Black Friday and a spot of retail therapy

We who have always associated ‘Black Friday’ with Friday the 13th (unlucky for some), were no doubt confused by the retail rallying call of the past week. According to McCrindle Research, the US concept of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), is gaining traction in Australia.  Back in 2017, a McCrindle survey showed that 1 in 4 (24%) of Australians had never heard of Black Friday. Two years on, only 6% of Australians have never…

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The future for bushfire volunteers

On my late evening dog walks in the rural village of Yangan near Warwick, it has become customary to wave to the volunteer firefighters as they arrive back at base. If they can lift their arms, they wave back. These volunteers, known in Australia as ‘firies’, are holding containment lines around multiple fires burning in the ranges around Cunningham’s Gap. The Cunningham Highway between Warwick and Brisbane has been closed for two weeks due to…

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Older Australians an economic burden

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s much-reported speech, where he referred to my cohort (the over-65s) as ‘an economic time bomb’, should not be seen as random. The speech to the conservative think tank, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), was deeply calculated. Frydenberg’s thesis is that older Australians should work longer and take up re-training to help facilitate a return to the work force, thus easing the country’s social security burden. Frydenberg was immediately…

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Bushfire smoke, dust storms and asthma

Images of Brisbane shrouded in an asthma-inducing smoky haze on Monday reminded me of Queensland Ballet’s season launch in 2009. We had driven down for the matinee on a day when a massive dust storm was predicted. By the time we came out, the dust haze was so thick you could barely see the ABC headquarters across the road from the Lyric Theatre. No doubt those of you who remember that were reliving it on…

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