Invisible Disability Stigma Signals Need For Change

Invisible Disability Stigma Signals Need For Change

Disability discrimination accounts for the highest volume of complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission annually.

This can potentially lead to those living with an invisible disability to decide to hide their condition from prospective employers in fear of discrimination and social stigma, according to leading Disability Employment Services experts atWork Australia. In order to create inclusive workplaces, the need for support, open conversation and businesses to see the ability in disability, has never been more important.

The International Day of People with Disability will be observed on 3 December, with the theme ‘seeing the ability in disability’. With this in mind, it’s key to note that not all disabilities are visible and therefore conversations should be widely encouraged, promoting empowerment and inclusiveness. It needs to be said that focussing on abilities is positive, however labelling and the stigma attached to ‘dis’ rings loud and clear across the country regardless. 

Research shows that mental health conditions are at least twice as prevalent than they were in non-pandemic circumstances. With another 700,0002 Australians said to live with a brain injury and approximately 3.95 million experiencing hearing loss, invisible disabilities are affecting more people each day. 

“Invisible disabilities, or hidden disabilities, are those that are not immediately obvious including mental and/or neurological conditions, impairments to the senses, chronic pain and issues that restrict movement,” says Shaun Pianta, atWork Australia DES Ambassador & Disability Awareness Trainer. “For example, people who live with a mental health condition may not ‘appear’ to have a disability but much of their daily life is affected by their condition. It’s the same with chronic pain, or diabetes. As a result of these conditions not being instantly apparent, this can lead to a multitude of misconceptions, judgements and sadly, discrimination,” he adds.

In a recent study on the people who experience the highest rate of employment restrictions, those living with ‘invisible’ disabilities reported highest, with 91% experiencing mental ill health, 88% for emotional and nervous conditions and 78%  experiencing chronic pain.

Sharah Smith, a client of atWork Australia lives with depression and anxiety which at one point led to a severe social phobia and agoraphobia. “I was unable to leave my house alone, and even if I had company to help me, the anxiety would be unbearable. I was beginning to be unable to go grocery shopping. I lost contact with friends which led to loneliness and increased depression,” says Sharah. 

“The fact that I couldn’t leave my home made it incredibly hard to even consider employment, and I worried that while people are usually understanding, some may still judge and think that I was ‘lazy’ or needed to ‘get over it’. When I began speaking with atWork Australia however, I began to trust them and the process due to their understanding of my illness.

“I eventually became comfortable around my Job Coaches who encouraged me to try new things, like going to appointments and catching public transport alone. I attended a resilience group atWork Australia hosted and regained some of my social skills. They also referred me to counselling and coached me before interviews, even driving me to meetings and my first day of work. They also helped me gain my licence, which was a requisite for my current job,” Sharah adds. 

Business leaders have a pivotal role in educating themselves and their employees on the benefits of employing someone living with disability and changing the focus to seeing the abilities that these workers bring to their roles. In celebration of the International Day of People with Disability, the Department of Social Services has produced a number of resources which can encourage workplaces to promote and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of people with disability. While many organisations will still be working remotely, businesses can get involved online, celebrating staff members who may be living with disability and inspiring other staff members to join in the conversation. 

Beyond supporting those living with disability, businesses also gain a lot of benefit from creating inclusive workplaces, as research shows that in 9 out of 10 cases (90%), employees with disability, injury or health condition are as, or more, productive than their peers and almost the same number (86%)  show superior attendance. 

Disability Employment Services, an Australian Government initiative delivered by atWork Australia, aims to support businesses by offering bespoke inclusive recruitment advice (from development of position description through to retention of staff) based on their needs, and to connect them with job-ready candidates. atWork Australia works with prospective employees to prepare them for interviews, while assisting employers with the hiring and onboarding process through screening candidates based on skills, abilities and organisational fit. Once in place, the provider continues to monitor the placement and offers assistance to both employer and employee over the first year, and beyond if required.

“I now actually work for atWork Australia and love my job,” says Sharah. “While I still struggle with tasks such as making phone contact with clients when there are other people in the room, my experience as a client and living with an invisible disability has benefited both myself and my clients, as I am able to empathise with their situations and service them in a way that helps their progress.”

“Our aim is to shape a society and the future of work, that is inclusive for all people living with disability, injury or a health condition,” says Shaun. “That starts by recognising that not all disabilities are visible and that no matter the condition, we need to remove stigma to create better relationships for all,” Shaun concludes.

