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Australian News

Reopening Qld border to ACT will help LNP with PM allowed to campaign


The Queensland Government’s decision to reopen the state’s border to the ACT will be a huge fillip for the LNP with Prime Minister Scott Morrison now able to go on the hustings at the state election, says a senior political commentator.

Labor on Friday changed its long-held position of only reviewing border closures at the end of each month when Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced the state would welcome visitors from the ACT from next Friday.

However, they can only arrive by plane and must have remained solely within the ACT for 14 consecutive days beforehand.

Griffith University’s political commentator Dr Paul Williams said if federal politicians had not been on the hustings it would have severely hurt LNP leader Deb Frecklington’s chances of toppling Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the October 31 election.

He said the PM had a good rapport with country voters, as did Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. He said opposition leader Deb Frecklington had failed to cut through in regional areas.

Mr Morrison showed his appreciation for Queenslanders after his shock election victory in May last year when he trumpeted: “How good’s Queensland?” at his victory speech to the chants of “Queensland! Queensland! Queensland!” from supporters.

“Morrison obviously has pulling power across the country because of his increased esteem from case management of the pandemic, especially in regional Queensland where he is still very popular,” Mr Williams told NCA NewsWire.

“If Morrison, Frydenberg and a couple of other high performers couldn’t campaign in regional Queensland it would be problematic for Deb Frecklington.

“There would be a struggle for traction even in regional Queensland where the party doesn’t struggle, but she does.”

He said Labor’s federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese would not have “the same pull” on the hustings for Ms Palaszczuk.

Ms Palaszczuk told reporters that Mr Morrison “can come if he wants, it doesn’t worry me’ to campaign on behalf of the LNP.

Had the borders remain shut and no federal politicians were on the hustings then that would have worked more in Labor’s favour, Mr Williams said.

Even though federal politicians are permitted to travel to Queensland from the ACT, provided they have spent 14 consecutive days in the nation’s ‘capital’, it would not necessarily add a lot colour to the election campaign.

Mr Williams believes the state election will be as vanilla as the March Brisbane City Council election when pre-poll and postal voting was massively high.

Almost four times the number of voters had visited pre-poll stations in the first two days they were opened compared to the first two days of the 2016 local government elections.

Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) has already opened applications for postal voting.

“It‘s going to be a very boring campaign, not to dissimilar to the BCC campaign,” Mr Williams said.

“The ECQ is saying up to 60 per cent but I probably wouldn’t go that high, maybe 50 per cent pre-poll and postals combined.

“Early voters tend to be engaged voters who are probably rusted on voters, and especially those who have an axe to grind against the Palaszczuk government.”



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Australian News

Scott Morrison banned from entering Queensland for election campaign


Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be banned from entering Queensland for the duration of the state election campaign unless he is prepared to pay $2800 to quarantine for 14 days in a government facility.

Nearly seven weeks after he last entered the sunshine state, there’s no signs that the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will lift the border bans before the October 31 election.

Queensland’s border ban will effectively stop the Prime Minister, Labor leader Anthony Albanese and any other frontbenchers from entering the state for the duration of the election unless they are prepared to spend a fortnight in quarantine.

It follows an ugly war of words between the Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier over the plight of hardship cases including a young woman who was unable to attend her father’s funeral.

Last week, the Queensland Premier hit back at the Prime Minister, accusing him of “bullying” her to intervene in the case of a woman who was unable to attend her father’s funeral.

“I will not be bullied nor will I be intimidated by the Prime Minister of this country who contacted me this morning and who I made [it] very clear to, the fact that it is not my decision,” she said.

“The Prime Minister at the time said to me that he had not gone public, but Mr Speaker, I knew that he would go public.

“To use the tragedy of this personal family is disgusting.”

Both leaders have confirmed they have no plans to travel to Queensland while the tough border restrictions remain in place.

The current border closures, which prohibit anyone from a ‘hotspot’ area including Canberra coming to Queensland without a 14 day quarantine period will be reviewed at the end of every month.

