Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Climate Change: Blog Action Day 2009

As Global Voices reports:

On October 15, bloggers from all over the world will get together to blog about climate change in one of the largest social change events on the web: the Blog Action Day.

As an official blog partner, Global Voices will support Blog Action Day by encouraging bloggers around the world to register their support online and join in. On October 15 and beyond, Global Voices bloggers look forward to linking to and translating what bloggers around the world are saying about climate change and the environment where they live.
Register now by clicking on the link.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, September 28, 2009

One Night the Moon centre stage

When singer/songwriter Paul Kelly visited Maningrida community in Arnhem Land for the 2003 music festival, he was already a hero of many of the local children. Ironically it arose from his role as a racist farmer in the film One Night the Moon.

The Years 8, 9 and 10 students had studied the short movie as part of their English program at school. Rachel Perkins directed the 57 minute gem. After an impromptu performance at Friday's assembly, Paul was surprised that this seemingly very adult narrative had captured their interest.

This emblematic Australian 'lost in the bush' story is based on a couple of incidents involving missing children. They involved legendary bush tracker Alexander Riley whose exploits were recorded by his grandson Michael Riley in the 1997 documentary Blacktracker.

The film production was based on Riley's role in the 1932 search for a young boy near Dubbo in New South Wales. He was also instrumental in the rescue of a 6 year old girl in 1918. Writer John Romeril's stage adaptation has been relocated to Gariwerd (aka the Grampians) in Victoria, to which the audience receives a traditional welcome to country.

Composer and musical director Mairead Hannan has included some more songs from Kev Carmody and "created soundscapes using our instruments to fill the theatre with a sense of the landscape." The music and innovative artwork are very effective in the intimacy of the Merlyn Theatre. This version runs about 80 minutes.

Detailed comparisons between the two media would be tiresome. The two female leads, Natalie O'Donnell as lost child Emily's mother Rose and Ursula Yovich as tracker Albert's wife, give powerful performances that are reinforced by their strong singing voices. Mark Seymour as Jim and Kirk Page as Albert give intensely dramatic performances but neither is a strong singer. Nevertheless their key duet, 'This Land is Mine/This Land is Me' loses none of its impact.

The message is clear and simple: the heavy price we pay as individuals and as a society for our blind prejudices.

Director Wesley Enoch has preserved the film's overwhelming sense of tragedy whilst maintaining its hope that true reconciliation can be achieved.

The season finishes at the Malthouse on 3 October. You'd better hurry. Otherwise try to see the video. It's an Aussie classic.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Australia: Kenyan women refused refugee status

Cross-post at Global Voices:

Australia: Kenyan women refused refugee status

It's surprising and disappointing that few regulars in the blogosphere have posted about this case!

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

St.Kilda: carrying the flag

Ever since St.Kilda was certain of a finals birth this year, I’ve had to reassure my extended family: we only have to win our last game of the year to be Premiers.

But it’s been a character building expereince since attending the Saints’ 1961 first semi-final loss against Footscray. One glittering prize from five starts: 1913, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1997. Believe me, I was at the last four. St.Kilda’s score of 60 points was the same as Friday night’s but the Dogs managed 69. Ruckman Alan Morrow, titan of 1966, limped from start to finish.

In 1965 St.Kilda was clearly the stand-out of the competition. Graham Kennedy jumped the infamous Bay 13 fence before the game and planted the red, white and black flag in the centre. These days he’d face a $6000 fine. Perhaps it was an omen that Nick Riewoldt was one of the footballers who acted as pallbearers at the King’s funeral in 2005. What kind of omen will be clearer by 5pm Saturday.

Essendon buried our hopes in’65 before half-time and twelve months seemed too long to wait for an impatient 18 year old. Not long after, we had to register for National Service. That conscription lottery was one that none of us wanted to win. My ball didn’t come up so the only lines I had to stand in were the overnight queues at the G for finals tickets.

