Asian Consumption at Odds with Australian Recycling

Our relationships with our rubbish and waste matter are complex and evolving. As human beings living within differing communities, countries and cultures, we are all at various stages on the waste management spectrum. In the ghettos of India, for example, the denizens of these waste lands utilise every spec of material stuff for their lives and lifestyles. There is no such thing as waste in these places. In more moderately wealthy villages and cities in parts of Asia, you will find garbage strewn about with no visible plan for its management. In very wealthy suburbs in Asian cities there are clean streets and reasonably tidy bins, as there are in the majority of urban locales in the west.

Asian Consumption at Odds with Australian Recycling

When Asians emigrate to countries like Australia, many of them are unfamiliar with the recycling practices of the council-run communities that they may move into. Thus, you get yellow lidded recycling bins being filled with general rubbish by these newly arrived residents. They may come from a culture, which has no experience with urban waste management. Well, like many new kids on the block they are faced with many new things to learn. Waste management is big business in the twenty first century, meaning that there is a lot of money in dealing with people’s crap.

We all know that there is far too much packaging in our lives. Which means, that it is the recycling bin that collects more stuff than any other bin. Education and training are vital if new Australians are to get with the program and abide by their responsibilities within their residential communities. Household rubbish removal has rules and guidelines like every other part of our lives, when we live in modern societies.

This is why PR and educational programs are so important to industries like waste management. The fact of the matter is, that it requires a great deal of repetition and saying the same things in a variety of ways to get the message across. Whether the audience is Asian or African, Anglo-Saxon or something else again, the message about recycling needs to be continually put to the fore. Everywhere we, as Australians look, we should see creative reminders about the importance of recycling. At some point in time the penny drops for most people, but the message must always be expressed throughout the community on all platforms and channels.

Asian Australians Combatting Racism

A huge number of individuals go experience racism from others due to their color and origins. Some people are quick to give negative remarks judging others just because of their race. Unfortunately, Australia is not free from the very said issue with a number of racism casing being reported regularly. Let us explore the racist issues in Australia and how others were able to combat them effectively.

Racism is a prevalent case in Australia most notably with the Muslim and black community. Anti-Muslim prejudice has led to Muslim kids being subject to police raids and locked up for thought crimes that in most cases are no more than the expression of entirely justified outrage at the policies of the government. Furthermore, Muslim refugees are detained indefinitely in concentration camps because they might be terrorists.

It is also quite apparent that also racism pervades Australia’s top jobs according to Race Discrimination Commissioner. In a working group with the likes of the Australia Human Rights Commission, PwC, Westpac and the University of Sydney, Dr Soutphommasane commenced research into cultural diversity in Australian leadership. The findings reveal that among top leadership roles in Australian politics, business and tertiary education, Anglo-Celtic and Australians with European ancestry are over-represented.

Even peaceful protestors aren’t spared from prejudice. Recent news showed an anti-racism campaigner was pepper-sprayed by police during a one-man protest in Melbourne’s CBD. Mr Katagar said he was protesting peacefully – in his usual spot between the tram tracks outside the Young and Jackson pub – when he was asked to move by a group of police officers he had not seen before. Mr Katagar launched his campaign against racism last year after being told by a doctor he wouldn’t understand the medical system because he was from Africa and couldn’t understand English.

It is good to hear however that even with the prevalent racism cases, support coming from the online community has been increasing. A good example of this is the outpouring of social media support which has buoyed a Cairns cafe worker’s spirits after a customer refused to be served by her because of the colour of her skin.

During a busy period in the Cairns cafe where Ms Ajak works as a shift supervisor she took over the cash register, trying to get a growing queue on the move.’

“This elderly woman approached the counter in a wheelchair and I greeted her as I would anyone else,” Ms Ajak said.

“She just looked at me and said ‘I refuse to be served by a black person, can you get me a white lady?’.”

The incident was documented in a Facebook post by her friend Jade Arevalo, which has received more than 700 shares, 16,000 likes and hundreds of comments of disgust. The post encouraged others to show support for Ms Ajak which has resulted in a huge wave of new customers to the store, who specifically ask for her assistance.

