From Podcasters to Radio Stars in the Making

Play Intro First

By Belinda Palmada

Move over Kyle and Jackie O, there’s a new radio talent to take over airwaves.

Sydney TAFE Media graduate Mitchell Coombs and current Sydney TAFE Media student Talecia Vescio will be turning their podcast Not My Cup of Tea into a radio show on Joy 94.9 in August.

The audio series is a conversation between friends over a cup of tea about the downfalls of humanity and rants on petty topics that nobody really cares about.

“We’ll have to be a bit more polished than we are on the Podcast!” Mitchell said.

“It’s kind of exciting but mostly really unexpected,” Talecia said.

“The podcast was so rough when we first started and we never thought anyone would really listen outside the people who watch our videos.”

The show pitched when Mitchell was in Melbourne working for Gold FM for a week and he went into Joy’s office because he’s done stuff with them before.

The station heard some of his air checks he’d done with their friend Aishlin at AFTRS and they liked the banter but said it needed structure.

Mitch then pulled up their podcast and they fell in love with it.

Apart from the podcast, Mitchell and Talecia produce their own videos on YouTube.

Mitchell is best known for video tour of his home town Bogan Gate which went viral.

Things are looking up for the duo as they made the top 10 finalists of Podquest, Nova Entertainment’s search for the next podcast superstar.

The contest was designed to uncover new and emerging talent and invite aspiring podcasters to share their style of storytelling and have their idea turned into a podcast series that will be available on Nova Entertainment’s suite of digital platforms.

Podquest provides opportunities for new and emerging audio content creators through grants of financial assistance as well as access to NOVA Entertainment’s production facilities, technical expertise and distribution channels.

Talecia heard about Podquest on Facebook and sent it to Mitchell.

They thought it would be fun to enter. “I reckon we’re podcast superstars- let’s give it a go”. Talecia said.

Submitting their podcast series Not My Cup of Tea, Mitchell and Talecia said they were surprised they made the top ten.

“We didn’t meet hardly any of the requirements but we figured it’d be fun to say that we’d entered,” Talecia said.

“It also became a bit funny to us when we heard that we were Top 10 because we would pretend it was adequate response to people’s questions “Are you ready for this?” “Yeah man, Top 10, we can take on anything now.”

Mitchell and Talecia first met at YouTuber event and have been friends for a year. They used to work at the same media company.

Their friendship started off on the wrong foot.

“I actually really didn’t like Mitchell for a few months (before we actually met face to face),” Talecia said.

“Mitchell was filling in for a friend of mine at our previous workplace and I had a bias.”

“I remember saying to a friend of mine that Mitchell made me want to ‘claw my eyes out’”

Mitchell did not know at the time Talecia hated him.

“I was unaware of this, of course, so when we first started working together, I thought she was a funny chick & I liked her,” He said.

“I guess she changed her mind about hating me cos it wasn’t until a few months later that I eventually found out she used to!”

Since then, Mitchell and Talecia have a great working relationship. When asked what the success to their partnership, they said knowing each other’s strengths, honesty and trust.

“In radio land there’s generally a Generator VS Reactor relationship in any duo,” Mitchell said.

“I tend to keep the show rolling & mediate the discussion, while Talecia has a quicker whit so she’s good at cracking gags & rolling with whatever punches are thrown at her.”

“When working with friends, it’s a difficult sometimes to find balance but when you’re working with a friend who has the same mindset and goals, it comes naturally.” Talecia said.

Though they didn’t win Podquest, Mitchell and Talecia wouldn’t mind entering the competition again.

In the meantime, they will continue to make content and take opportunities as they come to them.

Another new development with Not My Cup of Tea is a third co-host joining the program.
Ex-TAFE media student and current AFTRS student Aishlin Garnett will be joining their radio show as a new co-host.

“It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a shift in our dynamic. “Mitchell said.

“We have really good chemistry so I feel like it’ll be a good fit,” Talecia said.

“We’ve got the challenge of turning the little podcast that could into a bloody radio show,

“We have our work cut out for us, but I’m excited. Maybe you’ll catch us on the airwaves… “


Young People Under 25 Becoming Homeless

By Belinda Palmada

A new report shows people under the age of 25 make up 43 % of homeless Australia.

Lily Gobran, representative of City of Sydney spoke at Sydney Tafe campus on June 9. The report was based on a survey conducted by 35 people under 25 living the streets.

“There are an increasing number of young people becoming homeless,” Ms Gobran said.

“It’s an issue that’s all over Australia.”

The biggest factor for becoming homeless is lack of affordable housing, along with suffering a physical/mental health condition, suffering a physical/mental health condition, escaping domestic violence, alcohol/drug/gambling addiction and unable to find work/unemployment.

“To overcome this issue, we need to commit as a community and individuals, “

“Our community needs to stand up and say it’s not acceptable to push our young people into poverty and disadvantage as would be the outcome of the government’s budget proposal for a six month waiting period to apply before young people receive their income support. “

Lord Mayor Clover Moore is calling for a multi-agency taskforce to tackle homelessness.

“The number of people sleeping rough across our city highlights the need for multiple agencies across all levels of government to work together to provide safe and secure shelter for all – one of the most fundamental human needs,” Cr Moore said.

The report also shows the income of young people is made up of 17% Disability pension, 26% unemployment benefit, 26 % youth allowance, 20 % begging and 12% work.

The average age of people under 25 homeless is 22.

Trump Puts America First, Exits out of Paris Climate Deal

By Belinda Palmada

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday the US will abandon the Paris Climate Accord, the global agreement that aims to fight climate change.

