SoWot Vol3 2023

Page 1


July 2023

Bali: The island of dreams

Celebrating the magic of live music worldwide

How to reclaim your morning

SEDA – Changing the Education Game

From the Editor Throughout life’s ins and outs, it pays to keep one truth front of mind. Every single day’s important, so savour every single moment. So, when you’re busy living life to the fullest, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

Keen to start each day off on the right foot? You’ll love our simple tips on reclaiming your morning with an invigorating routine (page 16). In the middle of a home improvement frenzy? Dip into our advice on hiring a tradie first (page 12).

Making the most of our time doesn’t mean cramming every possible thing into every single second.

Once you’re on an even keel, you’ll be primed to sink your teeth into our in-depth pieces.

At SoWot, we value quality of life, not quantity.

This issue, we’re pondering the end of the rental era (page 18) and getting right up close with an innovative sports-focused high school (page 22).

That’s easy to say ... but surprisingly hard to do right.



While our third issue’s studded with simple, actionable tips on life’s essentials ... We haven’t forgotten that you’re looking to have fun along the way. Because after all, your life’s much more than an endless to-do list.




Technology The AI reality check



Lost in Music Celebrating the magic of live music worldwide


Sport Golden half-century: How the AFL Players’ Association changed footballers’ lives


Life Style Why tradie cash discounts aren’t your saviour


Bali: Island of dreams The little island of Bali pleases all comers


Health & Wellbeing How to reclaim your morning


SoWot Magazine


is published by Jill JOHNSON Media PO Box 1040 Hawksburn VIC 3142


Editor Jill JOHNSON

All material appearing in SoWot Magazine is copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without prior written consent. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission. The publisher reserves the right to omit or alter any advertisement and the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher for all damages or liabilities arising from the published material.


From the minuscule to the massive, SoWot’s got modern life covered from every angle – so dive in! Jill JOHNSON, Editor

To celebrate our second edition, we gave one of our lucky readers the chance to win an ultra-stylish retro SMEG fridge. Now, we’re delighted to announce the recipient!

Stuff & Gadgets Computing your next purchase


Yearning for a breathtaking musical escape to catapult you out of complacency? Check out our rundown of the planet’s most jawdropping music festivals (page 10) or Bali’s breathtaking escapes (page 28).

To round out this issue, we’re focusing on a genuine Aussie hero. You’ll get an inspiring glimpse into the life of Fred Hollows, whose foundation continues to transform countless lives worldwide by restoring sight (page 34).

Announcing our first prize-winner

Contents 04

No time for major travel right now? No worries – we’ve got life’s smaller stuff covered too.

Finance The end of the rental era Sport SEDA: Changing the education game

Charity The Fred Hollows Foundation, restoring sight around Australia and the world

Photography AFL Photos Ary LeCir Djuna Ivereigh Design Brigid FRASER Advertising Enquiries Jill JOHNSON P: 0409 217 624 E:


After winning the prize draw, Kevin Scanlan, from Elizabeth Grove, South Australia is the new owner of this state of-the-art (yet timelessly stylish) retro icebox. His kitchen’s about to be transformed by an exquisite piece of Italian design – the SMEG Retro Refrigerator FAB28LRD5AU (RRP $2790.00).

The sharp-eyed Kevin detected the fridges we’d cunningly stashed in these pages (a total of 18, if you were curious). Thanks to Snaffle and the Aspire42 Foundation’s generosity, Kevin, the SMEG is all yours!

WIN one of two mobile phones Here at SoWot, we’re not done celebrating. That’s why we’ve got another major prize to give away – two prizes, in fact. This time, one of two mobile phones could be heading in your direction. To be in the running this time, you’ll have to pay close attention as you leaf (or scroll) through our pages. Once you’ve perused the whole mag with an eagle eye, you’re ready to enter. Just answer these three simple questions … 1. What’s the world-famous US festival we mention in our music article? 2. Which Bali SPA holiday resort won the 2022 International SPA Awards? And finally … 3. When did the AFLPA commence their operations and player representation? CLICK HERE to enter and you’ll be up for one of two great prizes, each with a unique vibe.

In the blue corner, you’ll find the prize for this issue – the Realme 6 in gorgeous Comet Blue, a stylish edition to your communication-hungry life. With a screen to die for, the Realme 6 features a 90Hz smooth display (with in-display selfie), ideal for framing perfect shots on the go. The Realme 6 lets you snap for hours in all light conditions, with its 30W flash and 4300mAh battery offering plenty of charge for every situation. Featuring a powerful Helio G90T processor, the Realme 6 offers ample grunt for any task. And in the purple corner, check out our second prize – the Oppo R15 Pro in striking Cosmic Purple. Featuring 6GB RAM and 128GB storage (expandable to 256GB), the R15 Pro’s just the ticket for a tech-heavy life. So, jam your thinking cap on, enjoy the read and good luck. 3


Computing your next purchase As technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, staying up-to-date with the latest developments is crucial to making informed purchasing decisions. When it comes to computers, we’re spoiled for choice with multiple shapes, sizes and price points from many brands. Whether you’re a professional looking for a high-performance machine to power your work or a casual user seeking a reliable device for everyday use, there’s an option for you. What’s new in computers? The biggest innovations you’ll notice in your next computer purchase is in the laptop space. The majority of computer purchases today are laptops, favoured over desktops. Today’s laptops now carry all-day battery life; they can be extremely lightweight and portable, yet they can manage high-performing tasks without generating excessive heat or noise. As we emerge from the pandemic, brands have made adjustments as we ourselves have changed. The webcam’s now far higher quality for remote meetings, with new touchscreen features accommodating drawing, design, and portability to assist creatives at work or at school. Geoff Quattromani Tech Commentator

