Showing up

Go son, go down to the water / And see the women weeping there Then go up into the mountains / The men, they are weeping too Nick Cave, “The Weeping Song“ 1. It’s a day for weeping, as it turns out. All over the place, so much grieving. Lives brought up short abruptly and in shockingly public ways right in the middle of being lived, and other lives ending privately with some warning.  Barely born ones touching down lightly and leaving us at once and very…

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With our own meaning

I met for the first time the essential questions of my own mortality … None of us have 300 years. The terror that I conquered in those three weeks left me with a determination and freedom to speak as I needed, and to enjoy and live my life as I needed to for my own meaning. Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals Short version: it’s about this. Please donate. Long version Last week was national Go Home on Time Day, and for…

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Not done yet

for so many this year, but especially for Audrey Watters I live in a very small Australian seaside community, with 5600 others. It’s within easy reach of major cities including Sydney, so we’re not exactly isolated. But the non-negotiable topography of Thirroul—ocean on one side, escarpment on the other—keeps commercial development at human scale. I can walk the length of the town. My kids all went to the local primary school. I know the local pathology collectors; I see the two of them at the shops…

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Seven dollars in modern Australia

“I think it’s a sad reflection on the modern Australian attitude that they can’t see that all areas have to make a contribution and they look at it as a narrow, sectional issue.” Commission of Audit Chair, Tony Shepherd, on responses to the Federal Budget, May 23* This week my daughter turned fifteen, and she went to the doctor—a political act in modern Australia. She went because of a constellation of puzzling symptoms which we’ve been sort of monitoring for a few months….

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A couple of beers

I can think of no more significant benefit from community contributions in health than to invest in cure and discovery research by our people for our people … As a result, it may be an Australian who discovers better treatments and even cures for dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease or cancer. If we start investing now, this new and historic commitment in medical research may well save your life, or that of your parents, or your child. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, Budget…

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Irreplaceable time

Part one: the hamster wheel The majority of Australians working extra hours or hours outside of normal work hours do so in order to meet the expectations of their job. Almost 60 per cent of respondents report this, with 45 per cent saying that this extra work is necessary often or sometimes. This represents 5.2 million Australian workers who are working extra hours to keep their workload under control and on target. Prue Cameron and Richard Denniss, “Hard to Get…

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