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Strength in solitude

A personal reflective essay on life as a first-year student at Western Sydney University, written in poetic-prose style describing the highs and lows ...

Sometimes, the air in Sydney feels soft, sweet, and safe. I see this land as more of an embodiment of home to me than ‘home’ ever was – how else can I express that a daughter forced to leave a motherland 9143 km behind might be seeking safety, might be brave enough to break cursed cycles that are centuries too old? 

Image of Sydney harbor taken from an airplane as it lands.
(Credit: Shabnam Siddique)

On autumn afternoons, strolling through the crimson and gold decked grounds of Western Sydney University, I wonder if I could ever shed the chaos in me the way a tree so effortlessly sheds its leaves. But to hope it would be that easy is almost toying with what took me miles to get here in the first place.   

You see, I wish I could tell you that I chose to move far and away because I could —but I chose it because I couldn’t choose not to. To live alone and apart is an art, but to live lonely and lost is a lingering ache – and romanticism can hardly avail for it.

image of Western Sydney University, taken at Parramatta South Campus during Autumn.
(Credit: Shabnam Siddique)

May arrived, and with it, I found something I never thought I could: a safe space to finally breathe. 

From then on, into June, commuting on trains, watching Sydney’s suburbs and fields and woodlands and streams glide past, I think of 18-year-old me: dreaming and falling in love with this very city. I imagine cupping her chin as she stares at me in utter denial, whispering in her ear, ‘We made it, my sweetest child, we made it right here’— 

Healing involves creating and evolving into a version of yourself who will unconditionally cater to your needs and be the safe space for your wounded parts. Let me introduce you to my wounded parts: my inner child and my inner teen.  

Then there is me: the adult version (trying to be) their safe caretaker –together, we are learning and attempting to heal, thrive and stay alive. 

Image of a train in Sydney, taken at Parramatta Station. The sky is colored pale pink at sunset.
(Credit: Shabnam Siddique)

Training to be a therapist, I am learning to extend grace to others and hold back the pain that, sometimes lingers on the warped lens of my wounded worldview. I can guarantee that it eventually pays off: realizing that I can be safe for my friends is something. But to be told I make someone I hardly know feel safe is glory of a glowing kind. Because becoming a therapist is undeniably the same as learning the skill of mothering those who have never been mothered before.   

Road-tripping into the Blue Mountains, campfire crackling in the early hours of the wintry night, I thought of how healing, like all transformative things, has its phases.  Thus, speaking of ache with no nod to joy would be quite cruel. For joy did meet me, speckled across this year: In its soft and endearing ways, joy made healing feel real as it led me to people, new and old. 

Image of Western Sydney University, taken in Parramatta South Campus with sunlight speckling the scene.
(Credit: Shabnam Siddique)

If I were to take away just one lesson from my 2023, I would tell you that I do not want to ever say the words ‘take me back to…’ again. From now on, it is ‘take me forward into…’ — Isn’t that a mark of growth itself? 

Living apart at last from everything in my past feels eerily familiar: as though whatever I’d envisioned the distance to be is now in focus as the fog thins. Which is to say, this is me healing.  

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Vaping in young people – Where should we stand?

Do you think vaping on campus is an issue? Julia Bell writes about the popular activity that can turn into a dangerous habit. ...

Western Sydney University has had a smoke-free campus since 2014, but vaping has still been an issue of misconduct. This confusion is primarily related to the different environments that vaping creates compared to smoking. We can smell smoke and tobacco with cigarettes, whereas with vaping, the smell is often sweet or far less noticeable. 

Is vaping fun or a dangerous habit? || Photos from Getty Images

The university’s smoke policies exist to maintain a healthy environment for all employees, students and visitors. For a smoke-free environment, the policy lists;

● The action of smoking includes all forms of tobacco and non-tobacco products, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes. 

● The production of second-hand smoke.

● Use of a personal vaporiser, also known as use of e-cigarettes.

● These policies apply to all university premises, including university vehicles. 

This marks the third amendment of the university’s smoke-free policies, now revised in 2022 to emphasise the rules around vaping and electronic cigarettes. As we navigate these policies, let’s delve into the broader landscape around vaping and why it seems to be an unstoppable phenomenon.  

Vaping cited as a method of ‘harm reduction’ | Photos from Getty Images

What is Vaping?

