Australia – the land of a fair go, of mate-ship and of lending a hand. I’ve always believed that. But under Abbott, is this changing? When I hear the line “This is Australia” from the well known GANGgajang song, Sounds of Then (This is Australia) this is how I feel.
This song resonates with me. When I hear this song, I feel the sounds, smells, the beauty of our country and our mateship are unique to Australia. They are ours and it is something to be proud of. It makes me feel grounded. Something I heard on the radio on Wednesday night made me think “This is Australia…..um…isn’t it?”
On Wednesday night, one of the members of GANGgajang, Graham “Buzz” Bistrup (ex-Angels, GANGgajang and one of the masterminds behind the best ABC show ever “Sweet and Sour“) was a guest on radio show The Musical Chair. He was discussing GANGgajang, his work on the ABC’s 80’s iconic Sweet and Sour and the good work of the Jimmy Little Foundation. Buzz is the CEO of the Jimmy Little Foundation.
The Jimmy Little Foundation is a not for profit organisation who aim to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Australians and to provide health and nutrition education and to strive for excellence in health care for Indigenous Australians. They do this through music and video. Jimmy Little was a celebrated and beloved Australian Aboriginal musician, actor and advocate whose career spanned six decades. A Yorta Yorta man, he was raised on the Cummerangunja Mission in New South Wales.
The Jimmy Little Foundation runs a great program called the “Thumbs Up – Healthy Tucker for Life” program. The program advice on the website states that this is a “Schools Program aimed at Indigenous children aged 5-16. A creative environment using music and new media workshops in schools and community concerts is employed to promote healthy eating education and information in partnership with local stores and local health services.” Other great programs the Jimmy Little Foundation runs can be found here.
It was on this radio segment I found out that the Abbott Government has cut funding to the Jimmy Little Foundation’s Programs. Once again the Abbott Government reinforces that they are not serious about funding Indigenous programs or services in Australia.
The Jimmy Little Foundation has released this statement:
Our organisation was previously funded by the Federal Department of Health but the current Government has ceased funding our programs. Our venture is to raise enough money to keep our office open with a skeleton staff for 12 months so we can “stay in the game”.
Through this blog post, I encourage everyone who reads this to donate whatever they can. Even if it is a small amount. Every bit helps. So please donate to “Start Some Good” Crowd-funding to keep these wonderful programs going. Please Tweet, Share, Re-Blog so people are aware that another savage cut by Abbott affects the people who need it most and money can be raised for this very worthy cause.
Please…Start some good and donate now:
The Reclaim Australia Movement is conducting a rally in my home town of Rockhampton and Pauline Hanson will be the guest speaker at the event.
In our local newspaper (The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin) and local groups on Facebook, there has been commentary regarding this event. Reclaim Australia purport that it is not a racist event, but inclusive of everyone.
Bro Michael Ireland of the Church of Creativity (founded by white supremacist leader Ben Klassen) has now established a local chapter in the Rockhampton community. The Church of Creativity is a white supremacist movement, which has a doctrine built on the notion of “nature.” That is God created white people and white people essentially need to take charge of the earth or else it will spiral towards a path of destruction. (No links in my blog to this rubbish – sorry).
To put into perspective where this white supremacist church has established itself; I will detail the population demographics of Rockhampton.
Rockhampton is a town in Central Queensland, and sits on the Tropic of Capricorn. The traditional owners of the land in Rockhampton are the Darumbal People. The Aboriginal Township of Woorabinda is 170 km west of Rockhampton. There are 6.5% of people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in Rockhampton, which is higher than the state average of 5%. In addition, 12.5% of Australia’s South Sea Islander people live in Rockhampton and although the dominant population ancestry groups are Australian, English and Irish; Rockhampton has a growing trend of Indian, Filipino, South African and Vietnamese people (Profile.Id, 2013 & Dept of Communities, 2014).
Bro. Michael Ireland had this letter published today (15/07/2015) in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin in defense of Pauline Hanson. I have published my response below, which has been submitted for consideration as a Letter to the Editor.
Perhaps Bro Michael Ireland (LTE 15/07/2015) should rename himself “the wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It is very misleading to the public when an individual uses the title of “Bro”, indicating he is using the title to speak on behalf of a religious faith.
