Fashion’s holy season has arrived and there is no shortage of outfits to admire as this years Spring Racing Carnival gets underway.

Setting the stage at the season launch yesterday with frocks for fashion lovers across the nation, Myer ambassador Rachael Finch officially opened the spring carnival in a light pink gown, adorned by flowers and a mesh fascinator to graze her face.

Favourites for trackside attire are planned months in advance, boasting on-trend styles and with a certain emphasis on accessorising and attention to detail.

I’ve put together a list of five important considerations to ensure you’re set for a day at the races:

  1. DO dress for the occasion – The Spring Racing Carnival is as much about the gowns as it is the racing. Dress accordingly to the prestige of the occasion in striking, elegant and on-trend outfits and you will feel at home. Traditional lace midi dresses, high-wasted skirts and floral prints or bursts of colour are always a safe bet.
  2. DON’T wear stilettos to a trackside event – The chunkier the heal the better! Be practical and wear shoes you can travel the day in, stilettos on grass and un-level ground are a recipe for disaster.
  3. DO give attention to your hair and/or headpiece – The crowning jewel to your outfit is what sits atop your head. Whether it be a simple metal headband, a beautifully millinered fascinator or a wide-brimmed hat, these staple accessories can make or break your outfit.
  4. DON’T be optimistic about the weather (especially in Melbourne!) – Spring weather can be unpredictable at best. Come prepared with a coat, shawl or small umbrella in case of emergencies.
  5. DO accessorise! – An average outfit can become a show stopper if the right accessories are added in the same way attention can be detracted from a stunning frock if no accessories are there to compliment it. Match or contrast with the colour of your outfit and note necklines and sleeves for the perfect finish.



Image: Rachael Finch @ Spring Carnival Launch

My two cents for my two semesters

I’ve covered some events and stories at La Trobe University Bundoora, around Melbourne, and featured some articles of what it’s like to be an overseas student in Australia. But for my last piece, I want to write about me.

I interviewed a former Bhutanese refugee who’s now running for public office in Moreland, and apart from the issues he aims to address in the city, he spoke about what it means to be a migrant here in Australia. He points out that despite the multiculturalism and diversity in Australia, communities in suburbs do not come together in joint celebration. Adding that integrating people of different ethnic origins is a struggle that still needs work in the country.

It made me think about disposition as a possible migrant and what challenges I’ll be facing.

My two semesters in La Trobe have been a constant adjustment. Not always pleasant but indeed necessary. I’ve mentioned on a previous post of what it’s like to be an overseas student in Australia, and it for the most part it was negative. Having to adjust to the language, lack of context with the social environment, and no family. Well, after two tough semesters I’ve learned a couple of things that changed me for the better.

Hopefully this can help other overseas students.

Be bold.

Don’t linger around. Do it. When you want something, go ask for it (politely). When you think you are mistreated, speak up. When you’re seeking help from your lecturers, don’t be tentative, be definite.

Your confidence and courage will scare people who are timid, and you may sometimes appear arrogant. But do not falter, your personality will attract success and it will grant you opportunities.

Be assertive.

It’s your obligation to make them know you. When you’re in a place where nobody knows who you are, and nobody will really bother to, you have to find ways for them to think twice. Remember, you chose to be here, and you have to accept that you might have to exert more effort in gaining certain things than the locals. Therefore, you have to dance along with music.

Do volunteer work, join a club, attend events, and meet some people. If you want to change you have to experience discomfort.

Be composed.

Always remain calm whether you’re ecstatic or distressed. Don’t make impulsive decisions when you are happy, because the danger is that when your expectations are not met, the recovery is almost impossible. When you are lonely, breathe. Remember you are just in school, and you are allowed to make mistakes.

In the end, it’s all about how much you want something and what you’re willing to pay for it.


I guess somehow some migrants feel like these animals. They are there and they are a part of society, but somehow they still don’t belong. If you feel alone out there, please know that you aren’t.

By Haj Songcuya


Your Next Read: The Girl on the Train


Are you looking for something to read over the break? Maybe something gut-churning, nail-biting and mind boggling? Look no further than The Girl on the Train, written by Paula Hawkins.

The premise seems simple enough; the unreliable, alcoholic protagonist Rachel takes the train to work every day and watches a perfect couple in their house outside her window as she travels past. As she does, she wonders about and envies their seemingly perfect marriage. Then one day on her way to work, Rachel sees something happening in that house that completely turns her world upside down. Later that day, she believes she is somehow involved in a murder and because of her alcoholic blackouts, she doesn’t remember how.