In 2023, we’ll see some brands add 3D displays to their laptops to create incredibly immersive experiences. We’ve seen the materials of computers reimagined, with some moving towards sustainable materials where possible while other brands adding a premium feel with leather and carbon fibre. In an effort to cater for all types of user (as we all appear to need our own personal computer these days), brands are increasing their offerings to provide models that seem specifically designed with you in mind. As laptops have gotten thinner, we’re seeing fewer connections generally available (and in many cases, no more CD or DVD drives either). We also have a large resurgence in gaming, which has created a dedicated category of computers designed for those looking to play games, usually online. These computers’ power and performance is immense, as they aim to produce movie-level realism in their games while sustaining peak performance to help you remain competitive. Gaming computers today provide users with an edge, which can mean the difference between being a hero or a zero. With that said, as computers are generally a five-year to seven-year investment, we also see a slower pace of innovation, meaning you won’t feel outdated too quickly. Making the right choice today will set you up for many years to come.


Desktop, laptop or gaming? Desktop computers, laptops, and gaming computers all have their unique features and advantages that cater to different users’ needs. Desktop computers are generally larger and less portable than laptops, but they offer more power, expandability, and customisation options. Desktops are ideal for users who need a lot of processing power, storage space, or specialised hardware, such as graphic designers, video editors, and gamers. Laptops, on the other hand, are designed for portability, convenience, and versatility. They’re smaller, lighter, and more portable than desktops, making them ideal for users who need to work on the go or switch between multiple locations. Laptops are suitable for a wide range of tasks, from basic web browsing and document editing to more demanding applications like photo and video editing or programming. Gaming computers, as the name suggests, are computers built specifically for gaming. They’re usually equipped with highend processors, graphics cards, and cooling systems, as well as customisable lighting and other gaming-centric features. Gaming computers offer the best performance and visual quality for gaming enthusiasts who demand the most immersive and realistic gaming g experience. 5


Mac or PC? Choosing between a Mac or PC can be a challenging decision, as both have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Macs are known for their sleek design, user-friendly interface, and superior performance in creative tasks such as video editing and graphic design. Macs are also less prone to viruses and malware due to their closed operating system. On the other hand, PCs are more versatile, with a wider range of hardware and software options, making them ideal for gaming and business applications. PCs are also generally more affordable than Macs, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious users. Ultimately, the decision between a Mac or PC depends on the user’s needs, preferences, and budget. For users who prioritise design, ease of use, and creative tasks, a Mac may be ideal. For users who require versatility, affordability, and a wider range of options, a PC may be the better choice. It’s important to research both options thoroughly, consider your specific needs, and try out both systems before making a final decision.

Five factors to consider: Purpose: Determine the main purpose of your computer, whether it’s for work, entertainment, or gaming. This will help you determine the required specifications, such as processor speed, storage capacity, and graphics card. Budget: Set a budget for your new computer purchase and stick to it. Consider the cost of additional peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse if needed. Operating system: Decide which operating system you prefer, whether it’s Windows, Mac, or Linux. Each has its unique features and advantages, so research which one aligns with your needs. Brand and reputation: Choose a reliable brand and check reviews from other users to ensure the computer has a good reputation for quality, durability, and customer support. Upgradability: Consider whether the computer’s upgradable or has any expansion slots for future upgrades. This is particularly important if you plan to use the computer for several years, as it can save money and prolong the device’s lifespan. •

Geoff Quattromani is a technology commentator across TV, radio, print, various websites, and his own podcast. 6



The AI reality check The disruptive potential of Generative AIs for all corners of business and investing is clear. Here’s the bigger disruption: Knowing if something is real or not. I think Morpheus from The Matrix said it best when he challenged us to define ‘real’ in the first instance. ‘What is “real”? How do you define “real”? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then “real” is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain...’ It’s going to become an important question when we consider the number of synthetic digital realities we can now create.

Steve Sammartino Futurist and Business Technologist

To be sure, these AI tools have been around for quite a while. But the difference is that AI tools have been democratised for the first time. It’s when a tool gets in the hands of the public that the world goes through step changes: the internet in the mid-1990s, social media in the early 2000s, the smartphone in 2008 and, now, AI for all. We need to consider the implications of the tools. We can start with this image of random people below. They all have one thing in common. See if you can guess what it is.

They’re computer-generated photos of imagined people. Well, at least that’s what will have me believe. For all I know, they brought a a phone to a BBQ and took some happy snaps. This particular site can generate so many realistic images it’s uncanny. You can see rental properties, cities, food shots, artworks, resumes, memes, cars, beaches, maps ... all of them AI-generated. But you could argue they do exist – I mean it’s right there, on the screen. It just doesn’t exist in the physical sense. We’re going to have to grapple with this ‘reality’, like now.

You won’t even know Just think of all the synthetic versions of reality we can already create. Voices, videos, pictures, songs ... in fact, anything we can create a digital version of, we can now create a fake version of. And it’s now often with what we might call ‘no noticeable difference’.

This is the term we’re about to hear a lot more of. It’s already part of the corporate lexicon in the dark corners of consumer goods marketing. For decades, famous consumer brands have been replacing natural ingredients with artificial fillers, colours, and flavours, sometimes to improve health benefits, but more often to cut product costs. Today, much of the vanilla we consume comes out of a lab. It’s ‘nature identical’ at a molecular level, but it wasn’t made by nature. As you guessed, it’s a lot cheaper to produce. And this is what AI’s about to do – allow us to create digital ‘everything’ far cheaper. It will look and act like humans, but it won’t be human, or even created by a human. Within a decade or so, we’ll be able to buy ‘soft’ robots of ourselves which look and sound exactly like us. In fact, this has already happened. Hiroshi Ishiguro is a roboticist who makes lifelike robots, including the one of himself seen below.

