What You Need to Know about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Laughter is healthy and often associated with happiness. It is a great tool to combat stress and a number of life’s difficulties. There are several industries dedicated to promoting and provoking this action, like the movie industry, YouTube, performers, and comedians. They operate independently, though you can sometimes see notable figures in festivals all over the world. One such event is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

What Is It?

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, or MICF, is the third largest comedy festival in the world, right behind Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and Montreal’s Just For Laughs. It lasts about a month, between March and April. There are thousands and thousands of performers, each with their own style of comedy. Apart from stand-up comedy, there is also the cabaret, debates, musicals, and plays. It is truly a festival where comedy comes in all shapes and sizes.

Origins

MICF started in 1987 when it featured 56 separate acts. The original idea was that the festival should revolve around April Fool’s Day. One of the event’s co-founders, John Pinder, toyed with the idea of an international comedy festival as early as the 80s. A couple of years later, performers from all around the world were flooding in to make their mark at this festival.

Characteristics

There are several things that separate MICF from other comedy festivals. For one thing, there is less pressure, so the performers have fun while doing what they love, without a desperate need for the audience’s approval.

There are also three events/programs that are the pillars of MICF. They are Raw Comedy, Class Clowns and Deadly Funny.

Raw Comedy

Raw Comedy is, essentially, a competition between emerging comics. The competition starts in January, and it ends during MICF. To compete, you must be a resident of Australia and you mustn’t have made over $500 from your comedy acts. You get five minutes and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to amaze the spectators. There is a chance for you to compete again, but no more than three times, provided you haven’t made it to the National Final.

Class Clowns

This is not just a competition, it’s also a program for high-schoolers who wish to hone their skills. There are workshops where trade secrets are shared among the nation’s future of comedy. So, if you’re a teen with a knack for comedy, give it a go.

Deadly Funny

To compete in the Deadly Funny, you have to be indigenous. Not only that, you have to be over 18, you can bring up to 2 friends, and your act should be no longer than five minutes. The Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders that are younger than 18 can still compete as Class Clowns.

 

Raising Money with Games of Chance in Australia

Gambling laws and regulations in Australia have always been strictly regulated if permitted at all. Each state has its own set of rules regarding games of chance and skill. What about games that are there for raising awareness and funds to combat a certain issue? Surely, a fundraising event would be permitted no matter what, even if there are games of chance involved to promote a cause, right? It’s actually a little bit more complex than that.

Games of chance that are typically conducted at these events are bingo, raffles, and lucky envelopes. Most people are familiar with these forms of gambling and don’t consider them “bad”. That’s also why there are so many sites like bingo-bonus-code.co.uk offering online bingo promotions. We are going to discuss what sort of permits you need in order to conduct these games in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Some are fairly simple, while others may seem like a bureaucratic nightmare.

New South Wales

Because the term ‘charitable purpose’ can have several meanings, there are four groups of such fundraisers:

  • Financial relief,
  • Education,
  • Religion, and
  • Community.

New South Wales requires you to possess something called the Authority to Fundraise for Charitable Purposes. After you have obtained this permit, and the process of approval lasts around 28 days, you can apply for a Permit to Conduct Fundraising Games of Chance. Another 28 days later, you should have permission to organize a raffle or bingo with all profits going to the charity of your choice.

Queensland

Queensland is a bit more flexible on the issue of gambling for charity. There is a huge number of game categories, and some of them require a license. We will focus our attention on Special Category 3 Games, which are conducted in a one-time fashion to raise funds to help victims of natural disasters, or other individuals. To hold a game of chance in this fashion, you need the Special Category 3 gaming license. It lasts for 4 months, there are no fees when applying, and you can’t transfer this license onto someone else.

Alternatively, you don’t need a gaming license if your club generally does charity work and gives regular contributions. If this is the case, you can conduct raffles and lucky envelopes provided the gross profit doesn’t exceed $50,000. If you want to know more about Queensland regulations, read up on Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999, Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Regulation 1999, and Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Rule 2010.

Victoria

Victoria will have you jump through a few hoops before giving you permission to conduct games of chance that are charitable. Before you apply for such a permit, you must submit an application to obtain a minor gaming permit. You must also submit any amendments that might occur in your gaming event and your application must take place at least 21 days before the event is scheduled.

Additionally, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, or VCGLR, is the one who decides whether your event will take place. You must prove yourself as a charitable organization or a registered political party before you can conduct any games for charity.

 

Top 5 Famous Fitness Influencers in Australia

The Australians have done a lot in recent years in terms of protecting and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is the competitions, the strong and healthy bodies, or just branding, Australian athletes have been affecting the health of the country, as well as the world, for the better. Today, we are going to talk about the most famous fitness influencers in Australia.

Kayla Itsines

This is a name known to Forbes, as the 27-year old fitness trainer and author has made it her mission to help people sculpt their bodies the way they want to. Her achievements include an ebook series, Bikini Body Guides, as well as an app that helps you plan your meals and workouts, called Sweat with Kayla.

She is one of the wealthiest young people in Australia that has amassed her fortune through hard work and a good business sense. She is also one of the most influential people on the internet, in no small part due to her strong social media presence. She started her career in a gym in Adelaide, and now she’s everyone’s favorite success story.

Emily Skye

Emily Skye is a former model who has shifted her career focus on fitness. She inspires her followers with her workout plan, as well as inspirational messages. Over 14 million people look to Skye for fitness and fashion advice. As a model and beautician, she knows what it takes for you to not only feel good but look good doing it.

Her website features workouts of the day, delicious and nutritional meal plans, motivational messages when you consider quitting and a ton of before-and-after selfies of happy clients. All of this is an enormous upgrade to her humble blog about working out.

