Tag Archives: Vol. 7

Eliminating Disease 隔绝疾病

Professor Scott O’Neill
Founder & Head of the Eliminate Dengue Program

In the drier and temperate regions of Australia, many people may not regard mosquito-borne diseases as a serious issue, but they are a silent and prevalent killer for those who are closer to the equator.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked dengue fever as the most critical mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and the most rapidly spreading – with a 30-fold increase in global incidence over the past 50 years. Each year an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur around the world. Of these, 500,000 develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever, a more severe form of the disease, and dengue results in up to 25,000 deaths annually worldwide.

The statistics are alarming with over 2.5 billion people (more than 30% of the world’s population in over 100 countries at risk of infection). The most significant recent epidemics have occurred in South-east Asia, the Americas and the Western Pacific.

Deadly Dengue And More
For years, countries and governments have attempted to mitigate against the disease as well as more recent mosquito-borne disease threats such as Chikungunya and Zika. These measures have been largely ineffective. The Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP), a not-for-profit international collaboration led from Monash University in Australia – part of the Institute of Vector-Borne Disease – has an innovative solution to the transmission of such diseases.

The programme is headed by scientist, Professor Scott O’Neill and brings together scientific collaborators from around the world with a range of skills and experience including Wolbachia mosquito biology and ecology, dengue epidemiology and control, and public health education and promotion.

“In each country we work in, we partner with local people – local research institutes, governments, regulatory authorities, private enterprise and community members,” explains O’Neill, a biologist, who started this research more than 20 years ago.

What propelled O’Neill’s interest in the field study was to create a project and movement for a social purpose, instead of solely for scientific experimentation. After working in this field in Australia and the USA for several years, O’Neill’s team had a breakthrough with the Wolbachia innovation. The scientific team managed to transfer Wolbachia (commonly found in many insects such as the fruit fly) into the Aedes Agypti mosquito after more than 10 years.

Wolbachia is safe for humans, animals and the environment. It is found in many insects associated with human food and is widely consumed by humans; and it does not infect humans or other vertebrates. What the Eliminate Dengue Program innovation has done, is enable the Aedes agypti mosquito to block the transmission of disease. The EDP method uses Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria, to reduce mosquito’s ability to transmit harmful human viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. (Wolbachia has also been known to block the transmission of Yellow Fever and West Nile viruses.)

Expansion to Eliminate
Now, the EDP project has shown that its method of dengue control is feasible, thanks to initial field trials which have shown that the Wolbachia continues to block disease transmission. So far, the disease has been blocked for up to five years in communities where Wolbachia mosquitoes have been released. The team expects this to continue on an ongoing basis. Mathematical modelling by independent experts shows that the disease will continue to be blocked for 30 years.

“We are now further developing the method for low-cost, large-scale application across urban areas in countries affected by dengue.”

The programme is currently deploying its method in Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia with plans to expand into other top 20 countries affected by mosquito-borne diseases.

Within the next six years, the project aims to reduce the burden of the disease by 90%. As well as continuing to carry out large scale field releases in several countries, the team is planning large randomised trials in at least one city, Yogyakarta (Indonesia) until 2018-2019.

“We work with local universities, researchers, government agencies and communities in the countries we’re present in.” O’Neill and his team include close to 400 people working on the Eliminate Dengue project, with some 60 people based in the Monash University headquarter in Melbourne.

Unlike commercialised drugs administered to patients after an infection, EDP focuses on providing sustainable protection from disease. Application (release of mosquitoes with Wolbachia) is only done once over a short period (2-3 months) with no need for repetition.

“Our method is quite novel. People think you have to kill mosquitoes, but we have a different focus.”

A core part of the EDP method and innovation is the way the team involves communities. Key for O’Neill is “authentic engagement before, during and after mosquito releases”. The teams and partners engage with local communities and share details of what is involved, and share results as releases progress. They involve the media. Their focus is on accessible and transparent communication and a respectful and inclusive approach.

