Voluntourism – helpful or harmful ?


Voluntourism can be considered as a booming travel trend, where tourists volunteer for charitable or developmental causes. These travellers generally seek this type of holiday, as they often have a desire to do something good and experience a different destination. According to Papi, 2012 Voluntourism is one of the biggest growth sectors in the tourism market. One of the most popular Voluntourism sectors is orphanage tourism, especially in Cambodia. For example, in 2011 UNICEF completed a report on Cambodian orphanages and orphans, the research found that ¾ of orphans had 1 or both parents still alive. This market can be considered to be fuelling the separation between children and their parents. This point brings me to an example.

In 2007 Oprah Winfrey opened a school in South Africa called the ‘Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls’. Oprah is a prime example of Celebrity activism. The purpose of the school was to provide disadvantaged young girls a quality education. As we all know the key to breaking down the poverty cycle is education. There was speculation at the time of the school opening that the school separated the young girls from their families, as the families were seen as a distraction to their learning. Although the school was established with good intentions, there have been some serious problems that have arisen (refer to ‘serious problems’ hyperlink for detailed article)

Opening of Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls South Africa

Opening of Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls South Africa

These good intentions of volountourists are causing catastrophic results without intention. Within the orphanages many of the children become traumatised because they form bonds and connections with volunteers, and then are left, which dramatically effects their mental development. As a result of this UNICEF ran a campaign attempting to voice the issue of concern with Voluntourism. Suffering children, surprisingly are NOT a tourist attraction, meaning they are not props for volountourists to play with and make themselves feel better.

Children are not tourist attractions

Children are not tourist attractions

Volunteerism can be quite damaging, the worst bit is, is that individuals who choose to go on these trips don’t realise the negative effect they are having. ‘ We must learn before we help, otherwise we are causing more harm than good’ states Daniela Papi during her ted Talk. This quote really hit home for me, it makes total sense! In order to actually do good and help we must learn, By learn I mean grasp an understanding that providing resources to a school doesn’t employ a teacher, or giving money to an orphanage doesn’t provide a better life for the orphans, rather a better life for the individuals who run the orphanage, otherwise the issue will never be resolved.


  • Farell, Denis. ‘Oprah & Students Cut The Ribbon At The School’s Opening Ceremony’,2009, 25 Aug. 2015.
  • Frew, Charlotte. ‘Volunteerism And Celebrity Activism’. 2015. Lecture.
  • Hughes, Dana. ‘Dead Newborn Found At Oprah’s School’. ABC News, 2011. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
  • Korkeakoski, Laura. ‘DOES VOLUNTOURISM FULFILL THE CRITERIA OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM?’Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, 2012. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
  • Leeder, Erin. ‘The Hidden Dangers Of Voluntourism’. Upstart Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
  • TedXTalks,‘Whats Wrong With Volunteer Travel ?’. 2012. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
  • org, ‘When Children Become Tourist Attractions’, 2015. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.

Hitting the Glass Ceiling … Ouch !


Feminism can be considered a movement that is working towards improving social, political and economic equality of women. This is, was and always will be a major topic of discussion, especially with regards to equality of women in the workplace. The glass ceiling concept defined by the business dictionary, 2015 as ‘as invisible, but real barrier through which the next level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached by a section of qualified and deserving employees. Such barriers exist due to implicit prejudice on the basis of age, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, and/or sex.’

An example of the glass ceiling effect is in the fashion industry, as Emma Watson pointed out in her video with British Vogue.


Watson stated in an interview with Daily Life ‘the fashion Industry remains predominately a mans world, women are underrepresented on both head creative and executive level’. Watson understands that her 4-minute video isn’t going to change the issue over-night; rather she aims for it to be a conversation starter, to engage with people and this feminist issue. The video consists of Watson asking questions to fashion designers such as Stella McCartney. The questions asked raise points with regards to the role the industry plays in addressing gender inequalities, what feminism is, what are women and men’s rights. Just to name a few.

In an article from WWD, the author who interviewed many high flying fashion CEOs and executives state that that fashion industry and the glass ceiling is moving forward, and there is no reason as to why it can’t move faster. CEO of Tory Burch, Tory Burch stated, “Women need to start taking a stand and not being scared…the word ‘ambition’ should not be a four-letter word. It’s something I think women should embrace. There’s been something of a stigma to that word.” One key possibility that is said to be stopping women from the executive roles is education and qualifications, though research from the Census Bureau in the US found Women 25 and older hold 51.6 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees, 55.2 percent of the Master’s degrees and 37.6 percent of the Doctoral degrees in the U.S.