The only alternative is to fly from Canberra to “COVID-free” Adelaide, which reopened the border to the ACT this week and spend a fortnight there, before travelling on to Brisbane.

According to Queensland Health Department guidelines, the border will remain shut to NSW, ACT and Victorian residents unless there are 28 days without community transmission in those jurisdictions.

And while there is provision for MPs’ to enter the state to conduct their work, the requirement they complete a quarantine period is non-negotiable.

“(Elected representatives) can enter Queensland from a declared COVID-19 hotspot, such as the ACT, to return to their electorate or to perform official duties,” a Queensland Health spokesman said. “They must enter via air and will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival as per global quarantine requirements.”

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has previously defended the decision to declare Canberra a hotspot despite the fact the nation’s capital hasn’t had a case in months.

“Canberra is declared a hotspot because it is in the middle of NSW,” Dr Young said, adding that many people in Canberra have holiday homes on the NSW south coast where there have been cases more recently,’’ she said.

In July, the Prime Minister unveiled a $400 million package to attract international blockbusters to film in Australia on the Gold Coast.

However, the Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington did not attend the event as she had a prior engagement.

“I let her know I was coming up here today, and she was pleased with the announcement we were making today for Queensland,” Mr Morrison said.



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Local News - Victoria

Victoria unveils graphic coronavirus advertising campaign


Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the confronting campaign aimed to help Victorians “understand the reality” of widespread deaths that the state is fighting to avoid.

“It is an unfolding tragedy that is hard to get your head around,” Professor Sutton said on Saturday.

“This is an invisible enemy in lots of ways and when we just talk about numbers, when we talk about reproduction numbers and transmissibility, that doesn’t bring it home like understanding the genuine consequences for people does.”

Michael's wife likely passed coronavirus on to her mother (pictured) who soon died as a result.

Michael’s wife likely passed coronavirus on to her mother (pictured) who soon died as a result.

Professor Sutton pointed to places such as Spain, northern Italy and the United Kingdom, where “there is barely a family that doesn’t have awareness of somebody in their extended network who has died”.

“That’s what we’re trying to avoid. But it’s what people need to think about in terms of having a motivation to do the right thing,” he said.

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an epidemiologist who called for a hard-hitting Australian advertising campaign several weeks ago, praised the messaging and said it would tackle the perception that coronavirus should be dismissed as a mild illness for most people.

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“The majority of cases don’t need medical intervention but it doesn’t necessarily mean the illness is mild or doesn’t have consequences to the next generation of cases that you might pass it on to, such as your parents,” explained Professor McLaws, a UNSW academic and adviser to the World Health Organisation.

“A campaign like this has a really great knock-on effect of showing the misery it can cause others, just by inadvertently not doing the right thing.”

Ten days after the introduction of stage three lockdown restrictions across Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, Victoria recorded 357 new cases on Saturday and has a seven-day average of 365 cases per day.

Despite the case numbers, Premier Daniel Andrews said he believed most Victorians were heeding the government’s messages and the advertising campaign intended to demonstrate that “everyone is touched by coronavirus”.

Michael, who features in Victoria's new coronavirus ad, said the virus was 'like drowning' before entering an induced coma for 72 days.

Michael, who features in Victoria’s new coronavirus ad, said the virus was ‘like drowning’ before entering an induced coma for 72 days.

Professor Sutton also drove home the directive on face masks, which became compulsory in Victoria on Thursday, by comparing them to road safety this week.

“Face masks are to coronavirus what speed limits are to the road toll,” he said.

Victoria’s TAC road safety campaigns, which often recreate crashes and show harrowing injuries to pedestrians or drivers, have become renowned for their graphic nature and were translated to be aired in China in 2012.

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Local News - Victoria

Do Not Visit Victoria campaign a social media hit


The Art Deco style images feature signature scenes of each place and a slogan seasoned with swear words. A picture of penguins on a beach says, “Enjoy picturesque Phillip Island / on Google Streetview, you sh*t head”.

An image from Mansfield’s main street says: “It will be literally breathtaking if you a**eholes don’t keep your distance from Mansfield”.