For more information, please visit https://www.atworkaustralia.com.au/des

 

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Invisible Disability Stigma Signals Need For Change

Disability discrimination accounts for the highest volume of complaints to the Australian Human...
New Passion Project Launches For Ponderings

New Passion Project Launches For Ponderings

Good things can come from the most unpredictable events in life. 

When I was very sick, there was an awful lot of information to keep. Notes, appointments, reminders, a health list was needed so I could keep a record of progress, symptoms and feelings, how much water I had consumed, the exercise completed and the food I had eaten were all important components. Along with the most essential; a long term investment in Gratitude.

This daily list of all ways I could find Gratitude- I called it my Vitamin G. Because when the world feels like it is falling apart, you remind yourself of all the things you can do, the people you love or who love you and even the food you may eat can be graciously accepted as gifts. Eventually the body believes the mind and wonderful things happen. 

I needed something without dates so that I could enter my own. Structure without pressure can be excellent, it makes goal setting an invitation rather than a Have To or Should.

 We are very excited to present our joy project this year- The Ponderings Companion journal.

Beautifully illustrated with vintage Japanese silk art from the 1800s and printed on gorgeous quality 110 gsm paper this jopurnal had to be something we could be really proud of and want to use every day.  OF COURSE we had to ensure it was Australian made and printed. We cannot wait for you to hold this in your hand and heart.

The invitation on each page says- Today Is A New Day Full of Possibility reminds us to start fresh because opportunities for a full life exist everywhere. Proceeds of the Journal go towards keeping the Ponderings storytelling mission alive and well in very troubling times, we forge forward with new ideas and ways to keep up the good work. 

 

Click here to get your copy; SHOP ONLINE LINK

Ponderings Journal 2021
Ponderings Journal 2021
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Invisible Disability Stigma Signals Need For Change

Disability discrimination accounts for the highest volume of complaints to the Australian Human...
The Number 36

The Number 36

Here’s a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special?

In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler’s Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an American track and field athlete. At the Berlin Games, he won 4 gold medals. Hosted in Berlin, Germany chancellor Hitler opened the games, and much of the world would be fooled with propaganda. Many international guests were unaware that the regime had temporarily hidden anti-Jewish signs and the roundup of Roma in Berlin. 800 Roma residing in Berlin were arrested and placed under guard in a special camp in the suburb of Marzahn. Jewish sportspeople were unable to compete. Boycotts rumbled but never took off. Interesting fact; Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas convinced Owens to wear a pair of his sneakers and Jesse became the first sports-sponsored African American. 

Zoologist, activist and superstar academic David Suzuki was born in 1936. The advocate for swift climate change response is a leader around the world and an expert on nature. His foundation states: The right to a healthy environment is the simple yet powerful idea that everyone should be able to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat safe food and to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

 

“When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings we are doing to ourselves.”

According to Jewish legend in every generation, there are 36 saintly people Lamed Vav Tzadikim who will save the world. Unrecognized by their fellow humans and unknown even to each other, they are said to pursue humble occupations such as artisans or water-carriers.

36 is the perfect number. Perfect number: a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors. The smallest perfect number is 6, which is the sum of 1, 2, and 3. 

+36 is the country code for Belgium 

Ethel Scull 36 Times was Andy Warhol’s very first commissioned portrait and the genesis of his business- making portraits at the request of wealthy celebs. 

36 Gods assembled the various parts of the first human before Tāne, the god of forests and birds breathed life into its nostrils, according to Maori legend. 

In Numerology the number 36 represents energies that accomplish creative goals for helping humankind.

A checkers board has 36 tiles.

1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year and is the year Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico. 

Pontius Pilate, the guy who gave the order to kill Jesus, died in 36CE. He was also a Roman knight. 

Harvard University was established in 1636. 

Barbara Streisand has 36 Studio Albums.

Marilyn Munroe, Bob Marley and Princess Diana all passed away tragically at age 36.

Last but not least in gematria (a form of Jewish numerology), the number 18 stands for “life”, because the Hebrew letters that spell chai, meaning “living”, add up to 18. Because 36 = 2×18, it represents “two lives”. (Zwerin, Rabbi Raymond A. (September 15, 2002). “The 36 – Who Are They?”)

Now I wonder if you start noticing the number 36? If you do, drop us a line! media@ponderings.com.au 

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Bullying and The Gift of Individuality Explored by New Book: Danyon

Bullying and The Gift of Individuality Explored by New Book: Danyon

Written by Montanna Macdonald

Author Dacre Danes is one to keep your eyes peeled for with his newly anticipated release of the novel Danyon. The pro-surfer/photographer from Queensland has entered the publishing foray with charm and a book filled to the edges with an in-depth tale. 

