SoWot Vol5 2024

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Married at First Sight

Unconventional Romance and Surprising Connections







Win a Samsung galaxy s24




















Show me the money Samsung's new AI driven S series What's new in wellness?

Win a brand new Samsung S24!



From the Editor’s desk 28





The phenomenon that is Australia’s most watched TV show

Our top 10 strategic and financial tips 22


Financing your business essentials

Welcome to SoWot 5. In this issue, we once again dive into the layers of contemporary life, weaving the threads of cutting-edge technology, big brand sport, modern lifestyles and bucket list travel experiences.

From the mysteries of the planet we live on, to the technology that guides us through our day, SoWot is your passport to a world where finance, design, technology and adventure converge.

We look into the fascinating history of currency and discover that when it comes to trading on the open market, the human race knows no boundaries.

So, flip the pages, be inspired, and let the journey begin! - SoWot!

Ambassador Hannah Hokarari explores the idea that each of us has our own path to walk - at a pace and in a direction that works for us.

The tech of tomorrow, today

Was Sarah Connor right to worry?

Innovation and Excellence

Reviewing Samsung’s latest S series powerhouse 26 10

The challenge of change

Putting yourself atop your own 'to do' list

Future film frontiers

What the silver screen has in store for us next. 28 12

Neon lights to ancient temples




There’s always something for everyone here in the pages of SoWot, including the chance to win an amazing prize!

Modern Japan in perspective

From bartering to e-wallets

A colourful history of worldwide currency 32 16

From the Sherrin to Sheeran

New trends driving your health goals 36

Face to face with MOB

The charity that’s building better men

Subscribe to SoWot. It’s free!

Readers Quiz issue 5:

It’s all happening here at the MCG

The wellness wave

Simply click here

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.

Win a Samsung galaxy s24

For your chance to win an amazing new Galaxy S24, the brand new AI powered smart phone from Samsung, simply answer this question: According to our story, how many fans in total, attended the Ed Sheeran concerts at the MCG over two nights ? Good luck! To answer, click HERE


The Maths of MAFS:

Crunching the numbers of love. In a modern world consumed by data, the intricate dance of love has not escaped the watchful eye of statisticians. Love, with its enigmatic allure, has found an unexpected ally in the numbers, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of reality TV, epitomised by ‘Married at First Sight’ (MAFS) on Channel 9.

MAFS is the most popular show on Australian television. While dating apps rely on algorithms to match individuals based on predefined criteria, these algorithms may overlook the nuanced qualities that make each person unique. MAFS however, with its team of relationship experts, brings a personalised touch to match making, recognising the multifaceted nature of human connection. Season 11 of MAFS, which commenced on 29 January 2024, saw the return of audience favourite experts: sexologist Alessandra Rampolla alongside relationship experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling. In this 21st century exploration of love by the numbers, the experts delve into the statistical science of love, pairing up 10 couples from the 15,000 entrants each year. Modern science has begun to unravel the mysteries of love, revealing that it's not purely a whimsical affair. Studies have identified critical factors that contribute to the success of romantic relationships, encompassing compatibility in personality, shared values, common interests, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and physical attraction. Studies consistently show that individuals tend to be drawn to others with symmetrical features and specific physical characteristics. A HISTORY OF SUCCESS Some couples who first met as ‘strangers’ at the altar have since gone on to tie the knot in real life.

There's even a few MAFS babies now! Fans of MAFS will no doubt remember Erin Bateman and Bryce Mohr from Season 2 (2015). They left the experiment together and last year celebrated their 7th anniversary, making them the longest-lasting couple from the experiment. Martha Kalifatidis, who went on to host the spin-off “Martha’s Red Wine Moments” met Michael Brunelli in Season 6. The couple, one of the most popular in the show's history, Got engaged in 2021 and welcomed a son, Lucius in February 2023. When it comes to MAFS Australia, it’s hard not to think of Cam Merchant and Jules Robinson, the first couple to get married in real life after taking part in the experiment. They wed in Sydney in January 2019 and today have a little boy Ollie, who was born on September 29, 2020. As we navigate the complex world of love, the integration of statistics and science offers a unique lens through which we can better understand the dynamics of romantic relationships. MAFS, with its unconventional approach, goes beyond the superficialities often emphasised by modern dating apps. By calculating a multitude of compatibility factors, MAFS stands as a testament to the evolving science of love where it is clear that a more holistic approach may hold the key to unlocking the secrets of enduring romantic connections.


