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Best places to study at UniMelb

So you’ve finally decided to sit down and polish off those last couple hundred words of that essay you put off. Maybe you are cramming for that Mid-Semester Test tomorrow. Whatever it is that you need to do, make sure you use one of the better study spaces at UniMelb.

Top Levels Arts West

Being one of the newest buildings at UniMelb, Arts West boasts some quality architecture and tucked away study nooks suited to any study need. The top floor boasts some of the best views of Melbourne and it has a variety of spaces to study, with large collaborative and smaller single person tables. An added bonus is that you can head straight from class in Arts West to your favorite study spot.

MSD Building

It’s no wonder that this building is visually stunning. The design building boasts a large central open-plan space with desks and computers to study at. It is located opposite from Castro’s cafe, so it is ideal for when you get the mid-study munchies. Make sure you get in quick because the MSD fills up early.

Baillieu Library

What is more characteristic of a UniMelb Student than sitting until closing time in the Baillieu grinding out those last few paragraphs. For Arts students, the library is second to none and you can often get lost in the stacks of books. There is ample amount of study space and the library is located centrally on campus and is next to South Lawn.

UniMelb JD entrance requirements

The Law Entrance Exam (LSAT) is one of the hardest exams for entry into a post-graduate degree at Melbourne University.

It can be pretty hard to find any official requirements to gain access to the UniMelb Juris Doctor Course. After trawling through hundreds of posts on forums and talking to friends who have been admitted I can give you and idea on what score to aim for to get into the JD.

The Entry Requirements Change

Something to be aware of is that the entrance requirements change depending on the cohort applying. One year the minimum considered entrance might be an LSAT score in the top 25th percentile and the next year a score in the top 20th percentile, and the same applies for Weighted Average Marks (WAM)

LSAT Scores

There are three main types of entry into the UniMelb JD program. These are Full Fee Place, Bursary and Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). As you would expect, you need a higher LSAT score to be considered for a position where you are financially supported.

On their website, UniMelb advise that a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of over 80 (H1) will mean applicants ‘have a very strong chance of being admitted’, and that a WAM over 70 (H2A) will mean applicants will be ‘competitive in the JD selection process’. They also advise that applicants with a WAM under 70 may be competitive if they have been affected by other circumstances or score very well on their LSAT.

I see entrance into the JD program as a sliding scale. The lower your WAM gets, the higher your LSAT score needs to be to compensate. On their same website, UniMelb advises that applicants aim for a score in the top 25th percentile. This translates to roughly an LSAT score of 158-159, however this can change depending on the year.

As far as I can tell, a score in the LSAT over 165 and a half decent WAM will put you in a pretty good place to get a CSP. Similarly, an LSAT score over 160 will put you in a good place to be offered a bursary as long as your WAM is more towards 80 rather than 70. In some cases, and depending on the year this may even put you in place to be offered a CSP.

It seems to be as long as your WAM is over 70 and you score 160+ on the LSAT that you put yourself in an ideal position to be offered a full fee place and depending on the year even a bursary or a CSP.

Famine: The Geography of Scarcity Subject Review

UniMelb’s Famine: The Geography of Scarcity is a fantastic subject for those interested in a Geography major either through the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. It explores the driving factors behind famine through a variety of lenses.

How it is run

The subject itself is run with two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial. The tutorial is the only compulsory part of the subject. You should aim to attend the lectures, but the information is available through Canvas if you were to miss a class.

The assessment

The subject has two mapping tasks for you to complete, these are relatively easy and you can easily get H1’s in both. It is more of a checklist assessment than a subjective one.

There is a major essay, that in all honesty, can be quite challenging in first year university. It is a research essay that sees many struggle to find accurate and reliable sources.

The exam is multiple choice and is run in an online format. It is 25 questions over around 75 minutes – however this can vary year to year.


Try and get along to all of the lectures. In my opinion, this is a unique subject, in that every lecture covers off on a different area, completely different from the one before.

When studying, I felt as though it was better to absorb as much of the concepts in the lectures rather than take detailed notes, as many of the concepts require a macro view.

To get a H1, especially if you are unfamiliar with research essays, I would advise being extremely precise with maps, as these can easily bring your marks up as they are both worth a combined total of 30%. After you understand the concepts, I recommend going back through the course and taking tailored notes for the exam, focusing on any areas of weakness. If you have taken tailored notes and have understood the concepts of the course well, then the multiple choice online exam shouldn’t pose too many difficulties.

For the essay, if you haven’t already, get someone to show you how to use the library tool properly. It can be a lifesaver. If you are stuck for resources, go to the bottom of the provided research article and use the cited sources there as a starting point for further research.