Themes of friendship, bullying and complex relationships in an authentic narrative will leave you pondering. Threads of history, romance and mysticism are explored in a backdrop fuelled with sex romps for good measure. 

“This book is for hope. The whole message is to prevent suicide events and to make people aware of what they say to each other, be careful what you say because you don’t know what the other person is going through,” says Author Dacre Danes. 

The protagonist of the story; Danyon, is severely bullied and suffers from violent trauma from his years of mental anguish. With support from his best friend Blake and newfound friendship with his school bully Dash, Danyon comes to realise his suffrage from being bullied might just be a gift of individuality. 

Author Dacre Danes joined us to share his excitement about his book, five years in the making. 

“I have always been a writer since I was given a typewriter for Christmas when I was ten. I have always read books; books are like trophies for me. [the book] started as therapeutic for me to get a few things out, and then I remembered lots of things that have happened to people and stories. A lot of the inspiration has come from my experiences personally and other people I know. I want this book to get into the hands of people that need it, especially people that are getting bullied. I want them to realise they have a gift, they’re here for a reason, and there is hope.” 

A parallel war story throughout the novel touches on human relationships in the past, and this juxtaposition Dacre says is like the war of bullying. 

“You had to be at war then, but we don’t have to be at war with each other now,” Dacre says. 

The book touches on what Dacre describes as “magic realism” which he uses to explore the character’s blackouts and other symptoms. As a reader, you are left wondering if Danyons spiritual and mystical experiences are clairvoyance or a diagnosed illness. 

There are also underlying themes throughout the novel that explore the LGBTQIA community. Dacre wanted Danyon to be an icon for those who did not feel the need to be labelled but instead fuelled by romance based on connection over gender. Dacre believes novels should be more accepting of this community, as “love is love”. 

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Dacre Danes is an ambassador for bullying prevention organisation Bully Zero. In partnership, Dacre will release a live podcast called Bull Rush, which is in conversation with Bully Zero CEO Ali Halkic. Dacre is also an ambassador for Equi Energy Youth and the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association. 

 

“I have a hashtag called #iamdanyon, and I’m gathering people who have my book to upload a picture of themselves on Instagram with a hashtag because everyone has a story of mental health or a story of bullying. So when people tell a story, they can say, well I am Danyon as well,” Dacre says.

Danyon is Available at Barnes and Noble & Amazon along with all good book stores. 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/d-a-n-y-o-n-dacre-danes/1137436388

 Amazon;

 https://www.amazon.com/D-n-y-Dacre-Danes/dp/164999396X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1598054280&sr=8-1

 

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Here's a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special? In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler's Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an...

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Written by Montanna Macdonald Author Dacre Danes is one to keep your eyes peeled for with his newly anticipated release of the novel Danyon. The pro-surfer/photographer from Queensland has entered the publishing foray with charm and a book filled to the edges with an...
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Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. We donate $2 from every subscription to Vision Australia

THE NEW AUSSIE APP SOLVING FASHION’S BIGGEST ISSUE

THE NEW AUSSIE APP SOLVING FASHION’S BIGGEST ISSUE

A size 12 in one store isn’t always the right fit or style for a real size 12, and who can really afford a personal stylist? An Aussie app has taken this problem and created a breathtaking solution. Meet, Mys Tyler. 

When it comes to shopping, returns are a huge problem. Clothing and shoes bought online are the worst offenders, with 30-40% returned. According to research, 91 percent of those who ordered clothing online are not satisfied with fit. In the US alone, return deliveries will cost $550B in 2020 with this cost expected to soar globally into a $1 trillion issue3. Not to mention the often demoralising fitting room experience most women face thanks to the disparity between how clothes look on a model compared to real bodies of myriad sizes, heights and ethnicities. 

Mys Tyler (@mys.tyler) is revolutionising online shopping by offering women of all body types a new way to find clothing that actually fits their shape, size, and style. The free app matches users with like-bodied women across the globe, already shopping for clothes that will suit them.

Mys Tyler’s FIT algorithm and data from 40,000 real women is set to fix a $1 Trillion problem

Mys Tyler contributor April Watson

By creating an accurate picture of how items will look and fit on your own body, Mys Tyler will take the guesswork out of shopping, and save women from the inefficient (and often demoralising) trial, error and return cycle. A cycle that also has negative economic and environmental impacts. 

“We’re fixing a critical flaw in the world of fashion that has meant women have had to buy clothes off models or influencers who look nothing like them,” says Mys Tyler founder & CEO, Sarah Neill. “Until now women have had to imagine what clothes would look like on themselves, only to try them on with a shockingly low success rate.”