Thirty years later we camped at Rod Laver arena for tickets to the ill-fated ’97 loss to the Adelaide Crows. When Elsternwick brothel The Daily Planet was decorated in St.Kilda colours, it was another omen, every saint a superman. However, we had so many injuries in the preceding month that I couldn’t name our first ruck that day even if you offered me a free seat to this year’s judgment day as prize.

On form the ’65 team would have beaten the ’66 mob in a canter. The desperation factor that made Darrel Baldock’s men legends kicked hard again in the latest victory over Footscray.

At the last public training session on Tuesday, we stood opposite the now-bulldozed terraces of the outer where we spent many heart-wrenching hours during our dark ages. We always stayed to the end, no mean feat given the Moorabbin weather.

Saints fans have had to be stoic. We’ve snatched the proverbial cliché from the jaws of victory too often. But like another recent long shot, “Yes We CAN!”

It's been along time carrying the flag.

P.S. Still desperately looking for a Grand Final ticket.

Sphere: Related Content

Saints Tragics: St.Kilda's Grand Final Week Training

The sun blessed the last public training session for St.Kilda FC before the 2009 AFL Grand Final. For Saints tragics - ENJOY!

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

School Holidays: Bigpond grinds to halt

Should just drop back to the lowest speed with Bigpond ADSL during the school holidays. That's all we seem to get. What you pay for is not what you get.

As for competition, Optus doesn't have landlines in Black Rock, one of Melbourne's inner suburbs these days.

Telstra will give us cable TV but not cable broadband. Free enterprise!

Stephen Conroy, bring it on!

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Geraldine Doogue: Angela Merkel "unglamorous"

In her SaturdayExtra program on ABC Radio National, presenter Geraldine Doogue referred to German Chancellor as unglamorous.

The website puts it this way:

According to some analysts, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not the 'Iron lady' that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was.

She is not considered beautiful, is not warm, rarely smiles, is not a great communicator, has no charisma, is not glamorous - and it seems that she has yet to deliver a knock out speech.

And yet, maybe she has connected with her people, to the extent that voters think of her as 'the matriarch who takes care of them'.
It's a cut down version of Doogue's comments from the item. The tone of her opening remark "that most unglamorous woman, as it were", with its negative connotations, left us gobsmacked.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SOS: Saint Desperately Seeking AFL Grand Final Ticket

St.Kilda tragic for 6 decades: first final 1961, attended all modern day Grand Finals including Premiership in 1966, reserved spot on terrace at Moorabbin through the dark ages. After 10 years in the Top End find myself without prospects of a ticket this year.

Willing to do anything except the illegal (or pay scalper excessive amount – generous bonus quite acceptable).

To my media friends, web and video coverage, and photo gallery available all week: live blogging from MCG, Friday’s parade, last training session.

Please contact me at kevin.rennie@bigpond.com or 0488288600

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michael Moore: Capitalism turning the bull loose

Huffington Post has a clip from Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A love Story

Moore was interviewed on the Jay Leno Show this week:

Looks like fun!

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One-way street for two-way NT bi-lingual programs

For those interested in the future of bi-lingual education in Northern Territory schools, try to catch up with last night's Four Corners program "Going Back to Lajamnau" and Bob Gosford's analysis at Crikey.

Gosford on meetings with members of the Yirrkala commmunity. (You need to be a subscriber or try a free trial to read the full article):

Crikey understands that Barnes (new NT Education CEO Gary Barnes ) read the riot act to both groups, telling them that they had to abandon their continued support and use of the bilingual program and that the continued support by the Yambirra School Council for bilingual education at their school was "unacceptable" to the Department.

Crikey also understands that many of those who had attended the meetings were upset and angry with Barnes and the NT Education staffers accompanying him, with the two issues of real concern being the absolute disregard Barnes showed for Yolngu leadership and ownership of their school program and his apparent total ignorance of and disinterest in bilingual education and Indigenous Education in general.
A forked tongue on bilingual education in the NT
Bi-lingual education is not the only two-way process. So are building community support for education and valuing the teachers who work in remote schools. There is little evidence that either is happening well at the moment.