While this is incredibly egocentric, it opens up a strange new reality. We’ll be able to be in two places at once. Once the intellectual blueprint of our minds and experiences are uploaded to the cloud (which we’re all currently doing without realising every single day), all we need to do is have a soft exoskeleton robot of ourselves to put the mind into. All of a sudden, we could have self-replicants. A V2 of you!

Redefining real This is coming, quicker than we think. We may need an entirely new definition of what’s real. So, what should ‘real’ mean? The original. There is only one. The first. Organic. Not made by machine or software. There is no substitute. Found in nature. Not an imitation. Not made in a factory. All natural ingredients ... and who gets to decide? Or maybe it’s natural that AI has arrived, because it was created by biological beings. It might just be just a fork in the inevitable evolutionary path we must follow. I’m not exactly sure. But here’s what I know for sure. The only way we’ll be able to tell if something’s ‘real’ or ‘fake’ is if we’re forced to outline it legally. It’s time for lawmakers to get busy, fast. And while I’m very positive about what emergent AIs can do to help humanity, I also think humanity deserves to know when they’re interacting with each other, or something other. No AIs have been used in the creation of this post. Of course, you can’t really be sure of that. You just have to take my word for it. •

Steve Sammartino is an author and futurist. Connect with Steve and see his latest projects and blog at None of these people actually exist.





Celebrating the magic of live music worldwide In a world crammed with disposable distractions, nothing approaches that all-encompassing human experience of an unforgettable concert. Feeling that rich, pulsing sound deep in your bones, seeing revered musicians in the flesh, and becoming immersed in a joyous collective experience with hundreds (or even thousands) of others … it’s all part of a festivalgoer’s ever-eventful life. And now, with the enforced isolation of Covid receding into the distance, it’s no wonder people the world over are raring to get out of the house and luxuriate in each other’s company while soaking up timeless tunes once again. Music lovers are criminally spoiled for choice in 2023, with a unique slate of festivals for every possible taste. It’s not just global superstars, either. A host of striking festivals have burst onto the scene in recent years, tickling the palate of even the most jaded music veteran. Our ‘Lost in Music’ section takes a deep dive into several glittering highlights of this year’s festival circuit, celebrating iconic musicians and up-and-coming talents as they give their all on stage. 10

Let’s kick off with the home-grown fave of Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia’s own unmissable event snugly nestled in an unforgettable location. Set amid Byron’s sand-and-surf drenched panorama, Bluesfest hosts some of the world’s legendary blues artists. With this year’s line-up studded with everyone from Gang of Youths to blues veteran and recent Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt, Bluesfest throws raw, diverse, and often bizarre takes on the Blues up on stage.

Glastonbury, UK is the place to go to for an unforgettable communal experience … including mud, of course. The wet, windy, and occasionally somewhat bleak festival has something that many others can’t offer – authenticity (and Druids, if you’re lucky). Playing host to everyone from the Arctic Monkeys to Portishead to Beyonce to Bowie over its five decades of existence, this atmospheric gem’s also a legendary jumping-off point for vibrant future stars.

Sonic has responded to evolving tastes by embracing hip-hop, techno, and a swag of other genres. Each year, attendees are fully immersed in the emerging sounds of modern music. Summer Sonic prides itself on attracting the edgiest new bands combined with massive breakout stars, with Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga two notable drawcards from recent years. Every Summer Sonic’s an eclectic surprise.

Seeking a therapeutic musical experience? Corsica’s Calvi on the Rocks is the event you’re after. It’s billed as a ‘week-long dance party’ in the most exquisite setting imaginable, and they’re deadly serious. (Where else could you join your fellow hardcore dance fans under the shadows of an ancient citadel for an atmospheric collection of dance-filled nights? Nowhere, that’s where.) And that’s just a smattering of Calvi’s innumerable treasures, with abundant daytime parties of every possible shape and size adding to the already-colossal enjoyment factor.

Are you an Elvis Tragic? Witness the Parkes Elvis Festival, an annual shindig paying tribute to the man simply known as ‘The King’. Held as close as possible to Elvis’s birthday on 8 January every year, the Parkes Elvis Festival celebrates the monumental achievements of this evergreen rock n’ roll icon and enduring cultural figure. With the 2023 theme of ‘Blue Hawaii’, the most recent outing saw the unbeatable double bill of Dean Z and Victor Travino Jr breathing new life into Elvis’s immortal classics.

If you’re a fan of lateral thinking and unconventional design, you’ll love Japan’s long-running Summer Sonic Festival, held annually in Tokyo and Osaka. Beginning as a straight-out rock festival, Summer

Boasting a global program bursting at the seams with the unexpected, the delightful, and the quirky, all this is just a taste of the rich and strange musical experiences awaiting you. To get your hands on the full list, visit The Best Music Festivals of 2023. •

The legendary US-based Coachella, California just might rival Byron for the most idyllic of festivals. Held annually in California’s picturesque Coachella Valley, Coachella began in 2000 when Pearl Jam decided to play a side concert for fans. Since then, it’s snowballed to become an unmissable event on the music calendar, with scores of acts gracing the picturesque stage. Featuring everything from rock music to cutting-edge art installations, Coachella’s the annual antidote to normal. 11



Why tradie cash discounts aren’t your saviour The hot water system’s failing… again. Money’s tight, and bills are piling up. Sound familiar? So when the plumber offers a healthy discount for cash, I jump at the chance. It was only afterwards I realised I have no invoice, proof, or guarantee for the work undertaken. Not feeling so smart now. Discount for cash is a phrase that’s as old as ... well, probably cash itself. We all love a bargain, particularly when our budget’s stretched to the limit by rocketing interest rates, power bills, grocery and fuel prices. In Australia, some tradies will undercut prices and give discounts to clients who pay in cash. We all love a better price, and it’s not hurting anyone, so why not?

