Amy Fallon

I am a widely-published journalist, communications and media specialist who has worked around the world for a plethora of leading media outlets and organisations. Please scroll down to see my work. I have covered a broad range of topics but I am most interested in social justice, human rights and international development. I have worked as a staff reporter in Australia, from the newsrooms of most of the UK national papers, for magazines, done consulting for NGOs, and more. I am nearing the end of a master's degree in human rights. 

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Citizens win case for safe childbirth

Before her daughter-in-law bled to death after refusing to bribe a government hospital nurse for a safe childbirth, Ugandan Rhoda Kukiriza had never set foot in a court. She had never spoken to a lawyer. She had never been involved in a legal case. Today, the 70-year-old farmer and grandmother is feted in her village as a “victor and a celebrity” after her role in a historic legal triumph for her country and Africa in which she and other citizens stood up to the government in a bid to make the

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Soap opera could be unlikely form of birth control in Uganda

Uganda has one of the highest birth rates in the world. It also has some of the most dedicated soap opera watchers anywhere in Africa. Now a group of enterprising Ugandans is aiming to tackle the former through the medium of the latter. Soap operas are expensive to make, however, so they plan instead to “hack” a Venezuelan import, recutting the existing series and overdubbing it with Ugandan actors. Using content originally from Nacer Contigo (Reborn), the new show has been rescripted and turn

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Chanting helps many of us to reduce stress and anxiety but can science explain why?

The first time Gemma Perry tried chanting, she had no idea what to expect. "I was at a yoga studio and everyone was chanting a particular phrase 108 times and I didn't know what was going on," she says. But Perry, who was suffering from severe depression, says she found chanting to be so therapeutic she tried it again the following week. A decade on, she's undertaking a PhD to try to uncover if science can explain it. Despite having been practised for thousands of years by almost every cultu

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Tech team delivers vital information to people in developing countries, remote areas through cellphone games | News

When Louis Dorval went to Ghana in 2005 as a volunteer, the country was in the midst of a cellphone boom. Only one in 10 residents of the west African nation were mobile subscribers, but that was steadily climbing to the two-thirds it's at today, according to a report by data and analysis firm GSMA Intelligence. This piqued the curiosity of Dorval, a 37-year-old who grew up in Montreal and by the time he started at McGill Unversity in 2000 had bought his first cellphone, a Nokia dumb phone. "

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Beyond Byron Bay: a local's guide to the NSW northern rivers' lesser-known towns

When you think of the northern rivers, you probably think of Byron Bay. Yes, the town has surfing, whale watching and even now a Hemsworth among its attractions. But the others towns in the region, even the small ones, have all of Byron’s charm – with less traffic. From spirits (the drinking kind) and spirituality, crystals and candles to wilderness areas, beautiful beaches and one of the country’s favourite museums, there’s something for all, whether you’re day-trippers from Queensland, weeken

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This School in Uganda Might Be Teaching the Next Greta Thunberg

Under an acacia tree, a group of schoolchildren listens to a teacher. They have been brought here, away from the classroom, and with the stunning Rwenzori Mountains in the background, in hopes that an open learning environment will be conducive to open-mindedness. This is just one aspect of learning offered at the Kasese Humanist School. Kids are taught science and critical thinking and are introduced to concepts and ideas that aren’t part of the usual curriculum. And this game-changing school,

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Teaching Sex Ed Via Cellphone

Three months ago, Edris Senfuka, 27, a farmer and property broker from Mukono, Uganda, received a curious text on his cellphone: an invitation to play an educational game for free. It piqued his curiosity. “I had not seen anything else like it,” he says. The game, based around financial literacy, had Senfuka listen to a story and make decisions by pushing his phone’s buttons. Each choice led to a different outcome — much like the choose-your-own-adventure books popular in the 1980s. Today, the

Around the world, activists are campaigning for menstrual dignity

Around the world, there is a growing call to ensure that all women and girls can menstruate with dignity. After Gemma Abbott began volunteering with The Red Box Project, a community initiative that distributes free menstrual products and underwear to young women in the UK, she was shocked by some of the stories she heard. “I vividly remember one woman who approached me at an awareness-raising stall in a supermarket, to tell me that she had grown up without sufficient menstrual protection,” rec

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What's behind the rise in defensive design?

People in central London sit on one of a number of ‘Camden Benches’ dotted around the city. It is what artist Stuart Semple calls a “textbook example” of “hostile design”. When US$20,000 worth of studs were installed on the surface of a fountain in a downtown Toronto park in 2017, the upset felt by some locals was tempered by a general acceptance that the measure – designed to prevent damage caused by skateboarders – was necessary. The studs weren’t overtly antagonistic – at least not compared

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Weird Laundromats Around the World

“I like my money right where I can see it … Hanging in my closet,” reads the quote from Carrie in writing on top of the dryers at this Sex and the City themed self-service laundry in Melbourne’s hipster suburb of Brunswick. But with the walls of this wash house covered with images of the New York City skyline and cosmopolitans, we’re sure the TV heroine would agree that clothes need to be taken out on the town now and again, if only for a quick spin.

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#KeepItOn campaign’s ‘shutdown stories’ offer a lesson in listening, adapting and participation

When the #KeepItOn campaign team received a photo of a dirt track from a citizen affected by an internet shutdown, they were puzzled. “We were saying ‘why (did) this person send us this photo? It doesn’t make any sense’,” says Melody Patry, advocacy director at Access Now, the digital rights nonprofit that has convened the campaign with 141 organizations from 59 countries. It eventually emerged that the sender had no internet where they were, forcing them to trek on foot and then get the bus t

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When people power meets litigation: A history-making success story in Sierra Leone

It was a people-powered case that led to a landmark decision. In November 2018, a court ruled that SIVA Group, a billion dollar conglomerate headquartered in Singapore, must return 41,500 hectares (103,000 acres) to villagers in the Port Loko district in Sierra Leone’s north and pay a fine of US $250,000. SIVA had vowed when it leased the land in 2011 to create 8,000 jobs for the community and put local children in school. However, it failed to pay residents rent for three years, the country’s

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What it's really like inside a Hare Krishna camp

There's more to this Northern NSW farm than meets the eye. Here's what really goes on at a Hare Krishna retreat, tells Amy Fallon. “I might move here,” a woman I’ve just met in the communal bathroom says to me. “I’m sick of the real world. I’ve been doing it for 40 years. It’s not going anywhere.” Gazing out at the “unreal” world, if you like, the lush green hills in a tiny part of Northern NSW that belong to New Govardhana, a thriving Hare Krishna community boasting scrumptious vegetarian foo

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In Nairobi, a landmark push for a global blue economy

TORONTO — Some 4,000 people are set to gather in Nairobi this week for the first global conference to focus solely on the sustainable blue economy. Hosted by Kenya, with Canada and Japan as co-hosts, the event will be the first to focus on how to channel global water resources in sustainable ways to enhance development. Described as a “bold initiative” by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference is expected to draw participants from some 180 countries, as well a

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How a running tour of a township in Cape Town showed me another side of South Africa

“The only stories that you hear about our hood are negative, but we have so many positive stories,” says our guide Vincent Ntunja, as we begin our 10km run on a Saturday morning just outside Mzoli’s, a restaurant famous across South Africa for its barbecued meat. The Gugulethu township may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of doing a running tour of South Africa. And Ntunja himself prefers shooting hoops to pounding the pavements, if it comes down to it. But five years

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