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Mental health events to improve wellbeing

5 Apr
Student Racquel Clark with her pot plants

By Ellie Maccoll, Bond University Journalism Student

Gold Coast University students were treated to free events last week in a bid to improve wellbeing and encourage awareness of youth mental health problems.

Griffith University Gold Coast and Bond University held plant potting workshops to allow students to step away from study and reduce stress with Bond also having a girl’s movie night and free lunches.

In a recent media statement, Universities Australia Acting Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said youth mental health and wellbeing of students is a key priority of universities.

“Youth mental illness generally is on the rise and universities are on the frontline of supporting young people with everything from financial stress to complex illnesses,” she said. 

Bond University Medicine student Hollie Belt said that she knows students facing depression and severe stress and would love to be able to help them.

“I know there is help available, but I have personally never really even considered getting it. That’s why events like these are so important,” she said.

“They help us realise that everyone around us is going through something similar and if we are too afraid to reach out to a professional, we always have our friends.”

Student Ainsley Sheppard said she often finds it difficult having to be away from her family for such long periods and can understand why it really gets people down.

“I think a lot of the time people are afraid to talk to people, not their close friends but often adults and professionals,” she said.

“Our problems don’t seem big enough for them. They’ve got much bigger stuff to be thinking about and sometimes its also a matter of ‘what can they really do?’

“If I’m stressed financially then spending money on counselling won’t help me at all.”

Daniel Hoffman, a law student, cites assignment time as his worst period mentally and believes that the timing of the week was perfect as it let him chill out briefly.

“It isn’t so much the work, it’s more the standard they expect from us,” he said.

“The workload is achievable but when you add it to the fact that some of us are away from home and our support network, as well as having to budget for ourselves it feels pretty impossible sometimes.

“I have friends who have dropped out or had to take a term off because they just couldn’t cope with the pressure.”

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Bond wins first round in seniors competition

5 Apr

By Andrew MacKaysmith, Bond University Journalism Student

Bond University AFC have defeated Alexandra Hills AFC in the first round of the QFA Division 2 seniors competition.

Despite a third quarter fightback by Alexandra Hills and an on-ground temperature reaching 35 degrees, Bond held on to obtain the four valuable premiership points by winning 12.11-83 to 9.9-63.

The Aussie Home Loans player of the game recipient was Oliver Smart, he said despite the stifling conditions Bond’s skill and commitment ensured the victory. 

“That was the hottest game that I have ever played in, having that heat on the day was mind blowing,” said Oliver.

“It was a well-fought contest and the skills are definitely second to none, we’re actually regarded as one of the most skilful teams in the competition.

“Our ability to get on the 45, the short kicks and the running carry is really what puts us above other teams in the competition.”

Last year Bond started the season with a string of victories before injuries took a toll on the roster. Oliver said this year the plan is to take the season one game at a time and atone for their qualifying final loss in 2018.

“Last year we got off to a nine-and-0 run before injuries took hold, we lost a bit of momentum and that led us to fail to perform in the finals series, where it actually mattered,” said Oliver.

“We’ve just got to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, just play one week at a time and give it all we’ve got.”

Bond AFL Club Coordinator Sam Schiphorst praised the team’s performance against Alexandra Hills.

He said that with almost half of the club’s best 22 still unavailable through injury, the victory was a tribute to the character of the players on the field.

“I think we had about nine to 10 players out from probably our best 22, to have that many players out and still get the win is a credit to the group,” said Mr Schiphorst.

“We were missing Ed Delaney, Rhys King, Daniel Goodburn and some of our top-line players, so that was a big credit to the guys to still come away with the win.”

Bond University AFC’s next game is against Carrara at Nielsons road oval on Saturday April 13, 2019. Fixtures and information available here: https://www.facebook.com/BondUniversityAFL/

Come and have a spin, urge woodturners

5 Apr

By Salma Kennedy, Bond University Journalism Student

The Gold Coast Woodturners are praising and practising the ancient art and are encouraging Gold Coasters to have a go.

Member Mike Judd said that for over 30 years the group has been sharing this particular knowledge of turning wood.