Sarah, a Sydney born and raised serial entrepreneur has returned home after a decade living and working in top tier startups in the US to build Mys Tyler. She explains that the industry has been trying to solve fit with size, with solutions like body scanning and virtual fitting rooms. “These tech solutions aren’t solving the human problem. As women we know fit is more than just size, it’s how clothes flatter our shape, complement our colouring and knowing how to style them. While current solutions have fallen short on solving fit, we believe that real women and a little bit of innovation can.”

Photo above:Mys Tyler founder & CEO, Sarah Neill.

The first-of-its-kind fashion app works in three simple steps:

  • A body quiz and Mys Tyler’s FIT algorithm matches women of similar heights, sizes, and skin tones;
  • Users choose to “follow” women whose style they like to create a personalised feed of fashion content that is both body and style relevant;
  • They can then shop their favourite items directly through the app.

“There are millions of women around the world who look like you, love shopping, and know what clothes best flatter your body. We help you find them”, says Sarah. At this time, Mys Tyler matches women to a database of hundreds of celebrities with a true range of heights, shapes and ethnicities

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But while celebrities are real people, not all real people are celebrities, and so Mys Tyler is actively recruiting women from across the globe to share their fashion wins and help their #sizesisters, while also earning commission.

User-generated content from Mys Tyler contributors will be available on the app in the next app release. As Mys Tyler continues to grow, the app will make a move to focus purely on contributed content from real, diverse women across the globe. Mys Tyler is already resonating with women who have jumped on board to become contributors. Contributors, like these women below, who join early will receive “founding contributor” status and additional perks.

Above image: Robyn- contributor to Mys Tyler

“I love Mys Tyler for normalizing every body type. In a world where social media is rampant, has filters to ‘perfect’ your physical appearance, sets ridiculous standards for women, this is a much needed app to bring us back to reality. Show us that we are all beautiful no matter what our size is,” says @thebodzilla AKA April Watson.

 

Holly Richards @hollynrichards says: “As a plus-size woman, I was dubious that Mys Tyler would be a place for me. But then when I took the Fit quiz and was matched with a celebrity the same size and shape as me, I was so emotional! Finally, an app that includes all bodies. I immediately signed up as a contributor because I want to help people like me who don’t fit the “norm” find clothes that actually fit, make them feel good and look good!” 

“I absolutely love the concept because it’s important to realize that not everyone has the easiest time finding things that properly fit their body shape. It seems easy to go on Instagram or Pinterest and find styles and outfits you love, but sometimes when you try them on yourself you feel uncomfortable or even upset with the way it looks. Mys Tyler is a great way to find outfits that will look amazing on your body and to help find your personal style!” says Robyn @missrobynelizabeth_.

The revolutionary fashion app is a transparent and honest representation of how fashion looks on different shapes and bodies and it’s empowering the way women shop while combating the fashion industry’s trillion-dollar returns problem.

Mys Tyler is now available on the App Store and Google Play as a free download.

www.mys-tyler.com

@mys.tyler

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Here's a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special? In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler's Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an...

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Here's a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special? In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler's Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an...

Bullying and The Gift of Individuality Explored by New Book: Danyon

Written by Montanna Macdonald Author Dacre Danes is one to keep your eyes peeled for with his newly anticipated release of the novel Danyon. The pro-surfer/photographer from Queensland has entered the publishing foray with charm and a book filled to the edges with an...
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Subscribe & Support Positive stortelling

Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. We donate $2 from every subscription to Vision Australia

FOUR PAWS Save Bear Cubs Nikko and Nara

FOUR PAWS Save Bear Cubs Nikko and Nara

Written by Montanna Macdonald

These Asiatic black bear cubs’ names are Nikko and Nara, the cutest two bear cubs you have ever seen saved by organisation FOUR PAWS; a bear rescue mission in Vietnam. 

FOUR PAWS is a global animal welfare organisation supporting animals, creatures who are victims of human battery in varied and horrific ways. The organisation is a noble one, and their work includes projects in emergency rescue and ongoing care for a great range of different animals. 

This year, FOUR PAWS Vietnam rapid response team saved two bear cubs from smugglers from the illegal wildlife trade. The legal and illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam is a billion dollar industry. Bile farming is the process of breeding bears in captivity. The terrible conditions are made even more atrocious by the shocking bile extraction process from the bear’s gallbladder while alive; only to be sold in markets, restaurants, online and used in pseudo-traditional medicines. 

There are two types of rescue missions FOUR PAWS do to save these bears. One where bears are voluntarily handed in by owners willing to give up bile bear farming. Two: bears are confiscated from illegal traders. FOUR PAWS act quickly in a short time frame to rescue bears just like Nikko and Nara.

