Wellness is a holistic notion

March 9th, 2005

Yesterday on International Women’s day women celebrated. As with most hearty celebrations, the day after is rough.

If we assess data from the Women in Australia 2004 report released by Kay Patterson, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, the current state of the mental health status of Australian women is of particular concern.

Older Australian women present with the highest rate of anxiety disorders with 16% of women 45-54 years of age reporting Agorophobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Phobia (page 172).

This data is also disturbing when we look at overall mental health figures for women. Women have higher rates (than men) of mental and behavioural problems (page 171).
These include Bipolar Affective Disorder, Depression, Dysthymia, Hypomania and Mania (page 173).

I wonder how much of a causal link can be drawn between mental health wellness and workforce participation.

With outcomes such as these The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act, introduced into Parliament on 22 September 1999, replacing the Affirmative Action Act 1986 gathers much dust under the Prime Minister and his Minister assisting.

I would advocate for more mental health initiatives starting with the tripling of Community health centre funding. CHS centres could offer stress relief massages, reading and blogging groups and other ‘pampering’ events.
Workplace counseling options could be expanded to include a monthly ‘celebrating achievements’ session. Mentoring programs, a real commitment to work-life balance…

"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Honouring my International women

March 8th, 2005

International women’s day focuses my memory on the amazing women that have touched and shaped my life.

Friedricke and Elise, both of you in different ways, taught me about unconditional love, discipline and inner strength.
Else you gave me permission to play and redefined being female.
Gertrude, my, so complex and sad, you forced me to learn patience and helped me understand "Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light."
Mrs. Woods you proved that a woman can have both – profound beauty and profound intellect, Karin you reconfirmed that.
Anna you redefined mothering and gave us all permission to do the same.

My greatest homage is to the women that I never met that mothered my mother’s mother’s mother…
I thank you.

Can I have this version of work-life balance too, please?

March 7th, 2005
Mr. Downer, I too am a public servant.
I also have my leave cut short when my country needs me. Can I work from my hotel room for a week while I attend to my tan in Cairns? Whilst it won’t improve my driving skills it does raise the aesthetics in the environment.

I promise I will look at everything that is delivered by courier to me.
I will leave the security, logistics and cost of it all up to my Boss, but I am available from 8 pm until 10 pm every evening.

Yours Sincerely,
Suki Lombard
Australian Public Servant










March 6th, 2005

On our ABC’s Insiders program this morning Andrew Bolt and Marion L� discussed Asylum seekers returning to Afghanistan and Iraq. Bolt postulated that Afghanistan and Iraq are now liberated and hasn’t this country [Australia] with help, by these acts of liberation helped more refugees than any other action has?

Well, when L� did not agree and stated that in relation to Afghanistan, outside of Kabul, there is lawlessness, Bolt talked over her saying that is not what Misha Schubert said. Schubert had to wait until the end of the show to correct Bolt and chide him for verballing her. Bolt remained petulant and refused to acknowledge either of these women’s expertise.

Bolt, it is for men like you that Dale Spender published Man Made Language in 1980.

Read it, before you get anywhere near an intelligent, dissenting woman again!













NZ’s UN Ambassador upholds Australia’s credibility with the world’s women (and men)

March 5th, 2005

Despite US lobbying, public support for Washington’s initial abortion stance was limited to the Vatican delegate. Is anyone surprised by this outcome when the US delegate offered the rest of the world this,

“We have stated clearly and on many occasions … that we do not recognise abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance.”

or this,

“US policy on AIDS prevention for adolescents: We emphasise the value of the ABC – abstinence, be faithful, and correct and consistent condom use where appropriate – approach in comprehensive strategies to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and the promotion of abstinence as the healthiest and most responsible choice for adolescents.”

We here in the Pacific region thankfully don’t subscribe to the US model. New Zealand’s UN ambassador Don Mackay, speaking for his country, Canada and Australia, had this to say,

“The text of Beijing is unequivocally clear. We should not spend hours splitting hairs over phrases that mean the same thing.”

Thank you New Zealand for Australia’s use of Don Mackay.








Image from here