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A year ago … June 30, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Personal, Travel Diary.
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It is one year today since we left to go on our six month journey around the world.

In some ways I feel really sad that it is over because it is unlikely that I will be able to do something on that scale again. It was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life. And the other best experiences involve travel as well. It is my obsession.

I find it hard to look back on travelling in some ways because it is such a highlight that it feels like nothing will ever be as good as that and everyday life can seem very ho-hum. It is like I have reached the peak and am now on the inexorable slide.

But before you think I am completely maudlin, I have been thinking about what we have achieved in the last year and that is quite satisfying. Of course there was the trip but as well as that, we have moved back to Brisbane and settled in, I have finally finished my studies and am now doing some work that I have wanted to do for a long time. And we have bought a flat- that is something Chris has wanted for ages. I think that when you add all that up, we haven’t done too badly in twelve months. 

NT Indigenous communities June 21, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Australian politics, Indigenous issues, Media, politics.
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John Howard has just announced a takeover of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

There are so many issues that come out of this.

Is this setting back Aboriginal self determination decades? I am sure that this is going to be discussed ad nauseum in the days ahead. I think it could have. Communities and the Territory government have lost their ability to govern themselves.

But the key question for me is- have the Indigenous people affected or indeed any Indigenous people been consulted about this move? I haven’t heard that yet. It is pretty difficult to consult when you dismantle the body through which Aboriginal people had a voice. As flawed as ATSIC might have been, it was something.

And the larger issue is what is the long term plan? Where is the government’s plan to address the underlying causes of this dysfunction. I have read about housing reforms and the health checks but the problem goes a lot deeper than that. They have known about these problems for years, if not decades- why now? And what are they going to do to allow Indigenous people to determine the best ways to help their communities. This roughshod approach may only cause more anger and resentment in the end.

And finally, I am sitting here completing an assignment about Indigenous voices in the media- or the lack of. Where are the comments from Indigenous leaders about these plans? SMH and News.com have some Indigenous comments but at the very bottom of their articles. ABC had none as yet in the stories I’ve read. We should be hearing from those who are affected by this the most. They should be the first voices we hear- not the last.

Working for the Aunty June 19, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Media, Personal, Uncategorized.
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It is 362 days since I did any paid work but today I succumbed. I was trying to make it to a year.

Not that I am complaining because I have wanted to do work like this for a long time!

I produced a radio program on my own for the first time- YAY!

Telstra call centres on Four Corners June 18, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Media.
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I have just watched the Four Corners investigation into the culture of how Telstra treats their staff.

To sum up- Telstra puts unrealistic expectations on their staff and expects them to perform to higher and higher targets. The staff are not treated like humans but like machines. It is a situation that is not uncommon in today’s business environments and I have worked in one company that was very much like this.

The stupidity of these companies is astounding. Do they not realise that a workforce that feels valued and appreciated works harder and stays longer? They can’t put together the fact that staff make their profits and the company will be more profitable if they work with their workers and not against them.

Business needs a whole culture change and now.

The people love it … June 12, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Media, Television.
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Check out this thread with people commenting about Choir of Hard Knocks

Kitsicle Toes June 12, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Cats, Media.
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Check out the foots on this fur.

This bit is quite poetic

If you know him you are okay

but Des can be quite quick with his paws

and leave a nasty scratch

because he has so many claws.

More Choir of Hard Knocks June 12, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Media, Television.
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I have just cried my way through the last episode of Choir of Hard Knocks.

Alan gave his speech so eloquently and confidence oozed out of Simon. He was almost unrecognisable.

Thank you Jonathon Welch, you have done an incredible thing. The transformation in the lives of the people in the choir is important, but I hope everyone who watched this fantastic documentary will look at the marginalised people they pass in the street differently. Maybe they will give them a smile instead of avoiding them. Maybe they will buy a copy of the Big Issue. Maybe they will stop for a chat and discover something in common.

Let’s pray that a little bit of hope and understanding has been injected into the Australian psyche.

The Chaser on ACA June 7, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Media, Television.
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The Chaser boys have obviously refused Channel Nine’s offers to jump ship and sell out for the big bucks.

What other explanation could there be for the story that aired tonight claiming that the Chaser goes too far in their stunts? Heaven forbid they might bemuse an ‘icon’ like Sophia Loren.

ACA even found a Vietnam vet who claims that their antics could be causing post-traumatic stress disorder.

Is it a coincidence that the Chaser ratings are on the up while A Current Affair’s are on the slide?

PS: For comparison, check out this comment about ACA when they were still chasing The Chaser

A sight for sore dry eyes June 5, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia.
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Brisbane hasn’t seen a radar picture like this for a while. It looks like it might even be raining in the catchment.

radarrain1.jpg

Not that Peter Costello. June 4, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Australia, Indigenous issues, Media.
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About ten years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Peter Costello when I went to Hopevale Aboriginal Community in far north Queensland.

Peter Costello is an Aboriginal elder and one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. He was taken from his mother when he was very young and later lost his wife and child when the Hopevale residents were forced to move to Woorabinda in Central Queensland during the second world war.

Despite all of this, Peter remains one of the most positive people you could ever meet- his laugh is completely infectious. The last time I saw his was at a Paul Kelly gig at the Zoo in Brisbane. When I left at about 1am he was still dancing- not bad for someone in their late eighties.

Peter is now living in the old people’s home at Hopevale but the ABC’s Awaye program last week replayed an interview with him that was recorded four years ago. Peter tells his life story and adds in his own little bit of wisdom which is always worth listening to.

You can listen to it here.