As she untangles her blurred past and complex connection to the ‘perfect couple’, secrets and lies are exposed. Along for the ride are Emma and Megan, two more first person narratives to add layers to the plot. The explanation may seem blasé but believe me, revealing some things about the narrative only spoils the enjoyment of you finding out yourself.

Hawkins perfectly fleshes out the three main female protagonists and readers become legitimately invested, even though you may pre-empt their fates. The non-linear narrative is confusing at first (the novel taking place between 2012 to 2013) but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks.


Repeatedly dubbed the next Gone Girl, the novel is not for the faint hearted and should not be read just before bedtime. Despite making you second guess catching public transport ever again, The Girl on the Train is as addictive as Rachel’s obsession with the murder. Once you start reading, you are afraid to put it down.

If the novel doesn’t feed your hunger for psychological thrillers, check out the novel’s newly released film adaption, with actress Emily Blunt portraying Rachel.

I hope everyone has a relaxing break and best wishes for the upcoming exams!

Oh Captain My Captain

Jordan Kallady is the captain that any Southern University Games (SUGS) basketball team would kill for. He’s not just driven on the court – off the court he’s hard working as well.

Jordan is studying a Bachelor of Health Science and a Masters in Health Education Management. Jordan is in his fifth and final year. He will be graduating at the end of the year.

“Majority of my education has gone towards project management, as there are new advancements in the field through computer systems. On top of that, sorting out legal requirements around medical records, more funding for a hospital, clinical coding and program development.”

Even though Jordan is finishing his degree at the end of the year. It’s never too late to change your mind about what you want to do in life.

“I couldn’t imagine myself sitting behind a desk in the next 40 years. That is why I’m changing to Para-med next year, after I graduate.”

Jordan would be described as a very active person, who has ingrained leadership qualities. These strengths were utilised in this years SUGS when he was captain of the basketball team. “Captain Softie” the boys called him.


“I’ve been on 4 SUGS so far and the 2016 SUGS was definitely the best by far. Everyone was close on SUGS and became even closer after.”

A message from Jordan to the 2016 Basketball team this year:

“I enjoyed being your captain so much because everyone on the team was a good person, as well as a great basketball player.”

Jordan may be playing again next year either on La Trobe’s team as captain again or maybe on another? I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

By Brianne Keogh

Berlin Alternative Fashion Week: An Overview


They might be half way around the world, but Berlin’s Alternative Fashion Week has turned heads everywhere.

With psychedelic and futuristic designs, the alternative runways showcased a new era of fashion: alternative, out-there and non-restrictive.

International designers flocked from around the globe to make a name for themselves in the growing alternative fashion world, where colours collided and boundaries are pushed.

Nixi Killick, an independent Melbourne based designer, was among those who took to the stage. Killick has been storming her way to the top since graduating from fashion at RMIT, creating a ‘Colourtribe’ or followers.

The creative soul has an artistic background that gives her designs an extra edge. Featuring bright colours and techno prints, Killick’s designs embrace a realm of creativity for the modern free spirit.

Killick’s Berlin appearance was no exception, focusing on neutral base tones with flashes of intense colour and digital prints.

Other standout designers included Croatian-based Nika Cuic, whose monochrome garments emphasised chic individuality through experimenting with textures and shapes. Malaysian label Pearly Wong showcased a line of unisex, monochrome clothing, with structured lines and cuts.

And Danish label Denim Project brought back the past with a line of funky denim, stripes and colourful jumpers.

Berlin Fashion Week proved, once again, to be a platform for the inner daydreamer to relish and expression to blossom. Its situation in one of the world’s most creative cities has cemented Berlin’s place in the fashion world – both unique and exciting.

14463228_10209245301561885_8526827555517852562_n14519851_10209245307362030_1930503400134228160_n*SOURCE: Michael Wittig, Berlin 2016 <

By Alanah Frost

Student Elections

As a first year coming from a high school where captains and prefects were chosen via a very structured and teacher administration driven system, walking into the Agora a couple weeks ago was quite the shock. I had been forewarned, at least to an extent, by social media. The week long near constant war stories of people being chased down, pulled by the arms, and conversed with when having headphones in.

It sounded like an exaggeration. I figured, hey, maybe these were just some outliers. How wrong I was. At one of the staircases I needed to use, there were no less than 6 people waiting with pamphlets and fliers to tell me what to do. I had my headphones in, hood on, was looking down and walking quite fast, but even this wasn’t enough. The archetype of the teenage boy who hates everything and talks to no one. That was my impersonation. Yet still they tried to give me things and talk to me.