“Our field trials in five countries in over 30 sites have shown no reported adverse events; and good disease blocking,” says O’Neill. “In Indonesia we are conducting a large scale release and an impact study across Yogyakarta through to 2019.”

This type of new approach requires forward and bold thinking,” explains O’Neill.

While still recognised as a new method, funding for all science based interventions continues to be a challenge. Eliminate Dengue is a non-profit organisation that is looking to increase its philanthropic and government support base globally.

“We believe governments would prefer our method because it is safe, and takes financial pressure off their health systems, especially in countries where they are low on resources,” explains O’Neill.

The work is possible because of the vision of great philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, The Tahija family, the Gillespie family, the Wellcome Trust and governments including the Australian, UK and Brazilian governments and USAID. In order to expand the life changing work, the scientific team are looking for more partners and supporters.




众国家和政府多年来力图减轻疾病的致命性及蚊子传播疾病的威胁,如基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒,但许多措施效用有限。消除登革热计划(EDP)是一项非营利性国际合作项目,来自澳大利亚的蒙纳士大学(Monash University)-“媒介传播疾病研究所”属下的一部分,为传播类疾病提供创新的解决方案。

Scott O’Neill教授作为这项计划的主导者,他与世界各地科研合作者分享研讨一系列技能和经验:包括沃尔巴克氏菌体(Wolbachia)蚊子生物学和生态学,登革热传播病学和控制,还有公共卫生教育和促进。


至于推动他对实地研究的兴趣来自开创一个计划和互动的社会目标,而并非仅是用于科学实验。在澳大利亚和美国领域工作多年后,O’Neill的团队在沃尔巴克氏体科研成果方面取得突破,研究团队设法将沃尔巴克氏菌体(常见于昆虫,果蝇)转移到埃及伊蚊(Aedes aegypti),这项研究跨越10年。

而沃尔巴克氏菌体对人体,动物和环境是安全的,通常在与人类食物相关的昆虫中发现,并且被人类广泛使用,对于人类或其他脊椎动物不会造成感染。至于消除登革热计划能消解伊蚊并阻止疾病的传播,那是因为EDP利用天然沃尔巴克氏菌体,降低蚊子传播有害病毒例如登革热,基孔肯亚和寨卡的能力。(沃尔巴克氏菌体也证实阻断黄热病(Yellow Fever)和西尼罗病毒(West Nile viruses)的传播。)










许多慈善捐献证实这项工作的可行性,包括闻名的慈善资金会:比尔及梅林达·盖茨基金会(Bill & Melinda Gates),Tahija家族,Gillespie家族,维康信托(Wellcome Trust),还有澳大利亚、英国和巴西政府,包括美国国际开发署(USAID)都一致愿景。而为了扩大这项改变生活的意义工作,科学团队正在寻找更多的合作伙伴和支持者。

There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes in the world and only two (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) are responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika.) The O’Neill team’s innovation is focussed on the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

全世界有超过3000种类的蚊子,却只有埃及伊蚊(Aedesaegypti)和黑斑蚊(Aedes albopictus)这两种类会传播登革热、基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒。O’Neill团队新方式集中在消灭埃及伊蚊。

Baby’s First Aroma 婴儿原味香气

Catherine Cervasio
Founder of Aromababy

There is no greater love than a mother’s love for her children. While being a mother can change your life completely, it can also inspire you to do new things and explore avenues that will lead to good fortune.

That’s what Catherine Cervasio did in 1994 when she was pregnant with her first child and started Aromababy, an organic and natural baby skin-care line that’s now exalted by celebrities like John Trovolta, Princess Mary, Jamie Oliver and Kate Moss to name a few.

Catherine developed the Aromababy concept which would set the standard for baby goods worldwide and most importantly, natural, organic-rich baby skin care.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in natural health and well-being and completed a diploma in aromatherapy and massage. I was trained as an Infant Massage Instructor and worked in the area of product development of skin care products. With Aromababy, I wanted to offer natural baby products at a hospital level so that parents would have a choice in the type of baby care they want to use,” she said.

