Bursting with love and pride

December 29th, 2006

The girlchild has just moved out of our home and I miss having her around. I miss the throng and thrust that a young person adds to an old person’s existence. I miss her energy, chatter and company. I miss the rush of love and pride that I would feel whenever I saw her achieving, exploring, trying.

When she was growing up, and as a sole-parent, I tried to balance all the conflicting stakeholders – need for money, career, self, activism, sex, companionship. In all these considerations, I kept ‘parent’ at the top of my list and ran my decisions through the ‘how-might-this-affect-the-girlchild-filter’.

Now, 21 years later, my gorgeous girlchild has a career, a boyfriend, friends, is a volunteer helping youth and is steadily changing her world one injustice at a time.

Recently, I was very unwell and the girlchild took carer’s leave to tend to me. Nurse J was dutiful and patient and kept that drug-trolley stocked and rotational…

I am so honored that she has modeled herself on what I did when she was growing up and our relationship is nurtured, respected and phabulous. I know if/when she becomes a mama herself she will have ‘permission’ to define that role in any way she wants.

I can’t think of a better legacy to leave for my girlchild.

‘The love you make is the love you take’ is true for us.

I couldn’t be more proud or more happy for the girlchild or myself!



Our house has always celebrated the girlchild’s birthday with a cake that reflected current events.  At her last birthday the girlchild completed her probationary driver status, and had to fund high fuel costs. For those squinting the green cake is supposed to be a bowser. With thanks to the Patissier Avec Frontier.

The personal is political

August 5th, 2006

Our Attorney General Phillip Ruddock has come out saying that nominating Terry Hicks, father of Guantanamo bay detainee David Hicks politicises father of the year. In saying that, the AG is not celebrating the nomination, he is criticising it.

I find this an astounding assertion. Past winners have included six powerful members of a political party, four of them Prime Ministers. How does their nomination not politicise the event and Terry Hicks’ does? Why would say John HoWARd’s politics, which are overt, not politicise the event. How can we be sure that he wasn’t nominated to give the Australian people a sense of father-knows-best liberal paternalism just after he was elected.

Past Recipients of Australian Father of the Year Award.
2005 Steve Waugh AO
2004 Professor Graeme M. Clark AC FAA FTSE FRS FAAS
2003 Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM
2002 Steve Vizard
2001 Jim Rafter
2000 Stephen Biddulph
1999 Slim Dusty
1998 Khamal
1997 The Hon John Howard MP, Prime Minister of Australia
1996 Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair A.C.A.D.(ml)RAN(Rtd)
1995 Mark Taylor
1994 Sir James Hardy, O.B.E.
1993 Michael Chugg
1992 Rev Bill Crews, B.E.E.,B.T.H.
1991 Dr Bruce Shepherd, M.B.,B.S.(Syd),B.D.S.(Syd).F.R.C.S.(Eng). F.R.C.S.(Edin).F.R.A.C.S., F.A.Orth.F.A.M.A.
1990 Peter Doyle, A.M.
1989 Ken Done, A.M.
1988 His Excellency Rear Admiral David Martin, A.O.,R.A.N.
1987 A H Pollard, M.Sc.,M.Sc(Econ),Ph.D.D.Sc.,F.I.A.A.,F.A.S.S.A.
1986 Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, A.M.,B.A.,D.B.
1985 Sir Ian Turbott, C.M.G.,C.V.O.
1984 Prof. Peter Rowe, M.C.,F.R.A.C.P.
1983 Bobby Limb, O.B.E.
1982 Alan Davidson, M.B.E.
1981 Dr Bradney W Norington, Esq.C.B.E.
1980 J T Lees, Q.P.M., Commissioner of Police
1979 Neil McLeod,O.B.E.
1978 His Excellency Sir Zelman Cowen, A.K.,G.C.M.G.,K.StJ.,Q.C. Governor General of Australia
1977 Gary O’Callaghan, M.B.E.
1976 The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, M.P., Prime Minister of Australia
1975 Major General Alan Stretton, A.O.,C.B.E., Director General, Natural Disasters Organisation, Department of Defence
1974 His Excellency The Honourable Sir John Kerr, K.C.M.G.,K.St.J., Governor-General of Australia
1973 The Right Hon J L Waddy, O.B.E.,D.F.C.,M.L.A. Minister for Youth and Community Services
1972 Dr W G McBride, C.B.E.
1971 The Right Hon William McMahon, M.P., Prime Minister of Australia
1970 V.C. Fairfax, C.M.G.
1969 W.M. Leornard, C.M.G.
1968 His Excellency The Right Honourable Lord Casey, P.C.,GC.M.G,C.H.,D.S.O.,M.C., K.SU., Governor General of Australia
1967 Sir Lorimer Dods, M.V.O.
1966 His Excellency Sir Roden Cutler, V.C.,K.C.M.G.,C.B.E.,K.St.J., Governor of New South Wales
1965 Ald. W.H. Northam
1964 The Right Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, K.T.CH.,Q.C.,M.P., Prime Minister of Australia
1963 The Hon. L J Herron, K.StJ.,Q.C. Chief Justice of New South Wales
1962 Sir Norman Gregg, M.C.
1961 His Honour Judge Adrian Curlewis
1960 Colin Delaney, Esq. C.B.E., Commissioner of Police
1959 The Hon J. J. Cahill, M.L.A. Premier of New South Wales
1958 Ald. HF Jensen, Lord Mayor of Sydney
1957 Sir Edward Hallstrom, Kt.F.R.Z.S.

