Check out 'The Australian Way' for Oprah

The school system in Australia is actually a travesty.

So, as I was looking through Twitter this morning, I saw that Labor had released a statement praising the standard of Australian students as amongst the best in the world.

"The Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, has welcomed the results of the 2009 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which revealed that Australian students remain among the top academic performers worldwide. "

When I saw that, my heart soared. As an avid propagator of education, I thought that those figures were quite significant, considering my latest loss of faith in the intelleigence of the Australian populationn (think Carrie Bickmore and the soon-to-be-infamous Oprah Report of the Australian way of life; the current douchebags at the head of federal politics; and many, many disappointing people updating their blogs and Facebooks and Twitter accounts daily).

But I digress.

According to this report, a group of 14,250 Australian 15-year-old students from 353 different schools took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and "performed well above the OECD average in all three assessment areas,”, according to Mr Garrett, our newly appointed Minister for School Education. What I find most amusing about this report is the blatant political spin on results which were, in fact, quite dismal for the country Australia has the potential to be.

As I was browsing the net and doing my morning read, y'know, I came across a vastly different interpretation of the issue from The West Australian. In their reniditon of the events,
'Australian teenagers' reading and maths skills have plummeted in the past decade', scoring 13- points less in reading, and 10-points less in mathematics since the year 2000. Science remained unchanged.

To me, this indicates a problem which has steadily plagued the Australian primary and secondary education system for years: government schooling does NOT receive anywhere NEAR enough funding from the government, remaining at the discretion of the State governments rather than Federal.

Private schools, on the other hand, continue to flourish despite the current government's pledge, and really, their PLATFORM, of evening out the score between private and government schooling. News flash, Julia and drones: creating a website which details the amount of revenue generated by private schools exposes the injustice, but it doesn't actually do anything to fix the problem. Investing actually money, time and thought into the physical reality, for example, does.

The West Australian also reported that '
Geoff Masters, who heads the Australian Council for Educational Research, which manages the tests in Australia, said though the nation achieved above the OECD average, the literacy decline was concerning. He said the achievement gap between students from wealthy and poor backgrounds was equivalent to almost three years of schooling. This put an "unacceptable proportion" of 15-year-olds at serious risk of being unable to read well enough to find work.'

What. the. hell. So what this basically means is that children whose parents are not filthy rich will miss out on countless job opportunities because their standard of education is well below par in relation to the private school system. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that is so disgusting AND embarrassing, especially as it is occurring within a nation that claims to be based on egalitarian values and an all- encompassing 'working class system'.

Give me a break, Labor and Liberals (or Laberals, as one of my wise professors coined them) - you both only look out for the future of the 'upper' working-class. Labor, you are particularly disappointing: to abandon the future of those who have least opportunity is an act so despicable it makes me want to become an anarchist.

Puppy Factories and Politics

So, today I found out that Bailleu plans to crack down, rather heavily, on Puppy Factories and the people who run them.

As a staunch leftie, I have always voted for either Labor or the Greens (it varies according to their policies and the reality of their implementation). However, it has come to my attention that of late, the Labor party in particular has managed to severely disappoint me, both in their policy making and in selling out to the right.


For me, a fellow puppy lover, there is nothing more abhorrent than puppy factories. These disgusting institutions, run be equally disgusting people, force female dogs as young as fix months to give birth for the remainder of their lives. They are hormoned up to their eyeballs to start early, and subjected to a caged life, in horrible, dirty conditions and not enough food or water.

From the first time I caught sight of the ad with the beautiful beagle, with her mournful, liquid eyes and grossly disfigured body and teats, my heart broke.

And evidently, so did Bailleu's.

The man (a fellow dog owner and lover) has promised to raise the fines of illegal dog breeders from $1195 to between $20,000 and $30,000, and/ or a year in prison. Even though I think they deserve a harsher penalty, I think this is a exemplary action from the Opposition. In addition, he has promised to give RSPCA the legal rights to investigating animal abuse, something denied by Brumby's current government.

