Thanks For Nothing?

A few days ago, my feminist ideals were put to the test and found wanting.  I was having lunch in a restaurant whose main clientele were migrants to Australia.  I think I was the only Australian-born customer at that point in time.   In that nice, quiet haven, I witnessed an extraordinarily vile verbal attack by one diner on his female dining companion.  As he was speaking loudly enough (just below shouting volume) for all of us to hear, we were clearly meant to be complicit in the drama.  Or maybe it was just a tactic to embarrass and intimidate his companion.  Probably the latter.  It was horrible. Read more

On The Straight And Narrow

Last night, I thought I might write a very important post.  Then I chickened out.  But now …. oh well, here goes.

I don’t do drugs.  Never have.  I have had too many “hypos” (low blood glucose episodes), which are themselves quite trippy.  Some good.  Some bad.  So I stay well clear of them — drugs, not hypos, which is somewhat harder to “do”.  I don’t even drink alcohol anymore.  The most I’ve ever drunk was three glasses of wine.  You know, when in France … as you do. Read more

Standing Up For Peace

Day 29 — Share Your Music: 30 Days, 30 Songs

Music — it represents the sum of our lives.  Think of any aspect of human emotion or endeavour and there has probably been a song written about it.  Songs can unite or divide.  Just as there are war songs, there are also songs of protest and peace.  I prefer to call the latter, songs of kindness.   Every year I feel the love at Canberra’s National Folk Festival.  It is there that I first heard many of the songs that I have shared over the 30 days of this music challenge.  This year I had the very great privilege to attend the Festival’s Concert for Peace.  The concert was a call to action and an opportunity to honour the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (otherwise known as ICAN). Read more

I Am, You Are, We Are Australian – Or At Least We Could Be

Australia — A post in support of a more compassionate refugee policy.

Following the Christchurch terrorist attack, Jacinda Adern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, with much empathy and compassion, said that the attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand, was an attack on all New Zealanders, because “We are one.  They are us.”  Her words resonated with me, but I had no words to express my sorrow at the death and injury inflicted by one of my countrymen (allegedly).  I kept getting stuck on the question – if the murderer is Australian, does that then mean he is us and we are him?  I suppose many Australians would completely reject this notion.  After all, Australia is a multicultural country and for the most part, we live peacefully with one another.  But still, I wanted to know what was in people’s hearts, because how can love and compassion create a more tolerant, inclusive society if, deep down, we are afraid, uninformed, or worse, just plain racist? Read more

We Won’t Fade Away

 

A post for the environmentally-conscious and chocolate-mad.

chocolate

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got Friday on my mind.  I’ve been waiting for this event all year.  For many years it has kept me going — my National Folk Festival.  It is a magnet for extremists.  I say extremists because that is the language that is now being used by some leaders to describe the environmentally and socially-conscious. In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, you would think that our leaders would have learned that scare-mongering can have dire repercussions.  It legitimises the warped views of those who would seek to achieve their aims through violent action.  It is the responsibility of our leaders not to characterise peaceful, concerned citizens as extremists.  Instead, let’s have a reasoned debate on solutions given the evidence.  In other words, let’s have some evidence-based policy making without the histrionics, and then we can vote on it. Read more

Two Kinds Of Music

I am having trouble organising/articulating my thoughts for my previously flagged “dear-to-my-heart” post.  When I write about serious issues, I like to think that I don’t talk crap – that my discussion is well considered (you can retire the girl from policy analysis but you can’t take the policy analyst out of the girl).  So, I have been doing some research and this has taken me down some holes that require, upon emerging, a full body scrub and several showers to feel clean again.

Anyway, this is not said post.  It is a link to a short TED talk from ex-shearer and award-winning West Australian C&W singer, Pete Byfield.  I caught a performance by Pete at a country market.

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Animal Farm

Once upon a time, yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands stretched from Toowoomba to Victoria (Australia), providing a continuous wildlife corridor 100-150 kilometres in width and 1,500 km in length.  Since colonisation, vast swathes of grassy woodland have been cleared for agriculture.  Now there may be as little as 1-5 percent remaining. most of which has been modified in some way by grazing.  Many birds and animals have become trapped in isolated communities, reducing valuable genetic diversity and leaving them vulnerable to threats of local habitat loss.  It is not surprising then, that yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands have been declared a critically endangered ecological community. Read more

More Of The Same

This is my response to the Ragtag Daily PromptForecast.  To join in, click on the link.

It seems that this month, there is a new temperature record broken every other day.  Another scorcher is forecast tomorrow.  When the temperature dropped below 35c yesterday, I quickly hightailed it out to the surrounding bush.  Due to my mosaic project and hot weather, I’ve been terribly inactive and was afraid my legs would no longer work, but I can report that they are still in walking order.

helicopter.jpg
My photograph of a helicopter carrying water to a fire near Tidbinbilla (24/01/2019).

This is what happens when water becomes a commodity.  I predict that the former federal water minister will lose his seat at the next election over this debacle.

My thoughts are with Vanda from Our Other Blog:  Two Sisters and Two Points of View, whose town has been evacuated due to the bushfire emergency in Tasmania.

Stay safe and look out for your neighbours.

Regards
Tracy

Chip Off The Old Block

I come from a long line of procrastinators.  It is kind of genetic.  There is always a tension about what constitutes over-sharing and yet it is apparently important to speak up about mental health issues, despite the discrimination this induces.  I’ve always had problems concentrating and getting started.  Organisation is not my forté.  I’m not sure whether anyone noticed.  Girls are good at hiding that stuff.  Plus I was kind of smart and I had compensation strategies that got me by.  I got through my first degree somehow (burning the midnight oil and eating a lot of chocolate).  I got a job in the government and worked my way through some of the ranks (burning the midnight oil and eating a lot of chocolate).

I was the Taskforce queen.  I could pull it out of a hat when deadlines were tight (it takes a lot of adrenaline to get my mind out of first gear).  Routine jobs?  Tedious and stressful (probably because they involved organisational skills that I did not possess).  I live in nuance, and that is often an uncomfortable place to be for a policy adviser.  (I do have some sympathy for our former prime minister who was constantly being criticised because he couldn’t give a simple answer.)  It is hard to sum up complex policy considerations in three talking points.  Still I managed, because you know, hard work.  It is the solution to everything, right?  At least that is what I thought.

Trigger warning.  This post contains material that may distress some readers. Read more

Election Priorities – Government Funding for Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Aussie Readers, given the escalating rate of new Government policy and funding announcements, it will come as no surprise to you that a Federal election is imminent and judging by the nature of the announcements to date, the result of the next election is expected to be a close one.  Am I the only Australian woman still menstruating that considers the recent announcement exempting sanitary products from the Goods and Service Tax a stunt?  Some estimates put the saving to each woman at less than $10 per year.  But I suppose the more you bleed, the more you save.  Let’s not forget that GST revenue goes to State Governments anyway, so it is not like they are giving anything away.  I am being facetious but you get my drift.  Never let it be said that the Coalition has a woman problem.

If I had my way, I would rather see the Government commit to further emission reductions.  I don’t think anyone outside of Government seriously believes Australia is going to meet its Paris emissions reduction target based on current policy settings.  If I can’t have that, and apparently I can’t, I would like to relieve some of the day to day stress of living with Type 1 diabetes. Read more