On the 21st of July, FOUR PAWS were notified of two Asiatic black bear cubs that had been confiscated by the environmental police from wildlife smugglers who were trying to sell the cubs online via social media.

On the 22nd of July, the small FOUR PAWS team made an 11-hour journey to Lai Chau Province at the Vietnam border where they rescued the cubs and brought them to their new home, Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh. 

“Both cubs were very stressed and huffed at anyone trying to approach them. The male is quite protective of the very timid female, hiding in a corner and nestling under him. They will now receive all the care they need to calm down and recover from a turbulent start of their lives. Both cubs are in stable condition, but slightly underweight. Our vets are examining them thoroughly, and once we are sure they are disease-free we will socialise them with another bear cub we rescued earlier this year from similar circumstances,” says Emily Lloyd, Animal Manager at Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh.

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The Vietnamese Government announced on the 24th of July the banning of imports and trade of wild animals.

While this is promising after years of effort from FOUR PAWS and fellow animal welfare NGOs, the organisation hopes the Government’s efforts to enforce the ban will be effective. Still today, there are over 400 farmed bile bears in Vietnam. 

“Although the sale and possession of bear bile are illegal in Vietnam, it still exists as due to weak enforcement of the laws. We hope that this new directive and subsequent revised enforcement efforts will also affect bear farming and eradicate the illegal sale and possession of bile products,” says Kieran Harkin, responsible for Wild Animals in Trade at FOUR PAWS.

The Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh where Nikko and Nara now live is a wildlife conservation education centre and a beautiful, safe home for these furry friends while they heal and grow. Nikko and Nara have made a fellow friend, bear cub Mochi. 

The sanctuary, which began construction in 2016, now has six outdoor enclosures, three bear houses, a quarantine station and veterinary unit, a feeding kitchen and an admin building.

It can house up to 50 bears now, but once fully finished with construction will be able to provide a species-appropriate home for up to 100 rescued bears. Currently, all 33 Asiatic bears in Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh were victims of bile farming and illegal trade. 

“Our bears often arrive with a multitude of health issues; some are obese, some emaciated, some are even missing paws or limbs from being trapped in the wild. Dental disease is common along with mobility issues and gallbladder and liver infections from the unsanitary bile extraction process.”

It is admirable the work FOUR PAWS do to give these bears hope for a better life and future. We asked FOUR PAWS spokesperson Elise Burgess, what does a day in the life of the Bear Sanctuary Ninh Binh look like?

For FOUR PAWS, they do a variety of tasks, from essential rehabilitation and quarantine processes for bears newly rescued, to feeding, medication, general enclosure maintenance but also what they call “environmental enrichment”. 

“An essential part of animal care is ‘environmental enrichment’, which is necessary for the optimal physical and psychological well-being of our rescued bears. The five main categories of enrichment are sensory, cognitive, social, physical habitat and food.” 

“Our outdoor enclosures provide a complex environment where the bears can forage for food, dig, climb, swim, play, hide and rest, all things they would naturally do. In the wild bears spend the majority of the time they are awake looking for food. By presenting our bears’ food in different ways such as scattering and hiding it throughout their enclosures or using puzzle feeder toys, for example, we are allowing our bears to express this natural behaviour. Bears are thought to have the best sense of smell of all animals on earth, 2100 times better than humans! Therefore olfactory (scent) enrichment is particularly stimulating for bears, so on certain days our bear caretakers put out different scents such as cinnamon, or peppermint, for the bears to investigate.” 

Now, Ponderers, we hope envisioning bear cubs safe in a beautiful haven sniffing for cinnamon and peppermint brings you all the heart smiles for your day. 

You can donate to FOUR PAWS at their website, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates on the incredible work they do with not only bears but other projects around the world. 

If you would like to know more information about the Bear Sanctuary  Ninh Binh, follow them on Facebook, and when international travel is allowed again, go visit Ninh Binh! You can see the bears in their tranquil haven, purchase locally made souvenirs and enjoy some traditional vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese dishes at the onsite restaurant. 

 

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Here's a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special? In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler's Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an...

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Here's a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36. So how is this number special? In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler's Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an...

Bullying and The Gift of Individuality Explored by New Book: Danyon

Written by Montanna Macdonald Author Dacre Danes is one to keep your eyes peeled for with his newly anticipated release of the novel Danyon. The pro-surfer/photographer from Queensland has entered the publishing foray with charm and a book filled to the edges with an...
Follow Us

Join

Subscribe & Support Positive stortelling

Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. We donate $2 from every subscription to Vision Australia

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