Vaping has been presented as a tool to help quit smoking but has also become an addiction. 

Vaping has the image of being a better alternative to cigarettes due to the lack of tobacco, cigarette smell, and a variety of flavours, including things considered sweet and appealing.

A vape pen or stick is simply another term for an e-cigarette, and with a doctor’s supervision and prescription is used as a tool to help long-term smokers give up the habit. When a doctor prescribes e-cigarettes and vape liquid, the levels of nicotine inhaled can be controlled.

According to Healthline, the average cigarette contains 10 mg to 12 mg of nicotine. The nicotine inhaled can be as little as 2 mg for people using vaping to quit. 

In ABC’s Four Corners documentary The fierce battle over Vaping in Australia, the cheap and disposable vape pens often used by teenagers and young people were analysed by the University of Wollongong. Dr Celine Kelso reveals that:

● Packaging often fails to disclose nicotine due to legal constraints, despite holding substantial amounts.

● There is high nicotine concentration in vape pens and other chemicals for flavouring and scent, and the health implications are unknown. 

Issues arise with the mass production of vape pens as they become a popular commodity, and cheaper and more disposable variations of vaping become more available. What was once a tool to help people reduce a harmful addiction has now become a part of the addiction itself. Children as young as 14 are vaping and developing the habits that anti-smoking movements have been trying to avoid. 

Research shows that nicotine affects the developing brain in areas such as concentration, memory, and learning. Starting at a young age doesn’t just mean dependence on vaping, but it can also escalate to other harmful habits.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the majority of children between 12-17 years who have vaped in the past have not needed to purchase or obtain a vape pen themselves. Most have gotten the last e-cigarette they had used from friends (63%), siblings (8%) or parents (7%), whereas 12% of students reported buying an e-cigarette themselves.

The flavours and scents only make the sensation more appealing to children. While the smell of cigarettes can be easily recognised and often seen as unappealing, vaping can be harder to detect and deter.

Criticisms of vaping companies targeting children or young adults in ad campaigns have arisen, particularly with the American company Juul Labs, Inc. In just one of many cases, Juul has paid a $462 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit regarding targeting children in advertisements. 

What is Big Tobacco? 

In 2018, a large tobacco giant called Altria paid $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul despite their mission to help people quit smoking, raising questions around their motives, and whether they see the rise of e-cigarettes as a threat.  

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health has identified three major companies of big tobacco in Australia: 

● British American Tobacco Australia.

● Phillip Morris (Australia) Limited.

● Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited.

An article from the Financial Review found a paper trail showing how Philip Morris International was paying for support for the legalisation of e-cigarettes in Australia.

Support has also been shown in the political sphere, where Senator Hollie Hughes of the Liberal Party cites international studies to support the belief that vaping can help with smoking addiction. However, there are just as many research findings to prove that vaping is harmful and will encourage dependence on nicotine in the next generation. 

What makes the policies surrounding these issues complex, is that both statements are factual. While not as effective as quitting entirely, vaping serves as a ‘harm reduction’ technique for long-time smokers.

Meanwhile, young individuals are drawn to vaping due to its deviation from conventional anti-smoking messages. The absence of cigarette odour, tobacco, and the assortment of flavours paints vaping as a trendy and harmless practice, concealing the health risks associated with nicotine and other harmful substances.

Where do you stand on vaping?

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Diversity Fest 2023: What you need to know about diversity at Western Sydney University.

Samanda Mularachchi tells us all we need to know about Diversity Fest 2023, and how we can celebrate at Western Sydney University....
Caption: Holi Festival (Pixabay)

Have you ever wanted to know more about our diverse Western Sydney University (WSU) community? This September, Diversity Fest takes stage, uniting students to celebrate and embrace the rich diversity of students at Western Sydney University.

This highly anticipated festival is organised by the Inclusive Communities team this year, to celebrate the many facets of diversity, including culture, sex, gender, physical and mental abilities, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religious practices, and socioeconomic status.

The festivalwill take place across all WSU campuses, including a mix of live performances, artwork, panel discussions, stalls, food trucks and more.

Marissa Waddington shares the theme for Diversity Fest this year, and what this means for our WSU community.

“Spring Diversity Fest will be a celebration of inclusion and diversity. This of course includes, but is not limited to, cultural diversity,” Marissa tells W’SUP.

