How you can help Nepal

In minutes, Nepal moved metres. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, centuries of history flattened. And now there’s an immediate need for help.

Here’s a quick list of some of the ways you can help the people of Nepal:

Mapping locations with GPS

Volunteers use aerial images from satellites to mark open spaces where helicopters or planes might land with supplies, highlight streets between towns and villages, and outline buildings that aid groups can use to guess where victims might be. Using OpenStreetMap technology—known as the “Wikipedia of maps”—they build continuously updated maps that can be used online or downloaded into navigation devices.

They’re asking you to map wells because there’s only water in every couple of villages.


Give money

As Claire Bennet said on The Guardian:

What Nepal needs right now is not another untrained bystander, however much her heart is hurting.

Australian Volunteers International agrees:

Humanitarian assistance after a disaster can be complex, requiring specialist skills and training. We strongly urge people willing to help with the rebuilding process to donate to or contact the following organisations:

Sanitation and hygiene are some of the immediate needs facing the community. The Global Women’s Project works in Nepal and set up an emergency relief fund, which is helping to put togther things like oral rehydration salts, chlorine, phenyl, gloves, masks, hand soap, sanitiser, toilet paper and sanitary pads.

And 99Designs is matching any donation you give! Donate here.

Document the damage

If you are in Nepal, you can help document the damage to cultural assets here.


And if you are in Melbourne, there’s a candlelight vigil in Fed Square this Saturday.


Whatever any of us can do, I’m sure it will make a huge difference.

gumboots on the beach

10 ways to celebrate the magic of Autumn in Australia

I love this time of year. In Melbourne, the weather cools, but it’s is still sunny, for a little longer at least. The European trees turn their golden colour and the natives are greener than ever. It’s a great combination.

But unlike our northern counterparts, many of whom we have borrowed traditions from, we don’t have a Thanksgiving or Guy Fawkes night to celebrate..and Easter, a celebration of Spring (and Christianity too) is plonked in there! Confusing!

How do we celebrate the season and stay connected to our local season. Here’s some ideas for at least the southern part of Australia’s Autumn.

Checklist of things to do to celebrate an Australian Autumn:

  1. An Apple a Day– Apples are at their best in Autumn and we grow some fabulous varieties. Visiting a farmers market or a farm that sells direct gives you the full experience.
  2. Find the Emu in the Sky – around April and May, the Emu in the Sky, recognised by indigenous Australians, emerges. As explained by the Aboriginal Astronomy blog: The Emu first becomes visible in March. When it is fully visible in the Milky Way during April and May, it assumes the form of a running emu. This represents a female emu chasing the males during the mating season. Because emus begin laying their eggs at this time, this appearance of the celestial Emu is a reminder that the emu eggs are available for collection.
  3. Eat the last of the watermelon – In March at least, watermelon is at its best. Get into this last of the summer fruit while you can.
  4. Celebrate Easter with food and candles – many easter traditions are about spring (eg the eggs) but Autumn is also about food and harvesting and easter is associated with candles. A sense a candle light dinner coming along… Jewish Passover is also focuses on a meal so that seals it.
  5. Crack open the hot chocolate – or mulled wine. It’s time for warm drinks. Mmmm
  6. Listen to some World Music for WOMADelaide – while Adelaide hosts the World of Music, Arts & Dance, if we can’t make it to this awesome event, we can just indulge in some world music and dance around our lounge rooms like crazy people ..who’s with me?
  7. Find wild mushrooms – mushrooms start popping up every year at this time of year. I am fascinated by mushrooms..but I don’t know enough about them to pick them. But admiring them is still a fun way to spend a walk through your neighbourhood. These always a quite a few varieties in our street alone. Check out this list for your mushroom spotting.
  8. Spot a wombat – From April, the season changes to the Waring or Wombat Season in the Wurundjeri seasonal calendar. Wombats will be out and about basking in what sun they can, in between sleeping. Ah, to be a wombat!
  9. Watch the ferns blossom – the other sign of the Waring Wombat season is that the hearts of the tree ferns (the curly bits) are starting to unfurl. Ferns are beautiful.
  10. Knit – time to top up on socks, scarves and jumpers.. and we still have plenty of great quality wool and plenty of creative crafters willing to teach you how.

Have any other ideas to celebrate Autumn? What do you plan to do celebrate Autumn this year?