It's ironic that Labor, the 'left' party with heart, denies animals the basic form of treatment.

I think I may just have to switch sides this time around.

Early Spring

The iridescent sunlight streams through the glass,
its rays illuminating the dust particles dancing within the room.
The fresh, delectable air seeps through the cracks in the walls,
engulfing everything in a cloak of summer promise.
But alas: the warmth it suggests is not yet arrived,
with deceptive brightness and cold, cruel winds piercing the warmest of clothes.
When will I enjoy the day? You think.
When will I be able to leave my warmth at home, only to be cloaked by the heat of nature?
Soon, the frigid wind whispers teasingly,
ruffling the hair and creasing the skin with goosebumps.


So, initially I thought that the Catholic Church had actually banned football all together, just like it had announced a few months ago that female priests are on the same level of sin as pedophiles. (That was highly amusing...) But unlike its stance on female priests, which is evidently very negative (or positive, considering the amount of pedophiles who are forgiven within the Church). But alas, no. It's not quite as amusing as the the Church starting yet another war, this time with, sadly, one of the most integral aspects of Australian culture.

Now, despite being a Catholic myself, I cannot say that of late, I have supported the Church's public endeavors. However, this is something that I do appreciate: the obsession with footy is an embarrassing part of Australian society and culture, and if some organisation wants to ban it, I say go for it. But in this instance, it turns out that the Church is only banning secular songs, which include football anthems.

"Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs or football club songs," the guidelines state. (The Herald Sun)

I am of two minds on this actual matter. Firstly, as a Catholic, I do find it rather insulting that and Christina Aguilera could be played within the confines of a holy place. Surely one can have a social celebration for their deceased before the church funeral? I would particularly hate to mix footy and religion simple because I believe that the belief in the Aussie sports 'super star' (read as 'mediocre') is overblown and taken way out of proportion.

On the other hand, I don't see how someone, God bless them, who loved this sport so much should be denied his or her favourite song on their funeral bed. I mean, really: does it matter? Is it really invading the sanctity of church to play a few minuted of, admittedly, tasteless music? But I suppose the Church really stands for everything that's serious and somber and has little time for fun.

So I think, my dislike and contempt for footy in this case is severely tested by my sense of the just. What do you think?


So it has been a while since I have blogged.

I am truly a lazy, lazy excuse for a human being - whenever I am asked as to why I have neglected my blog for so long AGAIN, I can always find PLENTY of excuses to support my laziness. However, I will now valiantly try to keep a top this blogging thing once more.

I Am Australia- Katie Noonan. I love this version and her voice.


I'm currently sitting in the ERC library, killing time before class. I have just finished reading abut the fate of women during any given war, and the horrific experiences they are forced to go through for something that is, in my opinion, completely pointless and orchestrated by men. Sigh. The injustices of the world are really staring to get to me.

Everyday, we are confronted with images and literature regarding issues we cannot fix; sex trafficking, pedophilia, rape, gender inequality, famine and countless other atrocities that have so many ethical, moral, public, private and so on implications.

Call me an idealist, but I'm really, truly beginning to want to change the world.

Parisian Love (so cute)

Australian Style: My two cents.

So, I have recently purchased a book on 'Australian Style', written by Melissa Penfold and Jenny Tabakoff, (a stylist and a lifestyle journalist, both from Sydney). It offers not only an interesting read, but also valuable insights into etiquette and morally driven beahviour. The subjects range from "How to pull yourself together" (dressing) to "How to have beautiful manners" and "How to make your house look like a million dollars" etc.

I enjoyed the text's emphasis on empowering one's sense of self, of aiming to respect not only others', but your own sense of worth. The advice on page 27 states that "Every day, do something physical something pleasurable, something intellectual and something for someone else. It will balance out your life." I consider that rather valid, and quite a nice summary of achieving a happy balance in life.

