A sorry affair for Australia’s climate…

Today we witnessed the inevitable from the Abbott Government, the repeal of the Carbon Tax and subsequently all environmental policy.

I’m by no means a scientist, and I’m the first person to put my hand up and say I don’t understand all the technical aspects of Climate Change. What I do know is that our environmental state is one of the most important things that should be on any governments agenda. Australia is one of the most sustainable countries in terms of living off of our land.

There is talk that this repeal was about ‘saving money and giving back to average Australian families with savings of $500’… I call bullshit on this! What this is about is Abbott and Co asserting their authority by throwing out one of the best ALP polices and keeping their big business mates happy. 

Now, I myself, do not have a degree in economics, which I believe Mr Abbott does, but I can tell you there are 4 key fundamental elements that make up the basis of economics. These four items are, Land, Labour, Capital and Entrepreneurship. Now, if any economists happens to stumble across this blog post, feel free to let me know if I have this right or wrong, but in Microeconomics we are told that the land is the most valuable commodity you can have. It generates rent and provides space for all other activities. Keeping that statement in mind, clearly having legislation that protects our environment is an important economic policy. History shows us that the best way to ensure there is a degree of adherence to a legislation is to implement financial penalties (in this case the form of a tax, price, levy…according to Joe Hockey, you can call it a Rabbit, they are all essentially the same thing).

Maybe I am just a die hard greenie at heart, but give me a degree of indulgence here (it is my blog after all) I wonder if and what the current government ministers were thinking when they decided to scrap this plan. I’m sure I can take a few guesses, but my real question is, will Tony Abbott’s grandchildren be able to have a sustainable future in terms of employment? Will our environment be viable in the next 40 years? Will we even have land that will be able to produce resources? This may be a bit out of the ordinary, but Tony Abbott, if you think repealing this bill will aid people who make a living off the land I would be you my apparent ‘$500 worth of savings’ that it will do more damage then good when it comes to farmers.

I wish the LNP would be as concerned about our environmental climate as they seem to be in protecting the future generations from our current ’emergency state’ economic climate.

With further thoughts on statements made by the LNP, this repeal will give businesses the opportunity to increase their employee numbers, while this may have a degree of truth to it, although I’m not too sure how much the biggest carbon producers actually care (wouldn’t they just ram up the price the consumers have to pay?). It comes to a point where we need to talk about a sustainable job and industry market. I have read many articles that showcase that if there were substantial investments in the renewable energy sector, this would create a new growing industry for Australia. Let’s face it, in light of many industries that are planned to fold like the car manufacturing industry, Australia needs to create new industries to ensure that we have a steady stream of employment figures.

While I have no qualms with businesses making money, they have every right too. I just believe that people over profits is a more socially acceptable environment to live in. I also believe that if we aren’t at the stage of investing in new emerging markets that would protect our unique environmental climate, we should have legislation that does have some preventative measures.

The issue of climate change has been a widely known event since the 1970’s. I would like to be part of a generation that protects and puts in measures that aim to curb or reduce the rate of the effect that climate change is having on our earth.  

To every person who voted to ‘axe the tax’ I hope your future generations appreciate the supposed $500 you will receive in savings… my hot tip, is if you are one of the ‘average’ Australian families who will actually see this benefit in terms of, why not invest in some solar power? Maybe then it may be worth it, ever so slightly.

Advertisements

University Note Taking

I had been asked by a few people what system I use to take uni notes, and as you can see from my previous post I prefer a paper based mode.

This is my system, it is not perfect, it is a lot of doubling up but it works for me.

The first step of my process consist of printing lecture notes. I like printing the PowerPoint slides/pdf files provided. I tend to print them 9 to a page – cost effective and still easy to read. I find that if you print them landscape you have a bit more room to annotate during the lecture. Even if the lecture is external or I’m listening online I still do this, as I highlight and scribble quick notes besides the relevant slide.

Next step is to go and attempt to read the relevant chapter or readings. I can’t guarantee that I do this every single week. I start off motivated, but motivation often hits a certain level and you don’t do anything but the bare minimum to scrape by (now you are living the true uni student lifestyle). I like to make notes by either highlighting the textbook or just jotting down relevant phrases from the readings.

I then in an ideal world sit and combine my notes from the readings and lecture slides into ‘topic summaries’. I usually do this on my computer, about a page worth of bullet points that lists the key concepts of the topic. Depending on your unit you can work through the learning objectives (either listed in your unit outline or in the lecture slides) to ensure that you have covered the right key concepts of the chapters. The trick is, if its not in the learning objectives they can’t examine you on it.

