UPDATE #4 30/12/2019: City of Sydney NYE fireworks confirmed going ahead. This is the man show centred on the Harbour Bridge.
UPDATE #3 30/12/2019: NYE celebrations in Campbelltown are cancelled, fireworks in Wollongong and Liverpool cancelled, rest of the show going ahead.
UPDATE #2 30/12/2019: NYE celebrations in Parramatta Park are cancelled.
UPDATE 30/12/2019: North Head and Bradley's Head viewing areas are closed tomorrow due to fire risk. Ticketholders will be refunded.
G'day ladies and gents,
We're 5 days now from NYE. I've ripped pretty much all this info off u/henry82 with his great post back in 2015 so people can ask questions without creating a million threads, and with general information. This can be stickied and updated as required.
Of course, there are 2 Reddit meetups on if you're looking for something to do. There's no view of the fireworks at Redfern, but alcohol is officially banned at Birchgrove.
Timings - "Kid’s fireworks" are at 9pm, Full fireworks are at midnight. Some people will leave at 9:30 following the kid’s fireworks, but expect it to be very busy. 95% of people will stay on.
Music - KIIS 106.5 will have the 'special choreographed stream'. ABC will show the fireworks, as will most FTA channels. Expect a vast range of D list celebrities entertaining you throughout the night. City of Sydney has released the official soundtrack for the fireworks shows. Find it here.
Accommodation - Anything "good" will have already been sold out, have a 3 day minimum, and be expensive. Your best bet is to look online at places like Wotif and see if you can find accommodation further outside the city.
Transportation - Sydney is a clusterfuck after fireworks, expect most of the CBD to be closed until 3am+. ROAD CLOSURE INFO HERE
Therefore take public transport. I'd personally advise you not to fare evade (even though Sydney Trains staff will open the gates to get the crowd through). Twice in the last few years i've had my ticket checked on NYD on the train coming home. Taxis/ubers/etc will all be in short supply. Surge pricing will occur. Be careful of drunk drivers and don't jaywalk.
If you're intending on taking public transport, buy an Opal Card if you don't have one already. It will take out a lot of the clusterfuck factor.
Public Transport - Some quick tips - more detail here Circular Quay trains will not stop (6pm-1am) Ferries do not operate during fireworks All buses to Wynyard, the QVB and Railway Square will stop at North Sydney. At all the train stations in or near the CBD, they will close off the smaller exits, and funnel everyone in through one entry. Expect there to be many queues to get on the train.
Safety - It's the busiest night of the year for the police, so they'll be cancelling leave and putting everyone on call. As per the FAQ ಠ_ಠ Don't loiter around the streets after the fireworks. The area around the Quay is well policed, underage drinkers used to hang out at "balls head" McMahons Point after smuggling alcohol through the checkpoint.
As mentioned previously, Sydney is a very safe place. It doesn't hurt to be careful though... it's a lot easier to put your camera/wallet away properly than to be making a police report.
Alcohol - Many areas will have bag checks, pretty much everywhere you want to drink will be an alcohol free zone. In the CBD, if you do get caught, you're likely to be told to pour it out. No Available Vantage Points allow BYO alcohol. Detection and enforcement efforts vary from place to place, but generally get stricter the closer in you get.
Buy your alcohol early. I mean now. The bottle shops will be crazy, and won't be chilled. Don't try and get in just prior to closing... it will only lead to disappointment. Trust me, I worked in one on NYE. Expect city based bottle stores to have a ridiculous mark-up. Lockouts are confirmed cancelled on NYE, but closing times have not changed
Food - Most shops want to close up early, so expect it to be pretty hectic in the evening. Particularly anything within a stone’s throw of Wynyard and Circular Quay. Maccas will be hectic. I'd recommend bringing a sandwich.
There are generally water bubblers throughout the city, however it can be very hard to navigate to one throughout the day. I recommend bringing your own. Woolies and Coles have 1.5L bottles for 80c. It can be very dehydrating sitting in the sun waiting for the fireworks. Wear your hat, bring a jacket if the weather looks windy.
Residents - Be aware if you live in an area near the CBD, there may be restrictions, including road closures. This means you're also subject to bag searches and all that. You may need to prove your identity to get in once the place is "full". The road leading to Balls Head/McMahons point comes to mind as one of the areas where it's closed early.
Boating - If you've got a boat, be aware it's going to be pretty crazy... that includes jetty access prior to the fireworks. There is an exclusion zone in effect. Make sure you have a sober (and correctly licensed) captain, and enough life jackets for everyone. The water police are out in full force, and they will be performing RBTs.
Day after - Be aware it takes a while for alcohol to process through your system. Even if you don't feel drunk, you may be over the limit... especially P-platers. It's a double demerits too, so just play it safe.
FAQ RE: BUSHFIRES
Will the bushfires stop the fireworks? No.
What would cause the fireworks to be cancelled? A severe risk on the night, such as high winds. See the cancelled 9PM show in 2002-03 as an example. This is not related to the bushfires though, and is a possibility every year.
Shouldn’t they cancel the show and give the money to bushfire victims? What money? The money earmarked for the show has already been spent, and CoS wouldn’t be able to get a refund.
What if I feel guilty about having a good time while the fires destroy livelihoods and lives? Then donations can be made to The Red Cross through the Sydney NYE website.
The idea of people watching the show and having fun fills me with RAGE. Then stay home and ignore the show. No-one is forcing you to join in.
