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Aussie Olympian amputates finger to compete at Paris Games

<p>Matthew Dawson has amputated part of his ring finger in order to compete in the Olympics. </p> <p>The 30-year-old is set to represent the Australian men's hockey team - the Kookaburras- at this year's Paris Olympics.</p> <p>His Olympic participation was cast into doubt after he broke his finger, but in an extreme show of dedication, he opted to amputate it instead of getting a cast. </p> <p>“I made an informed decision with the plastic surgeon at the time not only for the opportunity to play in Paris but for life after as well,” Dawson told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>“The best option was for me to take the top of my finger off. It’s a bit of a change at the moment and an exciting challenge, I guess.”</p> <p>He reportedly didn't have much time to make the decision, but reassured that he was well informed before making the big move. </p> <p>“I had made the decision and then I called my wife, and she said, ‘I don’t want you to make a rash decision’, but I had all the information I needed to make the decision not for Paris but for life after,” he said.</p> <p>“Hopefully, I can not take too long to get back to form.”</p> <p>He added: “There are plenty of other issues and other people going on with other stuff in their lives that are bigger than losing a finger, so I’m very fortunate that it’s just a little bit of my finger.” </p> <p>Kookaburras Coach Colin Batch praised Dawson for making the big decision. </p> <p>“Dawson is back in training now. He’s certainly set the bar high for anyone getting a broken finger in the future, but full marks to Matt; he’s made that decision and obviously really committed to playing in Paris,” he said.</p> <p>The coach also told <em>7NEWS</em> that the decision was made entirely by Dawson, and that a coach can't decide for a player. </p> <p>“I’m not sure I would have done it, but he’s done it, so great,” he said.</p> <p>The Aussie hockey team will compete against Argentina on July 27 in their first match for the Paris Olympics.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

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For a century, it’s been illegal to swim in the Seine. Will Paris’s clean-up make the river safe for Olympic swimmers?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Five eagerly anticipated events in the Paris Olympics will be the mens and womens 10 kilometre marathon swimming races, as well as the 1,500 metre swimming section of three triathlon events. Why? Because all will be held in the Seine River in the centre of Paris. The swimmers – including <a href="https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/trio-complete-an-historic-australian-olympic-marathon-swim-team-for-paris-2024">four Australians</a> – will pass famous landmarks such as the Musee d'Orsay as they swim through the historic heart of the city. This will have enormous scenic appeal for spectators.</p> <p>But will it be safe for swimmers? Rivers running through large cities are <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w">often polluted</a>, whether from stormwater, chemical pollution or wastewater spills. As the marathon swimmers pass the <a href="https://musee-egouts.paris.fr/en/">Paris Sewer Museum</a>, they may well wonder if they’re in clean water.</p> <p>For more than 100 years, swimming in the Seine has actually been illegal, due to concerns over what the water could do to human health. Authorities <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/article/2024/may/24/olympic-games-clean-up-aims-to-leave-parisians-swimming-in-the-seine">have been working</a> to clean up the water, spending A$2.2 billion (€1.3 billion) on improving water quality. The goal: cut bacterial contamination by 75% before the first swimmer touches the water. These measures are having an impact – but recent heavy rains have seen bacteria levels spike.</p> <p>While officials have put on brave faces, there’s now a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">contingency plan</a> in case the Seine isn’t safe.</p> <h2>Why swim in the Seine at all?</h2> <p>Urban rivers have a questionable reputation. But this isn’t the first time the Seine River has been used for Olympic swimming.</p> <p>In the 1900 Paris Olympics, <a href="https://olympics.com/en/olympic-games/paris-1900/results/swimming">seven swimming events</a> were all held in the river. These games were the first modern Olympics where <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/faq/history-and-origin-of-the-games/when-did-women-first-compete-in-the-olympic-games">women could compete</a> in some sports, but swimming was not one of those permitted.</p> <p>The Australian swimmer who competed, Frederick Lane, had to swim under the United Kingdom’s flag as Australia did not have a flag until Federation the following year. He won two gold medals. One was for the 200 metre freestyle race, and the other for a bizarre race never held again: the 200m <a href="https://www.olympedia.org/results/4433">swimming obstacle race</a>, where swimmers had to climb over poles and boats. These Olympics also saw the first and last underwater swimming race, which was also in the Seine.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=378&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/606823/original/file-20240715-17-kajph6.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=475&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="historic photo swimming seine river paris" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Swimmers took to the Seine’s waters at the 1900 Paris Olympics, when the river ran cleaner.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swimming_1900.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Back then, the waters of the Seine were cleaner. That’s because there was a great demand for human waste on farms – and cities were the main source. Back then, “night soil” (human waste) had a <a href="https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/11/1757/2007/hess-11-1757-2007.pdf">real market value</a>. No one would think of dumping it in rivers.</p> <p>But as time went on, sewerage systems developed and other fertilisers such as guano and mineral fertilisers arrived. By the early 20th century, most of the city’s wastewater went into the Seine. In 1923, the swimming ban came into effect. A year later, Paris hosted the Olympics for its second time – and swimmers competed in 50 metre pools.</p> <p>In recent years, many cities around the world have worked to clean up their urban waterways. River swimming is <a href="https://www.timeout.com/news/the-european-cities-cleaning-up-rivers-for-wild-swimmers-101821">now common</a> in cities such as Copenhagen, Berlin and Vienna, where river health has improved dramatically.</p> <h2>How can you clean a river like the Seine?</h2> <p>Cleaning the Seine is a challenge. Paris is home to 11 million people, with plenty of industry. Urban rivers are almost inevitably polluted by waste from the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s42949-021-00026-w%5D">surrounding city</a>.</p> <p>Leaking and overflowing sewage systems are a major source of pollution. In places like the UK, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-62631320">sewage spills</a> into waterways have become a major political issue.</p> <p>When wastewater spills into rivers, it carries pollutants and dangerous loads of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6725a1.htm">disease-causing microorganisms</a>, such as <em>Escherichia coli</em> (commonly known as E. coli). Untreated water can have viruses, bacteria and disease-causing protozoa.</p> <p>In the lead-up to the Paris games, authorities have been working to improve water quality enough to bring some Olympic swimming back to the Seine. Stormwater – often contaminated by dog poo or sewage overflows – is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/08/can-paris-clean-seine-for-next-year-2024-olympics">being cleaned</a> before it is released into the river.</p> <p>Despite the money and effort, there are still real questions over whether it will be enough to guarantee swimmer safety. Bacterial levels hit risky levels <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/07/11/sport/paris-olympics-seine-triathlon-bacteria-spiking-intl/index.html">most days in June</a> due to unseasonally heavy rains, but the water has <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/france/20240712-seine-clean-enough-to-swim-for-most-of-past-12-days-paris-says-ahead-of-olympics">improved in July</a>.</p> <p>This week, French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra <a href="https://www.nbclosangeles.com/paris-2024-summer-olympics/french-sports-minister-takes-dip-in-seine-river-2024-paris-olympics/3458469/">swam a few metres</a> in the Seine in an effort to douse concerns.</p> <p>By contrast, the other Olympic swimming events will take place in a recently constructed 50 metre pool, which will have very good water quality. The pool water is filtered and treated with a disinfectant such as chlorine or bromine. It will be regularly tested to ensure optimal water quality.</p> <p>At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, triathletes had to swim in polluted Tokyo Bay. But similar concerns over sickness proved unfounded. The real challenge was the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/olympic-athletes-and-volunteers-in-tokyo-tortured-by-heat">oppressive heat</a>.</p> <h2>What’s at risk?</h2> <p>The most likely outcome if races are held when bacterial levels are unsafe would be getting a gastrointestinal bug.</p> <p>Officials have some control over this. Contamination is worst after heavy rain. Races could be delayed if need be.</p> <p>Many swimmers – especially those who compete in open-water competitions – are familiar with swimming in water with some level of pollution. Some see it as worth the risk. Italian double world champion swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20240226-paris-holds-its-breath-for-olympic-swimming-events-in-murky-seine">said in January</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Even if the water is dirty, I would rather swim in an electric atmosphere in the centre of Paris than in an anonymous stretch of water.</p> </blockquote> <p>Paris 2024 organisers previously warned there was no plan B for the 10 km marathon races in the Seine if water quality testing is unsuitable. But this has now changed. If the river isn’t clean enough, open water swimming <a href="https://www.reuters.com/sports/olympics/paris-2024-sets-up-reserve-site-marathon-swimming-if-seine-unsuitable-2024-07-05/">will be moved</a> to the rowing venue.</p> <p>The Olympic triathlon is planned around a swimming leg in the Seine. But triathletes <a href="https://www.espn.com.au/olympics/story/_/id/39912675/triathlon-leg-cancelled-seine-quality-paris-2024-chief">have been told</a> the swim leg could be skipped if the water is unsafe, which would turn the race into a running and cycling duathlon.</p> <p>As the world’s attention turns to Paris, there will be many anxious officials behind the scenes hoping their hard work on making the Seine swimmable pays off.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231705/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-a-wright-5162">Ian A. Wright</a>, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: CARON/ZEPPELIN/SIPA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/for-a-century-its-been-illegal-to-swim-in-the-seine-will-pariss-clean-up-make-the-river-safe-for-olympic-swimmers-231705">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Convicted child rapist qualifies for Olympic team

