Category: PAKMAG

Finding Our Place – Wuchopperen Children and Family Centre

At our Children and Family Centre at Wuchopperen, we are always looking at how we implement our team’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledge into our programming. It helps us to foster a child’s personal and cultural development. Some of these lessons are unique to each country (did you know there are over 500 different countries in Australia!). But, we can apply some of these lessons to all children. For example, how we find our place and develop our identity. 

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures one of the most significant parts of a child’s upbringing is their connection with their mob, family and kin. While family connection is important for all children, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, it is not just our immediate nucleus family that play an important and lasting role in our lives. We have a wider circle of complex family ties; often with many brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunties, uncles and cousins. They all play significant and differing roles in teaching and guiding us as we grow. Often our siblings are see as an extension of ourselves. Children will often refer to them as “Mum” or “Dad” too as we move into becoming parents. 

Our identity and family influence so many aspects of life. This includes not just how we interact with our immediate family, but within our extended families and wider communities.

Understanding the importance of our roles within our families and communities is crucial to our identities. We encourage our children to explore their roles. It’a crucial to develop self-esteem and an understanding of their worthiness. In fact, modern psychotherapy tells us that children who have knowledge of identity and high levels of self-esteem will go on to perform better in all areas of their adult lives. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been implementing practices supporting these ideals for thousands of years.

From early childhood, we know who our mob is and where we are from. This knowledge is then embedded in our family identity, our language and our connection to our country.

If your family aren’t Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, have a think about how your child develops their identity. This includes their cultural or community identity as well as their personal identity. If you want to explore more on this theme, our playgroups at the Wuchopperen Children and Family Centre are open to all families with children under 5 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. In these Playgroups you and your child can learn all about our different cultures, and maybe share a thing or two with us too!

Article written by Wuchopperen Health Service. 

Read more PakMag blogs here. 

 

 

 

Four Homemade Gifts For Father’s Day That Your Dad Will Love

Here are four great homemade gifts that you can craft for your dad. We promise they’ll help make this Father’s Day extra special! They aren’t too difficult and don’t require many materials – perfect for loving yet manageable gifts. 

Egg Carton Portrait of Dad

What You Need

Egg Cartons

Scissors

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Paint (optional) and paintbrush

Method

Use the scissors, or a craft knife if you have supervision, to cut the shape of your dad’s head out of an egg carton. It can be round, rectangle, square, oval, whatever you decide is best! Try and use a picture of dad’s face to get the shape as close as possible to his real head.

Use the rest of the egg carton to cut out the eyes, nose, eyebrows and mouth for the face – use the picture above for reference. 

Then use the hot glue gun, or craft/PVA glue if you have it, to stick each part of the face onto the ‘head’.

If you want to, you can use paint to colour in the head and face. Or just paint the hair on and the eye colour. Your dad will love it. 


Paper Shirt with Pasta Bow Tie

What You Need

Rectangular piece of coloured or patterned paper

Pasta bows (farfalle pasta)

Acrylic paint for the bow ties

Hot glue gun 

Method

Paint the piece or multiple pieces of bowtie pasta with a layer of paint. Once the base layer is dry, add a pattern on top such as stripes or polka dots, in a different colour of paint.

Take the piece of paper and follow the directions below to create a mini shirt. With parental help, use the hot glue gun to stick the bowtie onto the shirt.


Pillow for Papa

What You Need

White pillow case

Fabric markers

Piece of cardboard roughly the same size as pillow case

Method

Practice drawing or writing your message on paper while working out exactly what you want it to be. Before using the fabric markers, use a pencil to sketch the message out on the pillow case, particularly if it includes a picture that’s harder to draw.

Slide the cardboard into the pillow case so that it provides a harder surface to work on and holds the case open, like it would be with a pillow inside. This also prevents the markers from leaking through to the other side.

Now you can create your masterpiece! You could also write a different message on the other side.

Once complete, remove the cardboard and replace it with the pillow.


Handprint Gardening Gloves

What You Need

Thin, small rubber gloves

Gardening gloves

Fabric paint

Black fabric marker

Method

Put a large blob of fabric paint onto a hard surface that can be washed or thrown out, like a painting palette.

Put on a rubber glove and stick your hand into the paint, making sure to cover all of your fingers and the palm. Now stick your hand onto the gardening glove, pressing it down for a few seconds.

Lastly, write your name on the gardening glove too, especially if you only did one glove and a sibling did the other.

 

You can find more arts and crafts blogs here. 

