When we woke this morning to the news that the Russia-Ukraine invasion was well and truly underway, Feel-Good Friday was the last thing on our minds. Images from the centre of the action paint a devastating picture for those caught up in the geopolitical chaos and it’s hard to predict if tensions will escalate. Here in Australia, we’re pushing on forward, quietly emerging from our COVID-bubbles to see the outside world. Mask rules are easing and restrictions are being rolled, so while it might not be the best day for celebration, there are some Feel-Good vibes around if you look hard enough. Here are a few of our favourites from the past week.
Documentary Shows How One Paralympian Tackled Mt Kosciuszko
You might not know Sam Tait now, but you soon will. The Australian Paralympian first made history back in 2020, when he completed the first unassisted ascent and descent of the highest mountain in Australia, Mt Kosciuszko. The incredible effort saw Sam travel via hand-cycle, wheelchair and a specially constructed cross-country sit-ski to reach the summit in a stunning display of perseverence and determination. Now, for the first time, we can see Sam’s journey from beginning to end, with filmmaker Lucas Wilkinson’s new documentary, All The Way Up charting the seven-hour, 13km venture to the top in pristine detail.
As a natural athlete and Cross-Fit lover, Sam has always pushed his own personal limits, however, a life-changing motorcycle accident in 2013 saw him break his T11 vertebrae, leaving him with paraplegia. A tough rehabilitation followed but in 2018, the Aussie made his triumphant Winter Paralympics debut in PyeongChang, competing in five events, but his biggest challenge remained at home.
Recruiting Tom Hodges, a para development coach and expert at adapting para-compatible snow travel as well as Matt Deck, colloquially known as the “Mayor” of the Australian backcountry, Sam and Lucas developed a host of travel methods to facilitate the climb. Practising their methods on the Perisher XC trails in preparation for Summit day, Sam trained for the ascent on top of his already packed athlete training schedule, and it paid off. You can watch Sam’s remarkable feat in the new documentary, All The Way Up which premieres on Saturday 26th February on 7 Mate at 1:30pm AEDT.
Camp Quality’s Big Ride for Little Kids
Camp Quality’s Big Ride for Little Kids virtual cycling challenge has launched, asking everyday cyclists to ride 100km, 200km or 300km from March 1 – 31st to fundraise $500,000 for kids facing cancer. Participants are urged to set their own target and track their kilometres using Fitbit or Strava and connect their app of choice to their online fundraising page.
“Our Big Ride for Little Kids is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors, get fit and shed those COVID kilos while doing something that will help change the cancer experience for thousands of children,” Deborah Thomas, Camp Quality CEO said.
Lexus + Twitch Accelerate Careers of Next-Gen Creators
Lexus is teaming up with Twitch to help back the next generation of creators, with a new ‘Next-Level’ event. The two-hour live-streamed showcase asks the Twitch community to decide which of four up-and-coming streamers will be given the opportunity to make their most unique stream idea a reality. These creators will pitch an idea before competing in a variety of challenges, with one lucky winner walking home with a Lexus $20,000 cash grant to bring the idea to life, alongside promotion of the resulting live stream on the Twitch homepage. ‘Next-Level’ is hosted by real-time visual artist and content creator TheSushiDragon and kicks off on Friday, February 25.
Young Henrys Adds to Its B-Side Brewers Series
Young Henrys has added to its Brewers B-Side series with the new Sun is Shining watermelon and mandarin sour. Best of all, the legendary locals have announced the new beer with a video shot by Yeah Rad that features Young Henrys co-founder Oscar McMahon handing out beers and good vibes to local businesses including Cairo Takeaway, Route 66, Fortunate Son and Papa Disquo Records.
“Sun Is Shining is the result of a concerted effort from the entire Young Henrys Brewcrew to come up with a flavour forward, very sessionable sour for these warm days,” Young Henrys’ Head Brewer Jesse Searls said. “Perfectly balanced in its sourness and fruitiness, Sun Is Shining is a beautiful little beer that we’re very proud of, and best enjoyed with mates through the long summer days!”
Ash Barty Artwork Raises $60,000 for Critically Ill Children
WTA #1 and 2022 Women’s Australian Open Singles Champion, Ash Barty’s Art for Charity project has raised $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Australia. The project, initiated by Swiss watchmaker Rado, saw Barty collaborate with acclaimed Australian artist Ashvin Harrison for a one-off artwork that was auctioned off during the Australian Open. Taking Harrison’s monochrome ode to her iconic Wimbledon victory, Barty adding a pop of colour by hitting the canvas with paint-laden tennis balls.
