Feeling less squeamish

March 4th, 2005

Family First make this government all, but lactate.
It is widely believed that this fledgling political force is a party aspiring to become a permanent third force in Australian politics.

In a meeting with Mr HoWARd, Family First chairman Peter Harris and Victorian senator-elect Steve Fielding pressed for Government concessions on a lengthy list of issues. One such issue, raised by Peter Harris could mean pressure to end (or put a time limit on) the current policy of indefinite detention,

"Stealing someone’s life by keeping them in detention for many many years is something that is not acceptable any longer, so we’ve lobbied the Government on that basis and they are very receptive to that issue."

This leaves me feeling slightly better about the new Senate.

More good quality Perspective

March 3rd, 2005

Most of my family learnt English by listening to the Radio. ABC radio was consistently the choice of English learners in our neighbourhood.

Once again, ABC radio, via Radio National teaches me language.
Tonight Julian Burnside edified the airwaves.
These were my favourite of many fine words,

“Tact is kind; diplomacy is useful; euphemism is harmless and sometimes entertaining. By contrast, doublespeak is dishonest and dangerous.
Doublespeak uses language to smuggle uncomfortable ideas into comfortable minds.”










“Mama, I hope my Uni doesn’t fall over…”

March 2nd, 2005
Yesterday the girl-child went back to Uni for the final year of her Degree.
I like to chat to her and compare my Uni experience with hers.

She displayed disappointment at the changes she has observed in the 3 years she’s been at Uni. These include, student union services diminishing, access to lecturers and their individual time diminishing, number of student to tutor ratio increasing (if tutorials are offered at all), and overall student numbers diminishing, she describes it as…sad,

“It’s sad mama, there are no places left to meet up. We don’t stay at Uni any longer than is necessary ‘cos the parking is just too expensive (public transport from here to there would take 2.5 hours one way.) No one seems to care anymore. All my lecturers seem so defeated and it’s rubbing off on us. I hope my Uni doesn’t fall over.”

She tells me that only 25 percent of people she began the course with are still attempting to complete it.

What are we allowing this government to do to our tertiary education? Or should the question be “What are we allowing this government to not do for our tertiary education?”

As described by the girl-child, the 2005 University experience has lost much of what was delicious about being at Uni. The endless debates and discussions after, before and during seminars. The cross pollination of disciplines as you inadvertently sat with a group of anthropology students and were delighted by what you found. What fun to know if, after listening, you were more a multi-modal or out-of-Africa type of person…

Ok, I am a romantic and I accept that not everyone wants the same Uni experience, but is the best we can do now a form of ‘assembly-line’ learning?










An inclusive society

March 1st, 2005

Today I have my optimistic pants on and choose to believe that this government is not creating a compliance regime for people who are currently on Disability Support Pensions. 700,000 DSP recipients. There’s enough for one for every medium-sized business in NSW.

My workplace could apply and become all manner of disabled person friendly.

We could look forward to learning the basics of sign language, understanding the finer points of recharging the battery of a wheelchair, carers coming and going, sharing the refrigerator with tiger balm, voltaren and poultices, colleagues on flexible work hours and working from home regimes, and of course, all those water dishes for all those support pets, companion animals and guide dogs…

Pleeaase Boss, pleeeaaaaaase can we get a disabled person?