Editor’s Picks

Sweet Treats for Winter in Sydney?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

It might be ‘common’ that some of your friends do not like chocolate, but for sure they would never say no to any sugary and yummy desserts. Sydney is getting colder and colder, wrapping yourself in a cosy bed with heaps of thermo layers is the best idea ever to avoid the night cold. However, you should think twice when seeing some of the mouth-watering sweet treats posted on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat by your friends on a Friday night out.


It is the hardest job ever researching and selecting the yummiest dessert places in Sydney. However, I can finally share a few of my favourite ones, where you can chit-chat and enjoy the sweet- affairs:

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Doughnuts @ Doughnut time

Coming all the way from Brisbane, all of the doughnuts are cute overloaded with a decent, colourful and creative modern look. No matter how much I am afraid of gaining weight, the temptation just keeps you returning time and time again.

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Watermelon cake @ Black Star Pastry

A light, soft and creamy slice of watermelon cake with a rose essence at Black Star Pastry is the reason why people keep travelling back and forward to one of the most livable, young and energetic towns in Sydney, Newtown. You can grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea to balance its taste.


Matcha Crossaint @ Topimpressionbakery

Top Impression Bakery is located in Wolli Creek, just outside the train station. This new establishment has lots of interesting pastries such as apple and rhubarb danishes or salted caramel croissants. The Matcha Crossaint is the top seller as well as my favourite!! It has a crispy outer and a strong matcha custard. I end up with lots of tissues on the table just to finish one matcha, because of the yummy runny custard.

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Chocolate Truffle @The Choc Pot

Right in the centre of Sydney, a well-deserved queue is common at the Choc Pot. The Secret Garden, rich dark chocolate layers, fluffy white chocolate, crispy goodness on the top, is a taste of heaven. The signature Choc Pot and Mr Souff are rich, chocolaty and moist with salted caramel and ice-cream on the side. You should also get a pot of tea to elevate and balance its sweetness.

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@KOI Dessert Bar

A busy and beautiful alley in Chippendale, next to the Central Park building, called Spice Alley, you can find a modern sculpture-looking and delicious sweet treat for any sweet-lovers at KOI Dessert Bar, owned by Reynold – a very talented dessert lover of Masterchef Australia 2015. You can make a booking with 2 or 3-course desserts or simply grab one of the treats such as vanilla yoghurt pannacotta, nomtella, espresso mousse or coconut mousse.

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Winter is here now, so screen-shot it, save it or share it, so you will not waste time searching for sweet places. Keep yourself warm and indulge in these sugary and rich desserts.


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New-Update For PR (Permanent Resident) Application

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have released the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016-17. This list will be in effect from 1st July 2016.

Two new occupations have been added to the SOL from 1st July 2016, these are:

  •  Orthotist or Prosthetist (ANZSCO 251912)
  • Audiologist (ANZSCO 252711)

A few of occupations have been removed from the SOL list from 1st July 2016, these are:

  • Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO 233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO 233612)
  • Metallurgist (ANZSCO 234912)
  • Environmental Health Officer (ANZSCO 251311)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser (ANZSCO 251312)
  • Dental Hygienist (ANZSCO 411211)
  • Dental Prosthetist (ANZSCO 411212)
  • Dental Technician (ANZSCO 411213)
  • Dental Therapist (ANZSCO 411214).

sol-page-001 sol-page-002 sol-page-003 sol-page-004 sol-page-005 sol-page-006


There are 4777 places for accountants in the 2016-2017 program year, but half of the places will be set for applicants in 2015-2016 and the rest will be for 2016-2017 applications. The situation is also the same with the occupation ceiling of chef’s applications.



For more information about the Occupation List and Ceiling: Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection


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University of Sydney Art School merges with UNSW

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Recent changes have occured for students at the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), University of Sydney’s visual art faculty.

Students taking art courses and degrees at SCA will be transferred to the University of New South Wales, starting first semester of 2017. The consultation and communication process on this agreement is ongoing with SCA Staff.


Undergraduate students at SCA were informed about this change on Tuesday. The students can choose between continuing the degree with SCA until graduation or transfer to a UNSW degree/course (UNSW’s Art & Design school), which will be run by UNSW.

However, for SCA Master’s and PhD students, there has been no confirmation as of yet regarding whether UNSW or SCA will supervise their theses and projects.


If this agreement with UNSW does not proceed, the University is planning to transfer SCA to the main campus under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, according to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tyrone Carlin.



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Simple Steps To Apply For Your Tax Return

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life, Tips & Tricks

30th June and 1st July are coming, it is a splendid time for you to lodge your tax return. But should you lodge your tax return and how do you lodge it? Well, here are some steps to help you lessen the hassle.

