Australian comedian is on a climate crusade to hold world leader’s accountable, one billboard at a time
Dan Ilic is no stranger to the publics attention. He is a renowned presenter, comedian, and filmmaker, and podcast guru. Ilic is passionate about tackling climate change and using his voice and platform to hold Governments to account.
In October, Ilic managed to book the biggest electronic billboard in Times Square, New York City. The aim of the campaign was to humiliate the Australian Government and its climate change perspectives.
Ilic raised money from over 2000 people to fund the billboard campaign in one of the busiest places in the world. At the cost of $16,000 for ten minutes on screen, the sign wasn’t cheap, but it was effective.
The vocal billboards captured the attention of the world and did not hold back on their messaging. This campaign followed weeks of debate over Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison attending the COP26 Glasgow climate meeting.
Morrison held off on confirming his attendance at the critical meet until the last moment, announcing on October 15 that he would be going. Ilic suggests it may have been the billboards that convinced the Prime Minister to book his flight to Glasgow.
COP26 Climate Summit
World leaders are preparing to convene in Glasgow at the historical COP26 climate summit. Australia has been divided on what targets it will be taking to the meeting. Its Nationals Party continued to hold off on an agreement but has agreed to net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Do we give them a lollipop or take them to Disneyland, I don’t think you should get any awards for doing the bare minimum.”
Dan Ilic- Comedian, Presenter, Podcast Host
COP26 has been deemed one of the most critical climate meets of all time. The world will be watching on as world leaders make their ambitions and targets to cut their emissions.
All of the science says we’re experiencing climate change and if the world doesn’t act now it will be too late.
“The real issue is, what’s going to be our 2030 target?”
Scott Hamilton, energy expert & Ticker Climate co-host
After incredible attention and success with the Times Square billboard campaign, Ilic has his eyes set on other key areas to gain traction. There will be a billboard at the front of Barnaby Joyce’s office of a burning Kangaroo and one near the seat of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
“It’ll say something like… Hey, it’s time to buy a standing desk because you’re about to lose your seat.”
Dan Ilic- Comedian, Presenter, Podcast Host
Leading athletes and medical experts push for medicinal cannabis in sport
Leading lawmakers, medical experts and athletes are pushing for therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain and injury
Basketball star Brittney Griner is one of the leading players of her generation. She jumped into the spotlight for serving a sentence for possession of cannabis oil in Russia.
It begs the question whether medicinal cannabis and athletes are a good mix. Well, many lawmakers, health experts and athletes around the world want to break down the stigmas associated with its use.
Many want to use Griner’s ordeal as motivation to change cannabis laws and therapeutic use exemptions in sports.
Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health has spoken closely with Dr. Peter Brukner who is a world-renowned Australian sports medicine clinician and researcher.
Brukner believes athletes should be able to compete in their field with medicinal cannabis because it doesn’t enhance their performance.
Brayshaw believes there are higher risks for athletes becoming addicted to anti-inflammatory and opioids. As opposed to any risks associated with taking medicinal cannabis.
He explains it enables athletes to function in a healthy way, pain free.
Overall, there is hope Griner’s case will break down stigma surrounding natural medicines and athletes.
In Australia, there are tens of thousands of new applications for medicinal cannabis every month.
There are also growing calls for countries to adopt therapeutic use exemptions in sport, including in the Australian Football League.
Why is China’s changing its strategy to handling the pandemic?
Changes to China’s COVID policies are coming thick and fast, much faster than many people anticipated given how strict the country has been in the last few years, the latest big announcement is around an app that people had to install on their phone
Then it tracked them when they travelled across the country, alerting them if they’ve been to a high risk COVID area, the government says that that app is now deactivated and people no longer have to have it installed on their phones.
It’s yet another indication of the change in China’s strategy to handling the pandemic.
We’ve seen changes related to quarantine, and also testing as well. And a real change in narrative from the authorities when talking about the virus and how dangerous it is. Now officially case numbers are dropping.
But that is largely due to the fact that much less testing is taking place, and we are seeing signs that in reality cases are surging.
There’s queues of people outside of pharmacies, queuing to get medication for colds and for fevers, and also self testing kits as well.
On social media, many people in China now saying that they have caught COVID For the first time, or that they know a number of people who have COVID When previously they didn’t know anyone at all.
