Replied to ABC Weekend Reads

Someone somewhere has persuaded us it’s not as important as the job at the desk, the ride up the greasy pole — and a lack of Federal arts policy doesn’t help.

This was a great read Virginia. I really liked your point about how on the one hand we prize the piece of artwork, but fail to recognise mathematical results. Yet when it comes to funding and priorities, we are told something totally different.

Portfolios are statements of intention, of what a Government’s priorities are and what it considers matters most to Australians.

It reminds me of Gert Biesta’s discussion of the interaction of qualification, socialization and subjectification in the creation of a good education.

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In the end – and here is where the modern masters of metrics and data will roll their eyes – I think you can only go on instinct: on the idea of telling stories that seem meaningful and affecting and only ever wanting to talk to one person – one audience member – and trying damn hard to make it connect. It’s like your best friend is drunk and distracted at a really fabulous party and you very much need to tell her something extremely important, right now! How do you get their attention? That’s the whole job. You can be the judge of whether that’s working here or not.

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you bet we are affluent. In your childhood, how deserted were your streets during your July or September school holidays? Not at all, I would venture. Sure, I knew one person who had a beach house somewhere and others with a caravan, but on our school holidays my neighbourhood friends and I became a wandering caravan of semi-bored but entirely free vagabonds, making our own fun in backyards and on footpaths.

Replied to ABC Weekend Reads

As we lose faith in governments and institutions; as the pressure from conflicts and climate change alter our borders forever; as populations increase and our cities struggle with poor design but greater density, a little consideration for each other might just be the only thing that saves us. We are going to have to figure out how to get along: if the cost of that is an apology every now and again, we’re getting away with it cheap.

Another great read Virginia. It reminds me of the message presented in Douglas Rushkoff’s Team Human,

It’s time for us to rise to the occasion of our own humanity. We are not perfect, by any means. But we are not alone. We are Team Human.

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The full force of federal law this week was really being unflinchingly pointed elsewhere — at people whose names we don’t even know yet: the future whistle-blowers.

These are the real quiet Australians: the people our most important journalists rely upon to bring you the most important stories in the public interest, and they do what they do in terrifying isolation.

At a federal level, whistle-blowers in this country face jail for making disclosures about subjects including immigration and national security: exactly the kinds of subjects that require inconvenient and uncomfortable scrutiny within a healthy democracy.

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I remembered this: the day that Christchurch kids, Maori and settler, boys and girls, came together on the streets and performed the Haka to remember two of their schoolmates killed in the Christchurch massacre in March.

It was a moving and thrilling sight. But for me the most powerful message of this spontaneous moment was the sense of this being a shared culture.

One known and owned by all the kids, all of whom have been schooled in Maori culture and history and language from a young age. It was their Haka – white and brown.

The difference between the way Australia treats its Indigenous people really stood out to me when I visited New Zealand a few years ago.
Replied to The backlash has been breathtaking (ABC Weekend Reads)

Apparently, I wasn’t tough enough on the Government. I didn’t demolish all their scare campaigns. I’m an IPA plant and a Murdoch stooge (yes, that again – for the love of god, could someone please tell that to all the Murdoch columnists who continue to write me up as the second incarnation of Rosa Luxemburg?)


You’d have to have a sense of self bordering on the psychopathic not to take some of this on. Apart from the daily intensity of knowing that every moment of your paid job is broadcast live to the country and therefore to be scrutinised by all, there’s another level of pressure and, yes self-doubt, that comes with political interviews during a federal election. Did I do a good enough job? Was it properly researched, balanced, informative, rigorous? And a natural tendency towards self-doubt will always lend a receptive ear to the clamour of criticism.

Really enjoyed your reflection on the week that was Virginia. I have found some of the responses disconcerting to say the least. There was at least solace in Annabel Crabb’s analysis on the situation. Keep up the great work.
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The Weekend Reads is a weekly newsletter written by Virginia Tripoli, the new morning host for ABC Melbourne. It is both a reflection on the week just past and some mixture of reflections and links, as well as a short list of popular pieces on the ABC News site.
Bookmarked Virginia Trioli on being a difficult woman in a difficult world – ABC News (ABC News)

We really only have threads — threads of experience, threads that bind and that connect us. Human history — our hopes, fears and traumas — are just a blink of time on this planet of 4.5 billion years. So to me, this one connection, this one relationship that gave this one person joy and laughter and insight and tears is enough for me. It’s the reason I’m here. It’s what I do.

In a speech at the Women In Media Conference, Virginia Trioli reflects on the challenges of being a women in the media. She shares a number of anecdotes that remind use that even with the #metoo movement, that we still have some way to go in regards to gender equality. Some of the advice she recommends are to learn from your mistakes:

Much like the principles of building muscle mass — the way your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibres after a workout by forming strong, new protein strands — your mistakes do not you weaken you, they build you up. They solidify you. They give you emotional and mental muscle. Or at least they should. Because you have to own your mistakes. You have to claim them and allow that destruction/reconstruction process to take place. It’s incredibly empowering.

Own who you are:

At a certain point in this working life, you realise that there really is no place to hide. You either own — completely own who you are, the nature and personality of your journalism and your understanding of what you are here to do — or I think you fade away. When I started on radio in Melbourne in 2001, the legendary Jon Faine gave me two pieces of advice. He told me that daily flow radio “was a marathon, not a sprint”, and he said that on air I had to be myself — not some persona, not some projection, but relentlessly myself. The listeners would find me out in a trice if I was not.

And regularly take stock of where you are at:

If one thing has stood me in good stead over the last 28 years, it has been a deliberate decision to periodically sit down and take inventory of what I’m doing well, what I need to improve, where the gaps in my skillset and knowledge base are and how I need to fill them. I’d urge you to do it too. If it helps, find someone you know, admire and trust and who knows your work well and ask them to do this exercise with you. Never be afraid of self-scrutiny. Don’t wait for someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart to point out your shortcomings — get there first and do something about them.

This post is a reminder that so often there is more at play than we are often willing to recognise.