Opinion

Top 10 wedding destinations on the Great Ocean Road

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RACV Torquay Resort

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This 5-star rated location is set on the picturesque backdrop of Torquay and Jan Juc beaches, and only a 75-minute drive from the Melbourne CBD. Its main feature, the Great Ocean Road Ballroom, overlooks a stunning golf course and Port Phillip Bay, and can accommodate up to 270 guests for a banquet meal, or up to 410 guests for a cocktail event. The ballroom, filled with natural light, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, and can be transformed into smaller rooms for a more intimate setting. The resort features on-site ceremony services, with a selection of packages and accommodation options available. Featuring a family-friendly restaurant, bar, day spar, pool and playground, there’s something for the entire family. Prices range from $155-$180 per head. Located at 1 Great Ocean Road, this venue is sure to make your special day a day to remember.

Quii House Eco Meditation and Relaxation Retreat

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Located in Lorne, the Quii House Eco Meditation and Relocation Retreat prides itself on being the perfect space for your tranquil, green and eco-friendly wedding. It’s an architectural gem, set in the heart of the Otway National Park, combining simple luxury with fresh mountain air. Nuzzled between tall blue gums and abundant ferns in marshmallow clouds, it’s the perfect place to spark romance and relaxation. Listen to the natural bush orchestra, gaze at the stars and sip champagne on the sunset deck in perfect stillness. What better way to reconnect with nature?

Grand Pacific Hotel Lorne

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Built in 1875, this historic icon is located in the picturesque town of Lorne and will provide the perfect location for your special day. With custom packages available and outstanding views, the Grand Pacific Hotel caters for all wedding sizes, from 30 to 250 guests—and even has luxury accommodation available. Prices range from $79 to $125 per guest, with indoor and outdoor ceremony options available. Complete with a stylish menu, this venue may very well be the perfect place for your special day.

Peppers The Sands Torquay

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This sleek and modern wedding destination is snuggled in the sandy dunes of Torquay’s north headland. With indoor and outdoor ceremony options, this venue caters for all wedding sizes from two to 350 guests. To make your special day yours alone, Peppers The Sands only hosts one wedding per night—and even comes with your very own wedding coordinator, who will assist with planning, as well as on the day. The venue boasts exquisite views of the world-class 18-hole golf course, and the stunning costal environment. With mouth-watering cuisine, prices range from $99 to $159 per head And it’s all only an hour’s drive from Melbourne!

Wyndham Resort

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Located on the gateway of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay, the Wyndham Resort boasts a modern, contemporary design—and it’s only metres from the beach! The resort creates individual wedding packages, and can seat up to 250 guests for a banquet reception, and up to 350 guests for a cocktail party. The resort’s main feature is the Zeally Ballroom, which has floor-to-ceiling windows, and 180 degree panoramic views of the beautiful ocean and rugged coast line. You can retreat for some pampering at the Breathe Spa, or seek out the fully-equipped gym and relax in the indoor and outdoor swimming pool and spa areas, with shopping destinations, golf courses and museums only minutes away.  With the world-renowned surf beaches Bells and Jan Juc only a short drive away, it’s the perfect tourist destination, and only a 75-minute drive from Melbourne.

King Parrot Cottages and Event Centre

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Located in Pennyroyal, this 5-star rated venue boasts a rustic bush environment, perfect for any nature lover. You can have a formal event with a marquee and all the extras, or relax with a casual cocktail or picnic event. On-site accommodation is available through beautiful self-contained cottages, or the campground beside the bubbling creek on the valley floor—though other accommodation is also nearby. The reception area has a beautiful 190-degree north-facing view of the mystical bushlands, and is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Lorne Central

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With stunning ocean views, Lorne Central is the perfect destination for your beach-side wedding.  The venue features a large veranda which overlooks the Great Ocean Road and Lorne’s famous surf beach, and can cater for cocktail weddings with up to 200 guests, and a sit-down reception for up to 80 guests. With dedicated staff who will cater for your every need, midweek winter packages start from $80 per guest, and weekend summer packages start from a reasonable $90 per guest. Have specific requirements and budgets for your special day? Just ask—Lorne Central is more than happy to help make your day perfect and just for you.

