Embrace the power of the written word and discover how your flair for writing could lead to an exciting new career as a journalist, magazine editor or children's author. Australian College of Journalism is part of Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of online education. Read more
Editing & Proofreading
Have you got an eagle eye for grammar, punctuation and perfect prose? Like helping writers refine their craft and get the best possible message across? Then Editing and Proofreading could be the right path for you, whether you want to work towards working as a freelance professional, or just sharpen your own way with words.Find out more
Got a nose for news or a way of telling stories about current affairs, travel, sport, or more, that engages audiences? Want to learn the business side of journalism and photojournalism as well as refining your techniques and talent? Then a journalism course with the Australian College of Journalism might be for you.Find out more
Writing & Communication
If you've got a way with words, we've got courses that could help you turn your raw potential into a profession. With courses across creative writing, script writing, and non-fiction writing, and specialist courses in writing fantasy, romance and writing for children, we'll help you find and refine your style, and bring your stories to life.Find out more
Latest News & Articles View all
Why Coconut Oil is a Healthy Pantry Must-HaveRead More
It seems that everyone is going nuts over coconut oil right now, and for good reason! This tropical wonder has been steadily gaining international attention in the health industry, due to its many health-enhancing properties.
There’s nothing really “new” about the amazing benefits of coconuts…the Western world is just finally discovering what many Pacific and Eastern cultures have known and treasured for years. Read on to learn how coconut oil is so different to it’s fellow fats, its many health benefits and why it should be a pantry must-have in all health-conscious foodie’s kitchens!
Although much attention has been focused on the need to reduce dietary fat, some fats can in fact be good for your health and contrary to popular belief, may even help prevent excess weight gain. Health authorities often caution against the consumption of trans-fats and saturated fats, so controversy and confusion have understandably arisen regarding the safety of including coconut oil as part of a healthy diet. Below is a summary of some of the most well-researched potential health benefits of consuming coconut oil;
Coconut oil contains what are called ‘medium-chain fatty acids’ (MCFAs). MCFAs are different from other fats because of the way they are processed and metabolized by the body. These types of fats are broken down very easily and unlike other fats, do not require pancreatic digestive enzymes or bile for digestion. MCFAs are small molecules, making them easily digested and converted by your liver for energy (similar to carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike). In contrast, long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are large molecules found in other saturated fats that are difficult for your body to break down and are therefore more easily stored as fat.
MCFAs boost your metabolism and help your body to use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it . Yes, this fat can potentially help you to become leaner!
Coconut oil also contains an ‘immune-boosting’ type of fat. Nearly 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called ‘lauric acid’. This is often referred to as a "miracle" compound because of its unique health promoting properties (breast milk is the only other completely natural source of high lauric acid). Our body naturally converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a fatty acid that has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.Unlike some man-made antibiotics and antiviral medications, these fatty acids pose no danger to our bodies, yet they’re powerful in destroying harmful microbes by damaging their cell membranes. Along with these general immune boosting qualities, coconut oil is specifically known for treating candida albicans, fungal infections and athlete’s foot.
Improving skin and hair condition
Coconut oil isn’t just for eating. It can work its wonders when applied topically to the skin and hair too! The fatty acids deeply penetrate, moisturise and act as a protective barrier against environmental and free radical damage. It also helps to keep the skin's connective tissues strong, which can help prevent sagging and wrinkles. It helps to keep hair hydrated, and in babies, when applied topically can prevent and cure cradle cap.
Reducing the risk of diabetes
A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. The MCFAs in coconut oil are believed to help combat insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the inability of cells to respond to insulin and take in glucose for energy. The pancreas tries to compensate for insulin resistance by producing even more insulin, but eventually glucose accumulates in the bloodstream. Over time, insulin resistance and obesity can lead to pre-diabetes or full blown type 2 diabetes. The study compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice and rats fed diets rich in coconut oil (a MCFA) or lard (a long chain fatty acid). MCFAs were found to reduce fat accumulations while maintaining insulin action in muscle and fat tissue.
Reducing the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol
Unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are special because they do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and they are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis. Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like total Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Boosting brain health
Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients and relieving symptoms. The idea being that by boosting the ketones with coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.
