Wednesday, 25 April 2012

This is a trailer of a movie being made about those who are fighting for the world's last great savannah wilderness, The Kimberley in Western Australia.

Anzac Day 2012

Yesterday it was 28 C but today the weather is more like Anzac Day with just 16 C and hail storms on the way. 

I've been waiting in a Melbourne hotel room for David to arrive home from a ten day working holiday in Hobart. He's finally arrived and while he and Skye watch the Anzac Day match between Collingwood and Essendon, I am reading an article on Geoff Cousins from the March 24th Good Weekend.   

I’ve been collecting articles on inspirational people because the problems of the world seem insurmountable and people who achieve greatness for the environment and human rights inspire me and give me the strength to keep on going.

Many inspirational people spend the first half of their lives wondering what their purpose might be. They pursue careers and make a living while raising families, playing and watching sport, building companies and travelling. They purposefully work for the sake of success and recognition and worldly ambition or sometimes the complete opposite, being comparatively rudderless and unsuccessful in a worldly sense...but all the while unconsciously laying the foundations for a life yet to come.

Thomas Keneally spent his early adult years in the seminary, training to be a priest and then after leaving the seminary, teaching, marrying and having a family, he wrote 'Schindler’s Ark' which was made into the Oscar winning movie 'Schindler’s List'. Schindler’s Ark became one of the world’s most significant and influential stories of World War 11.

Aung San Suu Kyi went to Oxford University where she married , had a family and became a housewife, albeit telling her husband that if her country needed her she would return to Burma and of course it did and she did, leaving her beloved partner behind, never to see him again. The thought of this always brings a lump to my throat. It was such a great sacrifice and such a beautiful gift to her people.

Bob Brown was raised devout Presbyterian, imbued with conservative Christian ethics and struggling with his sexuality. He studied medicine and became a doctor but always felt drawn to the great Australian ‘wilderness’ which eventually lead him to become an and activist and politician, fighting for the preservation of the environment and for human rights.

Lyn White, from Animals Australia, was also raised a Christian which gave her a powerful awareness of ‘right and wrong’. Initially this strong sense of justice found expression in the police force where she was known for her bravery and composure but as time passed she found less reward in her career and believed that she hadn’t yet found her true purpose.  It was an article on the maltreatment of bears in China that sparked her interest in animal liberation.

Similarly when Geoff Cousins read an article by Richard Flanagan in The Monthly about the destruction of Tasmania’s native forests and ‘the takeover of the state by the timber company Gunns.’ he felt outraged. Like many other inspirational people before him, the catalyst to action was a single blinding moment of clarity. If not me, then who? If not now, then when?
If I am not for myself, who will be?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when? -- Rabbi Hillel 

The Tampa did this for me and though I am a player on a much smaller, less powerful stage, even this small player has been able to organize successful campaigns, raise awareness and prevent a mining company from exploring for coal and coal seam gas in the fertile farming land of SW Victoria.

Of course, the achievements of many of these people would not have been possible without many years of hard work by many other, lesser known inspirational people whose own moment of clarity began a process of hard work and determination to make things better. Here is a picture of the group 'Knitting Nannas Against Gas.'

These are the countless unsung heroes of our world who are driven to make things right. These are the ones who keep the groups going, who send out the newsletters, who sit on executives, who go to the rallies and protest, who rescue wildlife, who patiently collect and keep data on flora and fauna, who visit detention centres, who visit politicians and write submissions, who write and ring and email and text and facebook and tweet. 

These are the people who are the very best of us, who are the goodness and beauty of humanity and I lovingly salute them all.

No matter what my thoughts on war, on Anzac Day I salute the soldiers who went to the front to fight for our freedom and I salute the soldiers who are still sent to risk their lives in the name of our country but I also salute those who fight on other fronts for peace and justice, for the sacred forests, for the voiceless animals, for our persecuted sisters and brothers, for abused women and children, for the last of our wildernesses, for our endangered species, for food security and food purity and for the equality of all.

                                                        We WILL remember you.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bob Brown on Q&A

Hi everyone! It was great to see Bob Brown on Q&A last night. Some of the questions reflected a deep level of ignorance but as we have come to expect of him and as one would expect from a man with nearly 40 years experience in politics, Bob handled them with patience and professionalism.

It will be interesting to see who the Tasmanians choose to fill his place in parliament.

So far, Christine Milne has proved herself a breath of fresh air for the Greens in Australia. I live in rural Victoria surrounded by dairy farms and it only makes sense that the Greens and the farmers, who both care for the land, should work together to protect it and restore it so that we caan feed our population now and into the future.

Lyn White was on Australian Story before Q&A. Her story is a powerful one and an inspiration to all who fight for what is right and for those who have 'no voice'.

These people make me proud to be Australian.

Well, here is my blogs short and humble beginning but there will be much more to follow with so many exciting issues to write about here in the South West of Victoria and nation wide.

Watch this space.