Our InVoice

For a culture and economy that seemingly had no currency for 65,000 years, Aboriginal Australians have certainly twigged to the power of money. As benefits, privileges and priorities to advance aborigines increased, so too has the number of people claiming aboriginality, up 25% to over 900,000 between censuses. Whether or not all are genuine Aboriginal people, many have committed to cash in on taxpayer (gubmint) largesse.

Should the “Yes” vote get up, intention is for “Voice, Treaty, Truth” and whatever that may mean in terms of racial discrimination, additional bureaucracy, entrenched guilt and reparations. One percent of GDP in reparations (annually?) is being claimed by activists, whether on top of the extraordinary current investment, we do not know, as it is not spelled out. Power is paramount: power to influence the direction of Australia over and above Constitutional governance.

Funds specifically assigned for Aboriginal needs already cost the taxpayer quite a lot. With the aim of “closing the gap” between Aboriginal life metrics and the rest of the population, around $33billion is directed into the Aboriginal industry annually. A further $2.4 billion funds the National Australian Indigenous Agency, with 1400 staff to service the very objectives of the closing the gap initiative, virtually rendering obsolete stated objectives of the Voice referendum: health, housing, education, jobs.

Recognition of first inhabitants in the Constitution is acceptable, so long as the efforts of British settlers and immigrants who have enriched Australia are also recognised. Former PM Tony Abbott suggested such a change to the Constitution.

Recently I felt discomforted and sad having sat through a lovely school grandparents’ day ceremony spoiled by indoctrination of passive small children with Aboriginal welcome to country and recognition of Aboriginal elders, rather than the elders of the children present. Gross distortion of reality occurs when no recognition is afforded to the extraordinary efforts of British settlement, the Enlightenment, the soldiers who died for our freedom and migrants who came after – from which comes the very science and industry essential to closing the gap.


In my book Becoming, the crucial importance of context is emphasised when making major decisions, otherwise outcomes are flawed and costly. Cost is key to our future InVoice.
English author and columnist, Douglas Murray, also specifies that “Context is everything” in his article in The Australian, “Sorry, but can we all please move on from the guilt trips for non-Aboriginal Australians?”
Guilt and victimhood have increased, says Murray, yet most serious ethicists of the last century, believe,

“An apology can work only when it comes from someone who has done a wrong and is accepted by someone who has been wronged. If it comes from someone who has themselves done no wrong and goes to someone who has not actually been wronged, then the deal is a fraud.

Instead of appreciation for having the country to themselves uninterrupted for 65,000 years, Australian Aboriginal people experienced the inevitable humanity of having others settle in this vast land at a time of expansive European exploration and conquest.

In her brilliantly researched book, Beating France to Botany Bay: the race to found Australia, Margaret Cameron-Ash outlines the fierce competition to acquire new settlements, especially between Britain and France, but also Holland, Portugal and Spain. Would others have done better settling this country? Perhaps China, Germany or Russia?

As it was, Captain Arthur Philip who led the first convoy of settlers to Australia, beat French Captain La Perouse to Botany Bay by a mere five days. Messages had been directed to La Perouse from France, across Asia to Kamchatka on the east of Russia, ordering him to hasten to Botany Bay to claim Australia for France. Subterfuge between Captain Cook and the British Admiralty had kept secret the “gem” of Cook’s discoveries, the best deepwater harbour in the world in Port Jackson, now Sydney. Botany Bay was a decoy.

At great expense of ships and personnel, Britain had at that time, fought grand naval and political battles to stop the terrible slave trade. British orders to Philip were to establish a settlement where all people were equal under law and to respect the native inhabitants. Philip proved to be the man for the job, holding true to his orders and his beliefs through the arduous first years of settlement, to establish an imperfect, yet admirable system of justice.

Botanist on Cook’s ship Endeavour, Sir Joseph Banks, was ever an avid promoter of settlement in Australia, especially following the American war of Independence (1776). An associate, Prof Heyne is cited by Cameron-Ash, in 1791, explaining that:

 “The colony was a new concept, from which a new human culture may arise and develop its distinctiveness out of this island, which could be sowing the seeds of a great empire which will come along centuries later”.

Heyne showed amazing prescience. Australia has evolved to become one of the least racist countries in the world, with reliable democratic governance systems, if imperfect, attracting migrants from all corners of the globe.

Understanding the context from which settlement arose demonstrates how the seeds of a free, democratic society, in which all people are equal, were sown in 1788. ‘Yes’ to the Voice would mean reverting to a society in which grievances of an ancient culture dominate and divide. And it will cost us dearly.

Getting value from our InVoice

All of us want Aborigines to succeed, to close the gap. The question is how that may be achieved where positive initiatives and an estimated $trillions have so far failed the 25% who exist outside mainstream Australia. The other 75%, mostly of mixed race, lighter in colour than I am, have attained educational, health, job and housing objectives similar to other Australians.

If “Truth” telling is to be an outcome of the Voice, then we need to recognise that, skilled as Aboriginal people were, they lived short, brutal lives in a nomadic economy and culture. Isolation from other cultures ensured their evolution in 1788 was pre-medieval. Modernity brought by settlement would have been a shock causing crisis.

Any psychologist worth their salt recognises that the way out of crisis is assertive action, working through the tunnel of the wave of turmoil, letting go of what is no longer relevant and adapting to the best of the new culture. Individual responsibility is key; blame and guilt merely hold back evolution. No one else can pave the way out of crisis: it must be undertaken by the individual/group. Compassionate others can merely support along the way.

