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“Tar sands (also referred to as oil sands) are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil. Tar sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil. The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating with additional upgrading.


Tar sands are mined and processed to generate oil similar to oil pumped from conventional oil wells, but extracting oil from tar sands is more complex than conventional oil recovery. Oil sands recovery processes include extraction and separation systems to separate the bitumen from the clay, sand, and water that make up the tar sands. Bitumen also requires additional upgrading before it can be refined. Because it is so viscous (thick), it also requires dilution with lighter hydrocarbons to make it transportable by pipelines.

“Breast Cancer Month is upon us and the NBCF has many events and activities taking place throughout October.

You can register to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast. You will also find information on our Global Illumination events – tickets are available for purchase for events all across Australia.

Our Pink Ribbon Shop is hotting up with the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T’s not available as well as our huge range of Pink Ribbon products.’

Our community fundraising activities feature a special performance of ‘My Fair Lady’ on October 5, as well as a wonderful production called ‘Breast Wishes’ being held on October 31. More information, including how to book tickets is indicated on our events calendar – don’t miss out!

Our corporate partners are also celebrating Breast Cancer Month with the Dove Pink Star Walk in Sydney and Ford Live! event featuring the Pussycat Dolls in Melbourne. See the events calendar for more information.

Don’t forget to look out for NBCF pink products when out shopping – you will find most supermarkets turning pink in October.

October 27 is Pink Ribbon Day and we need help to sell our Pink Ribbon merchandise. If you’d like to volunteer to have some fun while at the same supporting breast cancer research, please contact us via our ‘Get Involved’  section. We need enthusiastic, energetic volunteers for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Happy Pink Month”

Just another reason to be proud of my city and hometown.

“A law to decriminalise abortion in Victoria has been passed by the lower house of Parliament.

The debate continued into the early hours of this morning before the bill was passed 49 to 32.

The proposed legislation, which legalises abortion up to 24 weeks, will now be sent to the upper house.

Women’s Affairs Minister Maxine Morand says she is optimistic the bill will be passed by the Legislative Council.

“A lot of women have been waiting for this for a very long time, I met somebody today who told me she’s been waiting for this for 40 years,” she said.

So for a lot of women who remember backyard abortions and abortions being prosecuted this a very, very important day for them.”


“The City of Port Phillip Council says it will make significant changes to the proposed St Kilda Triangle development after the release of two major reports.

They recommend 28 changes, including moving two buildings and reducing the number of retail shops.

The council will meet on Thursday to consider the changes.

Port Phillip Mayor Janet Cribbes says the council is listening to the concerns of the St Kilda residents.

“We don’t anticipate there being any delays. We’re negiotating to make the changes that will reflect the concerns of the community,” she said.”

Red Nose Day, held annually on the last Friday in June, is the major fundraiser for SIDS and Kids. Funds raised through Red Nose Day activities assist us in providing our vital services and programs.

About SIDS and Kids
SIDS and Kids is an international leader in the field of health promotion, dedicated to the elimination of sudden and unexpected infant death. Best known for SIDS-related research and education programs, in 2002 SIDS and Kids changed their name to reflect the expansion of services, and now provide much-needed counselling and support to all Australian families who have suffered the sudden death of an infant or young child, regardless of the cause. This service is provided free of charge, and available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Who benefits from our services?
Since 1990, the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping program has been instrumental in reducing the SIDS infant mortality rate by 90%, equaling more that 4,500 Australian babies’ lives saved. However each month approximately 200 Australian children die suddenly and unexpectedly from causes such as stillbirth, neonatal death, SIDS, a fast onset illness, drowning, poisoning, fire or motor vehicle accident. SIDS and Kids have a wide range of well-established programs and over 28 years experience in supporting families at this time. Their professional counsellors and trained volunteer peer supporters work together to help families through the tragic death of their child. More than 60 people are affected by the death of a child. SIDS and Kids programs are offered free of charge to all family members and friends who need support. For as long as they need them, SIDS and Kids are there!

Why a Red Nose?
In 1988, the Red Nose Day concept was adopted by SIDS and Kids organisations around Australia. Since then, people, cars, and buildings around the nation have joined in the fun. The red nose always brings a smile to people’s faces. By wearing a red nose you can be silly for a great cause.

