September’s Good News Debrief

Below is a comprehensive list of all the good news I’ve come across in September. I hope it serves as a reminder that the world is good, and it’s always getting better.

1. Australia’s carbon emission lowest since 1998 

“coronavirus travel restrictions have resulted in the lowest carbon emissions in Australia since 1998” According to the Federal Government greenhouse gas inventory report, in June 2020, carbon dioxide emissions were sound to be 10 million tonnes lower than a year ago, reduced by 8 percent. (The West Australian, 30th August)

2. Promising breast cancer research

A Western Australian study has found bee venom has been found to be effective in killing aggressive breast cancer cells. The key ingredient in honeybee venom, melittin, has shown to kill cancer cell membranes within 60 minutes leaving minimal effects on normal cells. (PerthNow, 2nd September)

3.Developments in Afghanistan’s women’s rights

An amendment has been signed by the Afghan President allowing Mother’s names to be included on their children’s birth certificate. The change follows a campaign using the hashtag #whereismyname, where “campaigners are fighting an ingrained Afghan tradition that states using a woman’s name in public brings shame on the family. Instead, women are publicly referred to by the name of their closest male relatives.” (ABC, 17th September)

4.New diversity measures taken by Academy Awards 

The Oscars have announced new diversity measures addressing gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability. Films now must meet two of the four broad standards to be eligible for best picture starting in 2024. The standards extend across actors, behind the scenes crew, paid apprenticeships, internships, marketing and publicity teams. Although the changes are seen by some as a publicity strategy, the new diversity measures open up needed discussion about under represented minority groups. (The West Australian, 19th September).

5. Increases in rainfall to help struggling farmers

“Australia is preparing for a bumper harvest after one of the worst droughts on record with New South Wales leading the way, predicting a 300% year-on-year increase.” Increases in rainfall means overall production will increase by 60% each year and bring some economic recovery to the industry. Post pandemic, the increased rainfall will provide struggling farmers with a line a cash flow, helping their covid recovery effort immensely. (The Guardian, 22nd September)

6. Sniffer dogs used to detect Ms Rona        

Helsinki airport in Finland has started using trained sniffer-dogs to detect the presence of covid-19. The dogs can easily detect coronavirus within ten seconds and offer a promising alternative method to tracking the virus. The dogs’ abilities are proving to be close to 100% accurate. (The Guardian, 24th September)

7. First Indigenous person to win Archibald prize 

Vincent Namatjira, has become the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald prize. The prize was awarded to Namatjira for his painting titled ‘Stand Strong for Who You Are’ which shows imagery of former footballer Adam Goodes clasping hands with Namatjira. Namatjira received $100,000 with the award and makes history as the first indigenous person to receive the prize in its 99-year history. (the Guardian. 25th September)

8. Investments in women and children’s crisis support   

“More than $3 million will be spent on building and buying inner city apartments in Perth for women and children fleeing domestic violence under a Federal Government scheme to boost crisis accommodation”. The funding is predicted to help more than 300 people per year. (The West Australian printed newspaper, 28th September)

9. Research brings hope for the survival of Bilbies

A team of scientists from UNSW have started processes of ‘accelerated evolution’ on bilbies to give them better chances of surviving from predators. The research is seeing promising results, with bilbies learning new behaviour to escape introduces threats such as cats and foxes. The research around ‘accelerated evolution’ could be used for other native species in efforts to saving Australia’s biodiversity. (Triple J Hack, 29th September)

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