“Our club has been in existence for over 30 years and has grown so that today we have over 120 members,” he said.

“It started by a small group of men with an interest in woodworking in general, but turning in particular” said Mike Judd

“They wished to share their interest and knowledge, and so set up a club where they could meet, learn and practice this ancient art of turning wood to make useful and creative items.”

The Gold Coast Woodturners have altered their beginner’s course to provide individuals with the best learning abilities.

“In February 2018, the club decided to change its teaching regime, and over the following six months or so a new training course was investigated.

“Up until recently, the club offered teaching sessions for beginners every Monday evening.  The club has 12 lathes in the turning shed, and this meant that, realistically, about nine or 10 beginners could attend once a week with three or four volunteer members doing the teaching.

“The new courses are being offered three or four times a year, starting nominally in March, May, August and October.”

There are no age requirement for the courses however height is an important factor to consider, he said.

“As well as this the individual’s physical and mental ability is also considered,” he said.

The Gold Coast Woodturners are encouraging anyone seeking a challenge to give it a try.

“Our membership has included a boy of just over 10 years of age, and a man of around 92,” he said.

“We have about 20% of our members who are ladies and the majority of our members are in the age bracket of 40 to 70, but we welcome and encourage younger people to join”

“The mix of intentions to do woodturning range from a simple hobby, to creative and artistic items.”

Woodturning student Brett Mexted said that he is thoroughly enjoying his beginner course.

“Every Monday I come here and learn to build new things each week,” he said.

“I am really enjoying this course I think it’s a great way to step back from a routine and be creative and learn something new which is great.

“The members here are very helpful and enthusiastic which is a great environment to be creative.”

For further information contact 0401 858 683 or visit their website https://www.woodturnersgoldcoast.com.au.

Raising funds for Dolly’s Dream

5 Apr

By Rebekka Hauge Økland

The student group ´Me to You´ provided games and food at Bond University on March 15 to raise money for Dolly´s Dream.

Group leader Anmol Tak said they wanted to create a fun and comfortable environment for other students.

“We didn´t want to just sit there and ask for money, we wanted to give something back,” Anmol said.

“We had games, music and cheap food, so it was basically a fun way for people to donate.”

Sponsorship manager Espen Pedersen said they encouraged students to write notes, which they later put on a board for everyone to see.

“It was cool to see how many people just smiled writing the notes,” he said.

“Seeing them writing was an eye-opener for me, because I realised there´s so many things people want to say, but they don´t have a place to say it.

“We just wanted to try to make people come to the event to feel happiness and joy.”

Financial manager Bernadine Lai said they raised $280 for Dolly´s Dream, an Australian foundation working with preventing bullying to occur.

“It may not be a big event, but it is a small step in pushing the agenda of normalising talking about mental health issues,” Bernadine said.

Espen Pedersen said this was how they came up with their team name Me To You.

“It´s just about starting a conversation, me to you,” he said.  

Kenny Zhong said he donated $25 for the charity.

“It´s quite meaningful, because we can help someone get through a tough life,” Kenny said.

“I also had a good time at the event, especially with the potato race game where we had to balance a potato on a spoon from A to B.”

Anmol Tak said it was tough to get companies to sponsor their event, but eventually Cru Cafè, Subway, Red Bull, Browns and Holly Molly came along.

“Until a week ago we did not have any sponsors, and suddenly all of this happened,” Anmol said. 

“When people understood the importance of this event, they opened their eyes to sponsor us,” Espen said.

Emily Bass, Jinjun Pan and Karoline Gevelt is also part of the Me to You team. To learn more about Dolly´s Dream, visit their webpage at https://dollysdream.org.au

Bond takes on champ coach in women’s rugby series

29 Mar

By Andrew MacKaysmith, Bond University Journalism Student

A championship-winning coach has been appointed by Bond in their bid for success in the AON Women’s Rugby Uni 7s.

Setu Naseri joins Bond after helping guide Griffith University to the 2018 series title as the assistant to head coach Moana Virtue, a role they both reprise with the Queensland Reds Super W team.

He said it was important to start preparing for the series now, as it gave him an opportunity to get familiar with the playing group.