My own inexpert feeling is that too little account is taken of aboriginal anthropology developed over tens of thousands of years, ingrained in their way of life, hindering the way forward. Marshall Sahlin’s 1966 essay, The Original Affluent Society, a comparative study of nomadic people, understood basic practices, some of which are tabled below. Some differences to be bridged to transition to a modern society are suggested.

Anthropological understandingGap to be bridged
Need to work only 3-5 hours a day to attain adequate nutritionModernity expects greater work disciplines to pay for static modern housing, food, health, education (providing that is what they choose).  
When travelling, they took only what they could carry; tools and weapons could easily be crafted (hence no building or storage)Living in modern housing anchors Aboriginal people in one place. Regeneration is not possible, maintenance not understood, unsanitary conditions develop, and health conditions decline.  
Constant moving meant the land regenerated seasonally.  
Plenty of time for ritualIn this area of modernity, aboriginal skills excel, are applauded and rewarded: in sport, theatre, TV, radio, politics and leadership.  
Aboriginal ‘confidence in the hunt’, meant food caught or collected was consumed on the dayDeferred gratification evolved over centuries in modern societies, as did agricultural cultivation and storage. Remote community reliance on welfare too often means most expenditure occurs on the day of payment, leaving little for food and essentials later, impacting nutrition and health, especially of children at vital early life stages.  
In the tribal society, everything is sharedEntitlement to housing, food, bed and earnings of others in modern society becomes problematic; overcrowding houses, leaving children hungry with nowhere to sleep, vulnerable to predators, humbugging working people, making it hard for them to get ahead.  


Adjustment of expectations is necessary. Closing the gap between Aboriginal life metrics and the rest of the population as a reason for changing the Constitution is a folly, when progress on education, housing and health for the rest of us has been attained only over recent decades. Realistically, a lag for very remote communities living pretty much traditional lifestyles should not be surprising. In fact, vast improvements have been made on all fronts, thanks to the efforts of many who have put their lives on the line to work in the remote communities, a lag that will eventually be bridged (without the Voice and racial division it will entrench in the Constitution).

Reasonable expectation is a crucial factor in engendering progress and harmony between people (see my Maturity Model for decision making). Unrealistic expectations burden others, causing disharmony, fragmentation of individuals and groups, resulting in high social and economic costs, just as we are seeing. All parties become less mature. Blame is a function of immaturity.

Solutions to bridging the gap between anthropology and modernity may be found in more practical ways, additional to those generated by the community (cashless debit card, alcohol restrictions). Roving teams of young Aboriginal tradies on three-month circuits, maintaining and repairing housing could spark business and employment, similarly with health and education.

A sunset clause on all Aboriginal policies and programs would demonstrate seriousness for resolution by expecting Aborigines to be able to care for themselves in a way that they claim for over 65,000 years. Should certain funding programs cease, say, after five years, others after 10, and all after 20 years (one generation), then there would be an urgency to lift performance and welcome them to modernity. Traditions and language can still be conserved, yet in the context of irreversible modernity.

A ’Yes’ vote will divide Australians on race in the Constitution, betraying the hard-won sacrifices and noble intent of the founding settlement, which set out to ensure all people in this country would be free and equal.

We could accept the wisdom of Douglas Murray, who believes that:

Australia has the choice of conceding that it is wicked and that all failures of the Aboriginal peoples in the past and present are directly due to the “settlers”. Or it can concede that one of the least racist countries in the world should at some point give itself a break. The English did nothing wrong. Neither did any of you.

As Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Nampijimpa Price says, for the “NO” vote, “If we don’t win the day, our Constitution will forever divide Australians by race”.


Late Life Learnings

Nothing like crises to precipitate growth or decline at any age. In later years crises tend to occur in clumps, catching us by surprise, so we are left floundering to catch our breath, hard to find a way through.

Should the trajectory of decline take hold, it can lead to the mortal end that awaits us all. Sadly, my sister Janice passed away this year, as did several other friends. May they reap their eternal rewards.

If we are to live, we might as well live life to the fullest. As age and diminishments compound, working out what “living life to the fullest” means is a constant challenge of adjustment: in relationships with families and friends, in interests and issues of importance, in ability to participate in previously valued pursuits; as well as what is affordable on a retirement income.

While challenges manifest, so do opportunities for changes in direction that can prove enriching. Not the same as before, yet age appropriate. Relaxation of the need to care for others allows us to be open to help from others. Both become more mature in the process: elderly becoming gracious receivers as younger people step up to care for them.

Gratitude and grace are endearing qualities, especially in the aged. Nothing so unattractive in an older person than bitterness, criticism, and petty picking on “the young”. Tolerance and flexibility are tasks of adolescence. Perhaps those entrenched in bitter, unpleasant ways in later life have not adolesced, or have regressed, rather than advanced to a more favoured state.

Over the three crises I’ve confronted this year, are many learnings how to continue to grow in grace and virtue. You are invited to add your own from your store of wisdom.

Hip replacement

Having already had one hip replacement, I knew what was coming for the second. Still didn’t make it any less difficult, painful or challenging, just more ready to work through to independent, pain free mobility. Pre-surgery exercise and a strict post-surgery rehabilitation regime proved really beneficial.

Friends and family were crucial to support, encouragement and perseverance through the frustrating patches towards independence. Am especially grateful for those who visited, prayed, brought gifts, flowers and meals, did shopping and phoned to help pass the time to recovery. It was a blessing to be so supported.

Of course, Netflix and Foxtel got a flogging as I trawled through offerings of interest. Netflix series The Patients of Dr Garcia was one that appealed to me, being an historical Spanish WWII drama about the resistance to Nazism, Franco’s fascism and communism.

