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Christine Manolakos
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Celebrate diversity and come together to eliminate racism in Sydney with Harmony Day and the events throughout March.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, celebrated on March 21, reflects the same day in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people during a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa. In 1966 it was proclaimed by the General Assembly that March 21 would become the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Since its inception, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled, racist laws and practices have been removed in many countries, and an international framework for fighting racism has been built.

In Australia, we acknowledge the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by celebrating Harmony Day, a day with a simple message: Everyone Belongs.

Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with over 200 countries making up the Australian community. According to 2011 Census data, more than 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes, which includes more than 60 Indigenous languages.

Harmony Day in Sydney is part of the Living in Harmony Festival, which is a month-long festival running throughout March. There are a range of forums, exhibitions, festivals, performances, films and more to indulge in over the month – check out the full list of events here.

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There are no winers in cases like this 

The father of murdered Sydney woman, Rachelle Yeo, stated that "there are no winners in cases like this" after a Supreme Court ruled that Paul Darren Mulvihill was guilt of taking the life of his ex-lover. 

Unfortunately the case highlights a growing trend of domestic violence and women who lose their lives at the hands of a partner or ex. 

One woman dies every week as a the result of domestic violence in Australia. We should all band together, not simply as women but as people and citizens, to curb this violent trend. 

Below is an excerpt from the Sydney Morning herald story on the Mulvihill case. 

#shinealight     #women     #domesticviolence     #auspol     #law   

It took less than two hours for a Supreme Court jury to seal Paul Darren Mulvihill's fate.

The 12 men and women had sat wading through scores of documents and pictures, and observing dozens of witnesses during Mulvihill's five-week trial.

But in the end, they clearly determined that the evidence was overwhelming: on the night of July 16, 2012, Mulvihill had taken the life of his former lover Rachelle Yeo by stabbing her in the neck and chest in her northern beaches home.

''Yes!'' one of Ms Yeo's family shouted as the verdict was delivered.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/paul-mulvihill-found-guilty-of-killing-rachelle-yeo-20140310-34hvw.html#ixzz2vd5i00X0

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The latest from Alex. We've both decided to start taking Google+ a whole lot more seriously, so prepare to start seeing some longer form posts! 
Women's Position in Property on the Rise in Australia 

Recent data has demonstrated that Australia's young women are leading the charge when it comes to property investment. According to +Westpac Australia Home Ownership Report, 49 per cent of Australian women had listed owning a home as their top priority

It was also found that Gen Y women have a better understanding of the benefits of savings by focusing on repayments, stating that paying off their loan in as short a time as possible was important to them. 

The Gender Divide in Property Ownership

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 61 per cent of women own their home as opposed to 58 per cent of men. When it comes to the great gender divide and that illustrious single life, women dominate even further with 65 per cent of single female householders owning their own property compared to 55 per cent of men. 

The stats show that women are placing more importance than ever on financial independence and it couldn't come at a better time. 

Chinese Investors Pricing New Homeowners out of the Market 

Chinese property investment is a hot-button topic at the moment following a spate of articles from the major printers.

Chinese investment is crucial to Australia's economic stability and growth, but recent estimates from global investment bank, Credit Suisse, suggesting Chinese nationals are ready to sink $44 billion into Aussie property over the next several years, has a few people nervous. 

But where the real challenge lies in the setting-up of a property price benchmark for second-hand property. Marginal property investors (those who outbid in an auction most feel skyrocketed too high) are often those overseas investors with a bit more money to burn than your average newlyweds. This new big dollar figure changes the way the next local property seller thinks -- "Well George down the road got $1.5 million so I want $1.8."

Generally the effect keeps pushing up the residential property prices until of course the bubble eventually bursts.   

To quote Paul Sheehan from +The Age (who has some very loud and controversial views). 
 
"There has never been a lower percentage of first-home buyers in the Australian market. They have never had to pay and borrow more to enter the market. Especially in Sydney and Melbourne, where first-home buyers now represent a tiny segment of the market, where traditionally they had been about 20 per cent. This is not culturally healthy."

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/cashedup-chinese-are-pricing-the-young-out-of-the-property-market-20140309-34f9k.html#ixzz2vclJSYLF

Whether you believe in the peril of overseas investment or feel that new home owners have been priced out of a market for too long,  it's important to remember that there's a whole generation of future home buyers who need to start thinking about property investment sooner. 

Whilst it may seem like a long road again, getting an idea about how much you want to spend and where; and then tracking the property market even before you're unable to invest, will help you keep your focus when it comes to saving. 

#property     #news     #conveyancing     #women     #womensday2014     #finances     #GenY   

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TELL YOUR KIDS TO GO RUN AND JUMP: Australian children are spending less time outdoors than maximum-security prisoners. Now a pioneering group called Nature Play is helping parents and kids learn to love old-fashioned playing outside.

Read more here: http://ow.ly/tZYsP

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OSCARS LIVE BLOG: Join The Australian’s film editor Michael Bodey and fashion editor Glynis Traill-Nash as they bring you all the latest news, photos and red carpet glamour from the 86th annual Academy Awards - http://ow.ly/u9TxF
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One of my favourite sites is +Australian Women Online. I'm being featured on their front page today for a piece I wrote whilst contemplating my career in business in law and the upcoming #internationalwomensday

#women   #business   #law   #solicitors  

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Like if you think more women should be in senior roles in law firms... http://ow.ly/sRde8

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Confused by legal jargon? We're breaking it down for you in easy to spot graphics. #LEGALFACTS #law #subpoena
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My thoughts on marriage, children and divorce. #relationships   #divorce  
"Divorce or separation are never easy decisions where children are involved. Parents are often so worried about the welfare of their children that they will stay together despite a crumbling relationship" - http://ow.ly/tQqny

Should couples stay together for the kids?

#family #relationships #parenting

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Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to those in the US, and around the world, who respected this great man and his message of civility, tolerance and love. 

May his message continue to be passed on throughout the world. 
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day Everyone. Today we honor a man who spoke and marched in the name of Freedom, Peace, and Non-Violence. He is #Hero to the Past, Present, and Future.
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