Health & medicine
A League of One’s Own: The AFL, and Women’s Sport
There’s nothing new about women playing Australian Rules Football – they’ve been doing it for as long as men have. Local clubs for girls and women have existed for decades; there are now almost 1,000 of them around the country. Last year, participation jumped by 19% – with 380,000 Australian women playing throughout the year.
Photo: Claire Flynn
It’s always been clear that many women love the game; they comprise a large proportion of crowds watching men’s AFL matches, too. This year’s launch of the AFL’s National Women’s League – brought forward three years, due to popular response – marks a major milestone in women’s ability to compete at the highest level. But another test looms: the League will have to prove its appeal with sponsors and advertisers in order to grow and endure.
So – what did the inaugural 2017 season reveal to us? What will it take to ensure the success of the Women’s League, and what can advocates for other sports learn?
Sports reporter Karen Lyon hosts this conversation with fellow journalist and author Angela Pippos, former Western Bulldogs VP (and longtime champion of women’s footy) Susan Alberti and former AFL commissioner and AFL life membership recipient Sam Mostyn. Alongside Carlton co-vice captain Bri Davey and marquee player Darcy Vescio, they share their insights on the transformations taking place in Australian sport; about the so-called ‘grass ceiling’, and about how the media plays a part in the way women’s sport is played, seen and funded.
Question Time: Technology and the Brain
In the first Question Time session of the year, host Madeleine Morris is joined by a brains trust of experts to talk brains, technology, policy and wellbeing. Strap in for a fascinating hour of audience Q&A with Michael Arnold and Olivia Carter.Related stories 9 May 2012 Note Thank You for Phoning: Mobile Phones and Cancer / Technology
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Socrates railed against the invention of the alphabet, worrying that the written word would erode human memory. Imagine how he would have felt about Google Maps and iPhone calendar alerts.
Technological revolutions have always spawned both opportunity and panic. Today, digital technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and research into its effects on the human brain is struggling to keep apace.
There’s strong evidence to suggest that digital technology really is altering human physiology, affecting our impulse control, attention span, sleeping patterns and, yes, our memory function. But it’s not all bad news, with some research suggesting a link between complex online activities (such as immersive games) and cognitive flexibility.
The Big Dry: Alcohol and Us
In our backyards, balconies and beer gardens – Australians get along famously with booze. Drinking is an entrenched part of our national identity: it’s a recurrent theme in our pop culture, a scene-setter for friendship, a supposedly inherent part of work and play.
Lately, though, as the personal, social and public health costs of drinking become clear, many Australians are reconsidering our…
Peak: Changing the Way We Talk About Ageing
What expectations should older Australians hold for their own lives? And what structures will recognise and support them in achieving those?
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of Australia’s urban centres, chances are that medical science has extended your life – by some measures, an extra 25 years over the last century. But in those same cities, have attitudes…
Supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction are the three key tenets of Australian drug policy.
But these areas attract vastly different levels of funding, attention and reporting. Harm reduction strategies, in particular, ignite controversy and community anxiety. Today, we have only one safe injecting room (in Sydney) and no official means for pill testing at festivals around the country.
Life on Mars: Carmel Johnston
Carmel Johnston, an environmental scientist, was the crew commander of NASA’s most recent Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project. As part of this mission, she spent an entire year living with five other scientists in an 11-metre-wide geodesic dome on the Mars-like slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.
The focus of the study, which concluded in August last year, was psychological. NASA wanted to learn individual stress reactions and group cohesion in an intensely cramped, isolated environment comparable to life in a space vessel on Mars. The researchers had to wear full space suits any time they left the dome, and resources were painstakingly rationed and recycled.
In conversation with astronomer Alan Duffy, Johnston reveals what she learned about group dynamics, freeze-dried food and social survival in a space dome.
Presented in partnership with WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks Programme.
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