TLDR: Be prepared, Don't be a dick Suggested sort: new
G'day ladies and gents, We're 3 days now from NYE. I've ripped pretty much all this info off u/henry82 with his great post back in 2015 so people can ask questions without creating a million threads, and with general information. This can be stickied later and updated as required. Of course, there are 2 Reddit meetups on if you're looking for something to do. There's no view of the fireworks at Redfern, but alcohol is officially banned at Birchgrove. NYE MEET-UP BIRCHGROVE - FOR FIREWORKS NYE MEET-UP REDFERN - FOR PUB DRINKS Lookouts/vantage points/locations go to http://www.sydneynewyearseve.com/ All ticketed vantage points except "Bradleys Head: Athol Lawn" are sold out. Timings - "Kids fireworks" are at 9pm, Full fireworks are at midnight. Some people will leave at 9:30 following the kids fireworks, but expect it to be very very busy. 95% of people will stay on. Music - KIIS 106.5 will have the 'special choreographed stream'. ABC will show the fireworks, as will most FTA channels. Expect a vast range of D list celebrities entertaining you throughout the night. Update: City of Sydney has released the official soundtrack for the fireworks shows. Find it here. Accommodation - Anything "good" will have already been sold out, have a 3 day minimum, and be expensive. Your best bet is to look online at places like wotif and see if you can find accomodation further outside the city. Transportation - Sydney is a clusterfuck after fireworks, expect most of the CBD to be closed until 3am+. ROAD CLOSURE INFO HERE Therefore take public transport. I'd personally advise you not to fare evade (even though Sydney Trains staff will open the gates to get the crowd through). Twice in the last few years i've had my ticket checked on NYD on the train coming home. Taxis/ubers/etc will all be in short supply. Surge pricing will occur. Be careful of drunk drivers and don't jaywalk. If you're intending on taking public transport, buy an Opal Card if you don't have one already. It will take out a lot of the clusterfuck factor. Public Transport - Some quick tips - more detail here Circular Quay trains will not stop (6pm-1am) Ferries do not operate during fireworks All buses to Wynyard, the QVB and Railway Square will stop at North Sydney. At all the train stations in or near the CBD, they will close off the smaller exits, and funnel everyone in through one entry. Expect there to be many queues to get on the train. Safety - It's the busiest night of the year for the police, so they'll be cancelling leave and putting everyone on call. As per the FAQ ಠ_ಠ Don't loiter around the streets after the fireworks. The area around the Quay is well policed, underage drinkers used to hang out at "balls head" McMahons Point after smuggling alcohol through the checkpoint. As mentioned previously, sydney is a very safe place. It doesn't hurt to be careful though... it's a lot easier to put your camera/wallet away properly than to be making a police report. Alcohol - Many areas will have bag checks, pretty much everywhere you want to drink will be an alcohol free zone. In the CBD, if you do get caught, you're likely to be told to pour it out. No Vantage Points allow BYO alcohol. Detection and enforcement efforts vary from place to place, but generally get stricter the closer in you get. Buy your alcohol early. I mean now. The bottle shops will be crazy, and won't be chilled. Don't try and get in just prior to closing... it will only lead to disappointment. Trust me, i worked in one on NYE. Expect city based bottle stores to have a ridiculous markup. Lockouts are confirmed cancelled on NYE, but closing times have not changed Food - Most shops want to close up early, so expect it to be pretty hectic in the evening. Particularly anything within a stones throw of Wynyard and Circular Quay. Maccas will be hectic. I'd recommend bringing a sandwhich. There are generally water bubblers throughout the city, however it can be very hard to navigate to one throughout the day. I recommend bringing your own. Woolies have 1.5L bottles for 80c. It can be very dehydrating sitting in the sun waiting for the fireworks. Wear your hat, bring a jacket if the weather looks windy. Residents - Be aware if you live in an area near the CBD, there may be restrictions, including road closures. This means you're also subject to bag searches and all that. You may need to prove your identity to get in once the place is "full". The road leading to balls head/mcmahons point comes to mind as one of the areas where it's closed early. Boating - If you've got a boat, be aware it's going to be pretty crazy... that includes jetty access prior to the fireworks. There is an exclusion zone in effect. Make sure you have a sober (and correctly licensed) captain, and enough life jackets for everyone. The water police are out in full force, and they will be performing RBTs. Day after - Be aware it takes a while for alcohol to process through your system. Even if you don't feel drunk, you may be over the limit... especially P platers. It's a double demerits too, so just play it safe. Edit for parents:u/Nigeln0friendz has given a greatt family-friendly fireworks plan. Find it here. **EDIT: Birchgrove meetup on site. Pictures here TLDR: Be prepared, Don't be a dick Suggested sort: new
Hello, I'm a Junior high school student at a school in NSW, Australia and my school decided to try something new. Our school implemented a new online ordering system for our canteen. Along with this came new prices. So far here's how it's been going. School gives free stuff to students, then starts complaining about how it's broke because parents aren't donating as much as they were. (Shows school relies on donating) Already overpriced food items now cost atleast 50c more. Print out menu shows a specific item being $2. For every top up on our online ordering account (we pay from the account) we have to pay a 1.3% surcharge. The item I mentioned before, being $2, is now $3.20 according to the ordering system, as the pricing for items was changed once again. I attempted to order the item for my lunch tomorrow and now they've added ANOTHER surcharge to the Order being an extra 30c. Now this might not seem like a big deal, but I was wondering what I, as a student, could do about this. I'm angry at this, after each new discovery and I'm willing to bet there will be another. I'm not the only one aswell, I've overheard other students complain aswell. I'm expecting that I won't be able to do anything at all, but I'm giving it a chance because if I can do anything I may try. Thanks for actually taking the time reading aswell.
[Discussion] Interestingly, does Australia trampling over peoples rights to privacy and freedom of press legitimises America's fierce defense of their constitution (Specifically 2nd amendment - Right to bear arms)?
The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". American's argue that the right to bear arms fends off an encroaching authoritarian government. So far it seems to have done the job i think? Although not having the right to bear arms, Australian had a similar gun culture to Americans up to 1996 which i'm sure you are all aware of what happened that revoked and heavily restricted access to firearms. Of course the Yanks cried foul citing their concerns and reason for the second amendment. I came across this comment the other day in World News to the post about the first AFP raid
And it got me really thinking were the Yanks concerns actually valid and manifesting before our eyes? The way i understand it, none of this stuff is happening in America. We call ourselves a free country, but all around us, civil liberties are being violated and privacy eroding at the hands of an encroaching and overreaching government. The very thing the 2nd amendment attempts to protect the American people against. My question to you guys is, with this in mind, does it perhaps give credence to the idea of second amendment and legitimise its existence?