Mantra Lorne

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The Mantra is nestled in 12 acres of landscaped gardens in the quiet seaside town of Lorne. With a beachfront location and heritage architecture, the venue boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the lush green grounds. It has a 5-star rating from a whopping 21 views, and caters for weddings of all sizes, with functions available for up to 300 people. The Manta has superb dining options with only the freshest ingredients, as well as a range of menus, venues and packages to choose from, and access to local celebrants, florists and entertainers. Prices start from $50 per person.

Lorne Beach Pavilion

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The Lorne Beach Pavilion is a stunning beach-front location with picture-perfect photo opportunities. It caters for guest lists of all sizes, offering a cocktail-style and seated menus, with options to upgrade, as well as a range of beverage packages. The venue has indoor and outdoor spaces with the capability to set up stunning marquees over the deck, and caters to different function themes and styles.

Growlers Torquay

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Get married on the beach and then walk across the road for your reception! This 5-star rated venue features stunning views of Torquay’s waterfront, and is only metres from the water. There are a variety of packages available for morning, afternoon and evening sessions, and they love to tailor to perfectly suit your needs. Up to 150 guests can be catered for at this stunning venue with waterfront views, and prices start from $135 per person.

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9 shows you should definitely be watching

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The Simpsons

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The Simpsons are an absolute classic.  Seriously, one of the best TV shows of all time, and excellent for binge-watching. Set in dysfunctional Springfield, the Simpsons are your average, wacky American family—except they’re not. Their personality traits get them into all sorts of trouble and adventures, whether it be Homer’s laziness or stupidity, Marge’s nagging, Lisa’s smarts or Bart’s bad-boy behaviour. Ay caramba!

Bob’s Burgers

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This show always makes me want to eat burgers.

Bob Belcher owns a burger shop with his wife Linda and three kids Gene, Tina, and Louise. This show is truly excellent with incredible comic relief, whether it be through Tina’s awkward butt obsession, Gene’s admiration of food and original music, or Louise—the youngest and seemingly cutest with pink bunny eats—with destruction. Bob has to control it all whilst trying to run a semi-functional diner. Bon appetite!

The Flash

Barry Allen is a forensic scientist by day and superhero by night— the fastest man alive. After a freak scientific accident hits his hometown of Central City and he—and many others—gain powers of unimaginable powers. Which would be fine if most of them didn’t turn out to be villains! Can Barry and his team at Star Labs defeat the meta humans? Will he find the meta human who violently murdered his mother all those years ago? Will Barry save the world, and the woman he loves?

Arrow

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Oliver Queen isn’t too bad on the eyes, either.

Oliver Queen was a playboy billionaire before his father’s boat crashed in a freak storm in the middle of the ocean. After spending five years in hell on a remote island conquering untold horrors, he returns from the dead. Once a soft, self-entitled lady’s man is now the best—and darkest—vigilante Starling City has ever seen. Oliver will do anything to protect the city and the ones he loves, but it doesn’t always work out so easy. Death follows this vigilante like a cloak, and his questionable past haunts him. Can he save his city?

Supergirl

Finally! A female superhero! Supergirl tells the story of Kara Zor-El, who was sent to Earth to protect her cousin, the great Man of Steel—but her pod was knocked off course, and by the time she arrived, Clarke Kent was already Superman. Kara must prove herself in the shadow of her cousin as she saves Earth from alien threats, all the while being the mistreated PA to media mogul Cat Grant. Talk about a double life! Well, she’s not Supergirl for nothing!

The 100

It’s 97 years after the Earth has been destroyed by nuclear Armageddon when a surviving colony of humans in space sends 100 juvenile prisoners to Earth to see if it’s still suitable for human life, in hopes of repopulating the Earth. They’re humanity’s last hope—but they soon discover that not all humanity was wiped out. There aren’t 100 of them for long!

2 broke girls

And The Big Gamble
Max’s souless stare is pretty much my life, TBH.

Max and Caroline have a dysfunctional roommate relationship—but somehow it, and everything else, seems to work out. Together, they own Max’s Homemade Cupcakes. Max’s dark humour combined with Caroline’s determination and optimism make for quite an interesting dynamic. They’re poor, they’ve got attitude, but most importantly, they have each other’s backs. Mostly.