So it’s clear that cases are rising, and this is coming just the month before the Chinese New Year holidays, which will take place at the end of January, traditionally a time when millions of people will travel across the country.
We would expect that to happen this year, as travel within China is now much easier.
So we would expect COVID cases to spread across the country talking to travel and is yet no sign of when the borders will open internationally.
Still very, very hard to get into China and very strict. When people do enter and the procedures they have to follow.
Maybe the government will wait and see how the first phase of reopening goes domestically, before thinking internationally?
Children are our future, but cancer is impacting far too many of them
Children are our future and that’s why investing in childhood cancer is critical to improving treatments and research
Cancer does not discriminate. It is a major cause of death in children worldwide. While there has been tremendous progress in fighting childhood cancer, significant investment is required to improve access to treatments and diversify research.
Lance Kawaguchi, who heads Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is passionate about raising awareness and funds to beat childhood cancer.
Why invest in Childhood Cancer?
Childhood cancer is a major cause of death in children worldwide, impacting children aged 0-14.
The most common cancers diagnosed in children is leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), brain and nervous system cancers.
Significant investment is required to improve access to treatments and diversify research.
Often, certain types of cancers remain underfunded and under-researched. However, just because they’re less common, shouldn’t mean they’re less important.
Brain Stem brain tumours like DIPG, primarily affects children, with most diagnoses occurring between 5 and 7 years of age.
It makes up approximately 10-15% of all brain tumours in children. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of children survive.
Simon Gray lost his son Tom when he was seven years old, and is on a mission to prevent other parents from going through the same grief.
Need For More Specific Paediatric Cancer Treatments
There is a need to develop cancer treatments specifically for children and invest more in enabling this to happen effectively.
A relative lack of cancer research in children limits how to treat them. As a result, some children with cancer are dealt adult treatments, which are often ineffective.
Childhood cancer treatments very rarely reach FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) or EMA (European Medicines Agency) approval.
Therefore, it’s critical that more money is invested into treatment and research for childhood cancer.
Katie Banovich’s 6-year-old son Greyson is a cancer survivor. Greyson has emerged as an inspiration to all those who hear his story. His courage and resilience are a testament that no one should ever give up hope when confronted with adversity.
Katie believes it is through our collective efforts that we will continue to make strides in the fight against childhood cancers.
Any family can be impacted by childhood cancer, it does not discriminate. For some they have a positive outcome, but for many they are forced to live out a nightmare.
It’s crucial that we make the fight against childhood cancer a global fight.
Centres of Excellence fighting childhood cancer
1. Australia – Children’s Cancer Institute
The Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) in Australia is celebrating thirty years of working with like-minded individuals and organisations to fund innovative research projects, world-class clinical care, and quality family support programs. To date, the foundation has raised over A$60.5 million. This capital was spent on a range of programs that align with the CCIs goals of improving the lives of children affected by cancer.
2. Qatar – Sidra Medicine
Sidra Medicine, located in the innovative Education City in Qatar is a benchmark for family healthcare in the Middle East. This 400-bed medical centre caters solely to women and children, offering state-of-the-art health care in a collaborative, research-driven environment. Sidra Medicine aims to establish itself as a global leader in the research of cancer and precision medicine. In September 2022, the institute published a study highlighting the successful use of precision medicine to guide the treatment of some paediatric cancers.
3. US – National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death resulting from illness in children aged four to fourteen in the United States. Sadly, only 4% of the billions of dollars spent on cancer research annually go to funding research for paediatric cancers. The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) formed an innovative collaboration called the Sunshine Project. The primary goal of this project is to fast-track a more targeted and less toxic cure for paediatric cancer by bringing together the nation’s foremost researchers and medical professionals. Since 2005, the Sunshine Project has funded several clinical trials and translational studies in excess of US$ 33 million.
4. The European Society for Paediatric Oncology
The European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) was established to ensure optimal care and outcomes for children and adolescents with cancer in Europe. The society is active across many areas including research, care, training and education, and EU advocacy. They are driven to facilitate collaborative research across the European continent as well as the promotion of novel treatment modalities in use in clinical trials. Seated in Brussels, SIOPE is ideally situated to promote and advocate better policies for children with cancer to EU policy makers.
Report contributed by Holly Stearnes, Lance Kawaguchi and Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
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