Top stories


  • The emerging industry known as “voluntourism” may be exploiting well-meaning Western tourists while fostering poverty and reducing economic growth in developing countries.   By  ALEXIS BEAUMONT With its popularity booming across South-East Asia and Africa, concerns are being raised about the net benefits of the practice known as “voluntourism”. Voluntourism organisers charge fees to arrange volunteer work for wealthy ... Read more


  • The giant yellow pillar of the Melbourne International Gateway that rises above the northern entrance to CityLink could be viewed less as a welcome to the city, and more like a warning to users of nearby Royal Park of more toll roads to come. By TODD SHILTON The proposal for stage one of the East West Link ... Read more

Life & Style

  •   Hundreds of women around Australia are pledging to wear no makeup for 24 hours tomorrow, Friday, August 29, in order to combat negative body image.  By JORDANA DE VALLE Australian women will wipe off their makeup tomorrow as part of the 2014 Makeup Free Me “let’s lift the mask” campaign. According to market research company GfK Australia, only 37 per cent ... Read more


  • The world’s appetite for fish is growing, and fish farms are the only way forward. But when it can take up to 4kg of wild-caught fish  to produce 1 kg of premium farmed fish such as salmon, sustainability and food safety are crucial and growing issues. By SAM BLISS A sea of luminous eyes stare out of the metallic ... Read more


  • It might be cold outside, but Melbourne is a red-hot festival city in winter. With a range of programs in all price brackets, the Melbourne Writers Festival will spread the warmth around. By KELLY PIGRAM Just as you were settling into the couch after the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Coffee Festival, the Emerging Writer’s Festival and the Open House ... Read more


  •  After the narrowest of misses and battered by injury, Australia’s water polo squad is training hard in the northern summer for  next week’s World Cup.  Despite the problems, the Sharks have their eyes set firmly on a podium finish. By LUKE MORTIMER The Australian men’s water polo squad is in Herceg Novi, Montenegro, getting crucial  international match practice in preparation for the World Cup ... Read more

Other stuff

  • Deakin University is conducting a five-week trial of Whiz Kid Games, a video game program designed for children living with moderate to severe autism. By JACK LACY Designed for autistic children aged six to 12, Whiz Kid Games aims to discover whether or not an interactive video game can help improve certain social behaviours such as following instructions ... Read more