Convergent Media

The article “From Batman to Watchmen, the masks superheroes wear tell us a lot about ourselvesby Dr Darren C Fisher, is an opinion piece that explains how most superheroes we were brought up with created an identity different from their own true persona. “These personas help us to blend in, to project an ideal ‘self’, and to relate to others (Fisher, 2019). These ‘masks’ also allowed for the heroes to be easily identified by the public and they also were able to keep their real life identity under wrap. 

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With revealing the identities of the masked heroes we come to understand that the world is forever changing and it is becoming more accepting of those that are “different”. A good example of this is shown within the article when it talks about the new Joker film and how his true identify is known from the beginning of the film. The Joker character “traditionally a villain in the genre, has become something of a symbol of the common man’s modern day struggle” (Fisher, 2019). This “struggle” that  they speak about is definitely more powerful in the new Joker film if you are comparing it to the earlier superhero movies where their struggles are still significant but don’t have the overall impact the new Joker film had on its audience. 

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In regards to audience, the article seems to be more aimed towards the audience that watches and is familiar to the superhero genre of films. They would be able to relate more to the examples and understand the progression of the unveiling of the masked heroes throughout the different films that were produced. It could also be aimed towards a more of a general public as well as a lot of people act differently around different groups of people, creating a different persona/identity when in different situations. 

The article seems to use various forms of media but does not necessarily promote the article as it seemed to only be promoted by the online ABC News website and by Dr Darren C Fisher himself when he promoted it through his social media platform, Twitter. It would have created more of an impact if it was printed or promoted across multiple social media platforms. In saying that though, the article was well set out with images and subtitles being used to break up the text.

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The article also contained a video, The Watchmen trailer to promote the mistrust of masks which was also evident in hyperlinks to bring your attention to other examples of the mistrust of masks as well as taking you to stories that are of similar nature. 

The superheroes we see today are shaped by “the changing pressures of a modernising world”(Fisher, 2019) and if “we continue to look to popular culture, knowing that if we look hard enough, we might just see an accurate reflection of ourselves” (Fisher, 2019). 

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Homelessness is Becoming a Raging Epidemic

A not for profit organisation is working across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area to decrease the rate of homelessness. 

SASSHI stands for Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra and is an organisation that focuses mainly on women and children who are experiencing homelessness.

The organisation has six sites across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area with five of those sites accommodating women and children whereas the crisis accommodation sites are mainly used for women who have fled from a domestic violence situation and require accommodation assistance.

The business development officer for SASSHI, Jacqui Brooker explained that these women “benefit from keeping them safe immediately and also with domestic abuse we provide that safety planning support as well, it’s keeping women safe but also benefiting from the long-term aspect of supporting women into safe homes and empowering them and building their confidence and independents so that they can maintain and sustain those safe homes”.

Homelessness is a growing epidemic, with over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness in Australia. This is due to a number of reasons, one of the main reasons is the affordability of housing.

Jacqui mentioned the Sydney epidemic and also mentioned that “the affordability of housing has just gone through the roof and anyone who is on any type of pension, there is less than 1% of affordable rental properties for them”.

Within SASSHI, they run programs such as start safely, where “if you are fleeing domestic violence and you want a private rental, the government will subsidise that private rental for the first three years”.

Jacqui explained that homelessness “doesn’t discriminate” and it does not matter if you lost your job, a loved one, had a relationship breakdown, domestic violence or any other factor, it only takes one major part of your life to fall apart and the rest of it comes crumbling down after.

“our front-line staff are really passionate about educating kids and teenagers on the red flags of domestic violence” said Jacqui in regards to helping the younger generations understand domestic violence.

Domestic violence case manager for SASSHI, Paula Saiz has “been in the industry for 20 years” where she was able to make her way up to become a case manager for women who have fled from domestic violence.  

Tweets;

End of the Line

The End of the Line is a globally aware documentary that takes light of the disturbing problems that we should all be aware of. It focuses on over fishing and how these methods of fishing can damage the population of the fish and also the “depletion of our oceans” (Richards, 2018).