Learnings from surgery:

Reading filled other moments as I took delight in the dozen books borrowed from the library before admission to hospital. Churchill & Orwell: the fight for freedom proved an engrossing read about the enduring legacy of freedom from courageous yet flawed men, especially in the context of today’s political pressure to control so much of our lives. Albo’s Misinformation and Disinformation Bill seems a direct lift from Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in his book 1984, which was a dystopian novel, not a manual for governance.

  • Apply oneself diligently to prescribed exercises to restore the body to full use;
  • Keep the mind active with interesting pursuits;
  • Plan company to help maintain social skills and avoid becoming depressed or demoralised; and
  • Be grateful and gracious as recipient of the care of others and for the privilege of modern medicine.

Turning 80

Turning 80 stirred reflection on my life, its worth, as well as about people who’ve shared the journey to earn my admiration and gratitude. Above all, gratitude for the privilege of living so long in good health (matching pair of metal hips aside). Deep gratitude for our service personnel who’ve fought and died for our freedom, the veterans who returned. If you can read this thank a teacher; if you can read it in English, thank a soldier.

Gratitude to the health workers, researchers, educators and the parents whose collective efforts have extended the term and quality of life in this marvellous country, so that we live around thirty years longer than 100 years ago. Great strides to be proud of!

Okay, present governments and bureaucracies may leave quite a bit to be desired: more of that in blogs to follow.

Gratitude for having survived to live a full life: to parents and family, to my late husband Evan, now 25 years departed, to my five adult children who are ever striving for good; to my ten grandchildren beginning to show sparkle and talent in diverse fields.

I’ve realised my life has been very much one of ‘loaves and fishes’ kind of significance. Just as the boy in the story in the New Testament (Matthew 14, John 6) had only five loaves of bread and two fish, with Jesus’ blessing, the crowd of over 5,000 people were miraculously fed and satisfied. We learn there was food left over, though not much more of the boy who contributed what he had.

Like the boy with the loaves, I’ve given all that I had. Survival balanced the threat of abortion, poverty, chaos, dysfunction and acrimony, against the gifts of health and intelligence. At an early age I worked out that the only way to make progress in life was to deal with the reality (however dreadful) and develop methods for being generative. My book Becoming with the Maturity Model for decision-making is an expression of that.

The surprise and delight of celebrating 80 years was to hear those who meant much to me express how I influenced their life, without my ever being aware. For so many decades I battled against adversity to get a mere toe hold on life. Positive affirmation was scarce.

Mostly, I was driven to ensure the five children we produced were provided a platform from which they could launch into the world of their choosing, with sufficient grace and competence to be effective at any level. Each honoured the effort with dedicated hard work resulting in varying levels of success in this country and overseas.

Having gained a Bachelor Commerce degree at 50, once again I set about to support scientists, engineers, academic, government, community and Aboriginal groups to realise their potential by producing strong business cases to warrant funding.

So, you get my drift: I didn’t make a fortune for myself, yet like the boy with the loaves and fishes, helped facilitate the careers and financial prospects of so many others. Along the way, the few opportunities for me to share ongoing financial rewards were dashed by greed and stupidity of others. That’s bureaucracy and business!

Learnings from turning 80

  • See to yourself first: love thy neighbour as thyself, means looking after self so you can look after others. I could have put more priority on building my own financial capital.
  • Be grateful for what we have, rather than hankering after what we fancy, however unrealistic. Express gratitude generously at the time.
  • Take joy from small things: they may be all we have. Big things are often beyond our reach.
  • Make the most of each day: it maybe the last.


Like childbirth, moving is a crisis we must work through, whether we like it or not, to produce the desired joyous outcome of new life.

Moving late in later years challenges us on so many levels. As mostly we are moving to smaller spaces (coffin ready) letting go (of houses, clothes, furniture, artefacts and equipment) becomes remote preparation for the ultimate letting go in death. Virtue in practice.

Not sadly. Much joy and freedom can be derived in release from the burden of care and maintenance of “things”. Memories that we can hold onto brighten the quiet moments. Marbles as well if we continue to work at it.

Having a clear plan and being organised is most useful when moving, especially for those who help us compensate for our diminishments. Moving so soon after surgery, I was particularly grateful for my sister Kathy and daughter Macushla who drove the packing, cleaning and purchasing of more suitable furniture and equipment to make the new place “work” for me. They did not rest until I was set up for my “future”, whatever I make of that.

Psychologically and physically, moving is hard graft. It takes time to readjust to a new setting amongst different people, to develop a fresh routine. Patience and energy are essential to any measure of success.

Learnings from moving

  • View moving as an opportunity to ‘let go’; take forward only those things you will need in the next stage of life.
  • Have a plan and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Understand your limitations: allow/invite others to help.
  • Be patient, yet assertive in resettlement in order to live later years to the fullest.

These are just a few ideas gleaned from my experience. I am not the entire fountain of knowledge, so would welcome comments and ideas from faithful readers from your own experience.

Child and family

Who is in Charge?

Chapter 4 of my book “Becoming”, titled Making Straight the Way, provides an inspired guide for parenting children from birth to adolescence, based on sound principles that could be useful today.

  • Parents need to be mature and responsible
  • Parental responsibility for children declines over time as children are deemed self- responsible by law at age 18 years
  • Parental attitude is best when focused on development of the child, rather than authoritarian or complacent
  • The child develops in maturity by being allowed choice and responsibility appropriate to age and stage, within clear boundaries. Parents, as adults, should be in charge.

My Maturity Model for decision-making enables interested parties to self-assess how well they are going in important life tasks and make corrections where brave enough to do so. None of this is easy, which is why so many are willing to abrogate responsibility for raising the children, farmed out to government child care or other agencies promising to do better, but mostly failing.