Attracting quality teachers is a high priority of the NT education department at present. Yet senior Darwin bureaucrats are visiting schools and telling teachers with proven track records to shape up or ship out.

For further information about bi-lingual education please see Living Knowledge's 'both ways' education

To have a say Lingo are producing postcards to send to our friendly politicians: DON’T CUT OFF OUR TONGUES!

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Narcissus Courting at Carnarvon Gorge

The Apostlebird is so-called because it appears in groups of twelve. It is a feature of Carnarvon National Park, Queensland, Australia. Another is the cycad, especially the Macrozamia some of which are 2000 years old.

The bold and frisky apostlebird is attracted to its own image in the external mirrors of cars in the camping ground.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, September 11, 2009

Defend Indigenous Homelands

From GetUp!

"Thanks to GetUp members' support a delegation of Indigenous leaders from homelands across East Arnhem Land traveled to Canberra this week to meet with key ministers and present a petition of over 27,000 signatures urging the Government to secure the future of homeland communities."
More at GetUp! Close the Gap Blog

Next Monday ABC TV's Four Corners program Going Back to Lajamanu will look at the related issue of bi-lingual education in aboriginal communities.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rolling back printing allowances rorts

Brakes are to be put on the waste and abuse of public money occurring through Parliamentarian's printing allowances:

A damning report on the federal MPs' printing entitlements scheme found they have been using taxpayers' funds to drum up votes for themselves.
MPs 'rorting allowances' for votes ABC 8 September 2009
I've posted before about our local MHR: Andrew Robb's Wanton Waste and Andrew Robb wasting valuable space

My previous MHR Barry Haase, the member for Kalgoorlie, was a serial offender whose electioneering revolved around glossy taxpayer funded self promotions.

You can't please everybody:
LABOR MPs have vented their anger at the Federal Government's move to crack down on politicians' printing allowances, arguing it will fan public perceptions of rorting and make it harder to hold marginal seats.

... In his report, Auditor-General Ian McPhee found widespread problems, with 74 per cent of sampled material ''at risk'' of breaking the rules.

He found that parties had printed bulk runs of partisan leaflets - such as ''Labor can't manage money'' and ''John Howard has lost touch with working families'' - and then had the printers bill the Government under MPs' names.

The allowances were used to pay not only for how-to-vote cards but also for partisan flyers.
Printing overhaul upsets Labor MPs The Age 8 September 2009
There is still a long way to go to clean up the misuse of public funds for political purposes but at least this is a start.

Andrew Bartlett has more at:
Major, welcome changes to Parliamentarian’s printing allowances

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ABC Mediabotch: ignorance is bliss

We have come to expect less and less from the ABC. Reporter Deborah Cornwall gave us a gem last week in an opinion piece for the 7.30 Report. Take this hard hitting expert commentary :

Until today, the biggest obstacle to Della Bosca's leadership ambitions was his bad tempered wife, Labor federal senator Belinda Neal, who was seen as a political liability in the wake of last year’s so-called Iguana-gate scandal. But in the end, it was his mistress who would destroy his career.
Della Bosca resigns with regret ABC 1 September 2009
Belinda is the House of Representatives member for Robertson, not a Senator.

Is it too much to expect that political commentators will get the basic facts right? When in doubt google!

Sphere: Related Content

Some good news from Halls Creek and Balgo

ABC Radio National's Michael Cathcart interviewed Father Matt Diggs and WA police Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton on Bush Telegraph this morning.

Their take on the impact of alcohol restrictions in Halls Creek and the flow on to Balgo community was very positive. The only negative seems to be the continuing sale of full strength beer at Rabbit Flat 250 kms away in the Northern Territory.

The podcast is available here. The story is close to the start of the file.

Sphere: Related Content
Back to Top