Top five drone video tips from a pro drone videographer – DroneDJ

The other day, we posted a video we quite liked from Thailand. It included some great drone and photography shots, so we thought we’d track down the person responsible. Turns out that quest led us to Australia, where — after negotiating the crazy time difference from Toronto — we got a chance to speak with Max Harach. And Max had some great things to say, including some tips for drone videographers!

It was the look of Max Harach’s work that caught our attention. The framing was great, the exposure perfect – and the videos edited with a great sense of pacing, transitions, and music. So we figured: Who is this person? How did he develop these chops? Might he have some tips that could benefit others? We figured the answers to all of these questions would be a “Yes” — and connected with Max for an online chat. We’re glad we did, and we think you’ll be pleased as well.

Max Harach, on location in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

Turns out that Max is, as suspected, a visuals pro. He works in the television industry and has been on contract as a video editor for Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, or SBS. It’s a diverse, multicultural network that dedicates itself to inclusion, equality, and cohesiveness.

SBS is a modern, multiplatform media organization with a free-to-air TV portfolio spanning five distinctive channels in SBS, NITV, SBS VICELAND, SBS Food, and SBS World Movies; an extensive radio network providing 68 communities with services in their own language; and an innovative digital offering, including SBS On Demand, available to audiences anytime and anywhere.

SBS Website


Max’s primary job is as an editor, pulling together raw shoots into programs. He’s worked on documentaries, including a lot of work related to Australia’s Aboriginal population. It’s a position that has given him a window into other cultures — something that comes in handy during his frequent travelling.

Anyway, Max simply decided one day that he wanted to explore more of the visual side of things. So he went out and bought himself a Sony a7S (he now has as a7 III).

I kind of got sick of being the guy that puts it together. A few years ago I just bought a camera and thought: ‘I can do this.’ I was always into photography but never got around to cameras for filming. But I have a passion for camera work, and I love traveling. So I try to put both passions together.

Max Harach, Australian visuals pro

First a camera, then a drone

As Max progressed with a camera, he knew he wanted to take that extra step and capture some visuals from the air. And so, about two years ago, he purchased a Mavic Pro. It soon became his constant companion on trips like this one, to Vietnam:

Max Harach shot this with his trusty DJI Mavic Pro

Top five tips

We asked Max if he could pull together some tips for those who shoot video with their drones. He was kind enough to oblige:

  • Safety first, respect the area and people around you.
  • Find a private place to take off so you can really focus and concentrate without distraction.
  • Be experimental: Try multiple angles and you will eventually nail the shot, while discovering new shots in the process.
  • With moving shots, hold the shot as long as you can. It will help with the edit process and allow space for effects and transitions in post-production.
  • Practice a range of movement and motion. If you can nail a nice smooth, steady movement hitting a range of angles — you’ll get good shots every time.

Good tips!

We couldn’t agree more with those tips — especially the first two. As it turns out, some of Max’s regular contract work is on hold at the moment due to COVID-19. That’s given Max the impetus to start doing more of his own commercial work. If you’re in Australia and need some work done in the Sydney area, check out Max’s Facebook page and get in touch!

What about you? Which of Max’s tips do you like best, and why? What tips might you offer to someone wanting to improve their aerial videography skills? Let us know in the comments below.

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What’s On July 31 – August 7 – Neos Kosmos


The Greek Community of Melbourne is hosting an online lecture as part of their Greek history and culture seminars program. The lecture will be presented by French-Greek historian at the École Normale Supérieure Lukas Tsiptsios, who aims to do a social history of Thessaloniki in the Interwar period through PAOK, by following the paths of the Constantinopolitan elite that founded the club.
When: 6 August 7:00pm
Info: (03) 9662 2722 or

In an effort to support the newly-arrived immigrants settle and find job opportunities in their new home, Pronia is continuing the project “Settlement Services for Newly-Arrived People” online, with morning and afternoon English language workshops.
There will be separate classes for people with intermediate, limited and no English language knowledge.
Info: Contact Pronia on 03 9388 9998

Titled In Isolation, the exhibition presents the work of 15 past Antipodean Palette participants during this time of physical distancing and self-isolation…Those wishing to view works created by the artists can now do so through the online gallery, hosted through Instagram, Facebook and the GACL’s website. Selected works will also be featured in the bilingual Antipodes Periodical 2020 edition which will be dedicated to the Antipodean Palette visual artists.
Info: Instagram – @gaclmelbourne and

National Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Foundation Australia to advocate for and raise awareness of Australian mental health. At this launch, presentations will be made to the winners of the Schools’ Creative Writing Competition and Art Competition 2020. There will also be an opportunity for you to sit in on formal addresses, on the Victorian government’s plans for mental health into the future and the current Royal Commission into mental health.
When: 1 October, 6:30pm – 8:00pm AEST
Where: Virtual on Zoom

This year the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) is excited to bring the festival magic at the comfort of your home. Presenting the Virtual Australian Multicultural Festival a package of incredible music, breath taking performances all just a click away. Prepare your festival outfits, stock your fridge, gather your crew virtually and get ready for #Australianmulticulturalfestival2020. To make your festival experience even better, you can also be involved, by partnering, sponsoring or performing in the event, for more info email
When: 3 October, 11:00am – 2:00pm AEST
Where: Virtual on Zoom


Membership applications for GCYM are now live. The organisation promotes shared Cypriot and Greek culture and creates a platform for youth to socialise with the community
Contact: or email


Greek lessons for adults via Zoom or small classes organised at Greek Bilingual Workshop.
When: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Beginners to advanced intermediate. Reading groups, conversation and vocabulary. Skype lessons available
Costs: Group lessons from $25; $65 at the bookshop, $75 from home
When: Lessons held Mondays, Tuesdays Wednesdays
Where: Online or 837 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill
Contact: or call 0400 436 079

Place Management NSW continues to celebrate Sydney’s rich cultural diversity and a multicultural Australia by revitalising the series of vibrant Cultural Festivals at Tumbalong Park and inviting community groups to express interest in participating in a new program from 2021. Applications for Season 1 (February 2021 to April 2021) are now open and must be submitted by close of business Monday 3 August 2020
For more info: Email or call (02) 9240 8768

Outstanding efforts at 2020 Local Government awards – Mirage News

The outstanding work of Liverpool City Council staff members has been recognised by two local government awards panels.