<p>A convicted child rapist has qualified to represent The Netherlands at the upcoming 2024 Olympics. </p> <p>Steven van de Velde will head to Paris in July to represent the country in beach volleyball, much to the dismay of many. </p> <p>Van de Velde's selection has caused outrage given he pleaded guilty to three counts of rape in 2014 and was sentenced to four years in jail.</p> <p>He was convicted in 2016 and only served one year behind bars. </p> <p>The athlete, now 29, admitted to meeting the then 12-year-old on Facebook before travelling to England from Amsterdam to meet her when he raped her, after being aware of her age. </p> <p>At the 2016 sentencing, the judge labelled Van de Velde's Olympic aspirations a "shattered dream" due to the conviction.</p> <p>However, the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC) have given him another chance, despite the fact that the British Olympic Committee is allegedly uncomfortable with the Van de Velde selection.</p> <p>"Since 2018, Steven van de Velde has been participating in international beach volleyball tournaments again following an intensive, professionally supervised trajectory," the NOC said in a statement.</p> <p>Despite the unusual selection, the International Olympic Committee allows each nation to select its own athletes and does not veto any picks.</p> <p>Following his release from jail, Van de Velde said in an interview in 2018, "I made that choice in my life when I wasn't ready, I was a teenager still figuring things out."</p> <p>"I was sort of lost and now I have so much more life experience, aside from just being incarcerated. Any form of help would have been very very helpful, maybe that's what I would have told myself, seek help."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Teen athlete's tragic death just weeks before Paris Games

<p>A young Olympic hopeful has tragically died just weeks out from making his debut at the Paris Games. </p> <p>Jackson James Rice, 18, was found dead after a diving accident in Faleloa, Tonga on Saturday from a “suspected shallow water blackout”.</p> <p>The teenager had been set to become the first caucasian to represent Tonga at an Olympic Games, having qualified for the new kite-foiling event.</p> <p>He had been free diving from a boat when the tragedy unfolded. </p> <p>His body was found beneath the boat and despite several resuscitation attempts, he could not be revived. </p> <p>Rice's heartbroken father confirmed the news of the teenager's death to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, as tributes flowed for the young athlete.</p> <p>Rice’s sister Lily paid an emotional tribute to her brother on social media on Sunday, as she wrote on Facebook, “I was blessed with the most amazing brother in the whole world and it pains me to say that he’s passed away."</p> <p>“He was an amazing kitefoiler and he would have made it to the Olympics and come out with a big shiny medal … he made so many amazing friends all over the world.”</p> <p>Other friends paid tribute to the teenager on social media, with one writing, “I can’t begin to put into words what I’m feeling right now. I still cannot believe it, when I woke up to this news I thought you were playing around. You’re the most amazing friend anyone could ask for and anyone who has spent time with you would agree.”</p> <p>Rice was originally born in the US but moved to Tonga at a young age with his British-born parents. </p> <p>He grew up in Haʻapai, where his parents run a tourist lodge, and always viewed himself as Tongan.</p> <p>The talented athlete qualified for what had been due to be his first Olympic Games last December, after placing eighth at a Sail Sydney event.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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"These can't be real": Boomers' Olympic uniform sparks instant outrage