The class ceiling seems to be slowly breaking, I wonder how long it will take until it completely shatters…


  • British Vogue, Emma Watson: Fashion On Gender Equality. 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.
  • com, ‘What Is A Glass Ceiling? Definition And Meaning’, 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
  • Clark, Evan. ‘Women At Work: Fashion’s Glass Ceiling Prevails’. WWD, 2012. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
  • flashgitz,. FEMINAZI – #Glassceiling. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
  • Frew, Charlotte. ‘Feminism Feminazis: Why We Need Feminism No Matter What’. 2015. Lecture.
  • Keirans, Maeve. ‘Watch Emma Watson Quiz Top Designers On Feminism, Gender Equality, And More’. MTV News, 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
  • Lee-Joe, Kathleen. ‘Emma Watson Calls Out Sexism In The Fashion Industry’. Daily Life, 2015. Web. 18 Aug. 2015.

‘Othering’ and ‘Blackface’

Othering is a concept, which according to Dervin consists of objectification of another person or group, creating an ‘other’ which ignores the subjectivity of the individual. The concept allows for individuals to create ‘sameness’ and ‘difference’ to affirm their own identity’. Lets break it down…

This concept derived from western ideology where white people know best, do best and are the best, and any individuals who are not white are non-conformant. Blatant racism is still common, though there is a new established ‘under the radar form of racism’ called ‘casual racism’. This type of racism can be considered to be insidious and unconscious, though just as damaging as blatant racism. Along with casual racism is the way society / individuals have attempted to ‘appropriate it’. There are many examples of where traditional culture / practices are attempted to be appropriated.

For example the banning of traditional native headdresses at the Montreal Music festival earlier in the year. The organisation posted on the Facebook site for the festival ‘Please note that First Nations Headdresses are not permitted at the festival, respect and honour (First Nations) people’. This is a It’s a deeply meaningful cultural emblem that cannot in any way be appropriated.

Another under the radar example is the ink of traditional tribal tattoos, especially of the South Pacific. Nowadays every so called ‘tough guy’ has a traditional tribal tattoo, though may not be immersed in that particular culture, again this form of traditional and cultural symbol is a casual form of racism.

Blackface is a more traditional example that can be related to othering. This term can be defined by the Urban Dictionary as the application of make-up to a white performer to make them look black, accompanied by a trivial performance, intended to make the individual look ‘buffoonish’. The make-up was worn by men and women who would ridicule slaves on plantations. This is a prime example of blatant racism.

Controversy around Kylie Jenner posting a head shot of herself that created a lot of conversation whether or not the picture was a representation of blackface or appropriation. After the backlash, Kylie deleted the photo on Instagram and reposted the photo explaining that there was no intention to illustrate blackface, rather it was an artistic effect using black and neon lights as well as metallic makeup.

Kylie Jenner Blackface

Kylie Jenner Blackface

The appropriation of ‘black face’ and ‘othering’ today is still a major concern within our society. I feel that people need to be more sensitive towards cultures, religion, ethnicity and historical moments.


– Dervin, F ‘Cultural identity, representation, and Othering’, p. 7

– Frew, Charlotte. ”Othering’ ‘Blackface’ And Appropriation #Doblacklivesmatter?’. 2015. Lecture.

– Pop Trigger,. Kylie Jenner Blackface Controversy. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

– Rose, Nick. ‘Osheaga Has Officially Banned First Nations Headdresses’. Noise by Vice, 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

Why won’t the kids eat Healfy ? Jamie Oliver and Food Warriors

Jamie Oliver is a world-renowned celebrity chef, he is known more so now for his efforts to encourage and develop healthy eating habits in school canteens. In 2002, Jamie set up ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation’. Within the foundation Jamie runs different programmes. The most influential programme ‘Kitchen Garden project’ is where Jamie teaches school children about food, more specifically, where it comes from, how to cook it, how if effects their health, providing recipes, knowledge and confidence to cook to develop healthy eating habits. Oliver understands that it is not just the child’s responsibility to eat healthy or have the money to eat fresh ingredients, though through his education he attempts to bridge the gap between children and diet related diseases.

Pete Evans is another celebrity chef, that like Jamie Oliver believes in healthy eating. Evans is best known for his Paleo diet he designed.

Paleo Pete

Paleo Pete

Though he claims that the diet can cure Asthma and autism, and the diet is the perfect way for individuals to achieve their perfect weight and body goals. Though the last point may be half true, the claims of curing asthma and autism have not been proven, this has left ‘Paleo Pete’ in hot water, but surprisingly not his reputation. A more extreme example of a food warrior is Belle Gibson. Now if you don’t know who she is or what she did you have to be shot. Gibson claimed that she fought brain cancer by a plant-based diet, revealing the truth obviously got her in hot water, though I am surprised that no one before she spoke worked it out, does a brain cancer patient look like this?