Bro Michael Ireland does indeed belong to a Church. The Church of Creativity, Rockhampton. Some of his opinion pieces have appeared on the Church of Creativity Website. He starts opinion pieces with, “Racial greetings to my fellow White brothers and sisters.” He urges people to obtain a copy of the true bible for the white race – The White Man’s Bible. In other opinion pieces, he refers to Christian People as “Christ-Insanes.” This certainly speaks to the hypocrisy of the use of the title ‘Bro’, which is normally understood within society as relating to a Christian faith.
Perhaps when Bro Michael says that Pauline Hanson is misunderstood; he does not recognise that Ms. Hanson’s version of equality is in fact inequality. When he calls into question homeless shelters for Indigenous homeless youth, and blames the Government’s investment in Indigenous programs as ‘guilt over colonization’; he does not stop to consider that there are considerably more barriers to achieving equality for Indigenous people than there are for those of non-Indigenous backgrounds. He does not recognise that when it comes to working towards equality, not everyone starts from the same starting point.
I am not an Indigenous woman, but I am a local woman and I feel great pride when Darumbal Elders such as Wade Mann give the Welcome to Country at events. It fills me with an overwhelming feeling of pride for the area I live in; a feeling of awe at the beauty of the land and animals described and an intrigue and excitement of stories I was never taught at school and I look to Uncle Wade with respect as an Elder and a leader in our community.
When Bro. Ireland’s doctrine states, “We believe that without the white race any worthwhile culture and civilization are impossible” He does not recognise how other cultures can enrich us and teach us and how we can learn respect for customs and traditions. Multiculturalism helps us to stop being insular and selfish and gives us the gift of inclusiveness.
When people promote Ms. Hanson today, they do so on the platform of creating a ‘non-Muslim’ Australia. They seem to forget that Ms. Hanson has ridden on the back of negativity and fear mongering of Asians and Aboriginal people. Ms. Hanson’s 1996 Maiden speech to Parliament warned Australians of the damage that Aboriginal people and Asians do to our society. Now that the fear and hatred has turned to Muslims, she is milking that cow until it is dry. It would be a safe bet that if people started to be scared of the Irish, Ms. Hanson would jump on that bandwagon to serve her own pockets. Ms. Hanson is the Jimmy Swaggart of the Nationalist set.
The growth of the Patriots and White Supremacist movements can be summed up in the words of Aboriginal Elder and former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Patrick Dodson
“In a climate of uncertainty and fear, without strong and visionary leadership, people panic.”
If there is one thing about Tony Abbott he loves a good fight. He reminisces proudly of his boxing days and of his ‘sledging’ days of his youth; citing this as his only ability as a cricketer. “I couldn’t bat, I couldn’t bowl, I couldn’t field, but I could sledge….”
He has a long history of attacking the Rudd & Gillard Governments as opposition leader. He has forever ingrained in history a record of attacking Julia Gillard as a person and as a woman to the point Gillard felt compelled to give her famous misogyny speech.
For this inherent trait of his ability to attack, degrade, sledge and harm he is hailed as a great leader by those who are loyal to the destructive cause, I will refer to for the purpose of this article as, “The Liberal National Coalition Government.”
Born in England, it is obvious that his heart and head rest snugly within the bosom of the Motherland. Since becoming Prime Minister he has made a number of ‘Captain’s Calls.‘ He has brought back the outdated practice of awarding Knights and Dames and he has awarded Prince Philip a Knighthood (probably one of the most bizarre moments in our history).
Abbott also ‘ignoramus-splained‘ Sydney to English Prime Minister David Cameron, by describing the history of Sydney as “nothing but bush” before British invasion and called pre-colonisation civilisation “extraordinarily basic and raw”.
In addition, leading up to his Prime Minister-ship he has left behind an “England-Loving” rhetoric permeated within his speeches:
“Contemporary Australia has well and truly – and rightly – left behind the old cult of forgetfulness about our indigenous heritage. Alas, there is a new version of the great Australian silence – this time about the Western canon, the literature, the poetry, the music, the history and above all the faith without which our culture and our civilisation are unimaginable” (Tony Abbott, 2013 on promising to repeal S18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.)
“This is what the poet Tennyson meant when he described England as “a land of just and old renown, a land of settled government where freedom broadens slowly down from precedent to precedent”. At least in the English speaking tradition, liberalism and conservatism, love of freedom and respect for due process, have been easy allies.” (Tony Abbott 2013 on his thoughts on Freedom when he becomes Prime Minister)
It could be argued that as he touched down on our shores from England all those years ago, he looked down his nose at the uncouth Aussie yokels playing around the streets and his English brain interpreted “Ava-go-ya-mug” in quite a literal sense. From that day forth, he has made ‘ava-go-ya-mug’ his main aim. Not to put in an effort as the Australian colloquialism suggests, but his literal interpretation to “Have a Go”. From this day forth he has been shadow-boxing, and sledging and ‘having a go’ at almost anyone and anything. However, he is quite resourceful. He cannot physically do this all on his own; so he has lit little fires all over the place, to ensure Australians are at war with each other. Let’s recap on this short 19 month history of squawking and leading through divide, conquer and stigmatisation.