It is good to hear that with the help of modern technology, more and more individuals have raised awareness with the ongoing racism issue many are facing. The online community is keen on sharing such news receiving the fair share of the spotlight in just a short amount of time. Ms Ajak’s case is one of the many positive cases where racism was conquered. We hope to see more continuing support with the online community in the future as well.

Events & News in Sydney’s Asian Community

Sydney’s south western suburbs played host to thousands of animated festival goers for the September 3rd & 4th Moon Festival, a celebration of the 15th of the 8th lunar month also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. Asian Culture is deeply embedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese being an important event full of legendary stories and a popular occasion for large, family reunions for both Chinese and Vietnamese families.

An annual event determined by the equinox, when daylight and darkness are at an equal length, almost 80’000 festival goers attended browsing the food stalls, musical performances, live theatre including acrobatics & dance and of course the traditional Cantonese Lion Dance Parade, a must see spectacle! Fairfield City Mayor Mr. Frank Carbone praised the festival as providing such a valuable contribution to the surrounding local communities.

One of the few festivals even bigger in size and scale than the Moon Festival is the Chinese New Year Festival, a month long epic running from late January until early February. Hurstville Sydney will once again host a giant street show and parade with activities and fireworks galore encompassing the finest of Asian culture, traditions and arts with crowds milling until late in the night.

The other events are the traditional eye-dotting ceremony where the new lion dance costume is placed at the altar. This ceremony empowers the lion to do its duty of protecting the community, along with bringing them good luck, health and prosperity. The ceremony will be followed by group dances, singing events, lucky draw and the highlight of the evening, an interactive and traditional style costume parade.

As any Asian will tell you, no festival is complete without good food, and that is something which is found in abundance across the Hurstville location, stall upon stall of Asian delicacies and typical cooking demonstrations.

Asian festivals are full of colour and grandeur from plates of delicious foods to performances involving mythical creatures. Stories based on belief and legend have captured the imagination of writers for centuries and they’re now told with great joy on these festivals. Another important date is the Thai Water Lantern Festival which takes place across Parramatta, Sydney mid-November. Entry is free to witness the unveiling of ‘Loy Krathong’ a celebration of ushering in good luck and warding off evil by floating water lanterns in the river. The event will showcase intricate crafts from Thailand, traditional music, cultural performance by fire dancers, stunning fireworks displays as well as a water fountain display. Last but not the least, make sure you take part in the ritual act of launching the candle-lit Krathongs on the river as you make a wish for good fortune.

In fact, almost four percent of the Australian population is of Chinese heritage and Sydney is home to over half the Chinese population. The first generation of ethnic refugees and migrants came to Australia in the 1980s and have since prospered and integrated as students, employees, families, investors, business owners and heads of major corporations. Increasingly various Chinese social media platforms are showing high activity in the Sydney area. Chinese migrants take their culture with them when they travel and instill their history and values into their children who, in turn, enshrine these bonds as they adopt Australia and become valued members of society.

The main ethnic Chinese are from China, Hong Kong, Macau, East Timor, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and Laos. The one great common denominator is that all of Sydney’s Asian community take great pride and real care in honouring long held tradition and beliefs with the finest event and festival celebrations they can produce with the time and resources at hand.

Malaysian Australians: Integrating Issues

It is fascinating to consider that the first Malay immigrant to Australia was possibly a twenty-two-year-old convict called Ajoup, who arrived in Sydney in 1837. Ajoup had been sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation to the NSW colony in Cape Town. Interestingly, I did not realise that convicts were sent from South Africa and possibly other parts of the British Empire to Australia at that time.  Aloup would get his ticket of leave in 1843. The next recorded migrations of Malays were related to the pearl diving industry in Western Australia, the sugar plantations in Queensland and labouring in South Australian mines. There were some one hundred and forty nine Malays living and working in Australia in 1871.

Malaysian Australians: Integrating Issues

It was not until the 1950s that a larger Malay presence was firmly established in this country. This was in response to the Malayan Emergency and involved students and evacuees from this military conflict. The 1961 Census registered some five thousand seven hundred plus Malaysian-born people living in Australia. The 2013 Census shows them to be the ninth largest immigrant group in the nation, with a population just under one hundred and fifty thousand strong.