Where do Red Nose Day funds go?
Proceeds from Red Nose Day assist us in providing the following vital services and programs:
24 hour, 365 days a year crisis outreach and ongoing bereavement support for families and the community following the sudden and unexpected death of an infant or young child from 20 weeks gestation to 6 years.
Our SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Program, an evidence-based health promotion campaign which offers practical advice to parents and health professionals about how to best reducce the risks of SIDS and sleep accidents.
Research into the causes and prevention of sudden and unexpected death in the perinatal period and infancy.

What is SIDS and perinatal death?
SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under one year of age, with onset of the lethal episode apparently occuring during sleep, that remains unexplained after a thorough investiagtion including performance of a complete autopsy, and review of the circumstances and death and the clinical history. (Krous at al 2004)
In 1988, when Red Nose Day forst started, 479 Australian babies dies from SIDS. With Red Nose Day income, SIDS and Kids organisations funded research and produced the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping health promotion campaign, leading to a drop to 73 SIDS deaths in 2003.
A perinatal death is either a stillbirth from 20 weeks gestation or a neonatal death in the forst 28 days of life, (i.e. just before birth or jjust after). In 2003, 2020 babies died in the perinatal period in Australia.

SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping
Our current health promotion program, SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping, is evidence based and provides families, infant carers and health professionals with information about how to reduce the risk of SIDS and create a safe sleeping environment for babies.

More information on this is available at


The SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping program recommends:
Put baby on the back to sleep, from birth.
Sleep baby with face uncovered.
Cigarette smoke is bad for baby.
Safe cot, safe mattress, safe bedding, safe sleeping place, night and day.

The first Australian Red Nose Day was also successful with around a million face noses sold, raising about $1.3 million and substantially increasing awareness of the cause. Organisers were thrilled with the successful results and decided to make Red Nose Day a national event.

In 1989 two million face noses were sold at $1.50 each and a new button badge costing $2 was included with a picture of a chicken saying ‘I’m too chicken to wear a red nose’. This price included a fine of 50 cents for not wearing a red nose!

“What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other” – George Eliot

The United Nations General Assembly established 20 June as World Refugee Day in 2001, and since then it has been celebrated around the world each year as a salute to the indomitable spirit and courage of the world’s refugees.

“The refugee challenge in the 21st century is changing rapidly. People are forced to flee their homes for increasingly complicated and interlinked reasons. Some 40 million people worldwide are already uprooted by violence and persecution, and it is likely that the future will see more people on the run as a growing number of push factors compound one another to create conditions for further forced displacement.

Today people do not just flee persecution and war but also injustice, exclusion, environmental pressures, competition for scarce resources and all the miserable human consequences of dysfunctional states.

The task facing the international community in this new environment is to find ways to unlock the potential of refugees who have so much to offer if they are given the opportunity to regain control over their lives.”

“If you’d like to celebrate World Refugee Day, get in touch with your local organization working to help refugees or organise an event yourself.”

“Multicultural Arts Victoria is Victoria’s peak arts organisation promoting cultural diversity in the arts.

MAV is a membership based organisation representing individuals, groups and communities across all art forms; music, dance, theatre, film and TV, visual arts and new media.

Multicultural Arts Victoria was established in 1983 and evolved from the Festival of All Nations. Since that time, it has worked consistently to support artists and communities in Victoria and has a strong history of quality program delivery and of encouraging innovation and creative cultural expression in the arts.

MAV produces an annual program of projects and events promoting Victoria’s diverse artists and different art forms, offering fresh ideas about what is seen as contemporary and traditional, established and experimental, mainstream and community. MAV is a specialist arts resource agency offering a wide range of services and information. MAV is an agent and broker for artists and groups with expertise in arts marketing, promotion and publicity, project administration, assistance and information regarding arts funding, grants and applications.”

Paganism – Paganism, in the broadest sense includes all religions other than the true one revealed by God, and, in a narrower sense, all except Christianity, Judaism, and Mohammedanism. The term is also used as the equivalent of Polytheism (q.v.). It is derived from the Latin pagus, whence pagani (i. e. those who live in the country), a name given to the country folk who remained heathen after the cities had become Christian. 

I found this article in our City Weekly magazine, dated May 15, 2008; a free Fairfax community network magazine.

I must say it follows on from my last post quite well in illustrating the emergence of the Aquarian Age and will also add there’s an influence of Saturn in Virgo too, with the re-surfacing of the earth goddess (virgo).

