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Everything you need to know about our event with Tarana Burke

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Doors open at 6pm | Event commences 6:30pm-8pm (AEDT) | Watch live stream here
→ View full list of speakers/performers
Support Services

On Monday 18 November, we have the good fortune to hear from Tarana Burke, feminist and civil rights activist from the Bronx, New York. In 2006, Tarana famously broke the silence on sexual violence with a simple phrase that sparked a global movement: Me Too.

This is her first time speaking publicly in Melbourne and after delivering a short address on the theme of hope, resilience and our collective power, she will be joined on stage for a panel discussion

The event has sold out, but it will be live streamed. More details below.

Whether you are watching from home or live at the Collingwood Town Hall, here’s our advice for getting the most out of the night:

Look after yourself and others

As with any conversation regarding sexual assault and violence, it is vital to take good care of yourself and others. If this event brings up any issues for you, help is available.

Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) 1800 806 292
1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732

There will be counsellors from CASA available at the Collingwood Town Hall.

If you wish to speak to a counsellor at any point, just look for folks from the VWT team wearing ‘CREW’ lanyards. They will direct you to the nearest counsellor. 

More information:
→ Full list of support services
→ Read: Taking care of yourself (or a loved one) when sexual abuse makes the headlines (ABC News)
→ Read: How to stay energised and take care in the #MeToo era (ABC News)

Live streaming

Planning on live streaming the event? Awesome. Live streaming will commence at 6:30pm (AEDT) on Monday 18 November.

→  Watch a low bandwidth version on this webpage
Watch the live streamed on our Facebook page

Stay involved in the conversation by using the hashtag #TaranaMelb and following @VicWomensTrust on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ll be live tweeting the entire thing, so it would be great to catch up with you in Twitter land!

If you are live streaming as a group, let us know by tagging @VicWomensTrust. Shout out to the good people at Emma Whiting Travel who made live streaming this event possible.

Please note: the live stream video will not have closed captions but we will be providing a transcript post-event.

Getting there

The nearest train station is Collingwood (on the Mernda or Hurstbridge line). From there, it’s 118 metres to the Collingwood Town Hall (approximately a 3 minute walk). Walk up Stanton Street, then turn right onto Hoddle Street.

Catch any of the following buses: 246, 302, 303, 304, 305, 309, 318, 350, 905, 906, 907. Get off at the Gipps St/Hoddle St stop. After that, it’s just 99 metres (around 2 mins walk) to the Collingwood Town Hall.

Jump on the 109 or 12 tram and get off at North Richmond Railway Station/Victoria St (that’s stop #19). It’s a 10 minute walk (646 metres) up Victoria Street from there. Turn right onto Hoddle Street and you’re at the Collingwood Town Hall!

Street parking is available along Hoddle St (approx 25 spaces); Stanton St (approx 30 spaces); and Park St (approx 15 spaces). Additionally, a carpark attached to Collingwood Library and Train Station has approximately 35 parking spaces, most of which are unrestricted after 5.30pm. 


There is a ramp entrance on Hoddle St and the entry doors are automatic. The venue is fitted with accessible toilets, braille tactile signage, tactile floor indicators and a hearing aid loop.

Please note: accessible parking in this area is limited. There are two accessible car park spots on Stanton Street and another two at the Collingwood train station.

The 109 tram is serviced mostly by low-floor trams. The closest tram stop, North Richmond Railway Station/Victoria St (stop #19), is a level access stop.

The live stream video will not have closed captions but we will be providing a transcript after the event.


Collingwood Town Hall does not have allocated seating. First in, best dressed. Doors open at 6pm.

We will be setting aside spaces near the front on the ground floor for anyone with accessibility requirements. If you require a seat in a certain area, just speak to the friendly people on the door and they will help you out.

Bring card or cash for VWT posters

We will be unveiling some brand new Trust posters created by local artist Michelle Pereira. We been absolutely bursting to show you these feminist artworks — head along to the merch table to check ‘em out. 


We are so looking forward to sharing this very special night with you. Remember to take care of yourself and others, and reach out to the VWT team if you need anything. We are here to help ♥

Proudly presented by the Victorian Women’s Trust in partnership with the Sydney Peace Foundation.

The post Everything you need to know about our event with Tarana Burke  appeared first on Victorian Women's Trust.

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Airbnb promises to verify all 7 million listings after VICE report exposes scam

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a surprising response to Allie Conti's outstanding exposé
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QA advice from a Disability Blogger

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The TestLodge blog carries an ongoing series of articles discussing accessibility and how to improve it for all users of software and digital products.

Disability blogger advice

For this post, I interviewed the award-winning disability lifestyle blogger Gemma Turner, to canvass her unique insights and sage advice as somebody with a disability who navigates the physical and digital world. She has specific advice for us digital designers, software engineers, and QA testers that I think will be extremely valuable. We meet up for coffee and a chat in a bustling cafe in the city of Leeds, England.

Disability blogger advice Gemma

Will Saunders: Hi Gemma, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and how became a writer? What was the main motivation for becoming a disability blogger?

