6 May 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

6 May 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.
In this week’s Top 10 we congratulate Gillian Triggs, look at climate change, refugee activism, gay rights and much more.


1. Huge congratulations to Gillian Triggs, outgoing Human Rights Commissioner, on her freedom of speech award. She was named the “2017 recipient of the Voltaire award by Liberty Victoria on Tuesday for her ‘courageous stand on people’s rights’”.


2. There are so many ways of making a real difference in the world and in this story groups of school children are raising funds for the Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre’s food bank by holding regular food drives.


3. We have featured the wonderful work of OzHarvest before but we wanted to encourage you all to check out the first ever rescued food market. “Based on a ‘take what you need, give if you can’ philosophy, our purpose is to make rescued food available to everyone, especially those who need it most.” You can of course, make a donation to assist their work.


4. This is an excellent article from Clive Hamilton in The Guardian about the great silence around climate change and the fact that most of us, and our governments, ignore the very real threat.


5. The Washington Post has covered the international TED conference in Vancouver where refugee activists challenged all of us to adopt a more humane approach to the refugee crisis – and to our lives more generally. David Milliband, President of the International Rescue Committee stated: “The world is more connected than ever before, yet the great danger is we’re consumed by our divisions — and there’s no better test of that than how we treat refugees.”


6. Another great story about refugees bringing life into small towns! This story is from Golzow in Germany where the arrival of Syrian refugees two years ago brought a new population to a shrinking village and school. Now they are happily thriving together as one community.


7. Gay rights in Indonesia is at an all time low with the arrests of 14 men in a midnight raid and ongoing mandatory HIV testing which is against the Human Rights Council resolution on privacy which Indonesia signed in 2013. And gay rights in Chechnya are also a serious human rights issue with police “rounding up men believed to be gay, holding them in secret detention, and beating and humiliating them”. Human Rights Watch have some actions you can take to protest these abuses.


8. Plastic products can cause a great deal of harm to our environment and ocean life. Lots of people have come up with good ideas for recycling plastic and this one is a beauty! A UK engineer has paved the first plastic road in the UK. Apparently it’s 60% stronger than bitumen and lasts 10 years longer (further evidence that it’s very hard to get rid of plastic!!). India has already been using plastic pieces for road repair and the Netherlands wants to build roads from ocean waste.


9. Having just returned from a very relaxing break at the beach, I can vouch for the benefits of slowing down. In this article from The Conversation they explore the imperative for developing ‘slowing down cities’.


10. We all know that the other creatures who share our world are amazing in their own ways. Now scientists have discovered details of the intimate conversations that occur between mother whales and their babies. Mothers and their calves whisper to each other to alert escape potential predators.


Great to be back with you again this week. Look forward to your company again next week.