• Election: PM promises subsidies for low-income first-home buyers

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised up to $500 million in subsidies to help low-income first-home buyers ahead of the federal election this coming Saturday. A Liberal-National Coalition Government would offer guarantees to reduce the required deposit for first-home buyers to 5% of the purchase price, instead of 20%, Mr Morrison announced at the Liberal Party’s campaign launch in Melbourne on Sunday. Singles earning up to $125,000 and couples with a combined income of up ... ► Read more

  • Sydney’s median house price to drop below $1 million, say analysts

    Sydney’s median house price has continued its slow fall, with leading real estate website Domain saying it is on track to dip below $1 million for the first time in four years. According to Domain’s latest house price report, Sydney’s median house price is $1,027,962 — down 3.1% over the past three months and 11.5% over the last year. The company’s senior research analyst Nicola Powell said that prices are likely to drop below $1 ... ► Read more

  • NSW Coroner to investigate musical festival deaths

    A directions hearing will be held next Tuesday as the NSW Coroner opens an inquest into recent deaths at music festivals in the state. The inquest will focus on five deaths since September 2018: Diana Nguyen and Joseph Nguyen Nhu Binh Pham at the Defqon 1 festival on 15 September 2018. Callum Brosnan, who died after attending the Knockout — Games of Destiny festival on 9 December 2018. Joshua Tam, who died following the Lost ... ► Read more

  • Religious schools shouldn’t expel gay students, Prime Minister says

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would “not be comfortable” with gay students being expelled from religious schools, he said in response to leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious freedoms. A list of 20 recommendations leaked to the media on Friday included the recommendation that amendments be made to the Sexual Discrimination Act to ensure religious schools can discriminate against both students and staff “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or ... ► Read more

  • Nike offers professional contract to athlete with cerebral palsy

    Justin Gallegos has become Nike’s first professional athlete with cerebral palsy, after the sports brand offered him a contract when he completed a marathon. Mr Gallegos, a student at the University of Oregon, was met at the finish line by a video crew and Nike’s Insights Director John Douglas. Although he thought the cameras were there to film the event, Mr Gallegos was surprised when Mr Douglas offered him the contract, breaking down in tears ... ► Read more

  • “Australia is a stimulant nation” according to Criminal Intelligence Commission report

    A comparison of 23 countries shows Australia ranks second in estimated stimulant consumption, according to a report released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) on Tuesday. The fifth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program included comparisons with the United States, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and 18 European Union members, and found that Australia is a leading consumer of MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine, and methylamphetamine. The ACIC noted a decrease in methylamphetamine consumption between December ... ► Read more

  • Poll shows Sydney residents believe urban migration should be restricted

    A ReachTEL poll conducted on Thursday has revealed nearly two thirds of Sydney residents want less migration to the city as the population figures climb. Over 63% of the 1627 participants surveyed favoured restricting migration influx, while 50% are against further infrastructure development to accomodate the rising population. Concerns about living costs in urban Sydney — especially housing affordability and energy costs — are the primary driver of residents’ belief in re-directing migration. The Sydney ... ► Read more

  • Federal Government giving Catholic schools 10 times what they need, claims Grattan Institute

    The Federal Government’s controversial plan to give independent schools a funding boost of $4.5 billion would give Catholic schools more than 10 times what they need to remain an “affordable choice” for parents, the Grattan Institute claims. Under the proposal championed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, $1.2 billion of the funding injection will form a “choice and affordability” fund to help prevent an escalation of fees in the private ... ► Read more

  • Indian Supreme Court decriminalises consensual gay sex

    The Supreme Court of India decriminalised consensual gay sex in a unanimous decision delivered in New Delhi on Thursday afternoon (local time). A five-judge bench determined that section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which punishes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” with up to life imprisonment, shall no longer apply to homosexual activity. “Any discrimination on the basis of one‘s sexual orientation would entail a violation ... ► Read more

  • Woolworths ceases providing single-use plastic bags

    Supermarket giant Woolworths stopped providing single-use plastic bags to customers on Wednesday, ahead of a statewide ban in Queensland. From 1 July retailers in Queensland will be prohibited from supplying lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness. This follows similar laws in the ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, while Victoria and Western Australia will also introduce bans this year. New South Wales does not intend to introduce its own ... ► Read more

  • Some tunes to get through the week

    Struggling to find the motivation to get through the week? Well, there’s nothing better than music to inspire you! Here is a short list of some new releases that we’re using to get moving. Amyl and the Sniffers — “Cup Of Destiny“ Amyl and the Sniffers are back at it again with the announcement of their Cup of Destiny tour alongside the release of a ripper single, “Cup Of Destiny”. Truly a testament to what ... ► Read more

