Why are more people single? Is it choice or circumstance? Being single on the most romantic day of the year isn't always easy unless, you've proudly chosen to be single and relish being home alone while staying clear of restaurants full of loved-up couples having swanky, overpriced dinners. This Valentine's Day, Insight explores why singledom is on the rise in Australia and why are more and more people are choosing to live alone. By 2030, 30 percent of all households in this country will be single person households. But does this mean coupling up is passe? We examine the pressures on singles who come from cultural backgrounds that view marriage as the ultimate destination and why some say that dating apps, though promising true love, are actually contributing to the rise of the single person. This Insight episode explores why people are single for longer periods, both young and old. Is it by choice or circumstance? We ask whether modern singletons are actually content with their lot.
In the second part of Insight's special on women in prison, Jenny Brockie talks to the inmates about how they became involved in a crime, and life after their sentences expire. With an estimated 85 percent of women prisoners bearing responsibility of dependent children, we hear about how the women's families are affected by their being behind bars. They also talk candidly about the relationships they have on the outside, and those that start when they come into prison.
If you've ever wondered what it's like inside a maximum security prison, your questions are answered in Lockdown, an Insight two-part special. Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre has allowed Insight to bring cameras inside its towering, barb-wire-lined walls and the result is a revealing snapshot of women in prison. Four maximum security inmates reveal to the public, who really has the power in prison and what you have to do to stay safe when you're locked in with inmates who range from thieves to murderers. They show us their cells, and tell us what the food they call "slop in a box" tastes like. They share secrets about their relationships and what it means to be "gate gay" or "gay for the stay". In conversation with Jenny Brockie, the inmates speak openly about their crimes. For some it's fraud that's landed them in prison. For others, it's major drug importation or serious violence. Drug use, domestic violence and disadvantage are discussed. So too, responsibility, remorse and rehabilitation. We ask the inmates: Are you sorry for what you did?
What goes into making high stake decisions? How do we react when we are confronted with a split-second decision in the face of danger? And how does being under pressure shape the choices we make? Qantas pilot Richard de Crespigny had to make instinctive decisions based on years of experience, when one of the engines of QF32 exploded four minutes after take-off from Singapore. His quick thinking and expertise saved the lives of 469 people on board. How does time play into decision-making? Some people weigh up all the risks and go about it with reason, while others are impulsive and follow their hearts. This week, Insight hears stories of people who had to make hard choices when the stakes were high. How did they go about making those decisions and how have they dealt with the aftermath?
We know that ticks can make us sick. For many on Sydney's northern beaches a tick bite can mean no more red meat or dairy. For others a tick bite can cause flu-like symptoms and a diagnosis of tick typhus or Flinder's Island spotted fever. This week, Insight hears from patients who have been suffering from unexplainable symptoms and the doctors who are faced with a decision of how to treat them. Does the medical profession need to be more open to the possibility of tick borne illnesses? Can doctors provide a diagnosis when they don't know the cause of the illness?
Descendants of the key decision makers - how has the legacy of war shaped their lives? In Part 2 of Insight's Bloodlines special, we take you to the Asia Pacific region and talk to relatives of Harry Truman, Hideki Tojo, and Weary Dunlop on the legacy and influence their ancestors have on the present day.
Living with the legacy of World War II. In this special Insight forum, we bring you the descendants of the decision makers of the Second World War. Seventy years after the end of the war, we ask: what is it like to live in the shadow of Stalin, the Nazis or the imperial Japanese military?
"I knew there was going to be a murder and I couldn't do anything about it." - Marisa Merico Everyone has secrets. They can be small and trivial and cause no harm. But some traumatic or deep revelations can have a life-changing effect. From the personal to the communal, this week Insight guests tell us why and how they ended up revealing their deepest secrets. We explore the burden of keeping secrets and ask if it's ever a good idea to let skeletons out of the vault.