Now this process may seem annoying and doubling up, but trust me if you have a content heavy subject you will be cheering when it comes to exam time as you will have a good solid basis of a framework to cram for your exam.

The trick is to do a lot of prep work throughout the semester, as your notes will come in handy when it comes to exam season.

Hope that helps a few of you entering into the university world. 🙂

 

 

University Organisation

It is safe to say that I’m not the greatest university student. I am not super smart and extremely academic, but alas I have been there long enough (just entering 3rd year) to share some tips about organising and the things that I have found most useful.

1. PRINT YOUR UNIT OUTLINE!

Your unit outline is your bible, take it to class carry it around learn it, live it, breath it. Hopefully you have a good unit outline, I have had some that aren’t very well detailed, it should give you a run down of due dates and what topics will be covered in each week.

 

2. WALL CALENDAR 

these are my saving grace! I have on above my desk and it is constantly a good source of motivation. I bought this from Kikki K years ago, they have similar pads in stock all year.

3. COLOUR CODING

I’m a visual person, colours represent a big part of my cognitive processes.

I colour code my folders, the pens I use in my diary, page flags, even my assignment title pages are in the same colour as the ‘unit colour’

4. ELECTRONIC VS WRITTEN

This is a big topic, however I will say there are pros and cons to using both methods. I have tried both and almost every other system over organising notes, I find that personally I work much better with writing my notes. I tend to remember more once I have written it down. I once read that you are more likely to retain information you have written down as there is a connection between muscle memory and the brain.

Another tip, which admittedly does throw out the colour coding system, is to highlight in orange. Apparently the brain significantly remembers more if important information is in orange.

5. GET A DIARY

It goes without saying, get yourself a diary. Use a paper based or electronic system, completely up to you. But knowing when things are due is essential!

I love my Filofax, it is my bible…I even scale down my unit outlines, print them and punch them to put into my Filofax.

6. CREATE A STUDYING ROUTINE

Hopefully, you have created your timetable, fingers crossed you got the classes you wanted – it is always such a struggle.

I like to create a study routine,

i.e Monday mornings – drive to uni early and before class complete readings for xyz, Wednesday afternoon read chapters for subject abc.

I try my hardest to stick to it – but if it gets sidelined don’t beat yourself up over it.

7. STUDY IN THE SAME PLACE

Something I have learnt in my time as a uni student, is that I’m not very productive at home. I am more productive in the library of my campus. I also have this habit of studying for one subject in one area of the library and studying for another subject in another area of the library. You could really apply this to any setting – find an area that is productive for the work you need to do. Although on tip is not to sit in the library when writing an essay and you want to sing. #truestory

8. MUSIC

I adore music, it is always a key factor in my day. I’m always the girl with her headphones in when sitting alone. Find some form of music that doesn’t distract you too much, but is enough that there is no deafening silence. Silence almost kills me! I need some form of noise. I find that radio stations like Triple J are great, they play a wide range of music, most of it you probably wouldn’t have heard of so it is a good background noise to have.

9. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE USE OF COFFEE

There is a comforting warmth of wrapping your hands around a mug (or in most of my cases a paper cup) full of coffee. It is the pick me up in my day. I must say that university coffee is fantastic, they know we are all stressed out and need a big caffeine hit, and it is usually the cheapest coffee you will find!

And you can play the game of ‘how will they spell my name this time’ – you can follow me on instagram to see how my progress is going lol.

10. GET TO KNOW YOUR TEACHERS

I must admit, I was very shy starting university. It was a whole new experience, I had no friends there and really wasn’t 100% sure I what was going on. I felt sorry for the teachers asking questions to a unresponsive class, so I stuck my head up to answer a question.

The great thing is that teachers appreciate the input, it makes their job easier. Even if you are wrong in the answer you provide, it creates momentum for the teaching staff. I have always tried to form a good basis of a relationship with the teaching staff. They are one of the key factors in your success of the unit. I have been lucky enough to rotate through a handful of teaching staff that teach the units in my degree so having that relationship is a great help.

 

On that note an important thing to remember is the trial and error is the only way you can find a method that suits you. Although I do love a good suggestion, if you have any send them my way.