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The documentary was conducted in the UK by Charles Clover, an investigative reporter who filmed for two years “from the Straits of Gibraltar to the coasts of Senegal and Alaska to the Tokyo fish market” (The End of the Line, 2019). As the documentary is filmed through various locations it shows the global impact of overfishing and how our consumption and love of seafood has begun to have devastating effects on fish populations and is causing some popular species of fish such as bluefin tuna to become extinct. This disruption of a species has said to “result in huge overpopulation of jellyfish” and also “bring certain mass starvation and unemployment” (The End of the Line, 2019).

It can be described as “a campaign and wakeup call for sustainable consumption of fish and for a new ethic of responsible fishing and eating” (Richards, 2018) as well as “a wake-up call to the world” (The End of the Line, 2019). It also comes together to show how the farming of fish is no longer a solution for the mass destruction of the bluefin tuna fish. The only solution to this problem is to create an awareness behind it, and allow for people to understand the devastating effects of over fishing as well as providing solutions on how the global community can help to end the over fishing of the endangered fish species.

With the production of the film, it was found that “more than 9 per cent or 4.7million adults in the UK were aware of The End of the Line” (Levitt and Thomas, 2011). This resulted in people recognising that fish numbers have dropped and also created an awareness around buying sustainably sourced fish.

Another positive outcome of the film was the fact that supermarkets responded to the release of the film with them “no longer selling endangered species like bluefin tuna, switching instead to more sustainable yellowfin or skipjack species in their tuna products” (Levitt and Thomas, 2011). This response by supermarkets also led to an increased sale in sustainably sourced fish and has now created a better awareness towards the sustainability of fish.

In recognition of cultural hybridisation, the effects of over fishing can be distributed throughout different cultures and as it becomes a globally aware topic, each culture can deal with the issue in their own unique way.

In conclusion, the documentary was able to bring to light the devastations and future worries of over fishing and was also able to help “for every single person to take responsibility by not contributing to the further depletion of our oceans” (Richards, 2018).

Further Reading

Richards, J. (2018). The End of the Line – A Film That Will Change the Way You Think About Seafood. [online] Humane Decisions. Available at: https://www.humanedecisions.com/the-end-of-the-line-a-film-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-about-seafood/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2019].

Levitt, T. and Thomas, A. (2011). The End of the Line: How a film changed the way we eat fish. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/feb/18/end-line-film-fish [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].

The End of the Line. (2019). ABOUT THE FILM | The End of the Line. [online] Available at: https://theendofthelinemovie.com/about-the-film [Accessed 28 Aug. 2019].

Global Capacity

I have never been truly aware of the global effect and how we are all connected through the use of the media until I began the BCM111 subject. It has made me more aware of how global the media is and how different countries change the media to suit their own unique culture.

 I have also begun to notice smaller things to do with cultural diversity, such as in music videos when they use examples of cultures and demonstrate these cultures that aren’t their own, a good example of this is in Coldplay’s, ‘Hymn for the Weekend’. The music video caused a bit of a stir and was accused of cultural appropriation as it includes a few scenes where Beyoncé is dressed in traditional Indian wear and also scenes of a local festival which a lot of people found offensive.

“Coldplay’s myopic construction of India has been part of western representation since the colonial era, but in the past few years, the music industry has embraced it to make their videos more interesting” (Kumar, 2016). This is another key factor in regards to my global capacity as a lot of the music I consume and the music videos that come along with the music help to bring along my global awareness especially if the music clip has global elements.

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Another part that makes up my global capacity is when I have travelled overseas and was able to witness the different cultures first hand. I have only really personally witnessed the American and Fijian cultures but as I grow and begin to understand the different cultures I would like to travel more and create a greater understanding of cultural diversity and how each culture is viewed from different perspectives. Travelling would also allow for me to witness the different cultures and how they change things to suit their culture first hand.

Another would be the fact that I watch a lot of global television series and movies, mostly British and American tv but I also watch the odd Japanese anime or French film. The French films allow me to practice French listening skills and to interpret the French language as they speak. French people tend to speak very fast, so it is a good learning curb to be able to understand and up with their global culture. The same is with Japanese anime such as Spirited Away, where you get to understand and learn about their culture and how their culture is substantially different to ours. You can also see that a lot of different cultures believe in different things and the way it is conveyed to other countries is through the use of media.