4 Love, weddings and babies: A look at the MAFS couples who are still together. By Eden Faithfull

New! Dom and Ella’s Dinner Party Debrief Premiering this season are MAFS season 9 besties Dom Calarco and Ella Ding in their own spin-off show, sponsored by Snaffle, the home of bite-sized payments. Each week, Dom and Ella give their raw and honest opinions on the events of the weekly MAFS dinner party... and judge the Snaffle Strut of the Week. Catch up now at

A Symphony of Innovation and Excellence In the 1980s, the handheld mobile phone burst onto the scene and quickly assumed pride of place in everyone's business toolkit. Today the smart phone is a must-have device for all of us and Samsung's new signature model is certainly no exception.

Down through the years, two giants have consistently dominated the landscape, shaping the very essence of our digital lives: Apple and Samsung. The rivalry between these tech titans has been nothing short of legendary.

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Fast forward to the present, and the battleground has shifted to the brand new Samsung Galaxy S24, the latest gem in Samsung’s crown. This device encapsulates the culmination of years of innovation, refining the smartphone experience to unparalleled heights. In the ever-evolving landscape of smartphones, Samsung has once again raised the bar with the S24.This technological marvel seamlessly blends power, precision, and cuttingedge features, reaffirming Samsung’s position as a trailblaze in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

POWER UNLEASHED At the core of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra lies the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, an engineering marvel. This chipset, designed in collaboration with Qualcomm, boasts an octa-core architecture with advanced AI capabilities. The S24 Ultra’s processing prowess ensures seamless multitasking, rapid app launches, and an immersive gaming experience that defies expectations. As apps become more demanding, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (standard on the S24 Ultra) stands as a testament to Samsung’s commitment to delivering a device that keeps up with the pace of modern life.

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The facial recognition technology has been fine-tuned for rapid and secure authentication, even in challenging lighting conditions. Additionally, the in-display fingerprint sensor provides an extra layer of security, ensuring that unlocking your device is not only convenient but also super secure. AI AT YOUR FINGERTIPS The Samsung Galaxy S24 introduces Generative AI, an artificial intelligence system that elevates the smartphone experience to new heights. This isn’t just a smart device; it’s an intelligent companion that learns from your habits and adapts to your preferences. Generative AI powers the device’s image editing capabilities, allowing users to enhance and transform their photos effortlessly. From adjusting lighting and colours to creating artistic effects, the S24’s Generative AI is a tool for unleashing your creativity. Samsung doesn’t just follow trends; it pioneers them, and the integration of Generative AI in the S24 is a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering a truly intelligent and intuitive smartphone experience.

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With the introduction of the Galaxy S24, the ongoing rivalry with Apple again takes centre stage. Both giants continue to push boundaries and redefine what’s possible in the world of smartphones. Samsung’s emphasis on innovation, user-centric design, and the integration of cutting-edge features in the Galaxy S24 positions the brand as a formidable competitor in this ongoing battle.

VISUAL BRILLIANCE The crowning jewel of the Samsung Galaxy S24 is its awe-inspiring Dynamic AMOLED display, available in both 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch variants. This next-level display technology boasts HDR10+ support, offering a cinematic viewing experience with vibrant colours and deep, true blacks. The adaptive refresh rate, ensures that every swipe, scroll, and animation is met with unparalleled responsiveness. The S24’s display delivers an immersive journey. Capturing Moments with Precision Elevating the smartphone photography game, the Samsung Galaxy S24 introduces a 50MP Dual Lens Camera System that redefines what’s possible in mobile imaging. The main 50MP sensor, coupled with a versatile ultra-wide lens, captures images with jaw-dropping clarity and detail. The sophisticated AI-driven image processing enhances colours, sharpness, and dynamic range, ensuring that every shot tells a story. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply love capturing life’s moments, the S24’s camera system is a creative powerhouse that turns every photo into a work of art.

Snaffle it for bite-sized payments. The brand new Samsung Galaxy S24, with its new generative AI features, is out of this world. And the smart way to get it, is to Snaffle it! With the S24 in your hand… and your cash still in your pocket, you’ll strut through 2024


You can even trade-in your old phone, for up to $300 off your new purchase!

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Future Film Frontiers

Advancements in technology and creative approaches are revolutionising the movie production landscape. Innovations in visual effects and storytelling techniques are set to redefine the way films are created and experienced, promising a captivating cinematic future.

VIRTUAL PRODUCTION: One of the most significant innovations in movie production is the widespread adoption of virtual production techniques. Utilising advanced technology such as LED walls and real-time rendering, film-makers can create realistic environments without the need for extensive physical sets. This not only streamlines the production process but also provides film-makers with greater creative freedom. Directors can now visualize and adjust scenes in realtime, fostering a collaborative and dynamic approach to filmmaking. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN SCRIPTWRITING: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making its mark in the world of script writing. AI algorithms analyse vast amounts of data, including successful movie scripts, audience preferences, and market trends, to generate compelling and marketable storylines. While AI doesn't replace human creativity, it serves as a valuable tool to enhance the storytelling process. CGI-DRIVEN REALISM: Computer-generated imagery (CGI) continues to play a pivotal role in movie production, enabling filmmakers to achieve unprecedented levels of ‘realism.’ Whether creating ‘out of this world’ landscapes or bringing mythical creatures to life, CGI is pushing the boundaries of what's visually possible on the big screen. The integration of CGI enhances storytelling by providing filmmakers with limitless possibilities for world-building and character design.