…..and today, let’s take a look through the round window shall we………..
Stay at Home Mothers vs. Working Mothers.
Mothers have had to endure this war of work or stay at home, since mothers participated in the exchange of real money for their labour. (I know, it is astounding for some that the labour of mothers can actually have monetary value when they do so much for free!) In 2013, Abbott had put SAHM’s on a pedestal, promising them better incentives than the existing Labor Policy through the coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme. He described the PPL as “A pro-child, pro-family, pro-growth policy.” He also cited the PPL as the panacea for the discrimination that women do not experience in Australia.
“I don’t think women suffer legal discrimination and I don’t think anyone these days sets out to do the wrong thing but it is very difficult for women to combine work and family if they don’t have a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme and that’s going to change very soon under the Coalition.” (Tony Abbott, 3AW September, 2013).
Abbott has now dumped the PPL and favours working women, rather than stay at home women. Pitting these warring mothers against each other of who is the most deserving of Government support.
The Unemployed vs. The Ignorant
The Abbott Government has had an absolute field day with their agenda of stigmatisation of the unemployed. From implying they are lay-a-bout drug taking bludgers who must be tested, to proudly advocating that these lazy good for nothing loafers should #Starve4AMonth (previously known as #Starve4SixMonths). This has created a public derogatory rhetoric from the ignorant who are convinced by this agenda of stigmatisation. Online we see a war where Jobseekers try to defend themselves from the barrage of insults fuelled by the Abbott Government’s narrative and policy agenda.
The Bigots vs. Muslims / The Bigots vs. The Left
The Abbott Government’s ‘War on Terror’ narrative and policy decisions have created quite a visual and vocal war between bigots and Muslims and bigots and the Left, with the Patriot movements now calling to ‘crush the left’ as well as vilify Muslims. The leaders of these movements have even taken to supplying followers with free distance education into ‘Who the enemy is – The Left‘ and About the Left (Please watch these videos so you are enlightened by the absolute misunderstanding and confusion of political ideology as used in Australia, a general embarrassing stab at the underlying sociological constructs of the Left and some other weird conspiracy tidbits including the misuse of the Freemason’s symbol and a fat snowman-like capitalist).
Muslim women have been attacked in public and there has been a rise of the far right movements such as Reclaim Australia, United Patriots Australia etc. These groups are egged on by the silence from the Government against the rise of these movements. There have been violent clashes in the streets and more are to come.
The Government is purposely ignorant if it does not see how their narrative on national security inflames these movements. The theme of the Abbott Government is Nationalism purported through ‘secret border security measures’ participating in abhorrent and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and now the argument to cancel dual citizenship at the whim of a Minister’s discretion. Why should these movements not believe they are above the law when the Government believes they are too?
These movement are extreme movements. They now are widening their ‘target group’ from Muslims expanding to include anyone associated with ‘the Left’. This is a serious concern as not only are their arguments against Muslims very unsound; their attacks on people associated with the left (as you can see from videos posted above) are also fraught with extreme confusion of even the most basic political ideology. The next step will be to broaden the attack on more groups of people. We have already seen beginnings of this with Indigenous people being attacked and derided. Yes, we have seen this all before, somewhere around the time of the fall of the Weimar republic; yet Abbott appears to be enjoying this war as it gives voice to his Nationalism rhetoric of fear and disharmony.
First Australians vs. People who arrived later
Despite being the self-proclaimed “Minister for Indigenous People” Abbott has also lit fires through his discourse relating to Aboriginal people. He has cut funding to Aboriginal legal aid and other Indigenous organisations and proposing a ‘special Work for the Dole scheme 50 hours a fortnight, five days a week, 12 months of the year for remote Aboriginal communities. He supports the closure of remote Indigenous settlements and has infamously stated that ‘living in a remote community is a lifestyle choice.’ Through his actions and discourse, the conversation between Australians is not a positive one. It is one where a war rages between Indigenous people, those who stand with Indigenous people and against those who believe through Abbott’s narrative that ‘Australia simply cannot afford the Nation’s First People’ and that Indigenous people are a burden to the taxpayer.