It really all comes down to the media and online spaces such as Facebook where you witness different cultures all in the one place and I believe for a lot of people, social media platforms are the easiest way to access different global cultures and are a space for us to expand our global capacity.

Further Reading

Kumar, R. (2016). Coldplay: only the latest pop stars to misrepresent India as an exotic playground. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/01/coldplay-beyonce-hymn-for-the-weekend-cultural-appropriation-india [Accessed 1 Sep. 2019].

The Global Television

At this day and age, I have noticed a lot of changes within my television schedule and for the most part, it would be that I don’t necessarily watch television these days and most of the ‘television’ I consume is in forms such as Netflix and social media platforms.

When I did consume real television, I would mostly watch the Life channel which consisted of mostly American shows such as fixer upper, house hunters and those kinds of home renovation shows. It would also have some old seasons of The Block Australia and the UK come dine with me. You could also say that I of course watched the morning news but the only real global fact about that was when there would be reports on overseas disasters or big ceremonies such as the royal wedding.

Image result for free to use morning news logo

I believe that by watching these US renovation and house buying shows, it has brought to light the difference in our economies and has begun to create a sense of interest, in regards to why our housing prices are so much more expensive then Americas. It has also made me do a bit of research into the Australian and US economy and I have found that “the US has 13 times the population of Australia and is the worlds’ largest economy, while Australia is the worlds’ 14th largest” (Mondschein, 2018). I believe that this considerable amount of difference has allowed our economic system to be influenced by overseas vendors and has created a lot of unnatural products within our country.

This also ties in with global proximity as Australians would be more inclined to watch the US based television shows such as house hunters and renovation shows as various materials and pricing are different to Australia which, therefore creates more of an effect on different global cultures as each culture has their own economical ways of looking at things.  

In regards to watching the morning news, I believe that some of the stories produced by our local reporters could spread to the global screen as we all need to be aware of the countries around us and that is why we have overseas journalists. It would also be fair for other news stations outside of Australia to have overseas journalists within Australia, keeping track of our everyday news as Australia would do the same to them.

In the essence of the global success and or failure of the ‘television’ that I watch, it is believed that only a small amount of the morning news would be a global success as it is more targeted towards the Australian audience and would have a greater effect on them then to an overseas audience.

In conclusion, the ‘television’ that we consume varies from person to person and from country to country as we all have our preferences on what we like to watch and each global culture has their different stations which focus on their own unique cultural dynamic.

For Further Reading

Mondschein, J. (2018). Explainer: Australia’s economic relationship with the United States — United States Studies Centre. [online] Ussc.edu.au. Available at: https://www.ussc.edu.au/analysis/australias-economic-relationship-with-america [Accessed 1 Sep. 2019].

Ethical Explainer – Trauma

When speaking about trauma we immediately think of the worst most possible outcome but in some cases, it may be small things that lead to trauma. The experience of trauma can happen at the most unexpected times. It may affect different people in different ways and can lead to mental health issues and fears that the individual had not experienced before. 

Trauma can be described as “a serious accident, a physical assault, war, a natural disaster, sexual assault or abuse.” (Beyond Blue, 2019). There are a lot of different ways in which individuals deal with the certain trauma they have witnessed or experienced. Some people may tend to shut down after a traumatic experience where as some keep busy, doing day to day things as to keep their mind off of the trauma that they have experienced. 

The trauma that we are describing is recognised in the cases of Madeleine McCann and Lindy Chamberlain. These two cases come together to guide our understanding in the ethical reporting of trauma and allowing for these families to be able to grieve for those they have lost and deal with the trauma they have suffered. 