Daniel Conn

This is the only man on this list, but don’t let that stop you from checking out his content and advice. Daniel Conn is a model who used to be a professional rugby player. He has worked hard and collaborated with brands like AussieBum and Lenovo in order to promote a lifestyle that nurtures the health of your body and mind.

Michelle Bridges

Michelle has over two decades of experience in personal fitness training, though you would never guess that she was in her forties based on her appearance. She has published over 10 bestselling books in which she tells you how to lose weight and get the body you want. She even cooperated with Ubisoft in creating a video game called Your Shape, where you turn your exercise regime into a fun activity using motion tracking.

Amanda Bisk

Finally, we turn our attention to Amanda Bisk, a former pole-vaulter who dealt with her chronic fatigue by utilizing Yoga. Since she discovered the benefits of Yoga exercises, she has been doing everything in her power to bring that knowledge to the world. She is a qualified Yoga teacher, and you can find her advice, as well as pictures of her and her dog on social media.

 

5 Australian Tech Companies to Keep Your Eye On

Australia offers more than just a warm climate, delicious food in unseen combinations, natural wonders, and adorable marsupials. Australia is also pretty developed in terms of tech companies. There are several companies that you should pay close attention to, in case you want to present yourself on the market. Bear in mind that there is a multitude of factors to consider or ignore, so this list might be somewhat subjective.

Intuit

Intuit wants its clients to know what it’s all about with just its name. They create intuitive solutions for your phone and the web, creating software specifically for handling finances and accounting. Their clients are both individuals and companies. While the HQ is in California, in the US, the Australian branch is worthy of consideration on its own. The employees are consulted monthly and healthy lifestyle is promoted in the office.

Canva

Canva was founded in 2012 as a graphic-designer company. The startup has shown amazing promise, with now 200 employees and great profit margins. There are negotiations underway to make the Canva tool integrated with Dropbox.

Furthermore, if you have a need for designers to work on your business cards, icons, posters, logos, brochures and invitations, the company has an amazing selection at your disposal. There are even several learning tools that you could use in your profession.

Travello

Travello is an app for travelers. You can organize a trip with your friends, or plan a solo journey with a friendly face in certain key areas. Another feature of the app is to find recommendations regarding what sites to see, where to eat and sleep, and much more.

The team behind this app consists of seven people altogether – two travelers, three developers, a tech lead and a commercial director. These go-getters have shown us what it means to find a problem and offer a solution to it, as the app is perfect for family vacations and backpacking.

Afterpay

This company is based in Melbourne, but it has offices in New Zealand and the States as well. The idea behind the services provided by the company is to allow its customers to pay for goods and services in 4 simple installments. This is perfect for people who are lacking in funds right now, but are definitely getting paid within a few days. They have come up with almost $35 million last year, with the company itself worth a little bit less than $150 million.

GO1

GO1 is a relatively young company. They have been around since 2009, and their goal is building a good education platform. There are over 1000 courses you can access to help train yourself or your employees. You can also create your own training courses and quizzes. The website also features articles on a multitude of topics. As a modern company, GO1 has a strong media presence and they keep their users up to date with announcements and news. They are located in the Underwood, Queensland.

Conclusion

There are certainly plenty more of the finest tech companies in Australia. Some are recognizable brands, while others earn a great deal of money. There are also exciting startups with new ideas and services. The Australian tech market will keep evolving. It is just a matter of following these changes closely.

 

Celebrating Australia Day

Every year, on 26 January, families gather, friends go on picnics, and thousands of spectators enjoy the many parades. They are celebrating Australia Day, though, depending on who you talk to, the holiday carries a different name. Some know it as Foundation Day, while others call it Survival Day. There are several indigenous groups that insist on calling the holiday Invasion Day. But what is it, exactly? What event is celebrated, and why does this date hold several different names?

The Date

The holiday is observed in memory of the landing of the British First Fleet in what’s today known as New South Wales. On the same date, 26 January 1788, Arthur Philip raised the flag of Great Britain, claiming the land in the name of King George III. Philip was a Navy officer, and later became the first governor of New South Wales, which was established officially in February of the same year.

The trip itself served to found a penal colony. Eleven ships, carrying around 1500 people, traveled for three months in search of land. In spite of numerous difficulties, the death toll was abnormally low.

How Is It Celebrated?

These days, Australia day celebrates the diversity of all constituents, so it is not uncommon for the citizenship ceremonies to occur during Australia Day. In fact, it has become a tradition to grant new Australians citizenship on this day.

Families spend time together, there are large-scale community barbecues, fireworks, and outdoor concerts, though the term ‘concert’ is an understatement. It would be more accurate to say that there are music festivals in celebration of the day. There are also several sports competitions, including boat races.

One of the biggest ceremonies of the day, the Order of Australia awards, occurs on this day as well. The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry, and there are five levels of the order. Other special awards are also given to exceptional citizens, like the Australian of the Year.

Problems

There has been a lot of talk over the years to move the date of Australia’s national holiday. The reason behind it is the fact that there are Aboriginal groups who are more than uncomfortable celebrating the day the settling convicts claimed their land. They have dubbed this date Invasion Day. Others, like the National Indigenous Television, believe the date should be referred to as Survival Day, as a symbol of the indigenous cultures surviving to this day.

Besides moving the date, there is a growing trend of districts refusing to hold citizenship ceremonies on this day. Additionally, these districts no longer refer to the date as Australia Day. They opt, instead, to hold events to promote Aboriginal culture.

Ever since 1938, the Aboriginal Australians have been holding protests on this date, calling it the Day of Mourning. The original Day of Mourning was organized by the Aborigines Progressive Association and it served not only as a protest but also as a demand for full citizenship and equal treatment.