DEEPFAKE TECHNOLOGY: Deepfake technology, which involves the use of AI to manipulate or replace visual and audio content, is finding its way into movie productions. It allows filmmakers to seamlessly integrate actors into scenes or alter performances post-production. While ethical considerations surround the use of deepfake technology, its potential to bring characters to life or recreate historical figures with astonishing realism is undeniable.



The innovation of upcoming movie productions, including here in the burgeoning Australian film industry, is a testament to the industry's ability to adapt and evolve. Virtual production, AI-driven scriptwriting, CGI-driven realism, deepfake technology, augmented reality in film marketing, immersive experiences, and sustainable practices are just a glimpse of the transformative changes underway. As filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of creativity and technology, audiences can anticipate a future where cinema becomes an even more immersive and diverse art form.

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming a powerful tool in film marketing. Filmmakers are leveraging AR to create interactive and engaging promotional campaigns. This innovation allows audiences to experience sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes content, and interactive elements related to the movie through their mobile devices. AR enhances the connection between the audience and the film before its release, building anticipation and excitement.

In response to growing environmental concerns, the film industry is embracing sustainable production practices. From eco-friendly set designs to carbon-neutral production processes, filmmakers are striving to reduce their ecological footprint. Innovations in green filmmaking not only contribute to environmental conservation but also reflect an industry-wide commitment to social responsibility.


BARTERING Our ancestors, navigating the early periods of trade, engaged in a system of bartering from around 10,000 BCE. Goods and services were exchanged directly: eg, a farmer might trade his cattle for a blacksmith’s tools. Beyond simple livestock transactions however, commodities like stones and salt played a crucial role as primitive forms of currency. Unique stones with distinct shapes and sizes served as a tangible representation of value, while salt, a precious preservative, became a sought-after medium of exchange. Yet, the bartering system faced inherent challenges. The subjective value of goods often led to protracted negotiations and the lack of a standardised unit of exchange hindered the fluidity of transactions. As civilisations sought more efficient means of trade, the transition to tangible currency became inevitable. MODERN CURRENCY

In the vast landscape that is commerce, the evolution of currency has woven a rich and varied tapestry, spanning the generations. From the rudimentary bartering of cattle and the exchanging of stones, to the advent of cryptocurrency and the modern convenience of e-wallets, the story of currency is a fascinating journey.


Enter coins and banknotes, heralding a new chapter in the history of currency around the 7th century BCE. The Lydians in Asia Minor are credited with minting the first standardised metal coins, marking a universally accepted medium for transactions.

These early coins were made of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver. Simultaneously, ancient China and Greece introduced their own forms of metal currency. This innovation not only streamlined trade but also laid the foundation for more intricate economies. Banknotes, representing certificates of value, further facilitated the ease of exchange, enabling consumers to conduct transactions without the burden of heavy metal currency. This use of coins and banknotes became widespread across different civilisations, marking a pivotal shift in how societies conducted commerce. THE DIGITAL FRONTIER When the mid 1970’s dawned, several banks had already trialled the use of bankcards and credit cards and these fantastic plastics - still in use today - became the new normal, until the late 1990’s and the rise of home internet, meant that electronic transactions linked to those accounts, became commonplace. As technology advanced in the 21st century, so did our methods of trade. In 2009, the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency.

This decentralised digital currency operates on blockchain technology, a system which records transactions across a peer-to-peer network, thus introducing a level of security and transparency previously unseen. Bitcoin offered a departure from traditional banking systems, allowing for fast, borderless transactions without the need for intermediaries. The rise of cryptocurrencies, however, was not without its sceptics. The volatile nature of crypto value and concerns about regulatory oversight, prompting both excitement and caution. However, the decentralised ethos and the promise of financial inclusivity has continued to capture the imagination of a growing user base, and lead to the proliferation of alternative cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. E-WALLETS: THE MODERN CONDUIT In the early 21st Century, as the world moved deeper into the digital age, transaction via e-wallets has offered unparalleled convenience and efficiency. E-wallets are digital repositories residing on smartphones. Users can effortlessly transfer money, pay bills, and make purchases with a tap on their screens, in an era where the physical boundaries of currency are all but erased. E-wallets not only store digital representations of traditional currencies but also enable the seamless use of cryptocurrencies, providing a unified platform for various forms of digital wealth.