Credit:Do Not Visit Victoria

Mr Carvajal said he and Mr Wheeler acted out of frustration and fear at seeing people leave town as COVID-19 cases soared.

They felt strong language might persuade stubborn travellers to “stay the f— at home”.

The pair have now set up an online shop to sell mugs, T-shirts, stickers and towels, with plans to donate proceeds to charity.

But Mr Carvajal said anyone could download the images, as long as they did not use them for profit.

Credit:Do Not Visit Victoria

One fan of the cards offered further suggestions for the creators.

“We need one for Warrnambool and the Great Ocean Road,” said a woman posting on Facebook. “I live on the GOR and we have had so much traffic that it can’t all be local.”

However, Shane Kidd, president of the Lakes Entrance Business and Tourism Association, said he was appalled at the slogan for his town: “Say hello to beautiful Lakes Entrance on Zoom for f*ck’s sake”.

He said Lakes Entrance had suffered from the summer bushfires and COVID-19 but still welcomed visitors.

“We’re very reliant on day-trippers and short-stayers to keep coming from regional areas in Victoria, specifically the Latrobe Valley and east of Melbourne,” Mr Kidd said.

Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce president Bob Knowles said the images were an attempt to amuse but misguided.

Credit:Do Not Visit Victoria

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell people to f— off, in any circumstances,” Mr Knowles said. “I think it’s misguided and these people don’t understand the huge importance of the visitor population to small marginal towns.”

Mansfield Shire mayor Marg Attley said it was “really disappointing” and her community wasn’t consulted.

“We’re supporting the messaging from the state government … that visitors from Melbourne shouldn’t be here, but obviously we are welcoming regional visitation because that’s what’s allowed at the moment,” Cr Attley said.

Mr Carvajal said the project was tongue in cheek.

Asked if it could be harmful to regional Victoria, he said the economy was a sensitive topic, but the priority had to be to get the virus numbers down to get back to normal.

“If we keep acting the way we’re acting, we’re not going to get there.”

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Australian News

Australian Opals lead new RISE UP campaign with Basketball Australia to support Black Lives Matter movement



Basketball Australia (BA) and the women’s national team, the Opals, have launched a campaign to target racism and discrimination.

The RISE UP campaign stands for Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity, Peace, with BA and the Opals asking Australians to take action to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of colour.

Last month the Opals announced they would not train until BA agreed to commit to eliminating racial injustice within the sport.

BA said it was committed to using its platform to be a vehicle for change on racial equality.

Opals star Liz Cambage said it was a proud moment for her and the sport.

“It’s the people around me now who are supporting me and people of colour to help change the world we live in and I’m very proud and emotional when it comes to this,” she said.

Cambage has spoken of her own encounters with racism in Australia, saying she had never felt at home growing up.

BA answered the Opals’ call with the announcement of RISE UP, with Cambage present at the launch in Melbourne on Wednesday.

RISE UP is an acronym for the team’s values: Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity, Peace.

Opals captain Jenna O’Hea said her team wanted to help drive change within the community.

“The Australian Opals’ playing group are asking all Australians to RISE UP and stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people of colour to make a change,” she said.

“Racism, discrimination and injustice experienced by black communities is not an American problem, it is a worldwide issue, including here in Australia.

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“It is important that everyone learns and educates themselves on these matters because learning about racism is much easier than living and experiencing it on a daily basis.

“The Australian Opals are asking everyone to embrace our RISE UP team values of Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity and Peace as we work together to eradicate racism, discrimination, and injustice both here at home and abroad.”

BA chief executive Jerril Rechter said basketball wanted to help build a more tolerant society.

“The extremely important Black Lives Matter movement has made it abundantly clear that as a global community we must work harder to bring an end to racism, discrimination and injustice,” he said.

“Basketball Australia is committed to using our position and platform to engage, listen, speak out, and be a vehicle for change on racial equality.

“We are extremely proud of the Australian Opals in wanting to come together and lend their voice and influence to not only support Black Lives Matters but drive positive change through their RISE UP campaign.”

