Many people who were vaccinated as children do not realise that by the time we’re all grown up some of our protection no longer works. In the case of whooping cough, or pertussis, the protection can wane in as little as six to ten years. This means that many of us are wandering around at risk of catching whooping cough ourselves or asympomatically transmitting it … Continue reading Protecting babies: whooping cough vaccination boosters for adults
Starting in 1998, a UWS research project has been in progress on the geography of racism in NSW. Key findings of the Racism project include: While racism is quite prevalent in Australian society its occurrences differ from place to place. These variations have been largely overlooked by anti-racism campaigns in Australia. Most Australians recognise that racism is a problem in society. Racist attitudes are positively … Continue reading Findings of the UWS Challenging Racism research
Yesterday in New South Wales there was a major shift in the state’s political landscape. We saw a significant shift in voting with enormous swings against the ALP across the state and especially in traditional heartland seats. The Liberals won seats in which they’d never imagined a serious contest. As election guru Antony Green noted: “It’s very hard to believe it when you see a … Continue reading Democracy in action, civil society and political change
Historian Niall Ferguson, in his Civilization: The West and the Rest, notes that: “For 500 years the West patented six killer applications that set it apart. The first to download them was Japan. Over the last century, one Asian country after another has downloaded these killer apps — competition, modern science, the rule of law and private property rights, modern medicine, the consumer society and … Continue reading Australia and the secret sauce of western civilisation?
It is International Women’s Day again and surveying the scene here in Australia for women I find much to celebrate. Yet there remains much work to do for the women of Australia. Here we see, for the first time, a crop of women in senior political leadership positions. GOVERNOR GENERAL & STATE GOVERNORS Quentin Bryce – Governor General Marie Bashir – Governor of NSW Penelope … Continue reading International Women’s Day – some things to celebrate but more work to do
I was completely appalled to hear how a well known radio personality in Sydney spoke to the Prime Minister of Australia on air. The details are outlined well by Barrie Cassidy on The Drum in Liar, liar, shock jocks on fire; and you can listen to the entire interview here. This radio shock jock berated the Prime Minister of this country on air for arriving … Continue reading Who does Alan Jones think he is to speak to the Prime Minister like that?
Even though it was once said ironically, it has always seemed to me that Australia really is the lucky country. Our national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, sums it up: We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil… Our land abounds in nature’s gifts… We’ve boundless plains to share… In recent times the troubles of far off places like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and others have … Continue reading A lucky country indeed …
A friend invited me along to his citizenship ceremony the other day. He’s terribly excited about becoming an Aussie after living here for a number of years. We went to the newly refurbished Sydney Town Hall and the Lord Mayor, wearing her Lord Mayoral bling, gave a lovely speech. Several hundred people from all over the world gathered to receive and to celebrate receiving Australian … Continue reading Australian citizenship, ceremony and ritual
The fight for women to get the vote was a monument to cooperation, ingenuity and collaboration on the part of many women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These women educated themselves and their peers about women’s issues and agitated for women’s rights. And the women of Australia owe a debt to these women of the past who achieved the privileges of full … Continue reading Inspiring women: Louisa Lawson – women’s suffrage activist and publisher
I contemplate the year past and the year to come and think on how I want my life to be. What do I want my life to stand for? Not clamour for power or wealth; not hunger for praise or admiration; not frenzied desire for new and thrilling experiences. What then is it? I’ve been sitting here in the somewhat chilly lobby of my hotel … Continue reading On this Christmas Eve in Paris