Cash is legal tender, so what’s the problem? It’s legal to pay for work in cash, and some tradies love it because it’s instant and saves them the trouble of chasing payments. Tradies need cash flow to cover their day-to-day business expenses like buying materials and paying workers. What isn’t legal is if a tradie takes cash payments to avoid paying taxes such as GST or income tax. Tax avoidance is illegal. For example, sometimes a tradie will offer a 10% discount instead of paying the 10% GST. All labour and materials are subject to GST, although if a business’s annual earnings are below the current threshold of $75,000, they’re exempt from charging GST.

So while we might think we’re saving on our renovation or home maintenance, the reality is that we’re not only jeopardising the warranty of the work and materials used, but also enabling a tax dodge.

What do cash discounts cost us? Typically, tradies who give substantial cash discounts are selfemployed and keep the cash, rather than pay for vital business requirements such as public liability insurance to protect their clients. They’re almost always avoiding tax, which inevitably costs us all more. Cash discounts defraud everyone, including ourselves, because there’s no invoice to prove who did the work, which means no guarantees if the work or materials are defective and/or noncompliant. If we need to rectify the job, we have no comeback without an invoice, so we can pay to fix the same issue twice (and probably more the second time to ensure the job’s legally compliant). In addition, if the work’s tax deductible – for instance, a repair to an investment property – you have no evidence for your tax return. Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan has urged Australians to stop paying tradies in cash, saying that ‘if you pay cash for a discount, in many cases you’re effectively ripping off yourself as an Australian taxpayer,’ with billions flowing into the cash economy. The government’s Black Economy Taskforce has estimated the black economy at over $25 billion a year, wealth that could help pay for our hospitals, schools, roads, and g security. 12



Protect yourself So how do you protect yourself, whether you’re paying cash or not? •

Start a paper trail – get a contract, invoice, and receipt.

Ensure the invoice lists your tradie’s Australian Business Number (ABN).

You can check if their ABN’s legitimate at ABN Lookup – some customers have found their tradies using Bunnings’ ABN.

Use to check which trade licence your tradie or business currently holds.

Ask for a contract for your job, with the contract price (GST inclusive) clearly stated.

Find out what legislation and regulations apply in your area. If you have a large job, there could be a mandatory schedule of payments to meet.

After much consideration, I’ll forgo the cash discount – it’s not worth the potential for trouble, headaches, and cold showers. I want to guarantee my hot water system repair and hot showers. •



How to reclaim Your Morning A little shake up to the morning routine to ensure you’re starting your day with the right mindset and movements! How long do you wait before looking at your phone in the morning? For most of us, not that long, maybe 5 minutes ... although for many of us, an information-overloaded screen’s the very first thing to greet us in the morning! This is problematic for many reasons, given the first few moments after we wake, our brains are very receptive to what they’re exposed to. If we bombard them with tragic news stories or a worrisome email or text, we’re programming our brains to be fearful, anxious, and reactive throughout the day. These are no doubt very familiar feelings, right? So, ideally grace yourself at least 15 minutes or more before looking at your phone or a screen in the morning. Just in case you’re wondering what on earth will I do? Here are some other ways to use those precious waking minutes to your best advantage and regain ownership of your morning and day! Hannah Hokarari

Gratitude Starting the day by thinking or writing down 3 to 5 things you’re grateful for is a powerful way to set a positive and appreciative mindset to your day. As the old saying goes, ‘where our attention goes, our energy flows’. If we’ve brought to our attention all there is to be thankful for from the beginning of the day, we are more likely to perceive situations and encounters arising through those same grateful glasses. This allows you to move with greater ease throughout your day, and ‘transform obstacles into opportunities’.

Rehydrating We dehydrate considerably throughout the night, given we’ve ideally been asleep for the recommended 7–8 hours. So, rehydrating first thing is paramount to setting your body up for success. Warm water is best as it helps flush out toxins from the body and improves your circulation. These hydrating mugs of water can also help keep your bowels regular and ensure that morning movement gets underway before leaving the house.

Mindful Movement The morning’s a poignant time to checkin with your body, notice how you’re feeling, and be present to the physical and emotional needs of your body. This can be done in many ways, such as a meditation, yoga, breathing practice, or taking a walk – the key component being to maintain your awareness in the body. Returning this focus to your body provides less attention to fuel your racing thoughts, and naturally calms down the mind. You can then take this practice with you into the day to encourage a more peaceful and productive presence. Hopefully, some of the above has sparked an interest or intention to shake up your morning in the best way possible. Remembering our autopilot habits have been well-practised over the lifetime, so try not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes. Try choosing one of the above activities to start your day with and see how that goes. It can be helpful to set an intention for your new morning routine and give yourself the best opportunity to progress by leaving that phone out of reach, preferably out of the bedroom! Wishing you all the very best embracing these magical waking moments and snaffling the challenge to reclaim your mornings. • Hannah Hokarari – Social Ambassador for Snaffle. Click here to follow her on Instagram for more fascinating stories.




The end of the rental era For nearly a century, Aussie consumers have been renting the stuff they didn’t want to buy up front. With the demise of a high street fixture, those days are over.

The end came suddenly and without fanfare. Visitors to the Radio Rentals website were informed the company would no longer be accepting consumer lease applications. After 86 years offering Aussie consumers a way to get the stuff they wanted and pay it off over time, Radio Rentals was gone – just three years after closing its network of 62 stores.

