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Top 5 Struggles International Students Face in Australia

Posted on October 29, 2020 in Local News

far shot of sydney opera house

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that Australia’s international enrollees rise each year, significantly adding up the worth of international studies to the country from $28.1 billion up to $32.4 billion. This was from 2016 up until 2018 alone. The majority of which is accounted for by enrollees’ pursuit for higher education in Australia specifically. This is all due to Australia’s reputation of giving out intensive English courses, well sought after vocational education and training, and dedication in producing efficient and versatile learners.

Some even believe that it’s a privilege to be selected by an Australian university as a promising career will surely await. And while parts of the world see the land down under to be a greener pasture in consideration of its quality education, it would be interesting to know why living there as a student is no walk in the park.

Here are the top 5 struggles international students face in Australia.

1. Communication

Australia’s mother language is English, but not everybody who goes for the international education program speaks it fluently. Looking at the highest percentage of international enrollees by nationality being Chinese students, it’s safe to say that the language barrier for international students is not uncommon, even having passed the required English exam in order for students to obtain their visa. While English may be Australia’s mother tongue, it is still different when compared to the usual flow amongst Americans and British as Aussies have their own twist on pronouncing things, making the lovely accent that we’ve all come to love. Learning involves all the 5 senses. When one has to spend time translating the teachings in their head consciously, their learning process is affected. Conversing with the use of a foreign language may already be a challenge, what more if you have to learn a lesson spoken in a foreign language? It definitely gets overwhelming. Moreover, most students coming to Australia are studying to be able to get a job here, and we all know international student internships are hard to come by already. Although studying in another country is quite a feat in itself, the added communication strains can make it quite difficult to make the fantastic impressions you want on your potential employers in the interview process.

2. Cultural differences

Undeniably, people get rattled when they face something unfamiliar. As uncertainties build-up, people will generally shy away from as it happens. When this occurs, there’s a tendency for international students to feel isolated. This is a make-or-break situation in which this could be the gauge on how fun they would feel while matriculating in Australia. Being set in the third-level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love, and belongingness help somebody reach their maximum potential. This is also where the “biggest why” of a person gets built. There’s also being homesick, having altered sleeping habits, and chronic stress. Not having somebody that an enrollee could get along with, coping mechanisms and provision of a safe environment for self-expression, are all detrimental to how well one could develop their empath with other people.

3. Finances

One thing distinct about studying overseas is the accessibility to your sponsor. Whether they’re your parents, an institution, or a scholarship, it gets to a point where funds will be delayed to get to you. Or that, somebody in the family may need it more, or a tragedy has happened, it more likely would not be provided on time. Taking the current lockdown situations across Australia, in Melbourne particularly, travel bans, and aftermath of COVID-19 into consideration, thousands of international students, had greatly suffered or may have had to adjust way over their means just to survive when the pandemic happened. Preparation may be the key, so make sure you have an emergency fund just in case. Overall, being an international student requires a lot of money. At least AUD 18,000, according to the Australian Immigration Department, is what an average international student would need to live and study in the country. You may think, well I’ll take on a paid internship in Australia, but as mentioned before, good internships are hard to find, much less paid internships.

4. Academic Environment

This is not just experienced in Australia alone. In general, an international student is expected to conform to a different educational culture and environment than they’re used to. Every country has its own education system. Australia aims for autonomous learning, critical thinking, problem-solving and effective and efficient communication. Assignments vary considering the dynamism of groups and enhancement of independent creativity and rationalization with solo ones equally. But overall, each individual will be pushed to their limits to develop their utmost potential. This may be a problem for some who are not used to such an arrangement.

5. Personal Problems and Agendas

As unique as we all are, there are integrity, compassion, and norms in which the majority conforms to or connects with. However, when an individual gets presented to extreme circumstances, their natural reactions may just beat that certain person’s best. Allergies, cognitive limitations, illnesses, depression, exhaustion, and even death could be elements that could change an international student’s journey discreetly or significantly. The above mentioned are just a few examples of what may occur, what one person could develop, or what may have needed a lot of unexpected emotional and physical work. There are a lot of factors that could trigger these in the form of change in environment, unexpected events, and emotional connections.