However, despite the insightful advice, I can't help but feel that the book cultivates a very traditional view of gender, segregating men and women into their conventionally sanctioned gender roles. For instance, under the chapter of "How to be a seductress", the authors detail how to "remember to wear a dress or skirt, with pretty heels, at least once a week. It reminds you (and others) that you're a woman." (p. 95). Now, I know I'm a fan of fashion myself, and of course beautiful dresses, but really, this sentence screams to me of dressing for others, especially men, and not for yourself. Sure, wear a dress if that's what you feel like that day, week or even month, but if you're having a pants fortnight, why not explore the different types available to you? No need to be 'sexy' all the time, or ever if you don't wish it.

Another quote which rather bothered me was "walk like a woman, not a gorilla. That means a slight swish of the hips, taking light steps keeping your head up and shoulders back..." and so on. I think that phrase speaks for itself in terms of very clearly dividing men and women in their behavioural processes and the importance of behaving within the 'appropriate' (by whom?) boundaries of your gender.

Overall, I do think it is an enjoyable read, particularly when it mentions simple, yet always relevant rules of developing a 'moral' style in treating people well. The other stuff....take with a grain of salt.

Fashion blog epiphany.

So, I have recently been employed to keep atop the fashion and lifestyle blogging industry, and to select the most popular ones within which a fashion brand can advertise. It turns out that this job is actually perfect for me.

However, it's not only the viewing of incredible street and designer fashion which has been inspiring me to hone in my own fashion tastes and skills: it's also given me ideas of how to perhaps make my own blog a little more interactive and interesting, especially in terms of my own fashion choices.

So hopefully, I'll start to post my own fashion pieces soon!!

I is idiot.

Ok, so after all this time, my wonderful friend has figured out why I couldn't log in. And do you know why, f0lks? Because I am a moron. I was using the wrong email to log in, and then ended up confusing myself to the point of incredible frustration and needed someone normal to solve it.

Soon, I shall be updating much more regularly once more.

B is for Beauty.

Beauty is a very contentious subject, one which elicits many negative and positive reactions.

Beauty is an aesthetic which lights up the world; it may not be an essential part of life, however, its status survives, and will forever survive, simply because it brings people pleasure. Despite many assurances to the contrary, beauty, whether it be found in people, nature, fashion or architecture, is something everyone appreciates, and many aspire to achieve and own beyond all costs.

However, beauty does not only exist on the outside. It is also found in attributes such as kindness, love, happiness; it can illuminate seemingly plain people from the inside, encompassing them in a glow which far surpasses those who have only their outward appearance to offer.

And most importantly, let us not forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Love is blind to all faults. And as we all have someone who loves us, we can all be considered beautiful, even if it is not always said out loud.

I yearn, I pine, I perish.

Can you not see me in this room? It's so pristine and white I could almost become so myself. If I don't spill something all over it, that is.

Crazy couch.

Now, I don't know about you, but I believe that an elegant and/or unique couch is needed in every home. As I am currently residing with the parentals, I have little to no choice as to our couches. As a result, they are attractive, even sitable, but certainly not within the realm of beauty and craziness that they could be. Honestly though, I will most likely just have the very French inspired, ornate couch, one which will look amazing against a backdrop of opulence, gold and leather bound books, haphazardly (yet artfully) arranged on beautifully crafted bookshelves of light pine wood (naturally complementing the similar wooden floor). I will also have a delicate coffee table, glass, rimmed with white wood, engraved with intricate designs and holding two or three highly prized books - one displaying elegance throughout the years, one attributed to contemporary fashion and perhaps one design book, featuring decadent displays of wealth, architecture and interior design.

I really need a good job. (Or a wealthy husband ;) )

The only reason to have children.


I just had to put these up. I have decided that if I accidentally have a child, he/she will be lavished with such a room, because although mummy will be too old to live in it, she will most definitely appreciate it.

My dream home: Viva la France

Sorry for all the posts! It seems that I have yet to escape my sporadic and almost spastic posting habits. But there are so, so, so many beautiful images out there, just waiting to be discovered and distributed! And as for my dream home...French design, lace, white. That is all I need.