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Why do you need to submit your tax?

During the financial year, your casual/part-time/full-time income has been reduced a small amount by tax, depending on your income status. If you do not know whether you should lodge a tax return, check these selection criteria:

For example, you are an international student with a tax file number, working casually at a bar. Before starting the job, you are required to sign a few documents including a tax file paper. So every time you receive a payment transferred to your bank account, there is a section of tax deduction in your pay slips. So at the end of the financial year, you are eligible to proceed with a tax return.

If you earn less than 18,200 AUD dollars a year, and you paid tax during the financial year, you likely to get all of the tax back.

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However, if you are an international student with a tax file number, working part time in a coffee shop, no papers had been signed between both sides, and you receive cash in hand every week for your payment; you are not eligible to lodge a tax return. This is because the tax department does not have any tax record of your income.

So if you earn less than 18,2000 AUD dollars a year, and you have had no tax withheld from your income, you might not be able to lodge your tax return. However, you still need to notify the ATO with the Non-lodgment advice

How do you lodge your tax return?

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a/You need these documents:

Identity documents (passport or birth certificate or citizenship certificate)

Employment and income documents

b/You need myDeductions:

This is the ATO’s app to keep track of your income and expenditure, checking the tax return that you could claim.


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Lodge Online

  1. In order to lodge your tax return, you should have a tax file number with some identity and income documents
  2. Visit ATO.GOV.AU and create myGov account
  3. Sign into myGov and follow the instructions 

If you have any trouble lodging your tax return online, you can make an appointment by calling 13 28 61 for TAX HELP, running across the country from July to October. (However, you should check your income status). If you need help with translation and interpretation, please phone 13 14 50 for further assistance.

The online system, myTax, is available  24 hours and only takes 2 weeks to receive the refund.

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Lodge a paper tax return

  1.  Order a paper tax return through Publication Ordering Service or call 1300 720 092
  2.  Fill in your required information (personal identification and income documents)
  3.  Post to Australian Taxation Office ( GPO Box 9845 IN YOUR CAPITAL CITY)

This method takes 50 business days for the refund.

Lodge with a registered tax agent

You can also lodge your tax return through an agent. You are required to pay an administration fee for application preparation and the lodgement process.

Once you submit your tax, just wait and check your bank account later and then you can indulge yourself (like that dessert you were thinking of getting)

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Youth Leadership Conference 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, News, Student Life

Australia is ranked in the top 10 places for entrepreneurship and opportunities due to a multicultural living environment and the open migration policy of the government.  According to international rankings released last week, Australia is the second best place in the world to be for female entrepreneurs.


More and more young local and international university or high-school students are starting to establish their own start-up business and are taking leadership positions in numerous clubs, societies or non-profit organizations in Australia.

However, many people have given up their dreams and passion for taking a lead because they are struggling to find the right person to ask for help when facing hardships and challenges during their journey.

Especially with international students, some of them have great time-management and problem-solving abilities to help them become amazing and charismatic leaders; but they are lacking confidence and are shy because of their backgrounds; even with “fluent” and “proficient” English speaking capability.  They might miss out on the chance to find themselves and enjoy their time while studying in Australia.


The Youth Leadership Conference 2016 hosted by the City of Sydney and ISLA (International Student Leadership Ambassadors) is a great chance for young leaders within New South Wales to seek professional and mental support,  with millions of dollars worth of advice and unexpected networks.

At the conference, participants have the chance to ask many questions to the panel (such as Nicole Lamb from Owlkeyme, Phil White from Fundamental, Simon Jankelson from The Human Sound Project, Thea Soutar from Youth Food Movement and Pola Fanous from Insert Title or Organization).

There will be a fun dance performance from Owlkeyme and lots of free workshops to enhance your leadership skills.  Participants also receive a great lunch and sweet treats from the City Council.



More information about Youth Leadership Conference 2016:
When: 9:30am registration for 10am start and 5pm close
Lunch will be provided
Cost: Free – bookings essential!


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Makan Makan 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, News, Student Life

All of us, as humans, have certain things about ourselves that differentiate us from others. However, there’s one thing among the countless number that we universally love: food! It’s one of the best ways to celebrate and begin sharing cultures.

I was fortunate enough to experience this at the Makan Makan event held in UTS and organised by MASSA (Malaysian and Singaporean Student Association) of UTS. The name of the event, (Makan Makan) translates to “eat”. Which was basically what the event was. It was a huge crowd of students being spoiled rotten with amazing Malaysian and Singaporean food. It was great to be able to spend time with such a fun and loving community.