‘I don’t know anyone who didn’t use Radio Rentals in Adelaide when I was growing up,’ says Susanne Novak. ‘While I’m now lucky enough to be able to buy the stuff I want, back when I was younger it was a godsend.’ In truth, the consumer leasing industry had been under pressure for some time. Not all consumer leasing companies were equal, with some charging exorbitant amounts and others ending up in court for continuing to take payments after a contract had ended. These reputational issues, combined with the emergence of new payment technologies, had put the writing on the wall for the industry.

So, what now for people looking to get the stuff they want, when they want, but pay it off over time? Buy Now Pay Later is popular among many people who want to defer payments, but it’s not useful for bigger-ticket items and the associated late payment fees can be prohibitive. The BNPL landscape is due to change this year, with more regulations around their lending criteria. Credit cards remain hugely popular, especially in certain demographics, but there’s often a fear that interest can spiral out of control, with people racking up bills of many thousands of dollars that can end up g taking years to pay off.

This followed on from the closure of its namesake company in South Australia in 2019. While a handful of smaller players continue in the consumer leasing market, a staple finance option for Aussie consumers used by students, first home buyers and anyone looking to spread the cost of goods over several years had pretty much disappeared. The premise behind consumer leasing, or rentals, was simple. Agree to rent the product you want for a certain number of years, then have the option to ‘buy’ the product for a nominal fee – often as little as $1. It made goods from furniture to TVs and appliances affordable for many where they usually would’ve had to settle for an inferior or second-hand product.



Some large companies offer interest-free credit, but it comes with a hitch – you need to apply for a credit card to benefit and if you miss payments, the interest can suddenly escalate. The finance industry’s evolving to meet the needs of the modern consumer. Snaffle is a company born of consumer leasing, but one that’s evolved to provide customers with a new way of getting what they want by offering WalletPay, an innovative credit mechanism that offers consumers a weekly credit limit they can use to pay for goods over one, two, or three years. ‘We wanted to offer customers a really flexible, modern way of spreading payments without the downsides associated with some other payment methods,’ says Snaffle Chief Marketing Officer Paul Winslow. ‘The customer feedback’s been encouraging, so we know we’ve provided a service people want.’ Other options include furniture subscription services and extensions to BNPL services that offer the opportunity to pay for more expensive items over a longer period of time. Mark Thomas is the CEO of Responsible Leasing Australia, an industry body concerned with financial products of this nature. His advice for consumers is to do your research, find the right product and fully understand the terms and conditions. ‘We see so many people who use credit services without completely comprehending the impact it may have on their credit score or the ramifications of missed payments etc. Our advice is to be careful, prefer companies that are compliant to the Consumer Credit Act, and be careful with your budgeting.’ While the demise of consumer leasing takes away some options, advances in technology have created many more avenues for Aussies consumers to spread their payments. Take the time to research the one that suits you best with your future budgeting in mind, and happy shopping. • 20


SEDA – Changing the education game Every so often, a genuine game-changer shows the potential to transform an entire industry. That’s what happened with SEDA College SA (SCSA), a sports-focused senior secondary school operating learning campuses across metropolitan Adelaide. Approved to deliver the SEDA model through a licenced agreement, SCSA is one of five such independent schools. Others exist in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, each being uniquely individual despite their differences. The SEDA model aims to engage, educate and empower young people’s learning through their passion for sport, using alliances with elite sporting partners as the inspirational vehicle for industry-based learning. Aiming to ‘change the game’ in education, the folks at SEDA College SA are creating a forward-thinking, student-centric learning community. The SEDA model caters mostly for Years 11 and 12 students, who can achieve their secondary school graduation certificate and move on to almost any other pathway. Unique to SCSA is the inclusion of an ATAR option through handson applied learning, part of their offering to provide an authentic choice for students. (Most students choose a non-ATAR pathway.) The strength of the SEDA model is that it creates strong links between wellbeing and educational outcomes within a supportive and inclusive environment, with students treated as individuals with unique life paths. This empathetic approach plays to the model’s key strength – preparing ‘future-ready’ graduates equipped with all the knowledge, skills, and values they’ll need to flourish in a rapidly changing ecosystem. Students at the College are trusted to develop independence and agency, building leadership skills in part by leading the running of carnivals, games, school competitions, and holiday programs while working on behalf of their elite sporting partner.


Students complete weekly work placements as a key part of this model, some with sporting partners including match day volunteering opportunities and operational assistance through to coaching and umpiring accreditation and development. Above all, of course, the College and its students are deeply serious about sport. Students have the chance to excel across multiple areas, guided by renowned professional athletes. SCSA Football Ambassadors Ryan Kitto and Dylan Holmes (both Adelaide United) are elite representatives of this flourishing game. As role models, they know exactly how much professionalism and teamwork it takes to turn pro. (After all, they’ve lived it.) Expertly guided by such seasoned players, SEDA SA students learn the game inside out and the transferable skills that make them successful in sport are applied to other parts of their lives.