So, what are some of the integration issues confronting this large group of Australians? Malaysian Australians are seen to be one of the most cohesive communities in this multicultural country. A 2007 Australian government report saw the Malaysian born people as very well integrated into their new home nation. The Australia Malaysian Singapore Association was formed in 1970 and has gone onto to organise a host of successful multicultural community events around the country. The Malay Australian Association of New South Wales was established in 1988, with a focus on the many Malay Muslims living here. Mosques have been built in Perth and Sydney.

The Malaysian Islamic community have a largely positive relationship with Australians of different faiths. This is a solid achievement when you consider the issues facing Muslims right around the globe in relation to hard-line extremist organisations like ISIS. Islamic terrorism is linked to Malaysia through the presence of Jemaah Islamiyah in that country; and its involvement in the Bali bombings. The Malaysian government, however, is staunchly opposed to these religious extremists and terrorists. A shared religion can be a difficult thing, but Muslims around the world are learning to separate their beliefs from the policing of dangerous elements within their countries. Australia was shocked when the Malaysian government recently backed Islamic law ‘hudud’, which can include amputation and stoning of guilty people. It is a challenge facing theocracies in the East, to leave behind the barbaric past when it comes to governing in the twenty first century.

Australia’s Cochlear Implant Sounding Good To China


China has about 20 million people with hearing and speech disorders according to the latest national census. 3 million are deaf and 17.7 million have hearing loss but only 2% of Chinese have access to hearing aids. Aside from this, there is an estimated 800,000 children below 7 years old with hearing loss who would benefit from cochlear implant. This figure is expected to increase by 20,000–30,000 every year because about 30,000 babies are born with hearing difficulty each year. The major causes of hearing loss in China include infection, heredity, presbycusis, otitis media, and noise-induced hearing loss. Australia’s Cochlear Implant sees a good potential market in China to help its citizens have a good aural healthcare.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf. It directly translates soundwaves into signals and sends to the brain which allows the user to perceive sound. CI not only amplifies sound but also improves speech perception and reduces tinnitus. The Cochlear Implant was pioneered at the University of Melbourne. A systematic review shows evidence of the effectiveness of cochlear implant in people with bilateral hearing loss. CI improves hearing in noisy environments (like our ACM Group office) for people with severe hearing loss. It also improves overall hearing ability, reduces tinnitus and quality of life.

The ageing population and the number of children affected by hearing loss in China gives Australia’s Cochlear, the leader in hearing implant technology a huge opportunity to help the Chinese people. The huge market let the company predict increase sales in China. CI penetration in China is currently less than 5% of potential paediatric candidates, but cochlear implantation is continuing to expand at great speed, and it is hoped that the infrastructure and capacity will continue to grow and develop.

The rapidly developing technology in China aims to identify and treat people with hearing and speech-language disorders. Bosch China launched the world’s first standardized Chinese language speech audiometric system. In 2015. It is designed as speech testing software to assess people’s hearing abilities and evaluate the clinical effect of medical devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. This system is expected to help develop the audiology sector in China to adapt to the international standards of speech audiometry.

China is also currently developing low-cost alternatives in hearing implant. Health regulators in China give local company Nurotron an approval to sell its implant on the mainland. There is an increased competition from the local rival Nurotron and other lower-cost brands because of the price factor. But the Chinese government keeps a part of the national tender open to foreign companies to boost quality and make the local implant industry better. Although the price of the local devices are lower compared to Australia’s Cochlear, the leading hearing implant manufacturer can still compete in China.  It predicts increased sales in China because of its quality and continues innovation.

Hearing technology leader Australia’s Cochlear Implant continues to innovate to maintain its international market leadership.  The HEARing CRC with Dr. Andrew Vandali, its Project Leader is currently developing sound processing technology that works better with tonal language particularly Mandarin to adapt to the Chinese market. This project is determining how sound coding schemes in implants be changed to better present pitch and inter-aural time cues for their wearers. The Hearing (Re)habilitation section of HEARnet Learning offers training modules to help health professionals in China to develop new skills and knowledge in the clinical habilitation and rehabilitation of hearing loss and hearing impairment. HEARnet Learning also has free online training to help patients get the best out of their cochlear implants.