Men vs. Women
Yes, there is a war raging between men and women. This war is not a general war, but it is specific to the issue of domestic violence. Tony Abbott has given so many women a glimpse of hope that finally, yes finally in Australia women fleeing in terror from their partners will have some decent support and the expectation of a safe environment. However, the glimpse was nothing more than that. This quickly turned into lip service as Abbott has continuously shut down debate and pulled funding from domestic violence and preventative services. This has in turn seen a war rage between men and women as more and more women are voicing their stories and protesting online. Some men are quite indignant that they suffer domestic violence in the same manner and at the same prevalence or even more than women. Male victims too are feeling ignored and not supported and the victims, both men and women are fighting each other instead of the Government.
Tony Abbott fuels this war by giving a glimmer of hope and then taking it away. He has fuelled this war by not investing in research, not investing in preventative services, not ensuring positive debate is heard from both men and women and not investing in safe and supportive services for victims of domestic violence; which has left so many who were given a voice for just one moment, screaming out for help.
It’s Time for the Warring Galah of Warringah to F….fly away
These are just a few examples of how the Warring Galah of Warringah is squawking his message of divisiveness and disharmony to the nation. These are just a few examples of how he uses sledging to stigmatise minorities and how he uses policy and narrative to appeal to the emotions of those driven by fear and to entrench a Nationalistic psyche in the war on terrorism; and those who fear using their tax dollars to assist even the most desperate groups of people in society.
These are just a few examples of how the Warring Galah of Warringah starts wars between Australians. Gough Whitlam used the phrase ‘It’s Time’ after a long period of stagnant conservatism within Australia. Yet, here we are just 19 months post election and we can see it is once again Time.
It’s Time to bring back the Fair Go. It’s Time to bring back the hand up. Its Time to bring back togetherness and standing up for a mate. It’s Time for tolerance and friendship and It’s Time for uniting Australians as one and most of all It’s time for leadership with heart.
Well its the holidays Liberal & National Voters all around our wonderful country of Australia. Get your Champers cracking because this week (just in time for Christmas Cheer) you have achieved…
Cutting funding to critical programs that support good and decent people and programs in our communities. The federal government has cut billions of dollars from programs ranging from the environment to health and indigenous legal aid READ MORE HERE
Disrespecting the voice of our Indigenous People (again) ‘What Tony Abbott is proposing to do is slash funding to a body of elected indigenous representatives while spending $1 million to establish a hand-picked Ministerial Advisory Committee in its place (Shayne Nuemann) READ MORE HERE
”The new government has shown that they do not support real decision making for our families and communities through a national representative body chosen by our Peoples, for our Peoples.” (Kirstie Parker and Les Malezer)
Hitting the most vulnerable where it hurts I know the Liberal Party tell you that they believe “In a just and humane society, where those who cannot provide for themselves can live in dignity” (Federal Platform of the Liberal Party) this also means giving these people your precious Liberal Voting Tax Payer dollars – ie MONEY, not just your pity. READ MORE HERE
“I am very concerned that this approach people will see people facing a significantly increased risk of poverty as they are dumped people onto the lower Newstart Allowance. Reducing and restricting access to the DSP is about saving money, not getting people into work.” (Senator Rachel Siewert, The Greens)
Really, what better gift can you give those who have lost their homes? With Australia’s bushfire and cyclone season looming, the Federal Government has announced an inquiry into national disaster funding arrangements. READ MORE HERE
Senator Cameron, who lives in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, which suffered a big bushfire in October, has accused the Federal Government of short-changing residents affected by the fires there (Looks like he is right….)
Destroying Hope for the most vulnerable in our society Now, after the election, Mr Hockey is saying all cuts are on the table, including the NDIS.” READ MORE HERE
“Forty-five per cent of Australians with a disability live in poverty. We need the NDIS to change those things and the last thing we want to have just before Christmas is the suggestion that it might be wound back.” (Australia’s disability discrimination commissioner, Graeme Innes)
Liberating workers from the Production Line Prime Minister Tony Abbott is happy to announce that he celebrates with you, the fact that all the people who have lost their jobs at Holden and associated industries, will be so liberated they will be lining up to thank you…the Liberal and National Voters of Australia READ MORE HERE
“Some of them will find it difficult, but many of them will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives,” (Prime Minister Tony Abbott)
Now Now, we know its not personal against Holden, you will also celebrate the loss of hard workers at Toyota A private meeting between the prime minister, Tony Abbott, and leaders of the main manufacturing union has reinforced their fears that no extra taxpayer assistance will be offered for Toyota Australia to keep its car production operations in Melbourne, where it has a total workforce of 4,200. READ MORE HERE
Yay attacking those Greenies again. Gees…it’s not like they are a business and contribute to the economy or anything… A government decision to remove funding from environmental legal centres will expose communities to damaging development and reduce scrutiny on the mining industry… READ MORE HERE
Conservationists say mining industry will be ‘breaking out the champagne’ at cuts to Environmental Defenders Offices
Aww sweet Liberal and National voters – you have someone to celebrate with!!
