How We'll Keep Paying for the Flood Crisis
Bmag, January 2011
It only took a matter of hours for Stephen Rumley's entire livelihood to wash away. A co-owner and full-time worker at Francey's Patisserie in the heart of Rosalie, the water rose so quickly the early hours of Wednesday 12 January that he and his partner Lim Kheany didn't have time to rescue their stock, much less their cabinets, baking equipment, and electrical items. Nearly two weeks later, the floors have been scrubbed and the cabinetry ripped out, but the owners face a damage bill of at least $150,000 — and that's not including lost income.
The Battle for Ashgrove
Bmag, January 2012
Walking through the busy shopping strip of central Ashgrove, you would never know it's the scene of an intense political stoush. The suburb is part of the state electorate of the same name, which also takes in nearby Newmarket, The Gap, Gaythorne, Alderley, and Enoggera — and the bustling, affluent community is the make-or-break seat in the upcoming state election on 24 March.
Pet Medium? Animal Whisperer? You Decide...
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I'm not even halfway through my interview with pet medium Amanda De Warren when she interrupts me to ask if I've ever owned a cat.
One moment we're discussing her former work at Australia Zoo and Dreamworld and then, suddenly, without any prompting, she is consoling me over the death of my family's bad-tempered, 14-year-old cat five years ago. "He was a cranky old bugger, and he's still that way," she says with a hearty laugh. "He's actually a bit sorry for being a bit bad-tempered."
Death of a Tradesman
Bmag, October 2012
Many independent jewellers say they can't afford to take on apprentices due to reduced customer spending, competition from overseas imports, and the advent of computer-generated design programs. The trade is listed on the federal government's list of skill shortages in Queensland. Incentives are available for employers but Karl Schwantes says it's still too expensive for struggling small businesses ... he's concerned that unless incentives increase, custom-made jewellery will become a thing of the past.
Bullies: Why They Do It
Softly spoken and polite, 14-year-old James* seems an unlikely school bully. He wants to be a police officer one day, or maybe join the army, he enjoys playing tennis and hanging out with his grandparents. But at school, for as long as he can remember, James has been in trouble constantly for picking on other kids.
Top 50 Apps
Bmag, October 2011
Whether you're an Apple tragic or Google Android convert, there's little doubt that smartphones are changing the way we live. Smartphone ownership is steadily increasing in Australia ... at the same time, the number of apps for smartphones and tablets have exploded, with apps available for everything from shopping to restaurant guides to games and the downright weird (Lightsaber Duel, anyone?)