Gemma Turner: I’m a freelance disabled blogger who talks about life as a young, Northern, wheelchair user. I have a rare condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is also known as Brittle Bones. This ultimately means I have broken a few (300+) bones in my life. I am all but 2”11’ and a full-time wheelchair user.

When I was younger, I was what I like to call “disabled in denial” as I would cringe if anyone would treat me differently. Later I began to realise it wasn’t me that was the “problem,” but it was in fact, the barriers in our environment that were disabling. I now call myself disabled, and I am proud of that and the community I am a part of.

I’ve always had a passion for technology, so I decided to study New Media at the University of Leeds. It was there where I learned more about sharing my experiences of being young and disabled, so I decided to start my own space online where I could talk about a variety of topics such as fashion for small people like myself, dealing with ignorance and funny stories along the way. I try and make sure my Yorkshire humour is present as much as possible, to really speak to my readers.

After I graduated, I worked in the education sector in support services as a communications officer, as I was passionate about education being as inclusive as possible and I started to learn about inclusive communication. However, after winning Blogger of the Year in 2017 and training organisations on improving their inclusivity, I decided to take the leap earlier this year and focus on my blog and business full time.

I began to realise it wasn’t me that was the “problem,” but it was in fact, the barriers in our environment that were disabling

WS: Can you give our readers at Testlodge some examples of difficulties or frustrations you have encountered when it comes to using technology with regards to your condition?

GT: I actually tweeted about one of my frustrations the other day, and a lot of followers agreed – phones these days, although they can do so much, are also getting bigger and bigger. For people like myself who have chronic pain and arthritis, it can be painful holding phones for a long period of time, especially now they are getting heavier. Bring back the Nokia 3310 size!

Other frustrations are the processes for accessing opportunities for disabled people. For the majority of people nowadays, you can pretty much book anything online – whether that’s hotel rooms, gig tickets or train tickets. However, when you’re disabled, you can guarantee there will be a small note saying “disabled people: call this number”! This is really frustrating on many levels, mainly because these processes are usually difficult, and you can be treated as a nuisance. A lot of staff aren’t actually aware of their own processes a lot of the time. As these processes are at times, not consistent or easy to follow, it also means that there is pressure on the disabled customer to be the “organiser” and explain what your needs are. It ultimately means that you get used to not really knowing how to book something and there can be anxiety around whether something is accessible for you or not.

WS: From what you’re describing, it sounds like the designers of those systems haven’t considered, or even designed anything for, disabled people. So you are seen as a ‘bolt-on’ or an afterthought. This is quite discriminatory as we are making people who might struggle to use a telephone (or have anxiety, speech impediments, or a combination of things), take additional steps and spend extra time achieving the same goal that somebody without disabilities can do natively, within the system. It sounds like they need to read our article on Inclusive Design.

WS: On a positive note, can you give us any examples where technology has improved your day?

GT: My condition can mean that sometimes I may have to rest whilst my bones heal or during pain flare-ups. Therefore technology and social media have massively helped me not only keep in touch with the “real world” but also allowed me to do everyday things like my food shop at a few touches of my screen. There are loads of discussion groups and forums where disabled people can meet and chat about their lives. I recommend you take a look at the #DisabiltyTwitter hashtag to get an insight into the daily thoughts, frustrations, and rants of people with disabilities. If you don’t know any disabled people, this could be a good window into their lives – and why not engage with them and ask for their perspectives on a design project you’re working on? We’re a helpful bunch and are often happy to share our experiences.

Wireless technology is also a massive benefit for me too. When I’m having a day when I’m aching – even reaching a keyboard can be too much. Therefore my wireless keyboard is a godsend (especially as blogging is now my job!) because, on these days, I can position it where it is more comfortable. Mix this with my Apple Pencil to use for reaching my iPad screen better – it’s the comfort dream!

The most recent example I’ve experienced for the first time ever was being able to book a gig ticket online. I was so chuffed that I was able to do this. Not having to have a 20-minute conversation with someone and reading out my card details, was such a novelty to me. (WS: A few days after we spoke, the BBC reported on the following story Ticketmaster makes ‘huge step forward’ for disabled music fans.)

WS: It sounds like technology, overall, is a great thing for disabled people, but it’s clear that those of us who design and create these devices and interfaces need to keep people with disabilities in mind at all stages of development and QA testing. I think it’s a great idea to reach out online to people with a lived experience of disabilities, because the majority of people in the software industry are abled-bodied white guys who have very little knowledge of what it’s like to live with a disability and understand how it feels to struggle to use digital devices and interfaces that have not been designed with their access in mind.

On that note, what three things would you tell the software development and design industry; What do they need to know?

GT: Firstly, I would say be proactive rather than reactive. There are so many disabled people who can educate others on how to make things more accessible. Reach out to them. Don’t guess what barriers disabled people may experience. Reach out to disabled people (and consultants) just as you would for other aspects of your project.

An important aspect of accessibility as I’ve mentioned is to have choice and flexibility. Having different ways to achieve a goal, or to contact you, is much more inclusive.