America’s next top model

They’re ferocious. They’re gorgeous. They’re sassy. And they’re going to want to make you take some seriously banging selfies. Watch wannabe models fight for the title of America’s Top Model. There will be claws, there will be tears, but most of all, there will be some fantastic photos—and honestly,  some rather cringe-worthy ones! Bring it on!

Superstore

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Working in retail is hard—just ask any of the employees of the Cloud Nine superstore in Missouri, USA. Together, they face the daily grind of rude customers, boring training sessions and wacky encounters, all the while fostering valuable relationships.  Don’t let the name fool you—it’s super-funny! With a band of misfit employees, an airhead boss, and a non-nonsense assistant manager, this show will definitely tickle your funny bone.

22 major moments from season 3 of Real Housewives of Melbourne

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The Shane Warne Saga

Did Shane Warne ask Janet out? Was Lydia flirting with him? Will we ever know? Probably not.

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Aaaaaaawkwaaaaaard.

“I wanted to smack that Lydiot.”

The claws are OUT. Witty, Janet.

Those cringe-worthy moments between Lydia and her Asian housekeeper

“We’re going chong chong, not ching ching… Whatever, it all sounds the same to me.”

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Her face says it all.

When Pettifleur tries to get Gamble’s attention through rumours of her soon-to-be husband

“JUST LISTEN TO ME SUGARDADDY.COM.”

When Lydia forgets how to “spock”

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When Jackie becomes a psychic

Actually a very touching segment. Jackie tells Susie her grandmother Rosie is happy in heaven, delivering a heart-warming message. Grandfather Frank is there too, who is excited—of all things—that you can “smoke in heaven”.

Janet’s wise advise about child-making to Jackie

“Do you want a Scorpio or a Leo?… You don’t want a child that’s not compatible with you.”

 

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Wow, she should write a book about these revolutionary ideas.

When Gamble has the PERFECT come-back.

Pettifleur: “My perfume would smell sexy.”
Gamble: “Like cum?”
DEAR LORD.

When Gamble’s son Rick keeps it real about the 12-tier wedding cake

“Do your friends even eat calories?”

Pettifleur’s awkward initial rejection of Gamble’s wedding invite

Pettifleur: “I think you should think about it.”
Gamble: “Okay, I’ve thought about it. Get fucked.

Gina’s super awkward pre-wedding disappearance for a “private viewing party of Celebrity Apprentice

“Does watching yourself on TV mean more than your best friend’s wedding?”

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You can smell the betrayal already.

Gamble’s perfect wedding ceremony:

“It’s probably the most beautiful moment of my life.” Storms couldn’t wash away the perfect day—but wait, the storm comes later. In the form of disgruntled Housewives.

 

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Everything’s perfect… for now.

The perfect “aww” family moment

Gamble to Luke, her husband’s son: “If I couldn’t dreamt up a son in my wildest dreams, you’re the perfect, perfect son.”

Susie’s SUPER awkward date

This charmer has a super-evolved theory of two types of women—the ones you want to sleep with, and the unattractive ones you take to meet your mum. Cue Susie’s “help me” ear-ripping code.

When Gina’s “very happy with the D”

Good for you, Gina! By the way, we mean fragrance D for her perfume. Not something else. Get your heads out of the gutter.

When Lydia makes out with a seal

“It was divine. A seal has the hots for me? Never had that kind of fish on my lips.”

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Well, she is a self-proclaimed flirt.

When Lydia says Dubai “Feels like home”

I can’t keep up with all these zingers. She can’t even name what country Dubai is in.

When Pettifleur explodes and becomes a wordsmith

“STOP THE FUCK!” So eloquent.

When Janet has the hots for a Sheik

“We were on camels yesterday… Honestly, I could ride a camel ALL DAY.” Smooooooth.

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Oh, hello there.

When tensions between Gina and Gamble rise—and Gina is ice cold

“Don’t be a fucking sook about bullshit… I can’t be bothered.” Ouch.

Drag queen donkeys

THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.

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Werk it, girlfriend.

When Gamble’s step-son Luke tells it like it is

“You have terrible choice in friends. They’re just a . . . violent pack of bitches.”

 

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Gamble, pretending Luke isn’t wrong.

