WorldPosted by

Yarns from the heart: the role of Aboriginal English in Indigenous health communication

Indigenous Australians experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians. They are sick more often, die younger and are at higher risk of serious health complications, including heart disease. One way to improve health outcomes is through targeted health communication in local languages. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen increased attention given to the use of Indigenous languages in health settings around the world, including Australia. Many COVID-19 resources have been developed in partnership with local communities, including in widely-spoken Australian Aboriginal languages such as Kriol. Other initiatives have inspired new Indigenous health professionals to effectively communicate complex medical terminology and concepts to...
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Public HealthPosted by

When will we reach herd immunity? Here are 3 reasons that’s a hard question to answer

As we try to control COVID-19, many people are keen to know what proportion of the population will need to be vaccinated in order to reach “herd immunity”. It’s a reasonable question. People are asking because they want to know when we’ll see an end to lockdowns; when they’ll be able to reunite with loved ones overseas; when their businesses will have more security; when headlines will no longer be dominated by COVID-19.
JapanPosted by

How a new trade deal could make it harder to improve life for Australians in aged care

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signed in November 2020 between Australia and 14 nations including Singapore, Japan and China could make it harder to tighten the regulations relating to aged care. This isn’t because of any special provisions the agreement contains, but because of a special provision that is missing. As is common with trade and investment deals signed by the Australian government, the text was only made public after it was signed. It will not have legal force until the parliament passes implementing legislation after a recommendation from the parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which will hold public hearings...
EducationPosted by

Yes, adult literacy should be improved. But governments can make their messages easier to read right now

A parliamentary inquiry is looking into how to improve adult literacy in Australia. Having a low level of literacy is not the same thing as being illiterate. The definition of “illiterate” is the inability to read or write. A low level of literacy is more complex and relates to people’s abilities to read, write and understand a range of information that allows them to fully participation in society. According to the OECD, 40–50% of adults in Australia have literacy levels below the international standard required for participation in work, education and society. Together with literacy, the inquiry will also look at...
WorldPosted by

Yes, there's confusion about ATAGI's AstraZeneca advice. But it's in an extremely difficult position

One can totally understand the frustration around where the AstraZeneca vaccine fits in our vaccine rollout in Australia. At a time when we’re grappling with so much uncertainty, we need unambiguous information from the federal government about who should have this vaccine. Instead, it feels very much like we’re swirling in a murky sea of information that is confusing and, at times, seems to be contradictory. Read more: Morrison government orders Pfizer 'boosters', while hoping new ATAGI advice will warm people to AstraZeneca ...
Income TaxPosted by

View from The Hill: Labor wouldn't disturb tax cuts, negative gearing in 'small target' strategy

After making itself a mega target in 2019, Labor has confirmed it will be a small one in 2022 by promising an Albanese government would keep the 2024 income tax cuts and not disturb negative gearing and capital gains tax. This decision essentially completes the “de-Shortening” of Labor’s controversial policy pitch. The plan to scrap franking credit cash refunds, which saw a Coalition scare campaign at the last election, was ditched some time ago. With the Coalition having limited scope to make big promises, and the opposition determined to confine itself to a fairly narrow agenda, the election seems likely to be...
SportsPosted by

How do Olympic athletes stack up against invertebrates? Not very well

Olympians spend years training to be the best of the best. Scientists and sportspeople have spent decades researching the mechanics of the human body to ensure our elite athletes are always reaching higher, faster and stronger. But how do human athletic skills compare with those of insects and arachnids? Once you take the relative sizes into account, it’s clear invertebrates have the winning edge. Strength Weightlifting is a common measure for human strength. Weightlifters can compete in two events at the Olympics: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The men’s snatch world record of 222 kilograms is held by Lasha Talakhadze...
LifestylePosted by

Curious Kids: are sugar rushes real?

When I’m happy after eating something sweet mummy and daddy say I am having a “sugar rush”. But I think I’m just happy! Is a sugar rush a real thing? – Rosie, aged 7. Hi Rosie! We’re so excited you asked this question. A sugar rush is an old saying...
IndustryPosted by

To ensure supply of the top 3 drugs used to treat COVID-19, it's time to boost domestic medicine manufacturing

We now know enough about how COVID works for health authorities to have issued clear guidance on which drugs doctors should use on hospitalised patients. The recommended drugs are dexamethasone, remdesivir, and tocilizumab. Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, is not manufactured in Australia and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recently issued an alert warning of a shortage of tocilizumab in Australia. And the large dexamethasone manufacturers are based overseas. The website Pharmaoffer, which shows suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients, lists the countries that produce the active ingredient in dexamethasone; Australia is not one of them. More broadly, Australia lacks medicines manufacturing...
CollegesPosted by

For too long, research was done on First Nations peoples, not with them. Universities can change this

For too long, “research” was an activity done to or on Indigenous people; it was something imposed from the outside. This was especially the case for people who came from communities that were oppressed or marginalised in the colonialism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Indigenous people throughout the world feel they have been the subjects of endless measurement, recording, and invasion of privacy with little or no apparent benefit except for the scholars who make careers out of it. Māori scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith calls this approach “research adventures in Indigenous lands” in her book Decolonising Methodologies. Our collaboratively edited volume,...
WildlifePosted by

How people and plants can live together sustainably, a live-streamed event

Stories of plants and people are connected in countless ways. Humans have always needed and loved plants, but we have also caused untold destruction on natural environments around the globe. The Conversation co-hosted an online panel discussion exploring the interconnections between the human and natural worlds on June 14 2021, presented in partnership with the State Library of Queensland. Panellists Eddie Game from The Nature Conservancy, Tanja Beer from the Queensland College of Art, Prudence Gibson from UNSW and Laura Skates from the University of Western Australia, discussed people’s interactions with plants across social, emotional, scientific and creative endeavours. This discussion was presented to accompany Entwined: plants and people, a free exhibition at the State Library of Queensland that celebrates and explores the complexity and beauty of plants. It is open until November 14 2021. Watch it below.