We had a campaigner come into one of our classes and give us a spiel on why we should vote for their party. Up to this point I had been blissfully ignorant of not only the promises and goals of the parties, but everything about them, including their names. She talked about a single issue that her party would fix. Sure, this was geared towards media students in a media class, but my friend summed it up perfectly; “Why on Earth would we vote for them just because of one thing? She talked for 10 minutes about one thing that we have no experience with.”

Theoretically, we should care about politics, even on the university level. It is deciding who is in charge, what decisions get made, where the money you spend goes. However, some people just don’t. Some people are just at university to learn. Some people don’t use the library; don’t need laptop charging stations or nap rooms. Looking at the list of promises made by the victors, United, there is literally nothing on the list that will affect me in any way, other than “improved lighting”.

Do the student elections matter? Probably more than I, or most people online, seem to think, however it matters much less than the campaigners want everyone to believe. Next time around, everyone should just hope against hope that the people running have some common sense and decency to not assault potential voters.

By James Wallace

Adventures of an Introvert: Swan Hill Province

My search for silence and serenity takes me 339 kilometres away from the heart of Melbourne. Swan Hill is situated along the border of New South Wales and Melbourne, on the stretch of the Murray River which is Australia’s longest river. The river spans across three states; Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia. It takes approximately four hours of travel time on the train from Southern Cross station, and regular one way tickets cost about $40. It features landscapes and sceneries which remain unspoiled by urban infrastructure and commercialized tourist destinations.

There’s nothing better than spending some time away from the city and seeing Australia from a different light. I’ve seen Australia with a necktie, scrambling to find its Myki card while running late and trying to catch the 7am train to work. But now I see it holding a cup of coffee with some toast while watching strangers fishing on the river banks.

During this one week break I was fortunate to visit several attractions in Swan Hill such as the riverside park. It’s the perfect destination for a picnic on a sunny day, where you can take great photos, go for a jog, take your pet for a walk, feed the ducks, or take children on the playground. The Pioneer Settlement is a museum that features the lives of the early settlers in the region. The leisure centre is a sports complex which offers a variety of fitness programs as well as one on one training.

Here’s how I spent my week-long break:


That’s what I love about isolation – even ordinary things stand out


If only life came with train tracks that tell you where to go or when to stop


“Gem” – boat restaurant in Pioneer Settlement


Swan Hill leisure centre



By Haj Songcuya


21st century Journalism – Where do we go from here?

The manifestation of free speech has drastically changed over the last few years. The power over information which was solely in the hands of established media giants, is now divided amongst every individual who owns a smartphone.

However, this shift of power does not come without danger and consequence. The age of information has tilted power in favour of the consumer, which now threatens the existence of contemporary media.

The time where journalists functioned as the voice of the people has passed, and now people have the means to be heard.

Today, everyone has a voice.

Today, everyone can be a journalist.

That’s the dilemma of the modern journalist. How can I distinguish myself?


Four panelists

The Game Changer. A recent event hosted by La Trobe’s upstart magazine that took place at The State Library of Victoria. Four panellists discussed social media, politics, and 21st century journalism, which was then followed by Q&A and drinks.

The talk was moderated by Erdem Koc, lecturer, Department of Communications and Media, and executive editor for upstart magazine.

With guest speakers Tom Cowie, La Trobe alumnus and crime reporter for The Age; Mark Di Stefano, political editor of BuzzFeed Australia; Jess Gregory, Policy and Communications Officer for the Victorian peak body for family violence services, and former journalist.


Some key issues that were covered:

The gap between what’s important and what’s interesting

In an attempt to maintain continuous readership, news organisations are now inclined to cover stories that attract their target audience instead of what they deem to be newsworthy.

Ask yourself

No one wants to read it, so even if it’s important do we still have to tell the story?

There’s a mounting pressure for media outlets to keep track of social media trends, and to retain strong social media presence. It seems that the pressure is so great that some have resorted to clickbait with hyperbolic headlines and false claims.

Journalists need to find a way to be relevant in a ‘sea of mediocrity’

Today our professional value is often judged by the new things that we have to offer. As journalists we therefore have to find the stories that are not being told, or tell the stories in ways that have never been told before. You have to have the initiative to immerse yourself in the industry and at the same time, find ways of presenting your content in ways that allow it to stand out without being obscured by other relevant content.

Ask yourself

What do I know that other people can’t talk about, but me?


