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Santorini | Image: Kaden/Unsplash

Feel-Good Friday: 17 May 2024 – Surfing, Santorini and Saving the Dolphins

After two weeks of near-torrential downpours in Sydney, the heavens have granted us some respite and given us a weekend of clear, blue beautiful skies. We’re making the most of it, celebrating the sunny weather with a few office shindigs and a boatload of whisky. In case you didn’t know already (firstly, how dare you?), this weekend marks the start of Sydney Whisky Month, our multi-venue drinks extravaganza with the team from The Whisky List. It all kicks off this weekend with the Sydney Whisky Show on Saturday, so if you don’t have plans, come down and join us for a dram or ten. In the meantime, let’s keep the good times rolling with another positive Feel-Good Friday edition.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced exclusive A-League experiences | Image: Supplied
IHG Hotels & Resorts announced exclusive A-League experiences | Image: Supplied

IHG Hotels & Resorts Exclusive A-League Experiences

Fancy yourself a football fanatic? Here is your chance to get closer to the action than you have ever been before. IHG Hotels & Resorts has dropped a suite of new exclusive, money-can’t-buy experiences for the 2024 A-League All Stars and the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Grand Final.

Available via the IHG One Rewards Access platform, the new packages will see members able to score tickets to the 2024 Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final on Saturday 25 May and the A-League All Stars double-header on Friday 24 May. You might even be able to nab exclusive pre-game Field of Play Tours, and an unforgettable lunch with one of football’s favourite coaches.

Four packages are available for Australian IHG One Rewards members until bidding closes or until sold out, exclusively on IHG One Rewards Access. For more information on how to get involved, visit IHG One Rewards Access and get in on the action.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance | Image: X (formerly Twitter)
Cerebral Palsy Alliance | Image: X (formerly Twitter)

Pioneering Research on Sexual Healthcare for LGBTQA+ Individuals with Disabilities Announced

In good news, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance has announced a pioneering four-year research project focused on addressing the neglected area of sexual healthcare for LGBTQA+ individuals with disabilities. A co-collaboration with Western Sydney University, the project is funded by the Australian government’s Medical Research Future Fund with the goal of helping LGBTQA+ individuals feel safe, accepted, and empowered to embrace their unique identities.

“These issues have serious consequences for the physical and mental wellbeing, as well as the overall quality of life for LGBTQA+ individuals with disabilities,” Dr Rosalie Power, research fellow and project lead, Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University said. “Discrimination and bias against people with disabilities who identify as LGBTQA+ leads to their sexual health needs being overlooked or excluded in sexual health research, policies, and practices. As a result, there is a lack of appropriate information about sexual health, which can make accessing healthcare challenging for people with disability.”

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, more than 739,000 people nationwide identify as LGBTQA+ with disabilities. Despite this, knowledge and support of the sexual health of LGBTQA+ people in the disability sector is still under-resourced and underfunded. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an evidence-based model of sexual healthcare for LGBTQA+ people with disability.

“Disabled people love, desire, and have relationships just like anyone else,” Brisbane-based disability advocate Elly Desmarchelier said. “Our feelings and desires are valid, and we deserve acknowledgment and acceptance as sexual beings.”

Santorini | Image: Dan/Unsplash
Santorini | Image: Dan/Unsplash

Intrepid Travel’s Annual World Sale is Back

Feel like a getaway is on the cards? Intrepid Travel has confirmed its much-loved World Sale is back, offering up to 20 per cent off selected original small-group adventures and up to 25 per cent off Antarctica expeditions. According to the travel company, the deals are valid for both domestic and international trips, with over 100 Intrepid tours available.

Over the sale period, you’ll be able to score 20 per cent off Intrepid Travel’s 8-day Sail Greece: Santorini to Mykonos, which includes island-hopping in the Cyclades, swimming in the clear waters of the Aegean and sleeping aboard a yacht, or 15 per cent off Intrepid Travel’s 13-day Morocco Uncovered, checking out the Roman ruins of Volubilis.

The Intrepid Travel World Sale offers apply to new bookings made and deposited between 12:01am AEDT Monday 13 May 2024 to 11:59pm AEDT Monday 27 May, for select trips departing between 13 May 2024 – 31 March 2025, excluding travel between 15 December 2024 – 14 January 2025. Check out the Intrepid Travel website for more details and conditions.

Fernando Trujillo - Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2024 | Image: Supplied
Fernando Trujillo – Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2024 | Image: Supplied

Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2024 Named

Some people dream of diving with dolphins, but for Colombian marine biologist Fernando Trujillo, it’s a lifelong obsession. The world-renowned expert on river dolphins has just been named the 2024 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year in recognition of his immense dedication to protecting the Amazon’s dolphins. In his work, Trujillo has used scientific research to save an iconic species and care for the Amazon’s riverine communities, at a time when action is most necessary.

Part of Rolex’s ongoing Perpetual Planet initiative, the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2024 is an international award that celebrates inspiring people dedicated to finding solutions to the world’s environmental challenges. In 2023, Trujillo led a meeting on the global declaration for the protection of river dolphins and their rivers that resulted in 11 countries signing a first-of-its-kind declaration committing to develop research-based, transboundary solutions to protect river dolphins around the world.

The accolade will help Trujillo continue his vital work in the riverine community and currently, the biologist is participating in the Rolex and National Geographic Perpetual Planet Amazon Expedition. Through this initiative, Trujillo will explore the ecosystem functions that keep the world’s largest freshwater basin alive.

Ocean Heroes | Image: Facebook
Ocean Heroes | Image: Facebook

Ocean Heroes Supports People on the Autism Spectrum Through Sport

As Ocean Heroes founders Sam Moyle, Luke Hallam and Tom Johnston explain, all children deserve the opportunity to bond with others. It was the driving force behind the trio’s positive impact endeavour, which launched 2016 and has since helped hundreds of kids get active and develop self-confidence through sport.

Ocean Heroes is a unique surf school program that provides an opportunity for people on the autism spectrum to take part in organised sport in a highly supported, safe and inclusive environment. As we’ve seen on countless occasions, learning to surf can be a valuable tool in personal development, helping individuals to develop their confidence, boost self-esteem and make connections with others. Here’s to a group of good people making the world a much better and more inclusive place!

New Zealand Tourism launches 'New Ski-Land' winter campaign | Image: Supplied
New Zealand Tourism launches ‘New Ski-Land’ winter campaign | Image: Supplied

Travel Plans? Try New Ski-Land

You’ve heard of New Zealand, now get ready for…New Ski-Land? Yep, as part of its ongoing efforts to convert Aussies to the proverbial ‘cooler side of the pillow’, our trans-Tasman friends have unveiled a new winter wonderland campaign that celebrates the best of New Zealand’s ski fields.

With over 20 ski resorts open from June to October, incredible restaurants, and white snow as far as the eye can see, New Zealand winter makes you wonder why we ever thought summer was fun in the first place.

“It’s surprising how quickly winter-phobes disappear as soon as the temperature starts to drop, so it was time to show Aussies the light. A trip to New Ski-Land is the best cure for the winter blues,” Andrew Waddel, general manager – Australia, Tourism New Zealand said. “Aotearoa New Zealand is known for its manaakitanga (a Māori expression for hospitality) and its incredible diversity of experiences, so we were quietly confident that Harries would have the ride of his life. We can’t wait for other self-confessed winter-phobes to experience it for themselves.”

Head to the official New Ski-Land website to find out more about the amazing opportunities on offer.