Belle Gibson - Brain Cancer Survivor NOT

Belle Gibson – Brain Cancer Survivor NOT

These so-called food warriors are what’s wrong with the food industry today. There is so much confusion and conflicting information in regards to what you should and should not eat. Jamie Olivers programme is a great basis for developing knowledge that can be enriched as people grow older, hoping that the information learnt will enable them to read between the lines with regards to fad diets and uncorroborated claims of cures.


– De Brito, Sam. ‘Pete Evans Can Test Paleo Diet Claims When He Gets Sick’. The Sydney Morning Herald. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

– Frew, Charlotte. ‘From Jamie Oliver To Wellness Warriors’. 2015. Lecture.

– Heisler, Yoni. ‘Meet The Ios Developer Who Lied About Having Brain Cancer To Sell More Apps’. BGR. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

– Oliver, Jamie. ‘The Need | The Kitchen Garden Project’. Kitchen Garden Project. N.p., 2015. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.

-Penton, Gus. Jamie Oliver Wants The Kids’ Food Helfy. 2013. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

Diversity is an old old wooden ship, that was used during the civil war era’ Ron Burgundy – Anchor Man



The first female newsreader on commercial Prime-Time television was Gail Jarvis in the late 1970s.

Gail Jarvis - First anchor woman in Australia

Gail Jarvis – First anchor woman in Australia

In the following decades there has been quite an increase in the number of female news presenters on national television. However one has to ask the question ‘why is the life-span of their role seemingly a lot shorter than their male counterparts’. How is it that men can read the news so much better than women? It surely isn’t that hard to read off an autocue, Apparently if you are female it must be very tricky. SBS Lin Lee Chin goes completely against this convention, not only is she female, she is not Anglo-Saxon and she is a mature woman.

Lin Lee Chin - SBS Anchor

Lin Lee Chin – SBS Anchor

This brings me to the point in regards to women’s glass ceiling in the news media industry. ‘The glass ceiling for Australian women journalists is found at the senior professional level (senior writers, editors and anchors, among other experienced reporting staff), where women have inched toward parity with men at 40.4 per cent (Lois North, 2012)’. You only need to view the 6PM bulletin on any of the free to air channels to witness the fact that women are under represented in the role of an anchor. Women however fulfil the role quite well of the ‘weather girl’

Mark Ferguson Channel 7 6PM news anchor

Mark Ferguson Channel 7 6PM news anchor

Sarah Cumming Channel 7 weather presenter

Sarah Cumming Channel 7 weather presenter

What we need to question here is, what is the basis on which they (media giants) decide on who should be the face of the news? Is it based on gender, looks, age or qualifications? If one was to do a study based on the appearance of an anchor, it would be apparent that gender… be male is an advantage and if you happen to be female… don’t be over the age of 45 (unless you read for SBS or the ABC).

As Julie Burton, president of the Woman’s’ Media Centre, was quoted: ‘ While media is the most powerful economic and cultural force today, it still falls far too short in its representation of women… the numbers demonstrate that the glass ceiling extends across al media platforms…we’re still not seeing equal participation. That means we are only using half our talent and usually hearing half of the story’.


– Angryman1,. Anchor Man – Diversity. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

– FlumDum2,. Anchor Man – Office Scene. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

– Marcotte, Michael. ‘Gender Inequality In Public Media Newsrooms’. MVM Consulting. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

– North, Louise. ‘Women’s Struggle For Top Jobs In The News Media’. SSRN Journal n. pag. Web.

Pandoras Box : How much does technology REALLY cost ?

The hidden cost of media use falls under a rather large umbrella. The one being the biggest and most influential cost is the life of someone. From experiment to research paper, we may as well come to a conclusion that our technology will eventually swallow us and spit us out whole (if it hasn’t done so already). Lets take the Apple IPhone for a prime example. The company uses minerals known as conflict minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) to produce components of the IPhone. Conflict minerals are sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This mineral trade is the main fund for armed groups such as the Militias.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, E-Waste can be defined as ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment that is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to function’. E-waste is mostly produced in wealthy nations like Australia, Europe, United States and Asia and shipped off to developing countries such as Ghana, Africa. Children as young as 5 salvage minerals such as copper in order to scrape together a living, they burn the plastic off the wires which causes highly consequential health issues such as burns, cuts, headaches the inhalation of fumes and smoke. E-waste also effects the environment. Because the technology is dumped, it adds to the already overcrowded landfill sites and peoples habitats. Inner Mongolia Baotou lake is a prime example of where E-Waste is impacting on our environment.

Baotou Lake Mongolia

Baotou Lake Mongolia

I think it is fair to say that technology today is designed and produced for planned obsolescence. Also known as ‘Designed for the Dump’.