Australia’s qualitative education is at its prime and does not seem to be stopping. Hence, the reason for a consistent increase in the number of international students from all over the world. But this doesn’t guarantee zero problems nor zero challenges. Studying in Australia as an international student could unleash one’s resilience and unbeatable drive. Keeping in mind these 5 struggles you may face, remember that awareness is the key to navigating international life in Australia. Being aware of your new surroundings, people’s different backgrounds and your limitations will push you for the career and personal success you’ve been yearning for.

Building a Website For an Unconventional Service

Posted on September 24, 2020 in Local News

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are creating the truth is you need a website. Be it a website for tech gadgets or for Halloween contact lenses, a website is a requisite for your business growth.  Ranging from a blocked drain plumber to a medical professional, everyone needs to be online, now that we are in the modern times where websites are more important than business cards.

Certain businesses like coffee vans may be able to get away with not having a website or be advertising within social media platforms. As they travel around and people are happy to buy a coffee without checking reviews first. Did you know the earlier you start thinking about how you are going to create it the better?

Beginning with your creative brief

Your creative brief will explain how you are planning to discuss your company or the product. It will define your tone of voice, your values, your intentions etc. The creative brief will explain how your website will be in communication with your customers. Some may have drafted their creative brief if you are going through the logo development which you can simply use that for your website. If you don’t have a creative brief now is the time to start.

Creating a wireframe

This is an outline of your site. It’s basically just a piece of paper that shows where things are going on the page. At this stage, there is no thought about graphics or colours.

If you are hiring a designer, they can help you create and grow a wireframe that goes under the design process. When building a website for unconventional services and products then you can use a service such as Shopify or Squarespace which will allow you to produce a wireframe yourself. Doing a wireframe draft is nothing to worry about. This is not a designing process, so don’t waste time being neat and tidy your only aim to get out in the open what is going onto the paper.

Design and build

You are now at the stage of designing and building your website. If you decide to use a service or designer, they will take over from here. Assuming you prefer to do this on your own to keep the budget under control then what you need to do next is pick a platform and then host your site. It’s time to think about your needs. Do you want a blog included? Are you selling products? Needing a shopping cart, online chat? Or are you offering specifically targeted services like pipe relining for a plumber? With so many choices literally hundreds it is best only to choose a few so site visitors are not too overwhelmed.

The three most popular website platforms that are simple and easy to use

Shopify: This is well suited if you are selling products online. You are able to run your whole online shop from this platform as it comes with all the tools you are required to be able to manage the products and your inventory. This is specifically suited for an e-commerce website, for example, the coloured contact lens business you have as mentioned earlier in this article.

Squarespace: This platform is a Jack of all trades, It can be used to create blogs, online stores and pretty much anything else you can think of. It has so many different design templates with so much flexibility. This is a great platform choice for beginners.

WordPress: This is a platform for a simple website. You can get started for free with. This platform isn’t well suited if you are running an online shop but more so for a basic information-packed websites and blogs. WordPress is used by thousands of websites, so it has great reviews.

Test and iterate

Once you have your website up, don’t think the work is done just yet. Once your site is up and live it’s time to check it actually works properly. You need A/B testing which is testing the current website A against the alternative which is the B. Check over which version works better. You can measure your success via increased calls to the business, customers clicking on different pages and increased sales. Installing something like Google Analytics will help you understand what types of visitors are checking out your site and what they are doing when they get to your site.

Australia’s Geothermal Energy Potential

Posted on December 17, 2019 in Blogging Local News


Is it possible for Australia to generate renewable energy from the heated rocks and hot granites that lay low the earth? Will there be enough energy conserved from the exploratory geothermal wells to sustain every Australian’s lifestyle?