The RISE UP initiative will be rolled out by BA over the coming months, starting with a social and digital media campaign.

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Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford campaign makes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson restore children’s food vouchers


Marcus Rashford is famous in Britain as one of the young stars of the Premier League, but the 22-year-old has scored a vital goal off the pitch, forcing the British Government to restore funding for free meals for children.

The young man who grew up as one of five children of a hard-working single mother in Manchester’s Wythenshawe area now earns an estimated 10 million pounds ($18 million) a year playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

But he has never forgotten his roots, and when Britain was forced into lockdown this year due to the coronavirus, Rashford began to use his platform to raise awareness and money for those in need.

He worked with poverty and food waste charity FareShare to help raise 20 million pounds ($36 million) to provide food for children who would have been eligible for free meals if still at school.

The campaign is helping to provide three million meals a week across the United Kingdom.

But there was still a large gap between the needs of hungry kids and the ability for charities to provide.

At the weekend, Rashford took his campaign one step further, writing an open letter to members of the British Parliament — his post on Twitter was retweeted more than 157,000 times.

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“My story to get here is all too familiar for families in England: my mum worked full-time, earning minimum wage to make sure we always had a good evening meal on the table,” he wrote.

“As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches.

“Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us; I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.”

Rashford spoke of getting “thousands of insights” from parents trying to cope amid COVID-19.

“[I have listened to] schoolteachers who are personally covering the cost of food packages for their vulnerable families after the school debit card had been maxed out; mothers who can’t cover the cost of increased electricity and food bills during the lockdown, and parents who are sacrificing their own meals for their children.”

He urged the Government to reconsider its decision to cancel the existing food voucher system over the summer holidays to 1.3 million children from lower-income families.

“As a black man from a low-income family in Wythenshawe, Manchester, I could have been just another statistic,” he wrote.

“Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours, and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps.

A Premier League striker extends his leg after shooting the ball in mid-air, scoring a goal.
Marcus Rashford has scored 41 goals in 133 games for Manchester United.(AP: Jon Super, File photo)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially resisted, but the Government gave in on Tuesday and said it would continue to provide food vouchers over the six-week summer break.

When schools were shut down in March, the voucher program was set up to help ensure children did not go hungry. Vouchers worth 15 pounds ($27.40) were given to spend each week in supermarkets.

The Government said it would continue the program over the summer in England at a cost of 120 million pounds ($219 million). Authorities in Scotland and Wales have similar plans.

Until Tuesday, Mr Johnson’s Conservative Government had refused to budge, pointing out that it had earmarked an extra 63 million pounds ($115 million) for local authorities to support vulnerable families.

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But Rashford’s campaign quickly picked up steam, backed by celebrities, opposition politicians and even some Conservative MPs.

After the announcement, Rashford tweeted: “I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”

Mr Johnson said he had spoken to Rashford to congratulate and thank him.

“We have to understand the pressures families are under right now and that’s why we’ve responded as we have,” Mr Johnson said.

Rashford is not the only young star working to help those in need during the pandemic.

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His teammate Jesse Lingard has taken part in charity FIFA tournaments to raise money for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Lately, as Britain moves to require people to wear face masks to limit the spread of COVID-19, Lingard has created new 12-pound “JLingz” masks, with all proceeds going to provide funds for the NHS.

Rashford’s achievement in forcing the policy change drew praise from the worlds of sport and politics.

Anne Longfield, England’s Children’s Commissioner, thanked Rashford for highlighting “the blight of holiday hunger”.

Manchester United’s official Twitter account said: “A hero. An inspiration. One of our own. We are so proud of you, Marcus Rashford.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters praised Rashford’s perseverance.

“It’s a really important and heart-moving cause so I offer my congratulations to him,” Masters said.

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In a statement, Rashford thanked British MPs for listening.

“This was never about me or you, this was never about politics, this was a cry out for help from vulnerable parents all over the country and I simply provided a platform for their voices to be heard,” he wrote.