Council Administration Officer Elizabeth Pirolo has won the Young Achievers’ Award in the 2020 Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government.

The Minister’s Awards are organised by the Office of Local Government.

Liverpool City Council’s focus on innovation, improving liveability and celebrating cultural diversity has also been recognised at the NSW Local Government Excellence Awards run by Local Government Professionals Australia.

The Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan, Council’s 10-year plan to improve its city centre was Highly Commended in the category of Community Partnerships and Collaboration.

Five of council’s initiatives were nominated as finalists for three categories this year including three projects in the category of Community Partnerships and Collaboration.

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said the annual award results demonstrate Council’s commitment and hard work to supporting its people and Liverpool’s growing economy.

“Firstly congratulations to Elizabeth Pirolo,” Mayor Waller said. “The Award she won recognises the achievements of outstanding women aged 25 and younger who are undertaking traineeships or apprenticeships in the local government sector.

“It’s an outstanding result for her. I hope this will encourage other female staff members to aim high and see what a rewarding career they can have in local government.

“I am also delighted that the Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan was highly commended in the NSW Local Government Excellence Awards.

“I am aware that staff worked long and hard to design and envision Liverpool as a city of the future,” Mayor Waller said.

“Staff worked closely with the community through face to face consultations and online community feedback surveys to come up with a blueprint for our CBD that includes dedicated cycleways, better lighting, more street trees and vegetation and wider footpaths.

Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government 2020

Award winner for the Young Achiever’s Award – Elizabeth Pirolo. An outstanding trainee/apprentice (under 25).

NSW Local Government Excellence Awards

Award finalists in the category of Community Partnerships and Collaboration:

Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan – Highly Commended

This 10-year plan will guide future development and include enhancements of public space in the Liverpool city centre. Wider footpaths, dedicated cycleways, more street trees and vegetation, public art, better furniture, lighting and paving materials are among the improvements suggested in the plan.

Centre for Civic Innovation

The Centre for Civic Innovation, run as a pilot between October and December 2019, was established in a vacant shop space in Liverpool CBD for community members to turn ideas to improve the community into an initiative, a not-for-profit or a business. Fourteen people shared their ideas for potential innovation activities or projects, with two incubated and one developed into a viable business.

CALD Social Board Games

Run in partnership with STARTTS Liverpool, this regular workshop held at Liverpool City Library invites people of all cultural and language backgrounds to come together for social board games such as chess, cards and backgammon.

Award finalist in the category of Local Economic Contribution:

Local Jobs for Local People

This ongoing project will provide pathways for local jobs in South West Sydney. As part of this initiative, Council is now developing a digital platform to connect people with local jobs.

Award finalist in the category of Special Project Initiative:

Eat Your Heart Out Liverpool

Council’s signature CBD event celebrates the city’s multicultural harmony in a one-night street fiesta that combines a tantalising array of food, live music and performances, markets and plenty of art into a feast for the senses, activating different areas of the Liverpool city centre each year.


Award winner for the Young Achiever’s Award – Elizabeth Pirolo

Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan – Highly Commended

/Public Release. View in full here.

How To Get Ghost Of Tsushima’s Two Trickiest Trophies – Press Start Australia

Note: The following information references some mid-to-late-game content and we recommend it only be used as a guide if you’re already attempting these trophies and need help. Read ahead at your own risk. 

Sucker Punch’s massive samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima has finally been unleashed on the world, and as fans start to pick up the game and explore the beautiful island of Tsushima they’ll find a healthy list of PlayStation trophies waiting to recognise their progress.

While the overall list is fairly straightforward and quite achievable, there are a few that we anticipate might stump some players. If you’ve clicked through to this, that likely applies to you, so allow us to talk you through both the Honour the Unseen, and Cooper Clan Cosplayer trophies to help you on your journey to Platinum. 

It probably goes without saying but the following will go over content in the game that might be considered spoilers, including some things you might want to discover on your own. We’d recommend you only read ahead if you’re already at a point where you’re actively trying to pop these trophies.

How To Get The Honour the Unseen Trophy

This trophy is an interesting one; once you know what to do it’s incredibly easy to achieve, but knowing what to do is half the battle. 

For starters, the game doesn’t really ever draw attention to the fact that you can make Jin bow at any time by swiping down on the DualShock 4’s touch pad. That’s lesson #1 on your way to Honour the Unseen. 

With that knowledge in your back pocket, it’s time to find these ‘hidden altars’, another little extra that the game leaves to players to discover. Hidden altars are found all throughout Tsushima, some in obvious places and some cleverly hidden. Unlike the game’s Inari Shrines and Shinto Shrines, these ones aren’t marked on the map or tracked in any menu, and they can often embody very different physical forms. 

The primary way to recognise a hidden altar is to spot a wooden signpost depicting a person bowing, these are placed next to (most) hidden altars. The altar itself could be a statue, a tree, a natural formation, even a body of water, but as long as you’re standing next to the sign when you use the aforementioned bow command the altar should ‘activate’. Most (but not all) of the time, you’ll know it’s worked because something will happen. We won’t spoil that for you here, though. 

The trophy requires doing this at ten unique hidden altars, which is easy enough given there are far, far more than ten throughout the game world. If you’re keeping in mind to look for the signposts as you play through the game you’ll likely find enough to satisfy the trophy requirements long before the credits roll. That said if you missed finding them or need extra help we’ve highlighted some of the earliest/easiest ones to find, and more than enough to get you the bronze trophy:

– At Tadayori’s Rest in Izuhara, which you go to during The Legend of Tadayori Mythic Tale, it’s a hidden mountain cemetery in the middle of Houren’s Pasture, Kuta Grasslands and Winding Trail.