The Centre for International Economics, based on a conservative estimate, says that Australia has enough geothermal energy that could help sustain Australia’s electricity for the next 450 years. Parts of central Tasmania alone have been known to be generating up to 280MW of power according to KUTh. And it was also estimated that a per cent of the geothermal energy shallower than 5 km and hotter than a grade of 150°C may already be enough to sustain Australia’s energy requirement for 26,000 years (based on the 2004-05 figures.

While this may serve true, the geothermal industry in Australia is showing promising potential.

Australia’s Geothermal Industry

Geothermal energy is heat energy contained from the earth’s core. Meaning, it is heated from deep within. There were locations near the country’s centre that are popular of containing hot granites at a depth which hold promising potential for the geothermal industry’s development for the country. And because of a probable contribution to Australia’s energy infrastructure, reducing reliance on an expensive source, they have put exploratory geothermal wells into place to further explore. They were drilled into potential areas resulting in future projects and more exploration to seek more and new locations. However, this is continuously challenged by geologic factors. Its possibility relies on the use of a variety of geoscience data in looking for areas of higher potential. 

Investors started to support this as this innovation showed significant progress. It may have generated a large-scale power that could contribute greatly to the economy but once developed, it may just secure Australia of a future energy source. That being said, geothermal power in Australia may be little, but it’s growing fast. 


What are its uses for Australia?

While it’s still a continuous industry in the making, Australia uses it for agriculture, other forms of industrial work and for cooling and heating residential buildings.

However, the digging explorations are limited to a drilling capacity of 5 km down since it will require too much energy to go deeper. From here, electricity can be generated using temperatures as low as 100°C but anything that goes beyond this may require larger-scale production.

What are the programs dedicated to the movement?

Certain programs that Australia forms involving geoscience support this cause.

  1. Australian Geoscience ensures they understand where these hot spots for expansion purposes are embedded. As it collaborates with the federal government’s Onshore Energy Security Program which is a program about field logging, it aims to improve the heat flow coverage of Australia. The temperature gradient and thermal conductivity detect the product of heat flow in a borehole which can be used to interpret and predict temperature even in great depths.
  2. OZTemp database measures temperatures from a variety of resources and extrapolating these to the standard 5-km-depth. Explorated temperature may be horizontally interpolated between drill holes. To produce a continuous map of temperature at 5-km-dept, temperature across entire Australia. With Somerville et al. 1994 – Geotherm94 database pioneered at the Bureau of Minerals Resources and the Energy Research and Development.

The Challenges

Most of Australia’s geothermal energy has to be extracted by pumping water from the surface through rocks situated 5-km-below. This is for the water to absorb heat and then circulate it back. And this is how an Enhanced or Engineered Geothermal System was born. While it is hardly generated compared to New Zealand and Iceland where there are a lot of volcanoes to aid the processes, there are other challenges. With economical and technical challenges, where one affects the other seem to be the leading above all due to technology being an expensive investment, yet the most needed. This bleeds into financial challenges affecting operations. Lastly, geographical challenges and policy challenges while depending greatly on the operations may also be expected of sporadic appearances.


Although these challenges seem to be in the way, the industry of geothermal energy has much to offer for Australia.


Change from Etihad to Marvel stadium in Melbourne

Posted on December 16, 2019 in Local News

People watching soccer

Transiting from a type of business venture to one that offers maximum opportunities might not be easy, the Etihad Stadium achieved it. The rebranding process came with extra responsibilities that paid off handsomely. This story of the new Marvel Stadium will inspire you.

As a great brand, Aussie’s multi-purpose sports arena became prominent with its 27,000-seat capacity. Etihad is an Abu Dhabi-based airline that signed an eight-year deal with one of Australia’s biggest sports and events stadium. In this article, you will understand how this strategic alliance became a success.

The Process of Rebranding

Marvel is a big brand that invested in sports facilities. In Melbourne, this super brand runs retail stores and chains of entertainment facilities. Sports fixtures for cricket, football, and soccer are a season-long event. Formerly (between 2000 and 2002), it was called the Colonial Stadium. Then, it changed to the Telstra Dome in 2002 and maintained its name until 2009.

