22 September 2018 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

22 September 2018
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we visit New Zealand, Nepal, and look at volunteerism, arbitrary detention and the poor little swift parrot – and lots more too!


1. On Wednesday 19 September New Zealand celebrated 125 years since women were first granted the right to vote. New Zealand was the first country in the world where women won the right to vote. Congrats NZ!


2. In a remarkable, and disappointing decision, there will no longer be any mention of female physicists in the New South Wales Higher School Certificate physics syllabus. Pretty surprising given the number of amazing female physicists – and this article from The Conversation reminds us of some of the great ones!


3. Australia has again been condemned by the United Nations for our treatment of asylum seekers. The UN working group on arbitrary detention has named Australia, along with countries such as China, Israel, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Congo and the United States, for three cases of arbitrary detention.


4. It’s always been a tricky issue – do we do more harm than good when we, as westerners, volunteer abroad? This article from Tina Rosenburg at The Guardian explores these complex issues.


5. It’s bad news for the endangered swift parrot whose habitat is being destroyed by logging in Tasmania. And it’s all because of delays and government mismanagement according to the Australian National University researchers.


6. Human Rights Watch is attempting to raise the profile of children with disabilities in Nepal. They have found that most children with disabilities in Nepal are segregated into separate classrooms and are not receiving a quality education as a result. UNICEF has found that 30.6% of children with disabilities aged 5-12 did not attend any schooling in Nepal. They have some great recommendations that they are hoping will motivate the government to change this situation.


7. We don’t seem to think a lot about slavery in our country but it remains an important and current issue. ‘How many slaves work for you?’ is the question behind a new ethical consumer campaign designed to end labour exploitation. This coincides with the Federal Government’s proposed Modern Slavery Bill 2018 which will require “mandatory annual reporting by large businesses and organisations on the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains and operations”.


8. This is a powerful photo essay from The Guardian looking at the 10 places in crisis that the world is ignoring. The top 5 are all in Africa – Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Burundi, Ethiopia, followed by Palestine, Myanmar, Yemen, Venezuela and Nigeria.


9. Well here is some very disturbingly bad news for all those coffee lovers out there! It seems that instant coffee has the smallest carbon footprint. Thank goodness there are other very good reasons for not drinking it!


10. To get you in the picture for a relaxing weekend, check out the Ciwem environmental photographer of the year 2018 winners. There are some amazing shots here.


Thanks for your company again this week!