+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy

australia

Democracy

Australia is banning entry to anyone found guilty of domestic violence anywhere in the world

"Australia has no tolerance for perpetrators of violence against women and children." 👏👏👏


Australia is sending a strong message to domestic abusers worldwide: You're not welcome here.

Australia has recently broadened a migration law to bar any person who has been convicted of domestic violence anywhere in the world from getting a visa to enter the country. American R&B singer Chris Brown and boxing star Floyd Mayweather had been banned from the country in the past, following their domestic violence convictions. Now the ban applies to all foreign visitors or residents who have been found guilty of violence against women or children.

Even convicted domestic abusers who already have visas and are living in Australia can be kicked out under the new rule. The government is using the rule, which took effect on February 28, 2019 to send a message to domestic violence perpetrators.


“Australia has no tolerance for perpetrators of violence against women and children," Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said in a public statement. “The message is clear: if you've been convicted of a violent crime against women or children, you are not welcome in this country, wherever the offence occurred, whatever the sentence."

The ban is supposed to make Australia safer, but not everyone is happy about it.

“By cancelling the visas of criminals we have made Australia a safer place," Coleman said. “These crimes inflict long lasting trauma on the victims and their friends and family, and foreign criminals who commit them are not welcome in our country."

However, Australia's neighboring country of New Zealand has long taken issue with Australia's policy of exporting convicts, and this new policy highlights why. Under the new rule, New Zealanders who have already served their sentences for domestic violence and lived in Australia most of their lives could be kicked out and sent to live in New Zealand. Such circumstances raise questions about when justice has been served and the role of rehabilitation in domestic violence convictions.

Australia, like many other countries, is trying to come to terms with its domestic violence problem.

Barring domestic violence perpetrators from other countries sends a strong message, but it's only meaningful if the country also tackles the problem among its own citizens. According to a Personal Safety Study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 17% of Australian women and 6% of Australian men have experienced partner violence since the age of 15. And the numbers have remained relatively stable since 2005.

That may seem to indicate that little progress has been made; however, as Australian law professor Heather Douglass points out, the numbers only tell part of the story. Since most people in abusive relationships don't report the abuse until after they've left, it could simply be that more are leaving, which is a good thing. There has also been a marked increase in people seeking domestic violence services in some areas, which, again, is a good thing. For far too long, domestic violence was swept under the rug while victims were often too afraid or embarrassed to seek help. More calls for help could mean that the stigma associated with domestic violence is starting to fade.


This story originally appeared on 04.01.19


A woman is shocked to learn that her name means something totally different in Australia.

Devyn Hales, 22, from California, recently moved to Sydney, Australia, on a one-year working visa and quickly learned that her name wouldn’t work Down Under. It all started when a group of men made fun of her on St. Patrick’s Day.

After she introduced herself as Devyn, the men laughed at her. "They burst out laughing, and when I asked them why, they told me devon is processed lunch meat,” she told The Daily Mail. It's similar to baloney, so I introduce myself as Dev now,” she said in a viral TikTok video with over 1.7 million views.

For those who have never been to Australia, Devon is a processed meat product usually cut into slices and served on sandwiches. It is usually made up of pork, basic spices and a binder. Devon is affordable because people buy it in bulk and it’s often fed to children. Australians also enjoy eating it fried, like spam. It is also known by other names such as fritz, circle meat, Berlina and polony, depending on where one lives on the continent. It's like in America, where people refer to cola as pop, soda, or Coke, depending on where they live in the country.


So, one can easily see why a young woman wouldn’t want to refer to herself as a processed meat product that can be likened to boloney or spam. "Wow, love that for us," another woman named Devyn wrote in the comments. “Tell me the name thing isn't true,” a woman called Devon added.

@dhalesss

#fypシ #australia #americaninaustralia #sydney #aussie

Besides changing her name, Dev shared some other differences between living in Australia and her home country.

“So everyone wears slides. I feel like I'm the only one with 'thongs'—flip-flops—that have the little thing in the middle of your big toe. Everyone wears slides,” she said. Everyone wears shorts that go down to your knees and that's a big thing here.”

Dev also noted that there are a lot of guys in Australia named Lachlan, Felix and Jack.

She was also thrown off by the sound of the plentiful magpies in Australia. According to Dev, they sound a lot like crying children with throat infections. “The birds threw me off,” she said before making an impression that many people in the comments thought was close to perfect. "The birds is so spot on," Jess wrote. "The birds, I will truly never get used to it," Marissa added.

One issue that many Americans face when moving to Australia is that it is more expensive than the United States. However, many Americans who move to Australia love the work-life balance. Brooke Laven, a brand strategist in the fitness industry who moved there from the U.S., says that Aussies have the “perfect work-life balance” and that they are “hard-working” but “know where to draw the line.”

Despite the initial cultural shocks, Devyn is embracing her new life in Australia with a positive outlook. “The coffee is a lot better in Australia, too,” she added with a smile, inspiring others to see the bright side of cultural differences.

Education

A dad's hilarious letter to school asks them to explain why they're living in 1968

"I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this millennium."