 

 

 

Shave Dollars Off Your Energy Bill with Smart Household Appliances

With many Aussies still working from home on a full-time or part-time basis, looming bill shock may be anticipated. For those mindful of the spike in energy usage, everyday household appliances may be the power-draining items to look out for. With around 30 per cent of total household energy consumption coming from appliances, it can pay to check the energy star rating.

You might think you are saving money by not purchasing new appliances. However, an old fridge in the garage or dated washing machine may be using more energy than you think – and eating a hole through your wallet along the way.

If you are wondering how much you can save on your energy bill by having a more efficient appliance, we have calculated the amount saved on a five-star model compared with a three-star model using the Energy Rating Calculator.

For example, a three-star rated, two-door 400L fridge and freezer costs $106.44 annually to run, while a similar model with a five-star energy rating costs $63.11. This could see you save $43.33 annually and more than $400 over ten years.

Appliance
Star rating
Annual running cost
Annual savings by using five-star model

Fridge

3 stars

$106.44

$43.33

5 stars

$63.11

Television

3 stars

$73.85

$26.59

5 stars

$47.26

Washing machine

3 stars

$121.64

$56.82

5 stars

$64.82

Dishwasher

3 stars

$73.74

$37.61

5stars

$36.13

Dryer

3 stars

$50.16

$13.92

5 stars

$36.24

*All savings are indicative, based on an average Queensland electricity rate of 26.2 c/kWh and using the default sizes and number of uses as set by the Energy Rating Calculator for each appliance.

= $178.27 in total

 

To avoid throwing unnecessary dollars toward your energy bill, be sure to check the star rating on your common household items. It’s a good idea to understand how the energy usage works on appliances. If you find you need an upgrade, it pays to know how the energy rating system works and what’s behind each of the stars on the label so you can make informed purchases. Most appliances are rated out of six stars, with the most advanced models being rated out of 10. Each star indicates how much energy the appliance uses, which can then be compared with other models of the same size or similar capacity.

To help Aussies reduce their power bill, below are four tips for reducing energy consumption on common household appliances.

  1. Set your fridge between three and four degrees Celsius to conserve energy. By keeping your fridge at this optimal temperature, it will not have to work as hard to stay cool. Anything below this mark will use an extra five per cent of energy. The same scale applies to freezers, which should be set between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius.
  2. Wash with cold water and use the clothesline. Depending on what model of washing machine you have, a hot water cycle uses approximately 50-80 per cent more energy than cold water. Instead of using the dryer, use the clothesline where possible for zero energy cost – particularly in the warmer months where clothes can dry naturally in just a few hours.
  3. Use the dishwasher sparingly. Reduce the number of times that you run your dishwasher each week by only doing a load when it is full. To further conserve energy, open the door to let utensils dry instead of using the drying cycle. Hot water is also a major energy-sucker, so make sure you set the temperature to as low as possible and use cold water if you are pre-rinsing your dishes.
  4. Downsize your TV screen. With the average Aussie home having two or more televisions,[4] choosing a smaller model that is more energy-efficient can help reduce household bills. The type of screen also contributes to energy consumption, with LED and LCDs using less electricity than plasma screens.

It is recommended that Aussies compare energy providers to double-check whether they are on the best plan from their energy provider or if they can cut costs even further by switching. To find a plan that suits your needs the most, free online comparison websites like this compare usage rates and plans from the country’s top providers.


About the Author

Abigail Koch is a household savings expert at Compare the Market. Abigail provides her expertise on various ways Aussies can reduce their bills and household expenses. Having a young family herself, Abigail is passionate about empowering consumers to seek out the best providers and insurance policies to suit their lifestyle and needs. For more information about how to compare and switch energy plans, banking products and insurance policies, visit comparethemarket.com.au.

 

Learn more ways to save money here. 

 

 

How to Fight Fairly in Your Relationship

There has never been a better time to learn how to fight fairly.

Around the world couples have spent many months in social isolation, naturally uncovering the hidden or not so hidden differences of opinion, personal quirks and values. Even the happiest of couples, when put under these conditions, are having to deal with a wealth of relational issues. Learning how to deal with these differences effectively, not only stops them from growing out of proportion but also prevents couples from emotionally distancing themselves in order to cope. To have a beautiful relationship, you need to be on the same page, have each other’s back, laugh at life’s daily silliness and fight. Yes, you read that right! Fight. The goal isn’t to be a couple that never fights because that isn’t a healthy relationship either.

Healthy conflict in a relationship allows the couple to understand each other’s inner world and work together as a team, because it’s not so much what you’re saying that’s causing the friction, but often how you’re saying it.