– At the cemetery outside of Komatsu Forge in Izuhara, on the east side

– At the Isonade Coast in Izuhara, early on the path to the Mending Rock Shrine, you’ll see a frog statue by the cliffside

– At a fishing pier on the east side of Kechi Fishing Village in Izuhara, on see a square section of walkway sticking out

– At the river near Kishi Village in Izuhara, on a small wooden pier outside of a building

– At Kashine Hills in the north part Kashine in Izuhara, there’s a large house with a small lake in front, at the back of the lake by a tree is a fox statue and a hidden altar sign

– At a large tree in the middle of Izuhara Clearing in northeast Hiyoshi in Izuhara

– In the hollow of a giant tree in North Kashine forest in Izuhara

– At the very edge of the shore of Kaneda Inlet in north Hiyoshi in Izuhara is a Pillar of Honour

– Outside a fishing hut on a riverbank southeast of Old Kanazawa Marsh in Toyotama, you’ll see the sign on the small wooden deck next to a boat

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– Just south west of Old Kanazawa Marsh in Toyotama in a large field is a Pillar of Honour that also doubles as a hidden altar

– At Omi Lake in south west Kubara in Toyotama, there’s a pier next to a duelling ring down a path from Omi Village

– On the way to the shrine on small island off the coast of Rebel’s Last Stand in Yarikawa in Toyotama, just behind one of the large Torii gates on the path are two large frog statues, there’s a sign next to one of these

– Two for one! On the path to the Cloud Ridge Shrine at the cove north of Urashima’s Village in Toyotama, after doing some climbing and entering a mountain path you’ll see a statue of three frogs at a forked path, that’s one. Immediately to the right of this one is another, lone frog statue that is also a hidden altar

How To Get The Cooper Clan Cosplayer Trophy

Now, for the one that I’m betting most players will have come here for. The description for this trophy reads ‘Dress up as a legendary thief’ which, if you’ve been following Sucker Punch’s output long enough you should recognise as a reference to their Sly Cooper series. Even if you happen to catch the reference though, the exact method around popping this trophy is pretty murky.

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and figured this one out, so if you’re stumped and want the easy way to discovering this neat little easter egg then read on:

Step One – Progress Enough To Access The Entire Map

You’re going to need access to two things to start your journey for this silver trophy. The first is the Mythic Tale questline, The Unbreakable Gosaku. This is important because you need to acquire Gosaku’s Armour to fulfil the trophy requirements. You’ll also need to have played through enough of the game to access the entire map in order to find the other pieces of this puzzle and also because you need to have unlocked Jin’s ‘grappling hook’ to reach certain places.

Step Two – Acquire The Right Gear

Once you have Gosaku’s armour, you’ll also need to head to a dye merchant and acquire the ‘Ocean’s Guardian’ colour scheme for the armour.

Following that, you need the following pieces of vanity gear found at these locations, both of which are in the northern section of the map in Kamiagata:

Crooked Kama Headband: Found at the top of a tall temple building at Jogaku Temple in Jogaku at the very north of the map. You can get up there by grappling to the corners of the temple’s roof on each floor

Sly Tanuki Sword KIt: Found at a Pillar of Honour at the peninsula east of Iwai Village in Kin

Step Three – Wear It!

This final step is pretty straightforward. Head into the menu and equip Gosaku’s Armour with the Ocean’s Guardian colour scheme, the Crooked Kama Headband and the Sly Tanuki Sword and voila! Your Sly Cooper cosplay is complete and the trophy should pop. That was simple enough, right?

Hopefully that’s helped you clear off a couple of Ghost of Tsushima’s trickier trophies. If you find yourself with more questions, throw us a message on our socials or you can bother our resident Ghost of Tsushima platinum-haver on Twitter at @thebirdprince. Happy hunting! 

Why Tal Kanety moved from Israel to Armidale region – Armidale Express

Necrobarista Review – Delight in Melbourne’s Dark Corners – Press Start Australia

It’s hard to imagine anything more destined for cult following status than Necrobarista. They’ve got the recipe right: unique, oddly relatable characters, a world oozing with style, and a banging theme song accompanying its title sequence. If Scott Pilgrim was set in Melbourne and swapped band practise for necromancy, you’d be pretty close to what Route 59 Games has accomplished.

Necrobarista is many things, but it is not a game like you know it. Falling into the somewhat niche genre of 3D visual novels, don’t expect typical mechanics you may associate with other video games.

But sure, there are hallmarks of other games. Built-in the Unity game engine, the coffee shop is explorable from the first-person perspective between episodes. In these moments, you’ll briefly use WASD on your keyboard, finding tangental stories unlocked using keywords collected from the game’s main plot.

The story is mostly experienced as a visual novel however, clicking through scenes and on-screen dialogue without decision making or interaction with the world. Player agency isn’t what it’s about; the focus is solely on the story Route 59 has sought to tell. They overtly shrug off potentially more profitable game design choices in favour for championing this lesser-known genre, peeking through the fourth wall with the line, “I just feel like everything’s a battle royale these days.”

Ultimately the discussion surrounding its status as a video game is reductive and distracts from the magic contained with Necrobarista. However light it is on gameplay, Necrobarista more than makes up for it with a double shot of emotive storytelling.

With its musings on life, death and letting go, Necrobarista is a heart-wrenching story set within the space between this world and the next. Choosing a back alley coffee shop in the inner-city suburb of Carlton as limbo seems oddly apt. The nihilistic pontification between its characters is indicative of the brunch time conversations you might hear between a gaggle of Melbournites. As a local myself, I was very excited to see a milk crate dragged out as a chair.

Australian references don’t end there. A bro-ey interpretation of the infamous outback outlaw, Ned Kelly, is a central character and slang such as ‘tradies’ and ‘goon’ are frequent. I’d recommend an international audience keep Urban Dictionary close to hand.

But Necrobarista is an example of cultural hybridity at its finest. Blending style and aesthetics inspired by Japanese anime with a generous helping of Australian culture and history, the resulting mixture is something fitting of Melbourne’s multicultural roots.