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This event was organised and executed by MASSA but members from other universities were present to provide the organisers with moral support. At roughly around 6:30 pm people had started to line up for registration. The crowd had gotten massive; the line only kept extending and it was the longest when people lined up for food.

food by itselfbeautiful piano piece

People began to settle down when it was time for performances which made the night even better. They included entertaining musical performances, musical bands, piano solos and even the demonstration of Silat, which is a Malaysian martial arts style, as well as mini trivia games in between.

badass ladies

smile while gettin food

The Makan Makan event has been running successfully for an incredible 21 years, and the number of students attending increase each time. The main aim was to get students together, celebrate unity, culture and promote diversity.

“The best way to share a culture is through food.” Said Wong Dao Min, the artistic director of MASSA. “Malaysian food has got that spice and texture and I love to share that experience with people and promote diversity. That’s what the event is all about.” Furthermore, he said that the best way to appreciate a culture is when you’re with friends and a community in general to share it with. Being relatively new to his position, he is determined to continue the good work, strengthen bonds and shine the right kind of light on the Malaysian and Singaporean culture.


smile yo

The event did exactly that. I had never tried the Malaysian and Singaporean food, so I had no clue what was being put on my plate. However, every single thing tasted delightful and I started to wonder why I hadn’t tried this cuisine earlier. Overall the event was insightful and enjoyable and everyone had a great time.



I would like to thank everyone at the event which made me feel welcome in their community and for introducing me to the Malaysian and Singaporean culture (and food). The Cultural Director also has a little message for all you readers: “If you are interested in the Malaysian and Singaporean Culture, then come over and join us! We’re always ready for you!”

ladies smile yo


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Changes in Student Visa from 1st July 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced a new change for student visa application, starting from 1st July 2016.

There will be only one student visa when studying in Australia as visa subclass 500 no matter the differences of your study field.

So after 1st July 2016, when you apply for student visa for your Master degree, you will hold student visa subclass 500. If someone was to apply for a Bachelor degree, they will also have the same visa subclass as yours.

Your family members, who may want to join you in Australia during your study period, will also hold the visa subclass 500 after the 1st July 2016.

Students, holding a current visa subclass from 570 to 576, will remain valid and the change will not impact on the conditions and rights of the current visa status.

For more information please check BORDER.GOV.AU or email VOIS for assistance.

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10 short funny English Jokes

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

1/A: Doctor, how can I live longer than 100 years?

Do you smoke?
Do you eat too much?

Do you go to bed late?

Do you have affairs with promiscuous women?

Then why would you want to live more than 100 years?


2/How can I open a Banana

With a Monkey!


3/What’s the best place to hide a body?

Page two of Google!

4/A man noticed his credit card has been stolen  but he never reported it. The thief was still spending less than his wife



Teacher: “Kids, what does the fluffy chicken give you?”

Students: “Eggs!”

Teacher: “Very good! Now what does the pink pig give you?”

Students: “Bacon!”

Teacher: “Great! And what does the fat cow give you?”

Students: “Homework!”


6/When your mom sits on an iPhone it becomes an Ipad

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7/What does ‘IDK’ means?

I don’t know

OMG, no one knows!

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8/Don’t break anybody’s ear, they only have one.

Break their bones, they have 206

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9/”One day our country will be corruption free”. Which tense we should use in English?


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10/Waiter: Would you like your coffee black?
Customer: What other colors do you have?

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10 things that happen when you eat only halal food

Written by Editor’s Picks, Health

Halal food is becoming increasingly common in Australia due to multiculturalism. However, it isn’t readily available in every single place you set your eyes on. And when that is the deal, it’s quite challenging for us Muslims in many aspects. So come and look at the world through our eyes as we explain to you 10 things that most likely happen in daily life if you eat only halal food.

A working definition of Halal: Food prepared according to rules prescribed by Muslim Law. Alcohol and pork are forbidden as well.

1)You cant go clubbing. Clubbing means alcohol and alcohol is a no no.


2) You always have to make sure there are vegetarian options when you go outside with friends: sometimes a trip to mcdonalds results in your friends gulping down meat burgers while you have a lil pack of chips.

vege awks

3) The halal symbol on restaurant menus is the absolute definition of happiness. Especially when it’s in places you wouldn’t expect.

tears of joy

4) You cannot have those sophisticated dishes with wine in them. Wine is also a no no.


5) When you go to an event that has free catering  your favorite dishes. But…they aren’t Halal. So while internally crying, you have the vegetable pizza instead of the chicken supreme.


