This is an open letter written to a sitting member of parliament on the topic of marriage equality for an assignment entitled 'Engaging with Politics' from January 2017

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you today as I was saddened to recently read that the same sex marriage plebiscite bill had been blocked by the Senate (Keany & Holman, 2016). It was a disappointing outcome but one which can be explained given the potentially non binding nature of the question posed and the rising costs associated with the plebiscite (Aston, 2016). I understand that with such a contentious issue, opinions are heavily divided between both sides of this issue. It is a shame that we as a nation of educated people cannot come together and afford all of our citizens the same just and equal rights under the law.

Every few years it seems that police reform is yet again a heated topic in some region of the world. In 2014, the then police commissioner for Western Australia wrote about creating a better future in policing through police reform (O'Callaghan, 2014). In the United States of America in 2015 the deaths of several black community members across different instances and events caused widespread civil unrest and call for police reform (Dianis, 2015; Toobin, 2015). And in the United Kingdom, there are bodies established with the goal of reforming policing institutions to face modern crimes while providing services that are trusted by the public (Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, 2017). Indeed, most western countries and many eastern blocks or third world countries struggle with calls for police reform from their constituents periodically, normally in the aftermath that follows a disaster or particularly publicised scandal. During these times, police institutions often look at higher education as a form of organisational reform as a get out of a controversy-free card. Its ease of implementation and acceptance by the civilian community only enforces its status as an appealing scapegoat for reformists and policymakers. But by equipping our police officers with tertiary qualifications, we are also ensuring they have another tool needed in the fight against crime and corruption. This essay will take the positive side of the claim that all police officers should be required to have tertiary qualifications. This essay will argue in support of this claim by showing how increased tertiary education and other qualifications improve the overall health of a police department, the benefits on individual policing, and compare how effectively police officers with and without a university degree perform in relation to each other when they’re actively carrying out their duties.

Fear of crime victimisation is generally influenced by a broad range of demographic, social, geographical and historical metrics. To find out whether those members of our society who are the most fearful of crime are also the most likely to become victims of crime, we need to investigate their perceptions of crime in relation to true crime statistics. Quite often among the public there is a misunderstanding or discrepancy between perceived risk of victimisation and actual risk of victimisation. Throughout this essay, we will explore empirical research, journal articles, and other academic sources, to determine who is most likely to be a victim of crime, who is most likely to be fearful of crime, and the discrepancy between the demographics who are most at risk of becoming a crime victim, and who are most fearful of becoming a crime victim. Overall this essay will prove that the members of our society who are most fearful of crime are not the ones most at risk.

Getting ready to take flight

Missed a step? Catch up here: Part I, II, III, IV.

Welcome Part V of my custom thunderhawk gunship project. The major progress this week has been completing the basic body frame. You can see in the image below that the green stuffing work on the chassis has leveled out with the original framework. Now that it's mostly inline and level, it can be sanded and filed down to make a more subtle join and smoother surface for painting. You can also see that the tail has been fitted. The main parts of the tail wing are just your standard Stormraven Gunship bitz. Since this build will most likely have a top level, or a huge turret, I wanted to have a tail wing that extends up higher than normal. I also wanted to add a little more detailing and thought the Nephilim Jetfighter has a fantastic tail piece.

In today’s modern society, with the rise of digital media platforms, increased news cycles and fast paced media consumption, we are now more exposed to media than at any point in our history. A recent report from the Reuters Institute (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2016) concludes that just over half of the respondents surveyed now use social media as their primary source for news. Given this rise of unpaid news access, one might expect media outlets to publish the more dramatic or flamboyant aspects of news. Which leads us to question, is the nature of crime in our society accurately presented in the media? This essay will begin by looking at the influence media has on our lives. It will then cover the nature of modern media reporting on crime statistics, and outline why different crimes receive various levels of coverage. Within the examination and discussion of the question ‘Is the nature of crime in our society accurately presented in the media?’ academic research will be used to explore media bias for dramatic crimes, and how this uneven portrayal impacts society’s understanding of crime.

A View From The Top

Missed a step? Catch up on part I, part II, or part III.

Welcome to part IV of my custom Thunderhawk Gunship project. When I cut the roof pieces together, I used a Citadel Razor Saw, which didn't work.  The blade was too flimsy and it just refused to cut in a straight line, no matter what precautions I took. They've since updated their tools and replaced it with a 'Citadel Saw'. I haven't used this yet, but it couldn't possibly be worse than the Razor Saw. At any extent, the cutting job accentuated the gaps between the joins of the frame. More green stuffing would be needed to fill the holes. You can see in the image below how the ends don't match up straight between the two pieces, and how the side of the framework is warped out a tad. Clearly, there's still a lot to of minor patching work needed to complete the frame. 

Drowning in a Sea of Bitz

Missed a step? Catch up on part I, or part II.

Part III begins with an update on green stuffing the framework - the major focus at this point. I've mixed up a darker batch and started to build up the layers until it's 'even' with the existing frame. Before painting the excess putty will be sanded and filed down to make a smoother base for the paint, and improve the overall cohesive look. You can see in the image below how this is progressing, in total there's probably 3-4 separate layers. Allowing each layer to mostly set before adding the next and building it up to the roof has been a tedious and time consuming process. You can also see that while one side is making great progress, the other side is a whole other story.

Not Quite A Stormbird, More Than A Stormraven

Missed part I? Read it here

Part I of my Custom Thunderhawk Gunship project finished with the basis of the hull being completed. And what looked like the capability to lift itself off the ground, which was an important alteration in my custom build over the Forgeworld version. But while i'm happy with some parts of the new hull, other parts not so much. Due to the heavy cutting and alterations on the two separate Stormraven Gunship frames, the joins are very flimsy and easily slipped apart. I was worried that this might allow for too much bending in the final model. But alas, the butchering had already been done, so I decided to rely heavily on Green Stuff for the structural integrity I wanted. You can see this in the image below where I've began to fill in the missing framework.


The Australian Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report (AIHW, 2015) includes data from over 1,000 prison entrants from all states and territories across the country. It states 49% of the prisoners surveyed reported that they have or have been told by a qualified medical professional that they are suffering from a mental health disorder. This leads one to question, are people with mental health problems at an increased risk of violent offending? This essay will begin by looking at what constitutes a mental health problem and how these problems are categorized by different regions. It will then explore the relationship between violent offending and certain types of mental health problems from biological, behavioural, and psychological disorders. Within the examination and discussion of the question ‘Are people with mental health problems at increased risk of violent offending?’ empirical research will be used to explore what links exist between these specific mental health problem areas and violent offences being carried out. It is intended that this essay will support and clarify the link between certain types of mental health problems and the increased risk the sufferers of the problems pose to the community through heightened rates of violent offending.

In the Beginning the Emperor...

I started this project because as soon as I read about the famed gunship of the Adeptus Astartes, I knew that I wanted one. The price tag associated with buying one from Forgeworld however, is another story. Especially once you read about the mould issues, and how much additional work needs to be put in. Being no stranger to modelling, I decided to build my own. The obvious goal of this project was to have a model that resembled a Thunderhawk Gunship, but I also wanted to fix some things with the original design that began to bug me over the years.