Ladies and Gentleman, I bring you Collette Dinnigan, designer extraordinaire.


Lately, I have really become interested in all things lace.

Lace is beautiful, feminine and elegant; it is versatile, and representative of many diverse styles, such as punk, rock, goth, Victorian elegance and bridal couture. Whether it be virginal white or hard black, it never fails to impress.

A is for Absence

It's interesting how every so often, people we haven't known for very long somehow embed themselves into our psyche and our affections. They quickly become a part of our daily thought rituals, and we indulge in many a fantasy regarding their well being and whereabouts.

However, the significance of their impact upon our lives is usually truly determined when they are absent. It is then that we have the time to reassess our attachment, and to see whether this new association is really as solid as we have imagined it to be in the first stages of its life.

Often, it is not. But if it is based on a something solid, it may just go the distance.

Journalism! (and recent events)

So today, I once again re-entered the realm of writers.

I interviewed a person. And not just any person: a professor at Melbourne University, whose knowledge of online media and journalism has provided very interesting and useful concepts for my up and coming article. That's right, I have actually decided to DO something with my time and research an article (coming out in the next Farrago edition, hopefully, unless I really screw it up), so people, stay tuned for more wise words from Caroline.

Overall, the time is going simultaneously slowly and quickly. I spend it with friends, watching Sailor Moon (shh), reading literature and trash, magazines, looking at fashion and dreaming about the lovely things that will be happening a month from now. March really is the loveliest month of all: FINALLY, I return to my beloved studies, where I can finally exercise my mind beyond the wonders of Sailor Moon and Twilight.

It is also my birthday. Not as significant as the last, and yes, I am becoming older, however, until the day I am told I actually look my age, I will be satisfied to age gracefully and cosmetic- surgery less :D

Also, March is the month I have schedules my internship with The Herald and Weekly Times, so folks, perhaps you will have the chance to enjoy an article or two in the always credible MX, or perhaps even The Herald Sun itself!

And more wonderful thing is happening, but that shall remain a secret. Let's just say that it will be the most pleasant occurrence of all. :)

ta ta!


So today, I had a bit of a rude awakening. Technically, this has happened before, so I thought it wouldn't hurt so much again: I was wrong.

Throughout life, we all go through stages of friendships. We begin with primary school, where we first become exposed to relationships based on our level- age, interests etc. We form bonds with other children, primarily those of our own sex, and believe them to be the strongest ties in the world.

But then comes high school, and those we thought we could not live without become largely forgotten. This is the time when we are really introduced to the fragility of friendships, and where we gain the knowledge that not everyone we hold in high esteem reciprocates. We find out people talk behind our backs; we find out they lie. We find out how transient human relationship really are, how much they depend on context and the smallest of decisions to either continue, or dissolve. However, a lucky few of us manage to find friends which reverse the trend; over time, the friendships become stronger. They are cultivated into something substantial. They become a permanent fixture of our lives, and they usually remain there.

That's why it hurts so much more when these friends leave us; it is not quite so easy to forget them as it once was.

Boots and Hair.

I want those boots, and that hair.



Nirrimi Hakanson, a 17-year-old Australian photographer, is truly an amazing talent. Although I only discovered her recently, her photography is absolutely magnificent: whimsical and etheral it focuses on small details of beauty, such as succulent lips, bright, startling eyes or freckles dotting a petite nose.

When I was looking through her gallery, her shots made me feel as if I was looking in on a world filled with precious, delicate details and doll-like beauty. They are unique in possessing antique properties, combined with the freshness of nature and the burnished.

Although I've given a brief preview, see for yourself at

My Strawberries.

I made that. I am a chef.


So, two days ago, I got a fringe.

And not just a side fringe- that was a few weeks ago. No. It is a wispy/ blunt fringe which cuts across my forehead in jagged lines, seeking entry into my eyes, yet failing. Ha ha, that's because it's too short to reach.

But alas, I digress.