Of course, there are certain red flag fights where it would be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional. These include the arguments over infidelity, arguments that involve physical violence, intimidation, strong language or that involve children. There is often a list of hot topics that can set couples up for a disagreement. These could be finances, parenting, in-laws, friends, imbalance of responsibility and more. However, there are often everyday things that couples end up having a fight over too. These include the dirty dishes that are sitting next to the sink, or yet “another” online shopping delivery. While struggles over everyday occurrences that get under each other’s skin can seem cliché, it’s very real. Fortunately, there are some easy, go-to strategies you can both use to relieve the tension.

Why is it that some couples have no problem discussing these topics when others end up giving each other the silent treatment? It all comes down to how you both approach the subject. Here are the five best things to do to fight fairly.

  1. Start how you intend to finish

If you know that you need to raise the issue about the dirty dishes, again, then the outcome of the conversation is very much dependent on how you start it. If you come in guns blazing, your partner is automatically going to get defensive. Then neither of you are going to hear the other one because you’re too busy trying to prove why each of you are right. Soften how you start the conversation, be aware of your tone, body language and choice of language. “Why are there dirty dishes in the sink?” versus “I notice there are more dishes in the sink…”

  1. Listen to understand, before being understood

Try to understand where your partner is coming from before you launch into all of your reasons. Once your partner gets everything off their chest and feels like you can understand where they’re coming from and how they feel, a lot of the emotional charge will be released from the conversation. The mantra you need to remember is “I understand what you’re saying, what you’re feeling and where you’re coming from.”

  1. Discuss the issue at hand and not the whole story

When we’re in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of when, where, why and who said what. Try to avoid getting bogged down with these as they’re often not necessary in dealing with the issue that you’re fighting over. For example “When I notice the pile of dishes on the kitchen sink…”. Versus, “Yesterday, you left out three mugs and I asked you to move them. In the afternoon when I came home from the shops, and they still weren’t touched, I sent you a message….”

  1. You’re not actually fighting over those dishes

Usually behind every fight over the ordinary mundane things lies an emotional root cause. If you take the time to figure out why the action or lack of action from your partner is causing you to feel angry, frustrated or annoyed, you’ll usually find the emotional reason. Expressing this creates a softer conversation than going in with blame and attack.

For example, dirty dishes in the sink = I don’t feel valued or I feel like I’m being taken for granted.

  1. For every unhappy interaction we need at least five happy ones

While this point isn’t about what to do during a fight, it’s an important one to engage in after the fight. It’s also important to maintain when you’re not fighting. Couples need to have a wealth of happy, positive interactions to keep the warmth and connection alive. These positive interactions are investments into the overall happiness of the relationship. When you have banked plenty of positivity, then one negative interaction or fight doesn’t take away the vitality of the whole relationship. According to research, couples are only emotionally available to each other 9 per cent of the time – ouch! So that pretty much guarantees we will spend the other 91 per cent of the time mismatching our communication and understanding.

Naturally conflict is going to happen. It can be a greater way for couples to increase their understanding of their partner’s inner world. Fortunately, when our positive interactions take over, the impact of those fights about nothing will diminish. That’s a pretty good reason to learn how to fight fairly.

Julia Nowland is the founder of Whole Heart Relationships. She specialises in helping parents of young children prioritise their relationship and strengthen their love. You can find out more on her website here. 

Read more PakMag blogs here. 

 

 

 

What is Gravity and Who Discovered it? – STEAM

Have your ever wondered what pulls you back to the ground when you jump, or why a ball always lands on the ground after you throw it? Well, the great scientist Sir Isaac Newton wondered about this too. Newton is famous for several incredible things however he is most well-known for creating the theory of universal gravity.

Around 1666, legend has it that after watching an apple fall from the tree, he realised that there had to be something pulling that apple to the ground and he wanted to understand what it was. Other scientists had thought about this before of course and had also made some great discoveries. Galileo discovered that dropping two objects from the same height would result in them hitting the ground at the same time, no matter their difference in weight. However, there can’t really be any air resistance. If you drop a feather and a bowling ball at the same time, the bowling ball will always hit the ground first… unless all the air is taken out of the room! This experiment shows that the force pulling the two objects to the ground is the same. To see this yourself, drop a half-filled water bottle and one empty water bottle, both the same size, from the same height. They will land on the ground at the same time.

Newton’s curiosity alongside his intelligence meant that after years of thinking about gravity, he developed some amazing new theories of his own. He even used maths to complete calculations on gravity that supported these theories. This math showed how invisible gravity worked and also provided a possible explanation as to the whole shape of our universe.

