A ROUND UP OF OUR SKILLS DAY

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF #pureskillsday

October 1st, 2015 PURE at Murdoch held its first ever SKILLS DAY.Inspirational quotes 7

On a fine spring morning we set up with enthusiasm, ready to be inspired by our guest panelists and excited for what we could take away from the day to better ourselves in our professions.

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Before we go on, mega kudos have to be given not only to our esteemed panelists and presenter but also to all the amazing Murdoch students that came out on Thursday morning during the study break.

Thank you for making our first event of this kind such a success.

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For those that weren’t able to make it, fret not we have wrapped up all the pieces of the golden advice and put it here for you in a short list for your disposal anytime.

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MEET THE PANEL (Left to Right)

Alex York – Communication and Events Coordinator at Murdoch University

James Hammond – Graduate Economist

Danika Adams – Economist at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia

Dhiva Shini – PR Manager and Freelancer

And our PURE Committee member and hosts Sameera Afzaal and Olivia Haynes

Now, let’s begin.

We have paired up all the advice into categories for your ease.

Resume, cover letters, portfolio and LinkedIn

  1. Make sure you are highlighting and giving future employers relevant information
  2. Look at the industry you are applying for and showcase required skills set
  3. Cover letters are equally important in making a position impression
  4. Convey your value to the company in the cover letter by highlighting your acquired skills in line with their required skills
  5. Invest time in creating portfolios of your work and a LinkedIn profile
  6. Always proof read your resume, cover letters, portfolio and online profiles
  7. Ask friends and family to give it a second look

Social media

  1. Google yourself and delete anything that you don’t want employers to see
  2. Do not overshare
  3. Be aware of what you are sharing
  4. Just because your profile is private doesn’t mean its “private” it can be tracked down through mutual networks
  5. Choose appropriate profile picture for professional portfolios or LinkedIn accounts

Office etiquette (attitude, emails, meetings)

  1. Leave negativity at the door
  2. Always arrive to work on time
  3. Collaborate and stay cordial
  4. Stay formal in office emails, you never know who they may be forwarded too
  5. Remember office emails are property of the company and can be recalled at any time
  6. Don’t call too many meetings as a newbie
  7. Only call meetings with a defined outcome, remember everyones time is valuable
  8. Always have a meeting agenda if meeting is called and stick to relevant conversation

Dress code etiquette

  1. It is always better to overdress for your interview than undress
  2. Adjust your office wardrobe according to the situation
  3. Don’t stress, it comes with time as you adjust to your environment

 Networking

  1. Always a good idea
  2. If you exchange business cards, respect the contact and take time to look at it and don’t shove it away
  3. Remember you never know where you might be able to make a valuable contact or friend

So there is a little round up for you all.

we rapidly approach the summer many of us will be sourcing out internships, work placement or just a casual job. Remember that every experience is valuable and often it takes time to adjust to new working environments. Don’t stress, hustle, learn and live.

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/Sameera Afzaal

My Favourite Place to Escape Has No Tangible Location

Unlike a lot of people I know I still appreciate those rectangular objects with paper in the middle of them and a hard shell holding it together. Yes I am talking about books, those things that hardly anyone reads these days!

I don’t know if it’s just my inner nerd shining through but I think people need to appreciate books, novels and stories more than Facebook, fake tans and cats (totally kidding cats are highly important and should be given full attention).

Seriously though there is no better (or worse) feeling than holding the last page of the book you have just spent the last couple of months, weeks, or hours reading and finally knowing who dies, who falls in love, who wins, who loses or learning that there is definitely a sequel.

The pages are probably curled and ripped due to ferociously folding it in ways it should not be folded. They probably have dirty finger prints on them from when you were eating some greased up, deep fried, ‘diet starts Monday’ kind of snack and a couple or majority of the pages probably have make up smudges from the tears you shed out of sadness or joy at the journey that book has taken you on.

No worse feeling you ask? Well yeah duh, what are you going to do with the rest of your life now that the series you have vested all your time, emotions and sleep into has ended?

Numerous times before I have closed the final pages to a book, reminisced the good times I had, the places I went, the people I met and then it dawns on me, what do I do now? I’ve been in a whole other world since picking up that book and now its over.

It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is whether it’s an extremely long and confusing series about wizards or a steamy series about some sexy rich man who wears grey ties (let’s not get distracted now), regardless of what book you are reading: You. Will. Get. Attached.

Those characters have become your best friends, you either want to be with them or be them. It all seemed so real and now it’s over, the end of an era… even if it only took a day to read it seems like a lifetime.

But at the end remember: don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened… and then start reading it again.

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/Zoe Keenan

Last Weeks Coffee Catch-up

Thank you to everyone for coming to last weeks Coffee Catch-Up! Huge success as always!

The Coffee Catch Up is one of our favourite events of the year as it is such a great opportunity for the PURE committee to get to know the PR, Communications and Journalist students better. If you missed out last Thursday your next chance to do some networking with your fellow students will be in two weeks time. More information to come in a couple of days time, we can’t wait to see you all then!