Adelaide Hills Distillery 78 Degrees Sunset Gin

78 Degrees Sunset Gin Review

Score: 7/10

Price: Approx. $80 AUD

Adelaide Hills Distillery 78 Degrees Sunset Gin
Copyright: Adelaide Hills Distillery

Adelaide Hills Distillery has burst onto the mainstream stage recently with its 78 Degrees Sunset Gin.

Its 78 Degrees Sunset Gin won Bronze at the 2019 World Gin Awards.

“Summer flowers, roses and red fruits, hints of grapefruit, hibiscus that continue onto finish with anise, liquorice. Interesting.”

World Gin Awards 2019

Much like its name, this Gin is an ode to summer nights watching the last rays of sun disappear over the horizon.

The Gin also triggers memories of relaxing in the warm summer air on a far-away beach listening to the sounds of laughter echo on the wind.

It is safe to say that this Gin is a summer Gin and not as suited to a cold night snuggled up next to the fireplace. Yet, it is still a decent gin for all occasions and is very easy to drink regardless.


From the outset this gin offers a fruity flavour. For me, the dominant tastes are of red berries. Distinctly, I can taste hints of Strawberry and Watermelon.

This Gin leaves a sweet aftertaste.

How to Serve

I would serve this Gin in regular G&T and with garnishes of Strawberry and Mint.

I recommend drinking this with a Plain Tonic Water, so as to avoid mixing flavours and taking away from the fruitiness of the Gin.

My go-to tonic for this would be the Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water as it conveys the flavours well.

The Score

78 Degrees Sunset Gin scored a 7/10 for me.

I personally am not a fan of sweeter Gins, however I can imagine myself drinking this Gin on a beach in summer.

Nonetheless, it is a refreshing gin with well crafted flavours that is sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially for those with a sweet tooth.

The Still
Copyright: Adelaide Hills Distillery

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As always thankyou for taking the time to read my 78 Degrees Sunset Gin Review.

What review would like to see next?

Read my recent review of Australian Gin Botanic Australis Navy Strength, and standout Gin; Tanqueray Malacca.

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Tanqueray Malacca Gin

Tanqueray Malacca Gin Review

Score: 9/10

Price: Approx. $80 AUD

Tanqueray Malacca Gin
Copyright: Dan Murphy’s

Tanqueray is well known for producing some of the best Gins in the world.

It has been producing Gin for around 200 years and is best known for its London Dry Gin. Tanqueray’s London Dry Gin won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards in 2015.

Tanqueray Malacca doesn’t disappoint either.

It sits at 41.3% ABV and has a distinctive mix of Rose, Peppercorn and Clove.

It is named after the Straits of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow shipping channel that sits between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. Tanqueray Malacca is an ode to long nights spent on Malaysian beaches.

For those who have travelled to these beautiful corners of the world, Tanqueray Malacca offers a beautiful sentiment to distinctive flavours of the region.


From the outset, Tanqueray Malacca impresses. It’s softened Juniper flavour gives way to delicate forms of rose and the aftertaste leaves the peppercorn as a signature touch.

Tanqueray Malacca can be considered a sweetened and more aromatic version of the famous Tanqueray London Dry Gin.

How to serve

This gin is best served with a slice of Lime. I recommend enjoying it with a plain tonic as an aromatic or infused tonic will take away from the delicate flavours already in the Malacca Gin.

This being said I personally recommend either the Schweppes Signature Series Mixers Bright Tonic or the Fever Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water.

Premium Indian Tonic Water
Copyright: Fever Tree

The Score

Tanqueray Malacca is an easy Gin to drink and pairs perfectly with many meals. Its unique blend of botanicals and its delicate tastes is refined for a more mature palate.

It is a Gin the deserves to be appreciated. For this reason, it scores a 9/10 from me and is a staple of my Gin collection.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Tanqueray Malacca Gin Review.

We would love to see you subscribe to the email list so that you don’t miss any more content like this.

What review would you like to see next?

Read my recent review of Australian Gin Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin!

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A unique history of Navy Strength Gin

Gin exists as a favourite drink for many Australians. But, do you know the true and unique history of Navy Strength Gin?