Andrew ‘Fifi’ Fifita was born on the 29 day of June, 1989. Coincidentally, he has a twin brother David that was also born on that day, which according to medical professionals, is not uncommon. He also has an older brother Latu (stylised as LA2). Andrew was the nephew of John Fifita, who had an unsuccessful career at the Dragons and he is also the nephew of Solomon Haumono, ex-partner of Gabrielle ‘The Pleasure Machine’ Richens. In the context of this pedigree it is no wonder Andrew had a troubled and tumultuous upbringing. He struggled with school and had extreme difficulty with spelling, a problem that lasted into adulthood. When his football career took off, journalists asked him how to spell his name, and his instruction resulted in his surname commonly misspelled as ‘Fafita’; a legacy that persists to this day. He constantly skipped school, preferring to hang with David outside Westpoint Blacktown. The two brothers were described by local shopkeepers as being ‘thick as thieves’ in all 3 senses of the word. The brothers were constantly in trouble with the local police for a range of petty crimes: loitering, petty vandalism, aggravated buggery and trespass. At age 8 Andrew formed his first gang – the Blacktown Bois. An anonymous source recalled Andrew killing a homeless person at age 11 however this could not be verified in any way. At age 12 Andrew and David joined the gang of another local youth, Mathew Lodge, pledging allegiance to the ‘Mathew Lodge A Complaint Against Us And You’ll End Up In A Body Bag’ gang, or MLACAUAYEUIABB for short. Andrew became concerned with the psychotic level of violence from Lodge and threatened to leave. The final straw came when Andrew was caught tagging the gangs name on disputed territory. Due to the amount of time it took to tag the walls and the risks it posed, he left the gang at age 14. It was around the 5th time that Andrew’s mum bailed him out of prison that he was given an ultimatum. In an interview for 60 Minutes Up Late Edition, Andrew recalled this turning point in his life. ‘Mum had just bailed me out after another thievin’ spree. I got in the car and she said ‘Andrew, I love you very much, but you need to change your wicked ways you naughty, cheeky, silly boy. Here’s the deal. I have arranged for you to spend time down in Griffith with a family friend. You need to get out of Blacktown. Also if you don’t go, I am going to slowly poison David until you decide to go. You don’t need more blood on your hands.’ When she said that to me I was thinking ‘Man I’m hungry’ and then I thought Ok, I’ll go. There’s mad sick weed in Griffith and I can work for the Trimboles’ and all that as like an enforcer or a soldier’. Unfortunately for Andrew, Robert Trimbole had died approximately 15 years earlier and his drug distribution network largely disbanded by the time Andrrw arrived. Regardless he went to Griffith and remained there for several years before returning to Sydney to finish school, now relatively free from the life of crime that had previously seemed inevitable. Andrew was a talented junior footballer, and trialled with the Roosters as a winger. He was eventually signed by the West Tigers as an impact forward and made his NRL debut off the bench in 2010, scoring a try. He finished the year representing Tonga in an international, eligible through his father’s heritage. Andrew said he would have liked to have represented Australia, however there were many far-better players at the time that warranted selection over the 4 game Wests Tigers rookie. Towards the end of the 2011 season Andrew fell out of favour with coach Tim Sheens and was dropped to NSW Cup. Sheens’ instructions were for him to go back and ‘channel his inner Laurie Nichols’ but Andrew had no idea what that meant and therefore didn’t get another opportunity in first grade. Frustrated, he signed a 3 year deal with the Cronulla Sharks. This was part of a package deal with Bryce Gibbs, freeing up salary cap space so the Tigers could then sign Adam Blair, in a deal that Tigers fans need to be constantly and mercilessly reminded of at every available opportunity. At the Sharks, Andrew flourished. He was given regular game-time, his own locker, new boots and a sausage sandwich every second Wednesday after training and it showed in his performances. 2013 was the year Andrew announced himself as one of the premier front-rowers in the world. He was selected for the NSW Origin team, playing all 3 games of the series off the bench. At the end of the year he was the Sharks leading try scorer with 9 for the season, however that was more a reflection of the Sharks attacking woes than Fifita’s try scoring ability. Andrew was also named Dally M Prop of the Year. At the awards speech, Andrew was quoted as saying ‘this is an amazing honour, now all I need to do is win the award for International Special Best World Prop of the Year’, an award coach Shane Flanagan had in fact made up to motivate him. Off the back of his individual performances, Andrew was selected to play for Australia in the 2013 World Cup. In the semi-final match against Fiji, Andrew scored the last try of the match in the nail- biting 64-0 win. Interestingly, this was the last try ever called by BBC rugby league commentator Ray French before he retired. ‘Rather unfortunate and, quite frankly, a waste of me bloody breath’ is how French fondly recalled the occasion. Andrew was on top of the world at the end of 2013. Quite fittingly, he summited Mt Everest on New Years Eve. It is said that all good things must come to an end, and 2014 and 2015 did not list many positive moments as featured on Andrew’s Facebook ‘Year in review’. In March 2014 Andrew signed a four-year, $800,000 a season contract with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. Two weeks later, the contract was terminated. There was conflicting accounts from both sides on why this occurred. The Bulldogs claimed they were unhappy with comments Andrew made in the media after signing, saying things such as he wished he chose Rugby Union, his heart will always be in Cronulla and that he does not support gang rape. Andrew, on the other hand, stated that his official contract offer was significantly less than agreed on, and the clause allowing his brother to be the one that led Spike and Belmore James onto the field at each home game was removed entirely. Andrew eventually signed a contract extension with the Sharks, but he first had to personally apologise to the Board for trying to leave, run 20 extra