Despite the supernatural and mysterious Terminal cafe setting, a coffee shop somewhere between this world and the next, the world is strangely believable. If an underground alchemist/necromancy scene does exist within Melbourne, I’d imagine it’d be exactly like this.

The characters and equally convincing and relatable. From the cafe owner and lead necrobarista herself, Maddy Xiao, to the eccentric, knife-wielding teenager, Ashley Capek, I quickly felt a connection with the coffee-obsessed crew. That renders their heartache, as they struggle to deal with the transitory nature of life and an inability to escape consequence, all the more painful.

Necrobarista is exceptionally well-written. Route 59 perfectly capture those pointless conversations you find yourself as you skate around the elephant in the room. But when characters do open up, boy do they tug at your heartstrings.

No amount of caffeine will soften the punch packed into the game’s self-described “heavy” moments. Touching, sometimes all-too-real dialogue punctuates an expertly told, very human story interspersed between moments of typical Melbourne cynicism. Bouts of introspection setup thought-provoking monologues that playfully bounce into witty banter, much of which I’ve captured in a folder of screenshots. There are brilliant lines in there I’d refer back to in my own moments of self-doubt or repurpose as a meme in a group chat.

It’s also laugh-out-loud hilarious at times.

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This oscillation between deep personal reflection, one-liners and puns does bear a degree of whiplash, but none too different from that you’d expect to see within an anime or a comic.

It gets away with it thanks to the brilliant score composed by the BAFTA-nominated composer of Florence, Kevin Penki (who’s making a habit of scoring the Millennial Melbourne existence), with contributions from Jeremy Lin the indie-pop group Soft Science. From the very-anime title sequence to the punchy beat the accompanies the commentary between Ashley’s sentient robots at the end of each story chapter, the music contributes greatly to the game’s mood at any given moment. I’m not typically the type to listen to game soundtracks in my own time – with Hotline Miami‘s the only exception – but I’m glad to see that the tracks already on Spotify.

Sadly, on the topic of sound, Necrobarista is almost entirely reliant on its soundtrack. Sound design is sparse to non-existent. Bar some occasional ambience in the cafe, and the odd sound effect here or there, without a recorded dialogue – which is all told through text – tracks are reused time and time again. The mix from scene to scene isn’t always flash either. If the soundtrack wasn’t as strong as it is, it would’ve bothered me a lot more than it did.

Visually speaking, there’s a lot to commend. The heavily stylised 3D presentation creates a unique, immediately recognisable aesthetic. Equally so, the character and environment design deserve to endure in whatever form Necrobarista next presents itself. It’s low poly and occasionally a little rough looking – with the infrequent bit of clipping – but I was able to mostly overlook minor issues as I became enthralled in the narrative.

It’s still incredibly cinematic too, even with minimal camera movements and very infrequent character animation. I’d like to have seen more movement in the scenes, but clever tricks used with dialogue text and the character’s designs and posing are sufficiently expressive. 

What’s most exciting about Necrobarista though is what is yet to come. And no, I’m not talking about the fan fiction this first tale from the Terminal will inevitably brew.

Necrobarista is destined for more. Battling burnout and the ‘grind’ that was its development – I hope they appreciate that shocker of a pun – Route 59 Games have succeeded in setting up a world Netflix would be lucky to have. You can’t just go throwing about mentions of the Council of Death without creating more questions than you can answer in a tight, five-hour experience well worth the price of admission.

Thankfully, for now, Route 59 Games have more in store. If scenes and characters never realised but teased in the title sequence aren’t enough evidence, their promise in December last year for “post-launch feature updates and significant content additions” has me excited.



Necrobarista tells a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of the human experience expertly told with dialogue that resonates more than once. I was enthralled by the world and enamoured with its characters, despite minor complaints with the polish of an otherwise impressive visual style. In crafting their 3D visual novel, Route 59 has gambled on a niche genre, eschewing more marketable mechanics and pursuing passion over potential profit. With a brew this good, you can be sure I’ll be back for more.


Exceptional writing

Beautifully cinematic

Banging soundtrack

Ace characters and setting


Visual polish

Sparse sound design

Room for more mechanics

TikTok under scrutiny in Australia over security, data concerns –

TikTok under scrutiny in Australia over security, data concerns.Australia is scrutinising the popular Chinese-owned social media TikTok platform for any risks it may pose to users from around potential foreign interference and data privacy issues, government sources told Reuters.

Owned by Bytedance, TikTok opened an office in Australia in recent weeks. Offices of both the Home Affairs and Attorney-General are discussing TikTok’s operations, the sources said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was “having a good look” at TikTok, which has also fallen under U.S. scrutiny for “national security risks”.

“If we consider there is a need to take further action than we are taking now, then I can tell you we won’t be shy about it,” Morrison told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday.

Separately, Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, the chairwoman of a parliamentary inquiry into foreign interference through social media, has identified TikTok as needing further scrutiny, noting 1.6 million young Australians used the app.

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“Some of these approaches to moderating content might be inconsistent with Australian values,” she told ABC radio.

“For example, removing material about Tiananmen Square, or deprioritising material about Hong Kong protests,” she added, referring to student protests in Beijing in 1989 and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong over the past year.

Two of the three directors of the new Australian TikTok operation are senior executives of Chinese parent company ByteDance, company records seen by Reuters show.

TikTok Australia general manager Lee Hunter, who was recruited from Google in June, has written to Australian politicians saying TikTok was “being used as a political football.”

Read Also: ICC postpones T20 World Cup due to Covid-19

It was “critical you understand that we are independent and not aligned with any government, political party or ideology”, the letter said, adding TikTok Australia’s data was stored securely in Singapore and the United States.

Last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared with an impersonator in a video posted on the highly popular social media app.

New music from Eleni Foureira, Courtney Act, Miki and more – wiwibloggs

Summer is always the quiet period for Eurovision fans as we wait for national finals to start once again. Thankfully, the music will always continue and a number of past Eurovision artists are still producing new songs for us to enjoy.

Contrary to the commonly perpetuated myth about the song contest killing careers, we’re always thrilled to report that singers and performers associated with both Eurovision itself and the various national selections are thriving.