“The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire”

Winston Churchill
Barrel-Aged Gins To Try Even Though They Don't Exist | Wine Enthusiast
Copyright: Winemag

Gin is a versatile drink that can be just as easily enjoyed on a beach with your closest mates spinning tales of past adventures and on a night out to your favourite bar and club. Yet, many do not know the history of this gin that is making a modern resurgence. That gin is the infamous Navy Strength Gin, and, if you take a closer look you may notice the alcohol content…

Navy Strength is a mighty 57% ABV

It is a well known fact that alcohols such as Vodka and regular strength Gin are hard hitting at 40% ABV. Navy Strength, by definition must be at least 57.15%.

Gin and the Royal British Navy

HMS Victory work starts to prevent warship's collapse - BBC News
Copyright: BBC

The popularity of Gin is in large part due to its dispersion and integration into foreign cultures at the hands of the Royal British Navy.

Enlisted soldiers drank rum, and Naval officers drank gin.

And this 57% ABV is due to a more obvious reason than you may initially suspect.

In the times when Gin and Rum were consumed on-board naval vessels, it was stored in barrels below decks alongside gunpowder. Had the barrels been broken during battle or started leaking due to the wears of time, naval officers had to know that the gunpowder was still usable.

Gin that was over 57.15% ABV allowed Gin contaminated gunpowder to still be lit and used effectively.

What is proof?

In the U.K. and its various colonies, ‘proof’ is a direct throwback to the ability for Gin not to render gunpowder unusable.

Therefore, at 57.15% Navy Strength Gin is 100 proof whereas a spirit like Vodka would only be 70 proof.

How do I drink Navy Strength Gin?

Remember that all Gins taste different! And, that alcohol content changes the flavour of Gin. Navy Strength Gin goes perfectly in a G&T and I personally prefer it over normal strength Gin in a G&T. I find that the flavours are more unique and enhanced and I like the extra kick that it seems to provide. This being said, do not forget that Navy Strength sits at a formidable 57% ABV.

Stay safe and enjoy responsibly!

Thankyou for reading about the unique history of Navy Strength Gin!

Read more about Navy Strength Gin in my recent review of Botanic Australia Navy Strength Gin!

Copyright: Mt. Uncle Distillery

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Interview with New Zealand musician RIIKI

Copyright: RIIKI

Hello! What’s your name? Introduce yourself!

RIIKI: Helloooo derrr I am RIIKI, I’m a New Zealand gal and I’m 20 years old.

The pandemic has been pretty crazy? Where are you now and what have you been up to lately?

RIIKI: I am currently in my hometown in Wellington, New Zealand with my family.

It’s been such a mental time the past couple of months, but feeling super grateful that NZ is back in level 1 now with very little cases. So I’ve been catching up on life with pals, getting back into music routine and keeping myself busy with hopeful future plans now that I can!

How has the pandemic shifted your creative process? Have you been writing differently lately? Communicating with your collaborators and fans in any new ways?

RIIKI: It definitely messed with my mindset for a lil bit! Just very new ways of living/thinking/dealing with things. At first I was super excited to have lots of time to write, and I did for the first week solidly, but then I had a patch of feeling pretty unmotivated and uninspired due to circumstances. It totally challenged me, but I’m super grateful for it because it has forced me to think and create in different ways I didn’t realise I was capable of. For example, connecting with others and creating completely online. I’d planned to make this the year for playing live shows, but it was super cool to connect with people all around the world through live streaming, I did a couple of those.

Your latest release Share Your Luv is incredible! Tell me more about it!

What inspired you to write it, what’s the overall backstory?

“I would love to see people cross boundaries and make whatever music they want to without thinking if it sits in one playlist or the other.”


RIIKI: Tis very kind of ya, thank you! Basically ‘Share Your Luv’ is about sitting on the receiving end of a friendship/relationship where the other person unexpectedly turns their back on you. I’ve stumbled across a couple of experiences with this which has caused a bit of heartache. You’re shown a side you didn’t really know existed and it hurts because you loved that person and it may suck for a while, but the track is also a celebration of realising that you’ll get by without them. The narrative seems like something a lot of people have gone through. I’m usually the person helping others in this situation, but experiencing it first hand just makes it so real and fully understandable. I want others to know that if you’ve been through something like this too, you’ll come out on the other side stronger.

What/who are your greatest musical influences?

RIIKI: I have a list that is waaaay to big holey cows – Beyonce will always be a childhood fav, same with Jeff Buckley, James Blake and Radiohead. Currently listening to a lot of Steve Lacy, Toro y Moi, Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, The Japanese House, The 1975, DIIV, Tom Misch, The Booyah! Kids… If I keep going I’ll have a list of 2000 artists.

So much is changing lately! What do you miss most? Do you have any favorite live shows from the past?