laps at training and was required to chop onions for the Wednesday sausage sizzles for the rest of the year. 2014 was the year the Sharks faced the full punishment over their supplement saga and their on field performance suffered. While not one of the players facing a ban, Andrew was unable to lift the side as he suffered an ankle injury that kept him off the field for the majority of the season. Some commentators believe he would have recovered a lot quicker if he had of been part of the Sharks doping regime. Andrew missed all 3 games of the Origin series, which NSW won for the first time in 8 years. Andrew had become increasing upset with his circumstances on and off the field and in August, he was involved in a road rage incident where he threw a non-egg shaped object at a car travelling behind him. Both cars pulled over and when the second driver realised how big Andrew is in person, he refused to get out of his Subaru. Andrew then punched and kicked the panels of his car in a fashion similar to the bonus stage in Street Fighter II, before driving off. With Cronulla getting the wooden spoon and Andrew facing several injuries and a slump in form, he suffered serious depression. This part of his life has no humour in it so I’m just gonna say if you feel like you may have a problem, speak to your GP, talk to a mate or check out some great online resources. There’s help available and you aren’t alone. 2015 rolls around and a string of good performances earn Andrew a re-call into the NSW side for the first game of the state of origin series, however he was not selected for game 2 or 3 because his club team-mate and occasional babysitter Paul Gallen returned to the side after injury. Andrew had seemingly got his life back together by mid-2015 with his return to rep footy and Cronulla on track to make the finals, however Andrew and controversy are as synonymous as Brisbane and Friday Night Footy; Newcastle and the wooden spoon; Melbourne and Yachts; Souths and tooth; Julian O’Neill and Schlossy’s shoe…you get the point. In early August Andrew went to Penrith to watch his brother run the water for St Patrick’s Blacktown. David was constantly boasting that he could carry 3 water bottles at once and could also spray water into a players mouth from 5 meters away while on the run. Andrew decided to see this for himself and film it for David’s new YouTube channel. During the match David became incensed and swore at the referee (a 24 year old riot policeman) because he did not stop the game for an injured player. The referee (seeing a potential A Current Affair interview situation and associated payout unfolding) took out his phone and started filming David’s potty mouth tirade. Andrew then became involved and reportedly told the referee to ‘Stop filming and delete it or I’ll smash you up’ and had to be held back from the referee by Gwen Hilderbrandt, a 68 year old grandmother. Andrew denied this version of events and attempted to clear his name in an exclusive interview with Danny Weidler on his short lived chat show ‘Danny on the mic’: ‘I never told that ref to delete the footage. I thought it was hilarious. David was goin’ off his head and I thought the ref’s footage would make a great end to episode 6 of David’s Youtube. You know the bit at the end where they tell you to click subscribe and that and all the things like flash up? I was gonna put it in there. I never said ‘Stop filming and delete it or I’ll smash you up’. I actually said ‘Don’t stop filming or delete it and I’ll cash you up’. I wanted to give the bloke like $20 bucks for a copy.’ Unfortunately the NRL did not see it that way and both David and Andrew were fined $30,000 and each suspended for 6 weeks. The brothers were also suspended for a year from the Penrith District Rugby League, which had no effect on Andrew, however this impacted severely on David’s ability to get content for his YouTube channel, which closed down soon after. Andrew returned from his suspension off the bench for Cronulla’s elimination final victory over Souths, however they bowed out of contention the following week in a nail-biting 39-0 loss to the eventual premiers North Queensland. 2016 began and the Sharks, buoyed by several key signings, saw themselves as serious contenders for the 2016 premiership. Andrew was selected for NSW, playing all 3 games off the bench. During Game III Andrew was sinbinned for choking Gavin Cooper just before half-time after Cooper threw the ball at NSW 5/8 Matt Moylan. This action was again viewed unfavourably by the general public, however Andrew at the very least ultimately proved one commentator wrong: ‘This clown will cost Cronulla its shot at the premiership, as for his efforts in the origin match I think the video says it all.’ Terry, Daily Telegraph comments section July 15, 2016. Ahh Terry. How wrong you were. Also during the series Andrew renewed his rivalry with Qld player Joshua McGuire. McGuire was jealous of Andrew’s ‘rats-tail’ haircut and tried to steal it for himself, in an audacious attempt to complete his transformation into an actual rat. Despite his best efforts, McGuire was not able to scalp Andrew. After the game Andrew said that while it didn’t physically hurt him ‘I am hurt and upset that McGuire wanted to ruin all the good work of the poor orphans’ (To clarify, Andrew auctioned off the occasion for people to plait his hair for him. That auction was won by the Sydney Orphan Centre, narrowly outbidding an R. Crowe of Bowraville for the once in a lifetime opportunity. The auction raised $57 for the Tim Simona House Charities). Andrew’s 2016 season culminated with a chance to play in his first grand final with the Sharks against Melbourne. Andrew lead from the front and scored the winning try for the Sharks in the 14-12 victory, giving the Sharks their first ever Mad Monday in October. Controversially, Andrew was overlooked for the Clive Churchill Medal, with Luke Lewis receiving the award. It was later discovered that several high-profile gamblers did not heed Joel Caine’s warnings and Sportsbet was required to flex its muscle to ensure Andrew did not win, due to the large bets it had taken on the rampaging prop. The conspiracy is real people! During the offseason of 2016, Andrew was fined $20,000 for writing the letters ‘FKL’ on his wrist tape during games that year. It was suggested that it stood for ‘Free Kieran Loveridge’; a friend of Andrew’s in prison for a one-punch attack. Andrew tried to clarify the issue with Paul Vautin on