“We are aiming to embrace the diversity of our Western community and foster conversations about how we can be inclusive to all. We would like to acknowledge cultural diversity as well as gender diversity, first nations knowledge, LGBTIQ+ inclusion and mental health awareness,” she adds.

Western Sydney: A diverse hub of people:

In the heart of Western Sydney lies a diverse hub of individuals, making it one of Australia’s most culturally diverse areas. The 2021 census reveals that four regions in Western Sydney, including Auburn, Fairfield, Parramatta and Canterbury, all have at least half of their resident population born overseas. Additionally, 24.3% of the Western Sydney population practise a non-Christian religion, making religious diversity significant in the Western Sydney LGA.

According to WSU’s Sexuality and Gender Diversity strategy (2017-2020) at least 4500 students and 350 staff are likely to identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Data also shows that 5.8% of the Western Sydney LGA population report a need for help in their day-to-day lives due to living with a disability.

So, all in all, we know that Western Sydney has a high level of diversity, reflected in the diverse community of students and staff at WSU. But where does that lead us in terms of the reasoning behind the festival?

Caption: Pride Flag (Pixabay)

The driving force behind Diversity Fest:

Bayan Sohailee, the Student Representative Council’s Vice President of Activities at WSU, shares the purpose behind Diversity Fest.

“[It is] a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diversity that exists in the Western community and to also create a way to bring us all together. Unity is the way we thrive and succeed here in the West,” Bayan tells W’SUP.

“It is a great time to learn about others and how they see the world. If we could walk in the shoes of others and see life through their lens, we would come to understand that we are one,” Bayan adds.

He shares that a huge focus will be on mental health and First Nations knowledge in this year’s efforts.

Earlier this year, the Student Representative Council (SRC) showcased their solidarity and support for Diversity Fest in a statement to showcase their dedication to providing a voice for multiculturalism and diversity on campus. In March, they co-hosted a tremendously successful Harmony Day event, with a special emphasis on Persian New Year and Holi.

“The festival featured a wide range of cultural events and performances, including music, dancing, and traditional cuisine,” says the SRC in the statement.

This will be reflected in the contributions of WSU’s Equity Collectives, including the Queer, Women, Ethno-Cultural, Disability, Indigenous and International and Environment collective.

Tiffany Sharpe, the former First Nations Representative of the SRC, proposed a resolution for the SRC to donate $10,000 to the university’s Diversity Fest efforts, with the Harmony Day event being the first use of these allocated funds. 

The remaining funds will help the Diversity Fest Committee and Inclusive Communities team stage larger events that reach more students, demonstrating the Western SRC’s commitment to WSU’s varied student body.

Stay tuned and keep an eye out for this semester’s latest Diversity Fest in September – you don’t want to miss it! For more info on Diversity Fest, click here.

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Cinephile recommends 10 foreign flicks you need to watch at least once in your lifetime

Allow Sumaiya to takes you on a journey and embrace the new wave of foreign films...

Amongst the ever-evolving chaotic world that we now live in, the undying industry of cinema remains true to its art which is why it is a treasure I always hold on to as it allows me to explore the oh so interesting lives of others vicariously through the screens.

While some of us enjoy the comfortability of mainstream Hollywood, foreign film has become somewhat of an afterthought due to the unfamiliarity of the language, some may even say it is a chore to read the subtitles while watching. However, if you’re someone like me with a curious mind and an appreciation for cinema allow me to take you on a journey and embrace the new wave of foreign films. Continue reading with an open mind and an open heart.

Don’t forget the snacks!

 

LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON

France, (2007)

LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON poster- Canal+, Kennedy/Marshall Company, France 3 Cinéma (2007).

Director: Julian Schnabel

Rating: 5/5

 

In a few words, cinematically this movie is inspiring, magical, captivating, and of course humorous. The director Schnabel does a beautiful job in shedding light on the true story of Jean Dominique Bauby’s life, the editor of the French fashion magazine, Elle, who must come into terms with his new life after a tragic stroke. Due to his inability to speak, we navigate this new world through his internal dialogue, as Bauby retreats into his mind and explores his past and imagination. For those who have an eye for camera work, you will appreciate the wonderful montage of imagery of Bauby’s imagination and the subtle delicate shots of his trips to the beach.