RIIKI: I reallllly miss being around people all day while working! And meeting new people face to face! I performed in a lil gig in LA back in Feb which was pretty magical. 121 Festival was a new festival which debuted a week before lockdown, so playing that and being there before the craziness, I will always remember it.

What would you like to see change about the music industry?

RIIKI: I would love to see people cross boundaries and make whatever music they want to without thinking if it sits in one playlist or the other. Crossing genres is becoming more common nowadays, which is so sick. I would love to see more females owning itttt behind production and the mixing desk – there is such high demand for it and I too am trying to better myself at these things!

What is your advice to aspiring creatives?

RIIKI: Focus on having bundles of fun! Take in the joys of everything!

Remember why it is you wanted to do what you are doing, you should get a credible amount of satisfaction, release and happiness and by doing this you’re set up for achieving to crazy high heights. 🙂 How exciting!

Any other fun stories or things you’d like to talk about? Surely, there’s a funny story that the world must know.

RIIKI: I was in a hotel last week and somehow accidentally ordered a ham and cheese toasted sandwich which got delivered to my door at 3am and woke me up…

very random and weird and probably not that funny lol.

What’s the creative industry like in New Zealand? Any concert venues, record stores or restaurants I should check out when I visit?

RIIKI: New Zealand has the most vibrant creative culture! Where I live here is known as the creative capital of NZ, so there is always lots of colour and extravagant events tucked around the city. It inspires me a lot! If you were to come to my hometown in Wellington, you’d have to check a gig at the venue San Fran on Cuba Street, pop into Slowboat records and eat as much as you can at the restaurant ‘Chow’, so yommmm.

See Nicholes’ most interview with Pollyman!

Check out RIIKI’s Facebook page for more!

Nichole Heller


Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin Review

Mt Uncle Distillery Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin

Score: 8.5/10

Price: Approx. $100 AUD

This native botanical gin packs a punch at 57% ABV. It is an Australian gin that contains native botanicals. The driving flavour is citrus and Eucalyptus that is complemented by a lingering note of ginger that sits on the tongue.

This gin is perfect for an afternoon at the beach or to relax in front of your favourite movie or even by the fire after a long days work. Despite Botanic Australis Navy Strength being a relatively expensive gin at around $100 a bottle it is a must have for any gin-lovers collection.

I recommend pairing this gin with Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water as this enhances the flavours of this gin.

The gin has 14 Native Botanicals

  1. Juniper
  2. Peppermint Gum
  3. Anise Myrtle
  4. Wattle Seed
  5. Cinnamon Myrtle
  6. Pepper Berry
  7. Lemon Myrtle
  8. Lilly Pilly
  9. Lemon Scented Gum
  10. Olida
  11. Finger Lime
  12. Native Gum
  13. River Mint
  14. Bunya Nut

An interview with Pollyman

Pollyman | triple j Unearthed
Copyright: Triple J Unearthed

There are a few ways that you can spot an old soul. George Carroll Wilson is certainly one. His taste in classic rock and charming personality are just a few of the things that prove this guy has something special. George is the frontman of Pollyman, a Melbourne based rock band. Sweet tunes like “Quokka” and “Japanese Rock and Roll” are just two of the many rockin’ songs off their latest release. The trio originated in Victoria a year ago and came out with their debut album, the self-titled Pollyman. George sings and plays all instruments on the record, but he is skillfully accompanied by brother Fenn Wilson on drums and Alister Hull on Bass, who perform with him live. Inspired by glam rock and music from the late 1960s and early 1970s, you are guaranteed to blast these blokes’ jams in the car or headphones anytime. 

Melbourne is where George and Fenn were born, but the pair were raised in the small beach town of Clifton Springs. Their next stop would be back to their native Melbourne, arguably the best city in Australia. Alister Hull (pretty cool name I must mention, might become a future tattoo) is from Bourke in New South Wales. Alister met George when George was on the road with his mum’s band at age nine. 

Although Pollyman have been making a name for themselves in Melbourne’s various pubs and clubs, this is not George’s first band. In year 7, he formed the Tiny Giants with a couple of coastal pals named Jasper and Etienne, at first playing rock covers of bands like Jet before writing and performing original psychedelic rock and pop. They were active from 2011 until 2018, and it was around 2015 that George started writing and performing his own songs solo. After a brief band experiment in 2016, George’s last year of high school, he remained solo until late 2017, when his brother Fenn joined him on drums. About a year later, after many gigs and the recording of George’s debut album, George and Alister reconnected at a show in Melbourne, and Alister was quickly made the new bassist of Pollyman.

