Friday, 28 March 2014

Morwell - in our midst, a portent of what may yet come to many places and peoples.

It's taken 45 days for the fire raging through Hazelwood Mine's open-cut brown coal fields to be declared "safe". But that's 45 days too many for Morwell residents who've been breathing air full of carbon monoxide, carcinogens and other toxic fumes.

Now the whole town is suffering. Men, women and children complain of headaches, bleeding noses and bloody eyes, coughing, breathing difficulties, insomnia, lethargy, skin irritations, throat, eye and ear infections, depression, agitation and anxiety. The list goes on.

Community worker Tracie talks to Morwell residents every day about what effect the toxic air is having on their physical and mental health. That's why, this week, she decided to start a campaign on CommunityRun calling for an inquiry into the health impacts of the fire on the people of Morwell.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Rosemary Lester, is already considering an inquiry into the long-term health effects on the town's residents but hasn't made up her mind if it's in the best interest of the community.

A public outcry right now could help her make up her mind and end the uncertainty felt by Morwell's 14,000 residents.

"We're calling for an inquiry because there's no existing health information about this. Unless an inquiry happens now, Morwell residents won't get the health information they need to prepare themselves for any long-term effects of the Hazelwood mine fire." - Tracie, community worker in Morwell
When Tracie speaks with Morwell residents, she hears the same questions every time: Am I going to get sicker? Is something bad going to happen? Will my kids be alright? Am I going to be around to see them grow up?

Tracie knows it isn't the symptoms Morwell residents are suffering from right now that worry them most. Their biggest fear is about the long-term health problems they don't yet know about and the future health of their families.

This week Tracie's going door-knocking and flyering shop windows around Morwell to get the message out about her campaign. But to get the number of signatures she needs to put pressure on Ms Lester to announce an inquiry, Tracie needs our help too.

Can you let Tracie know she has your support? 

Tracie's fighting hard for an inquiry because she knows it means the difference between Morwell residents living in fear about what's to come or having the ability to move on from this tragedy and regain control of their lives.

Thanks for your support,
Emma and Michael, for

PS - CommunityRun is a tool built and powered by GetUp that allows any person to start, run and deliver their own campaign on the issue they care about. To learn more about CommunityRun or start your own campaign visit

CommunityRun is a new online organisation that lets anyone start, run and win their own campaigns. It receives no political party or government funding and is not affiliated with any political party. If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to To unsubscribe from CommunityRun updates, please click here or visit To unsubscribe from individual CommunityRun campaigns, please visit Authorised by Sam Mclean, Level 2, 104 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Crafting a spirit

Anna Quindlen’s Short Guide to a Happy Life, a soul-uplifting must-read in its entirety:

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Prince of Peace! Why not a Minister for Peace?

The picture below has come from Geraldine Robertson 

Women's Web - Women's Stories, Women's Actions  
Women Working Together suffrage and onwards 
Prejudice and Reason

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A slogan for International Women's Day 2014? PENALISE - PENALISE - PENALISE

"What's on your mind?" Facebook asks each time I post.  Well, what's on my mind is the dreadful interview with a young-ish woman on ABC TV this morning.  The young-ish woman spoke about why women are not getting a fair go in the workplace and are not well represented in the higher management positions etc ad nauseam.

Let me declare my interest.  I am a 1970s-1980s feminist and to see what happens to even the most basic feminist traditions such as IWD makes me ill.

The young-ish woman enunciated a new version of failure to understand or act on the REAL problem by discussing how mentoring of women had failed but this new thing called sponsorship of women would be a huge success. 
What absolute garbage!!!  The problem no longer lies with women - except perhaps those women who are unable or unwilling to study and work hard to progress.  A lot of women prefer stasis to playing boy's games or suffering  under boys' bias.  

But let's take a look at what women can do.  Work hard? See Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac.  Manage family responsibilities - even multiple births?  See Gail Kelly! Extend your education in a new direction? See Gail Kelly.  Improve the company's bottom line? See Gail Kelly.    

Gail Kelly is not alone in managing all this.  She is merely (?) the most public face of what a lot of women are doing, have done, and will continue to do.

In 1984 Australia legislated the Sex Discrimination Act which in recent years has been revised without doing what needs to be done.  Discrimination of any type can be difficult to prove.  Discrimination on the basis of gender is particularly difficult.  Penalties for such discrimination either at business/corporate level or the individual level have been, more often than not, the equivalent of being well and truly beaten with a feather duster.  

The problem, in the main, is no longer a problem of women and their abilities and education.  Women - generally speaking - have never been more well-educated, well-qualified, and able.  

The problem lies where it has always lain - with men.  The problem lies even in the second-highest office in the land - the Prime Minister's office. The problem lies, currently, in the civil discourse established by Australia's current prime minister to defeat one particular woman - but also women within his own party.  What is the punishment for the Prime Minister's vilification of women?  Success - that's what.  He got there.  His cronies got there.  The media he favoured got there.  

What will the young-ish woman do about that?  What will the ABC Breakfast Show do about that?  What will the Sex Discrimination Act do about that?  What will that joke of a government bureaucracy titled the Workplace Gender Equality Agency or EOWA do about that?

Men are rewarded with real status and meaningful incomes while women are given useless legislation, a very dim government bureaucracy, a lot of lip service.  

Saturday 8 March is International Women's Day.  Are you spending it in a meaningful way or just going to one of the frippery type events.  I suggest that there be a one word message for this year's IWD - PENALISE!

Total Pageviews