summer extravaganza: issue thirteen


Kalinago week: celebrating Dominica’s indigenous heritage
by Neo Allert

image credit: MapGrid (Wikimedia Commons)

For the 41st time the commonwealth of Dominica is celebrating its indigenous heritage and culture by honouring the Kalinago people, Dominica’s first inhabitants. The so-called Kalinago week includes various events, such as: a youth rally, debates and festivities honouring the elders of the indigenous Kalinago people. The annual Miss Kalinago and Princess Natari competitions are also held during this week. Beginning on 16 September, the celebrations came to a close on 24 September.

Held in remembrance of the Kalinago uprising on 19 September 1930, the Kalinago week pays homage to the Kalinago’s great resilience and resistance against colonial oppression. The uprising followed a police raid on Kalinago territory, resulting in violent clashes between colonial authorities and indigenous people and leaving many Kalinago people injured and two dead.

Barbados relaxes Covid measures 
by Eleanor Austin

image credit: Patdoy (Wikimedia Commons)

On Friday 23 September, Santia Bradshaw, acting Prime Minister of Barbados, announced substantial changes to their Covid restrictions, approved by herself and her cabinet. Mask wearing will now be optional, with the exception of: healthcare settings, educational institutions, prisons and public transport. Furthermore, travel restrictions to the nation were scrapped, which means travellers will not be required to take a test prior to arrival, no matter their vaccination status. 

The Minister for Tourism and International Transport, Lisa Cummins, signified her support for these measures, highlighting how the relaxation of travel rules will substantially boost Barbados’ winter tourist season. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, around 30 percent of Barbados’ GDP was attributed to tourism, with approximately 10 percent of the population being employed in this sector. Consequently, this announcement will be welcomed by many within Barbados, and those globally who want their winter sunshine.

Australasia and Melanesia

New Zealand: federal Government announces $5million fund to help reduce plastic dependency 
by Orestis Sechas

image credit: VIVIANE6276 (Pixabay)

 This week New Zealand’s Environment Minister David Parker has announced four new projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. The four projects will be developed in partnership with five research organisations. This project aims to design a regulated plastic packaging product stewardship scheme, which will require producers, brand owners, importers, retailers and consumers to take responsibility for collecting and dealing with plastic packaging. 

The four new projects are expected to significantly change the way New Zealand makes, uses and disposes of plastics. This should bring the country closer to using plastic in ways that prevent harm to the environment. The funding will come from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund. By building on the decisive action that the government has already taken to reduce plastic pollution, the projects will hopefully provide critical economic, social and cultural benefits for New Zealand.

Thinking of starting a family in Oz? Better start saving.
by Rachael Ward

 image credit: First Minister of Scotland (Flickr)

The Albanese administration has stepped into a perfect storm of childcare problems in Australia. Short on workers, high demand and expensive? These costs for childcare have increased by 41 percent over the past eight years. Australia is currently in need of around 6500 early childhood educators, and many of those who are employed in the sector have staged strikes in protest of poor pay and conditions. 

The first thing on the government’s lengthy to-do list is to launch an investigation into the soaring costs of childcare. Education Minister James Clare has  announced a plan to lift the cap on subsidies for childcare, bringing the maximum subsidy for first-child families to 90 percent, and increasing subsidies for families earning under $530,000. The plan is expected to cost an estimated $5.4bn. Let’s hope this budding government can bring the cost of caring for babies back on track.

Micronesia and Polynesia

Kiribati president addresses nuclear threat
by Connor Crout

image credit: Roman Kubanskiy (Wikimedia Commons)

Taneti Maamau, the President of Kiribati, has given a speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly denouncing nuclear testing on Christmas Island, tests which have severely affected Kiribati’s ecosystem.

The 77th session of the UN General Assembly opened on September 13. After being elected to the position of President of the General Assembly, the Hungarian Diplomat Csaba Kőrösi focussed his statement on the United Nations’ role in armed conflicts such as the war in Ukraine.

However, armed conflicts as a subject clearly involves nuclear war, which President Maamau addressed. He, like surely so many people around the world, wants to address the potentially catastrophic threat that nuclear fallout poses both to the environment and potentially to humans too.

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