However, it was renamed the Etihad Stadium in 2009. There was a change of name in 2019 with a deal that involved America’s Walt Disney Company. It was a marvellous experience for sports enthusiasts in Australia to see a change of name from the Etihad Stadium to the Marvel Stadium by d by Disney.

The deal between Disney and Etihad brought a new experience of entertainment in Australia. Disney has been a big brand since the 19th century. The corporation has produced blockbuster movies like Captain America and The Avengers. Since the transition, audiences have been thrilled by amazing events at this stadium. Also, their experience has reached another level of satisfaction.

Soccer ball

An Opportunity for Wealth Creation

When Walt Disney Company Australia announced the deal in September 2018, it was welcomed with fanfare. Sports enthusiasts that have foresight saw potentials for employment and income generation.

Many e-commerce marketing companies signed up with the entertainment giant to make money. Since that time, there have been more jobs for people and quality service for visitors. The increase in client engagement has been seamless because of improved facilities.

With a multi-purpose stadium for social activities, the Marvel stadium has diversified from sports business. There have been big musical concerts and UFC boxing competitions in this stadium. The recent UFC between New Zealand and Australia’s best fighters was in October 2019. On that day, there was a big football game in the stadium and many fans also saw the fight.

As one of Australia’s most recognized brands, Marvel is a big name in the entertainment industry. According to Kylie Watson-Wheeler who’s Walt Disney’s (Australia) director, Marvel has sponsorship rights to organize many activities in its stadium.

This deal allows the brand to organize AFL games in its facilities. There are about 45 matches in the AFL league that receives an audience from different backgrounds. The Victorian government didn’t fail to take advantage of this mouth-watering deal. Instead, they invested about $225m into the new Marvel stadium. Don’t visit Australia without seeing this magnificent stadium in the suburbs (Docklands) of Melbourne.

A Unique Architecture for Sports Development

What thrills me more about the Marvel stadium is its architecture. A portion (Southern Hemisphere) of this stadium has retractable roof structures. Its 55,000-seat arrangement with an adjustable roof that makes the Marvel stadium unique. Since 2000, the stadium has been the headquarters of the AFL. It has also hosted big league games and clubs like Carlton, Essendon, and Western Bulldogs.

The rebranding idea of this Marvel Stadium (formerly Etihad Stadium) shows careful planning. While it’s an idea that has generated more revenue, you can underscore its impact on the development of grassroots-based sporting competitions.


How Are The Sewers Designed?

Posted on November 29, 2019 in Blogging Local News

How Do Civil Engineers Design Sewers?

Sewer system designs start with an engineering consultation, which will try to finalise the conceptualization of ideas and produce environmental impact assessments. Usually, engineering consultants forecast the population growth rate of communities that need new sewer systems. Since residents will form a connect of sewer pipes, civil engineers need to plan for wastewater-related emergencies. 

A civil engineering group must think about every aspect of the construction process. Along with the ethics of the structure itself, engineers also must consider a bit of land’s capability to handle water flow in the event of a major storm or flooding. Even ancient builders realized that. In fact, as it has been said, the first streets appeared some 3500 years ago, and even these early predecessors to the highway took drainage into consideration. We could see then that drainage mattered to the people of ancient times. And if the people of the past put this into consideration, we should expect that we, equipped with the knowledge that is passed down from the ancient times, to utilise it and develop them into better forms that would further benefit the society.

Water could be the planet’s life force, but it can cause lots of problems if allowed to sit down on sidewalks or roadways. Without proper drainage analysis, a structure runs the danger of flooding, foundational damage, and in worst-case situations erosion and even sinkholes.

Apart from laying new sewer pipes, the old sewer system in your municipality might be due for an upgrade. This reconstruction of the sewer system also needs superior designs that guarantee durability. Here are some techniques that ensure the right design methods of sewer systems.

Types of Sewer Systems 

Sewage systems include pipes that transport wastewater from houses, factories, and other buildings to treatment plants. Other components include lateral pipes, outfall, trunk, and sub-main pipes that carry sanitary sewage. Normally, these pipes are different from the types that collect surface runoffs (stormwater) from rainfall. While designing sewer systems, civil engineering professionals consider a range of factors.