Historical influences on parenting trends

Of the many trends historically influencing child raising, I’ll mention just a couple of significance that have had a major impact:

  1. Dr Benjamin Spock’s 1946 book, Baby and Child Care, became a global phenomenon, selling millions of copies worldwide, to become a “bible” for post-war parenting. Spock upturned family relationships from being parent controlled to child-centred. Authority of the parents was undermined, as focus changed to caring for the child’s needs and whims, no “no”, no physical punishment. Parents became servants to children.

Number of children in a family declined with more effective contraception and availability of safe abortions. Both factors freeing parents to devote themselves to their one or two children.

Parental status and confidence was further eroded by the blossoming dominion of the knowledge class of experts (psychologists, educators, doctors) who wrote papers on outliers of clinical analysis, while rarely experiencing 24/7 hard tack parenting with children.

The pendulum swung from authoritarian to indulgent.

What was missing was the position of children in the context of family and community, rather than special, favoured entities with neither boundaries nor responsibility. Context is a critical element of making decisions with which we can live.

  • Marxist feminists in the 1970s, clamoured for equal opportunity for women in the workplace, built on the cemetery of family care work. Boasting more abortions than children, they populated positions of influence in the bureaucracy and led the family policy agenda. Hostility to women caring for their own families was rampant, reflected in taxation policies favouring single people, intended to coerce women into the workforce where condescension failed.

Missing from policy settings

As always, blind ideology overlooks matters important in people’s lives:

  • People value their children and families, however bungling their parenting may be;
  • Promises for women to have it all at once have proven a sham as scarcity of partners and infertility for women too often denies them late promise of children once glass ceilings have been broken;
  • Overlooked by feminists was the extended term and quality of life gained largely by women caring for families – in improved health care, sanitation, diet and education. All beneficial factors show decline as women largely abandoned family care work to the “experts” in childcare, psychology and schools.  Experts have not done any better.

Plenty of opportunities now exist for career changes, for retraining and re-entering the workforce for women and men over a long life of 80 or so years. Having only one or two children means a long life of self-interest.

While parents of principle and faith stick to their guns in driving behaviours in children most likely to result in productive young adults, many have succumbed to fads that undermine their purpose and betray their children.

Putting in the right effort at the right time of a child’s life means success is more likely, though not guaranteed. Preschool years are crucial for development of relationships and skills.

Who is in Charge?

After decades of child-centred and laissez-faire complacent parenting, we should not be surprised by the outbreak of violence, youth rampant in the streets, uninvited assaults, theft, burglary, stabbings and assaults. That is without even addressing the ill-discipline of rampant addiction to screens and drugs.

A couple of factors appear glaringly obvious:

  • Youths have not felt the weight of responsibility for their actions. Spock’s never saying “no” has removed boundaries of accepted community decency. Context of child in community has been lacking.

Absence of physical punishment for childhood misbehaviour has not meant physical punishment has gone away: it is just being meted out by children to other children, to parents, grandparents and community. Ingratitude and entitlement reign. Oldies should just drop off their perch and leave their hard-earned to the undeserving. Otherwise, the kids will just take it.

Physical punishment for children is now frowned upon, parents even punishable by law. Yet the law repeatedly lets youth off for crimes committed, so it appears that even the community beset by crime remains unrelieved. Running a business only to have it broken into and goods stolen multiple times, or buying a car important for functioning only to have it stolen and smashed up is discouraging and costly. Even the law is not in charge.

The modern way is to reason with the child, often too young and cognitively undeveloped to understand reasoning and consequences. The longer parents jaw off, the more the child is in charge.

Parenting is hard work

Parenting is hard work – emotionally, physically and financially. No wonder many, immature at family establishment, fail to stump up to own responsibility for doing the hard yards, setting the boundaries, holding firm under pressure of fads, experts, peers and children, while being denigrated, taxed and discouraged.

All too easy to look for relief from responsibility in childcare, employment, diagnosis of alphabet conditions to attract lifetime funding, when the physical effort of getting kids out to a park to run freely until exhausted is considered too much work. Yet an exhausting run is what many need to spark brain activity and enable poor behaviour to be brought into line.

Expensive chemical and expert advice may provide some parental solace, which must be weighed against the damage to a child of a lifetime of dependency, victimhood or crime.

Parents have to grow up themselves, lift their game, put in the physical effort for the short time they are responsible for children in a long life. Remediation is fraught, costly and likely to have limited success. Parents owe it to their children and the rest of the community.

Parents are in charge. Abrogating decision-making responsibility to children is a dereliction of duty, leaving both parents and children immature, leading to family breakdown, with major social and economic costs.

New gods who believe they can change the climate, morality and values, could draw wisdom from the ages which cautioned, “cosset your son, make a darling of him, binding up his every wound, heart wrung by every cry, and he will set your teeth on edge with the bitterness of his ways.”


Problem, Context and Facts

The Voice: plenty of talk, not many listening.

Principles for Major Decisions

The coming referendum on the Voice is a major decision for each of us that has the potential to change the culture of equality and procedural fairness in Australia. When voting on the referendum to change the Constitution, each of us needs to consider responsibly the merits and implications of the Voice.

My Maturity Model for decision making was designed to help people become confident in making decisions important in their lives when the consequences of decisions must be lived with. The referendum on the Voice is one such critical point in time. Results factored into our Constitution will have to be lived with.

Elements of my Maturity Model balance choice, responsibility and expectation to maintain harmony. Once expectations increase, responsibilities increase commensurately, and choice diminishes. Such a situation is unsustainable, resulting in fragmentation of individuals and groups, leading to immense social and financial costs. All predictable.

Measured against my Maturity Model, the Voice has the potential for distortion of equality accepted by all. Anyone claiming to be aboriginal will have additional power over choices that affect us, at a time when eleven aboriginal representatives have been elected to stand in federal parliament alongside all others.