The deal signed by 195 countries in 2015, is designed to bind the world community to slow global warming and rising sea levels.

At a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden Trump said: “We’re getting out.”

To fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.”

Withdrawing from the deal will not come as a surprise to Trump supporters as it was part of his campaign promises during his presidency campaign.

Former president Barack Obama, whose administration negotiated the deal, criticised Trump’s decision and accused him of “rejecting the future”.

Former vice president Al Gore said the withdrawal was reckless and indefensible.

“It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time” Mr Gore said.

President Trump said the US would renegotiate to re-enter either the Paris Accord or a new transaction on terms that were fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people and its taxpayers.

Aftermath Of Immigrant Women’s Health Service Closure

By Belinda Palmada

Last year’s closure of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service in Fairfield left many women with nowhere to go for the resources they need for support.

Funding by the NSW Health Department was cut last June when Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigated former CEO Eman Sharobeem allegedly spending more than 500,000 in public funds to pay for holidays, gym memberships, jewellery, furniture and luxury goods for her family.

The not-for-profit organisation had been part of the community for more than 25 years and offered free support, legal, counselling and health services to immigrant and refugee women.

At the time no one knew what would to the women who use the services and the employees after the centre closed or where the centre will relocate and reopen.

“We are saddened by the closure of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service” A spokeswoman for Core Community Services said.

“We do as much as we can to support all immigrants, refugees, people on a humanitarian visa and migrants through Multicultural Communities.”

“There’s a whole lot of organisations within the communities that provide to the closure.”

South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) was exploring ways to continue delivering services to immigrant women and newly-arrived refugees.

Since the centre’s closing, the majority of the classes have reallocated to other services that support migrant women and their families living in south western Sydney, including Core Community Services, STARTTS and NSW Family planning.

A spokeswoman for SWSLHD said: The Immigrant Women’s Health Service provided services to approximately 70 women who had now transitioned to other services.

Services provided by these organisations include counselling, health literacy, chronic disease management and prevention, mental health services, pregnancy and antenatal education.

STARTTS has set up a new office in Fairfield where they have helped many people since the new office has opened.

The specialist, non-profit organisation which helps people and communities from refugee backgrounds, has serviced several clients in Fairfield, Carramar, Auburn, Liverpool and Blacktown.

“It’s been busy.” A spokeswoman for STARTTS said

“We have quite a lot of clients coming through there,

“We are quite inundated with calls and clients are coming in as a result of that.”

When asked about coping with the demand after the centre closed, STARTTS spokeswoman said they were trying.

“We do get a lot of referrals coming through even now,” she said.

With 12,000 refugees settling in the Sydney’s southwest region from countries Syria and Iraq, Fairfield has taken up to 75 per cent of all western Sydney’s refugee intake.

New Theory into Madeleine McCann’s Disappearance

By: Belinda Palmada

A decade since Madeline McCann vanished during a family holiday in Portugal; an investigative reporter has proposed a new theory for her disappearance.

Andrea Smith speaking at Sydney Tafe campus on May 5 said she believed Madeleine may have been kidnapped and transported by cargo ship as part of a child smuggling ring.

Ms Smith’s began her investigation when her younger son’s  passport was missing and found all evidence of her son’s immigration, citizenship by decent  and evidence of having a New Zealand passport deleted from a New Zealand government computer in 2010.

“His citizenship and passport had both had numbers so if his name has been deleted from there, has another name been put there?”  Ms Smith said. “I thought what would a child’s passport be used for and did a little bit of digging.”

Her findings led her to a container ship under the name the Robert Rickmers which left Barcelona on May 7 2007 and docked in Port Chalmers, Dunedin in December 2007 where Madeline was allegedly spotted.

She passed this information to the authorities but nothing had been done.

“The police are checking on paedophiles than possible movement of Madeleine” Ms Smith said.

Over the years since Madeleine disappeared on May 3 2007, there have been 8,645 reported sighting across 101 countries. Madeline has been reportedly spotted in Barcelona, New Zealand and most recently, Australia.


By Belinda Palmada

A women’s rights activist has spoken out about the recent Russian law to decriminalise domestic violence.

Claudia Wilson, president of No to Violence spoke at Sydney TAFE for Woman’s Day. The Russian government’s move on domestic violence was a hot topic of conversation.

Russian Parliament voted 308-3 to decriminalise domestic violence. The law allows beatings of spouse or children that result in bruising or bleeding once a year. Broken bones which outcomes from abuse will be punishable by 15 days in prison or a fine of $500.

When asked from an audience member for Claudia’s thoughts on the Russian topic, she believed Russia is wrong and the law is a disaster.

“I feel sad for Russian women of law.” Claudia said

“The law is not helping our civilisation”

Estimated domestic violence kills a woman every 40 mins.

Teenager Opts to Build Houses in Cambodia Over School

By Belinda Palmada

Typically teenagers would normally go to beach or hang out in shopping centres. 15 year-old Lily Goban took time off school to volunteer to build houses in Cambodia for charity Tabitha.

Tabitha is a non- profit organisastion founded by Janne Ritskes. Lily’s parents had been friends with Janne for years and approached them for help.  Lily would work from 7 am to 4 pm every day in the 40 degree heat.

“Although it was a tough experience, the reward was worth it. “ Lily said.

“Towards the end of construction, the organisation gave the families silk blankets as house warming presents.

“House building experience was life changing and an eye opener to what goes on outside Australia.”

When asked if Lily would volunteer again, she said she wouldn’t mind.