Are School Lunches the Key to Academic Excellence?

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eBook The Clever Packed Lunch by Brisbane mother Hazel Key

Brisbane mother of two Hazel Key believes parents could boost their children’s performance at school by making some simple changes to the school lunch box.


Hazel, who’s made thousands of lunches for children in the past decade, has written a book - ‘The Clever Packed Lunch’, edited and approved by nutritionist Beata Sinclair, which is full of easy lunch ideas to help parents support their children’s learning.


She points to the growing evidence indicating that too much sugar, refined carbohydrate and certain types of fat can block learning, by disrupting concentration and memory.


The Clever Packed Lunch has a section covering sensible, down-to-earth nutritional advice.


“And healthy food at school can make a real difference to cognitive function.” Beata Sinclair (BHSc Nutrition) says.


Beata, who runs consulting service Smart Nutrition, adds “I also like the fact that the layout in Hazel’s book is attractive to kids and easy for them to read. She actively encourages parents to involve their kids in the choice and preparation of lunches so that they’ll be developing skills to establish good eating habits for life. This is clever stuff.”


Hazel’s recipes include ingredients like Avocado, Blueberries, Eggs, Salmon, Seaweed and Seeds - all known to support optimal cognitive function.


The Clever Packed Lunch offers a simple, efficient system for providing healthy packed lunches for busy families. Edited and approved by a Nutritionist, the book includes 25 recipes (some Gluten-Free) and a complete two-week lunch menu, all photographed in colour.


In it, Hazel shows that preparing a daily lunch containing home-made food is an opportunity to express love and, at the same time, to support children through the challenges of school life by using healthy ingredients that benefit cognitive function.


The book is available in print, or as an interactive eBook from:, contact Hazel or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0412 840765

Australia Post new release: Air Force Aviation stamp issue

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The sky’s the limit for military aviation enthusiasts and stamp collectors, with Australia Post’s Air Force Aviation commemorative stamp issue.


Australia Post new release:  Air Force Aviation stamp issue


The release of the four stamps marks the retirement of the F-111 “Pig” after 37 years’ service. The supersonic long-range strike aircraft, which first came into Australian service in 1973, was farewelled at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley in early December 2010, in a service attended by more than 2,000 people.


The four Air Force Aviation stamps feature the F-111 (60 cents), the F/A-18F Super Hornet (60 cents), the AEW&C Wedgetail ($1.20) and the C-17 Globemaster III ($3.00).


Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binksin AO, of the RAAF, says, “This is a very timely partnership for Air Force, as we celebrate our 90th Birthday this year with the theme tradition, innovation, evolution. It is a fitting tribute to the crews and support personnel of the recently retired F-111, as they retrain for our future capability in our new platforms.”  

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Mr Michael Zsolt says, “The F-111 ‘Pig’ was, for the general public, the most identifiable RAAF aircraft for many years and so an obvious choice for this stamp issue. As well as indicating the changing of the guard from F-111s to Super Hornets, this stamp issue represents a range of aircraft functions in the RAAF. For example, while the F-111 and Super Hornet represent significant air-strike power, the AEW&C Wedgetail conducts crucial surveillance work and the massive C-17 Globemaster III is a strategic transportation and airlift aircraft.”


New Zealand-based Australian illustrator Jamie Tufrey was commissioned to illustrate the stamp issue and has skilfully drawn attention to the speed, purpose and technical specifics of the aircraft. Aviation illustration is a passion of Jamie’s, who was also responsible for illustrating the 2008 Aviation stamp issue.


The Air Force Aviation product range comprises a miniature sheet, first day cover, stamp pack, maxicard set, stamp-and-medallion cover (limited edition of 10,000) and a self-adhesive booklet of 10 x 60c stamps.


This stamp issue is available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at from 22 February 2011 while stocks last. The stamp issue will also be available at the International Air Show, Avalon, from Tuesday 1 to Sunday 6 March 2011.

Australia Post released Remembrance Day commemorative stamps

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Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I (1914 – 1918), when Australians pause to honour our men and women who were injured, or lost their lives in service for our country.


An observance of silence was adopted on the first anniversary of armistice on 11 November 1919 by allied nations, and now honours all who have served and suffered in any military conflict or peace-keeping operation.