From left to right: Erdem Koc, Tom Cowie, Jess Gregory, and Mark Di Stefano

By Haj Songcuya

One of life’s choices and a sneaky tequila worm

Vasilios is a first year at La Trobe studying a Bachelor of Science Degree. Like every other University student though, he’s indecisive. He does not know if the degree he is doing is the right one for him. Many students face this problem towards midyear. Some drop out – others defer. Vas on the other hand is in the midst of changing his degree altogether.

Vas found, “science wasn’t for me, as much as it is interesting – I couldn’t see myself having a career in it in the future.”

Why be stuck in a degree that would give you future dissatisfaction?

He’s been researching what degree to change into and has settled on a Bachelor of Phycology. “It encompasses the science factor and also the human body. That is what I find fascinating. I also want to make a difference in society and I feel psychology can do that.” Vas is also interested in how people think, and what stimulates a person’s motive. “In psychology I believe I can research this.” Vas is one of those lucky people that change their mind about their degree. Some people after 5 years still don’t know what they want to do

He was also on Southern University Games (SUG) for LTU, playing basketball. Vas on SUG’s was known for offering everyone on the basketball team tequila worms on the first night. Some may think tequila worms are gummy worms soaked in tequila however, you are totally wrong. These are real dead worms soaked in tequila. Some teammates were in utter horror. Vas with a smile wouldn’t let them back out of it. Vas on SUGS nickname was Lazarus because he rose from the dead and played basketball after a massive night out.


Overall Vas is one of those guys you can easily get along with around LTU. If you ever feel like changing degrees go to him for advice because he’s been through it all.

By Brianne Keogh

Bridget Jones’ Baby Deliver


Bridget Jones returns with a baby in tow and the results are positive.



(Picture reference: )


Welcoming back Bridget Jones is like inviting an old friend round for a cuppa. It’s delightful, exciting and you feel right at home. But in the midst of conversation, you are always anticipating the gossip. Eventually, the questions we are dying to ask Bridget are addressed.


We last left Bridget engaged to the ever-so-perfect Mark Darcy and bound to walk down the aisle to her well-deserved happily ever after. Flash forward 15 years and Bridget is back to sitting on that couch listening to “All by Myself” (mirroring where we first see her in the first film). From the looks of it, life hasn’t turned out so well for Bridget as we hoped it would.


Que in Jack, the good-looking billionaire that Bridget meets after tripping a-over-t into mud, ala true Bridget Jones style. He saves her from embarrassment. Love – or desire – is in the air. After this encounter, she reunites with Mark Darcy. Six weeks later, she’s pregnant with two possible baby-daddies. Audiences are left divided: Team Mark or Team Jack.


(Picture reference: )


While the film follows some rom-com tropes, it doesn’t get soppy. In fact, it’s cleverly written. Especially with the social commentary on the ‘older mothers’ stereotype. Co-writers Emma Thompson and Helen Fielding know exactly who their audience is, and the film benefits significantly from this. Fans of the franchise will be shocked, surprised and filled with laughter with some of the film’s excellently executed twists and turns. Without spoiling, the film’s one celebrity cameo is worth the ticket price alone. The film is nostalgic of the first two instalments while being refreshing. Since The Edge of Reason, the Internet has evolved. As a result, Bridget has replaced her iconic diary for an electronic device.

Renee Zellweger still captures Bridget’s zesty personality with a touch of wisdom which comes with age. While Bridget 2.0 has a successful career in television and has met her ‘ideal weight’, she is still the same old Brig – fighting off the affections of two completely opposite yet gorgeous men.

Colin Firth returns as Mark Darcy, Bridget’s life-long love. The chemistry between Firth and Zellweger still ignites the screen and although their relationship has never been stable long-term, you can’t help but root for them.

If audiences are still unsure about Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey replacing Hugh Grant’s charming but sleazy Daniel Cleaver, rest assure, Dempsey is well suited. Dempsey’s Jack is a true contender for Bridget’s heart and has perfect egotistic, alpha-male banter with Darcy.

But it’s Emma Thompson who plays Bridget’s obstetrician who steals the show. Her unapologetically sarcastic lines induce the most laughs. Her character should seriously get its own spin-off film, she’s that funny.

If you’re looking for the perfect girl’s night out or a genuinely good rom-com, Bridget Jones’s Baby is the go-to movie. Bridget Jones’s Baby is not an unnecessary reboot; it is a fantastic chapter in Bridget Jones’s life-long diary.

By Hayley Anderson