Defining the Problem

In Business 101, the first task is to define the problem before seeking and proposing a solution. We should be asking for what problem is the Voice a solution? Will the Voice solve the problem? And how?

According to proponents of the Voice, “Closing the Gap” is the intended purpose of going to a referendum to change the Constitution to give Aborigines special recognition, and it seems, special governance power.

Efforts to close the gap life metrics between aboriginal and others have now been ongoing since 2008. A lot of money, effort, good will and consultation has been invested to advance the wellbeing of Aborigines. Progress has been achieved in some areas yet remain stalled in others. Education and incarceration rates remain fraught. Outcomes in both are linked. Low educational achievement tends to result in poor health outcomes, unemployment and incarceration.

If ‘closing the gap’ is the problem, what difference will the Voice make that has not been achieved already after 14 years concentrated effort? Just as importantly, will a change in the Constitution recognising the importance of Aborigines as original inhabitants satisfy aboriginal demands going forward? Already moves are afoot to change place names for aboriginal ones, generate treaties and claim reparations. Seems there is no end to expectations. Remember using the MM, increased expectations from Aborigines means increased responsibilities and costs for us, along with diminished choice – not sustainable.

Inevitably Australia would have been settled by a foreign power; thankfully it just happened to be the British who brought universal equality in law and language. Over the last 50 years, despite innumerable special days acknowledging Aborigines, culture, apologies, flags, welcome to country, acknowledgement of elders at every session of every event, special indigenous sporting events, festivals, their radio and TV, equality in law and $33billion invested annually, racism is claimed at every turn. People of goodwill become weary when there is no end to demands.

The Voice demanding to be heard may find people of goodwill weary of listening to victimhood, racism, blame and guilt. Australians just want to move forward together.

Context and Facts

Without an understanding of context, poor decisions will inevitably be made. Rarely are facts allowed to get in the way of a political concept like the Voice.

Facts providing context for the Voice are not limited to:

  • 120 years ago, lifespan for Aborigines and whites were roughly the same – around 48-50 years
  • In the intervening years improvements in health, education and sanitation have extended by around 30 years the lifespan for most of the population, including 75% of Aborigines integrated into the wider community. Difficulties in attaining uptake in health, education and sanitation means 25% Aborigines on homelands now lag whites, despite extraordinary efforts and investment to ‘close the gap’. Unacknowledged is the 20-year increase in lifespan for Aborigines already attained through respectful efforts by people of goodwill.
  • Infant mortality and morbidity were also similar between races. Again, concentrated extraordinary efforts have improved metrics for all, though not quite as much for Aborigines. Furthermore, parental alcohol consumption during pregnancy has resulted in too many aboriginal babies born with FASD (foetal alcohol syndrome disorder), condemned to a life of poor learning, intransigent behavioural problems and crime affecting themselves and everyone in the community.
  • Education: it has only been since Labor Science Minister Barry Jones encouraged higher education in the 80’s that more students continued to Year 12 and University. Opportunities for aboriginal students are not so far behind so long as they engage in elementary education, an aboriginal community responsibility.
  • Aboriginal culture and economy defined anthropologically by nomadism, have not done well when confined to western style housing on homelands. Sanitation and health suffer when historical nomads remain stationary. Overcrowding and alcohol disrupt social order. Violence and sexual abuse compound dysfunction. Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price from Alice Springs believes that changing the Constitution will not address the scourge of alcohol, sexual and physical violence and low education attendance demoralising remote communities.
  • Storage, non-existent in nomadic culture, is difficult to inculcate in a traditionally nomadic culture that essentially consumed available resources on the day.
  • In his book Whiteman’s dream(for aboriginal self-determination) Gary John’s believes that progress has been hindered by findings of the three major enquiries over 30 years that fostered aboriginal victimhood: Deaths in custody, Stolen generation and Hindmarsh Island. No claim has been proven. Yet ensuing policies continuing the disproven narrative have fostered victimhood, depriving Aborigines of responsibility for determining their future, loading whites with bottomless guilt, shame, racism and demands for reparation. Ultimately Aborigines must pick up their bed and walk, or else call an uber.

Walpiri/Celtic woman Price seeks real solutions for indigenous people that will help all Australians, echoed by Johns’ insights and solutions have little relevance to the Voice:

Land rights, welfare and culture have locked Aborigines out of the good life. Land has become a burden, welfare has become disabling, bad behaviour is mistaken for culture. There is a way out. Aborigines must abide by the same rules as every other Australian — seek out opportunities, study hard, and free themselves from a culture of bad behaviour. 

The way to go

As changes to the Constitution have major ongoing legal implications for us all, it’s best if we identify the problem to be solved by the Voice and determine whether the solution offered in a “Voice” is the way to go.

A lot of people are talking, few are listening.     

Alfredo Ortiz’s provocative new book, The Real Race Revolutionaries, provides genuine options based on facts. Oriz explores the debate contested between two African American thought leaders a hundred years ago. WEB Du Bois argued that activism and political power were the best pathway to racial equality and that capitalism was inherently racist. In the interim political activism has embedded racial division. Whereas Booker T Washington believed black Americans should harness the power of capitalism to become economically independent, pursuing an agenda of education, industry, thrift and ownership. Ortiz details black entrepreneurs who have been successful in building businesses, employing their peers.

Former tennis champion Yvonne Goolagong’s workshops for aboriginal entrepreneurship seem to be on the right track. My white woman’s dream is for teams of aboriginal tradies to rove remote communities affecting repairs and maintenance of properties, local aboriginal run bakeries and cafes to thrive, butcher shops and community gardens producing vegetables. At least such a dream, in concert with Booker Washington’s inspired idea, would be much better than the nightmare of violence, alcohol and racism inherent in the Voice.