the ‘Fun Fatty Friday Footy’ podcast: ‘Yeah Kieran’s a mate and I visited him in prison. But that was because he put me down as his next of kin and I had to tell him it wasn’t appropriate. I kept getting calls from the prison guards about things he put in his butt and I did want to deal with that. But FKL actually had nothing to do with him. It stands for Fifi Knows League. My brother made it up. Good hey. Because I know league, Fatty. Front and back. And when I need to dig deep I just look at it and it reminds me. Also reminds Chad Townsend too. That’s why he always passes me the ball’. In the most recent 2017 season, Andrew played 23 games for the Sharks, and started at prop for NSW in all 3 games of the state of origin series. In Game 1 of the series Andrew was judged man of the match in a performance that judges believe showed he was the best player on the field during that particular match. Due to Andrew’s domination in game 1, he was heavily targeted in games 2 and 3. After a loss in game 2, Andrew’s cheeky nemesis and still transitioning rat Joshua McGuire sledged Andrew. It was later reported that McGuire cruelly told Andrew to ‘go have a whinge you little girl NSW cry-baby girl’. Andrew took it personally and footage from Game 3 saw Andrew with ‘I Hate JM’ and ‘JM loves Billy 4 eva’ written on his strapping tape, in a brutal get-square with the Qld lock. At the conclusion of the 2017 NRL season Andrew was selected in the Australian side for the upcoming World Cup. 24 hours later he declared that he was going to shun the country that raised, nurtured and supported him through all the difficult times and actually provided him with the opportunity to play rugby league in a productive environment, in favour of representing Tonga again. Andrew explained his decision to Steve Mascord steavis, writing for Man-hunk magazine. ‘I actually made a pact with good friend Jack Bird. We were both gonna play for Tonga. Unfortunately Birdy was advised that he wasn’t eligible as he had absolutely no Tongan ancestry whatsoever. So we both rung up Fiji League but weren’t eligible for them either because of the same reasons. Apparently you need like an uncle or step-dad or something from that country to be able to play for ‘em. So I rung Tonga again on the home phone and let ‘em know I was playing but Birdy wasn’t allowed. They were disappointed but they said he can run the water or something. He’s a bit weird old Birdy to be honest. Club wise he’s Brisbane’s problem now which is good. ’ When Andrew retires he will be known as an awkward, powerful and potentially gamebreaking prop. He has a terrible play-the-ball style (known colloquially as ‘doin a fifi’), a commanding tackle-break, large capital letters tattooed on his legs and a knack for scoring tries. He loves an offload and once famously said he wanted to perform 40 offloads in a game. With games only being 80 minutes long and a current career high of 7 in a game this seems extremely unlikely, but anything is possible for the mighty Andrew Fifita. Well, except that.
Mental health awareness reminder - It is real, it is not your fault, you are not alone
Reece McKenzie is a second year player at Richmond that has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the club to deal with mental health problems. Last night he posted on BigFooty about his difficulties in dealing with depression and anxiety. I'm not going to post the link but if you want to look for it and share your support then you should be able to find it fairly easily on the Richmond board. He is an amazing and courageous kid to share what he did in a public forum. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to remind everyone about mental health issues. The more informed people are the more likely they are able to recognise, support and understand the difficulties people with mental health face. There shouldn't be a stigma with mental health, but if there is it's through fear and lack of understanding. Just look at the people in our game that it has hit recently. Mitch Clark, Lance Franklin, Chris Yarran and Reece McKenzie to name a few. I can only imagine what Roughead would be going through. If guys that train for professional sports can be struck down by mental health issues or life difficulties, you can bet anyone else can. I will reiterate what I said in the subject of this post:
Mental health problems are real and they are debilitating. If you feel like something doesn't feel right, either with yourself or someone you know, start a conversation. Talk to that person or talk to a professional. Nothing bad can come from talking, only positives.
Always remember that it's not your fault or it's not your mates fault. People don't choose to have mental health problems and more than someone chooses to catch a cold. Yes, there are things you can do to limit risk, but you can never make that risk zero. Look after yourself, look after your mate. Substance abuse is not the answer, be careful.
You are not alone. Even though your situation may be unique to you, you're not the only one that may have experienced difficulties. Google tells me 45% of the population will experience some for of mental health issue. This doesn't diminish or lessen the importance of what you're going through in any way. What it means is there are lots of people that understand, and there are lots of services that can help. It can be really hard to ask for help, but services are there for exactly that reason.
You are not a burden, you are important and deserve to feel OK. I'll provide a list of resources below but I will also say that if anyone needs someone help with taking the next step, or maybe you just want to chat, I am here. Feel free to reply to this post or send me a PM. If you don't know what to say, just send a full stop and I'll start the conversation with you. I'm sure there are heaps of other people that are a part of this community that would do the same.
mindhealthconnect This is a national initiative operated by Healthdirect Australia on behalf of the Federal Government. The website aggregates mental health resources and content from the leading health focused organisations in Australia. You can access a range of mental health resources including online programs, fact sheets, audio and video, and online communities www.mindhealthconnect.org.au Medical practitioners Your General Practitioner (GP) is someone you may trust that you can start the conversation with. Or you can contact the after-hours GP helpline on 1800 022 222.