“I stand proud today knowing that we have listened, and we have done what is right.”

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Colonial Brewing Co may change name after Shaad D’Souza anti-racism campaign


A craft beer brand will consider changing its name after a campaign from anti-racism activists and the decision by an independent chain of bottle shops to remove it from shelves.

Colonial Brewing Co, based in the Margaret River region in Western Australia, was accused of “creating nostalgia” for a period in history when Indigenous people “were killed en masse”.

Melbourne freelance journalist Shaad D’Souza has led the charge for Colonial to ditch its name for three years, but it picked up steam recently in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It appears to have been successful, with an overhaul of Colonial’s brand being considered.

Yesterday, Mr D’Souza shared the news with his Instagram followers that Blackhearts and Sparrows, an independent alcohol retailer, had dumped the brand.

“We will sell through any remaining stock that we currently have in stores and will be donating all profits from those sales to the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance,” it said in a message to him.

Today, Colonial Brewing Co issued a statement in response to “significant messages and comments” to say it’s considering changing the name.

“The brand and name Colonial Brewing Co was inherited in 2008 when purchased, what was at the time, a small microbrewery in Margaret River – it was not chosen, or intended to celebrate (colonisation),” the statement read.

“The name Colonial was given to the brewery as it was one of the first to establish itself in the well regarded wine region of Margaret River, colonialising the wine region with one of the first craft breweries.

“Over the past six months Colonial Brewing Co have undertaken a process to review and understand the options we have to approach the name considering the historical meaning.

“The process includes consultations with the appropriate parties to ensure a considered outcome is reached.”

RELATED: Renewed push to rename Coon Cheese hits stumbling block due to historic detail

In an interview with The Australian, Mr D’Souza insisted the name was inappropriate.

”My concern with a brand name like ‘Colonial Brewing’ is that it glorifies and glamorises the colonial process that destroyed cultures and countries across the globe,” he told The Australian.

“It is perverse for companies to gain profit by creating nostalgia for a time when First Nations people were killed en masse, and other cultures around the world were forced into conditions of poverty, slavery, disease, cultural decimation, and worse.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, WA Premier Mark McGowan said he believed the controversy was “taking (things) a bit far”.

“I don’t think it’s necessary but it’s a commercial decision for the company,” Mr McGowan told reporters.

The move comes in the wake of a renewed call for Australian cheese brand Coon to change its name, sparked by comedian Josh Thomas.

Mr D’Souza celebrated his victory yesterday, saying: “This is small in the scheme of things, not like anyone has solved racism lol and I know that corporate change is generally meaningless without structural change but I appreciate it.”

Coon was named in recognition of American cheesemaker Edward William Coon, who patented a new method of rapid production in the early 20th Century.





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Australian News

‘Serial Killer’ campaign with News Corp Australia triumps


How do you create a brand that is distinct and memorable? How do you achieve real cut through in the crowded non-profit market? How do you set an ambitious goal and achieve that goal within a week?

The Heart Foundation of Australia achieved all this with their Serial Killer campaign – a collaboration between the Heart Foundation and News Corp Australia – that has been named this week among the world’s most “Effective Marketing Brands” in the 2020 Global Effie Index.

Placing 43rd on the index, the Heart Foundation brand identity placed ahead other prominent Australian brands such as Officeworks and Tourism Australia.

“Serial Killer was deigned to put heart disease back at the top of the national agenda, and it certainly achieved that,” said Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

“Within a week of the campaign launch, we secured tri-party political support for a dedicated MBS item number for Heart Health Checks, which we estimated could prevent more than 9000 deaths and save $1.5 billion in healthcare costs over five years. The item number was officially introduced on April 1 last year,” Professor Kelly said.

“To be ranked on the Global Effie Index against so many global powerhouse brands with significant resources is a huge achievement for any organisation,” said Heart Foundation Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Taylor, “But even more so for a non-profit in a smaller market like Australia.”



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United Neighbours campaign reaches 30,000 Australians


A Melbourne man has arranged letter drops to more than 30,000 vulnerable people to check in on them during lockdown.