Healthy option to cook with
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with. Because coconut oil is a MCFA, it has a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils, meaning it won’t turn rancid and oxidize when introduced to high heats (unlike other oils – including olive). This stability is very important, because it reduces the free radical load on our bodies. For best results, its is advised to use organic, cold-pressed, non-hydrogenated coconut oil. Some ideas for how to incorporate coconut oil into your diet include;
- Use it for roasting vegetables and for frying meat when cooking
- Replace butter with coconut oil in baking
- MIx through rice and other grains
- Use it as a spread on toast
- Blend it into a salad as a dressing
- Mix it into your smoothies
- Mix a teaspoonful into your tea or coffee
So there you have it. There’s no need to shun all saturated fats in fear of dire health repercussions. Coconut oil’s unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health and of equal importance, it tastes delicious and is easy to incorporate into your diet. Having it as a staple in your pantry is a wise health investment indeed.
Creative Resume Ideas: How to Design Your OwnRead More
Could a creative CV help you stand out in the job market? Check out this expert advice to putting together a cool, professional resume that shows off your one-of-a-kind skills.
You’ve finished your training course in the creative industries; graphic and digital design, media and communications or events management. How do you sell yourself to land the job you’ve always wanted? What should your CV look like? The answer isn’t black and white.
Some legendary CVs have included one by Robby Leonardi, who designed an interactive game, which clearly demonstrated his skill as an innovative graphic designer, programmer and animator to potential employers. And it achieved his goal – winning him a job at the trailblazing web incubator Pollenizer.
Don’t be a try-hard
A gimmick can also fall flat and look like an amateur attention-seeking tactic, says Nathan Quigley, Sydney General Manager of Ogilvy Mather, one of the largest global advertising agencies. “It’s more about making your CV interesting, those that are garish or pop out at you just for the sake of it feel to me too much like a try-hard,” Quigley says.
Infographics are becoming increasingly popular, according to Kathryn Banfield, head of Human Resources for Ogilvy PR. She was particularly impressed by the CV of one applicant who managed to fit 18 years’ experience on one page as a timeline with images representing skills.
“A CV is about selling ‘brand you’ and we want to see that you have some kind of logo and personal statement that really engages us and makes it memorable,” Banfield says. “You need to show you are a communicator.”
Forget about the crafty, Etsy approach so popular a decade ago, which included gimmicks such as wrapping your CV and portfolio in hand-made, hand-dyed paper. Nicole Birtwistle, Design Talent Manager at FBI, a design and advertising recruitment agency in Sydney’s Surry Hills, says that it can actually be cringe-worthy for the HR manager or recruitment agency who receives it.
“The applicant has put so much work into it, but then it doesn’t hit the mark and it can be really off-putting and have the opposite effect,” she says. “An email with your CV in a pdf would be much better.”
Corinna Hartas, co-owner of Hartas & Craig creative recruitment agency favours CVs that show off what you do best. Use your skills and make it aesthetically and visually pleasing. “Nice typography, clear font, well-spaced and positioned. Most importantly no grammatical errors or typos,” she says.
The personal touch
Applicants should tailor their CVs for every client. If you are applying for a job that involves fashion then you should highlight your fashion experience, Birtwistle suggests. “You can develop different, targeted CVs and portfolios for particular sectors.”
Banfield likes to receive an application that is personally addressed to her. “I have got some CVs that are obviously just a cut-and-paste of an application to another PR agency. Sometimes they have even left the other name in by mistake!” she says. “I like to see that they have made an effort especially for us and they don’t just have a blanket approach.”
Leave in or leave out?
Should you include hobbies or experience in other areas that don’t directly apply to the role? Quigley from Ogilvy says he was most impressed when one applicant who was applying for an account manager position included a link to her creative portfolio.
“Even though she was not applying for a creative job, it showed me she was passionate about creativity, was a creative champion herself and that really stood out.”
Birtwistle from FBI recruitment says she’s is also interested in how creativity spills into other aspects of the applicant’s life. “If they have extra-curricular hobbies like cool, urban t-shirt design or making posters, that’s worth adding, but if they go sky diving that’s not as relevant,” she says.
Do address gaps in employment, says Banfield. “If you took two years off to travel overseas that is fine,” she says. “It’s actually life experience and adds to you as a person, but if we don’t have an explanation of where you were, we begin to wonder.”
Don’t big-note yourself. “You’ve got to be honest,” says Hartas. “Explain your specific role in a project, no matter how small, and explain how you added value. This will show you’re hard-working, diligent and proactive. Many potential employers check references and they will find out in the end.”
Thinking of upgrading your resume with some new skills? Check out our range of courses.