A new era of financial flexibility has dawned. Now there’s a more convenient way to pay for the things you want. Introducing WalletPay, which lets you pay for those things in bite-sized payments over 1, 2 or 3 years. Simply apply for your wallet then shop online wherever you see the WalletPay symbol. Take control of your financial future, with WalletPay, the new way to pay.

The journey from stones and salt to e-wallets is a testament to human adaptability and ingenuity to meet the changing needs of a dynamic world. As we dive deeper into the digital era, the odyssey of currency types, reflects our timeless quest for more fluid, secure, and inclusive systems of trade.

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Navigating the Wellness Wave The modern health and wellness landscape is evolving rapidly, bringing forth exciting trends that promise to redefine our approach to well-being. SoWot explores the top eight wellness trends predicted to shape the year ahead, providing insights into how you can align your health goals.

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The symbiotic relationship between mental and physical well-being is in focus as more of us prioritise exercise for mental health benefits. With 93% motivated by the promise of improved mental well-being, this trend emphasises the importance of a healthy mind alongside a healthy body. Experts stress the need to consider mental health in fitness journeys for a holistic approach to well-being.

Outdoor workouts are hugely popular, with approximately 4 in 10 individuals choosing natural settings for their fitness routines. Research highlights the unique benefits of outdoor exercise, suggesting advantages for the brain. Activities like walking, running, hiking, swimming, and biking offer diverse fitness options in the great outdoors, encouraging individuals to stay active and connected with nature.

7. REVITALISING DAILY ROUTINES A conscious effort to prioritise joy and break the daily routine sees many of us now exploring new exercise regimens and pursuing hobbies purely for enjoyment that enhances happiness and increases brain activity. Many people adapt their wellness routines as life evolves, embracing new activities for a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

1. PRIORITISING RECOVERY IN FITNESS Exercise recovery takes centre stage in today’s world, transcending its traditional status as an afterthought. Recovery is integral to fitness routines, from specialised recovery equipment to dedicated warm-ups and cooldowns. With 29% already incorporating recovery tools, the surge in interest suggests a collective recognition of its pivotal role in achieving optimal fitness results. 2. EMBRACING LIFELONG WELL-BEING A societal shift towards a holistic approach to health and longevity is now centre stage. With longer life expectancies, we prioritise overall well-being, encompassing fitness, nutrition, sleep, and general health. This trend aligns with pursuing a healthier and more prosperous future, emphasising the importance of establishing a solid foundation for long-term health. 3. INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO SLEEP Quality sleep is crucial to your overall well-being and there’s a surge in creative solutions to improve sleep. Many people are exploring diverse avenues to enhance their rest, from sleep-enhancing gear to innovations in sleep technology like wearable sleep trackers and cooling mattresses.

The link between healthy sleep habits, mental health and longevity remains a focal point in pursuing well-being. 4. THE RISE OF ENHANCED WALKING Walking is a prominent wellness trend, appealing to many of us, regardless of age or fitness level. Scientific research underscores the benefits of walking, countering the effects of prolonged sitting and reducing the risk of various health issues. Outdoor and treadmill walks have gained popularity, emphasising the effectiveness and enjoyment of this form of exercise. 5. THE ASCENDANCE OF ROWING WORKOUTS Rowing is now a significant fitness trend, praised for its low-impact, full-body workout and meditative qualities. The mind-body connection that rowing offers, certainly resonates with fitness enthusiasts, leading to its recognition as effective exercise. Cross-training with rowing is expected to gain traction, further diversifying fitness routines.

As we head toward tomorrow, these 8 diverse wellness trends reflect the evolving nature of well-being and prove that there’s a daily routine and a wellness trend for everyone. Embrace them and make this year your healthiest and most balanced one yet!

Financing the business essentials in 2024


Embarking on the entrepreneurial path in Australia in 2024 necessitates strategic financial planning, especially when it comes to crucial capital purchases, from start-up investments to key assets. Using a modern style e-wallet gives you budgetary peace-of-mind as you know your monthly costs up front. Here's our Top 10 Tips to financing the significant acquisitions: 1. Digital Infrastructure Investment: Make sure you allocate capital for establishing a robust online presence. This includes funding for website development, e-commerce platforms, and digital marketing initiatives. A compelling digital footprint is an essential investment for reaching a broader audience and staying competitive. 2. Technology Integration and Tools: Invest in cutting-edge technology to streamline operations. Allocate capital for essential tools such as advanced point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. These investments contribute to operational efficiency and enhance the overall customer experience.

6. Vehicle Fleet: For businesses involving transportation or delivery services, consider financing a vehicle fleet. This may include financing vehicles, ensuring you have the necessary infrastructure to meet customer demands efficiently. 7. Specialised Software and Licences: Certain industries require specialised software or licenses. Allocate capital for acquiring and implementing industry-specific software that enhances your business operations and ensures compliance with regulations. 8. Customised Branding and Marketing Assets: Invest in professional branding and marketing materials. Whether it's designing a unique logo, creating promotional materials, or investing in high-quality signage, these capital purchases contribute to establishing a strong and memorable brand presence.