SCSA’s environment provides students with the platform to achieve personal outcomes, making it the perfect choice for someone of Kara’s interests. ‘I couldn’t get into Physiotherapy at my old school, because the classes just weren’t tailored to it,’ she notes. ‘At SEDA, not only I can do those classes, but I can go off and learn practically. I can work so much more towards my future than I could have at a general school.’ SCSA Year 12 student Sienna Doctor is equally inspired by the College’s many possibilities. ‘I decided to come to SCSA because I wasn’t really enjoying my other school, and the learning environment wasn’t really suited for me,’ she remembers. ‘After seeing SEDA on social media, I decided to have a look. I get to learn in an environment with like-minded people … and follow my passion for football as well!’ (Sienna’s intended pathway is to play College football in the USA.) SCSA Football Ambassador Dylan Holmes shares the students’ enthusiasm. ‘SEDA offers a unique experience for kids, compared to my school experience in a traditional high school setting,’ she observes. ‘SEDA gives kids a platform to explore things they’re interested in.’ For those used to (and bored by) the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ model of learning, SEDA’s intensively hands-on approach will come as a pleasant surprise. ‘It’s not quite

as structured as a normal school; they’re able to bring in industry professionals to give the kids opportunities many high school students wouldn’t have,’ Dylan explains. ‘My favourite part is that they do football every day, which I wish I had growing up!’ SCSA Ambassador Ryan Kitto has been able to keep one eye on the ball, the other on a career in education. ‘As a footballer, you always have to have a Plan B – so I’m studying to be a teacher,’ he says. ‘Adelaide United has a relationship with SEDA College, and I was lucky enough to be able to come into the classroom over the last two years and gain some valuable experience alongside the teachers. ‘I’ve gained a strong image of what they’re about, with project-based learning and using a common interest to teach students in a number of areas across the curriculum,’ he continues. ‘I’ve been involved with the school over the last two years, gaining experience and building that relationship with the College and the Football Club.’ SCSA’s deeply practical perspective on learning has gained national attention, and for good reason. With its genuinely student-centred approach complemented by professional connections, SEDA offers a unique educational path well worth exploring.. •

The model’s curriculum incorporates multiple sports-specific areas of study, and the College within its South Australian context applies training to class-based learning as part of their SACE completion. SCSA provides flexibility for students to start their learning day from 8.30–10.00am and complete it by 2.00–2.30pm. This allows students to integrate other aspects of their life, many of which are sporting commitments. As you’d expect, this unrivalled flexibility is a boon for students in multiple ways. ‘When I came to SCSA, one thing I noticed was that not only were my grades getting better, but I was generally happier,’ reflects SCSA student Kara Wood. ‘I’m doing an ATAR pathway next year, so I can go to Flinders Uni and study Physiotherapy.’




Golden half-century:

How the AFL Players’ Association changed footballers’ lives When VFL players Geoff Pryor and Gareth Andrews met for lunch in 1973, both had considered forming a players’ organisation. Back then, players were paid a few dollars per game, with no benefits for injury or illness. Post-game player development seemed as far-fetched as league profit-sharing with players. When the VFL Players’ Association was formed at the end of 1973, its advocacy began with a simple request to offer the players reserved match-day parking. In 2022, players earned an average salary of $406,000 as a result of their affiliation with the Association. From 2017 to 2022, male players also shared a $55 million windfall from a historic industry revenue-sharing agreement. Aside from monetary compensation, benefits now include superannuation, injury and illness support, and education and training opportunities. Initiatives launched by the Players’ Association have also sought to improve Indigenous players’ experiences while driving positive social change. As the AFLPA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look back at what it’s accomplished for players over the last five decades and how its unwavering commitment to player welfare has transformed the game along with Australia’s sporting landscape.

Brief Overview As previously stated, the VFLPA was founded in 1973 by players who recognised the urgent need for a collective voice to advocate for player interests. They embarked on a long journey to improve the game and industry for its players, their families, and the community. In 1990, the Association changed its name to the AFLPA in accordance with the competition’s name change. During the same year, it also negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to govern player remuneration for the first time. In 1993, however, the AFL withdrew recognition of the AFLPA and instructed players to negotiate individual contracts with their clubs. After players threatened to strike, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission determined an industry award was required. It’s no surprise, then, that the AFLPA reached 100% player membership for the first time in 1998, 25 years after its inception.

The Association also developed its purposes and objectives at that time, forming an Advisory Board to guide its future. The new goals and intentions centred on improving Australian football and ensuring players played an important role in the game’s development while receiving fair terms and conditions. Based on player feedback, the Association identified player development, retirement, and education and training as its future priorities. The AFLPA became the official representative body of elitelevel women’s football when it was introduced, successfully negotiating pay and conditions for AFLW players prior to their inaugural season. Women’s representation on the AFLPA board was equalised in 2022. 24

The fight for equal pay The quest to achieve fair pay was one of the AFLPA’s first and most important victories. The average player’s salary in the early years of the Association was meagre – $30 per match – with many struggling to make ends meet. Through persistent bargaining, the AFLPA gradually improved wages and working conditions for Members. The second CBA established a $7,500 minimum annual salary, with $750 per senior game and $250 for reserves games. The AFLPA delivered a $1.84 billion package to players through the negotiation of the eighth CBA, covering 2017– 2022. It was also the League’s first CBA to link players’ pay g with AFL revenue. 25


In 2023, AFL players are paid several times the national minimum wage, with elite players earning millions of dollars in salary and endorsements. This financial security not only allows players to concentrate on their performance, but also to plan for life after football.

To address these growing concerns, the league has implemented mental health programs providing access to psychologists, counselling, and other supports. The AFLPA’s dedication to mental health has set a new standard for sporting organisations around the world.

Improving player wellbeing

Post-career assistance

The AFLPA’s emphasis on player welfare and safety has been one of its most significant contributions to the game. The Association has been instrumental in prioritising player wellbeing, from concussion protocols to heat policies. Its dedication to player welfare has significantly reduced injuries while improving overall health and wellbeing across the league.

The end of a player’s career can be difficult as they adjust to life outside of the game. The AFLPA has made significant efforts to assist players in this transition by providing education, career development, and financial planning services.

The first camp for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players to connect, learn, and develop strategies to improve their experience was held in 2000. Since then, the camp has been held biannually across Australia; in 2022, it included AFLW and multicultural players for the first time. The first Indigenous Advisory Board in Australian sport was established at the 2011 camp, chaired by Sydney champion Adam Goodes. In recent years, the AFLPA has also recognised the importance of mental health support. The pressure of performing at the highest level, the possibility of career-ending injuries, and the persistence of social challenges can all negatively impact players’ mental health.