We are a huge community, and when we find something that is accessible, we share this with our peers so it’s not just beneficial for us – it will ultimately diversify your audience too.

Reach out to disabled people (and consultants) just as you would for other aspects of your project.

WS: Your website is a good example of accessible design. Briefly tell me about the process you went through to make it more accessible, and why you think this is important.

GT: When I first started my blog, I really wasn’t aware of web accessibility. My experience is more about physical accessibility but I suppose the two are related. As I met more disabled friends, I realised the web can be such a barrier for many people such as visually impaired people, dyslexic, colourblind and so on.

I realised that I needed to make my blog adjustable for my readers. Through research, I found a WordPress Plugin called WP Accessibility Helper. This is a great tool that allows you to increase and decrease text size, highlight links, enable keyboard navigation and even change the font into something more “readable.” This is a free plugin and I’ve had great feedback from readers saying that this has been helpful to them.

There are also other free things you can do to make your content more accessible:

  • Subtitle your videos
  • Include image descriptions in your social media captions
  • Structure your text when possible so it is easier to navigate (use bullet points or include paragraph formatting)

Gemmea turner website

WS: That’s great. It’s good to know that by following a few simple accessibility principles, we can all make a better online experience for our audience!

To wrap up, are you hopeful about the future? Do you see the (digital) world improving and realising they need to do better to address accessibility needs?

GT: Disabled people have more of a voice now that there are platforms for sharing experiences online. With technology rapidly evolving too, I think this can only be even better for disabled people to be able to access more from the comfort of their own homes. However, it still feels to me like there is a divide in society. Disabled people do not experience a lot of opportunities as easily as non-disabled people. There is definitely this attitude at the moment from a lot of organisations that if something is slightly accessible, disabled people should feel lucky rather than have the nerve to express when something isn’t the same experience as for non-disabled people.

If we truly were an accessible society, I think we would be putting inclusion at the forefront of all of our projects. It would be something that we invested our time and money into, to make sure disabled people don’t have a different experience. We would know that by putting our energies into inclusiveness, we would all ultimately benefit in the long run.

The post QA advice from a Disability Blogger appeared first on TestLodge Blog.

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11 days ago
Melbourne, Australia
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our CEO calls employees’ babies “future employees” and gives us no paid parental leave

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A reader writes:

I work for a contracting company that places workers in other company’s offices all over the place. I’ve never met anyone from corporate HQ, just my regional managers, but I do get emails from our CEO. A lot of emails. Every single day. In the middle of misspelled and grammatically incorrect messages about hitting sales goals or wishing us a happy holiday, he’ll drop in some incredibly personal details about his life. I’ve never met this man, but I know all about his mother’s mental health issues, his acrimonious divorce, his great new girlfriend, his trip to the Middle East with an evangelical preacher, and his thoughts on gun control (against) and the Holocaust (also against). He’s also repeatedly encouraged all of us to follow him on his personal social media.

Whenever an employee has a baby, the CEO sends out an all-staff congratulations email and refers to the baby as a future employee. Often, a picture of the newborn wearing a onesie with our corporate logo is attached to the email. He often refers to the company as one big family and his employees as his one true family.

This company does not offer 401k matching and barely contributes to our insurance premiums, but they’ll sure as shit send you a ONESIE WITH OUR SHITTY LOGO ON IT.

This company offers no paid parental leave, by the way. The policy on parental leave is explicitly the bare minimum covered by the FMLA.

I don’t have a question! It’s a crappy company and a crappy field to be in, under a sane economy neither would exist, and I’ll be incredibly happy when I finally leave.

I know you’re not asking for advice, which is good because I don’t really have any, but your letter was delightful in the way other people’s horror stories can be delightful. You are his one true familyI hope that on your last day at this company you find a way to wear an adult-sized onesie with the company logo on it.

our CEO calls employees’ babies “future employees” and gives us no paid parental leave was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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11 days ago
Melbourne, Australia
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Painting with Pure CSS


Last year, I fell in love with Diana Smith’s stunning CSS paintings: Francine, Vignes, and Zigario. (I loved them so much, I asked her to speak at XOXO’s Art+Code event last year.)

Incredibly, Diana types these out by hand, layering HTML elements and CSS properties with only a text editor and Chrome Developer Tools. In this post, she talks about the CSS properties she relies on most, with links to what her work would look like without each.

She just released her latest illustration, Lace, inspired by Flemish/baroque art and coded in two weekends, and it’s my favorite so far.

Her illustrations are designed for Chrome, but don’t let that stop you from viewing them in other browsers, especially older ones. Each collapses and distorts in unexpected ways, revealing the subtle differences between browsers as they evolved over time.

Here’s what “Lace” looks like in some other browsers I tried.

Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7
Chrome 45 for Windows
Safari 13
Safari 10.1
Firefox 70
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11 days ago
Melbourne, Australia
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VICE’s Allie Conti investigates an Airbnb scammer

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lax verification enables large-scale hosts to exploit their platform
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