“According to Gavin Andrew of the Pagan Awareness Network (PAN), Melbourne is the witch capital of Australia. The number of Australians turning to ‘alternative’ religions continues to increase. The 2006 census figures show a 13% rise since 2001. The movement is also experienced a boom in the 1990s thanks for the internet and films like The Craft. Television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer also played their part in making witchcraft cool, especially among young women.

According to census figures, there are more than 30,000 pagans in Australia and about 5000 of those live in metropolitan Melbourne. Paganism covers numerous traditions, most with their roots in the ancient world. They include druids, animists, witches, shamanists and wiccans.

Andrew says the real figure is probably closer to 40,000. “Lots of people don’t want to come out of the broom closet,” he quips. He estimates there are about 17,000 pagans in Melbourne with another 1000 scattered through regional Victoria. PAN, an educational and advocacy group, organises social events like Pagans in the Pub, to bring like-minded individuals together for meet-ups in regional and city areas. Larger festivals are held to celebrate important dates on the pagan calendar like Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (Mayday).

Andrew says the rise of paganism is partly due to dissatisfaction with mainstream religions. “God is this strict parent figure who punishes or redeems depending on the situation. Pagans look for different types of relationships with the sacred, such as seeing the inherent beauty and complexity of nature.”

Bendigo-born, 24yr-year-old Monica McHugh, became interested when a classmate gave her a book on witchcraft. “It enabled more free thinking, a lot more initiative and responsibility on the individual’s part,” she says. “It just fitted with me so well.

One day we’re hoping the image of a witch will not conjure someone who’s mean with green skin and a pointy hat,” she laughs.

Like many witches, McHugh doesn’t approve of putting spells on people. “What you’re sending out you will get back eventually. We’re also very concerned about placing influence on other people.”

She admits to trying out love spells and “please, let me pass my exam” charms as a teenager. However, she found that “it worked in the opposite way. The person you were chasing would ignore you or find someone else, or you would get a D on your test.”

“Up until recently I’ve been quiet about my beliefs, purely because of fear of persecution. I might be socially excluded and people might think I’m going to put curses on them but I’ve become more self-confident. I figure that if people want to be a part of my life, they’ll accept me whoever I am.”

Carlton artist Caroline Tully says her parents were “unimpressed” when the former Catholic schoolgirl turned to witchcraft at the age of 19. “They used to be embarrassed about it,” she says.

Tully, a witch since the 1980s, has been studying ancient magic and pagan religions at Melbourne University for four years and writes extensively for anthologies and publications like Spellcraft and The Pagan Times. In the early days, curiosity played its part.

“I was interested in the promise that these ritual performances would provide you with empowerment,” she says. “You’re taking on a priestly role yourself and you don’t have an intermediary. It’s a little bit nefarious, so that always makes you feel a bit edgy and cool.”

The census figures also reveal female pagans and witches outnumber men by about two to one. Tully says women are attracted to witchcraft because they can play a prominent role. “What womanhood represent in modern witchcraft is valuable. Ancient pagan goddesses are much more realistic, they’re not expected to be a virgin. Look at Aphrodite – she’s sexy.”

Tully says some of the mainstream churches have the wrong idea about pagans and witches and she scoffs at priests who perform exorcisms. “They’ve made out that they are the only religion and other religions are bad. They don’t do any research.

If you look at the theology curriculum at Melbourne University, it teaches Christian theology with a look at Buddhism, Islam and maybe Judaism but there are millions of other religions.”

Gavin Andrew says pagans and witches tend to be ‘independent thinkers’ who are not interested in following the herd. “It’s a very central part on paganism, the idea that it is a personal journey and along with that comes an ethic of personal responsibility. You can’t put off your problems onto a guru figure or a symbol or an icon. You have to deal with things yourself.”

The church of Satan won’t reveal its number in case of “Satanic panic”, but census figures indicate there are nearly 500 Satanist in Melbourne. This figure is likely to be accurate, however, because some people declare a Satanic affiliation for shock value, while others are afraid to admit to one.

Adelaide-born Satanist Drew Sinton says being an “individual” is a positive thing in the Satanic bible, which makes it popular with “disaffected youth, Goths and emos.” He says Satanists live up to their adversarial image. “If anyone crosses me, forget about turning the other cheek. Don’t cross us. We’re vindictive and vengeful.”

But for witches like McHugh, witchcraft and paganism are more “touchy-feely”, with a focus on positive thinking and have a conscience.

“It’s a nature religion. If you ignore the impact humans are having on the environment, I think you’re not getting the point of the religion,” she says. “It’s about working in harmony with the world.”





April 2021

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