By offering these resources, the Association has assisted countless players in finding success and fulfilment after their playing days conclude.

The future As the AFLPA celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Association has clearly not only improved the lives of its players, but also positively impacted on the game and the football community as a whole. In future, the AFLPA will continue to advocate for its players’ rights and wellbeing while adapting to the ever-changing landscape of professional sports. The Association’s ongoing commitment to player welfare, combined with a proven track record of success, will ensure the next 50 years are even brighter. •



Bali: Island of dreams What’s on your holiday hitlist? A wellness retreat or warm, music-filled nights, a serious foodie getaway or a welcoming family beach escape? The little island of Bali pleases all comers.

Written by Belinda Jackson

Head south of Denpasar Airport to explore the surf breaks of the Bukit Peninsula – visiting Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, or Jimbaran Bay – or venture north to the hotspots of Seminyak, Canggu, and Kuta. Go further afield to discover the wild spaces and hidden luxury resorts around Ubud, or head right off the beaten track to experience West Bali. There are always plenty of new openings and reinventions in creative Bali – so read on to start planning your visit to the Island of the Gods.

In explorer mode Change your view with a walk through a rice paddy at dawn, a temple visit, or a surf lesson on a sweeping beach. Bali’s most famous views include the Jatiluwih rice terraces and the views of Mount Batur from Kintimani in central Bali, while vivid sunsets draw admirers at beaches (and beach bars) along the island’s west coast. 28

The atmospheric Hindu temples at Tanah Lot in Tabanan and Uluwatu, in the southernmost part of Bali, are justifiably popular, but with an estimated 10,000 temples on the island, it’s easy to visit a temple to learn about the spirituality of the Balinese people. For traditional or contemporary jewellery, visit the jewellery village of Celuk, near Ubud, to discover silver or gold handicrafts. Drop in to watch pieces being made to order, using materials drawn from across Indonesia. Jewellery hunters also have the John Hardy Boutique and Gallery in Seminyak on speed dial, or visit the workshop just 20 minutes south of Ubud to experience the brilliant craftsmen and women at work. Employing generations of talented makers to create its beautiful jewellery since 1975, the dramatic boutique is worth a visit for its architecture alone in their renowned bamboo showroom. Perhaps tie it in with a booking in the boutique’s well-regarded Long Table restaurant, where you can order the Long Table lunch to experience Balinese cuisine. Visit to find out more.

International Award Winning Resort Fivelements Retreat

Bali is also the master of the beach club – find yours, whether it’s geared for families or adults only, clubby or chilled. Venture onto the Bukit Peninsula to visit the popular Sunday’s Beach Club, with its strip of azure blue sea, reached by a dramatic travelator down the Uluwatu cliffs from the Ungasan resort; or Karma Beach, for watersports, a seaside spa centre, and all-day dining,, Channelling a Robinson Crusoe vibe, you’ll find La Brisa on Canggu’s Echo Beach. Time your visit for sunset or the Sunday markets, live music or lazy afternoon cocktails,

If you’d like to burn off some energy, Slide at Waterbom is a sustainable waterpark in Kuta. With 22 slides set among tropical gardens, this month sees the addition of a new lagoon pool and sunken pool bar, tower, and gazebos to complement a new restaurant. See Those searching for the perfect beach could visit Jimbaran (famed for its strip of beachfront seafood restaurants), Sanur beach on the east coast for sunrise ambling, or secluded Green Bowl Beach at Uluwatu. However, it’s a day trip to one of Bali’s best beaches on little Nusa Penida island, an hour’s boat ride from Sanur on Bali’s east coast, g to reach the perfect sandy crescent. 29 29



The taste of Bali Bali’s a hot spot for foodies on any budget; try local specials such as babi guling (Balineseroasted pork) or betutu (roast duck) in warungs, as local eateries are named. You can also find dance-on-the-tables café-clubs or book into a fine dining restaurant with sea views and a selection of Indonesia’s incredible produce.

The island continues to reopen and reinvent after the global pandemic, with Seminyak favourite Sardine back online. Step into the bamboo building and leave the noise of Petitenget at the door; this restaurant overlooks its own rice paddies, with lily ponds and bamboo stands providing the backdrop for Californian chef Michael Shaheen’s everchanging light menu featuring fresh seafood and organic vegetables,

New on the island, Eat at Uni is a contemporary Japanese-inspired seafood restaurant and sake bar by celebrated chef Steven Skelly, who harnesses his network of local fishermen to bring sustainably sourced local seafood to this low-key fine dining restaurant. It’s part of the Mexicola Group, which includes Mexicaninspired Motel Mexicola in Petitenget Beach, Da Maria for stylish (and kid-friendly) Italian, Luigi’s Hot Pizza, and Tropicola Beach Club.