How Do Civil Engineers Design Sewers?
  • The Combined Sewer System

In the combined sewer system, both stormwater and sanitary sewage flow through the same pipes. Usually, municipalities discharge sludge from the combined sewage system without proper treatments. Most times, poor town planning methods leave engineers without any alternative to the combined sewage pipe installation. When the roads are too narrow, it might be difficult to install separate sewer pipes for both stormwater and wastewater.

  • The Separate Sewer System

In the separate sewer system, one pipe collects storm and roof drain. Another pipe collects wastewater from homes and industries to treatment plants. Normally, the design of stormwater pipes ensures that street wash and surface runoffs flow to lakes and rivers. Also, sanitary sewage gets to the treatment plant through outfall sewer pipes.

Factors That Affect the Design of Sewer Pipes

Before laying sewer pipes, civil engineers consider the distance to the water table, environment factors, temperature, and pressure of wastewater. They also consider how the city’s treatment plant for sludge should be designed before it receives these wastes.

There are more pollutants from industrial wastewater. Since the production of goods might require special raw materials, we expect industrial wastewater to have more pollutants. Since it’s the same sewer system that transports all types of wastewater, civil engineers must consider a range of characteristics.

  • The Temperature Factor

The average temperature of wastewater varies between 10 and 20O degrees (Celsius). Since wastewater contains effluents and microbial activities, these chemical reactions will increase the internal temperature of sewer pipes. The atmospheric temperature has a negligible (slight) influence on the temperature inside sewer pipes. 

Generally, potable water supply pipes have lower temperatures than sewer pipes. Also, residents use warm water to bath and prepare meals. So, the temperature of wastewater is affected by what the pipes receive and the weather condition of that area.

However, temperature is an important factor in designing wastewater pipes. Engineers often use sewer pipe materials that can handle this range of temperatures. When biochemical reactions increase the temperature of wastewater, it also makes oxygen is less soluble. During the summer months, heat increases the temperature of wastewater pipes and bacteria that produce methane gas. Using the right type of plumbing would also help to avoid problems down the road, which means fewer chances to repair the drains every other month or so.

  • The Density Factor

The density of wastewater is an important parameter that influences the design of sewer pipes. Density is calculated by comparing the mass per unit volume of any material (kg/m3). Normally, density currents depend on the concentration of solid particles in the wastewater. Also, treatment plant operators consider this characteristic of wastewater.

Apart from gases (carbon, sulphur, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen), the chemical compounds in wastewater include organic and inorganic matters. The composition of organic matter has fewer filterable solids than its suspended solids. Other organic pollutants in wastewater include fats, proteins, urea, and oils. They form complex structures that increase the density of wastewater and in some cases, may create sewer blockage if these substances accumulate without getting treated.


Venue Hiring for a Huge Corporate Retreat

Posted on November 27, 2019 in Local News

Conference room meeting

After a productive year, company managements often organize corporate retreats for executives. It’s an event that might require many expenses. However, certain factors like the choice of an event venue can ease financial planning. Before hiring formal venues for corporate events, the planner needs a checklist to ensure customers’ satisfaction.

Usually, event venue hire and selection is stress and a busy period of decision-making can affect the process negatively. The officer manager can ensure a smooth process by setting up a team of employees to assist the event planner. Let’s share some helpful information for your next corporate retreat.

Business meeting

What Options Should You Consider?

Your company can hire an event planner or ask members of staff to find befitting venues for the retreat. If the plan is done by the latter, the organizing team can use these key questions to guide their selection process. Having an event planner case undoubtedly enhance the entire planning process and lead to a grand success with utmost quality. If the budget suits you right, it is always better to hire an event planner so that you can focus entirely on just the business-related matters when the planner can focus on everything starting from the interior layout, bookings, communication with the venue manager, event agenda, etc. This might turn out to be much more time and cost-effective than you planning all of it by yourself which could lead to confusion and possible stress.