Gifts of Christmas

Acceptance and forgiveness are the greatest gifts for Christmas.

Christmas traditions derive from the very beginning with the birth of Christ – travelling long distances to be with people we love, bringing gifts as did the wise men from the East. Family members will often cross the country or the globe to be with those special to them at Christmas time.

Repeated in families of every kind are welcome festivities with lashings of special foods, exchanging gifts thoughtfully made or purchased. Other traditions like the evergreen tree decorated with promising fruit, topped by the star shining the way to new life envisioned, symbolically for the new baby, in fact for us all. Peace, new hope, replenishment and restoration fill the air with the sounds of music inspired by deep spiritual significance of the occasion, whether believers or not, in the original true spirit of inclusivity.

Achieving Christmas Harmony

Bringing a lot of people together for a short time can result in a measure of disharmony, as people assert themselves, unaccustomed cordially to accommodating different points of view. Then there are those who sit back and expect to be waited on, contributing nothing to the bonhomie of the occasion. Others can be outright aggressive, unwilling to put aside differences for a day out of respect for the hosts and those who have contributed much to the occasion.

In Paul Theroux’s novel Motherland, the seven adult siblings, even as they aged, consistently resorted to patterned childhood behaviours when getting together for a family gathering. Never did they seem to grow on or grow up. The inevitable result was friction, unpleasantness and blow-ups, at the very time when rejoicing and gratitude were warranted. Don’t let this happen to your Christmas celebrations.

In recognition of the reality of how fraught family gatherings can be, a local radio station has been offering callers the opportunity to assist with peace negotiations to help ensure such a special occasion this Christmas generates the harmony intended. Now that’s a practical idea!

Christian churches offer peace at Christmas. We share gifts in love. Rule 12 of the Fourteen Teachings of Buddha invokes: The greatest gift in life is acceptance and forgiveness, two priceless and costless gifts, crucial to peace and harmony at any time, and especially at Christmas.

Acceptance and forgiveness can be hard to come by in families fractured by hurt, real or perceived, judged by today’s standards against what happened (or not) decades ago, stories of woundedness cultivated in self-pity, so practiced that they’re hard to let go of to grasp the hope and promise of renewal inherent in the season. As the statement from the Royal palace enunciated regarding Harry and Meghan’s claims of racism, recollections may vary.

Yet forgiveness may be hard to muster for those who have been subjected to vicious and unwarranted hatred and vitriol from those who they loved. Isolation and humiliation as means of domination are unworthy of the simple Buddhist invocation to acceptance of people where they are at, whatever their condition.

Acceptance of Self

Few of us lend to the magnanimity of the Abdallah family who lost three children and a cousin in an Oatlands tragedy. A group of cousins innocently walking to the shop for an ice cream were hit and four were killed by a drunk, drugged driver. Though grief stricken, this deeply Christian family accepted the reality of the tragedy, absorbed their grief in faith and forgave the perpetrator. This could not have been easy.

On the anniversary of the children’s death, the family launched ‘I4giveDay’, encouraging others to forgiveness in the interests of peace and harmony. Life is short. Why make it more unpleasant than the daily life struggle faced by us all? In doing so the Abdallahs spared themselves years of self-consuming hatred, resentment and desire for revenge, none of which was likely to bring peace or satiate their grief.

Oh! That we could marshal the Abdallah spirit this Christmas! Begin by acknowledging our own grief and hurt, mourning our losses. Then, by allowing acceptance of ourselves, we can forgive ourselves and forgive others who have hurt us, for they know not what they do, even if what they do has been deliberate.

We matter most. None of us is perfect. Over a long life, flaws can percolate and break through to hurt others. Unlike religious cults of environment, race, gender and colonialism now dominating the nation’s agenda, it’s okay to acknowledge faults, make reparation and seek forgiveness. We can also forgive others.

Taking a cue from the Buddhists, acceptance and forgiveness, beginning with ourselves, are the greatest gifts we can give and receive this Christmas. Extended to others, the spirit miraculously conjures up the warmth, love, peace on earth to people of good will so long promised.

A very happy Christmas to you all. Blessings!

Abdallah family

Don’t Ask! Don’t Say!

It’s more offensive to name what is wrong than do wrong. (Paula Collins)

Over the last couple of years George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, seems to have come into its own as a manual for governance. Prols of the novel (people like us) could not think, ask or speak for themselves or their experience: they had to obey unquestioningly the narrative put out by Big Brother who watched constantly. Sounds familiar to recent experience of COVID and climate change.

As global tensions between autocracies and democracies play out to determine the better form of running a country, autocracy (Big Brother) seems to be creeping ahead as most favoured by leaders. Left leaning media largely fails in its job of calling government to account, having aligned themselves with Big Tech and Big Corporations in holding power with government of the day, influencing rather than enquiring.

Courage to question or voice an alternative point of view can end up costing legal process, reputation, job, career, house and friends, cancelled from social media and disparaged as a disrupter. Pregnant Zoe-Lee Buhler found out how damaging speaking up can be when she was handcuffed in her lounge room in front of her children and partner when charged with incitement merely for posting a lockdown protest meeting on Facebook. Trolls on social media piled on criticism of her.

In the USA people who had the gall to support Trump or hold pro-choice views have been raided by the FBI, arrested in front of their families, their electronic devices confiscated. A Canadian café owner was shut down, charged and bank accounts seized for donating coffee to truckers protesting vaccination mandates.