Enactus – Inspiring Leadership Program

This week I attended my first training session after being accepted in to a mentoring role in the Inspiring Leadership Program run by Enactus at Macquarie University.

This program had a rather odd application process, most university programs are just an application and you are accepted. This required a resume and a cover letter.

Upon arriving to the training day we all shuffled into the computer room and were provided with the traditional ‘what’s your name? what degree are you studying? and a random fact about yourself’ I can tell you that our group of mentors come from such a diverse background, it really is rather amazing.

So in a nutshell what is this program about? Well, it is mentors who go to low socio-economic schools and speak to a range of school aged kids who the teachers may feel need a little bit of help in establishing a career path after school. It is our job as mentors to listen, learn and grow with these young people who have a whole range off things going on in their life. Suggest things they might find interesting i.e applying to uni, tafe, obtaining a job after school.

As mentors we work with schools in the Central Coast and Western Sydney area. I am excited and a little intimidated by doing this, talk about removing yourself out of your comfort zone! I can’t wait for further training days and for the program to actually get underway.

If you are at university and are interested in something similar, definitely Google your university and Enactus it is such a great opportunity to enrich your life and hopefully the lives of others who may need a little direction.

 

A Green Afternoon

Hellllloooo blog! Long time no speak.

I was going to blog about this event quite a few weeks ago, but with the uni exam period commencing there was no chance in hell I was going to get to do anything else.

On the 22nd of June I dragged my little sister along to a political event. I’m not going to lie, I really only wanted to attend to see what Greens Senator Scott Ludlam of this viral video fame had to say. What I got out of it was really much greater. The event was hosted by Jamie Parker – Greens NSW member for Balmain. He spoke about a few issues that affect people within NSW. As one would hope for in a politician, he is smart, measured and very well spoken.

 

Another great addition to the event was Jenny Leong, who is running for NSW parliament in the seat of Newtown. I really liked Jenny, she has a real passion for the area and the people that live there. An interesting fact about the Newtown area, is it is one of the very few places in Australia where people don’t identify with a religion. Hearing Jenny speak of her electorate makes me miss working there. Although it was only a short lived working career in Newtown, it was a lot of fun. Newtown has such a strange mix of people, who coexist wonderfully together. It has such a cool vibe. Hearing Jenny speak made me wish I lived in Newtown, she would defiantly receive my vote. I hope Newtown provide her the opportunity to sit in parliament, she would be a great asset to NSW. Keep an eye out for her, I will be following her career closely.

 

That brings me to the last speaker at the event. Before we go any further, I would like to add that Scott Ludlam is not your typical politician. There are very few airs and graces as he stands before you. He casually strolled into the lecture theatre (being the first politician to arrive) extremely casually, if you blinked you would have just mistaken him for another face in the crowd, no pomp, no ceremony, no posse of staff behind him.

Scott presented his Perth 2029 plan to the packed audience, and what a fascinating plan it is. Focusing on bringing public transport into a mainstream mode of transport for the city of Perth. It is important to note, that I have never made it over to Perth, yet. However, the plan to build cheap easy to put up housing for people and a whole a array of other plans was truly fascinating. This plan has even won an award. With a great use of graphics (wouldn’t except any less from a ex graphic designer) and a witty, truthful delivery Mr Ludlam had the a very captive audience.

The audience were invited by the Chair of the event Senator Lee Rhiannon to ask questions. Of course, me being me had to ask a question. The question I asked related to the Perth 2029 plan and the housing/building plan. The plan sets out quick build projects within certain limits, my question was that if this project was also to provide the local area with jobs, what happens when the program is over? How will you tackle the unemployment?

The response Senator Ludlam provided, wasn’t one that I was hoping for. And that my friends is why you shouldn’t have role models in politics. A little disheartened that it wasn’t the response I was hoping for, and if it was the right setting I would have pushed the issue further. It was a good reminder that we all have our own individual passions.

After the event the speakers stayed around to chat to a few people. My sister, who was rather excited at this point wanted to go and ask a question. I think she didn’t care who she spoke to she just wanted to say something to someone she see as important. As we stood and tried to pick a topic I suggested that she ask Scott Ludlam about Julian Assange.  He spoke frankly to us about the issues surrounding the situation Mr Assange faces. I must say that he was nice enough to take the time to talk to everyone who wanted to speak to him, that I appreciate in a person. (and then this happened!)

 

On the whole the afternoon was really interesting, a great informative event. I hope we get to see Scott Ludlam on the east coast again soon.