<p>Australia’s basketball uniforms for the Paris Olympics have hit a new low, or should we say a new “high jump” with the kit’s release on social media sparking a full-blown hoopla.</p> <p>Designed by Asics, these uniforms have quickly become the butt of jokes faster than a basketball rolling down a court.</p> <p>The “outfit” features a bright yellow singlet with “Australia” across the chest, an Asics logo on one shoulder, and the coat of arms on the other – and the reactions have been nothing short of a slam dunk of disdain.</p> <p>Daniel Moldovan, a basketball player manager with a flair for theatrics, didn’t hold back. “Let’s just call a spade a spade," he wrote on X, "yet another embarrassment for a team full of NBA players at the peak of their sport. Our guys are going to be dressed like marathon runners. If the old adage ‘Look good, feel good’ has any truth to it, then our guys are going to feel like trash.”</p> <p>He even suggested that whoever approved these “marathon runner uniforms” for the Boomers should have their citizenship revoked. “What the f*** is this abomination?” he asked. Even past and present Boomers players chimed in.</p> <p>Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder’s rising star, simply commented “lol absolute joke”. Jock Landale of the Houston Rockets humorously mused, “Looks like we are off to throw a javelin.” And Andrew Bogut, never one to mince words, quipped that the Australian Olympic Committee had Stevie Wonder design the uniforms. Ouch.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Let’s just call a spade a spade. This is a fucking DISGRACE. Yet another embarrassment for a team full of NBA players at the peak of their sport. </p> <p>Our guys are going to be dressed like marathon runners. </p> <p>If the old adage of “Look good feel good” has a modicum of truth to it,… <a href="https://t.co/mSxlLeHvGl">https://t.co/mSxlLeHvGl</a></p> <p>— Daniel Moldovan (@AgentMoldovan) <a href="https://twitter.com/AgentMoldovan/status/1800659140022595903?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 11, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The social media backlash was swift and savage. Benyam Kidane of NBA Australia tweeted, “Nah, this disrespectful. Boomers gonna bring home the gold in the decathlon.” Sam Vecenie from The Athletic added, “Pumped to see the Australian basketball team compete in the high jump at the Olympics. Probably not the optimal use of their skill, but will be fun to see them in these track-and-field-ass uniforms.”</p> <p>NBA Straya was in on the joke too: “Great to see we’re following in a hallowed Aussie tradition and getting Bali knockoff jerseys for the national team.” And one user couldn’t believe their eyes: “Is April Fools Day a different day? These can’t be real!!”</p> <p>The ASICS website, in its defence, claims the design incorporates Indigenous Australian artwork and Japanese design features. They boasted about the recycled fabrics and the artworks by Paul Fleming and David Bosun. While noble, it seems like they may have missed the mark on “aesthetic appeal”.</p> <p>The Boomers are set to kick off their Paris Olympics campaign on July 27, with warm-up matches against Japan, China, Serbia and the USA. Let’s just hope they’re not mistaken for a track-and-field team when they step onto the court. After all, no one wants to see them dribble with a javelin.</p> <p>In the end, perhaps the real win would be for the Boomers to win gold while sporting these “unique” threads. It might just prove that in the world of fashion, sometimes the ugliest outfits make for the most unforgettable moments.</p> <p><em>Images: Asics</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Paris in spring, Bali in winter. How ‘bucket lists’ help cancer patients handle life and death