Conversely, second biggest donor to the Democrat campaign, FTX Cryptocurrency operator, Sam Bankman-Fried remains free, swanning polyamorously in the Bahamas, while people lose their life savings in the US$40billion collapse of his scam. His saving grace? Effective altruism, using promotion of accepted woke narratives to escape scrutiny.

Weaponising the police against dissenters is just so “Big Brother”, breaching as it does the separation of powers between governing and legal arms of administration, undermining institutions of democracy. It is also a function of fascism and communism.

After a big news splash, public humiliation and extortionate costs, all too often these politically motivated actions fizzle to nothing once political advantage has been secured. Still the point has been made: ask questions and speak out and you will be punished.

Firm and Family controls

If you think Big Brother controls exist only in government, you are wrong. In many families and firms, similar autocracy prevails. The boss or some other crazy maker can be forever “herding” workers into compliance with their diktats, allowing no other point of view. Work becomes particularly unpleasant and unsatisfying. Bureaucracies in big firms and public service are infamous for it. Compliance with the rule of the day prevails, though emphasis and orders may change. Rather than put up with it, long sufferers leave for greener options, unfortunately taking with them the chance of organisational renewal. In his book Beyond Order Jordan Peterson details the psychological distress of a client under capture to a crazy maker and how, with counselling and support for a new direction, alleviation and escape were attained.

In families things can be little different. Traditionally older parents exerted stern controls over children and others. Since Dr Spock’s book Baby and Child Care popularised child-centred care, respect and power in families and community have inverted. Indulged children are negotiated with rather than disciplined. Now it’s parents and elderly who are more likely to run the gamut of disapproval, cowed into silence for daring to question or speak their piece, forever walking on eggshells for fear of offending. A dominant sibling can assert similar inordinate power. Positive progress stalls when discussion is stymied. Ostracism once metered out to children for poor behaviour is shamelessly foisted onto elders for existing and having a point of view. Options for alleviation and escape for them are limited, though not exhausted.

Effects of power and control

Controlling the narrative to exert power and control over others has multiple effects:

  • Responsibility is foisted on those less able to bear it as expectations increase and tolerance of dissent declines. Fragmentation of individuals and groups invariably occurs, with high social and financial costs.
  • Naked emperor syndrome, as no one is allowed to say the narrative is baseless, because of the effect it would have over prevailing power and control of the populace. Sham is ultimately exposed. (Think COVID mandates without a scientific base and treatments refuted).
  • Unsustainable, autocratic power has a lifecycle unrenewed through evolution, ends up consuming itself, even though many suffer till the end (think North Korea, CCP, Daniel Andrews).
  • Truth has a way of emerging, eventually, as Orwell’s character reflects, “They can make you say anything – anything – but they can’t make you believe it.” (p192)

Autocrats rob individuals of responsibility and choice. For those pursuing forever infantilism over maturity, living or working under tyrannical rule may suit. Never will they be held responsible for what happens, sad though it is to encounter one late in life who clings to child-like ignorance.

On cult like issues orchestrating mass fear such as Climate Change and Covid mandates, the irresponsible, cloaked in the virtue of compliance with the narrative, assume virtuous, dogmatic judgement on those daring to raise an alternative position or failing to comply.

When people are silenced and herded into compliance, democracy which has been honed by freedom of speech and respectful debate loses out to autocracy.

Personal solutions

Most of us are powerless to influence change on a national or international scale unless we band together with other like-minded individuals. We are best able to exert positive influence our own lives (hard enough) and perhaps ripple out to others within our sphere of influence.

The Maturity Model for decision-making outlined in my book Becoming emphasises individual responsibility and management of expectations in making confident choices one can live with. Jordan Peterson also focuses on responsibility for taking charge over one’s life, no matter how unsatisfactory things may be. Responsibility (rather than blame) is the way to maturity and wholeness as a person.

To reduce fear, deal in facts, not fantasy of the doomsday cults. Cultivate a sense of humour and gratitude for what we have. Enjoy the present. Celebrate the wonders of innovation that solves so many of the world’s problems. Support those who carry heavy loads. Be kind.

Where relationships are intractable, take Jesus’ advice, “Shake their dust from your sandals and move on.” Or don’t go as often or stay as long.

As former PM Malcolm Fraser said, Life wasn’t mean to be easy. Asking questions and speaking out aren’t easy either, as so many have found out. Yet context is critical. Satisfy yourself your contribution has value in the overall scheme of life. Ask and speak up.  

Communication, Uncategorized

Dying to be listened to


At a recent Christening I was reminded that an infant first learns to listen as a means of developing the capacity to speak. That we should be reminded as valuable practice at any stage of life!

Listening is a precious grace seemingly lost in an era predominated by digital communications “talking” at us,  promoting impossible ideals of celebrity or terse text messages bereft of context or feeling.

Young men and elderly women appear most impacted. For want of someone to listen, in times of depression and desperation they may feel inclined to take their lives.

Young men

For young men, waves of assertive feminism have shifted known elements of the mobile of relationships, confusing and undermining their confidence. Women asserted the right to speak out, step up and take their rightful place in the world. Now women outnumber men 3-2 on campus; the global #metoo movement demanded women be listened to and believed. Mentoring, quotas and gender preference crashed through many glass ceilings. Yet all is not well for everyone.

In communities, including indigenous communities, the role of men has been confounded as women asserted their roles, no longer willing to be mere chattels.

Jordan Peterson’s podcasts which resonate with young men searching for resolution have proven worthy antidotes to the confusion. By taking up Peterson’s challenge to pick up responsibility for creating their own future, with due sensitivities, many pursue the pathway to confidence and self-assurance.