 

Amélie

France, (2001)

Amélie poster. Claudie Ossard Productions, Union Générale Cinématographique (UGC), France 3 Cinéma (2001).

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Rating: 5/5

Amelie is the perfect introduction into the world of French films and will easily become a top pick for comfort films! The film transports you into the very fun and whimsical life of a young girl who works at a café and makes it her mission to make all the people she meets in her life reach their true destiny. The red and green vivid aesthetics of the film, along with the eye- capturing shots of Montmartre will seem like a warm and colourful hug from Amelie herself to you.

 

Come and See

The Soviet Union, (1985)

Come and See poster. Mosfilm, Belarusfilm (1985).

Director: Elem Klimov

Rating: 5/5

 If you’re a huge war film fan, then you’ll want to keep reading. Expect top tier on screen performance from actor Aleksei Yevgenyevich Kravchenko’s. The dark, gritty, and almost biblical imagery of this film takes you through a hyper surreal hell dream of never-ending madness and terror for a young Belorussian boy when he discovers his first riffle deep within the mud during the bloody battle between the Soviet Union against the German Nazi regime.

 

The City of Lost Children

Spain, France (1995)

The City of Lost Children poster- Studio Canal+,  Centre National de la Cinématographie , Eurimages, France 3 Cinéma , Televisión Española (1995).

Director: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Rating: 5/5

 

When it comes to brilliant filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s there is no shortage of marvellous films to choose from. The storyline of this film is a unique dark fairy-tale about a sad and lonely scientist who kidnaps orphans to steals their dreams. Jeunet has a keen eye for absurdity and dark witty humour in his films, so viewers can look forward to reliving a crazy and scary-ish fever dream.

 

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

India, (2011)

A scene from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Box Office Productions 2011.

Director: Zoya Akter

Rating: 5/5

 While not every film on this list may appeal to you, I would highly recommend watching the above to anyone. The title translates to “Life will never come to you twice” in Hindi, although at first glance it may sound banal, the film does not steer away from the simple yet important truth of every individual needing to live life for no one but themselves and to stay alive in every moment. It follows the life-changing journey of 3 childhood friends who travel to Spain for a bachelor’s party, during which they explore their true coming of age at nearly 30 years old. To top it off, some wholesome poetry is also incorporated into the film, one of which I find to be inspiring:

Nazar mein khwabon ki

Bijliyan leke chal rahe ho

Toh zinda ho tum

Hawa ke jhokon ke jaise

Aazad rehno sikho

 

This translated to: “As long as you carry the light of your dreams in your eyes, you are alive. 

Learn to live like the free waves of the wind.”

 

 

In The Mood For Love

Hong Kong, (2000)

In the Mood For Love poster- Paradis Film, Jet Tone Productions, Block 2 Pictures (2000).

Director: Wong Kar-Wai

Rating: 3.5/5

 This film feels like a personal love letter from Wong Kar-Wai himself. Compared to the seemingly edgy cinematography of his other popular films like Fallen AngelsIn the mood for love is surprisingly more melancholic, soft, sensual, and slow. The artistry and elegance of the characters’ performances, combined with their striking costumes are just the perfect combination. Not to mention the slow and hypnotic violin-based soundtrack played by Shigeru Umebayashi throughout the movie will transport you into the perfect melody of love.

 

Blue is the Warmest Colour

France, Belgium (2013)

Blue is the warmest colour poster- Wild Bunch, Quat’sous Films, France 2 Cinéma, Scope Pictures, Vértigo Films, Radio Télévision Belge Francofone, Eurimages, Pictanovo (2013).

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Ratings: 5/5

A very special and important LGBTQ film by Kechiche and is truly one of the rawest and authentic depictions of love and betrayal in film. The story of the teenage protagonist, Adèle’s, will stick with you as she will take you on a journey of growing up in France while trying to discover her sexuality and trying to live through heartbreak. The three-hour-long movie will have you experience an extreme amount of joy, excitement, loss, and hurt all at once.

 

La Haine

France, (1995)

A scene from La Haine. Box Office (1995).

