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News: Finalise tax returns, driveway safety and the golden age of youth

Despicable Me 2_Image 2So, what’s making news in the world of pregnancy and parenting this week?

Why is Stephanie Rice dancing with the Minions? Why should all parents rush to finalise their tax returns? How can you help improve driveway safety? What age is the golden age of youth? What is the latest Aussie animation to go global? And which charities are appealling for your help this Christmas?

You’ll have to read on to find out …

Rice and the Minions deliver message to kids this summer

Aussie swim star Stephanie Rice has enlisted the help of the Minions from Despicable Me 2 to provide some easy-to-understand tips that Aussie kids can follow to ensure they’re protected from harmful UV rays this summer.

A short video for children starring Stephanie and the Minions demonstrating these can be viewed on the Universal Pictures Australia YouTube page.

Lodge tax returns to finalise Family Assistance

More than 630,000 families are being urged to lodge their outstanding tax returns so Centrelink can finalise their family assistance payments for the 2012-13 financial year.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen has reminded families who missed the tax office’s October 31 lodgement deadline to complete their tax returns, or tell Centrelink that they are not required to lodge.

“Even though the ATO deadline has passed, it’s important to finish your family’s tax quickly so Centrelink can reconcile your family assistance payments and pay any top-ups or supplements you may be entitled to,” Jongen said.

“If you have a partner you both need to lodge a tax return, or tell us that you don’t need to lodge, before the reconciliation process can begin.

“It’s important that you do this before 30 June 2014 to ensure you receive your full entitlements, including the Family Tax Benefit supplements.

For more information go to or call 136 150

Seven is the golden age of youth

New research has pinpointed the ‘golden age’ of youth as seven years old – the age where children exhibit boundless energy and enthusiasm, display a sense of awe and wonder with the world and remain uninhibited in their behaviour.

The research project involved a review of more than 40 scientific papers and a national study of more than 1000 Australian parents to determine the pinnacle of youthful vitality.

Parenting and positive psychology expert Dr Justin Coulson led the project to investigate subjective wellbeing in children and the variables that play a role in determining a child’s overall sense of life satisfaction.

“From the existing body of research, we know that children’s self-reported happiness is highest between the ages of six and nine,” he says.

“To narrow it down further, we measured the observations and experiences of 1000 parents of young children. This work showed that amongst those surveyed, parents rated children as the most energetic, enthusiastic, in awe and open to new life experiences and the least self conscious at the age of seven.”

The research was conducted as part of Vaalia Live 7, an initiative of Vaalia Yoghurt designed to raise awareness and funds for the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute to ensure every child has the chance to live with vitality at seven.

Watch and share new infomercial on driveway safety

The Driveway & Safety Campaign is urging all parents to watch and share their new Car Angel infomercial to help keep kids safe in driveways and car parks.

The campaign aims to raise awareness and to keep the community informed on how we can all achieve a target of ZERO lives lost in these areas.

Watch the video here:

Starlight urges Aussies to ‘Join the Mission’ this Christmas

The Starlight Children’s Foundation is facing a huge challenge this Christmas with $1.2 million needed to grant 185 wishes for seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families.

Each Starlight Wish requires an average funding of $6500 and this Christmas Starlight is asking Australians to ‘Join the Mission’ by rallying friends, family, colleagues and staff to donate to the cause.

Louise Baxter, CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation, said: “This is an important year for Starlight, as we celebrate 25 years supporting seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families across Australia.

“With no government support, we need help from the community more than ever before to raise funds to transform young lives this festive season.

For more information, go to

Father’s plea for Christmas support

The father of a young girl who suffers from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is asking Aussies to consider donating to the Arthritis NSW Christmas Appeal.

Simon Mathewson says has they noticed, when Lucy was 15 months old, that she was limping and favouring her left leg.

“She was stiff and sore in the morning and would sometimes crawl out of her room. We took her to the doctor as we noticed swelling in her knees,” he said.

“I think it was our determination that forced a diagnosis, as we were positive something was going on and we just kept on going until someone told us what it was.”.

Arthritis NSW provides a range of support services to assist children with JIA and their parents, helping them to better understand their condition and learn how to manage it.

Visit or phone 1800 011 041 for more details.

Aussie First Aid animation goes global

The Red Cross Paperclips can be dangerous video campaign has been awarded two silver medals in the 2013 W3 awards hosted by the International Academy of the Visual Arts in New York.

By putting a fun spin on First Aid to highlight the importance of learning life-saving skills Red Cross and Adelaide-based animators Monkeystack competed with 4000 other international entries to take silver in the categories of Web Video – Comedy,  and Short and Web Video – Non-Profit.

The same team is now back with a second animation Band-Aids Can’t Fix Everything’ …

Red Cross College spokesperson Rebecca Buonsanto says the latest animation is entertaining and also “a great conversation starter”.

In the clip, viewers are introduced to Betty who cheerfully applies inappropriate ‘bandaid’ treatment to a number of people including a choking restaurant patron; a singed backyard BBQ chef and a child suffering from a peanut allergy.

“Having the confidence and willingness to assist in a First Aid emergency is only half of the story” says Rebecca. “It is equally important to know the correct treatment to provide beyond the humble bandaid.”

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