Chinese Students Need To Be Aware Of Western Laws

Chinese Students Need To Be Aware Of Western Laws

Chinese parents are famous for their discipline and control over their children, and their expectations for their children to excel and succeed. In China, in part due to the one child policy of the Chinese government of the last few decades, many children are very spoilt by their parents and also grandparents. Under their parents’ protection, they are controlled. But when they go to America, or even Australia, they sometimes lose control; with tragic results. It’s a prevalent trend for middle class and upper middle class Chinese parents to want their kids to study abroad, because Chinese education is often perceived as being not as prestigious.

Many of these Chinese parents want to send their children to Harvard or Yale, or an Australian university like Sydney or Melbourne. However, things such as bullying behaviour that you may be able to get away with at a Chinese campus can land a young person in jail for a long time in the USA or even Australia. Chinese students need to be aware of western laws when studying here. These issues are also affecting Chinese kids attending secondary schools in the United States; they call these kids ‘parachute kids’. This is because these children are sent to study in the US from as young as eight years of age, and they do not live with their parents, but with relatives or other students. The lack of real guardian supervision can impact on their behaviour as teenagers and young adults with disastrous results.

Three young Chinese parachute kids have recently been sentenced to between six and thirteen years gaol by a Californian court for severe bullying and beating of another Chinese girl. Obviously, something has gone seriously wrong with their upbringing whilst living and studying in America. The value that some people place on money and status can backfire when young human beings are neglected of love and nurture. They would feel like aliens in a strange world and how they react to that constant ‘outsider’ status may warp them from the inside. A secular education in a highly materialistic culture like the United States, without the backbone of parental nurture and the reflection of your own cultural identity seems to be a recipe for failure.

Chinese students need to be aware of western laws; and even more importantly they need parental nurture if they come to western countries as relatively young children.


How Will The Year Of The Monkey Affect Global Events?

It is the year of the fire monkey in 2016; the year of the red monkey. Monkeys are clever but often naughty, and they are wily beasts and very much on the ball; so watch your step this year. A focus on global financial events is predicted by the year of the monkey; and the world economy may face some dangerous moments this year. It is advisable to pay extra close attention to your investments this year, if you do not want to fall foul of the red monkey; and end up in the red.

The status quo may dramatically change in the year of the fire monkey. I immediately think about China and the Chinese economy; will we see a worsening or an improvement here? The year of the monkey indicates a change in fortune and status. We here at ACM Group hope that the forecast will see a big improvement in the Chinese economy and that the red monkey will bring much luck to Chinese people everywhere.

North Korea is being a naughty monkey at the moment by firing its missile test; international condemnation followed immediately. North Korea claim that it is a satellite launch and celebrated the firing of the rocket with a public fireworks display on Monday evening. The United States claim that this is a front to test a long range ballistic missile. The monkey likes to show off and the missile test coincided with the Chinese New Year, and the Super Bowl in America.

In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who very often grins like a monkey, a chimpanzee comes to mind, will contest his first election as PM. We at ACM Group foresee a victory for the smiling wily Malcolm Turnbull in the year of the red monkey. There may, however, be financial corruption uncovered within the government and a leading Liberal will lose his place in the government. Tony Abbott, who also has ears like a monkey and grimaces like a monkey, may be involved in naughty and disruptive political activities; this will help Malcolm Turnbull to win the election. Bill Shorten will be the unlucky monkey and will be deposed, or he will quit his position as leader of the ALP.

In America, Hilary Clinton will not win the US Presidential election and she may not even win preselection. Hilary is very un-monkey like and a candidate with more monkey charm will win out in the year of the red monkey. Bernie Sanders, perhaps, or will it be Ted Cruz?


Asian Horses in Australia: Who to Back in 2016?

The folks at ACM Group can’t help but take a punt on the horses every once in a while. We love the thrill associated with gambling, and as horse racing is the sport of kings you can tell where our hearts lie when we do choose to take a little flutter.

The great tradition in Australia, is of course, selling our horses into Asia. We began to develop our horse industry by importing our first horses from India, England and the US, but by the fourth decade of the nineteenth century Australia had enough horses to begin exporting them. Some New South Wales army officers sold a shipment of horses to India for cavalry remounts in eighteen thirty. This exporting of horses to India would continue up until around nineteen thirty. This trade included the sale of Australian thoroughbred horses to India, where a racing industry had been established.