Inspect the interior design

Professional corporate settings require the right ambience for every member involved to feel comfortable and have the right mindset to pursue a business deal or a conference. Various types of interior design can have a long-lasting impact on the minds of the involved parties. Layout beginning from sharp corners of a conference room or curved walls, to the distance of the bathroom from the boardroom could actually help determine the success of such an event. Often people wonder what relation would an interior design have on a business conference. Subconsciously, every attendee needs to feel at comfort and for this, their surroundings need to be taken care of. Be sure to confirm with the event or the area manager about the venue specifics to create the right environment as you desire for all your corporate attendees. Be sure to check with the area contractor if they’ve used long-lasting decking oil during renovation or revamp that can truly create an elegant finish to all the furniture within the venue and enhance the corporate ambience. Always remember. it’s not just about the business-related matters the attendees remember and take back home with them.

Conference room

Team Members Should Have a Common Agenda

The team must have ideas of bespoke venue for the corporate retreat because it will be a grand event. Usually, projects that involve planning don’t start with uniform decisions. Team members often describe their ideal locations, and venues differently. However, a member of the team can act as the secretary of the planning committee and document every idea.

After listening to everyone’s opinion, the team’s leader will define these preferences according to their budget. A critical element for planning that every member of this team requires is inter-personal relationship skills.

Man standing in front of an audience

Get an All-Inclusive Package

Normally, corporate retreats for executives help to formulate business strategy and goals. During this event, there will be activities like team-bonding games, exercises, excursions, and parties. After choosing an ideal date for the corporate retreat, it’s ideal the space of the event centre before payment is made. It’s a win-win for the company if the venue has accommodation with good home office chairs and desks so that the executives can choose to complete any pending work they might have with utmost comfort.

A venue with accommodation for participants reduces the cost of transportation during the event. Alternatively, the team can search for hotels with spacious conference halls that have the ideal ergonomic office chair for enhanced comfort, bars, and restaurants. The ideal venue for your retreat must have functional AV equipment, WIFI, and toilets. Other features include computers, projector screens, printers, and HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) systems and additionally have features such as the right professional interior design, comfortable setting, the right timber screens that control the inside temperature and finally a layout that is extremely convenient.

Create a Memorable Retreat

When the venue is easily accessible, attendees will have sufficient time to relax and prepare for the event after their arrival. Ask the facility manager to allow your team to inspect the parking lot. This strategy will help your team to plan for every session of the retreat. Making attendees happy great-tasting meals and memorable moments creates the right atmosphere for corporate events.

At the event centre’s restaurants, attendees can gather for breakout sessions and unwind before the next activity. Before the morning session, serve cups of tea or coffee to keep them mentally alert. Plan dinners and give every attendee a memorable retreat.

Make regular three-course, vegan, and diabetic meals. Also, consider guests with dietary restrictions.

Apart from having their favourite cuisine, everyone deserves to be treated nicely. Depending on your company’s budget, catering and mobile bar services can be arranged at the event’s venue. It shouldn’t be a boring night without spending time at the pub. Introvert guests can help themselves with some karaoke and enjoy the night like everyone.

Additionally, ensure that the guests are at ease at all times by ensuring the venue has comfortable furniture outside the conference halls in the waiting or lounge area for all the breaks and mini rests. Be sure to check with the event manager whether they’ve used good quality exterior furniture stain, or just have a look at it yourself when you’re inspecting the place beforehand.

Internal Communication is Key

Planning as a team requires people with management skills. Team members’ first responsibility is internal communication. There should be influencers in the retreat planning team. To make effective communication with team members, the group’s leader should appoint assistants to track the progress of every plan. Also, event or area contractors need supervision from the corporate client. Since the company’s corporate clients, the team acts in trust for management.


Just For Fun – TV News Bloopers 2018

Posted on July 14, 2018 in Local News

man laughing at phone

Don’t know about anyone else, but I love it when the media is able to make fun of itself live on air and not take things so damn seriously all the time.

Watch the latest TV News Bloopers and have a laugh!