6) Halal convenience foods are fairly uncommon, so you have to make your meat dishes from scratch (fresh from the butcher’s). We also don’t have the luxury of buying 2-dollar-ready-made-chicken-alfredo-pasta-that-only-needs-microwaving from woollies.


7) Halal food can be pretty expensive so really contemplate whether you value protein in your diet or your already thinning wallet. (Always pick protein in your diet)


8) Sometimes going out with friends means you don’t have much choice apart from vegetables, and vegetables aren’t enough for your growing, omnivorous body.

kitty kat and vegetables

9) You want dessert, but you have no idea if there’s alcohol in it. And you silently watch and drool over your friends who are enjoying themselves with their yummy, delectable, decadent desserts.


10) When you’re ready to eat your candy and someone hits you with “There’s gelatin in it” and you just

Wit all that being said, here is a list of restaurants around the CBD area where you can enjoy yourself a bit of halal food.

  1. Its Time for Thai
  2. Mamak
  3. PappaRich
  4. Jaipur Sweets
  5. Kungfu Ramen
  6. Ipoh on York
  7. Neptune Palace Restaurant
  8. Malay Village
  9. Malacca Strait


Sure, we not be able to enjoy the restaurants as much as our non Muslim friends friends, but at the end of the day, if the company is good, we enjoy ourselves either-way. And it wouldn’t hurt to stop by a halal food restaurant on the way back either 😉

By Sumaiyah Tasneem and Nurafiqah Yosuf.

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What is Sydney Malaysian Games 2016?

The Sydney Malaysian Games (indoor segment) this year which took place on Saturday 16th of April from 9 am to 3 pm. Many Malaysian societies from various universities were in attendance such as USYD, UTS, UNSW, Macquarie and Wollongong. I have never been to sports event before so, to be completely honest, I was nervous but excited to see what was in store.


When I arrived at 7:30 am, participants were already registering and warming up for Badminton and Volleyball which started at 9:30 am until 12:30 pm. From 1:30 pm onward until 3 pm, the Basketball and Captain Ball games began. There was an intense competitiveness yet a strong sense of sportsmanship between the players. Apart from enjoying the event, I got a chance to talk to the presidents of the groups who told me all about how the event was organised and what they hoped to achieve through the efforts of their teams.

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In order to co-ordinate such events, the presidents collaborate with each other and their sponsor, the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MSA CA). It is a group effort made by Malaysian students for Malaysian students. The annual event has already been conducted for approximately 7 years. In the past years, more and more students (from both Malaysian and other backgrounds) have joined leading to bigger teams and bigger groups. It evidently shows that the student community is strengthening through such events.

I also wanted to find out how the experience went for the participants and was able to interview Nurafiqah Yusof. She had participated in Badminton earlier in the day and this is what she had to say:

Have you played in events like these before?

“This was my first time attending such an event. Last year I hadn’t been involved in anything to do with Malaysian students. At the beginning of the event, i was sort of pumped up and nervous at the same time because I would be playing against or with people I had never met before. Basically playing with strangers. But as the event progressed, I felt much more comfortable with my teammates and it was refreshing to play with “strangers”.


Nurafiqah Yusof (centre)

I had only ever played the sports in high school on the school teams but it was different this time around because I was representing a Malaysian student organisation. Everybody at the event were friendly off the court but on the court, they meant business. It was great to see such talent in the respective sports though it did make me nervous because I had to play against them.


What did you think about the event made for Malaysians by Malaysians? 

I felt proud that they were Malaysians and they were representing our country so well in terms of their sporting abilities and their intelligence. It was a harmonious event with Malaysians from different schools competing against each other. It was the first time I had seen a large congregation of Malaysian students and it definitely made me feel like I was home. The best thing about the event was probably the fact that it brought together all these Malaysians from different unis and studying different things under one roof and “uniting” to represent their institutions.


What was the best thing about the day? 

The best thing about the day was that I got to play badminton. Though it wasn’t my best performance, I still enjoyed every moment of it because I was with my friends and it helped me release some stress. Because this is an annual thing (I believe), I would most certainly attend if again next year if I have the time and I can participate. If not, I will just settle for spectating and/or volunteering.” 

DSC_0953 (1)Sydney Malaysian Games

Clearly, I’m not the only one who enjoyed the event. Even though I was anxious at the start, I realized that I didn’t need to be. The environment was casual and comfortable, everyone was willing to get to know me and involve me in the fun. Cheering along with the audience and simply being part of the lively spirit made sport even more enjoyable than I had expected.

Thank you to the presidents of the group and everyone who had given me a warm welcome – audience and participants alike. If you are a fan of sport and would love to compete and be a part of a community, then do consider joining this event next year through your university group!

Photo credits: Sumaiyah Tasneem

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