3. Equipment and Machinery: Depending on your industry, consider financing the purchase of necessary equipment and machinery. Whether it's specialised tools, manufacturing equipment, or high-tech machinery, securing the right assets is crucial for delivering quality products or services.

9. Energy-Efficient Technologies: Consider financing investments in energy-efficient technologies. From LED lighting to eco-friendly HVAC systems, incorporating sustainable practices into your business not only aligns with environmental consciousness but may also result in longterm cost savings.

4. Inventory Procurement: Allocate capital for initial inventory procurement. This is a critical investment, particularly for retail or product-based businesses. Negotiate favourable terms with suppliers and consider financing options that align with your cash flow projections.

10. Security Systems and Technology: Safeguard your business by allocating capital for security systems and technology. Whether it's surveillance cameras, access control systems, or cybersecurity measures, these investments protect your assets and sensitive information.

5. Facility and Renovations: If your business requires a physical space, allocate funds for securing and possibly renovating the premises. Whether it's leasing commercial space or investing in modifications to align with your business needs, these capital expenditures are integral to creating a functional and appealing business environment.

In summary, when launching a small business in Australia in 2024, strategic financing for crucial capital purchases is essential. Look for a local Australian funder that specialises in business finance. By allocating funds for digital infrastructure, technology integration, equipment, inventory, and other key assets, you position your business for sustainable growth and success in today’s competitive market.


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Tech Harmony: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow In the fast-paced world of today, technology has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of our daily lives, transforming the way we wake up, work, and unwind. From dawn till dusk, a plethora of tech essentials surrounds us, making life more efficient, convenient, and enjoyable. Today's tech essentials have become indispensable in our daily routines.

MORNING RITUALS: Smart Alarm Clocks and Wearables

WORKPLACE INNOVATIONS: Remote Collaboration and Productivity Tools

As the morning sun kisses the horizon, smart alarm clocks gently rouse us from our slumber. Connected to our sleep patterns, these devices ensure we wake up at the optimal time, feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Wearables seamlessly continue this process, monitoring our health metrics, and providing insights into our wellbeing.

In the modern workplace, technology facilitates seamless collaboration regardless of physical location. Virtual reality (VR) meetings, collaborative cloudbased platforms, and advanced productivity tools empower individuals to work efficiently, breaking down geographical barriers and fostering a global work culture. Virtual workout platforms offer personalised fitness routines, making it easier to stay fit and healthy even in the midst of a busy schedule.

CONNECTED KITCHEN: Smart Appliances and AI-driven Meal Planning In the kitchen, smart appliances take centre stage. Refrigerators equipped with touchscreens and cameras help manage inventory, while AI-driven meal planning apps suggest personalised recipes based on dietary preferences and nutritional needs. Smart coffee makers start brewing the perfect cup as soon as the alarm goes off, ensuring a caffeinated kickstart to the day. SMART HOMES: Integrated Ecosystems for Seamless Living Tech-savvy homes are now equipped with integrated ecosystems that control everything from lighting and temperature to security and entertainment. Voice activated virtual assistants, connected to smart speakers, effortlessly respond to our commands, creating a harmonious environment that adapts to our preferences. COMMUTE AND CONNECTIVITY: Electric Vehicles and Autonomous Driving The morning commute has undergone a tech revolution with electric vehicles hitting the streets. Autonomous driving features potentially make the journey safer and allow commuters to make the most of their time, whether catching up on work or enjoying entertainment in the comfort of their connected cars.


ENTERTAINMENT ON-DEMAND: Streaming Services and AI Recommendations In the evening, streaming services deliver a personalised entertainment experience, with AI algorithms suggesting movies and shows tailored to individual preferences. Smart TVs with voice and gesture controls enhance the viewing experience, creating a cinema-like atmosphere in the comfort of our homes. BEDTIME RITUALS: Smart Sleep Aids and Relaxation Tech As the day winds down, smart sleep aids come into play, adjusting lighting and temperature to create the ideal sleep environment. White noise machines and relaxation apps further enhance the bedtime experience, ensuring a restful night's sleep to recharge for the day ahead. From the moment we wake up to the time we close our eyes, technology has become an indispensable companion, streamlining our daily routines and enhancing our overall quality of life. As we continue to embrace the tech essentials of tomorrow, one thing is clear: the future holds even more innovations that will seamlessly integrate into our lives, which for many of us, could make each day more connected, efficient and enjoyable than the last.


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“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” ~ Viktor E Frankl

Who are you trying to change? Often, it is the people we love and care about the most. The people who we have invested our time, energy, and resources into. The people with whom our connections and commitments run deep.