Earlier in the week, Stephen Callaghan's daughter Ruby came home from school. When he asked her how her day was, her answer made him raise an eyebrow.

Ruby, who's in the sixth grade at her school in Australia, told her dad that the boys would soon be taken on a field trip to Bunnings (a hardware chain in the area) to learn about construction.

The girls, on the other hand? While the boys were out learning, they would be sent to the library to have their hair and makeup done.


Ruby's reply made Callaghan do a double take. What year was it, again?

Callaghan decided to write a letter to the school sharing his disappointment — but his wasn't your typical "outraged parent" letter.


"Dear Principal," he began. "I must draw your attention to a serious incident which occurred yesterday at your school where my daughter is a Year 6 student."

"When Ruby left for school yesterday it was 2017," Callaghan continued. "But when she returned home in the afternoon she was from 1968."

The letter goes on to suggest that perhaps the school is harboring secret time-travel technology or perhaps has fallen victim to a rift in the "space-time continuum," keeping his daughter in an era where women were relegated to domestic life by default.

"I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this millennium where school activities are not sharply divided along gender lines," he concluded.



Dear Principal
I must draw your attention to a serious incident which occurred yesterday at your school where my daughter Ruby is a Year 6 student.
When Ruby left for school yesterday it was 2017 but when she returned home in the afternoon she was from 1968.
I know this to be the case as Ruby informed me that the "girls" in Year 6 would be attending the school library to get their hair and make-up done on Monday afternoon while the "boys" are going to Bunnings.
Are you able to search the school buildings for a rip in the space-time continuum? Perhaps there is a faulty Flux Capacitor hidden away in the girls toilet block.
I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this millennium where school activities are not sharply divided along gender lines.
Yours respectfully
Stephen Callaghan

When Callaghan posted the letter to Twitter, it quickly went viral and inspired hundreds of supportive responses.

Though most people who saw his response to the school's egregiously outdated activities applauded him, not everyone was on board.

One commenter wrote, "Sometimes it is just ok for girls to do girl things."

But Callaghan was ready for that. "Never said it wasn't," he replied. "But you've missed the point. Why 'girl things' or 'boy things'... Why not just 'things anyone can do?'"

He later commented that he didn't think the school's plan was malicious, but noted the incident was a powerful example of "everyday sexism" at work.

Callaghan says the school hasn't responded to his letter. (Yes, he really sent it.) At least, not directly to him.

Some media outlets have reported that the school claims students are free to opt in and out of the different activities. But, as Callaghan says, gendering activities like this in the first place sends the completely wrong message.

In response to the outpouring of support, Callaghan again took to Twitter.

"At 12 years of age my daughter is starting to notice there are plenty of people prepared to tell her what she can and can't do based solely on the fact she is female," he wrote.

"She would like this to change. So would I."


This article originally appeared on 12.08.17.

An Australian woman takes a call from work.

Nothing can ruin your weekend quite like a text or an email from the boss while you’re enjoying your time off. Having a job where your boss can contact you all hours of the day, can create a constant feeling of stress that makes you feel like you’re never really off the clock.

That’s why Australia, the country with the 4th-best work-life balance in the world, is set to enact a new law that gives its employees the “right to disconnect.”

A parliamentary bill with the majority of support in the Senate and the blessing of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gives workers the right to ignore unreasonable calls or messages from work without penalty. Employers that violate their employee's right to disconnect can be fined.


“What we are simply saying is that someone who isn’t being paid 24 hours a day shouldn’t be penalized if they’re not online and available 24 hours a day,” Albanese told reporters.

When the law is passed, Australia will join several countries in the European Union including France and Spain that allow employees to turn off their phones and log out of their emails when they are off the clock.

Greens Party leader Adam Bandt believes the law protects people from working without pay. “Australians work an average of six weeks unpaid overtime each year,” Bandt said. “That time is yours. Not your boss’.”

Sydney resident Colvin Macpherson told Reuters it’s a “wonderful” idea. "We all need to relax, we all need to be able to switch off and not be disturbed by emails and phone calls in the middle of the night. Both of my kids are lawyers as well, so they work horrendous hours as it is and you get things coming in at night time," he said.

However, not everyone is over the moon about the law set to be voted on in the coming days. Australia's Chambers of Commerce released a joint statement saying that the new law is government overreach that will harm the country’s economy.

"Modern technology has provided flexibility to the workforce and many employees no longer need to sit behind a desk from nine to five," the statement said. "We cannot allow industrial relations laws to make it harder for hard-working business owners to generate the wealth we enjoy as a nation."

The new Australian law comes at a time when workers worldwide are beginning to feel that there has been an uneasy melding of their personal and professional lives. These days, anyone can be reached at any time via cell phone, email or messaging systems such as Slack, which causes many to feel they constantly have to be “on” all the time.

Further, for many, their office is at home, so there’s an increased expectation for them to work outside business hours.

Time will tell if right-to-disconnect laws are a way to promote healthy work-life balance while also ensuring that business can be run effectively. But it’s comforting to know that big countries are coming to believe that work-life balance should be a top priority.