Perhaps we were greedy, but the idea of recouping a proportion of a massively expensive holiday seemed like a good idea. We expected to spend thousands of dollars on AirBNB houses and flats during a protracted holiday in Europe. We’d done it before, and it had worked out well. We’d even come to like the …read more
The chief executive of eBay in Australia, Jooman Park, seems remarkably unfazed by the imminent arrival of the e-commerce behemoth Amazon on these shores. EBay has been operating in Australia for 18 years, four of them with Park in charge, and the e-commerce firm’s success has been remarkable.
“Alexa, make tea. Now”. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own intelligent robot house assistants to deal with the boring chores of everyday life? “Okay, Google, dim the lights”. So-called “smart homes” offer varying degrees of automated assistance, and Google Home, launched this week in Australia, is multi-talented – it can speak …read more
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola were the first Australians to sign up to the “Giving Pledge,” a plan pioneered by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the very rich to donate more than half their accumulated wealth to worthy causes. Now the Forrests have fulfilled at least part of …read more
Internationally acclaimed Australian artist Brett Whiteley died alone from an overdose of drugs, including heroin, in a seaside motel 70km south of Sydney in 1992. Coming to fame in the hedonistic 1960s, Whiteley painted Bob Dylan and shared a New York building with Janis Joplin. He lived and worked with fierce energy in wildly different …read more
China is hard for the outsider. The best-laid plans can get lost in deep tangles of bureaucracy and incomprehension in this huge nation. So the sheer courage of a retired Australian primary school teacher who has spent years navigating Chinese bureaucracy to help disabled Chinese children is worth some attention.
Australia is in the throes of allowing the medicinal use of cannabis, following the trail blazed by a number of U.S. states, as well as Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.
Teeming with neon-colored fish and encompassing vast ranges of branching, bulging, sculptural coral, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s natural wonders. Running down Australia’s north-east coast for roughly 2300 kilometres, the reef covers an expanse of ocean bigger than Japan: home to vast numbers of fish, hard and soft corals, turtles, whales, …read more
Journalists at one of Australia’s best-known newspaper publishers, Fairfax Media, plan to strike for seven days in protest at the company’s plans to cut the equivalent of 125 full-time journalist positions, or one in four from the already depleted newsrooms. The cuts are aimed at saving 30 million Australian dollars ($22.2 million) annually.
Real estate in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s biggest cities, is appreciating at such a rate that some experts are warning of a bubble that could soon burst. House and apartment prices in these two cities increased by about 19% and 16% respectively in the year to March 31, according to analysis by data company CoreLogic, …read more