After 22 years, Aromababy is now sold in hospitals and highly recommended by midwives. It has also received numerous accolades in both Australia and overseas.

Some of the awards were the My Business Awards, Micro Business Awards and the Gift Awards. She has received many nominations for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards over recent years, received a Highly Commended (Export) and a Highly Commended status in past Australian Achiever Awards.

Aromababy achieved a Highly Commended Award in the Export Entrepreneur of the Year division of the My Business Awards recently and has won Iparenting Media Awards in USA for several products.

Of course, all these did not just come easily for the mother of two as she slowly worked the business from a small start-up to an international exporter that is setting the world standard for safe and natural baby products.

“In the first few years, the challenge was to educate customers as there was no other product like ours. We kept on growing and started exporting to the Middle East five years into the business. When we were approached by a Korean company, that presented us a big opportunity to export to Korea and signing the multi-million dollar contract catapulted the business even further.”

Aromababy then ventured to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and smaller parts of Europe. The biggest break was a few years ago when the business started exporting to China. But Catherine wanted to take the trade slow and steady as exporting to China is usually thought of as a get rich quick method. She worked to get the brand licensed there so that it could be sold in retail outlets.

“I’ve visited Shanghai a number of times and it’s a beautiful clean city. I’m also learning Chinese a little now as it’s really important to communicate and embrace other cultures and understand the people you’re doing business with.”

In addition to Aromababy’s therapeutic-grade aromatic product, there is also the aroma-free products that are essential for the baby’s first few weeks of life, as studies show that bland, unscented product or simply water to be the best and safest. “This range only has pure essential oils that have been specifically chosen and blended synergistically not only for their therapeutic properties, but to delight the senses and soothe the soul,” explained Catherine.


1994年,Catherine Cervasio怀了第一个孩子,同时启动开发”爱乐湄(Aromababy)”有机和天然婴儿护肤产品系列品牌。而这个婴儿护理品牌甚至赢得国际名流或巨星如John Trovolta, Princess Mary, Jamie Oliver 与Kate Moss等高度赞扬追捧。



这些奖项包括MyBusinessAwards,微型企业奖(Micro BusinessAwards)及GiftAwards。同时近年来她多次获得Telstra Business Women’s Awards的提名,受到出口部门的高度赞赏,并曾在澳大利亚成就大奖中荣获最佳推荐。

爱乐湄产品在MyBusinessAwards所属的出口企业家赢得高度推荐奖,其中一些优质产品获得美国Iparenting Media Awards的权威肯定。






The Interchanging Culture of East & West 东西方文化交汇


Marjorie Ho
Director of East & West Art Gallery

Pioneering the exhibition of South-East Asian ceramics and textiles in Australia has brought Director and Founder Marjorie Ho through the highs and lows of advocating Asian artists. Her hard work focusing on exhibition of the finest Asian Art and antiques since 1973 bears fruit to what East and West Art Gallery is today. Boasting a wide selection of cultures from the coast of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia to India, Indonesia and Asia Minor, some of the works they have managed to recover include textiles, furnitures, ceramics, ivy, jade and many more.

The gallery started exhibiting ceramics since its inauguration and considers it their specialty. Since then, the space has become one of the primary representatives of outstanding Asian artists worldwide and presented some of the most astounding contemporary and antique paintings, woodblock prints, sculptures, weavings and ceramics.

At a recent private interview with Essenze Australia, she shares her thoughts and opinions on the humble beginnings of the East & West Art Gallery, discovering new talent, trend in collecting ceramics and other artwork.

Where it all started
Marjorie Ho has been in Australia since 1950. After graduating with an Architecture Degree from the University of Melbourne, she went on to build her network and knowledge in culture and art and has never looked back since. Her love for Asian Art spurred the desire to start the East & West Art Gallery to promote Asian artists.