And Jackie’s face—just because

 

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Really, her facial expressions MADE the show.

Remind me, why are they friends again?

Orange is the New Black addressed something really important–and we need to talk about it.

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Tiffany Doggett. Image via Buzzfeed.

Why are we so afraid to call it rape?

Rape culture is very real and very dangerous—but Orange is the New Black isn’t afraid to tackle it. In the latest season of the hit Netflix series, we see conceptions of rape addressed—and reformed—through the characterisation of inmate Tiffany Doggett.

Doggett was raped last season by a commanding officer at Litchfield Penitentiary—a man who was supposed to be responsible for her safety. Instead, officer Charlie Coates took advantage of her and raped her: but it wasn’t how we usually see rape represented on screens. Doggett wasn’t screaming. She wasn’t frantically trying to beat him off. But we could see from her face that she desperately didn’t want to be there.  It doesn’t matter if she didn’t fight tooth and nail to stop him—or even if she didn’t tell him: it is still rape.

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Image via Cosmopolitan.

This season, Doggett confronts Coates, making sure he’s not raping anyone else. But here’s the kicker: he didn’t even know he’d raped her. “But I love you,” he insists. “It’s different.”

“But it didn’t feel any different,” Doggett responds.

It didn’t feel any different because it isn’t—rape is the unwanted penetration of oral, vaginal or anal cavities. So, why are we so afraid to call it that? We live in a society where we’re so focussed on blaming the victim: what did they do to provoke it? What were they wearing? Were they drinking? Had they slept together before? Were they in love? Where they in a relationship? Why didn’t they yell for help? People voice these questions as if any of these factors negate a heinous crime. Newsflash: it doesn’t.

One in six women and 1 in 33 men will be raped within their lifetimes. One in two transgender persons will be sexually assaulted, as well as 44% of lesbian women, 26% of gay men, and 61% of bisexual women and 37% of bisexual men. This is a major problem—yet instead of tackling these issues, we’re too focussed on blaming the victim.

As a woman, I’m afraid to walk home alone at night—even though my bus stop is only 500m away. As a woman, I am afraid when a group of men walk towards me. As a woman, I make sure I’m not too drunk to keep my wits about me. I make sure my dress isn’t too short. I make sure I don’t lead anyone on—and even then, I’m not safe.

Doggett was raped in a prison environment meant to protect her.

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Most rapes are not reported, and even if they are, they’re not likely to result in a conviction. This must change. Image via Waging Non-Violence.

Our actions do not give another person permission to so much as touch us. Even if I walked down the street naked, I’m still not “asking for it”—because my body is mine, and every human being deserves that right. But some people still don’t seem to get the concept of “no”.

Maybe you loved them. Maybe you knew they were horny, so you just let them do it. Maybe you did try to stop it, but gave in because it was easier than fighting. Maybe there were tears in your eyes, as you stare at the wall, wishing you were anywhere else. Maybe you cried when it was over and they were asleep or gone. Maybe they did love you. But then, maybe they didn’t. Maybe it was a cruel and vicious crime—and actions or intentions don’t change that.

As women, we’re so programmed to feel like we have to please our partners—even if we don’t want to. But love is not an excuse for rape: nothing is. And this line of thinking, this notion of “oh, you can’t call it rape after it happened” is absolute bullshit, and a massive cultural problem. Maybe you were too scared to speak up—maybe you’re too afraid to confront in your own mind what it was, and only realise what it was later. It is “not making it up” to get someone in trouble—because only one in six rapes are reported, and only 17% of rapes are actually convicted.

Rape affects every facet of your life. It restricts your sexuality.  It restricts your chance at future relationships. You lay awake, crying and reliving those moments. You flinch at every rape joke, or mention of sexual assault.  This is not okay.

But we live in a society that would rather blame the victim than prosecute the victim. But it is not the victim’s fault—it’s the rapist’s fault.

Rape is an unforgivable crime—and we need to stop sugar coating it.

Why I don’t celebrate Australia Day.

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By Samantha Holz.

The views expressed in this article are of the author’s and are not reflective of It Begins With Z.