The AG is completely right in his assertion that the nomination politicises the event. The AG is really just very annoyed that Terry Hicks’ nomination highlights Australia’s complete isolation in the International thinking on David Hicks’ rights and Terry Hicks’ nomination for father of the year is being widely reported.

As a parent I can tell you that faced with the same situation that faces Terry Hicks I would be trying everything possible, everything improbable and all things impossible for my child.

Nominating Terry Hicks for father of the year is inspired, and I for one applaud Jon Stanhope the ACT’s Chief Minister for doing it.


Image from here

“She had high heels on”

June 22nd, 2006

Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not own one pair of sensible shoes. I am therefore hugely impressed by the heroine and the hero in this story!

My heroine is a very fast policewoman who chased a man down Chapel Street.

My hero is a passer-by who noticed a woman’s shoes and was impressed by how fast she was going in them.


Image from here

No stamp required if posted in Australia

April 6th, 2006

I despise getting junk mail.

However, other members of my little share house like to browse said crap and justify the privilege by recycling all the used-to-be-a-tree every second Thursday.

Recently, I paid off a loan and instantly started to receive a mountain of offers to apply for credit through the post. In most of them the company will include a reply paid envelope. I have taken to recycling all this unwanted junk. I sent the Virgin application to American Express and the ING to the Commonwealth Bank etc. I hope the person opening my envelope gets the joke and has a giggle.

It has become such fun that my gorgeous housemates now save the most interesting and unique junk for me to recycle in my unique way.

Who do you think should get this little gem?



March 3rd, 2006

I have thought about the girlchild and feminism long and hard.

Some days I wonder if being conservative was the only way for her to rebel against her mother.  I was raised by my grandmother. Her conservativism helped to send me into gothic, feminist, motorcycle-riding rebellion.

The girlchild marched next to me as I reclaimed the night, she saw me somber for Thursdays in black.  She came along to the FLAPS meetings and listened to us laugh.  While I was studying at the Northern Territory University, she quietly sat next to me, drawing pictures of australopithecines when I couldn’t find childcare, but had to attend an Anthroplogy lecture. She understood the limitations and the unfairness.  She is the outcome of sole-parent parenting and has seen and felt discrimination of that first-hand.

She is a strong, formidable person- and under no illusions.

She has been taught to use the tools, the knowledge and possess the confidence needed to advocate if she feels she must.  Right now she is gorging on her "it" time in this society which values (and rewards) young, intelligent, beautiful people.

I will watch her maturation with interest and pride, and if she needs a refresher course in placard writing then I am her grrrl.  If,  in fact, she glides through life, without having to face battles related to her gender, then I am still her grrrl.  My approval, love and acceptance of the girlchild is unconditional.

If my contribution to feminism has helped her (and her peers) have an easier time as women then what we were advocating for has occurred. 

I continually observe her using aspects of a feminist ideology- that is the expectation of equality between the sexes.  What she resists is the collectivism (and the ‘sharing’ inherent in that) and the feminist label.

There is a crypto-feminist in the house!  

Image from here