When asked, how does it feel to have Pollyman’s debut album out? George replied, “it felt great. I recorded the album when the band was still only me and my brother…I’d been recording demos the whole time.” George recorded four tracks on tape machines in rounds of two weeks at a time. Yes, tape. It’s making a comeback in Melbourne’s music scene. George is particularly a fan since it “has a warmth and unique clarity.”

Fret about it as much as you like but at the end of the day if you think it’s good and honest, then that’s good enough.

George’s advice to new artists and songwriters is pretty straightforward. He suggests that you can “fret about it as much as you like but at the end of the day if you think it’s good and honest, then that’s good enough. Don’t worry about doing things to please people. Be yourself when you’re performing and writing. Just keep trying and it will all be okay.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. 

The old soul also released some pretty groovy music videos for the songs “Japanese Rock and Roll” and “Inhibitions” with his co-director Willem Kingma. Channeling Bowie and Jagger, “Japanese Rock and Roll” looks like an ode to glam rock and the Japanese flag. Something you wish you saw on Top of the Pops in England on the telly. “Inhibitions” looks like Wes Anderson finally started to listen to cool music and made a video for it. Filmed at significant locations to the artist’s past, this video is a great way to take a flashback into the band’s memories. 

Keep a lookout for their new single called “Dyin’ Alone,” a funky political song on Bonsai Records which will be out sometime in the near future. 

For fans of  Blur, Teenage Fanclub, Jeff Buckley, Small Faces, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Big Star, Raspberries and Cheap Trick: check out Pollyman on all streaming platforms now!

By Nichole Heller

An Interview with Essie Holt

August 3, 2020

Copyright: Anna Hay

1. Hello! What’s your name? Introduce yourself!

                        Hey! I’m Essie Holt and I make indie-pop music. I’m currently living in Syd, but originally from Melbs. 

2. The pandemic has been pretty crazy? Where are you now and what have you been up to lately?

I’ve been isolating in my Sydney home with my girlfriend and housemate. We made a little studio in the attic so I’ve been spending a lot of time up there writing some new music

3. How has the pandemic shifted your creative process? Have you been writing differently lately? Communicating with your collaborators and fans in any new ways?

I think it took me a while to start to be creative again. Covid hit just as I put my EP out, and I needed a little writing break during this time. But now I’m back and loving playing around with production myself. I think I’m writing my best work right now

4. Your latest release Silent Wars is incredible! The EP was released in April. Tell me more about it! What inspired you to title the EP and the opening song, what’s the overall backstory?

Oh thank you. I wrote the EP last year and it was a huge year for me – I came out, ended a long term relationship, moved to Sydney. Gained a lot of friends, lost a lot of friends. It was a pretty crazy time and the EP goes into all of it. 

5. The style and sounds created in your music is super refreshing and peaceful. My favorites on the EP are “Lover X Liar” and “When We Dream.” What/who are your greatest musical influences? 

I love that you love those songs, as they’re my current faves too! Right now I’m listening to a lot of Sylvan Esso, Chairlift, Caroline Polachek. But growing up I loved Missy Higgins SO much. And Megan Washington has also been huge for me over the last decade or so. 

6. So much is changing lately! What do you miss most? Do you have any favorite live shows from the past?I was just starting to get to play my first festivals towards the end of last year, which was so fun. I’m super keen to tour my EP also – hopefully towards the end of the year! I’ve seen so many amazing live shows over the last few years, but Feist was a huge highlight!

7. What would you like to see change about the music industry?I think just a little more education around how things work. As artists we’re super creative and sometimes it’s tricky to get a grasp on the business side of things, especially when you’re starting out and don’t have a huge team behind you. But there’s so many amazing people out there who are just a coffee away when there’s grey areas.

8. What is your advice to aspiring creatives? What do you wish you would’ve known during the creation of the last EP?I think just do things at your own pace, money wise. It’s easy to spend a tonne of money on music, but at the end of the day if you’re writing good music and finding a way to connect organically with an audience, that’s gonna make the biggest impact. 

9. Any other fun stories or things you’d like to talk about? Surely, there’s a funny story that the world must know.Ok so I’ve recently moved house, and there’s this HUGE dog that lives on my street. I’m talking massive, like the biggest dog I’ve ever seen kinda vibe. Anyway, the other day I was sitting at a cafe and this dog literally STEPPED on a chihuahua. It held it under its paw for a few seconds and then walked off. The chihuahua was fine, but my god I’ve never seen a dog this big in my life. The whole street talks about it! 

Check out Essie’s latest release with HANDSOME, “The Walker” here:

Read more from Nichole Heller!

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