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-williams-veazey-1223970">Leah Williams Veazey</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-broom-121063">Alex Broom</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-kenny-318175">Katherine Kenny</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>In the 2007 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825232/">The Bucket List</a> Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two main characters who respond to their terminal cancer diagnoses by rejecting experimental treatment. Instead, they go on a range of energetic, overseas escapades.</p> <p>Since then, the term “bucket list” – a list of experiences or achievements to complete before you “kick the bucket” or die – has become common.</p> <p>You can read articles listing <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/11/cities-to-visit-before-you-die-according-to-50-travel-experts-and-only-one-is-in-the-us.html">the seven cities</a> you must visit before you die or <a href="https://www.qantas.com/travelinsider/en/trending/top-100-guide/best-things-to-do-and-see-in-australia-travel-bucket-list.html">the 100</a> Australian bucket-list travel experiences.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvdTpywTmQg?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>But there is a more serious side to the idea behind bucket lists. One of the key forms of suffering at the end of life <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pon.4821">is regret</a> for things left unsaid or undone. So bucket lists can serve as a form of insurance against this potential regret.</p> <p>The bucket-list search for adventure, memories and meaning takes on a life of its own with a diagnosis of life-limiting illness.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14407833241251496">study</a> published this week, we spoke to 54 people living with cancer, and 28 of their friends and family. For many, a key bucket list item was travel.</p> <h2>Why is travel so important?</h2> <p>There are lots of reasons why travel plays such a central role in our ideas about a “life well-lived”. Travel is often linked to important <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2003.10.005">life transitions</a>: the youthful gap year, the journey to self-discovery in the 2010 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0879870/">Eat Pray Love</a>, or the popular figure of the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/grey-nomad-lifestyle-provides-a-model-for-living-remotely-106074">grey nomad</a>”.</p> <p>The significance of travel is not merely in the destination, nor even in the journey. For many people, planning the travel is just as important. A cancer diagnosis affects people’s sense of control over their future, throwing into question their ability to write their own life story or plan their travel dreams.</p> <p>Mark, the recently retired husband of a woman with cancer, told us about their stalled travel plans: "We’re just in that part of our lives where we were going to jump in the caravan and do the big trip and all this sort of thing, and now [our plans are] on blocks in the shed."</p> <p>For others, a cancer diagnosis brought an urgent need to “tick things off” their bucket list. Asha, a woman living with breast cancer, told us she’d always been driven to “get things done” but the cancer diagnosis made this worse: "So, I had to do all the travel, I had to empty my bucket list now, which has kind of driven my partner round the bend."</p> <p>People’s travel dreams ranged from whale watching in Queensland to seeing polar bears in the Arctic, and from driving a caravan across the Nullarbor Plain to skiing in Switzerland.</p> <p>Nadia, who was 38 years old when we spoke to her, said travelling with her family had made important memories and given her a sense of vitality, despite her health struggles. She told us how being diagnosed with cancer had given her the chance to live her life at a younger age, rather than waiting for retirement: "In the last three years, I think I’ve lived more than a lot of 80-year-olds."</p> <h2>But travel is expensive</h2> <p>Of course, travel is expensive. It’s not by chance Nicholson’s character in The Bucket List is a billionaire.</p> <p>Some people we spoke to had emptied their savings, assuming they would no longer need to provide for aged care or retirement. Others had used insurance payouts or charity to make their bucket-list dreams come true.</p> <p>But not everyone can do this. Jim, a 60-year-old whose wife had been diagnosed with cancer, told us: "We’ve actually bought a new car and [been] talking about getting a new caravan […] But I’ve got to work. It’d be nice if there was a little money tree out the back but never mind."</p> <p>Not everyone’s bucket list items were expensive. Some chose to spend more time with loved ones, take up a new hobby or get a pet.</p> <p>Our study showed making plans to tick items off a list can give people a sense of self-determination and hope for the future. It was a way of exerting control in the face of an illness that can leave people feeling powerless. Asha said: "This disease is not going to control me. I am not going to sit still and do nothing. I want to go travel."</p> <h2>Something we ‘ought’ to do?</h2> <p>Bucket lists are also a symptom of a broader culture that emphasises conspicuous <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH_Pa1hOEVc">consumption</a> and <a href="https://productiveageinginstitute.org.au/">productivity</a>, even into the end of life.</p> <p>Indeed, people told us travelling could be exhausting, expensive and stressful, especially when they’re also living with the symptoms and side effects of treatment. Nevertheless, they felt travel was something they “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14461242.2021.1918016">ought</a>” to do.</p> <p>Travel can be deeply meaningful, as our study found. But a life well-lived need not be extravagant or adventurous. Finding what is meaningful is a deeply personal journey.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Names of study participants mentioned in this article are pseudonyms.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225682/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/leah-williams-veazey-1223970">Leah Williams Veazey</a>, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-broom-121063">Alex Broom</a>, Professor of Sociology &amp; Director, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-kenny-318175">Katherine Kenny</a>, ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/paris-in-spring-bali-in-winter-how-bucket-lists-help-cancer-patients-handle-life-and-death-225682">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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All the head-turning looks from the 2024 Met Gala

<p>Known as "fashion's biggest night out", the Met Gala 2024 has kicked off in spectacular style with A-listers from all over the world gracing the carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. </p> <p>The event, which is a fundraising event for the Met, is held every year on the first Monday of May, to celebrate the Costume Institute’s new exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”.</p> <p>The dress code this year, The Garden of Time, is said to be inspired by a short story of the same title written by JG Ballard in 1962. </p> <p>The who's who of Hollywood hit the carpet at the Met this year, led by actress Zendaya, who is this year's co-chair of the event after returning to the Gala for the first time in five years. </p> <p>Many Aussie superstars walked the carpet, such as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Naomi Watts, Troye Sivan, Chris Hemsworth and Kylie Minogue, who attended for the first time since 2014.</p> <p>Hugh Jackman also graced the Met carpet solo for the first time, last attending alongside his now ex-wife Deborra Lee-Furness in 2023. </p> <p>The Aussie actor took to Instagram to share that his dapper Tom Ford tuxedo was the very same outfit that he wore to his first Met Gala in 2004 that had been "refitted and repaired". </p> <p>Other Hollywood legends that graced the carpet included Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Lopez, Uma Thurman, Penelope Cruz and many more. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Legendary Aussie soap star dies just weeks before birthday

<p>Brian Wenzel has died aged 94.</p> <p>The beloved Aussie actor, known for his role on <em>A Country Practice</em>, passed away peacefully in an Adelaide nursing home, just weeks away from his 95th birthday.</p> <p>“It is with great sadness that we remember the life of beloved Australian actor Brian Wenzel,” the soap star's agent, Jennifer Hennessy confirmed in a statement. </p> <p>“His iconic and revered performances spanned multiple Australian generations with his wit and humour shining through to the end.</p> <p>“A passionate family man and devoted Carlton supporter leaves an irreplaceable mark on the Australian film and television industry.”</p> <p>Born on the 24th of May in 1929, Wenzel began his acting career at the age of just 17. </p> <p>He became a popular figure on Aussie TV in the 60s and 70s, starring in shows like <em>Homicide, Division 4</em>, and <em>Matlock Police</em>.</p> <p>He then scored his most memorable role as Frank Gilroy, an old-fashioned and uptight sergeant who was the heart of <em>A Country Practice</em> for 12 years. </p> <p>The show ran from 1981 to 1993, with a whopping 1,058 episodes, and he also briefly appeared on <em>Neighbours </em>after the show ended. </p> <p>Wenzel's role as Gilroy earned him a Logie Award for Best Actor in 1981.</p> <p>His final role on-screen was in 2014 for <em>John Doe: Vigilante</em>.</p> <p>In 2018 the actor had suffered two mini strokes that made him unable to walk unaided. </p> <p>“It’s terrible to not be able to walk and I can’t sing anymore, which is terrible. I’m hoping against all hope that I can get it all back again," he said at the time. </p> <p>Four years later, he was marred by his tragic battle with dementia and entered nursing care which he shared with his beloved wife Linda. </p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au/ Michael Marschall</em></p>