Leading financial institutions and experts are betting that virtual currencies such as those used in video games will become mainstream tender in the real world within three to five years. HSBC’s global head of e-channels strategy and innovation, Andrew Davis, says his bank is gearing up under the assumption that virtual currencies would soon become a normal way of buying goods and services. The rise of virtual currencies would signal a leap forward in the way people conduct transactions, while further blurring the line between online and real world retail shopping. Where traditional currencies such as the Australian dollar are guaranteed by governments, virtual currencies such as BitCoin often have no central organising groups or value. But despite the risks, usage is rising. Advertisement “We have a planning assumption that virtual currencies will become mainstream in three to five years," Mr Davis said. “One of the reasons why we need to reach a view two to four years out is to influence our decisions around enterprise architecture, because it doesn’t change very often. “How people place value on things won’t just be with hard currency in the future and we’re already seeing micro-currencies emerge around the world." Mr Davis made the comments during the PushStart FinTech Forum in Sydney, which brought large corporate banks and technology start-up companies together. Macquarie Bank’s head of wealth management technology, Stephen Dunn, agreed that virtual currencies would become mainstream as cash and credit cards became less important, but said the key for banks was to make sure customers could use whatever form of payments they wanted. “I don’t think cash or credit cards will disappear in less than five years but I think it won’t be as dominant," he said. “But we shouldn’t be ruling it out today." Mr Davis said one example of virtual currency’s rising importance was American Express’s May launch of a card that rewards customers with “FarmVille" cash that can only be spent inside the popular computer game played by more than 80 million Facebook users. The virtual currency is spent by gamers who want to upgrade their virtual farms with items like fences, hay bales and buildings. The RBA has considered virtual currencies as part of its report on innovation, due for release in the next two weeks. In its February 2012 summary of submissions, the RBA said organisations had “highlighted the emergence of ‘virtual currencies’, such as Facebook credits, and urged consideration of how these might interact with traditional payment systems". The Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and PayPal all provided submissions discussing the challenges and opportunities raised by virtual currencies. And in February, CBA used an official blog posting to discuss whether or not virtual currency would mean the end of cash. “The virtual cash revolution has fostered a means of exchange that is independent of both the banks and the state," it said. “But just like video didn’t kill radio, virtual currencies and online trading won’t herald the end of real-world currency and trading." City Index FX strategist Kara Ordway said virtual money could easily be a tradeable commodity not unlike the Australian or US dollar, once market demand and supply was established. “Everything is becoming electronic – people are talking about a paperless foreign exchange market," she said. “If you haven’t got physical Australian dollars [trading], what’s to stop there being some kind of internet or technology-related currency?" University of NSW economist Tim Harcourt said HSBC was a good leading indicator of financial trends and virtual currencies would become more important as Australians used less cash. “The more retail becomes international because of online retail . . . the more demand there will be for [virtual currencies]," he said. “I think virtual currency won’t become universal within three to five years, but it will certainly be common." Mr Harcourt said loyalty point alliances between companies such as airlines and retailers could lead to reward points being worth value in a range of stores as they formed alliances. But the Australian dollar would still be the backbone of the economy for now, he said. “We still earn Australian dollars and it’s our main means of exchange, but this will be another means of exchange that people will use to exercise choice," he said. CSC general manager of financial services Stephen Kowal said companies and institutions were battling to become the hubs for new virtual currencies. “You want to be the payments provider for this [phenomenon]. Virtual currency will just be another exchange rate, next to your, say, Aussie dollars," he said. “People don’t trust virtual currency yet . . . but it’s not a matter of if but when. Maybe not in the next three to five years but definitely in the . . . next 10." He said regulators such as the RBA and the US Federal Reserve had to think of new ways to tax and manage virtual currencies as it became a valuable global commodity. “You want to be the payments provider for this [phenomenon]. But I think the real institutions that could really control this are the [technology] companies themselves," he said. “If you use a company like Facebook as an example, it has 900 million users. If you give each of them a virtual $10 token for instance, you instantly get a tradeable currency. It’s like a country of its own. It instantly becomes a hub of this trade." The Australian Financial Review
BACKGROUND Scoring high quality weed is high on any smokers list of priorities, but the unspoken truth of searching for high quality weed resides in that there needs to be a psudo-symbiotic priority of a grower to produce high quality weed to be able to sell (it takes a ton of love to produce top quality buds, they don’t just accidentally result from a shitty grow). Thus it needs to be asked, how many producers out there are actually producing high quality bud for sale? The folly of the pact lies in believing tales of small scale home grown as a possible new source. I refer to the fact that being able to score consistently from a home grower is almost a red herring, due to the fact small growers generally are not even able to actually provide more than one additional smoker of full time habit. This means that even if you do happen to be extremely lucky and know a home grower who produces some really nice stuff, chances are they don’t produce enough to sell to more than just you. Having addressed small time growers and their fundamental problem with lack of supply we move onto medium scale producers. These are actually the hardest producers to find as they operate generally larger facilities then the smaller grower but they tend to produce still high quality crops. This type of source shouldn’t be quickly discarded as they are more than likely able to supply you and your friends with high quality bud, but undoubtedly finding this source is literally a one in a million…. For example there is 22 million people in Australia, but I doubt there would even be 22 medium size producers (of high quality buds), therefore it’s probably actually less than 1 in a million of finding these guys. Next we come to the large scale producers. I don’t think I really need to write much here but there’s zero chance of any large scale producer in Australia currently growing high quality buds…. Why is this the case? Fundamentally it’s an education issue on both parts, but in clearer terms its buyers resistance to pay more, along with a lack of incentive for growers to produce high quality product. Many will address the issue by saying ‘I tell my source I would pay for better quality weed’ or ‘ If I could get better stuff I would’. Well the obvious needs to be said in that I bet you straight away you don’t actively look for a new source of (specifically high quality) because it requires a different game plan to a regular dealer. First of all people producing high quality are not going to be in it exclusively for the money, or at least they will value security over any short term profits meaning this is going to be a long grind, you can’t expect to just discover who they are, ask them and expect for the golden gates to open. As alluded to above I wouldn’t even bother trying to randomly bump into a high quality grower IRL because the chances are slim at best, it would be much more advantageous to message people online from various platforms that you suspect might be able to help you in your search. On top of this the best suggestion I can give is get active in the various communities. If you want to be around high quality weed the simplest way to do it is grow it yourself. A lot of people will put up reasons as to why they cannot grow the bud and I’ll address this point in another post. THE PROBLEMS The major problem on the buyers end however seems to be a cognitive bias over high quality bud and its pricing. When presented with a price but no product to inspect/smoke people