 Director: Mathieu Kassovitz

Rating: 4.5/5

“La Haine attire la Haine!” translates to “hatred breeds hatred”. This iconic film takes us through the early tensions and riots of France in the ‘90s. With the plot being over the course of 24-hours, you’d be surprised by the film’s level of depth as you’re introduced to strong themes of political and socioeconomic issues on the outskirts of Paris banlieue. Rather than focussing on your typical upper-class luxurious stereotype of Paris, you’re met with the realities of police brutality within poor immigrant housings of Paris, a side that we don’t often see.

 

C.R.A.Z.Y

France, (2005)

C.R.A.Z.Y poster. Box Office (2005).

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Rating: 4.5/5

 An epic queer coming-of- age film with Zachary Beaulieu who not only navigates the struggle of figuring out his sexuality but also constantly tests his relationship with faith and religion. Although his family doesn’t make life any easier for him, Zachary remains true to his identity by expressing himself through bold colours, his sense of fashion, and music. Throughout the film there are references to David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” album cover in Zachary’s costume which also later helps him to come into terms with his identity.

 

Persepolis

France, (2008)

Persepolis poster. Celluloid Dreams ,CNC, France 3 Cinéma, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Région Ile-de-France (2008).

Director: Marjane Satrapi ,Vincent Paronnaud

Rating: 3/5

While this movie riled a lot of controversies and is banned in Iran, you can’t help but appreciate the animation and black-and-white visuals. This tells the story of a young girl, Marjane who is sent her abroad due to her mischievous wits. During Marjane’s life abroad, we see her coming of age in a foreign setting while struggling to adjust and embrace her Iranian heritage. Through black and white comic figures, this movie discovers themes of war, politics, teenage rebellion, and conflicts of identity through the misadventures of Marjane in different countries. The story is open to many interpretations -, which is all the reason why one must watch it.

 

Parasite

Korean, (2019)

Parasite poster. Supplied, Barunson E&A (2019).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Rating: 5/5

One of the most fascinating films I have ever watched and is so brilliantly written, Bong Joon- Ho’s films are always so unique and will keep you emotionally invested the whole time. A very valuable film about class warfare that is cleverly portrayed between two innocent families. Not only is this a mystery thriller but you will also be surprised how Bong Joon-ho incorporates comedic relief and classical music elements to show an overarching theme of the catastrophe of socio-economic competition and modern-day capitalism.

 

 

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Boys will be boys

The old adage and its place in toxic masculinity explored through the works of Reg Mombassa. ...

Many of us would be familiar with the adage ‘boys will be boys’, but in light of recent global movements – such sentiments only highlight the absurdity of this way of thinking. Let’s start with what’s happening in our own backyards.

The role of what a man is and how that is defined is often a rigid structure beginning from the time they are young. They are told not to cry should it risk them being seen as ‘soft’, they are given toys conforming to gender stereotypes and their heroes are often depictions of strong, superhero men.

In Australia, the way the role of a man is defined, and the expectation of how they should act can create a toxic culture around masculinity. Men are often stereotyped as only being interested in sport, enjoying a beer, being tough and generally dominant. But what happens to men that don’t conform to this standard?

While this is an issue that spreads around societies and cultures globally, this mentality often starts with our upbringing and within our households. In a Sydney Morning Herald article, Clementine Ford notes that there are important links between the conditioning of gender in young children and the consequences as they then grow older.

Artwork by Dinusha Soo
Artwork by Dinusha Soo

Reg Mombassa, a designer for one of Australia’s most iconic brands of the nineties, Mambo, often refers to the toxicity of Australian masculinity in his work. He uses his design work as a platform to showcase this – challenging the standards we often confine our men to.

Several of his artworks feature Australian animals holding iconic items such as a football, beer cans or stoking a BBQ – all generally associated with the stereotype of being an Australian man. He notes in a Sydney Morning Herald interview that he “realised he was a low-status male”, creating self-portraits to present ways in which not all men fit into this pre-defined image.

“When you make art and read books, you realise that you’re on the outside of society. I started to resent being bullied by more powerful males. That’s how society has been structured. I think a lot of men are questioning it and realising that it’s not such a good thing,” Reg says to Sydney Morning Herald.

As a student body, it’s pivotal to reflect on the role of Australian masculinity – whether we are benefiting from it or perpetuating it. We must consider how we could change the stereotype around men in Australia to be all encompassing and this starts with teaching the youth, our sons, little brothers, nephews and our communities.