The story of Madeleine McCann 

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Madeleine McCann story, here is a little background. The McCann family of five took a vacation to Portugal where they stayed at a resort in Praia da Luz. On the 3rdof May 2007 the vacation for the family took a tragic turn when Kate and Gerry McCann went out to the resort’s tapas bar with friends. Their three children Madeleine (aged 3) and twins, Sean and Amelie (aged 2) were put to bed in their apartment around 8:30pm and were checked on at regular intervals. At around 10pm Kate McCann went to the apartment to do the routine check-up when she discovered Madeleine was no longer in the apartment. 

Madeleine McCann

This is how the search for Madeleine McCann began. 

Kate and Gerry McCann

The mother and father of Madeleine McCann were grieving in ways we could only ever imagine. The guilt and anxiety of losing a child would have been enough trauma for anyone but the fact that it was such a well-known case in the media, Kate and Gerry had to deal with the press and journalists writing stories that indicated them to be guilty. Headlines such as “Did you sedate Maddie?” (The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann 2019) were one of the many articles posted about Kate and Gerry. 

Kate and Gerry McCann

The media was such a big part of that time that rumours and stories started to circulate in the media of what was believed to have happened to the missing three-year-old. Some of these include:

  • “Burglary gone wrong” 
  • “Human trafficking”
  • “Abduction by a paedophile” 
  • “kidnapped by slave traders and sold to a rich family”
  • “Madeleine died in the apartment” (The Week 2019)
Article written about Kate and Gerry McCann

The many articles that were posted about Kate and Gerry McCann in regard to them being allegedly guilty were unsatisfied in following the Journalist Code of Ethics which is to “report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts” (MEAA 2019). Within these articles it can be found that these supposed articles were indeed factual but in reality, they were not. 

The Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann reached out to Kate and Gerry at the start of production to participate in the film but they responded with; “we did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it” (Debnath 2019). This documentary would later fuel the trauma that Kate and Gerry have already experienced and bring back those unwanted comments about who really was involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. 

The Journalist Involved in the Documentary 

Sandra Felgueiras, a Portuguese news reporter was a feature in the Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. She was “on the ground in the seaside resort as the search began and watched as press coverage grew more intense.” (Debnath 2019). 

Reporter Sandra Felgueiras

As Sandra was conducting interviews and trying to get to the bottom of what had happened to Madeleine McCann, she had said that “she had felt lied to by her Portuguese police sources” (NZ Herald 2019), those of which were trying to claim that the evidence towards Kate and Gerry was incriminating. 

This deception by the Portuguese police was unsuccessful in convincing Sandra that Kate and Gerry were involved but the same can’t be said about the many other reporters that were present throughout the initial investigation.

The Story of Lindy Chamberlain

The story of Lindy Chamberlain is about “a young life cut short and a mother who fought for justice” (Chamberlain 2019). She went through the trauma of losing her child and being falsely charged with her daughter, Azaria’s death. Let’s now talk about the events that changed this mother’s life and her daughter’s short life.  

Lindy Chamberlain

On Sunday the 17thof August 1980, a 32-year-old mother was on a holiday with her family, staying at Ayers Rock when she went to check up on her sleeping 9-week-old daughter, Azaria, and discovered she was no longer in the tent where she left her and all that was left was the sighting of a dingo and blood inside of her young daughters tent. 

This turn of events created a murder trial where Lindy Chamberlain was tried and convicted of murder. The prosecution conducted arguments towards Lindy by saying “Lindy chamberlain took Azaria from the tent into the car, sat in the front passenger seat and cut the baby’s throat” (Staines 2006). 

It has been said that the “sensationalist reporting of the event convicted parents Michael and Lindy of their daughter’s murder outside official court processes” (Middleweek 2016). 

This traumatic event for Lindy Chamberlain of being convicted for the death of her daughter created a certain strength inside of her which allowed for her to fight the justice system and overturn her convictions. She was successful in this attempt and was awarded “a sum of money for wrongful conviction, intended to cover their legal fees” (Staines 2006). This overturning of her conviction still did not compare to the trauma Lindy Chamberlain would have dealt with in relation to the disappearance of her daughter and her being wrongfully sentenced. 