tend to straight away be incredibly defensive of paying anything greater than regular prices (`300-350$/oz). However every time, without fail, If presented with the product and the price, people can’t get enough and do something similar to ‘Shut up and take my money’. This straight away indicates that people are anxious when told the cost of high quality - because they have been tricked before possibly? They convinced themselves they would pay more for higher quality only to be disappointed and ultimately jaded by the whole experience. Ultimately leads to a situation where even if people are telling their source that they would pay for better quality weed, they are more than likely aren’t specifying how much, and if so, they are probably still low balling the price they would have to pay. Weed that’s twice as good only yields half as much but sells for twice as much… you do the math as to how much you need to offer your source. Small scale productions are doing their bit for the community if they can help even one person other than themselves. While supplying yourself may be fine and dandy, it is a noble act to be able to supply someone else and enrich their smoking experience of someone who would have otherwise been left in the dark miserable world of pacto induced headaches. Medium scale producers are far and few so the lack of them in itself is the real problem. They are the way of the future as they have the right idea but currently have the highest risk to profit ratio, making their lack of presence understandable. Large scale producers…. Well I could honestly go on for days about all the fucked things that go on in these syndicates, however I will limit myself to this. Typical biker / Asian / ethnic triads are the gold standard for producing high quantities of low quality buds, covered in red hairs (pistols), full of water and most importantly, permeated with pactobutrazol. I don’t really need to harp on too much about this style of production, sadly there is about a 95% chance you are smoking this stuff right now if you aren’t getting stuff that’s home grown. Don’t delude yourself, these are the types of people your paying at the end of the day when you go buy your Q’s / Halfs / Oz’s, you may not put it in their hand directly but it goes back to them in the end. One other larger scale source of production is outdoor bud produced inland NSW / WA mostly. I have had some ok tasting bush but it took far to many hits to feel its effect HOWEVER you can take solace in that bush WILL NOT contain pactobrutrazol. Anyone growing outdoors won’t invest in pacto generally as they can just plant another tree to account for extra yield someone would seek if using pacto. Although this is a simplistic view remember we are talking about large scale producers, they will more than likely have an abundant amount of space available to them. Outdoor crops will improve dramatically with the improvement in quality of a growers genetic library. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? The mental hurdle that is the higher cost of high quality buds needs to be overcome by the buyer but you must insist on testing the product before purchasing it / purchasing an incredibly small amount (1-2g). Through the strict adherence to testing before purchasing buyers can avoid being ripped off and thus avoid becoming apathetic to buying high quality cannabis. Any source who doesn't agree / offer this isn't one worth dealing with and will more then likely have sub standard product. Growers need to both understand that there is both a substantial market for high quality and if they grow it, the demand is present to make it worth their while. The major improvement in weed however will be a result of improving the genetics growers have to work with. This will come from education on the growers own part or learning from others ie) via joining a growing collective cough cough. Via growers making the correct seed purchase they can reap the benefits of cali quality buds (FYI Oregon produces the best quality buds on earth btw not cali). This situation should fundamentally remove the need for pacto being used. IN CONCLUSION Where does this leave the community? Ultimately in order to force larger scale growers to produce higher quality bud the entire market would need to have a boycott, which simply won’t happen. The next best option for the average (enthusiast) individual is to try to connect with groups / people who are already a part of the scene. Become more active on Reddit and become active on grow forums. But make no mistake, if you really want to become a part of the scene and get your hands on the good quickly, take the plunge and LOOK INTO growing…. It may be easier then you imagined.
I say I average to about 2 months per country. I try to be as thorough as possible when traveling to a country since I usually have to cross border-to-border (overland) anyways. My spending on accommodations has increased with time. Sleep is extremely important as it's what keeps you agile for both on the road and business. In the beginning, I would stay in dormitories, which was great fun as you get to meet so many new people, but it turned out to be not so great for doing work at night. Dorms turned into shared rooms at hostels, then to single rooms in the recent quarters. I got a real idea of how sustainable this nomadic way of living is when I lived in a private apartment in Bali via AirBnB. That was a much appreciated comfort!
One thing I noticed in Tim Ferriss' book is that his sports nutrition supplements company must have either been an extremely automated, heavily bootstrapped business that was in a very high profit margin, or that he's over-inflating his income. It's impossible to run a fully functioning and growing online store with a single hire that is the assistant. I know I've tried that model and it was impossible in my experience. I have a couple of employees who are located from all over. We communicate via emails and Skype. The business was running for nearly a year before I left my country. It's easy to automate a business, but it's much harder to grow it passively. You always need to put in the time to grow a business!
I sort out the visas on the road. I had no idea where I was going to go next when I first landed in my first country, Singapore.
Singapore was the first country I visited! It's an amazingly modern country with a lot of growth ahead. Very polite people and very impolite taxi drivers ;) My company is actually incorporated in Singapore!
My friends can attest to this. I'm absolutely terrible at keeping in touch with friends. It's gotten much better now that I've installed LINE (IMO a much better alternative to Whatsapp) on my phone and computer. And I know there are a lot of Facebook haters out there, but for someone like me, Facebook is a god-send. It helps so much in keeping up with old and new friends who you've crossed paths with.
Yes, it does get quite lonely sometimes. But all that's needed is to join a local tour, head to hostels or just talk to people on the street!
Dating on the road is very interesting and confusing (and fun)! Sometimes it feels like a very long extended date when you spend days or weeks traveling together, seeing and experiencing some unforgettable things with just the two of you. It gets confusing when you don't know if it's just the lust of traveling that you're feeling or if they're genuine feelings for the other person.
Agreed! But I think it's important to realize that the way a person carries him/herself in a settled life is very different when they're traveling. Traveling brings out different sides in people, but those sides are in no way defining.
Picking a country to incorporate your business in is far more important than you think! Singapore is a great country to start a business in with their tax incentives and structures, but I find it to be a poor choice in hindsight given that my business is online-based and that most of my customers are in the US.
I wish I had incorporated it in the US. It's worth paying more taxes just to get the newest and best technologies, tools and services to help out with work. For example, I really really want to use Stripe's payment services, as well as the full feature set from Shopify.
I thought the tax savings would have been worth it for Singaporean incorporation. Also, I was thinking of possibly settling down in Singapore so I wanted to establish a business there (so I can more easily get residency).
I wear mostly tech clothes. They're comfortable enough to wear and they can handle the nastiest of environments and the harshest activities. I prepare clothing for all seasons. It's not too heavy at all. The bulk of the weight comes from my work gear: electronics and such.
Hey Nick! I've written this response so many times now. You've asked such a great question and I don't even know how to begin to express how I've grown over the recent years. This won't be all encapsulating but I'll give a couple.