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Cup49 makes DIY bubble tea a reality

By TILEAH DOBSON With Australia being a multicultural country, it was only a matter of time for Taiwan’s boba tea to make its way Down Under. With t...

By TILEAH DOBSON

With Australia being a multicultural country, it was only a matter of time for Taiwan’s boba tea to make its way Down Under. With the rise of franchise chains like Chatime, Gong Cha and Sharetea, bubble tea has become a popular beverage.

Prompting some health benefits through their various black and green teas, the customization and overall taste are why this beverage is immensely popular with residents, particularly university students.

Despite its immense popularity, the constant cost of buying one individual serving can add up over time. Thankfully, a rise of small businesses that can cater to the bubble tea need has emerged. One such local small business is Cup49.

Based in Melbourne, this small business is run by Serene Lim and was established in 2019 by Lim and her friend. Loving bubble tea but hating the plastic waste from the cups, Lim and her friend began their business by selling reusable cups.

“It all started when I saw the photo attached on Facebook of a large construction bin overfilled with plastic cups from various bubble tea brands. I love bubble tea and treat myself weekly but have never thought much about the consequences of my bubble tea addiction, until this photo,” Lim said.

“From our research, on average, a bubble tea store in Melbourne sells about 48 cups of bubble tea per hour. That’s 48 plastic cups, 48 plastic straws, 48 plastic lids and 48 plastic bags that will end up in our oceans or landfill. We decided on the name Cup 49 in hopes that our cup will be the 49th and forever reusable bubble teacup.”

What started out as a way to sell reusable cups, Cup49 has grown significantly. Photo: Supplied.

“We then expanded our range to DIY bubble tea kits because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were in lockdown and couldn’t get our bubble tea fix without breaking the bank. I remember uber-ing a single bubble tea and paying $15.49 for it! So I thought there must be a way for all of us to make bubble tea in the comfort of home, customised to our preference without going broke.”

 

What started as a small business had quickly grown into a bubble tea enterprise, largely thanks to loyal customers. A small team of nine, Cup49 aims to ensure people can get their delicious tea whilst keeping the planet cleaner.

 

Lim sympathised with university students who often spent money on bubble tea and encourages Western Sydney University (WSU) students to check out her website.

“I remember not having much money back in university and would have really loved a cost-effective DIY bubble tea solution. All those late nights studying for exams in the law library with massive uncurbed bubble tea cravings because there were no bubble tea shops near me,” Lim said.

 

Ideas for new products is a combined effort from Lin’s team and her community of loyal customers, affectionately nicknamed Boba Baes. While still working on getting halal certification for customers, Cup49 products are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. There are plenty of fruit teas available for those who cannot handle dairy as well.

 

Lim is continuously grateful for the support from not only her customers, but her team, family, and friends.

“We get heaps of support from family and customers. My dad folds our blue tissue paper, my mum helps with accounts, my in-laws and siblings help pack orders when we need the extra hand. My husband pretty much supports me in every aspect, mentally, physically, emotionally,” Lim said.

Cup49 offers two base teas for customers to pick and enjoy, Jasmine and Black tea. Photo: Supplied.

“We have the best customers ever; they’re always telling their friends and family about us and raving about our products on social media. You can see heaps of customer stories that we re-share on our Instagram cup.49. That’s not it, we’ve got customers who choose not to use a discount code just to support our small business. Like who does that!”

“It can get lonely and stressful running a small business yourself so I am so grateful to have the best support system.”

Lim’s large following on social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok has helped her business immensely. On her TikTok, she shows complete transparency with her followers on how orders are packed, what the warehouse looks like and even shows how to make various kinds of teas.

With bestsellers such as are Brown Sugar Milk Tea Kit, Ultimate Fruit Tea Combo Kit, Trio Popping Pearls and the one that started it all, Reusable Bubble Tea Cup Set, Lim and her team have a bright future ahead.

“I just find it interesting that we’ve been making tea, coffee, smoothies at home but making bubble tea at home only became a thing in the last 1-2 years. Now we have access to premium bubble tea ingredients with easy, quick recipes to make our perfect cup of bubble tea, wherever, whenever,” Lim said.

For more information about Cup49 or to place an order and support a small business, go to cup49.com.

Tileah Dobson is an editor for W’SUP and the news editor for the Sydney Sentinel.

P.S. If Cup49 wants to sponsor me, I won’t say no 😉