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Olympic flame is lit at birthplace of ancient games

<p>The flame for the 2024 Paris Olympics was lit on Tuesday at the site of the ancient games in Ancient Olympia, southern Greece. </p> <p>Despite the gloomy weather which prevented the traditional lighting<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">- which involves an ancient Greek priestess using the sun to ignite the torch after offering a prayer to Apollo, the ancient Greek sun god - actress Mary Mina, used a back up flame to kickstart the epic torch relay. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Normally, the </span>group of priestesses would use a parabolic mirror to light the torch using the sun's rays, but because of the cloudy skies, they had to use a back up flame that was kept in a copy of an ancient Greek pot and lit on the same spot during their final rehearsals on Monday. </p> <p>International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said the flame lighting combined "a pilgrimage to our past in ancient Olympia, and an act of faith in our future."</p> <p>A relay of torchbearers will carry the flame along a 5,000-kilometre route through Greece, including several islands, until the handover to Paris Games organisers in Athens on April 26.</p> <p>"In these difficult times ... with wars and conflicts on the rise, people are fed up with all the hate, the aggression and negative news," Bach said. </p> <p>"We are longing for something which brings us together; something that is unifying; something that gives us hope."</p> <p>Thousands of spectators from all over the world packed Olympia for the event, amid the ruins of temples and sports grounds where the ancient games were held from 776 BC - 393 AD.</p> <p>The first torchbearer was Greek rower Stefanos Douskos, who was a gold medalist in 2021, followed by Laure Manaudou, a French swimmer who won three medals at Athens in 2004. </p> <p>Manaudou then handed it over to a Greek senior European Union official, Margaritis Schinas. </p> <p>From Greece, the Olympic flame will travel from Athens' port of Piraeus on the Belem, a French three-masted sailing ship built in 1896 - the year that the first modern games began in Athens. </p> <p>On May 8, it's due in the southern French port of Marseille, a city founded by Greek colonists around 2600 years ago. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Debate erupts over groom's unconventional footwear choice

<p>In what seems to be a picture perfect wedding, eagle-eyed social media users spotted one odd detail. </p> <p>The couple were snapped standing at the altar, and while everything else about their outfit seemed flawless, one Reddit user called the groom out for wearing black Crocs and black socks to his wedding. </p> <p>“Imagine you get ready for three hours and your groom shows up in Crocs,” the user said. </p> <p>“Crocs would be a legit reason to say no at the altar,” another wrote, before adding: <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">“Crocs are a valid reason to not date someone. They are horrible.”</span></p> <p>“He’s wearing a suit, maybe he has a problem with his feet that he can’t wear proper footwear,” a third commented</p> <p>“Surely no one, no matter how casual in style, voluntarily leaves the house in Crocs?”</p> <p>However many other social media users were quick to defend the wedding faux pas, with some saying that they wish they had done the same thing at their own weeding. </p> <p>“He probably has an injured foot or broken toe. He’s perfectly groomed (a pun) otherwise and obviously tried to camouflage his socks and crocs with his attire," one sympathised. </p> <p>“Ya I have really severe diabetic neuropathy in my feet, especially my toes. Doctor actually suggested Crocs as they have extra space and don’t restrict movement," another added.</p> <p>“I wore flip flops under my dress. I hate heels with a passion,” a third wrote. </p> <p>"He's wearing a nice suit, matching dark socks so I'm not seeing an issue here as he probably has some kind of foot or back injury or pain. If I were marrying him this wouldn't bother me," added a fourth. </p> <p>“Let the man get married in something comfortable. My wife could have shown up in a potato sack barefoot for all I cared, she is there to marry me, not for a fashion show," a fifth defended. </p> <p><em>Image: Reddit</em></p> <p> </p>

Relationships

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Robert Irwin stuns in runway debut

<p>Robert Irwin has stunned fans with his runway debut at the  PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival on Wednesday night. </p> <p>The beloved conservationist traded in his signature khakis for a more refined look, dressed in various outfits from Australian designers.</p> <p>Robert appeared as one of the models on the Suit Up Runway, alongside his<em> I’m A Celebrity</em> co-host Julia Morris.</p> <p>The runway, supported by Network 10, showcased “dressing at its finest”, and the young conservationist looked dapper when he stepped out in a black tuxedo paired with an oversized tweed bomber jacket.</p> <p>The 20-year-old looked even more dashing in a striking white tuxedo with a black blazer and waistcoat, and he completed the look with a trendy pair of sunglasses. </p> <p>His final look was blue velvet suit paired with white sneakers and a matching turtleneck. </p> <p>Fans were quick to share their reactions to Robert's latest role, with many complimenting him and labelling his runway appearance as "iconic". </p> <p>“Robert is so handsome!!!!” one wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“He slayed the runway," another added. </p> <p>“Obsessed,” wrote a third. </p> <p>Robert was not the first to stun the audience with his runway appearance, as Elle Macpherson also <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/elle-macpherson-s-stunning-runway-return" target="_blank" rel="noopener">returned to the runway</a> for the first time in 14 years and kickstarting the PayPal Melbourne festival on Monday.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Elle Macpherson's stunning runway return