Sammy Swayn, a mindfulness and meditation teacher based in Melbourne, launched the #UnitedNeighbours campaign in the third week of March after lockdown was introduced.

It has since become a huge success, with thousands joining the call to help vulnerable people access groceries, medication or anything else they might need.

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RELATED: Man’s kind act feeds 1000 people

Mr Swayn started a United Neighbours Community Facebook page to mobilise his community and organise the letter drops, and soon 1300 locals had joined his kindness army.

Using the Facebook page, the volunteers co-ordinate letter drops so they don’t double up and can help as many in need as possible.

The page is filled with hundreds of Google Maps screenshots, pictured below, showing where the letters have been delivered.

The letter Mr Swayn and others have been handing out en masse reads: “Dear Neighbour. Your friendly neighbour checking in.

“Are you an elder or a person with vulnerable health without enough support in this difficult time?

“Please reach out if you must stay indoors and don’t have access to the resources you need.

“If you require groceries, medications or need any urgent errands run, we will try to co-ordinate something for you, while keeping safety precautions in mind.

“No cost, just kindness.”

Phone numbers are then written on the back.

Members of the community have been heartened by the initiative. Some people have called the phone numbers just to express their gratitude, while others revealed that this wasn’t the first offer of help they had received from perfect strangers.

“This morning I received a cute phone call from a little old man saying how grateful he was to have received the letter in the mail,” one #UnitedNeighbour volunteer posted on Facebook.

“He said it was very ‘Australian’ and thought to call and say thank you. He doesn’t need any help at the moment but sends us all good karma.”

“I got the leaflet last week. I am fine, upbeat, but just wanted to drop a line to thank you for your kindness and generosity,” another volunteer shared on Facebook.

“In the current restrictions just seeing the leaflet & #UnitedNeighbours effort warms my heart … A couple of ladies with a lil girl & dog did do a door knock after lockdown was imposed offering assistance too.”

Those 30,000 letter drops required 30,000 pieces of paper, and printing costs can be high – so Mr Swayn has asked for support from local printing companies.

“United Neighbours was created with the intention of helping those in need in these difficult and uncertain times brought on by COVID-19,” Mr Swayn said on the United Neighbours Facebook page.

“For those that don’t have the support of loved ones, as friendly neighbours, we are here to lend a helping hand.

“We are stronger as a team,” he finished.





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Optus launches A G’Day a Day campaign to combat social isolation


With the nation’s wellbeing currently taking a battering, Optus is urging Australians to get back to basics and reach out to mates on the blower.

The mental health initiative ‘A G’Day a Day’ launched today on social media, with celebrity ambassadors including Olympic great Ian Thorpe, fellow Olympic swimmer Mack Horton and media host Mel McLaughlin.

They are among many celebrities keen to inspire Australians to connect and check in with each other with a simple call.

“We’re on a mission to get Australians to video call each other and have a chat about what they are doing to stay positive,” said Thorpe.

Each day, Optus will share a star’s video call as they share their top positivity tips and encourage other Australians to do the same: check in on a friend, family member or colleague.

Optus’ head of marketing Mel Hopkins said A G’Day a Day is a natural response to the coronavirus crisis for a company whose very mission is all about connectivity.

“We are all adjusting to different ways of living, working and connecting, but at Optus, we are determined to do whatever we can to support our customers in this challenge.

“We also want to share ways (to connect) and encourage Australians to stay positive as we find new ways forward,” Ms Hopkins said.

Rugby 7s player Ellia Green, author and body image advocate Taryn Brumfitt, explorer Jade Hameister and 800m runner Joseph Deng are just some of the participating stars. Fans can also look forward to videos from cricket stars, musicians and even a race car driver.

At the same time, Optus is boosting eligible mobile data allowances and waiving some mobile charges for eligible health workers for three months, among other programs in response to the crisis. There are also solutions for customers experiencing immediate financial difficulties, because there has never been a more important time for all Australians to be able to reach out and stay in touch.



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