For drinks, Bar Souvenir is the latest drinking den in Canggu’s Berawa Beach, with a wine list curated by Sophia Burger, veteran of such world-renowned hospitality venues as Copenhagen’s Noma. Seating just 12 lucky guests, the bar, which focuses on natural wines and cocktails, opens from 4pm daily, g

Otherwise, take a private cabana among the rice paddies and kick back at Melbourne hospitality brand Tickled Pink’s first international outpost, in Canggu. The new poolside restaurant serves a western fusion menu from breakfast to well after nightfall,

Soulshine Resort





Sleeping easy on the isle of dreams From budget beach stays to health retreats or noholds-barred luxury, it’s easy to find your sleeping style. Luxury Bali gets a strong showing on the Bukit Peninsula, whose high-end properties include the new Jumeirah Bali, by the same group who brought the world Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. Set on the Uluwatu cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, the dramatic architecture’s inspired by Bali’s Majapahit Empire, from the 13th to the 16th century. Each of its 123 one- and two-bedroom suites has its own private pool, while a short walk from the hotel brings you to the famed Dreamlands beach and surf break, For a plant-based eco-spiritual reset, Fivelements Retreat is a 20-suite retreat set by the Ayung River, 20 minutes’ drive south of Ubud. Stay a night for bed, breakfast, and morning yoga, or book into one of its health retreats from three to 10 nights. The award-winning resort embraces Balinese healing techniques,

For new budget stays in the heart of the action, the newly opened Grand Mercure Bali Seminyak has 269 rooms, set just 100 metres from Double Six Beach, famed for its beach-bag sunset bars. Expect pool bars and rain showers at a restaurant serving all the Indonesian classics, If you’re seeking a new groove, musician Michael Franti and his wife Sara’s new resort, Soulshine, merges wellness and rock & roll in Ubud. The 33-room resort includes 17 new suites, as well as three pools, a spa centre and two restaurants. You’ll also find yoga spaces with sound healing and guided walks, Bali’s also home to numerous beautiful villas ideal for larger family groups, which often come with chefs and drivers. These range from good value to outrageously lavish. Try the Ungasan on the Bukit Peninsula, featuring a series of one-bedroom suites and larger villas, or shop around with Australian-owned View Retreats, or Elite Havens, •

FUN FACTS TIP: To your health – Jamu is a traditional Indonesian drink made from turmeric and ginger, and is said to promote good health. Found in food markets, it’s also taking off in resorts and Bali’s many health retreats. TIP: Bali’s only 230km wide – but while the distances are short on this little island, travel times aren’t. Bali’s traffic is notorious, especially between the airport and north to Canggu, so allow extra time and avoid peak hours.

For more information contact Belinda Jackson





Restoring sight around Australia and the world

A project to eliminate trachoma in Vietnam is another Foundation success story. In the 1990s, trachoma was the country’s leading cause of blindness. It’s now on track for elimination in Vietnam, thanks to the Foundation’s collaboration with other NGOs and the Vietnamese government. The Foundation has also partnered with the CSIRO to explore how AI can be integrated into diabetic retinopathy care in Vietnam, to reduce screening costs and increase screening and treatment coverage.

Four years after he was diagnosed with cancer, and realising he didn’t have long to live, Fred and Gabi Hollows decided they needed to find a way to continue his work preventing blindness in indigenous Australia and developing countries.

The impact of the Fred Hollows Foundation’s work can’t be overstated. For many, sight restoration has meant a return to independent life. For instance, take Central Australian artist Evelyn Pultara, who suffered from cataracts. If untreated, she would’ve gone permanently blind. After her operation, she wanted to see her grandchildren clearly and looked forward to painting again as well as passing her skills on to her grandchildren. Similarly, in Nepal, Sudip, a newly married young man who’d never seen his wife’s face clearly, regained his sight after undergoing cataract surgery. Like so many others, the Foundation’s intervention changed his life and his family’s future. In 2023, the Foundation is continuing the spirit of Fred’s ethos through the Humanity Awards and the Fred Awards. The Humanity Awards recognise Australian Year 6 students who follow in Fred’s footsteps by demonstrating kindness, compassion, and integrity. In conjunction, the Fred Awards will recognise adults who live by these same values. Submissions for the awards opened on 3 April 2023. The Fred Awards | Fred Hollows Foundation The Humanity Awards | Fred Hollows Foundation Since its inception at the Hollows’ dining table in 1992, the Fred Hollows Foundation has restored sight to more than three million people worldwide.

Trachoma is the chronic inflammation of the eye lining and eyelids, which if left untreated can cause irreversible blindness.

The Foundation’s mission is to end avoidable blindness in areas where it’s prevalent, while support the development of sustainable eye health systems.

The Foundation’s programs extend across Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific and its initiatives include surgeries, provision of glasses, diabetic retinopathy screening, trachoma elimination, and training local health professionals.

Fred put it simply: ‘It’s obscene to let people go blind when they don’t have to.’ Today there are 43 million people in the world who are blind – but 9 out of 10 don’t need to be. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are three times more likely to go blind than other Australians, but 94% of their vision loss is preventable or treatable. Australia’s the only developed country where the infectious eye disease trachoma remains endemic. 34

It also focuses on increasing access to eye care services among marginalised and underserved communities such as remote areas, refugees, and people with disabilities. The Foundation uses a holistic approach to eye health care through active community engagement, capacity building of local health professionals, and local government partnerships to ensure program sustainability.

In 2021, the Foundation screened more than three million people, performed 330,184 eye operations and treatments, treated more than 16 million people with antibiotics for trachoma, trained 51,405 people including surgeons, nurses, and teachers, educated more than 1.4 million children and community members in eye health and sanitation, and built, renovated, or equipped 1451 medical facilities, training centres, and schools.

The Foundation’s focus on community engagement, capacity - building, and collaboration with local stakeholders has made it possible to achieve sustainable results. Its accomplishments offer hope and inspiration, demonstrating the power of kindness, compassion, and integrity to make a significant difference to the lives of many. •

One of the Foundation’s most notable successes is its work in Nepal, a country with high rates of vision impairment. Fred befriended and trained Nepali doctor Sanduk Ruit and together with friends and colleagues started the Nepal Eye Program Australia. They also established the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, now recognised worldwide as a centre of excellence for eye health. Their combined efforts have helped to reduce cataract blindness in Nepal by 70% and restored the sight of over 120,000 people since 1994.

To donate to the Fred Hollows Foundation click here


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