We can naturally think that we know what is best for others, and we can turn blue in effort trying to convince people so too. Of course, it is heart breaking to see people ‘destroying’ their bodies, their relationships, their lives, when you can see and feel another way. That is tough. And yet people don’t change because we want them to, or necessarily in a way we want them to. People change because they want to, if and when they want to, not a moment before. Time spent traveling with my darling Mum was a perfect example of this for me recently. I’d just completed my Wim Hof Method Instructor Training course and was feeling excited and passionate about sharing this practice with everyone – especially given the number of health benefits it claims: improving sleep, reducing anxiety, increasing energy levels and mood,


Just because I think certain things are helpful, or would be beneficial, that does not necessarily mean that they are for everyone. There are no one size fits all offerings. Everyone has their own path to walk - at a pace and in a direction that works for them. As hard as we may try, we simply cannot always understand people’s choices, thought processes, or ways of being—and we don’t have to. Commencing our time together I thought I would be the one ‘teaching’ my Mum, but really it was the other way around. I was the student - learning the art of letting go, and the art of non-attachment. I was learning to try and put forward my ideas, options, and opinions with a sincere heart, and open mind, free from any expectations or desires for particular outcomes. Which is not easy by the way. All the while learning to let go of the idea that I needed to change, help, and heal my Mum. I was slowly learning to simply be there, offering love, acceptance, and support; being witness to and in full celebration of who she already is. There was in fact nothing to change. And indeed, change happened, but not from any forceful attempt to do so. Rather through a process of accepting, allowing and welcoming all of her to be there. The fun, the frustrating, the familiar, the foreign - all of it. Who came to mind for you? Who have you been trying to change all these years to no avail? Knowing everything you know about this person, can you accept them as exactly as they are – flaws galore and all? May this be a relieving reminder to release yourself from the responsibility of trying to change people. You don’t need to, and it’s not your job to do so. The only person you can willingly change is yourself. Your actions, your thoughts, your desires, your words - how you show up in the world! Keeping in mind the timeless wisdom above from Victor E. Frankl, “when you can no longer change the situation, you are challenged to change yourself”. Your change can of course be a source of permission and inspiration for others to follow – so let’s start there with compassion and curiosity.

reducing inflammation in the body. I mean who doesn’t need all the above really? My mum certainly did. Or so I had decided. I had decided that my Mum needed to change – become less anxious, more motivated, sleep better, breathe better, and that I was the one to help her do so, in a way that I deemed best. A way that made sense to me. But not necessarily my Mum. Breathing exercises, cold water immersions, and meditation are my anchors; practices that help set my body, mind, and breath up for the day. Naturally, we feel passionate about things that we enjoy and practices that have helped improve our quality of life, and we want to share that with others. But time with Mum quickly reminded me not to project my idea of what health, happiness, strength, and inner peace looked or felt like onto others.

RI HOKARA HANNAH or for Snaffle. bassad Social Am

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f o e c n e s s e U n v e i l i n g t h e & K yo t o . a k a s O , o y k o T Japan stands as a treasure trove of culture, innovation, and natural beauty, drawing in travellers from around the world. Among its many gems, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto stand out as the crown jewels of this remarkable nation. Modern Japan is a tapestry of Tokyo's dynamism, Osaka's flavours, and Kyoto's grace. TOKYO: THE METROPOLIS OF MARVELS The bustling metropolis of Tokyo is a vibrant blend of modern skyscrapers, historic temples, and electric energy. The city's heartbeat echoes through its neon-lit streets, where tradition and innovation intertwine seamlessly. Begin your exploration in the historic district of Asakusa, where the majestic Senso-ji Temple stands proudly, offering a glimpse into Japan's spiritual heritage. Delve deeper into Tokyo's modernity by visiting Shibuya Crossing, an iconic intersection pulsating with life - a testament to the city's bustling rhythm. For a taste of Tokyo's futuristic vision, head to Odaiba, an artificial island featuring avant-garde architecture, shopping malls, and entertainment centers. Here, the digital art museum, teamLab Borderless, transports visitors to a mesmerizing world of immersive art and technology. Don't miss out on the culinary adventures Tokyo has to offer. Dive into the world of sushi at the famed Tsukiji Fish Market or relish the city's diverse street food scene in areas like Shinjuku and Harajuku.



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OSAKA: THE GASTRONOMIC HAVEN Osaka, known as Japan's "Kitchen," is a tantalising blend of flavours, history, and hospitality. The city's warmth and vibrant culinary scene captivate travellers instantly. Start your Osaka journey at Dotonbori, a bustling street famed for its neon lights, lively atmosphere, and delectable street food. Indulge in takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), and other local delicacies while immersing yourself in the lively ambiance. Explore Osaka Castle, a magnificent structure steeped in history that offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. For a taste of traditional Japan, wander through the serene grounds of Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country. Entertainment thrives in Osaka, with Universal Studios Japan drawing thrill-seekers and movie enthusiasts alike. Additionally, the city's nightlife in districts like and Namba promises unforgettable experiences.