‘It’s an incredible result. Creating an artwork of this nature was a great experience and not something I’d done before. I’m proud we were able to raise these funds for Make-A-Wish and I hope they will help Make-A-Wish in their work to make the dreams of critically ill children a reality.”
The Kraken Curates After Dark Party-Starting Playlist
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has launched the After Dark project, collaborating with up-and-coming Australian artists for a party-starting playlist. After years hit hard by COVID, the Australian arts industry faces an uphill battle to return to its former glory, so to help it in its journey, The Kraken has teamed up with artists Jackson Brazier, Moutaiz Al-Obaidi, Jerome Farah, Steve Cousins and Toby Nicholls.
According to The Kraken, the playlist “imitates dusk with a subtle hint of brightness and melody, engulfed in darker, edgier beats and basslines”. After Dark features both local and global artists, helping to bring people together during twilight, to enjoy their favourite music. Tune in from 8pm, Friday the 25th of February and take the edge off with After Dark.
Snapchat Partners with First Languages Australia to Launch Language Learning Lenses
Australia is home to more than 750 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, but they might not be around forever. The culturally significant languages of our First Nation’s People are now critically endangered, with the link between past and present fraying ever still. In order to bolster awareness and in celebration of International Mother Language Day, Snapchat
has partnered with First Languages Australia to launch a series of language learning Lenses.
Designed to educate young Aussies on Australia’s first languages and Indigenous culture, each Lens uses Augmented Reality and machine learning to identify different objects and display their name in four Indigenous languages: Wiradjuri (central New South Wales), Yugambeh (south-east Queensland), Wakka Wakka (central Queensland) and Yawuru (Broome in Western Australia). Over 170 objects across the four languages will be available at launch, providing Indigenous word translations for common day objects such as ‘ear’ (‘wudha’ in Wiradjuri), ‘spider’ (‘wanggarranggarra’ in Yawuru) and ‘hat’ (‘binka’ in Yugambeh).
“It is so important that we continue to support and promote the languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” First Languages Australia’s CEO, Beau Willaims, said. “We know millions of young Aussies use Snapchat everyday – so this is an incredible opportunity for them to experience our First Nations’ languages in a fun and interactive way on a platform that they love. This project will boost recognition of our languages globally and will support our grassroots programs and help to engage our young people.”
The Lenses are accessible globally via Snapchat from today, by searching “Learn Wiradjuri”, “Learn Yugambeh”, “Learn Wakka Wakka” or “Learn Yawuru” to check them out and help protect the beautiful languages native to this country.
Absolut & Heaps Gay Present: The Roast
Absolut and Heaps Gay are teaming up on March 6 to celebrate Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with The Roast, a Sunday of queer food, drink, comedy and theatre. Held at The University of Sydney’s The Refectory, the two icons are subverting the traditional Sunday family meal, with a four-course banquet fit for royalty. The menu is curated by the electric and award-winning chef, Anna Polyviou and sees an array of colour spill on the dining room table, and of course, some post-Mardi Gras cocktails courtesy of Absolut.
The not-so-traditional Sunday feast boasts a stacked lineup that includes Sydney-based Mangarai First Nations queen Tyra Bankstown and the Blak Moles and QTBIPOC collective House of Silky, while Paul Mac and Johnny Seymour of Stereogamous and Timothy & The Heart Strings will handle the music. Tickets to The Roast are limited and available now via Humanitix. All ticket sales go to supporting ACON, Australia’s largest HIV and sexuality and gender diverse health organisation.
Kiehl’s Launches Your Connection to Nature
Iconic New York skincare brand, Kiehl’s has partnered with Bush Heritage to celebrate Australia’s magnificent landscapes and irreplaceable native species. As part of the Future Made Better sustainability commitment, Kiehl’s is supporting the development and implementation of healthy country strategies to enhance millions of hectares of ecologically important land across Australia. This year, the partnership features exclusive designs from four distinguished local artists on Kiehl’s cult Ultra Facial Cream. The artists include a Kaanju, Kuku Ya’u, Girramay woman Emma Hollingsworth, Melbourne based surface pattern designer Cassie Byrnes, Sydney based illustrator and painter Dave Homer and Creative Melbournian duo, Josh and Matt.