<p>It's been 14 years since Elle Macpherson last walked the runway and the Aussie supermodel is finally back! </p> <p>On Monday, the 59-year-old walked the run for the first time in forever and she did not miss a step. </p> <p>The supermodel strutted down the PayPal Runway to kickstart the 2024 Melbourne Fashion Festival at the Royal Exhibition Building.</p> <p>She looked chic in her first look which was a plunging layered plissé black dress and an oversized blazer by beloved Aussie brand Aje. </p> <p>She then rocked a pop of colour in a canary yellow oversized coat and matching trousers from Bianca Spender. In her final look she donned a fluffy sweater and scarf from Viktoria & Woods completed with a brown coat with a dramatic train.</p> <p>Ahead of her runway return, Macpherson said: “I’m honoured to support PayPal in promoting Australian fashion globally.</p> <p>"PayPal’s platform gives creative talents and small businesses the opportunity to grow internationally by building customer trust," she added. </p> <p>“From personal experience, I know the challenges of taking a business global, and how valuable trusted partners are in that process.”</p> <p>In an interview with the <em>Herald Sun</em>, she told the publication that she was grateful for her Australian heritage and for Australian brands being given an opportunity to shine. </p> <p>PayPal supports over 150,000 Australian fashion businesses and has a total of 380 million shoppers worldwide.</p> <p>Shane Capron, the senior director of consumer engagement at PayPal praised Macpherson's work. </p> <p>“Elle was fabulous – so excited that we were able to bring her back to the catwalk for the PayPal Runway on the eve of her 60th birthday. What an Australian icon. Such an inspiration,” Capron said. </p> <p>“This year the PayPal runway is all about celebrating the success of Australian fashion brands that have achieved success on the global stage – just like Elle.</p> <p>"Not only is Elle an Australian who became a world-famous supermodel, she is also an incredible businesswoman who has launched globally successful brands.”</p> <p>Her partnership with PayPal will also support UNICEF in a multinational fundraising campaign later this year.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Millions of Aussies to get cash boost in weeks

<p>Millions of Australians are set to receive more money when payments are indexed. </p> <p>On March 20, those on the age pension, disability support pension and carer payment will be pocketing extra money. </p> <p>Single people on the pension and carer payment can expect an extra $19.60, with maximum amount increasing to $1116.30. For couples, the rate will go up $29.40 per fortnight, with the maximum being $1682.80.</p> <p>People on rent assistance, JobSeeker, single parenting payments and ABSTUDY will also benefit from payment increases, with single parenting payment going up by $17.50 a fortnight.</p> <p>Single JobSeeker recipients with no kids, and people over 22 on ABSTUDY, will get an extra $13.50 per fortnight, while each member of a couple will get an additional $12.30 per fortnight.</p> <p>The government has also changed the eligibility criteria for parents seeking welfare payments, with the last budget revealing that 77,000 parents will receive benefits for the youngest child up to the age of 14 instead of eight. </p> <p>The income and assets limits will also be increased in line with indexation in March.</p> <p>Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said that these changes will be implemented to ensure that Centrelink recipients would be able to have more money in their accounts, with the rise in cost-of-living. </p> <p>“Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost of living pressures,” Rishworth said.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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"What a life lived!": Fashion icon dies age 102

<p>New York designer and style icon Iris Apfel has passed away aged 102. </p> <p>Her death was confirmed by her commercial agent, Lori Sale, who called Apfel "extraordinary", although no cause of death was given. </p> <p>Apfel, who was born on August 29, 1921, was known for her eccentric outfits, oversized black-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and short white hair. </p> <p>Her death was also announced on the fashion icon's official Instagram page, on Friday US time, just one day after she celebrated her 102nd-and-a-half birthday. </p> <p>"Working alongside her was the honour of a lifetime. I will miss her daily calls, always greeted with the familiar question: 'What have you got for me today?'" Sale said in a statement.</p> <p>"She was a visionary in every sense of the word. She saw the world through a unique lens — one adorned with giant, distinctive spectacles that sat atop her nose."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3_geMFu15Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3_geMFu15Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p>Apfel was an expert on textiles and antique fabrics. She and her husband Carl owned textile manufacturing company, Old World Weavers, which specialised in restoration work, including projects at the White House under six different US presidents.</p> <p>Apfel first rose to fame in 2005 when the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute hosted a show about her called "Rara Avis". Latin for "rare bird".  </p> <p>They showcased the personal collection of vintage and designer accessories which were style on mannequins dressed in clothes Apfel would wear, and the exhibit became an instant success.</p> <p>Following the exhibit Apfel was awarded several opportunities including featuring in a 2007 coffee table book, a 2012 MAC Cosmetics campaign, and a 2014 documentary about her life, which was nominated for an Emmy award three years later. </p> <p>Apfel was also gained popularity among the younger generation, with over 3 million followers on Instagram, and over 250,000 on TikTok. </p> <p>"More is more & Less is a Bore," the bio read across her social media platforms. </p> <p>Despite her age, Apfel never retired, and told <em>Today</em>: "I think retiring at any age is a fate worse than death. Just because a number comes up doesn't mean you have to stop."</p> <p>Tributes have poured in from fans across the world. </p> <p>"What a life lived! What an example set! What footsteps you have left behind! Rest peacefully, icon!" one wrote. </p> <p>"She inspired so many women to be bold, and brave and truly authentic….to ignore the number of years we have lived and view age as an opportunity to shine. What a beautiful legacy," another added. </p> <p>"What a blessing to live that long and look that fabulous doing it," wrote a third. </p> <p>The style icon was married to Carl Apfel for 67 years until his death in 2015. They had no children. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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Young musician dies weeks after writing final song

<p>Cat Janice has died aged 31 with her family by her side.</p> <p>The young musician, who had a large following on TikTok, had been battling cancer since January 2022 when doctors diagnosed her with sarcoma, a rare malignant tumour. </p> <p>She was declared cancer-free on July 22 that same year, following extensive surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. </p> <p>The mum-of-one was sadly re-diagnosed with cancer in June last year and despite fighting hard in the second round of her treatments, Janice told fans in January that her cancer "won" and that she "fought hard but sarcomas are too tough".</p> <p>Janice's family have announced her passing in a statement shared to her Instagram. </p> <p>"From her childhood home and surrounded by her loving family, Catherine peacefully entered the light and love of her heavenly creator," they said. </p> <p>"We are eternally thankful for the outpouring of love that Catherine and our family have received over the past few months."</p> <p>Before she died, Janice publicly announced that all her music would be signed over to her 7-year-old son, Loren, to support him in the future. </p> <p>Just weeks before her death, she released her final song <em>Dance You Outta My Head </em> in the hope it would spread "joy and fun". </p> <p>"My last joy would be if you pre saved my song 'Dance You Outta My Head' and streamed it because all proceeds go straight to my 7-year-old boy I'm leaving behind," she said, before the song was released. </p> <p>The song went viral, and took he number one spot in several countries and the number five spot on the Apple Itunes globally.</p> <p>Her family have said that the love she received for her final song, was unbelievable parting gift she could have ever received.</p> <p>"Cat saw her music go places she never expected and rests in the peace of knowing that she will continue to provide for her son through her music. This would not have been possible without all of you."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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From this week, you’ll be able to look up individual companies’ gender pay gaps