  • How food affects your mood

    Growing up, we are all shown food pyramids in school, and told what we should eat more of and what we should stay away from. But telling a kid not to eat chocolate only makes them want it more, and I remember sitting in classes wondering why chocolate was so bad — we know sugar is bad, but what does it really do? In high school, one of my best friends was a fitness maniac who consistently ... ► Read more

  • Mondays with Shama: How I turned fear into a motivator

    I was home alone one Saturday night pondering the big questions, as you do. I reflected on the last few years of my life and how much time I had spent writing — whether it be in my room or in trains, in between lectures or tutorials. And while being a writer had always been one of my dreams, I asked myself a simple question: “Is there something more I want out of this life?” It ... ► Read more

  • Mind, body and soul really are key to a good detox

    Late last year I made the decision to detox my life. This meant eliminating any negatives from my daily routine and surrounding myself with what I considered to be positive. However, this process was much more difficult than I thought. After embarking on this mission, I realised detoxing meant targeting mind, body and soul, and I grew to understand that one element could not work without the others — all three parts had to be ... ► Read more

  • Optimistic Nihilism: the positives of being negative

    If you have read some of my other articles, I’m sure you may have come to the realisation that my opinions and views can be quite negative and depressing. Although it may be true that I usually hold a pessimistic outlook on life, and that my expectations and hopes for humanity are currently at an all-time low; I personally am actually quite happy. I am entirely content with my personal life and the way things ... ► Read more

  • How I quit my unhealthy relationship with coffee

    There was a time in my life when everyone I knew suddenly started drinking coffee. I was the only one who didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Instead of resisting, I gave it a try; and before I knew it, coffee was a guilty pleasure and an essential part of my day. At first, the taste was too strong, but I found a way to make it bearable — six sugars. But, after learning ... ► Read more

  • 21 things I learned in 21 years

    When I started writing for OPMG, I had so many ideas for the coming articles I was going to write. For me having a platform where I could be myself and say what I felt was like a dream come true. Two months before my birthday, in a conversation with OPMG’s Chief Editor, I pitched the idea of writing a list of 21 important lessons I have learned in 21 years. He loved the idea ... ► Read more

  • My new year resolution: To live in the now

    As I sat on the beach in the final days of 2017, listening to the sounds of the waves, surrounded by smiling, joyful people, I pondered on the time we spend reflecting on the passing year and thinking about the year to come. In 2016 I had spent this time in another country, another city. I remember standing in front of Central Park thinking, “2017 is going to be about making my dreams come true.” ... ► Read more

  • How a Portugese novel turned me into a reader

    My whole life, I’ve wanted to be that girl. The girl who could sit in a library and not be kicked out for laughing too loud. The girl who could read a book for more than five minutes and not zone out or fall asleep. The irony is that I love to write; and you’d think that someone who likes to put words together and wants to live and breathe the art of writing would ... ► Read more

  • Is there a difference between being confident and being comfortable?

    My mum always told me: “Shama, if you love yourself and I mean really love yourself, there is no one that can bring you down; there is nothing anyone can say that can destroy you.” I always thought that was true, to a certain point, but a part of me also felt our environment mattered too. Loving yourself is a process. There are many factors that contribute to this process and a lot of it ... ► Read more

  • What does it mean to be ‘true to yourself’?

    It was almost a whole year ago that I was asked by someone what would I like to be remembered for when I leave this world. For a split second I thought to myself, “Hmm many things”, but I responded, “That I was always true to myself.” The other day I was sitting outside the mall near my house listening to the cars go by, feeling the humidity on my skin as I ate my ... ► Read more

  • Time management: The key to success

    Although I have never been much of a procrastinator, throughout high school and university I have seen countless people stressing, clamouring and even crying to finish assignments just minutes before the due date. Recently I witnessed my cousin (who has just completed high school) pull an all-nighter to finish an assignment the night before it was due, while I sat on the couch next to her playing video games without a care in the world. ... ► Read more

  • Why Mondays are the best

    It was a Monday morning. I was feeling love, from everywhere. From one of my closest friends, from my favourite jacket my brother left me before he flew to Canada, my ruby ring from Brooklyn — it was like I had woken up in a bubble of love. And while we’re on the topic of love, lets talk about Mondays. I think Mondays are like Fridays but better, because on Fridays you unwind from a ... ► Read more