Through the British colonial connection Australia also supplied racehorses to Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Japanese were customers as well, when their military bought some eleven thousand horses as remounts for their army. During the years of the First World War more than one hundred and twenty thousand Aussie horses were shipped into West Asia. These horses were rated as superior to the Arab breed and they were extolled by their users, such as the Australian Light Horse. In nineteen nineteen Australian horses competed in Egypt and were successful in a number of racing events.

During the nineteen fifties Australian thoroughbreds were exported to Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. The strong bond with horse racing in Hong Kong and Malaysia has maintained through the decades of the twentieth century a substantial Australian input into these race clubs and their industry as a whole. Asian investment in Australian racing has seen them as racehorse owners contribute to the strong financial growth of the industry over the last three decades. Asian owners have been investing in breeding studs in Western Australia for many years. Asian owners have won many of the feature races in Australia over the last twenty years. Horse racing betting may be the next frontier.

In recent years we have seen Japanese horses successful in Melbourne and Caulfield Cups. The strong link between Japan and Australia in the horse racing field sees horses from both countries competing to win each other’s feature races. The Middle East, which is categorised as part of Asia, has seen horses and owners from Dubai and the other Arab Emirates competing for featured prize money in Australia for a couple of decades at least. Horse racing at the Group 1 level is, now, a highly international affair with horses bred on one continent regularly racing on other continents. Asian horses in Australia: who to back in 2016? I am sure that there will be a bevy of then to choose from.

Anti-Asian Racism in Sydney – Is It Getting Worse?

Australia is a wonderful country and most Australians are kind and tolerant people. There are, however, a few, who remain intransigent in an age of political correctness and defiantly express their anti-Asian sentiments. In large cities, like Sydney, there will always be a minority of disenfranchised denizens who wish to blame their feelings of isolation and alienation on others. ACM group, as Asians, are a very visible target for them to vent their frustrations upon. As long as government agencies actively oppose these acts of racial vilification and support the victims involved, we can, I think, remain confident that things are getting better and not worse in this regard.

The media has a role to play in highlighting these appalling acts, so as to discourage people from committing them and to encourage the general public not to be indifferent to these acts, when they witness them. We, as Australians, are all responsible for our cities and towns, not just those in official positions, and we must ensure that we welcome all our fellow citizens and visitors to our nation. Acts of kindness can go a long way to healing wounds that some migrants may have suffered in the past. Inclusiveness is the best way to get on in the world and to avoid violence and its consequent suffering.

The recent case exposed in the Sydney media of a woman stalking an Asian woman, whilst on a Sydney bus, and then racially vilifying her in a very public rant, sounds like the acts of someone suffering mental illness. Of course, that does not excuse the behaviour and the perpetrator needs to be apprehended and investigated. The more worrying aspect of that instance of racial abuse was the failure of the bus driver to acknowledge the attack and do something about it; and the complete lack of support for the victim shown by her fellow passengers. These things prompt the question, anti-Asian racism in Sydney – is it getting worse?

These behaviours seem unAustralian to me, to borrow a favourite phrase from the ex-Prime Minister of Australia John Howard. It seems, we may need reminding that being Australian is not a matter of the colour of your skin and what ethnic race you may belong to. Today, this country is a multicultural paradise for all of us, no matter where we or our parents or grandparents may have come from. The current PM, Malcolm Turnbull , is a great proponent of that modern day reality.

Inspirational Quotes

ACM Group Sydney


In order to develop a certain inner progress the artist’s thing is very much influential and helpful. I mean, helpful as well as harmful.. It depends on the meaning that the artist is conveying.. Now, you see, certain art is made to have an impact on hatred, or anger, such things.. and that is harmful.. In any way, the artists with their art, and with this ritual thing, have powerful means to give a message… – Dalai Lama

As you have been saying this I have been thinking that there are.. I have heard of, two ways of doing paintings.. One is that a person thinks beforehand in thought of what the painting will be.. and then paints it out.. And that would be like the thought approach.. But then there is another one, where the person does not think about it beforehand, but just spontaneously does whatever seems appropriate.. And that would be a thoughtless approach, even throwing paint onto the canvas and so forth, but a work of art coming out. – Dalai Lama
It seems that with the artist, first there is the inner feeling and the thought, and then there is the expression of this in an artistic way.. whereas for the audience there is first the reception of this expression and then a change in thought. – Dalai Lama

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. ~Bruce Lee

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet. ~ Kojiro Tomita