“When we first started exhibiting Asian art, it was not known to the masses. We started exhibiting Chinese paintings where most of the works were on bamboo curtains – not on paper.”

“These landscape paintings, influenced by the Song Dynasty were just ink spots and were not accepted by many. Fast forward to today, it’s all together a different story. These artists have become famous in their own rights and have made a name for themselves exhibiting in some of the largest museums in China.”

Her many years of experience discovering new art form connected her to ardent and passionate artists who not only love what they do but greatly deserves the time to build the acceptance of its audience. In retrospect as audience, we cannot claim to understand the subjectivity of their artwork while beauty and admiration is after all an instant affair.

Potential of an Artist
On the subject of purity, creation with only ink and water, and love for originality, Marjorie speaks of her discovery of Tai Chun, in the artistic ‘Dai Fa’ district of Shenzhen, China. Located within a tiny room with three walls and four paintings hanging on the walls, she instantly knew that there’s something unique in Tai Chun. Although his works portray ideas of the future, into a faraway distance, nonetheless oozes a sense of traditionalism using only ink and water on canvas – its originality and purity recreated was something that only belonged to Tai Chun that very moment.

“There’s no fix criteria [of an artist]…you cannot pin it down to that sort of thing. You have to learn the art yourself, however, do not produce it yourself if you can recognise it in somebody else.”

“We love this purity of an artist and in time, let’s say 10 years on, they may not be able to repeat this. Hence, their earlier works may be some of the most innocent and beautiful. If an artist is lucky to recognise and get it, then, there you are. It is what we call an investment.”

Ceramics & Porcelain
East & West Art Gallery defines the stereotypical gallery of exhibiting only expensive and exquisite work, going against the norm by displaying ordinary Chinese stoneware pots. The unusual shapes function more than just any conventional items and have been decorating kitchen tabletops for centuries and remain a characteristic item in the Chinese kitchen. Pieces by Ma Xiao Yao, dating back to 3,000 BC, are examples of old, fine and skillful earthenware made in fires as hot as 800 degree Celsius. However, as popular as it is among collectors, the Chinese has been fearful of such old earthenware. They continue to value a more simple monochrome type of work rather than fuller and decorative works.

Collectors’ Trend
“Glossy pieces with great colouring systems are among the favourite among Chinese collectors. Developed from the French language, the family of rose, green and black, are used for quite a few centuries. The older items from the Ming times became brighter and fuller with decorated elements, whereas there are less decoration on the Song, Yuan and Tang pieces. Some of the more special item that comes with a splash of blue or purple is a Chun piece,” commented Ho on the trend of a Chinese collector.

The realization that pieces from China were distributed all over the world after the fall of Peking and the Last Empress, has spurred an undercurrent of national movement to reclaim these artifacts. With wealth returning to the Chinese people, the determination to recover their tradition and source of inspiration has never been more significant than ever. Their presence at all auction houses from the aristocratic Sotheby’s, and Christies to the tiny villages, become a vital element in acquiring their culture back into China. The question remains as to whether these artifacts and antiques will be placed back into the public museums or in private homes.


作为澳大利亚开拓东南亚陶瓷与纺织品展览的组织先锋,创始人兼总监何丽香(Marjorie Ho)积极以各种渠道宣扬亚洲艺术家。自1973年以来,她透过东西画廊(East and West Art Gallery)努力专注于展现最好的亚洲艺术品和古董。从亚洲端口的日本与韩国、东南亚的印度、印尼和小亚细亚的一些作品,并且设法修复包括纺织品、家具、陶瓷、藤艺、玉石和许多艺术品。







谈到水与墨纯粹充满原创风情的艺术创作,何丽香说起一次她前往中国深圳艺术区域的探索发现。那是坐落在一个小房间里,设有三面墙有四幅画挂在墙上,显现了独特内涵。虽然艺术家作品描绘未来的想法,遥远的距离,但仍然渗透着传统主义,只有简单的水与墨渲染在画布上 – 它的独创性和纯粹再现禅意的时刻。