I hope that in adversity, if we come together for the common good, this home front might just be the making of us.
Australia was now supposed to be a much safer place for a child. Were we really listening?
I keep thinking about institutions, and the reflex to protect — at any cost.
I keep wondering at how some of us manage to look past individual pain and powerlessness to somehow believe that the status and reputation of a name, a brand, an order, a building can be worth more.
Are we cowards? Are we unfeeling?
What I know for certain is that some of us have learned nothing, and that vigilance and scepticism will always be the price we need to pay for the safety of our children.
As I stood facing the sea that New Year’s Eve morning, as far east as the Rural Fire Service alert that awakened me at 5am urged me to go, I wondered why I wrote those words, but could not follow the warning.
We were hosing down a house that did not belong to us and preparing to take the kids into the sea if the fire that roared through Cobargo and now blazed towards the beautiful little town of Bermagui on the south coast of NSW came closer. It was 10am, and daylight was a faint line of lost hope on the horizon. Summer ended that morning even before it had begun.
So I won’t say happy new year, not just yet. Instead, I wish you a new year that’s big of heart, and defined by resilience, courage, generosity and selflessness — those defining Aussie traits that will help get us through.
Portfolios are statements of intention, of what a Government’s priorities are and what it considers matters most to Australians.
It reminds me ofof the interaction of qualification, socialization and subjectification in the creation of a good education.
Science and climate will make disaster experts of us all.
From the vantage point of those happily jogging along, there’s less understanding as to why someone else might be at a standstill despite having just given birth to a healthy baby, started a great new job or embarked on an exciting new relationship or project. Or, for no obvious reason at all.
Anxiety is like that. It doesn’t care about hills, or valleys. It doesn’t care about age or race or gender. It just is. And it’s tough going.
Life can be messy sometimes. I find it’s particularly messy just after dinner when all the plates and cups are still onto table, the half-empty pots are on the stove, the laundry is waiting to be put away, the school bags are still on the floor, the front door is blocked by a mountain of shoes, the news is about to start and no-one can find the remote.
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.
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.
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.
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.