I’ve been working in the same bar for nearly three years and have been accepted as part of the scenery by locals. Sometimes I suspect they think I only exist when I am at work. So naturally, when holidays arise, they ask things like “What will you be doing for Christmas?” or “Are you spending Easter with your family? ”

After the Christmas/New Year season dies down, I start to get nervous. There is one more holiday coming and it is a favourite of many patrons. These people are working class Aussies to the very core and they’re the type of people for whom the hashtag ‘Straya’ exists.

The day in question: Australia Day.

From Slate.com
Although, I admit, Spain’s baby jumping festival makes me nervous, too.

This day means a lot to ‘Strayans’. On this day, they celebrate how proud they are to be Australian. In their minds, they deserve to be here and it is their God-given right. They love their flag, their anthem, the weather, and their unapologetic (offensive) sense of humour. Beers and barbecues are a rite of passage and anyone who doesn’t like it can eff off. And so we arrive at the shoreline of my problem with this holiday.

By commemorating January 26, we glorify the arrival of the British on Australian soil in 1788. Cook & Co are the reason we’re here, right? Yay colonialism! Wait. . .  That doesn’t sound right, does it? Like Southerners in the US flying the Confederate flag, the suggestion being that they are proud of the cause once fought under that flag.

From toprightnews.com
“It ain’t racist; it’s mah heritage!”

Colonialism is bad. And I think you know where I’m going with this. For the next two hundred years, the British/white “Australians” systematically carried out the annihilation of an entire peoples’ identity and culture. The ancestors you’re proud of for coming here, were inextricably linked to the death and disenfranchisement of the indigenous population. They slaughtered them and took their children from them.

from sbs.com.au
History lesson: Watch Rabbit Proof Fence starring Gilderoy Lockhart as Racist Jerk.

To celebrate this nation on a day that marks the demise of a deservingly proud people is a kick in the guts to the true caretakers of this land. Not a single white person belongs here. We are here, by the will of our ancestors, and so this is our home, too. This is a country of immigrants.

from independentAustralia.net
Unpopular opinion: anyone who is not indigenous is an immigrant.

By celebrating colonialism, we have created an exclusionary experience. We are not celebrating being Australian, rather, being white and privileged. And we invite others along to celebrate with us, but others are tourists on this holiday. We include them on a temporary basis, under the pretence that they celebrate our privilege with us.

Therefore, anyone who does not wish to celebrate with us is seen as “un-Australian”. So then indigenous people of Australia become un-Australian for not celebrating a bunch of foreigners taking over Australia. Anyone wanting to celebrate the inclusive multiculturalism that does exist in parts of this country is shit out of luck, too. If you don’t want to drunkenly chant “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, oi, oi” at the top of your lungs, you can just go back to where you came from. Like, why would you even come here if you want to celebrate things that aren’t White Australia?

from braingell.com
But Orphaned Land are so awesome!

When patrons ask me “What will you be doing on Australia Day?” I answer “nothing”. They laugh, because they think I am looking forward to a day at home with my family. When I say I do not celebrate the day, they are horrified.
“Aren’t you proud to be Australian?” they ask, almost angrily.
No, I am not. I am not proud that I exist here because my ancestors cleared the way with violent oppression so that I can live on land that was once cared for by one of the oldest indigenous populations of the world; or that, whilst I was taken to my family home shortly after my birth in 1985, aboriginal children were still being snatched away from their families ‘for their own good’; I’m not proud that we turn away refugees because they make people uncomfortable. And I refuse to take part in a holiday that celebrates whiteness.

Where’s my sunglasses?!

If we moved celebrations to the anniversary of our Federation – January 1, 1901 – we could truly celebrate Australia. To celebrate the day of this country’s unification is to celebrate and respect the traditional owners of this land. It is to celebrate its heritage as a place for people from diverse cultures in search of a new start. Throw that steak on the barbie; but also throw some lamb kofta on there. Listen to AC/DC (if you must), but also listen to Yothu Yindi. If we embrace and learn from each other the best elements of each culture, then we can be stronger. We can build a real identity for this beautiful nation instead of clinging to the heavily manufactured one that has been pushed upon us by selfish, conservative politicians who are afraid of diversity. See beauty in the difference around you and this year, ask yourself: what are we celebrating on January 26 and how do we celebrate the real Australia?