KYOTO: THE TIMELESS ELEGANCE Steeped in history and tradition, Kyoto presents a serene contrast to the dynamic energy of Tokyo and Osaka. This city is a living museum, preserving Japan's ancient culture and heritage. Visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the golden temple shimmers amid lush greenery, exuding tranquility and beauty. Explore the historic streets of Gion, known for its traditional tea houses and the enchanting sight of geisha (geiko) and maiko (apprentice geisha) gliding gracefully. The Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates leading up the sacred Mount Inari, offers a mystical and spiritual experience. For a serene escape, Arashiyama's bamboo groves and the exquisite rock garden at Ryoan-ji Temple provide moments of reflection and awe.

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Kyoto's rich cultural heritage extends to its culinary scene, boasting kaiseki (traditional multi-course meals), matcha (green tea) ceremonies, and the art of wagashi (Japanese sweets). In conclusion, Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto embody Japan's rich culture, offering a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. Each destination stands as a testament to Japan's unique ability to preserve its heritage while embracing innovation, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in an unforgettable journey through time and culture. Whether it's the bustling streets of Tokyo, the culinary delights of Osaka, or the timeless elegance of Kyoto, these destinations promise an experience that lingers in the hearts of all who visit.

From the Sherrin to Sheeran

“It’s all happening here at the MCG” Nestled in the heart of Melbourne, the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground - or as Melbournians know it, ‘The G’ – echoes the cheers of countless generations of sports and music fans.


For 170 years, The MCG has witnessed some of the most iconic moments in Australian history, hosting a diverse range of events that have left an indelible mark on the world of sports. With a spectator capacity of over 100,000, the MCG is a symbol of Australia's passion for big sporting events. The stadium made history on March 15, 1877, by hosting the inaugural Test cricket match between Australia and England. Although ‘The Ashes’ did not formally commence for another 5 years, the 1877 game marked the birth of a cricketing tradition. From that pivotal moment onward, the MCG became a stage for iconic sporting performances across a host of sports. In 1956, ‘The G’ underwent a transformation as it played host to the Summer Olympics. The stadium, adorned with the Olympic rings, witnessed unforgettable moments in track & field, soccer, hockey and even baseball! The 1956 Olympics not only showcased Melbourne's ability to host a global event but also solidified the MCG's status as a versatile sporting arena. THE BIRTH OF THE BOXING DAY TEST TRADITION Since 1950, The MCG has been the centre stage for what has become a time-honoured tradition synonymous with Australian summer of cricket, the Boxing Day Test.

This game has consistently drawn enormous crowds, creating an atmosphere unparalleled in the cricketing world. Over the years, iconic moments have unfolded on Boxing Day, with a host of legendary players delivering career-defining performances. One of the most memorable unfolded on Boxing Day in 2006, when the legendary Shane Warne became the first player in the history of the game to take 700 test wickets, when his sharp-turning leg break to dismiss England’s Andrew Strauss set the stadium alight. ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER The MCG's legacy as a venue transcends cricket. Since 1902, The MCG has also been the epicentre of Australian Rules Football, hosting the competition’s Grand Final initially as the Victorian Football League and later as the nationwide AFL as it’s known today. The AFL Grand Final is a true spectacle and attracts fans from right across the country. They come, clad in their tribal colours ready to witness heart-stopping moments and victories to discuss for generations to come. Aside from the WWII years and the disturbance created by the COVID pandemic, the MCG has been the home of the Grand Final for over 120 years. The MCG's modern ability to seamlessly transition between cricket and football speaks volumes about its adaptability and enduring significance in the Australian sporting landscape.


GETTING ITS GIG ON DID YOU KNOW? The first ever Australia VS England cricket test was played at the MCG in March 1877 and resulted in a win to ‘the colonials’ of 45 runs. One hundred years later at The Centenary Test, the exact same result was repeated when Greg Chappell’s side defeated the old enemy by 45 runs following a stalwart resistance by Derek Randall who scored 177 to almost bring the tourists home.

When the footballs are packed away, the vast arena of the MCG plays host to the world’s greatest music artists. From David Bowie, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones… to Michael Jackson, Guns N Roses and Eminem, the G has welcomed some of the largest crowds in the music world. When Ed Sheeran played the MCG in 2023, he broke his own night 1 attendance record of 108,000 fans, by playing to 109,500 fans just 24 hours later! Taylor Swift set the stadium alight this week!.

Job Well Done Australia! Proud custodians of both the Womens’ and Mens’ Cricket World Cups.