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Our PURE President Lynsey

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Some of our amazing committee members!

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Ryan was the Barista King!

/Jenny Ljunggren

5 Things we all end up doing for Father’s Day

Do you remember last year around late August and early September? The weekend before father’s day? You completely forgot it was coming up – because how is it September all ready, right? You had to quickly plan something and think of the perfect gift for him within days. He of course still showed complete gratitude for the efforts you scrambled together; but wouldn’t it be nice to accept its September already and really show your thanks and love for that special man who’s always been there for you? It would be nice, but c’mon, we’re all going to procrastinate just like last year. I, as a veteran of this dilemma, have come up with ‘5 Things We All End Up Doing for Father’s Day’.

  1. Knowing for weeks that Father’s Day is coming up but never actually knowing when until the day before when your mum reminds you. It’s not like Mother’s Day where if you have forgotten you can just duck down to your nearest Coles or Woolies, pick up some flowers, maybe some chocolate, (yes, I have done this) and you’re set. No, no Father’s Day is different. He (probably) wouldn’t accept flowers and chocolate as a present. And now you’re stuck in a pit of self-pity, disappointment, and regret that you weren’t more organised.
  2. Waking up on Father’s Day and cooking him breakfast in bed, with a card you picked up the day before and just wrote on it 2 minutes ago so the ink is still a little wet. The key with this simple classic is to always knock on the bedroom door and wait for permission to enter, if you have never thought of this as a must then you are a very very lucky person.
  3. Always buying him AFL merchandise year after year because you’re too lazy to think of something original. This is something I am also guilty of doing. Hey, I know my dad barracks for the Eagles so to hell with it – am I lazy? Yes. Do I want to get him something different this year? Yes, but I am lazy. So another Eagles coffee mug it is this year.
  4. Similar to point #3 I know my dad is a huge fan of motocross so if I can I try to incorporate that in a present. If I can. Usually I can’t. Usually it’s just an Eagle’s scarf or coffee mug with the dying thought that one day, one day, I will give him something that serves his other interests. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
  5. Getting him something alcohol related. Being an Australian, this is a safe, appropriate, and often requested gift. A good bottle of his favourite alcoholic beverage and you might be his favourite child this year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bottle of alcohol, it can be something for his bar, a drinking game, or a drinking cup… that you’ll probably steal for your own purposes.

I can go on but the main thing about Father’s Day is showing your thanks to your dad, whether that be a well-planned day or something you just came up with the day before. Whatever you end up doing or getting for your dad he will appreciate anyway. Just remember to take some time to say ‘I love you’ and appreciate him.

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Crossing the Line? Reporting Transgender

Networking group Women in Media WA held an event examining the representation of transgender people in the media. The event was held at The Dominion League in Northbridge and featured a panel with both professional and personal knowledge on the trans community. Louise Pratt, a former WA senator, spoke of the challenges she faced when her partner was forced to transition in the limelight due to Louise’s position. Tina Ross transitioned in 2012 and was brave enough to tell her story. Dr Rob Cover from UWA, author of “Queer Youth Suicide, Culture and Identity: Unbelievable Lives?” shared his expertise in gender.

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Key Terms

The three terms you should familiarise yourself with when writing about gender diversity as a PR practitioner or journalist are ‘transgender’, ‘non-binary gender’ and ‘intersex’. If someone is transgender it typically means they identify as a gender that is different to the one assigned to them at birth. People with a non-binary gender or gender queer do not see themselves as exclusively a man or woman. Gender is fluid for gender queer individuals. Intersex means that biologically a person has both male and female characteristics whether it be their hormones, chromosomes, internal reproductive system or external genitals.

The Problem

In the past trans people were seen as ‘freaks’, the butt of the joke and in some cases even dangerous. Dr Rob Cover gave the example of the serial killer in the 1991 film ‘Silence of the Lambs’. Whilst Rob said there has been significant change in the past 5-7 years there is definitely still room for improvement. Many public relations practitioners and reporters are well meaning but can unwillingly perpetuate negative stereotypes.

  • Objectifying transgender people in an attempt to increase listeners, ratings or readership.
    Hayley Davis who facilitated the discussion gave the perfect example of this exploitation in the media coverage of the murder of transwoman Mayang Prasetyo. Mayang was killed and dismembered by her partner. The Courier-Mail chose to run the headline “Monster Chef and the She Male” with an image of Mayang in a bikini and repeatedly mentioned that she was a sex worker. Though the Australian Press Council deemed the story offensive and a breach press standards it illustrates we still have a long way to go.
  • Only showing the challenges to being trans and the “struggle with no end”
    Dr Rob Cover spoke of the danger of only presenting the negative side of being transgender. He said people are likely to commit suicide when they feel they don’t belong and they cannot see a future for themselves. This highlights the medias responsibility to show diverse representations of trans people, that it is not all doom and gloom, so the trans community can see how resilient they are. Dr Rob Cover praised the Amazon TV series ‘Transparent’ in their depiction of a strong, resilient, caring transwoman.
  • Not including a trans voice in the discussion of gay rights
    Louise Pratt expressed her disappointment that trans people were often left out of coverage on issues such as gay marriage. She spoke of several laws that are prejudiced towards the trans community that are often not bought into the public sphere by those working in PR and journalism such as the fact that an individual has to have major, invasive, irreversible genital surgery to be covered by the anti-discrimination act.
  • Asking members of the trans community inappropriate questions
    Louise Pratt said she felt stressed and traumatised by some of the stories that were reported on her and her partner. Louise made it clear it was not acceptable to ask someone about their genitals and encouraged those working in the media to make their interview subject feel comfortable.