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/natasha-bradshaw-1358801">Natasha Bradshaw</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p>There will be nervous executives all over Australia this week.</p> <p>Come Tuesday, large private sector organisations will have their company’s gender pay gaps published for the first time for all to see, name, and shame.</p> <p>As they brace for the fallout, let’s look at how what we will be told is changing, and what it will mean for you.</p> <h2>What is changing?</h2> <p>Every year, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (<a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/">WGEA</a>) collects information from every employer with more than 100 employees. Until now it has published only a summary of the findings on its website, including Australia’s overall gender pay gap, and the gap by industry and employment arrangement.</p> <p>But for the first time legislation enacted last year also allows WGEA to publish the gender pay gaps of individual employers.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>Tuesday’s release will include each large company’s median gender pay gap, and the share of women it employs in lower- and higher-paid jobs.</p> <p>Employers will have the chance to publish a <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/data-statistics/data-explorer">statement</a> alongside their results to provide context.</p> <p>That means from Tuesday you will be able to look on the <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/">WGEA website</a> and find the median gender pay gap of your large private sector organisation, or of an organisation you are thinking of joining, and how it stacks up against its competitors.</p> <h2>Why the change?</h2> <p>Australian women, like women elsewhere, have made astounding progress in the workforce in recent decades.</p> <p>Women are both working and earning more than ever before. But progress has stalled, and the gender pay gap remains stubbornly persistent.</p> <p>The Albanese government has shown its commitment to gender equity by increasing the <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/child-care-subsidy">childcare subsidy</a> and extending <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/parental-leave-pay">paid parental leave</a>.</p> <p>But beyond this, the options for governments are limited. Most of the barriers to women getting better-paid jobs can only be broken by employers.</p> <p>The public naming and shaming that will begin on Tuesday will push accountability onto employers, holding them responsible for the conditions in their workplaces.</p> <p>Workers and bosses are going to take notice: when employer gender pay gaps were released in the UK in 2018 it was the <a href="https://www.genderpay.co.uk/wp-downloads/moving-forward-may-2018/presentations/Gender_Pay_Gap_Moving_Forward_May_2018_Studio_2_5_Nick_Bishop.pdf">biggest business news story of the year</a>, with coverage rivalling the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.</p> <p>At a time when companies are fighting for top talent, it is going to make it more difficult for employers with large pay gaps to hire talented women.</p> <p>Research shows that on average women are willing to accept a <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3584259">5% lower salary</a> in order to avoid working for the employers with the biggest gender pay gaps.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vAr1Lhaw0Ao?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Workplace Gender Equality Agency.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Let’s not rush to judge</h2> <p>While <a href="https://www.wgea.gov.au/about/our-legislation/publishing-employer-gender-pay-gaps">naming and shaming</a> will help make this policy effective, we should be careful about rushing to judgement.</p> <p>It is possible for an employer to be making serious efforts to improve while its gap remains large.</p> <p>And some actions aimed at improving things, such as implementing a gender quota on entry-level positions, can worsen a company’s apparent gender pay gap in the short term by temporarily increasing the number of lowly-paid women.</p> <p>Also, there will be firms that have a low gender pay gap because they pay both men and women poorly.</p> <p>On Tuesday, we should instead look closely at whether the organisation has outlined clear steps it will take to improve, and how it compares to its competitors. In future years, we will be able to see how things have changed.</p> <h2>What will matter is what employers do next</h2> <p>Since the UK reforms were introduced in 2018, the gender pay gap has narrowed by <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3584259">one-fifth</a>, with the biggest improvements coming from the worst offenders.</p> <p>UK companies have also become more likely to include wage information in their job ads, equalising the starting point of wage negotiations for all applicants.</p> <p>But for existing employees, the narrowing of the gap has been caused more by slower growth in men’s wages than faster growth in women’s wages, which isn’t good news for anyone looking for a pay rise.</p> <p>The full effects of the Australian reforms won’t be seen for some time.</p> <p>It is likely that making high-paid jobs more accessible to women will allow employers to tap into a new talent pool and encourage more highly credentialed women into the workforce, adding to productivity growth.</p> <p>What is clear now is that if we want to narrow the gender pay gap, we need to know what’s happening. The avalanche of data due on Tuesday will be a start.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224167/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/natasha-bradshaw-1358801"><em>Natasha Bradshaw</em></a><em>, Senior Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/from-this-week-youll-be-able-to-look-up-individual-companies-gender-pay-gaps-224167">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Influencer's tragic update following son's death at six weeks old

<p>Aussie Influencer Veruca Salt has shared an emotional tribute to her son who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/influencer-announces-tragic-death-of-six-week-old-son" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died in his sleep</a> at just six-weeks-old. </p> <p>The 25-year-old, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, shared a video of the funeral service for her son Cash, with Taylor Swift’s rock ballad <em>Long Live </em>playing in the background.</p> <p>At one moment, Hartley can be seen being consoled by her friends, as black and white balloons were released into the air. </p> <p>The board at the service showed a picture of Cash with the words "A celebration of life", followed by the baby boy's full name, the date he was born and passed away, and “forever dancing with the fruits”. </p> <p>The video ends with a black and white video of Cash being comforted by his mum and smiling as she stroked his cheek. </p> <p> </p> <div class="embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important; width: 573px; max-width: 100%;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7337251408909028609&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40verucasalt444%2Fvideo%2F7337251408909028609&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2F3377edfbc6c44ee3a82e4a4c625f5884_1708336979%3Fx-expires%3D1708552800%26x-signature%3DffE%252BCUSJ9VgzUsT3qdjowDvQ2d8%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their condolences for the grieving mum. </p> <p>“Oh Veruca, if I could take even minutes off my life to give you more time with him I would in a heartbeat,”  one wrote. </p> <p>“Rest in paradise with the dancing fruits, beautiful boy,” said another.</p> <p>"Rest In Paradise Baby Cash. Please visit your Mommy in her dreams and keep her safe always. Sending love Veruca," commented a third. </p> <p>"I’m so sorry! What a beautiful send off for a gorgeous boy," added a fourth.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

