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Melbourne Chinese-language driving school apologizes for ad calling female teachers ‘timid and weak’

  • Number 1 Driver School, a driving school for Chinese speakers in the inner-city suburb of Carlton in Melbourne, Australia, sparked outrage on social media after a prospective student named Mel Wang discovered a sexist advertisement on its website.
  • The ad highlighted that the school has “only very experienced male instructors" and "zero female instructors."
  • "Female driving instructors are timid [and] weak," the ad previously read. “They tend to spend most of the class time on minor roads, can't perform intensive training and their students often improve only very slowly."
  • Wang shared a screenshot of the ad on the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu in July.
  • Following the backlash, Number 1 Driver School spokesperson Andrew Wang claimed the school did not intend on discrediting female instructors.
  • The school, which currently has 16 male instructors, is now “urgently” hiring two female instructors “at the request of the general public.”

A Melbourne-based driving school for Chinese speakers has apologized for an advertisement on its website describing female instructors as “timid and weak” and for boasting about only having experienced male teachers.

Number 1 Driver School, located in the inner-city suburb of Carlton in Melbourne, Australia, sparked outrage after Mel Wang, a prospective female student, stumbled upon the school’s ad and later shared a screen shot of it on the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu in July.

Asian Australian YouTuber stands up against casual racism during a boat show in Sydney

  • Asian Australian YouTuber John Lee, who shares fishing videos on his channel JYL Fishing TV, was recently subjected to racist insults while covering the Sydney International Boat Show in Cockle Bay.
  • In a video published on Aug. 1, he can be seen standing up to a man who tried to make a racist joke at his expense with the question “Is some ting wong?”
  • After Lee called out the man for being racist, the latter doubled down with another racial jab, saying, “Aren't you Aussie? Throw a shrimp on the barbie, mate.”
  • A woman who was with the man, who Lee claimed laughed at the man's joke, said “Matt, please shut up” before pulling him away.
  • Shortly after, security staff approached Lee’s group and told them that the woman filed a complaint and requested that they be removed from the premises.
  • Lee revealed in a separate video that the man pinched him as he was being pulled away, turning the verbal attack into a physical one.

An Asian Australian YouTuber was recently subjected to racist insults while covering an exclusive boat show in Sydney. 

John Lee, who shares fishing videos on his YouTube channel JYL Fishing TV, uploaded footage of the harassment he allegedly endured at the Sydney International Boat Show in Cockle Bay.

Aussie woman who woke up with an Irish accent last year says she still can’t pronounce some words

  • Dentist Angie Yen, 29, said she developed a foreign accent syndrome, a very rare speech disorder that can cause a rapid change in one’s manner of speaking, after undergoing surgery last year.
  • A year after waking up with an Irish accent, Yen says she still can’t pronounce some words properly.
  • “I was dismissed, laughed at, mocked but got no answers as to why I sounded like this. It was so crazy and bizarre," Yen said.
  • Yen eventually learned to accept that the accent "wasn’t going to go away anytime soon."

A woman in Australia who suddenly acquired an Irish accent after undergoing tonsil surgery last year said pronouncing words remains a challenge for her to this day.

Angie Yen, 29, made headlines in April 2021 after her tonsil procedure resulted in her developing foreign accent syndrome. It is a very rare speech disorder that can cause a rapid change in one’s manner of speaking so that a native speaker sounds as if they are speaking with a “foreign” accent.

MP candidate refuses to apologize after mixing up Asian Australian opponent with another politician

Fiona Martin Sally Sitou debate
  • Liberal MP Fiona Martin has refused to apologize to her Reid seat opponent, Federal Labor candidate Sally Sitou, after the latter accused her of mistaking her for another Asian Australian politician.
  • Martin had a heated exchange with Sitou during a 2GB radio interview on Wednesday.
  • "You found an opportunity and you couldn't run in Fowler. Kristina Keneally kicked you out of Fowler too," Martin said. Sitou, however, was reportedly not considered for preselection in Fowler, whereas Asian Australian candidate Tu Le was in September 2021.
  • "My opponent either has me confused for a different Asian-Australian, or she is deliberately misleading people. Either way, she should apologize,” Sitou tweeted.
  • “My record makes clear I would never direct a racial slur at anyone. There is no place for racism in Australia and it should be called out,” Martin wrote on Facebook in the aftermath. “I won't be distracted by desperate political games played by the Labor Party and its seat-shopping candidates.”

A Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) has refused to apologize for mistaking her Asian Australian opponent with another politician during a radio interview.

Liberal MP Fiona Martin and her opponent for the Reid seat, Federal Labor candidate Sally Sitou, appeared in a 2GB radio interview that later turned into a heated debate between the two candidates on Wednesday.

Sydney activist sparks outrage over ‘F*ck Xi Jinping’ sign in Asian market

DREW_PAVLOU
  • Drew Pavlou, a 20-year-old activist running for Queensland’s Senate, incensed crowds at a shopping area in Sydney when he showed up with a “F*ck Xi Jinping” sign on Saturday.
  • Video from the daring stunt shows at least three people yelling expletives at Pavlou, who claimed that the situation had escalated to an assault.
  • Chris De Bruyne, who goes by the moniker Chriscoveries online, a protest journalist covering the scene, was put in a “bear hug” by members of the crowd, as seen in the video.
  • Pavlou said New South Wales police are planning to charge him over the incident but claimed that he still does not know what he’s being charged with.
  • The NSW Council of Civil Liberties, one of Australia’s top human rights organizations, said using the word “f*ck” in a political statement is not considered offensive.

An Australian activist running for a Senate seat in Queensland triggered chaos when he showed up with a “F*ck Xi Jinping” sign at a shopping strip in Sydney’s northwest on Saturday.

Drew Pavlou, 20, who leads the Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance, quickly drew an angry crowd at the predominantly-Asian area, as seen in a 49-second video posted on Twitter.

Thai chef in Australia faces deportation after failing citizenship English test more than 15 times

thai chef
  • A Thai chef working in Australia for a catering business since 2015 may be deported after failing to pass her citizenship English exam more than 15 times.
  • With a 457 visa and sponsorship from her employer JunEdelmuth Catering, Sky Sinjack has been residing in Australia for the past seven years.
  • In her most recent attempt, Sinjack barely missed the marker to pass when she scored one point below the required score of 50.
  • Sinjack’s coworkers, who have been helping her practice her English language skills, described the spelling portion of the exam as “very difficult” with words that “a lot of Australians couldn’t spell.”

Described as an “asset” to her company, a Thai chef in Australia faces deportation after failing an English exam more than 15 times in an attempt to gain citizenship.

Sky Sinjack has been working for JunEdelmuth Catering, located in Sydney’s Double Bay in Australia, since 2015. She has been residing in the country through a 457 visa, which allows foreign skilled employees to work for an approved business for up to four years. With the sponsorship of her company, Sinjack has been able to stay longer than the four years permitted by the visa. 

Solomon Islands sign security pact with China, alarming US, Australia over South Pacific threat

  • Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced on Wednesday that the government had signed a security agreement with China the day before, raising concerns among Western nations.
  • Sogavare emphasized to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands that the agreement would “not adversely impact or undermine the peace and harmony” of the region.
  • A draft of the agreement was leaked last month, suggesting that China would be allowed to deploy its forces in the area.
  • Sogavare had previously claimed in last month that the country had “no intention whatsoever” to “ask China to build a military base”; however, it is unclear whether he still stands by that statement.
  • The U.S., New Zealand and Australia have all expressed concerns over the agreement.
  • While the details of the agreement are unclear, the new partnership signifies an undeniable shift in political alliances in the Indo-Pacific region.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced on Wednesday that the government had signed a security agreement with China the day before, raising concerns among Western nations.

Sogavare emphasized to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands that the agreement would “not adversely impact or undermine the peace and harmony” of the region.

Singaporean woman, 82, fears for her future after moving overseas to be with daughter who stopped caring for her

An elderly woman claims that her daughter refused to take care of her after she and her husband sold their Singapore home and moved to Australia to live with her.

The 82-year-old woman, Zhang Xiujin, said that her daughter, 56, originally asked her parents to move in with her in Australia after learning that her father, Zhang’s husband, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, according to Shin Min Daily News. Zhang and her husband then sold their four-bedroom home in Marine Crescent, Singapore, and immigrated to Australia in 2018 with their savings. 