The Solution

  • Positive gender diverse role models
    Tina Ross communicated her wish that she had known about transsexual US tennis player Renée Richards when she started to struggle with her gender. She recalls thinking “Am I the only one? What’s wrong with me?” Tina said she would have liked to have seen more role models who were not in the sex industry. Dr Rob Cover said he would like to see more representations of trans people in the media where they are not just pigeonholed for their gender.
  • Educating both children and adults about gender diversity
    Tina Ross commended programs in schools that educate children on gender diversity but emphasised the need to inform adults on the trans community. The panel said before we can change representations of trans people in the media we need to change how people think.
  • Being fair and ethical in producing content on transgender individuals
    Respect people’s history and pronouns and make use of the numerous resources available on gender diversity. Tina Ross explained for some trans people talking about their past can be very upsetting so let them guide the conversation or focus on the person they are today. When it comes to what people prefer to be called Tina said the safest thing to do is simply ask. The panel also suggested putting the number to QLife at the end of articles featuring a transgender person.

    The contact number for QLife the counselling and referral service for the LBTIQA community is 1800 184 527.

Europe for Beginners: What I Wish I Knew

It’s been a couple of weeks since I embarked on my month long journey to Europe, during the break. With high hopes and dreams, I remember tossing and turning over all the different opportunities that I will face over my time there, the people I will meet and the memories I will create. I originally thought it would end up like the movie Euro Trip, but it proved to be something much more than that.

Today, after reviewing my time in Europe, I want to share with you my experiences (the appropriate ones…) and maybe even give you all a few tips on travelling Europe.

  • You’re going to get lost!

I don’t know if this is obvious to everyone else, but it wasn’t to me. I like to think of myself as a well-rounded navigator who can follow a map. Hmm, turns out maybe I’m not! The streets of Italy and Amsterdam will have your mind spinning in circles, wondering if you just saw that guy on the street trying to sell you a ‘selfie stick’ just five minutes ago. The truth is, you’re probably lost. But don’t get too worried, take it as an adventure, and when you get the chance, maybe check with someone for directions!

  • Always check the weather in advance

So… I wish I listened to my mother on this one. I went to Europe late June through to the end of July. All I can say is I wasted a lot of space in my bag with unnecessary jumpers, jeans and beanies! Although my Mum gave me a good stern warning, I still didn’t listen. Instead I listened too many of my friends who told me it would be cold in the European Summer, sorry Mum! SO always have a bit of a check on google for rough weather forecasts of the locations you’re heading too.

  • Money! Money! Money!

Money, we all love to have it and sure, we all hate to use it sometimes. But money makes the world go around… and it keeps you travelling. So, please, make sure you have enough. Budget for all your travels appropriately before you get over there, way too many times I saw people frantically calling Mum and Dad back home begging for a couple hundred dollars to keep their trip rolling!

  • Be prepared to make lifelong friends

When I was talking to other friends about their experiences in Europe, time after time I was told, “you make the best friends, you’ll see how hard it is once you have to leave them”. I thought, “Ok, yeah, possibly it’ll be a little hard, but I’ll only know them for a month so how hard could it be”. Well, as my friends all said, very hard! Many nights were spent hugging and drinking until 4-5am in the morning wishing new friends a safe departure and reminiscing on the times you had together during your trip. Also, remember many hours will be consumed whilst intoxicated, planning trips to meet with one another in alternate locations around the world, always!

  • Push past the hangover!

Now this isn’t for the faint hearted, you have to be strong to follow this tip. After the morning spent out on the town until 5am saying goodbye to your new friends, you might not be so keen to wake up at 8am to start your day and get outside and continue your explorations. All I can say is, I’m sorry, you have too. There is no time to waste when you’re away, so either your friend, or the creepy guy under your bunk in your hostel will wake you up eventually. Just drink lots of water, and keep on pushing!

  • Take every opportunity you get!

Last but definitely not least… Way too often I saw people backing down from a challenge, not facing a fear or missing out on an awesome opportunity, please, don’t be this person! It’s an amazing place with so many incredible things to see, and no one wants to go home with regrets. So do everything you set out to do and make it a trip filled with memories and experiences that you can share with everyone for the rest of your life!

So, ciao, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, adios!
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Make the most of the life you have and make it something special to remember.

// Luke Duff.