Here is a selection of just some of the songs and music videos released in the last week or so.

New music from Eurovision artists: 2020 | Week 29 Part 1

Eleni Foureira – “Temperatura” (Spanish version)

Hot on the heels of the Greek original, Eleni Foureira has released a Spanish version of her sizzling summer single “Temperatura”. The tune brings a sunny reggaetón flavour. The song was co-written by “Toy” writer Doron Medalie, with the Israeli hitmaker showing a different side to his talents.

Courtney Act – Drop Of Fluid EP

She’s the RuPaul’s Drag Race queen that finished fourth in Australia’s inaugural national final back in 2019. Now, almost 18 months after “Fight For Love”, Courtney Act has dropped the three-track EP Drop Of Fluid. The record opens slow with “One Tonight” before moving into the synth-heavy “Heteroflexible”. It concludes with the retro-sounding “Fluid”. Courtney performed “Heteroflexible” on the Aussie soap Neighbours.

Buhos (feat. Miki Núñez, Lildami i Suu)- “El dia de la Victòria”

Eurovision 2019 star Miki Núñez features on the new song “El dia de la Victòria” (“Victroy Day”) by Spanish band Buhos. Núñez provides vocals for one of the verses, with rapper Lildami and singer Suu also lending their voices. It’s your typical happy summer song, with trumpets added into the chorus to add an extra spoonful of joy into proceedings. The Spanish Eurovision alum also makes an appearance in the music video alongside the other vocalists. (Jonathan)

Tone Damli – “If I Can’t Have You”

She’s the Norwegian star that’s tried to represent both her native land and Sweden at Eurovision. And for her first release since Melodi Grand Prix 2020, Tone Damli sticks with her distinctive country-pop style. “[The song] was written just a few days after my friend broke up with a long-term relationship. Terribly painful and tough. The text is from him to her where he finally understood who he had, who he has lost and rooted away! One last brave attempt to save what was once so nice”, explains Tone.

Zlata Ognevich – “Богиня”

Zlata Ognevich is spreading a message of body positivity through her new music video for “Богиня” (“Goddess”). The audio was originally released in 2019, but Ukraine’s Eurovision 2013 bronze medallist has teamed up with lingerie brand Anabel Arto to produce the video. The description notes that the intent is too show that “every girl and woman is special and flawless, regardless of weight, age, profession and other features”. Ognevich goes on to explain more:

“I have long harboured the idea of ​​creating such a video, because the song “Goddess” is about that: about the female beauty, individuality and personal magic of each of us. It touches on the topic of self-esteem of every woman, as well as a superpower that helps to feel like a goddess every day. I am happy that together with the Anabel Arto brand I finally managed to put these ideas into practice.” (Jonathan)

Agoney – “Más”

He was one of the most popular performers in Operación Triunfo 2017/2018, although his sixth place elimination meant he only got to feature on one duet during the competition’s Eurovision selection show. Nonetheless, like most of his OT peers, he’s gone on to big things. “Más” (More) is the latest single to be taken from his upcoming album Libertad, which is due on 28 August.

Seeb x Julie Bergan – “Don’t You Wanna Play?”

The Melodi Grand Prix 2013 alum is joining forces with Seeb for the second time this year. After January’s “Kiss Somebody”, Julie Bergan is asking “Don’t You Wanna Play?”. The fun number passes by in no time at all, partly because it’s a mere two minutes and 18 seconds long. But also because it’s a carefree bop advocating the benefits of not overthinking things.

Le Vibrazioni — “Per Fare l’Amore”

They’re the rockers that finished fourth at Sanremo 2020. Now Le Vibrazioni have dropped “Per Fare l’Amore”. And it’s all about celebrating love. “But how long does it take to “make love”? Because while the others hate each other we love each other and, after singing from the balconies in chorus without even knowing each other, now we just have to love each other for a better world, without violence and MAKE LOVE !!!”, write the band on Instagram. The feel-good track is accompanied by an equally uplifting video which shows love in all its variations.

Anthony Dircson and ISA – “Know Me Better”

Two-time Melfest singer ISA continues to drop bops at an exordinate rate. Just weeks after “Walk Like Jesus”, the songstress has teamed up with Anthony Dircson for “Know Me Better”. The song is about “after a break up when your ex still is keeping you on a leash, letting you close when they feel like it, and abandoning you the other day”, says ISA in the press release. “You’ve come to a point where it doesn’t matter what lies this person throws at you. You know you deserve better and that you’ll be fine on your own”.

Magnus Carlsson – “My Freedom”

Covid-19 may have put paid to normal Pride celebrations this summer. But it’s possible to be proud without crowds. As part of Stockholm’s 2020 Pride, Melfest veteran Magnus Carlsson released “My Freedom” as the event’s official anthem. Fans of the schlagery pop of 2015’s “Möt mig i Gamla Stan” won’t be disappointed.

Bárbara Tinoco – “A Fugir de Ser”

To the surprise of almost everyone, Bárbara Tinoco only finished second in Portugal’s Festival da Canção earlier this year. In hindsight, she probably was lucky that “Passe Partout” didn’t make it all the way. For her follow-up, Bábara gives us “A Fugir de Ser” (Running From Being). It’s a move away from the breathy, dreaminess of her FdC number, boasting a more commercial and modern sound. The music video was recorded during lockdown and Tinoco lets fans in on what the experience was like: “Recording this song and making this video was different !!!!! It was made with masks and alcohol gel !!”.

Carina Dahl – “Sirkus”

She’s competed in the MGP circus on several occasions, most recently with “Hold Me Down” in 2019. So, “Sirkus” is probably an appropriate title for her new single. It’s a zany song that captures all the madness and fun of the big top. Horns, fiddles and hand-clapping all feature.

Danijela Martinović feat. Gelato Sisters – “Svileni”

Danijela Martinović — a two-time top ten finisher for Croatia in the 1990s — has teamed up with Dora 2019 finalists Gelato Sisters for “Svileni”. Translating as “Silk”, the Croatian-language track nicely melds Danijela’s pop vocals with the Gelato Sisters boogie-woogie style. On the collaboration, the “Neka mi ne svane” singer says: “Gelato Sisters you breathed your soul. With you, the song gained in uniqueness and originality. Thank you girls … stay that way … beautiful, your own, talented, unique, unrepeatable”.