Newton’s Theories

Newton wrote that gravity was the force pulling two masses together and that it applied to objects of all sizes. The larger an object was, the more it attracted other objects. Up until this point, nobody could really explain how the orbits of the planets and moon worked…although they definitely tried and came up with some interesting ideas. Thanks to Newton, people began to understand that gravitational pull (or attraction) is the reason why planets orbit the Sun and don’t simply fly off into space. Even the Earth’s moon orbits Earth perfectly without being sling shotted into the galaxy! This, along with many other reasons, makes gravity extremely important to us and helps our world function the way it does.

Fun Fact

The moon’s surface gravity is weaker because it is not as massive as Earth and is only about 60% as dense. That’s why astronauts appear to bounce when they’re on the moon and why people weigh less on it. If you weigh 60 kilograms on Earth, you would weigh about 10 kilograms on the moon!

Understanding the Effects of Gravity

Gravity is a force that we feel and experience every single day of our lives. Although we cannot see gravity, we can see the effect it has. For example, it is what makes round objects roll down a hill and it is what makes a glass shatter when you drop it. Engino’s Inertia, Momentum, Kinetic and Potential Energy kit makes understanding gravity, as well as the basics of physics and mechanics, easy. You can construct different objects and witness yourself how gravity affects them, plus so much more.

Resources: 

You can find more fun gravity experiments here. 

Read more STEAM blogs here. 

Learn about Isaac Newton’s life and scientific discoveries with this awesome book. 

Engino’s Inertia, Momentum, Kinetic and Potential Energy – Get 15% OFF WITH CODE PakMag15

 

 

The Thing Is…My Kids Ask Me 100 Questions! – with Bree James

One of the things about being a parent is; you get asked A LOT of questions. Everything from “Why is the sky blue?”, to “Why do dogs sniff each other’s butts?” And don’t forget “Why do I have to wear underpants?” Plus some of these questions aren’t even from our kids, they are from our significant other. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the constant questioning does my head in.

The thing is, I do love that my children are inquisitive. Some of the questions they ask are really quite interesting and I am so thankful for Google. When I was a kid, my mum would send me to the encyclopedia set on the shelf and I’d have to look it up myself. Otherwise I would just live with the fact that I’m not going to have an answer after many days or even weeks of pondering it.

These days, we can pretty much google anything and get the answer instantly. The questions that are actually inquisitive and a learning opportunity, I do not mind whatsoever, and I quite enjoy learning alongside my children. Kids ask some really great questions and I think I have learnt more from their inquisitive minds than I did myself at school.

However, the questions that drive me nuts are always the ones they really know the answer to;

Clean up your room – “WHY?”

Go to bed – “WHY?”

Don’t put your wet clothes on top of those dry clothes – “WHY?”

And you know your response isn’t going to be a one-off either. You could make these statements “go to bed” and get “WHY?” every night for years. It’s no wonder “because I said so!” screams out eventually.

My darling husband the other day was cooking from a recipe. He had it right in front of him. Yet, he asked me from the other room what the next step was…?! Or he’ll ask me “what am I cooking?”, even though it’s written on the meal planner (we prepared together the night before) right next to him.

My wonderful children will ask me what I am doing, even when they can see clearly what I am doing; i.e. sitting on the toilet.

My next favorite though, is when they ask a question, you give the answer, and then they ask you again. So, you give the answer in another way, and then they ask you the question again, so you give the answer in another way… and then they ask you again.

Sometimes you just shake your head and look back at their years on the earth and worry; did you have too much Panadol when you were pregnant or give them too much when they were teething? Or you second guess yourself and conclude that you really aren’t a good parent if you can’t answer your child in a way they understand.

The ultimate questions that make parent’s hearts stop or drop are the ones they ask perfect strangers. “Are you a pirate cause you have a patch on?”, “Did you fart- what’s that smell?”, “Are you dying?”, “What happened to your hair?”, “Are you Santa Claus?”, “Are you drinking because you’re an alcoholic?”

These questions are enough to tip any parent over the edge!

In the end, our children are going to question us just as much as we question ourselves. Questioning is a huge part of their learning, and even though it drives us nuts, there is nothing that can help you understand your beliefs and knowledge more than trying to explain them to a child with an inquisitive mind. Millions saw the apple fall from the tree, but Newton asked WHY? So as much as it drives us absolutely insane sometimes, take a breath, and ask “why do you think?”. This buys us a little time and encourages them to keep on searching and being inquisitive, or just walk away and clean their teeth like you asked them to.

Read more of Bree’s blogs for PakMag here. 

Check out the Bree James website here.