’s charity Jeans for Genes recently announced its new partnership with Sally Obermeder, one of Australia’s most popular media personalities. Sally will front the charity’s Jeans for Genes Day campaign which is now in its 23rd year.
The mum of one will be donning her denim and calling upon Australians of all ages to get involved in this year’s fundraising mission. Jeans for Genes Day is an event of Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and all money raised goes directly. We spoke with Sally about her work with Jeans for Gene's.
We also want to champion some of our amazing Genies who have raised significant amounts of money for CRMI over the last 23 years. It is important that we spread the word on some of the amazing work the CRMI is doing with the money donated through Jeans for Genes Day.
This year I’m daring everyone to don as much denim as possible on Jeans for Genes Day. Classic, acid washed, ripped, faded, stressed, double even triple denim - get creative!
There’s lots of ways to get involved with Jeans for Genes Day this year. You can sign up to be a Genie at Jeansforgenes.org.au from NOW. You can also make one-off donations through the website.
There is Jeans for Genes merchandise available at local schools and offices and donations can be made at major outlets including Big W, Jeanswest, and Lowes.
This year - for the first time ever - people can make donations using their mobile phone via text-to-donate. You just text jeans to 1997 6484 and $5 will automatically be added to your phone bill and the donation will go straight to Jeans for Genes!
Sally Obermeder will attend the Jeans for Genes Excellence Ball on the 24th of June. Formerly known as the Jeans for Genes Gala Dinner and Art Auction, this year's ball has a focus on excellence, including those who inspire and excel in their field. An inspiration herself, Sally will conduct an uplifting Q&A with Ellie Cole, four time Paralympic gold medallist. Jeans for Genes Day will take place on Friday 5 August. Participants can share their denim outfit using #JeansForGenesAU
For more information or to register your support visit jeansforgenes.org.au
We caught up with celebrity chef Marion Grasby to find out more about what she loves to eat, and how she designs her Marion's Kitchen range of meal kits.
How much goes into developing one of your meal kits?
I personally design, create and source producers for each of my products. I’m very proud of the fact that each product starts out in my own home kitchen and is made using real ingredients I would use at home. I basically start with my own home recipes and then build from there. The time it takes for a product to go from a little creative spark in my head to appearing on supermarkets shelves can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. It just depends on how long it takes me to get the flavour and ingredients right…because super tastiness and awesome ingredients are everything! Oh and it always takes a while to get my mum’s approval LOL. She’s my number one product taste tester…she’s brutally honest!
Do you find young children enjoy spicy and exotic flavours more than people expect they would?
I’m amazed at how some little ones are completely unfazed by spicy or exotic flavours. I once had the cutest little miss 3-year-old at one of my food shows who polished off a bowl of super spicy Thai green curry and then asked for more…much to her mum’s surprise! But just like adults, all kids are different and they all like or dislike different things. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we were all the same?!
Do you have a go to ingredient that always makes a meal amazing?
Lemon or lime juice. The acid perks up any dish and is actually a great way to reduce added salt. Just squeeze a few drops over a dish instead of adding a sprinkle of salt…you’ll be amazed at the difference!
Marion's new range of FRESH WRAPS includes Malaysian Satay, Korean Chilli & Sesame and Cantonese Hoisin & Garlic. RRP $5.79 and available in Woolworths in July.
A new range of all natural and gluten free WOK HITS stir-fry sauces are also being released including three options: Korean Chilli & Sesame, Thai Sweet & Sour, and Vietnamese Lemongrass & Garlic. RRP $4.29 and available in Woolworths in July.
In addition, new flavours are being added to the famous cooking kits, including: Thai Yellow Curry and Cashew Chicken Stir-fry. RRP $7.30 and available in Woolworths in July.
The Marion’s Kitchen full range includes: Thai Massaman Curry, Singapore Laksa, Malaysian Curry, Pad Thai, Thai Red Curry, Thai Green Curry, and San Choy Bow.
For more information, visit: www.marionskitchen.com.au
Today I spoke with Freeda Thong, founder of Ecopads Australia. Ecopads are cloth pads for women to use when they have their period, reducing waste going to landfill and saving money on disposable pads.
How did you get started in your business?
I started out sewing them after I had been buying them myself. Cloth pads can be shockingly expensive. They are predominantly made in US and UK. There have been more in Australia in the last couple of years. My friends got interested and so I started selling them.
Since then I’ve opened up an ETSY shop and selling at markets around Brisbane. The reception has been interesting. Cloth pads aren’t really a mainstream thing. Our mums and grandmothers would have used them back in the day. Disposable is what people are using these days. So it’s the shock factor for women who see it for the first time.
Are your customers only in Australia?
We have customers in international countries. In the first week we sold to Vanautu, and New Zealand and we have now cold to Sweden, Ireland, Singapore, and UK.
Is there a greater level of effort required for cloth pads?
It’s not that big of an effort. You would change as per a disposable. The only difference is managing them. You soak in a bucket of water and then pop in a mesh bag and wash as per other items.
What about when you are out and about?
You can fold them up and pop them in a wet bag which has two pockets, one for dirty and one for clean pads.
Does that cause any issues with not soaking them straight away?
No it doesn’t affect the staining. So store in bag and then soak when you get home and wash them. Some women use different processes, some wash each one as they go, and some would soak them before washing.
What about women with a heavier flow, will they work for them?
There are three different sizes, a liner, a regular pad and an overnight pad for heaview flows. We are crowdfunding over the next 29 days to try and reach a target of $15,000. People can pre-purcahse or donate so we can get into eco stores and be stocked in the Australian marketplace.
What are the environmental benefits?
Disposable pads and tampons are part of the disposal goods which are the 1/3 top contributor to landfill. Food is first, followed by plastic, and 3rd is disposable nappies, pads, tampons and other convenience one use products. Disposable tampons and pads take 500 years on average to breakdown. Some companies have introduced biodegradable products, which break down more quickly in recent years.
Are there convenience benefits?
You don't get the problem of the wings sticking together or getting twisted.
How much do they cost and how much can you save?
Cost from $8 - $13 depending on absorbency and sizes or if you want a special fabric. They Last anywhere from 3 to 20 years depending on how you look after them. In a year if you got a starter kit for 3 pads, you would save on average $70 - $80.
To find out more about Ecopads Australia and the crowdfunding campaign visit www.ecopadsaustralia.com