O.Torvald – “А тепер усе інакше”

Ukraine’s O.Torvald have dropped the new single “А тепер усе інакше” (“And now everything is different”). It’s a cover of the song originally performed by Ukrainian musical duo Аква Віта. The Eurovision 2017 band truly make the song their own and turn it into a full-on rock track. For the music video, O.Torvald invited a number of fellow Ukrainian artists to film themselves rocking out to the track. Eurovision fans might recognise Eurovision 2017 host Volodymyr Ostapchuk and past Vidbir contestants Jerry Heil, Yulia Yurina (from YUKO), KRUTЬ, INGRET and KADNAY. (Jonathan)

Lisa Børud – “Me Without U”

She was one of several favourites to stay in the semi-finals of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix 2020. And thankfully, despite the qualification setback, Lisa Børud is back with more of the feisty pop that won over fans in the spring. On “Me Without U”, Lisa says that “it means a little extra to me and is about the best I know of!”. A scroll through the star’s Instagram will make it clear who she’s talking about — she got married to her “U” on 30 May.

Alyona Lanskaya – “Ой, гуляла мая доля…”

Mere weeks after her collab with Aleksey Rom, Belarus’ Eurovision 2013 star Alyona Laskaya returns with “Oj, huliala maja dolia…”. It’s a dramatic ballad with plenty of traditional flourishes. Alyona explains the imagery in the music video. She is supposed to represent the ancient Slavic goddess of spring and beauty. The oak forests stand for the unlimited power and wisdom of the Belarusian people.

Jacques Houdek – “Moj najveći strah”

He’s the Croatian who famously dueted with himself at Eurovision 2017. But Jacques Houdek’s latest single, which translates as “My Biggest Fear”, is an international affair. It features Sarah Puškaš, a Croatian artist of Chinese descent. She’s the star of the music video and sings with Jacques as the song reaches its climax. The multicultural track also includes some Mandarin lyrics. “Enjoy the silence and this beauty. We have brought together talents from all over the world so enjoy this multiculturalism and the beauty of diversity. #celebratediversity”, writes Jacques.

Albin Johnsén feat. Malin Christin- “Aldrig ge upp”

Albin Johnsén had a rough time at Melodifestivalen 2020 — finishing last in his heat. So it’s apt that “Aldrig ge upp” — his followup single to “Livet börjar nu” — translates to “Never Give Up”. The peppy number is made all the lighter by guest vocals from Malin Christin.

Vanotek feat. Bastien – “Talk To Me”

He’s the Moldovan born Romanian based DJ that was heavily tipped to represent Romania at Eurovision 2016 with “Coming Home”. But in the end, he finished second to Ovidiu Anton. Over four years later, he’s still mixing bops, the latest being “Talk To Me” with vocals from Bastien.

Jaguar Jonze – “Diamonds & Liquid Gold”

Shortly after her Australia Decides stint earlier this year, Jaguar Jonze dropped the six-track EP Diamonds & Liquid Gold. Now, she’s released a visualiser video for the title track. Jaguar discusses the “Diamonds & Liquid Gold” clip on Instagram: “Made a visualiser in isolation for the last song on the EP without a video… in true quarantine style with no makeup and bedridden hair haha”.

Which of these new songs is your favourite? Have we missed out on any? Do you have any artists you want to shout out to? Let us know in the comments.

Read more new music reviews here

Follow our new music playlist on Spotify

Community diary: What’s on this week in Mackay – Daily Mercury


The Community Diary and Weekend Planner offer free entries to not-for-profit groups, organisations and schools in the wider Mackay region.

Email details of your event, under the subject ‘Community Diary’ to


– MULTICULTURAL playgroup for children aged 0-5, includes craft, activities, visit by Smarty’s Fit Food Fun, cost $3, 9.30-11.30am, The Neighbourhood Hub, 43 Shakespeare St, East Mackay. Ph: 4957 2626.

– STORY TIME with Ros from Let the Children Play Toyshop, free, 9.30-10.30am, Shop 2/176 Victoria St, Mackay. Spaces limited to 10 children because of COVID-19 restrictions. Book via Eventbrite.

– LAPIDARY: learn the art of working with stones, first session free, $25 joining fee and $25 annual membership fee applies after, 9am-noon and 6.30-9pm, Mackay Gem and Craft Society, 3 Leisure Ct, South Mackay. Ph: 4942 8541.

– UNTAMED landscapes art exhibition featuring art inspired by the Kimberley’s unique rock and land formations by artist Lesley Kane. Can be viewed 9am-2pm at Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Cafe until July 28. Ph: 4952 7300 or email

– WINTER sunrise trail run through hidden trails of the Mackay Harbour and Mt Bassett with Tri-ActV8, 5.30-6.15am, take lights as run starts in the dark, meet at Breakwater Bar and Restaurant, 9-19 Breakwater Access Rd, Mackay. Ph: 0403 080 149.

– MARKET: Greater Whitsunday’s Farmer’s Market, fresh seasonal produce straight from farmers, weekly from 7-11am, Bluewater Quay. For more details visit

– PRIZE BINGO, 20 games, books $2 each, doors open 8.45am for eyes down at 9.15am, Magpies Sporting Club, Glenella Rd. Ph: 4965 6100.

– THE LEAP Hike, free event hosted by Double M Fitness, all ages and fitness levels welcome, 9.30am-noon. Ph: 0448 748 741.

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NARCOTICS Anonymous Mackay, meets 7pm, 16 Keats St, Mackay. Ph: Rosco on 0428 992 762.

– FITTER for Life, catering for all mobility abilities: cost $6 per class plus $20 per annum insurance fee, 9-10am, Mackay Gymnastics, 5 Snow Wright Ct, Beaconsfield. Ph: 4942 0032.