Are cosmetic procedures being normalised for young people? Increasingly, younger generations are those most willing to pay money to change their appearances - the most popular treatments being anti-wrinkle injections (Botox), fillers, laser, breast augmentations and liposuction. Demand for dermal fillers, like injectable lip and cheek enhancements, has increased by 25 percent since 2014, and Australians are now spending over $1 billion on non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
How old is too old to have a child? This week on Insight we explore the trend of the older parenthood. Is it better late than never? A 62-year-old Tasmanian woman recently became Australia's oldest new mother by giving birth to a baby girl after becoming pregnant with the help of IVF. It's her first child and her partner is 78 years old. The AMA president Dr Michael Gannon labelled the decision madness, selfish and wrong.
Can We Think Ourselves Sick? A twinge in your back; a sudden headache; a feeling of numbness in a limb; an inexplicable lump. Would you ignore the unusual feeling? Or assume the worst? For many Australians, just ignoring such feelings is not an option. Formerly known as hypochondriasis, illness anxiety disorder can see people become preoccupied by the possibility that changes in the body might be the sign of serious illness. They experience high health anxiety. Stephanie Huynh convinced herself that a lump in her back was cancer. When half of Slava Prakhily's face went numb, she was certain it was multiple sclerosis. Often these thoughts can lead us to consult Dr Google, in search of a diagnosis. The tendency to head to the internet when we're feeling sick is so common it even has a name: cyberchondria. But can the stress of a possible illness exacerbate symptoms? Is it just the anxiety that's making us feel worse? Or can the internet actually help? For others, the power of the mind over the body is less simple. Kimberlee Allen experiences non-epileptic seizures, but her brain scans are clear. Miranda Licence was suddenly unable to move in her legs without explanation. Just because there is no obvious cause, however, does not mean nothing is wrong. This week Insight asks: how much power do our brains have over our bodies? Is that power strong enough for us to think ourselves sick?
How are families managing severe mental illness? For many families, watching a loved one battle a severe mental illness can be a distressing experience, often involving daily ethical decisions about how best to help them. How do you manage getting treatment? How does it affect the family dynamic? What if the person refuses to take their medication or accept that they have a mental illness? What's it like to set-up boundaries and maintain vigilance as a carer? John has had to make such decisions when his wife, Luana, suffers a psychotic episode. Pat's two sons have been diagnosed with schizophrenia; one voluntarily accepts treatment, but the other does not. Madeleine and Emma-Leigh have been caring for their mother since they were young, when she struggles with her bipolar. When should psychiatrists be called in, and make decisions about compelling someone to take medication? Or to schedule them for involuntary treatment? What impact does that have on a family, and how can they be sure they're making the right choices? For their loved ones and for themselves. This week on Insight, we hear how severe mental illness is managed in the family.
Who gave a major boost to the minor parties in this election and why? Voters are turning away from Labor and the Coalition in droves, with the most recent election seeing nearly a quarter of Australians cast their ballot for minor party or independent candidates. Just last week, Senator Pauline Hanson returned to Parliament after an 18 year absence, with almost 10% of Queenslanders giving One Nation the nod. With support across the country, three of her fellow party representatives join her in the Senate. First-timers are also in, including former media personality Derryn Hinch, while more experienced politicians like Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie have confirmed their popularity outside the major parties. Eleven cross benchers will join the nine Greens senators with a voice in some of the most important legislation in Australian history, including marriage equality and Indigenous recognition in the constitution. Is Australia seeing the “Trump effect”, as some experts have called it, where populist policies are providing comfort to voters amidst perceived threats and crises? Are these new politicians more relatable, seemingly plucked from of everyday life? Are the old guards of Australian politics out of touch with the wants and needs of a significant portion of the population? With swings from the Greens to Pauline Hanson, from the Nationals to Nick Xenophon, the Liberal Party to Derryn Hinch, Insight asks recent voters: why have they have come to find solace in minority representatives?