Bringing you back to Apple and the manufacturing of their technology such as the IPhone and IPad moves me to the issue of sweatshops. Within the FoxCon factory in China, the Apple IPhone and IPad are produced many matters of concern have erupted from the factory. The working conditions of these employees are horrendous. In 2010 Foxconn workers were given a raise to $298 per month, or $10 a day, or less than $1 an hour. Some employees work up to 70 hours per week. These statistics are just a snippet of the working conditions these desperate people work in to make a living. In 2011 18 employees were so discouraged by the conditions of an Apple Supplier Plant they killed themselves.

These ‘hidden’ costs bring me to the topic of ‘greening the media’. ‘Greening the media focuses on the environmental impact of media- the myriad ways of that media technology consumes, despoils and wastes natural resources’ (Maxwell, R. and Miller, T. 2012) Maxwell and Miller have also developed that concept of Green Citizenship which illustrates ways in which society can ‘reuse, reduce and recycle’.

– ABS.gov.au,. ‘Electronic And Electrical Waste’. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

– Blodget, Henry. ‘Apple’S Sweatshop Problem: 16 Hour Days, ~70 Cents An Hour’. Yahoo Finance. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

– Enough Project,. Conflict Minerals 101. 2009. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

– Maughan, Tim. ‘The Dystopian Lake Filled By The World’S Tech Lust’. BBC Future. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

– Maughan, Tim. Baotu Toxic Lake. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

– Maxwell, R. and Miller, T. (2012). ‘Introduction’ in Greening the Media, Oxford University Press, pp. 1-20.

– SBS ONE,. E-Waste Hell. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

– The Story of Us Project,. The Story Of Electronics. 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

– Vinter, Phil. ‘2,000 In Staff Riot At Iphone’s Chinese ‘Sweatshop’ Factory After ‘Guard Beats Up Worker”. Mail Online. N.p., 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Behind the Great Wall- Same Same but different

Social media nowadays is the way in which most people communicate. These platforms have taken over Western countries. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are the biggest contributors to the consumption of our daily life. Though some people around the globe can be considered not to be connected with the rest of us. This is especially evident in China.

China has one of the stickiest Internet systems. Some consider the Chinese Internet more like an ‘Intranet’ hence the term ‘Firewall’.

China's Firewall

‘The Chinese government has attempted to control online content via several different targets, including Internet content providers, individual consumers, and content on foreign websites’. (Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology pg. 128.) The initial reason for filtering the Internet in China was based as a means to regulate viruses and spams. This concept was then harnessed by the Chinese Government to filter ‘objectionable’ IP addresses. Meaning that the government blocks/ filters the Internet so that ‘sensitive’ or ‘inappropriate’ content is not accessible to citizens.

China's social media  firewall

A Boston consulting group study found that the Chinese Internet users are online for average 2.7 hours a day; In 2012 Chinese citizens were engrossed in social media for 40% of their day. This has resulted in a nickname ‘netizens’. Even though China netizens do not have access to western social media sites, they have created the same but different. Social media is very fragmented and local. The main reason as to why social media sites are different in the east is not only because of censorship but also the Internet usage is driven by ‘culture, language, levels of economic development and underlying digital ecosystems’ (China Business review, 2011)

‘Youku & Tudou’ is the china’s YouTube. This site is filled with much longer content. 70% of the content on this site is used for professional reasons, as opposed to How the West use YouTube for cat videos. ‘Youku & Tudou’ are considered to be more online television stations. This is a representation of the users of such sites; most users are young Chinese university students.

‘Sina Weibo’ is the equivalent of the West’s Twitter. This social media site is China’s largest micro-blogging platform in China. The concept of this site is similar to Twitter (140 characters to write a message, users can follow friends etc) Though the difference is that ‘Sina Weibo’ allows users to post videos and photos, comment on others statements and adding comments when reposting a friends message.

These social media sites in China ensure that citizens are not missing out on the multifaceted way of communication. Though there are questions regarding whether or not the filtering of Internet content in China is ‘too’ restricting. Journalists around the globe have particularly brought this to light.

‘Western news organisations consider it a badge of honor to be filtered on China’. Many news organisations make it their mission to ensure that their content reaches all those who wish to see it, despite the governments control.

The greatest message we can receive after delving into the great wall of social media in China is that many netizens cannot distinguish between interacting on social media sites and the use of the Internet itself.


– Berkman Center for Internet & Society,. Internet Filtering In China. USA: Harvey Law School, 2003. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

– Chinabusinessreview.com,. ‘Social Media In China: The Same, But Different | China Business Review’. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

– Lee, Jyh-An; Liu, Ching-UJ.L Sci & Tech (2012), ‘Forbidden City Enclosed by the Great Firewall: The Law and Power of Internet Filtering’, 10th April 2014.

– Mckinsey,. ‘Understating Social Media In China’. Morning Whistle 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

– Zittrain, Jonathan. ‘China And Internet Filters’. Nieman Reports 58.2 (2004): n. pag. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.