– TUMMY TIME free development class for babies 0-6 months run by paediatric physiotherapist from Move and Play Paediatric Therapy. Places limited to five babies per class. To reserve your spot, phone 4942 9343.

– ADVENTURE Riders social night, discussions include adventure riding essentials, techniques, presentation from Queensland Ambulance Service paramedic on attending a rider down situation, food and refreshments provided, from 5.3pm, Bullet Bikes Superstore, 89 Gordon St, Mackay. Ph: 4957 2227.

– HOY card game, 9.30-11am weekly (excluding school holidays), $1 per board to play, please bring tokens like glass beads to play with. There is also a cent sale at half-time for $1 per sheet and a raffle at one ticket for $5 or three for $10 with the chance to win fruit and veg trays and shopping vouchers. All proceeds go to Glenella State Primary School. Magpies Sporting Club, Glenella Rd. Ph: 4965 6100.

– BABY BOUNCE session featuring nursery rhymes, finger plays and songs, 10.30-11am, Gordon White Library, 54 Phillip St, Mt Pleasant. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, limited spaces are available and so bookings are essential. Book via Eventbrite.

– MACKAY and District Pipe Band: learn to play the bagpipes or drums with free lessons, 6.30-7pm, St Paul’s Uniting Church meeting room, 21 Macalister St. Spots limited due to COVID-19 Restrictions. Contact via Facebook for more information.

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– CALD Women’s Club immigration information session hosted by Migrant settlement co-ordinator Coralie McKenzie in partnership with Valiant Lawyers registered migration agent Jenna du Preez. Covers overview on migration laws, citizenship pathways, domestic and family violence advice and more. Free event, 10am-noon, Mackay Women’s Centre, 48 Shakespeare St, West Mackay. Bookings essential, text 0400 788 218 or email

– SOCIAL table tennis. All ages welcome, equipment available, 9-11.30am at Mackay Table Tennis Centre, 76 Bridge Rd. First day free entry, $5 after. Ph: Coral 4957 8474.

– MAINLY MUSIC Sarina: Take the kids to dance, play and sing while you enjoy a cuppa and home baked goodies. Children from birth to kindergarten-age. 9.30am – 11am, Cost $5 per family, St Luke’s Hall, 60 Broad St, Sarina. While COVID-19 restrictions remain, bookings are essential due to limited hall space. Email

– CONVERSATIONS with Art, held on third Friday of each month, free casual discussion led by Artspace staff looking at traditional and contemporary artworks from Gallery and Museum Collections around the world, 1-2.30pm, Artspace Mackay, 61 Gordon St, Mackay.

– SOCIAL HOOPS, all abilities welcome, bring your own basketball if possible, every Friday 7pm, PCYC Whitsunday, Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach. Ph: Whitsundays Basketball 0427 228 984.

– PYJAMA DAY fundraiser for children in foster care, hosted by Ooralea Education and Care Centre, donate via

– STORY TIME session featuring nursery rhymes, stories and songs for children aged two and a half to five years, 9.30-10am, Gordon White Library, 54 Phillip St, Mt Pleasant. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, limited spaces are available and bookings are essential. Book via Eventbrite.

– SAUSAGE SIZZLE: COVID-19 restrictions compliant, funds raised go to Souths Mackay Cricket Club, 9am-1pm, Get Real Workwear and Safety Australia, 2/203-215 Maggiolo Dr, City Gates, Mackay. 

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– LAPIDARY: learn the art of working with stones, first session free, $25 joining fee and $25 annual membership fee applies after, 9am-noon and 1-4pm, Mackay Gem and Craft Society, 3 Leisure Ct, South Mackay. Ph: 4942 8541.

– FALUN GONG meditation and relaxation, 9-11am, Tropical Sun Garden Lawn (under mango tree), Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. Ph: Catherine 4952 2262.

– TRIPLE P Positive Parenting Program: simple, practical strategies to help parents build strong, healthy relationships and confidently manage their children’s behaviour and prevent problems developing, 9am-noon, Ooralea Education and Care Centre, 117 Canecutters Dr, Ooralea. To attend, phone Brooke or Rechelle on 4952 4554.

– RSL Pioneer Fitzroy Highlands District Branch Inc AGM and council meeting, 10am-4.30pm, 1 Daly St, Marian. Ph: 4957 4165.

– JUNIOR BASKETBALL 2020-21 Mackay Basketball Champion Season sign-on, new and returning players welcome, all skill levels, ages under seven to under 19, 9am-noon, McDonald’s Mackay Multi-Sports Stadium, 107 Juliet St, South Mackay. Ph: 4957 5543.

– SHOWGROUND Markets, 6.30-10am, Mackay Showgrounds, entrance off Milton St.


– ADVENTURE RIDE to Eungella via Denison Creek and Mt Britton followed by lunch at Eungella Chalet. Hosted by Bullet Bikes Superstore, riders require 260km fuel range, off-road tyres, hydration and basic tools. Cost $40, departs 7am from Bullet Bikes Superstore, 89a Gordon St, Mackay. Ph: 4957 2227.

– MACKAY NORTH Pony Club Rally Day, second-hand clothing sale after lunch, bring morning tea, lunch and any outgrown pony club or general riding gear and cash to buy a bargain, 9am-3pm, Mackay North Pony Club, Riverside Dr, Mackay. For more information, send a message via Facebook.

– MACKAY Community Garden open day: walk through the organic permaculture garden to see what’s possible to grow sustainably in Mackay, garden tours at 10.30am and 11.30am, hay bale gardening demonstration at 11am, wood fired pizzas from noon. Kids can also paint a terracotta pot to take home and learn how to create clay creatures. Costs including food are $5 for family or $1 for adults and $1 for children. Entrance via Mackay Regional Council car park on Bridge Rd. For more information, phone Sandra on 0417 783 908 or visit the MCG’s Facebook page.

– SEAFORTH Markets, 9-11am, Palm Ave, Seaforth. Ph: 0400 446 876.

