Thursday, December 13, 2007

Australian Shame: Aboriginal Artists Centre Closes

One of the inspiring things about Broome has been Djugun Tribal Creations.

Djugun Tribal Creations is a not for profit organisation providing support and training to Broome’s emerging Artists. Tucked away in the light Industrial area of Clementson Street, we feature work from 21 artists including award winning artists Sue Poelina and Miguel Castillion.

Consisting of 3 onsite studios and a well presented Gallery, Djugun offers the experience of free daily tours. Visitors have the opportunity to meet artists and enjoy a cultural exchange while viewing the artists in action producing not only canvas painting, ceramics, sculptures and carved feature tiles as well.

In 2006 Djugun Tribal Artists in residence received high acclaim, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist of the Year, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist (most commended), and finalists in the MEMENTO Awards (National). These high profile emerging Artists are now finding their work in high demand. Unique one off designs depicting traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Art and local non-indigenous artworks are finding homes all over the state and worldwide.

Never take anything for granted. The business was closing its doors today and emptying out all its equipment and stock. While we were busy defeating the Howard government, Djugun was defeated by the CDEP changes and other government bureaucracy. It has been a model for other aboriginal enterprises and its group of more than 20 artists have won numerous awards.

Photo: Broome potters get fired up (ABC Kimberley 16 april 2005)

We were shocked and stunned by the news. Sue Poelina, an award winning artist shown in the photo, predicted today that they would rise again, hopefully without the need or help of governments that have let them down.

Best of luck! The rest of us should hang our heads in shame.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Getup! Confab

Bill McHarg : Planet First

The last kind of person I expected to meet at the Getup! Refresh Conference last weekend in Sydney was a corporate high flier. With the frenetic activity of the last week of campaigning I missed the work of Bill McHarg and his Kookaburra family. His full page ads were in the Sydney press and he slipped under the Broome radar. So it was a great pleasure to meet him and hear his story. Won’t bore you with it all here but his surprise attack on John Howard and Bennelong was clearly sensational. Watch the video and read Green businessman bids to oust Howard (The Age 15 November 2007)

His video Bill McHarg : Planet First was posted on YouTube on 15 November. The Kookaburra van toured the CBD and Bennelong for rest of the campaign. The assault on Howard cost about $200,000. Bill resigned from his business and positions on a number of organisations to focus on his Climate Change passion. His family were his campaign team.

His next target is the US policy makers. They don’t know what they’re in for.

Political Satire:

1. John Howard's Ladies Auxillary Fan Club

Two of the ladies auxillary presented a live sketch of their campaign best at the Getties awards. There was also a workshop presentation by Zelda explaining their tactics and lessons for this kind of satire. Go to their Youtube Channel: joholafaclub for a run around the tan with the PM and a day at the Melbourne Cup, plus other brilliant videos.

2. Cyrius01

Winner of the best satirical video was Cyrius01 aka Stefan Sojka. He was my favourite on Youtube in recent months. If you missed his stuff, visit his Channel.

3. Dan Ilic

Dan made a presentation of some of his videos. He made some for the Getup campaign, others through Fairfax Media and many solos. He describes himself as a writer/performer/director/broadcaster. He's at Channel DanIlic.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

"The Poll That Counts" DVD

I have produced a DVD of "The Poll That Counts" series. If you are interested in a copy, please email me and I will send the details.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kalgoorlie Update

Tomorrow I'm off to Sydney for the Getup! Refresh conference to share some grassroots politicking. So a couple of "local" updates.

The Poll:

Latest Two Party Preferred count in Kalgoorlie electorate: Barry Haase (Lib) 52.22% Sharon Thiel (ALP) 47.78. That's a swing of 4.08% to Labor. So much for the mythology about the popularity of Work Choices, AWAs and the economic boom in WA. Haase was re-elected on Kal's vote where he had the home ground advantage. The Greens vote is down slightly.

Ningaloo Reef Listing:

It didn't take long for the Pastoralists and Graziers Association to lobby the new Labor government. They are arguing for minimal boundaries for the proposed World Heritage listing of Ningaloo Reef.

Labor urged to reject Ningaloo Reef heritage listing boundaries (ABC News 30 November 2007)

Something for Peter Garrett to get his teeth into. Not to mention grassroots campaigners.

I reported this issue during the campaign but it didn't get any traction.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Bill Heffernan's Payback

The Poll That Counts: Bill Heffernan's Payback

Inside the Tallyroom, Senator Bill Heffernan sparred with The Chaser. As a close friend of John Howard and a Liberal Party assassin, he watched the Prime Minister's concession speech with despair.

It was payback time for his attacks on High Court Justice Michael Kirby and Labor Deputy Julia Gillard.

Politics doesn't have to be fought Heffernan's venomous way. I hope he will leave us in peace now.

"The Poll That Counts" series of Election Day 2007 and the National Tallyroom is now complete. If you are blocked from Youtube try TeacherTube

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Howard's Last Innings: A Golden Pair

Howard's Last Innings: Tallyroom Spectators

John Howard made his concession speech on Saturday night at 10.40 pm, Canberra time. Like his cricketing idol, Don Bradman, Howard made a duck in his last innings. In fact by losing his seat, it's probably a golden pair.

Bennelong 0, Coalition 0.

In the national Tallyroom, he was watched by both friend and foe with a sense of disbelief. Bill Heffernan, his loyal assassin who spent the night sparring with the Chaser. Joe Hockey hoping it was all just another stunt. ACTU President Sharon Burrow, vindicated at last. Penny Wong who was a formidable opponent during the campaign.

The media looked on, in silence for once. Members of the Press Gallery. Shock-jocks like Steve Price, confidante of rock stars. But also the alternative media. Koori and Tamil media broadcasters who were seated beside me. The National Indigenous Times who worked in front of us. Getup and Nick Parkin and Matt Clayfield from Election Tracker who blogged live through the evening.

And of course the public gallery who had clapped and cheered spontaneously from the beginning. Most listened quietly for the most part to the PM. But in an indication of what went wrong for him this year, many of the crowd stopped listening before he finished.

The closing credits of the video show a 1982 Canberra Times front page dating from the Fraser government. The caption reads: "John Howard - set to replace Lynch?" It hangs in the foyer of Rydges Lakeside Hotel in Canberra. Howard entered parliament in 1974 and became Treasurer in 1977. He was the last remaining member of the Liberal Party Room of 1975, which blocked supply forcing the Whitlam government's dismissal. All gone, but not forgotten!

A cliché called closure.

If you are blocked from Youtube try TeacherTube.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Election Night: Tallyroom Tension

The Poll That Counts No.3: Tallyroom Tension

Inside the National Tallyroom in Canberra on Saturday night, the tension rose as the Australian Labor Party took the lead. People had travelled long distances and waited for hours to get into the public area. They knew why they had come. As one woman quipped, "I want my country back!". It was not just a partisan crowd. But they had come to celebrate.

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