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Influencer announces tragic death of six-week-old son

<p>TikTok influencer Veruca Salt, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, took to Instagram to announce the tragic death of her six-week-old son, Cash. </p> <p>The Gold Coast - based influencer, 25, shared the tragic news just one day after she posted a TikTok of her taking her newborn bub out for his first hospital visit, as he hadn't pooped in seven days. </p> <p>On Monday morning she revealed that her son “died in his sleep”. </p> <p>“It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this,” she wrote.</p> <p>“My baby died in his sleep on Monday morning. I don’t know what happened, he is having an autopsy this week but it is unlikely that I’ll ever have an answer.</p> <p>“I’m just saying this because people are still commenting on my TikToks saying how happy I look with him and ‘just wait for the toddler stage’ and stuff and I (really) can’t take it anymore. I’m really sorry.”</p> <p>In her most recent <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@verucasalt444/video/7332609198599032065?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7142332295764346370" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>, she shared a clip of her grieving her son's death with the caption: "I knew he was dead but there was a part of me that really thought they were gonna wake him up." </p> <p>Fans have shared their condolences. </p> <p>"We are all standing by you Veruca. Take all the time you need ❤️" one wrote on TikTok. </p> <p>"I’ve never cried harder for a woman i don’t know, I'm so sorry Veruca the love you have for him never goes unnoticed," another commented. </p> <p>"Sending love this is the worst thing in the world to happen to anyone," a third added. </p> <p>"I'm so so sorry no mother should have to go through this💔" a fourth wrote. </p> <p>Queensland Police have confirmed the death, after they were called to a Southport unit at around 6.13am on February 5.</p> <p>The death is not being treated as suspicious.</p> <p>Police are currently awaiting autopsy results, Superintendent Craig Hanlon told the <em>Gold Coast Bulletin</em>. </p> <p>“It’s obviously a tragic situation and our hearts go out to the mother and the family.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ TikTok</em></p>

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Climate activists throw soup at Mona Lisa

<p>Two climate change activists have hurled soup at the bullet-proof glass protecting Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting, the Mona Lisa, at the Louvre Museum in Paris. </p> <p>On Sunday morning, local time, a video posted on social media showed two women throwing red and orange soup onto the glass protecting the painting to the shock of bystanders. </p> <p>The incident came amid days of protests by French farmers across the country demanding better pay, taxes, and regulations.</p> <p>The two women, with the words "FOOD RIPOSTE" or "Food Counterattack" written on their T-shirts,  managed to pass under the security barrier and stood in front of the painting, while shouting slogans for a sustainable food system.</p> <p>“What is more important? Art or the right to healthy and sustainable food?” they asked. </p> <p>“Your agricultural system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work,” they added, before the security put black panels in front of the painting, and asked visitors to evacuate the space. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="fr">ALERTE - Des militantes pour le climat jettent de la soupe sur le tableau de La Joconde au musée du Louvre. <a href="https://twitter.com/CLPRESSFR?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CLPRESSFR</a> <a href="https://t.co/Aa7gavRRc4">pic.twitter.com/Aa7gavRRc4</a></p> <p>— CLPRESS / Agence de presse (@CLPRESSFR) <a href="https://twitter.com/CLPRESSFR/status/1751538762687893894?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>On its website, the "Food Riposte" group said that the French government is breaking its climate commitments, and they demanded a state-sponsored health care system to be put in to give people better access to healthy food, while providing farmers with a decent income. </p> <p>The protests comes after the French government announced a series of measures for agricultural workers on Friday, which they believe do not fully address their demands. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter</em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span></p>

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Retailer pulls "creepy" and "disturbing" ad for school uniforms

<p>H&M has removed a school uniform ad in Australia after social media users slammed the retailer for sexualising children. </p> <p>The ad, which a few social media users have screenshot before it was removed,  features  two young girls in school uniform looking back at the camera with the caption: "Make those heads turn in H&M's Back to School fashion." </p> <p>Users on X, formerly known as Twitter, slammed the ad calling it it "creepy" and "disturbing", and sharing their own stories about "being ogled" at school. </p> <p>"What is your intention with this sponsored Facebook ad?" Australian writer Melinda Tankard Reist, whose work addresses sexualization and the harms of pornography, shared on X. </p> <p>"Little schoolgirls generally don't want to 'turn heads.' The large numbers I engage with in schools want to be left alone to learn and have fun and not draw unwanted attention to their appearance."</p> <p>"The little girls parents generally prefer heads don't 'turn' when others see their daughters walking to school, on a bus or in class," she continued. </p> <p>"Why would you want to fuel the idea that little girls should draw attention to their looks, bodies and 'style'?"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hm?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hmaustralia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hmaustralia</a> what is your intention with this sponsored Facebook ad? Little schoolgirls generally don’t want to “turn heads”. The large numbers I engage with in schools want to be left alone to learn and have fun and not draw unwanted attention to their appearance 1/ <a href="https://t.co/DDwv42GeNz">pic.twitter.com/DDwv42GeNz</a></p> <p>— Melinda TankardReist (@MelTankardReist) <a href="https://twitter.com/MelTankardReist/status/1747866459836158415?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Another user wrote: "This is really disturbing.</p> <p>"I remember being cat called whilst waiting for the bus in my school uniform. It made me feel unsafe." </p> <p>"Girls go to school to get an education, not to be jeered at by onlookers," they concluded. </p> <p>The Swedish fashion giant has since removed the ad and apologised for the campaign. </p> <p>"We have removed this ad," they told CNN. </p> <p>"We are deeply sorry for the offence this has caused and we are looking into how we present campaigns going forward."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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