“The first couple of months, our focus is around strength and conditioning and getting the girls into the gym,” said Mr Naseri.

“(Then) raising their awareness around what’s required in terms of a high-performance program and giving them an idea of the national program benchmarks.”

Mr Naseri also said getting the players to develop a team mentality was a key to his coaching philosophy, something that was evident at Griffith.

“I felt my greatest input was getting cohesion from the group around the sort of team dynamic that we wanted to create,” said Mr Naseri.

“Some people use culture, some people talk about an environment, but it is more about getting on the same page.”

In addition to a new head coach, Bond retains the services of Wallaroo’s and Queensland Reds Super W representative back-rower Millie Boyle.

Millie juggles rugby commitments between her studies as a Sports Management student at Bond University and playing rugby league for Burleigh Bears.

Bond finished ninth on the series ladder in 2018 and Millie said that a lack of game time and depth in the playing group affected the team’s prospects. 

“Consistency will be the key and getting more games in prior to the AON tournament, which is what we missed out on last year,” said Millie.

“Toward the end we lost players due to injury and we didn’t have the depth to draw from so that was unfortunate, so I think just starting with a bigger core group (this year) and getting them playing consistent footy.

“And the new coaches, they’re heading in the right direction and really want what’s best for the team.”

Information on the AON Women’s Rugby Uni 7s is available here https://www.rugby.com.au/competitions/uni-7s

Strategies to help law students live easier

29 Mar

By Ellie Maccoll, Bond University Journalism Student

More than 50% of law students have suffered from severe mental health problems, says author and lawyer Jerome Doraisamy.

In a series of presentations at Somerset Storyfest and Bond University, Mr Doraisamy described his own personal battle with depression as a young lawyer and the strategies he used to combat it.

He said the key to success is to effectively maintain an appropriate work/life balance.

“You should not just invest your whole self in the label ‘I am a lawyer’,” he said.

The Law Faculty Twilight Session at Bond University was attended by industry professionals and university lecturers.

Mr Doraisamy is calling for a major cultural shift in the profession to lower the extremely high rates of psychological distress experienced by students.

“A high level of responsibility should lie with the individual to demand more from their law schools,” he said.

First semester Bond University law student Aimee Williamson said that she is constantly stressed and would love to find a way to chill out.

“Law school is so ridiculously overwhelming, I feel so much dumber than everyone around me,” she said.

“I am constantly stressed, and I can’t find time away from study to do anything fun.

“I want a break where I can just hang out with my friends and have a good time, but I always feel guilty taking time away.”

Fellow law student Racquel Clark said she occasionally does other things in her spare time but is now struggling to free time for anything other than study.

“It’s basically impossible to get work done to the perfect standard they expect and have a life,” she said.

“I want to go to the beach or dinner with my friends, but we are all under the same pressure.

“Most of my friends are law students and we are all exhausted.”

Paddle out to save the Bight

29 Mar

By Rebekka Hauge Økland , Bond University Journalism Student

Hundreds of surfers paddled out at Burleigh Heads Beach on March 17, in a protest against oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight. 

Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed President Greg Howell said he was happy with the number of people who attended the event.

“I was surprised and heartened,” Mr Howell said.

“I had friends who came all the way from Byron, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

“Today we showed that a group of people can come together and say no to something that we all agree on.”

Mr Howell said they were fighting to keep the Great Australian Bight the way it is.

“It´s a very valuable environment, and the only place in Australia we have blue whales,” Mr Howell said.

“We were trying to show Australia that even though the oil drilling in the Bight won´t immediately affect us on the Gold Coast, that we´re in solidarity with the crew down there.”

Charles Charker-Pullè said he attended the demonstration because he does not believe the oil drilling is safe. 

“If there is any chance of a disaster, and there is, then not´s even take the chance,” Mr Charker-Pullè said.

“The ecosystems of the world rely on our southern oceans.

“If it goes wrong, the whole world is going to pay for it, not just Australia.”

Surfrider President Greg Howell said it was amazing being in the water, and to see the diversity of people at the paddle out.

“Seeing them come together for one purpose was inspiring,” Mr Howell said.