Filipino fast food chain Jollibee to open first branch in Australia

Jollibee Australia
  • Filipino fast-food restaurant chain Jollibee will open its first Australian branch in Campbelltown, Sydney.
  • As of this month, an opening day is yet to be decided, but pre-construction plans are currently in progress.
  • Australia is home to over 300,000 Filipinos, and in Campbelltown, they comprise the third-largest population of residents born abroad.
  • The giant red bee will also soon make its way to new New York City locations, including Grand Central Terminal and 1500 Broadway.

Filipino fast-food restaurant chain “Jollibee” is set to open its first Australian branch in the outskirts of Sydney in Campbelltown. 

The restaurant’s development application was submitted to the Campbelltown City Council in March 2021, and its preliminary development drawings were submitted in October 2021. As of this month, pre-construction plans are currently in progress. 

Australian supermarket called ‘racist’ for sign showing Asian and pet food in the same aisle

coles supermarket
  • A Coles supermarket in Melbourne came under fire for an aisle sign indicating Asian food items in the same section as cat and dog food.
  • A Reddit user posted a photo of the store’s Aisle 10 sign, which reads, “Cat food, Dog food, Asian” with the caption “How are these 3 categories related.”
  • Many Reddit users labeled the sign as “racist,” questioning why the Asian food was sectioned together with pet food.
  • Other users suggested that the supermarket may have been going through rearrangements, also noting the odd combination of rice and cleaning products in the next aisle.
  • The supermarket has since changed the signage following the online backlash.

A Coles supermarket in Melbourne came under fire for an aisle sign indicating Asian food items in the same section as pet food.

A Reddit user posted a photo of the store’s Aisle 10 sign, which reads, “Cat food, Dog food, Asian” with the caption “How are these 3 categories related” in the r/Melbourne subreddit.

Opera Australia sparks criticism over traditional use of ‘yellowface,’ Chinese stereotypes in ‘Turandot’

racistopera
  • Vietnamese writer Cat-Thao Nguyen and her Chinese husband walked out of Opera Australia’s performance of “Turandot” during the first act after being appalled by its traditional use of “yellowface” as well as its racist and sexist stereotypes.
  • “I felt utterly sick,” she wrote in an article for Sydney Morning Herald. “I clutched my husband and clamped my hand over my mouth. As the scenes unfolded, I felt a violent wilting of dignity for myself and my Chinese husband.”
  • Equally disconcerting for Nguyen was that the predominantly white audience appeared to be quite comfortable with what they were watching.
  • “Turandot,” completed in 1926, is set in ancient China, a country that its famed Italian composer Giacomo Puccini never visited.

Australia’s premier opera company is being called out for its traditional use of “yellowface” in its current performances of “Turandot.”

Cat-Thao Nguyen, a writer of Vietnamese origin, was so appalled with what she and her Canadian-Chinese husband saw in Opera Australia’s production that they walked out of the Sydney Opera House after the first act.

Chinese woman in Australia filmed ripping down Tiananmen Square posters, denying Uyghur ‘camps’ claim

chinese woman lennon wall
  • A Chinese woman was filmed tearing down several posters that were created to support Hong Kong’s democracy from the Lennon Wall at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
  • The woman allegedly dismissed the events that occurred during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre by calling them “lies” and incorrectly saying that they took place “50 years ago.” The incident was filmed by Billie Kugelman, chief editor of student newspaper Semper Floreat at the University of Queensland.
  • His video was shared online by Drew Pavlou, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who is running to “represent Queensland in the Australian senate.”
  • The woman can be seen laughing in the video after Kugelman brings up the alleged human rights violations against Uyghurs in China.

A Chinese woman purportedly studying in Brisbane, Australia, was recently filmed rejecting the claim of Uyghur Muslims being detained in “concentration camps” in China as she took down posters featuring photos of the Tiananmen Square protests created to support Hong Kong’s democracy.

The incident, filmed by Billie Kugelman, chief editor of student newspaper Semper Floreat at the University of Queensland, was shared online by Drew Pavlou, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who is running to “represent Queensland in the Australian senate.”