The MEAA Code of Ethics

The MEAA is a journalistic code of ethics which establishes standards that journalists educate themselves on. These codes of conducts allow for journalists to understand how to report on different ethical issues. “Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context” (MEAA 2019). This statement by the MEAA allows for the journalists of all kinds not just those who reported on the Madeleine McCann case and the Lindy Chamberlain case but also those reporting on cases that may be brought about in the future as well as past cases being brought back up in the media. 

MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics

Further Reading and Understanding

Beyond Blue 2019, Trauma, Beyond Blue, viewed 21 May 2019, <https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/trauma
 
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann 2019, documentary, Netflix, directed by Skye Borgman.
 
Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) 2019, MEAA Journalistic Code of Ethics, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, viewed 22 May 2019, <https://www.meaa.org/about-us/journalists-code-of-ethics/
 
Lindy Chamberlain – Creighton 2019, Overview – Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain, Lindy Chamberlain, viewed 23 May 2019, <https://lindychamberlain.com>
 
Author N/A 2019, ‘What happened to Madeleine McCann? A timeline of the events,’ The Week, 18March, viewed 24 May 2019, <https://www.theweek.co.uk/madeleine-mccann/53972/what-happened-to-madeleine-mccann-timeline-of-events/page/0/2>
 
Neela Debnath 2019, ‘Madeleine McCann Netflix Documentary: Who is Sandra Felgueiras?,’ Express, 20 March, viewed 25 May, <https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1102879/Madeleine-McCann-Netflix-documentary-Sandra-Felgueiras-journalist>
 
Author N/A 2019, ‘All they did was lie: Why police originally thought McCanns accidentally killed Madeleine,’ NZ Herald, 19 March, viewed 25 May 2019, <https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12214153>
 
Deborah Staines 2006, ‘ A Legal Trauma, a Public Trauma: Lindy Chamberlain and the Chamberlain Case,’ Emerald Insight, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 153 -172, viewed 25 May 2019,<https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1016/S1059-4337%2805%2938005-7>
 
Belinda Middleweek 2016, ‘Dingo Media? The persistence of the “trial by media” frame in popular, media, and academic evaluations of the Azaria Chamberlain case,’ Feminist Media Studies, 10 October, viewed 25 May 2019, <https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14680777.2016.1235054?scroll=top&needAccess=true&>   

The Public Sphere

A Public sphere is a place where you go to speak about your issues, everyday happenings and general topics. This public sphere also acts as a guide in dealing with these conversations as they help to guide you with your own issues and can also allow you to help others with their issues.  

My most recognised public sphere would be social media, specifically snapchat and facebook. I found facebook to be the easiest way to get into contact with my public sphere. Facebook allows you to communicate and keep up with the latest ‘news’ and ‘gossip’ from not only your friends but from many other social aspects, such as celebrities or news stories. 

Many of the issues that are faced with dealing with the online world of social media is the rawness of how people are feeling and a lot of the time you wouldn’t come into contact with these feelings that are being shown through the social media platform. In a way it gives them a sense of a barrier between themselves and the person that they are talking to. There is also the issue of differentiating between what the person means when writing a message and the way that you interpret that message, because you can’t see or understand the emotions that are put into a message.  

A lot of the cultural and political issues that have been discussed recently within this social media public sphere are the Madeleine McCann case after the release of the Netflix series and the podcasts. This brought about a lot of questions towards the case and whether more could have been done or if the parents of the children were in the wrong. Another issue that also has been risen is the Christchurch attack and what was believed to have been a correct way to deal with it and the gun issues around the world. 

The issues about social media is just about everyone can be included in the public sphere as it is such an open environment and can be accessed wherever you go and this can lead to a wide audience boasting their own opinion on an issue. 

In saying this, I find it to be a very open public sphere as you are able to hear about other peoples experience of the issue and what they think about it and how they would like to see change in the present and future issues. 

Media Industries and Ownership

When I was living at home, I worked in a local newsagent and supermarket and that is where I was able to access and read the news. This news compromised of both hardcopy newspapers and magazines. Most of the newspapers that I would read were owned by News Corp who is founded by Rupert Murdoch. One of the main magazines I would read was ‘that’s life!’. This magazine is owned by a company by the name of ‘Pacific Magazines’. 