I have determined that I have a love/hate relationship with fringes. My last adventure into the fringe-world was in year 10, when I was at the tender age of 16. Back then, I had no income (except for the measly $20 my parents dished out reluctantly every week, almost always threatening to take it away if I did not clean my room/house properly), and therefore, no money to spare for such necessities as GOOD HAIRDRESSERS. So instead, I allowed my mother to cut my fringe. I thought I looked nice. I thought it was cute and pretty and became me.


Looking back at those photos, I now see that I, in fact, looked like a little oompa loompa, with red hair (sigh), and a short fringe that curled inward, curtsy of my wavy hair. I had a shoddy hair straightener, no style and no income- think about it.

So what persuaded me to go for the front-chop now, you say? Simple. 'The Devil Wears Prada". Those who know me are by now nodding their heads, rolling their eyes and saying 'of course'. Let me explain; that movie, although 4 years old (which is about a century in fashion), is still, nonetheless, a representation of the world which I wish to enter. The characters, although 'technically' wearing outdated clothes, have true style; they are chic and elegant, and yes, they have fringes. And let me tell you, that a fringe, done WELL, can be the difference between Couture and Supre. Audrey Hepburn and Paris Hilton. You get the drift.

So, although I was horrified at first, I now have come to accept my fringe, and even slightly delight in it. I look shaggy, I look different, I look ok.

Thumbs up for the fringe.



That's right, I made this. It may be Viet-My's talent and camera that captured my moment of glory so perfectly, but the raw material was all me.

My breakfast.

Yum. I am addicted to croissants, smeared in butter and strawberry jam. Add a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, and you have a mind-bogglingly delectable breakfast.


I have finally started catching up with the news (which is really despicable, considering that my ambitions lie within the field of journalism), and let me tell you, it's not easy to be constantly reading about the tragedy and horror that is occurring in the world.

Take the recent example of Haiti. It is incomprehensible, especially to those lucky enough to be living in not only a 1st world country, but also a land mass (such as Australia) that is rarely, if ever, affected by natural disasters. And certainly not earthquakes. (Those who claim that the 'shake' which occurred in Melbourne last year was an earthquake should go and live in Haiti, California or Japan. That would probably give you some perspective of what a natural disaster actually is, instead of focusing on something that possibly shook a lamp.)

The flood of images and stories detailing a city saturated with death and disease, anguish and uncertainty tug on my heartstrings every time. Broken homes, broken families, broken hearts; that is mostly what remains of Port-au-Prince, as well as certain rural communities such as Leogane, where the desire for survival is slowly turning people against each other, and even themselves, changing them into people who can only think and feel with instinct, rather than compassion. And why should they not? Food prices are on the rise, water and supplies are scarce, disease and the threat of infection rampant.

So people who can, give. Give something that will ease at least the life of one person, for maybe one day. It's still helping.

I know I will.

Emporio Armani love.

Ok, even though I haven't paid much attention to the designs of Emporio Armani over the years, I believe I have been converted. The designer is a GENIUS. I have never, in all my years of intense interest in the world of fashion, been exposed to such luxurious, decadent and wonderfully wearable couture as offered by this label.

In particular, it is the Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 Women's Collection which has me begging for more. As I mentioned before, the theme is based on luxury, sophistication, with influences from the baroque era evident not only in the clothing, but also accessories.

The collection focuses heavily on the use of (patterned) knee high/ ankle socks, (think Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl), usually made from wool or a sheer material. Combined with heavy woolen/cotton dresses, designed to accentuate both an hour-glass, womanly shape and of course, the standard coltish body of a couture model, these beautiful creations come in a palette of muted tones, ranging from navy blues, blacks, dark greens, grays and the occasional purple/ brown finish.

The fabrics are simply breathtaking- velvet jackets trimmed with faux-fur and silk, butter soft leather jackets accentuated with elaborate details such as frills, military buttons and diamante chains, delicate little wrist gloves and intricate winter hats, crafted out of smoky olive velvet.

Makeup is also highly do-able: luscious berry lips and smoky eyes, offset by purples, greens and mud browns.