– SEAFORTH community chat, light catering provided, 2pm, Seaforth Community Hall, 3-9 Prince Ave, Seaforth. RSVP to or

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– SILVERSMITHING: first session free, $25 joining fee and $25 annual membership fee applies after, 6.30-9pm, Mackay Gem and Craft Society, 3 Leisure Ct, South Mackay. Ph: 4942 8541.

– FITTER for Life, catering for all mobility abilities: cost $6 per class plus $20 per annum insurance fee, 1.30-2.30pm, Mackay Gymnastics, 5 Snow Wright Ct, Beaconsfield. Ph: 4942 0032.


$5 BOWLS NIGHT: first two nights free then $3 for two games, $1 for entry into raffle, $1 drinks available, starts 6.30pm, Habana Farleigh Indoor Bowls Club, St Brigid’s Hall, Farleigh, 961 Bruce Hwy. Ph: Palmina 0403 729 505.

– BLISS Coffee and Chat hosted by Mackay Group Australian Breastfeeding Association: get out of the house and meet like-minded mums joined by a qualified breastfeeding counsellor, 10am-noon, Eimeo Pacific Hotel, 1 Mango Ave, Eimeo. Ph: Palmina 0403 729 505.

– CROSSROAD Arts Performance in the Gallery: drama workshop for people with and without disability, 18+, first workshop free then $15 per workshop, 9.30-10.30am, 55 Wood St. Ph 4953 5122 or email:

– CROSSROADS Arts Stretchy Pants: movement and dance workshops for people with and without disability, 18+, first workshop free then $15 per workshop, 11am-noon, 55 Wood St. Ph: 4953 5122 or email:

– HEALTHY LIVING talk hosted by Dr Anthony from Little Sprouts Chiropractic Mackay, non-practice members and friends welcome, 6-9pm, 7 Sydney St, Mackay. Ph: 4898 1020.

– FAMILY and CARERS Support Group hosted by Lives Lived Well: inclusive group for family members needing support around their loved one’s problematic drug/alcohol abuse, meets fortnightly 5.30-7.30pm. To confirm attendance, phone Family and Carer counsellor Kirsty Wetmore on 0417 866 809 or email

– MACKAY BREAST Cancer Support Group coffee catch-up. All ladies diagnosed with breast cancer or survivors are welcome, begins 1.30pm at 9th Lane Grind Cafe, Black’s Arcade, 43 Wood St.

University of New England: Your future starts here – Study International News

From Nguyen Thi Hai Yen’s point of view, any University of New England (UNE) study experience is valuable to a student’s career.

She knows this from her time spent working towards her Master of Social Work degree at UNE at Armidale, Australia.

“My degree was practical and flexible and my lectures were held in the local hospital to give me industry experience,” said Nguyen.

The Vietnamese graduate enjoyed the smaller class sizes and the one-to-one access she had with lecturers. This personalised learning approach was important to Nguyen as she didn’t want to feel like just another number on campus.

When she first arrived at UNE, Nguyen struggled to adjust to the Australian education system. She knew she needed help when she received her first assignment grades.

“My unit coordinator held a personal meeting to support me to find a way to improve the mark in the next one. I was so happy because the UNE staff helped me to progress and were always available to answer my questions,” she said.

Source: University of New England

This constant support continued even during her job placement, which granted Ngyuyen the professional registration requirements to become a social worker and the opportunity to become a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

“During my placement, at least three coordinators and lecturers assist and supervise one student. So I created a close bond with my team and made many friends on my course,” she said.

Nguyen wouldn’t be the first to make lifelong friends at UNE. The campus is designed with ample on-campus housing to forge close bonds with peers. On any given night, there will be social activities held at The ‘Stro, a lively music and food venue and the Booloominbah, a heritage-listed mansion.

What is more, international students would be pleased to know the on-site supermarkets stock a range of Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and European ingredients, fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.

With all these, it’s no surprise UNE is the only Australian public university to be awarded the maximum five stars for “Overall Experience” for 14 years in a row by the Good Universities Guide.

Study in the affordable and accessible city of Armidale

Living in Armidale, Nguyen got to experience the finest kind of Australian hospitality.

Source: University of New England

“People living in the Armidale area and regional areas are more friendly than people in cities. They always smile and say hello when we meet each other in the town,” she said.

It’s a truly flourishing multicultural community at Armidale. Many expatriate communities dot the friendly city too. UNE lecturers come from all four corners of the globe.

If ever homesick, there are many restaurants and cafés serving food from China, Thailand, India, the Mediterranean and Europe such as the hugely popular Armidale Nepalese and Indian Grocery. Nguyen never once felt alone while she was away from her hometown in Vietnam.

Armidale is more affordable compared to bigger cities such as Sydney and Brisbane. For instance, a one-bedroom city centre apartment in Armidale is around 978 Australian dollars per month compared to around A$2,600 per month in Sydney.

On study breaks, head to Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and Wollomombi Falls to marvel at some of Australia’s best natural wonders.  Many camping spots and bushwalking tracks are available here too.

A short drive away is Coffs Harbour where students can relax on lovely beaches and go on whale watching trips. Port Macquarie isn’t far from campus either and offers an informative Sea Acres Rainforest Centre and an adorable Koala Sanctuary.

Source: University of New England

Nguyen said, “The local residents also love recommending international students places to visit. They’ve always helped me whenever I needed directions or just for a friendly chat.”

Your future starts at UNE

The University of New England is a supportive and cohesive community that prioritises current and future students’ needs.

At the moment, the university is rolling out a “blended learning” model to keep students’ academic progress on track.

This integrated blended learning style means that on-campus students still get access to the full range of online materials that UNE online students do. Therefore, if an on-campus student misses a lecture, needs access to online materials or wants to discuss topics on online forums, they can.

If you’re interested to kickstart an unforgettable experience at UNE, connect with current UNE students, staff and alumni via the UNEBuddy.

By signing up, you’ll be assigned a friendly UNEBuddy who will answer any question you may have about courses or what to expect from student life in Australia.

UNEBuddies are even on board to walk students through their future job prospects, find the right course and advise about work rights in Australia.

Chat with a UNEBuddy or contact UNE today to get started!

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