Why do so many Australians have poor literacy? We may not be aware of it, but most of us know someone who struggles with reading and writing. Around 44 percent of adult Australians have literacy levels that make everyday tasks - like filling out a form or reading a prescription - very difficult. Sadly, our numeracy levels are worse with over half of Australian adults scoring low on international surveys. Literacy standards in 21st century Australia have increased dramatically. Computers and our digital age demand high-level literacy skills, while jobs that may have required minimal reading or writing now involve extra checks and balances like filling out OH&S reports. But low literacy goes far beyond simply being able to read and write. Individuals with gaps in literacy are more likely to be vulnerable to social exclusion, and unemployment. Businesses also suffer with 93 percent of employers reporting low levels of literacy and numeracy were impacting their business. Yet despite almost one-in-two people having gaps in their literacy skills, this world remains largely hidden to those of us who are lucky enough to be confident in our reading and writing skills. This week Insight speaks to a number of Australians from all ages and backgrounds who have lived a life with low literacy in a world that assumes that they don't exist.
Who's getting ripped off at work? Around one million people in Australia are recently-arrived visa holders with work rights. There's a high demand for cheap and unregulated workers in Australia and a ready supply of foreign workers looking to earn an Australian wage. Last year, labour exploitation accounted for about a third of all human trafficking investigations conducted by the AFP. And complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman from migrant workers have soared in recent years. Labour hire companies, which provide workers to some of Australia's biggest companies, are among the biggest culprits when it comes to rorting foreign workers. In the last year, there have been three* separate government inquiries into the industry. When does exploitation become a criminal matter? Forced labour offences were only introduced in Australia in 2013, however have not yet been tested in the courts. Many workers aren't fully aware of their employment rights and for most, speaking up about exploitation while on a temporary visa isn't seen as an option. But what happens when you do? This week Insight gathers a range of foreign workers, some now Australian citizens, who have experienced exploitation in many different industries. Is anyone being held accountable? And are we all benefiting from these practices?
Why are more men and women choosing a life without kids? Selfish. Career-driven. Don't understand love. Missing out. These are some of the comments people who choose not to have children hear. It's one of the last taboos, and the decision can be met with disbelief, a chorus of, 'you'll change your mind', or outright animosity - with women taking the brunt of the judgement. Around one in four females won't have a child, the number is thought to be higher amongst men. But despite the growing trend, there is little research into the reasons why, or separating the experiences of people who are childless from those who are childfree. This week's Insight hears from men and women who made the choice not to have kids - what led to the decision, how family and friends reacted, and how they feel about the future.
It's a national problem, estimated to affect more than 600,000 Australians. It influences people's safety and their relationships and can often lead to isolation, depression and homelessness. In this episode of Insight, we examine the pull that possessions exert on all of us.
What happened to the fathers who had no say in forced adoption? The father's voice has often been ignored in the adoption process. Before the 1980s it was even common practise to omit the father's name from the birth certificate, leaving the father and his biological children on an uphill battle if they ever wanted to make contact. Although practises have changed, the scars remain and the ramifications are still being felt for many fathers and their children today. Gary Boyce's girlfriend, Jane, fell pregnant unexpectedly in 1972 when he was just 18 and she was 17. Jane's parents took matters into their own hands, preventing Gary from seeing her and making Jane give the child up for adoption. Gary was completely cut out of the process and had no say in what happened. The weight of it all caused Gary and Jane to split, and Gary has carried the guilt of what happened throughout his life. Paul Jennings was only 14 when his girlfriend became pregnant. Far too young to appreciate what was going on, he felt as though the whole situation wasn't real. He kept the news from his parents and his girlfriend was sent away to have the baby. Eight years ago Paul reached out to a post adoption support agency to find his son. We rightly hear a good deal about the mothers' experience in these situations, but what about the fathers? Attitudes and policies have changed over the years to incorporate the father's voices, but scars remain from the years in which they were left disempowered and disenfranchised. Even reunification today does not always heal them.
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