I found the newspaper to be a reliable source as in the creating of the newspaper, there are people that proof read and check over the work to make sure that it is suitable and newsworthy enough to be printed in the paper. As for a magazine, I am not exactly sure how they run but for majority of the articles there is usually some sort of web address that you can look up if you want to read more into the story. 

Once I finished working in the newsagent and supermarket, I found myself not reading as many newspapers as I used to, I began to turn to social media and an app on my phone called ‘News’. There are always doubts when looking to social media for news as a lot of the news that you come across can be ‘fake news’ and can be created to manipulate you into thinking it is true and having only one perspective on the issue. For you to truly know if it is a reliable source you need to start researching and looking into the story and the background of the story as best you can. 

The reliability of the news that you read all comes down to the media ownership and who has access to these news stories. You have to be careful when reading news stories as some may come across as bias and ultimately you need to read news that comes form many perspectives not just one. 

In saying this, it is up to you to believe or not to believe what you read on social media and other forms of social ‘news’ as many of these platforms can be easily manipulated and twisted.

Representation and Interpretation

 A complex image can be interpreted in more than one way, you just have to get a little critical and think, what does this mean? And how else can this image be understood. 

The image that I am going to focus on has a sense of power and how images are able to speak a thousand words just by analysing small details and looking at the image/or images from different perspectives.  

Source: Harpers Ferry Center, Historic Photo Collection, Episode six: 1946 – 1980, Lincoln Memorial, 1960 – 1980, viewed on 5th April 2019
Web Address: https://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/media_detail/467/  

The photograph that I chose to analyse is from the ‘I have a dream’ speech that was conducted by Martin Luther King in 1963. This speech is known as a defining time in the civil rights movement of America. I specifically chose this photograph as it shows the point of view of the late Abraham Lincoln and when researching this topic of ‘I have a dream’ the only images you seem to come across are of those from the perspective of the audience and how they are engaged within Martin Luther Kings’ speech. You may also find some images that are from the view of Martin Luther King himself, which shows his audience. The meaning behind this image is not that it has more than one way to be read but the fact that it can be seen from multiple perspectives and each one of these perspectives has a different story to tell. 

Within this photograph it is identified that one mans power can positively influence and bring together an entire community. As you can also see within the picture there is people as far as the eye can see and this also proves the power and the movement that this one man has on a community. 

This power is one interpretation of the image and when still focusing from Abraham Lincolns point of view, we can see that his power and focus has been taken from him in this moment and he is sitting  and watching at how history is changing right in front of him. 

Being Apart of an Audience

There are many times in my life in which I was apart of an audience but there is one certain time that stands out the most. I was one of those that watched on and wondered, how this could impact my life? What am I going to do when I am out of this camp? Will it reshape how I see things in life? What was each day and each activity going to bring? So many questions and with these questions came a bucket load of answers. 

The most significant time of being in an audience for me was at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Throughout my experience I was able to obtain and learn an abundant of information that would not only shape me as an individual but would come to shape my future in helping to develop a healthy and positive outlook on life. You had to go into this camp not knowing what you were going to be put through or who were going to listen to. Every day you woke up with an open mind and eagerness to learn and develop within yourself. 

For this camp, you had to be chosen, and within that you were recognised for all of the great things you have done and all the hard times you had endured. Just hearing those stories of my fellow Rylarians made me come to realise that the “big” issues in my life were only equivalent to the “small” issues in some of their lives. 

This experience helped me to develop more of an understanding of not only myself but  of those around me and how each individual would adapt to different situations and as an audience all of us were able to sit back and realise these same changes. 

As an audience we watched and listened to the guest speakers intently, as all of the various individuals had their own outlook on life and the events that allowed them to be who they are today. 

In my experiences I would give advice to each and every one of you that, today could be your last day, grasp every opportunity as it comes along and allow yourself to be free enough to have an outlook on life that makes you happy and allows you to be true to yourself and know your self worth. Life is short and going into experiences with an open mind helps to benefit your future and where your future will take you.