Australia Post Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour says, "This stamp issue has a very significant time and date sequence this year, where one minutes silence is observed at 11am on 11.11.11 – a sequence which only occurs every 100 years."


"It is fitting for Australia Post to commemorate Remembrance Day in Australia given the observance of silence was originally proposed by Melbourne journalist and World War I veteran, Edward George Honey in 1919.


"Not many people would know that a plaque stands next to Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, acknowledging Edward George Honey’s significant contribution, which is still celebrated today by allied nations," he said.


The two stamps in the Remembrance Day 11.11.11 issue capture the essence and origins of Remembrance Day.


A silhouetted shadow of two soldiers features on one design and a bugler on the other, each in combination with a Flanders poppy and the first stanza of John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields, penned in 1915.


Melbourne-based designer, Tim Hancock, was commissioned to illustrate the stamp issue and has skilfully drawn attention to the shadow cast by history of those who were affected, injured or lost during their wartime service.


As part of the issue, Australia Post will also release a limited edition stamp and coin cover (11,111 units in total), with a $5 pad printed coin specially made by the Royal Australian Mint. The coin also features scalloped edging.


The Remembrance Day 11.11.11 product range comprises of a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, maxicard set of two, stamp-and-coin cover (limited edition of 11,111 units total), self-adhesive booklet of 10 x 60c stamps and a self-adhesive roll of 200 x 60c stamps.


This stamp issue is available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at from 2 November 2011 while stocks last.

Australia’s first Baby Karaoke iPhone app available now

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Raising Children Network reminds parents what lived on Old MacDonald’s farm!


The award-winning Raising Children Network recently launched Australia’s first Baby Karaoke iPhone app, a free-to-download* activity that will have parents singing along with their children wherever they go.


Developed to encourage families to bond and have fun through song and movement even when on the go, the colourfully animated iPhone app will also help parents remember the words, tunes and hand actions to several well-known children’s songs.


Songs on Baby Karaoke app includes:
• Little Green Frog
• Old MacDonald
• Open Shut Them
• Row Row Row Your Boat
The app will be updated with more songs later this year.


The app offers a portable alternative to the popular Baby Karaoke tool on the Raising Children Network website ( An evidence-based site supported by the Australian Government, the Raising Children Network offers resources to help parents raise their children from newborns to teens.


Warren Cann, Chief Executive Officer of the Parenting Research Centre and Content Director of the Raising Children Network website, said, “Singing with children encourages them to use words and develops their memories, creativity and imagination. The Baby Karaoke iPhone app makes it easier for parents to sing with their children when travelling, waiting for the doctor or even at home under the blankets!”


“Raising Children Network is really excited to be channelling our expertise in child development into a portable piece of technology that is fun and educational, and that provides bonding time for families wherever they are.”


Mandy Cooper, mother of three, agrees. “The Baby Karaoke app comes in handy when the kids get restless on long car rides. We can whip out the phone and do a giant sing-along in the car – the kids will love it!”


Baby Karaoke is now available for the iPhone and can be downloaded free from Baby Karaoke is suitable for children from babies to preschoolers.

Australia’s Military History FOR DUMMIES By David Horner

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New Book: Australias Military History FOR DUMMIES By David Horner


In a nation with a relatively short history in terms of European settlement, many Australians see Australia’s contribution to World Wars and battles as defining the nation and the Australian character.

Over the past decade, there has been a greater interest in Australia’s military history with attendance at ANZAC Day services, Remembrance Day events and individual war and battle commemorations rising. Additionally, there are increasing numbers of books, television shows and movies that have chronicled some of Australia’s most important and iconic battles
There has also been a shift of greater interest towards visiting Gallipoli and Kokoda. Many Australians walk the Kokoda Trail to both commemorate the soldiers who fought there and to get firsthand experience of what the veterans experienced.
In Australia’s Military History For Dummies, the reader will learn about all aspects of Australia’s military history over the past two centuries and more recent military involvements such as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Australia’s Military History For Dummies also goes into detail about Australia’s peacekeeping efforts in places such as in East Timor.

With a foreword by the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and written by the Professor of Australian Defence History at the Australian National University, David Horner, Australia’s Military History For Dummies is a must-have resource for all Australians.


RRP AUS $45.00 / NZ $50.99. To purchase it online, click Here.



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