Meeting a range of personalities from different backgrounds and cultures who perceive the world around them and their accounts of history so differently, I realize everything is a matter of perspective, and that it's most important for a balanced individual to see things in as many perspectives as possible, despite how it makes you feel. Beauty is in all things, just as well as ugliness. It's great to be uplifted by beautiful moments (and there are an abundance when you travel) but you only polarize your view of the world if your tendency is to see it with a smile on your face. I would rather see the world as it is then to be constantly happy. To travel is to experience the world, and traveling for however long I've traveled my experience has taught me to see the world in full color.
I would love the opportunity to travel to each and every single country again after a decade or two. It would be immensely interesting to see how each country has progressed and how the travel experience has changed. If I were to pick one single country though, it would perhaps be Myanmar. It's perhaps my favorite country that I've visited and it was relatively recent that Myanmar opened its borders to the world so I'm sure the country will be (and already has) been going through some monumental changes.
I got the idea from a posting here on reddit several years ago. There was a lot of interest in this kind of illustration but very few were taking the idea as a serious venture at the time. I decided to make a poster for a friend of mine who's an avid reader and she suggested that I should consider selling these prints. After making a few illustrations, I made a post on reddit to get feedback and suggestions and it blossomed from there! This is very much a lifestyle gifted to me by reddit!
The biggest challenge would be to find passionate and talented people who can work in their home environment without a boss around. I'm very happy to have found the staff that I work with!
Luckily, most people understand hand gestures except for South Koreans. I would make hand gestures for sleeping and eating (flatly clasps hands beside head; one hand carrying bowl and the other scooping action), and I would say 1/20 people got the hand gestures compared to say 1/5 in other countries. I didn't have to use too many of those gestures though except for outside of the cities since most people speak decent English.
Most locals would be able to utter at least a few words in English in the countries I've visited. Even if it's just a word, the context of the situation and their body language is usually enough for communicating. As for fluency, I find South Koreans to be the most timid with their English. I have no doubts that they understand English but they didn't speak it to me.
The thing with being a small business owner is that your income is directly tied with the company's. That said, it's somewhere in the low 5 figure range.
I don't have a real budget when it comes to traveling since some countries have very different living standards and costs of living. I always just try to live like a common local when I'm traveling: taking public transport, eating at local restaurants where there are most people, etc.
It can get very taxing, but the good thing about being self-employed is that you have some control over when and how much you work. During my most productive days, I may be traveling across several cities and doing work in my room at the end of the day for many hours. But during my rest days, I'm staying at a comfortable city for the entire day at a cafe doing work on my laptop.
I've always been entrepreneurial during my university years, participating in campus events and conferences relating to startups and business even before starting my first business (several years ago).
Read books, and participate in entrepreneurial communities both locally and online. The most important advice I can give to any aspiring entrepreneur is to start a business project right now, today. You have no excuse to not start one. It's extremely simple these days. All the tools and resources are at your fingertips!
I'm not quite sure how long I'll keep doing this. I can see myself traveling for at least another 3 years, but my pace of travel might need an adjustment. Being on the road on a daily basis then having to work a full day's work at night takes a toll on your health. I guess I'll keep going until I feel the need to start a family.
Yes! Start a business right now! The internet has allowed anyone to learn as much as they like on any subject. There's a plethora of resources online on entrepreneurship. I hear the community at 4-Hour Workweek is quite active and helpful too. I don't visit their boards (too busy with reddit :)) but they would have a lot more specific resources for you as most people there are trying to establish this work & play lifestyle.
It's not quite as simple as just illustrating something and then selling it. I like quality in all things so my approach is more quality than quantity when it comes to our art prints. My staff and I spend hours brainstorming and discussing each novel in question. We have a real passion for not just representing a book aesthetically but to capture and embody the soul of the story in a way the author would have done him/herself if they were an artist.
There's been competitors who's sprung up in the recent years who I envy for the quantity of works they push out, but again, our focus is on the quality. After all, these art prints are for the diehard fans out there.
Pick up Tim Ferriss' book! I had a rough idea of how I was going to travel and work at the same time, but reading his book really laid out the foundations for me. There are a few clever tips that has helped me immensely during my first year.
For solely traveling, I would suggest picking only a handful of must-see destinations and fill in the gaps as you go. You get less of a feel and understanding of a country if you only visit the must-see locations as they tend to be mostly touristic places. The fun parts of travel comes from the inbetweens!
I think it's important to first get a sense of what being a business owner is like compared to being an employee. I know entrepreneurship is a "cool" thing to do these days, and it's caused a lot of people to get into it for the wrong reasons. In my case, I was lucky to have worked in several different companies in different capacities in the form of 4-month internships. It's really helped shaped what I think I would enjoy doing as a career. I would highly recommend finding an internship to begin with if you're just beginning your studies. Not only will you get paid, you'll have the work experience and some guidance in your career.
The best aspect of being an online business owner is to be able to work anywhere you'd like! Just as long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get just about everything done. The worst would be having to work in different time zones with the team.
One of the constant challenges is to remain as productive as possible in a variety of locations and situations. I remember having to have a quick impromptu meeting while waiting for a bus in the middle of nowhere. It wouldn't be possible to do what I do if there were no smartphones.
I would recommend finding a local professional print shop. They would be able to sort you out with all your needs! It wouldn't be scalable to print on your own unless you want to manage ALL facets of your business.
I didn't have a pace before, I would go at whatever speed the country beckoned. But fatigue during travel is a serious issue since I have to be wide awake and agile for both business and travel.
It may be much better for the business and even my travels if I slowed down the pace a bit. Currently, I average at about 2 or so months in a country. I'm thinking half a year to a year maybe a good break in between some quicker travels.
The business is incorporated in Singapore and we have accountants to handle that side of things. Even with their help, taxes is one thing I absolutely hate about business ownership. I pay personal income tax to Canada. I may move back when I'm done with my travels. Can't let go of my Canadian passport! It's been great traveling with it.
It's always hard to pick a favorite of something unless you break your preference down into categories, but I say roughly overall I liked Myanmar the most. Traveling in that country is like being transported back into time; developing cities and villages, unpolluted and magnificent sceneries, and most of all very kind people!
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