From that inaugural test cricket match in 1877 to the fireworks of rock band KISS during the 2023 AFL Grand Final, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has woven a narrative of sporting excellence that spans well over a century. Its hallowed turf has borne witness to the triumphs and tribulations of athletes from various disciplines, leaving an indelible mark on the world of sports.

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Face to face with MOB What started as a dream 14 years ago to help Gold Coast youth at risk, is today a reality. SoWot sat down with Men of Business (MOB) Founder and ‘2024 QLD Australian of The Year’, Marco Renai, to find out more.

Marco Renai is an inspiring Aussie bloke. Ironic, because in 2010, it was his Italian heritage that gave him the inspiration to brand his charity Men of Business. His energy is tangible and to those who know him, Marco is the guy who gets stuff done. We spent a morning with Marco to understand where MOB has come from and where it’s headed.

My goal was to go to businessmen… successful men who could give advice and share their own stories, in the hope of inspiring these young men. We started out as 8 businessmen around a table, eating a bowl of pasta and we came up with an idea we called Men of Business. MOB, just 1 year later was a team of 20 men. A few short years later, we’re at the casino hosting corporate lunches to raise money!

SoWot: Marco, take us back to the start. You identified that there was a real problem here on the Gold Coast with some of our young men and you got a few people together to help. But what was your goal at the start?

SoWot: What did the early programs look like? What was the concept? Marco: The heart behind MOB was always ‘Paying it Forward”. The early programs with the boys were 2 hours. We’d train for 1 hour, then the mentors that we’d gathered from all walks of life - from war heroes to successful ‘men of business’ - would share their own inspiring stories.

Marco: I got a phone call from a friend. She needed help with a few young males from Youth Justice and didn’t know what to do with them and I wanted to help. I owned a gym at the time, so I turned up in my van to meet these kids, put on some rap music and put them through a workout – Although a step in the right direction, I soon realised that was never going to be enough. I was so inspired by the stories the boys shared about their own circumstances. They had troubled home lives, had disengaged from school and were getting into strife. The boys were out on the street and stealing cars, they were just lost. The system hadn’t been a good fit for them, and they ended up getting expelled and discarded by that system.

We focussed these chats around the core philosophies: trust, passion, purpose, respect, inner strength, what it is to be a man, anger and emotions, communication, and where to next in your life. MOB ran programs at the gym, in schools, wherever we could help. SoWot: How hard was it to engage with the wider business network and raise the money? Marco: To make a real difference, we kept our focus on the niche problem. We spent the first 9 years swinging between having funds and going broke - but having a specific target market to reach out to, certainly helped. No way at this point did I truly think that we were going to build a school. It was truly just to help a few people have a better life.


Marco Renai


SoWot: But after 9 years of the program and hosting fund-raisers to keep afloat, what changed? Marco: Around that time, while doing a program at a school, I ran into it’s CEO, a guy named Jason Sessarago. He showed genuine interest in what was happening because we had his toughest kids laughing and crying as they allowed themselves to be vulnerable in a safe environment. Jason offered to help and asked what I needed. The answer was clear – stability of funding. To which he replied “I’ll get you a school… You just need to raise $1 million dollars.” It took us 2 years to raise it, but we got the $1 million selling 1000 sponsored bricks at $1000 each. In 2020, during the COVID pandemic my gym went from 400 members to 0 and my wife and I made the heartbreaking decision to close – It was then I decided to put all my faith and love into the school. We started with 8 kids at MOB Academy and by the end of that year, there was 20. By the end of the next, there was 80, then 160, now there’s 220 boys in Years 11 and 12 plus 40 of the most amazing staff you could ever wish for - from the kitchen team to the psychologists. The program is practical and engaging, tailored specifically to the boys. We are now working with local companies just like Aspire42 to help our young men to be the best they can be. SoWot: That’s not the end of the dream though, is it? We have consolidated 1500m2 in the centre of Southport to build a new legacy school to cater for a younger age range. We plan to include mental health and wellbeing programs and a host of innovative learning initiatives. Step 1 is complete; we have secured the property. But to turn dirt in mid ’25 and open for the 2027 school year, we need to raise $20,000,000. And in doing so, we’ll have a blueprint we can take Australia wide. SoWot: Your work saw you rewarded with an ‘Australian of the Year’ nomination this year. It must be a tremendous honour? I see the Australian of the Year nomination as ‘a seat at the table’ where I can use my voice to challenge the education system. Take my own story for example: I hated school. I ran away, got caned, and was mad at my teachers and principals my whole life. But you reach a stage in life where you want to give back. The MOB Academy is that chance, but we need the communities help to get this done. Instead of selling 1000 bricks, this time I need to sell 20,000!


For more information or to make a charitable donation to Men of Business Academy (MOB), go to


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