Why we need to stop talking about refugees

— rethinking the language we use to talk about refugees and people seeking asylum —

It is a truth universally acknowledged that campaigns based on evidence, universal human rights, or even plain common sense, are sadly not guaranteed success. Continue reading Why we need to stop talking about refugees

Finding the power of theatre in politics

The thing I like most about being involved in politics is working together with people towards a common goal. For me it’s a throwback to my student theatre days: from 1995-2000 I was involved in over 20 student-theatre productions, as an actor, writer, director, publicist, lighting designer, stage manager and producer.

Working collaboratively can be fabulous. Everyone experiences this in some way, whether it’s through competitive things like sports, debates, or board games. You can find it in book clubs and families and weekends away with friends. Doing things with other like-minded people is simply the best. Continue reading Finding the power of theatre in politics

The case against Bill Cosby

There’s this mix of anger, disappointment and sorrow when an icon from your childhood is revealed to be much less the person you thought they were.

I’m really grateful people like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Monique Schafter and many others continue to challenge Cosby publicly, giving the women who say Cosby assaulted them a voice that demands to be heard.

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Two songs and two books with Gough Whitlam

Like a lot of things with politics, I came to know about Gough late. I was of a generation who inherited his government’s landmark reforms – reforms I’ll forever be thankful for and hold as a model of progressive government – get in there and move things forward, don’t just tinker with the engine to make it run more efficient. Continue reading Two songs and two books with Gough Whitlam

Chasing Rabbits – Help! [September 2014]

sansicarus_logo_circle_vertical_BLKOne of the many things I learned about while working in politics is chasing rabbits. It’s a pretty simple game – every time you see a rabbit you must chase it. It’s a bit like those ‘whack-a-mole’ games they used to have at amusement parlours, or the talking dogs in the Pixar movie Up, who get distracted by squirrels mid-sentence. Continue reading Chasing Rabbits – Help! [September 2014]

Wiping out ISIL impossible? I despair.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.52.27 amWe wake up this morning to ‘breaking news’ in a Sydney Morning Herald ‘exclusive’ (cue #sarcasmfont) that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, believes that wiping out Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, etc.) is impossible.

I despair, for two reasons. Neither of which has anything to do with the inherent truth in what Bishop is almost saying – that you can’t destroy an ideology with force: military, police or otherwise.

Continue reading Wiping out ISIL impossible? I despair.

Choose your words carefully

The first piece of education I remember receiving was in Year One, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School in Greystanes, Western Sydney. I would have been six. Mrs Szukalski – a tall, blonde woman in her early twenties, coincidentally (or not) my first crush that wasn’t fictional – told the class that for homework we had to write a one-page story about dinosaurs. My story was four pages long, and probably included dragons and space ships. I was an early reader, an inquisitive, imaginative child, and that creative task fused everything into a clarity of purpose. I became hooked on the power of words.

Me before and after being exposed to words. Consider yourself warned. (2nd pic. Alison Martin)
Me, before and after being exposed to words. Consider yourself warned. (2nd pic. Alison Martin)

Continue reading Choose your words carefully

The problem with expensive things

booksIf I tell you that something is expensive, what do you think? For example a few years ago I bought a second-hand copy of George Orwell’s essay collection England Your England for $35. Is that expensive? On Amazon a second-hand hardcopy edition of the same collection is $25. Does that change your impression? Continue reading The problem with expensive things

Thoughts on the Biennale Boycott

6a00d83452507269e201127908b88728a4-800wiA record of my thoughts from a conversation across two Facebook posts about the outcome of the boycott campaign by some artists/activists to get the Sydney Biennale to divest from links with Transfield Holdings, a subsidiary of which runs the Australian detention centre in Nauru and which was last week awarded a billion-dollar contract to run the Manus Island detention centre. Names not mine changed and comments not mine largely paraphrased.

This may not be interesting for anyone, but I’m keen to record my thoughts on this away from Facebook.

Continue reading Thoughts on the Biennale Boycott