Giving gifts to the people who tell Tony Abbott what to do – The IPA and Rupert Murdoch are so excited, maybe their gift to themselves to will be a belated Christmas present, or an early birthday present. All in all Liberal and National Voters, you can celebrate the battle for “Request number 50 to Tony Abbott from the IPA” Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function READ MORE HERE
Group Hug Liberal and National Voters. Your attack on humanity must be so appreciated amongst your own kind…. This Christmas, when you are kissing under the mistletoe with your much loved family and friends, firing up the BBQ on Christmas day and opening up gift wrapped I-Phones, I-Pods and I-Pads, please try to be humble this Christmas in your thoughts or prayers (if you do pray) and think what your #1 in the Ballot Box for Liberal or National has given Asylum Seekers this Christmas….
The Abbott government has disbanded a key group that provided advice on the health of asylum seekers in detention, as research reveals psychiatric problems – such as self-harm – are the most common reasons for the large number of detainee visits to hospital emergency departments. READ MORE HERE
Two women being held in immigration detention have lost their babies after repeatedly being turned away from medical care READ MORE HERE
Ignoring the Experts (again) The Department of Immigration decides who leaves Christmas Island and the manner in which they leave. Doctors may say a child needs urgent surgery in Perth but the department decides when, if ever, that child will reach a hospital on the mainland. READ MORE HERE
And just in case you get the million dollar question and no lifelines – “What is a trait of Narcissistic Leadership…”A trait of Narcissistic Leadership is to Blame others and this is exactly what Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has done. Although he is in charge, somehow this is the fault of the previous Government…..
An intellectually handicapped asylum seeker, who was deprived of her medication by authorities on Christmas Island and then separated from her mother, has begun exposing herself to male detainees, prompting fears she could be sexually assaulted. READ MORE HERE
And Progress will never be made whilst Foreign Ministers are stealing their wages by not doing an honest days work. An honest day’s work for an honest days pay should be the standard for everyone….Ms Bishop has come under fire for praising the conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru, after Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young that the minister had only visited staff housing, not the detainee tent accommodation READ MORE HERE
Yes Liberal and National Voters, its all so easy to Celebrate when you have a helping hand by employing inappropriate people to the top jobs (but nudge nudge wink wink, as long as they are on your side, hey).
Jobs at Mate’s Rates – The Abbott Government has moved to reform the Australian Human Rights Commission by putting in charge a critic of the body whose former employer had called for it to be scrapped. READ MORE HERE
Late update: Anti-Bullying program may be cut to accommodate Tim Wilson’s $320,000 salary READ MORE HERE
The defence of free speech is vitally important, especially in Australia, but this should not come at the expense of the dignity and equality of the disadvantaged (Sarah Joseph)
And while we are on the subject of free speech, the Speaker of the House gives plenty of it to her party…. The parliamentary speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, faced fresh complaints about her impartiality after she appeared to take a dig at two Labor frontbenchers READ MORE HERE
‘The office you hold is greater and more important than your own political rhetoric,’ (Tony Burke)
NB: Please see another blog , which covers discrimination due to the current marriage laws, amongst other areas of discrimination: This is ongoing until it is addressed – An Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Minister for Women.
That was the week that was 15-21st December 2013. Anyway enjoy your week-end coalition voters. Absolutely amazing effort this week. Don’t drink too much, you need to stand proud and all that…Cheers. See you next week.
Think Before you Vote. Join a political party like the ALP or Greens or other left-wing/progressive parties. Get Active. Get Engaged. Discuss issues with family and friends. Share information on Social Media. Join Get Up! Read a wide range of news media. Work hard to prevent right-wing Governments like the Liberal-National Coalition destroying our great country, embarrassing us on the world stage and instilling great hardship on our loved ones, friends and neighbours and on our communities. You CAN make a difference!