“When you get a group like that, it can effect change.

“If they [Equinor] were able to guarantee a hundred percent that is was safe, we still don´t want it, because it´s drilling for something we don´t need anymore.

“We will stop it, there´s no doubt about it.”

The paddle out was a part of a nationwide demonstration to prevent the Norwegian company Equinor from drilling one exploration well (a borehole that will be used to locate oil and gas) outside South Australia.

Bike riding is a life skill

29 Mar

By Patrick Anning, Bond University Journalism Student

Olympic gold medallist and cycling advocate Sara Carrigan continues her mission by inspiring Gold Coasters to ride their bikes.

Sara Carrigan runs Absolute Beginners, a monthly program that shows people the joy of cycling.

“My role as coach involves showing kids, adults, newbies, racers, fearful what they can enjoy on a bike and I love how the simple act of ‘learning to ride’ turns into so much more,” she said.

“It’s freedom and happiness.”

Sara has been a coach for 10 years and started the Absolute Beginners sessions five years ago.

“I have been a coach since 2009 and started the Absolute Beginner sessions with the City of Gold Coast around 2014,” she said.

The program runs through then Gold Coast with help from other Olympians.

Sara said that learning to ride a bike at any age is a life skill.

“Teaching someone to cycle empowers them and gives them freedom, independence and adventure,” she said.

“Riding a bike has often been cited as one of the universal skills for life, along with reading and swimming.”

Sara’s main tip is to be confident and to let go of fear.

“It helps to be confident and safe and then gives more enjoyment & fun.”

Gold Coast local resident and regular bike rider Maximilian Murray said the program is beneficial.

“What the participants get out of the program I’d imagine would be a sense of achievement and genuine happiness,” he said.

“I was over the moon when I first learnt how to ride a bike.”

For more information on the Absolute Beginners program visit http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/absolute-beginners-48113.html

Burleigh markets offer variety to visitors

29 Mar

By Elle Arntzen, Bond University Journalism Student

Every Saturday stallholders come together at the Burleigh Heads State School to sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, clothes and other amazing stuff.

The Burleigh Markets were started seven years ago and open their doors every Saturday from 7am to 12pm to local customers as well as tourists.

German exchange student Pauline Neuhofer went to the Burleigh Markets for the first time last Saturday and said she wants to go again to show it to her friends.

“I thought it was a very nice experience because I personally love going to markets,” Pauline said.

“You find very unique little things and accessories and I thought there was a lot of love in the market.

“I went to the market because I really enjoy markets in general and we always drove by the market so we decided to finally have a look.”

Kelly Rogers owns a clothing store in Burleigh and has been attending the market since it started about seven years ago.

Kelly does not come to the Burleigh Markets every week with a stall for her brand LUJA Designs but she keeps coming back due to the positive impact on her customers.

“We like best that it’s close by our home, as we travel lots, so it’s nice to do a market and see all our local customers,” Kelly said.

Movies under the stars proves popular

29 Mar

By Salma Kennedy, Bond University Journalism Student

Gold Coast’s Movies Under the Stars hosted its weekly free movie session last week.

Families and friends ditched their lounge rooms and gathered at Southport to watch Peter Rabbit on the big screen on Saturday night.

Aleksander Smith, a father of two, said this event is a great way for the family to bond and for the kids to get out of the house.

“My Sister had told me about Movies Under the Stars and I thought it would be a great idea, this is the second time I have come to this event,” said Aleksander.

“I think it is a great way for the kids to get out of the house and be outdoors, we definitely make this a family bonding activity.

“We will definitely continue coming to these events, they’re just great.”

Alissa and Jack said that this event is a great way to spend a date night as they are always looking for something new to do.

“We are always trying to find new date ideas so when I found out about this event on the internet I was all for it,” said Alissa.

“I think this is a great way to be outdoors and have fun with friends and family, it is definitely something we will continue to do.”

“It is a lot of fun and this movie is great, no complaints here,” added Jack.

For further information regarding Movies Under the Stars or other events on the Gold Coast visit the Gold Coast website on http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/thegoldcoast/events-118.html.

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