Once a month I participate in a meet-up group to discuss Peterson’s work. An eclectic variety of people attend to listen, discuss and share. Many are conversant with other authors of similar stature as Peterson and have listened to a wide variety of commentators on similar topics. Discussion is rich and informative, allowing all points of view to be heard as a basis for measuring one’s own. Close, attentive listening is essential to participation. Sure beats trying to engage with people of closed minds who are ever offended.

Other authors such as Richard Reeves, whose book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It (Brookings Institution Press, 2022) similarly deplores the number of young adult male suicides resulting from too many wagging fingers and two few helping hands.

Peterson did not set out to become famous; merely to be of service to his students. He began podcasting his lectures to support learning. Popularity of the lectures quickly spread more broadly with the convergence of internet technology and latent needs of young men for a sound “father” advisory figure. Peterson’s podcasts provided a guide to self-identification and worth amongst a claustrophobic woke atmosphere that betrays truth, stifles debate and views them as “toxic males”.

Peterson emerged with models for mature masculinity at a time when previous hardy male roles from fireman to plumber dissipated. At the same time, men’s greater involvement in family care and responsibility softened the edges of former harsh role division. Many men are embracing the welcome change. Others feel sidelined, being disdained as white, male, toxic or supremist.

Pornographic depictions of relationships have not helped. Sadly, women are being killed in domestic violence at a rate of one a week in this country – the tip of an iceberg of irresolution of healthy masculinity in the context of changed values and expectations.

Yet in his conversations and podcasts, rich in history, philosophy, psychology and scripture, Peterson firmly and quietly asserts truth that young men (and others) can build upon. Each is challenged to own responsibility for changing the untenable in their lives to build their own future based on truth, which requires courage. No wonder he is brought to tears of empathy when relating how young men who have been without hope have approached him to express profound gratitude. His words saved their lives when they were dying to be listened to.

Elderly women

Elderly women living alone can experience just as much desperation, depression and be prone to suicide as young men. For young men challenges have been brought about by structural societal change as a result of more assertive feminism that confounds their role in life. Identity challenges for elderly women are the result of demographic changes that have extended life, inviting options though not solutions as they pass their use by date.

In little over 100 years, the term of life for many has extended from 50 years to 80-90 years. We are still trying to understand and adjust. Women are most likely to be alone at the end of life, either from divorce or widowhood. Capable women who have absorbed the slings and arrows of family vicissitudes are often still expected to do so in later years, even as they experience physical, social and financial diminishments.

In the broader society, those ignorant of history are prone to condemn people who had significant influence on the past. Statues are damaged or pulled down, books abolished and achievements tarnished based on some perceived flaw viewed by today’s values and ignorance of context (think Lincoln, Rhodes, Churchill, Captain Cook). Attempts appear aimed at denying history instead of generating a more promising future.

Little may be different in families. Parental actions taken decades earlier with best intentions tend to be judged harshly according to today’s standards. Misogyny prevails in that men are rarely confronted with a similar burden of responsibility for family history, which cannot be changed, any more than other imperfect people like Churchill and Lincoln.

 Important, busy, powerful middle-aged children can be impatient and terse, given to texting as token communication, rather than phoning or paying a visit.

Even when an elderly woman alone happens to receive an occasional visits or calls from family (if they are lucky) she may be brow beaten. Without anyone to stand in her corner or affirm worth it can be a very damaging and depressing position to be in. No wonder so many wish to hasten the end of life.

Yet all it would take to change is acceptance of the elderly woman where she is at, an occasional patient visit or phone call to affirm interest and someone to listen as if the woman was worthy and human. Like kissing frogs, she may turn into a princess of gratitude and interest.

Where an elderly woman has been isolated and humiliated by people she has loved and reared, hurt is even harder to absorb. Yet, Peterson (and Jesus) advises to be grateful for the suffering as impetus to reach out to other families, people and groups who demonstrate greater respect and acceptance. Not easy to do when siblings and friends die at an increasing rate, leaving one ever more isolated and alone.

All credit to those who do as Peterson suggests, take responsibility for creating a positive future by actively reaching out to others and new interests. Technology now enables us to do so whatever our physical limitations. Be ever open to making new, younger friends and be interested in others, their lives and achievements.

They are a blessing who value their elderly as windows to past family history, providing context for today’s understanding, accepting their idiosyncrasies. Willingness to share life and interests of children and grandchildren is rich reward to the elderly for efforts over a lifetime. Families achieving mutual healthy respect and acceptance demonstrate a way to process the demographic change that leaves a cohort of elderly women dying to be listened to.

Child and family, Uncategorized

Investing in Family Care

 At the outset be clear that this blog is not a recommendation for institutional or home care for small children. That is entirely a choice for parents who consider all their circumstances to decide what is best for their family in their current situation. Rather my intention is to affirm parents in their efforts to lay the foundation of the whole of the child’s life in early care.

Two things have moved me to write on this topic: firstly, election of Giorgia Meloni, first female Prime Minister of Italy, boldly standing for “family, faith and country”; and Virginia Tapscott’s article in The Australian (I care for my own kids, so why lam I made to feel like a freak?).


For her belief in what we would see as normal, Meloni is being derided as “far right” and “Fascist”. For looking after her own children, Tapscott is made to feel like a freak. Both false assertions reflect the global trend to break down family by gaining control over children, our children.

Demonising people of faith, especially Christian or Jewish faith, depriving them of employment is part of the narrative of social revolution. Just ask Andrew Thorburn, former NAB Executive, who lasted only one day as CEO of Essendon AFL club once someone found online nine year old sermons presented by someone (not him) associated with the Church which he heads. Or Israel Folau, Australia’s best rugby player, sacked because he posted his Christian beliefs on private social media. Or George Pell, hunted down by Victoria Police to pin accusations of child sexual abuse against him. Pell spent 400 days in jail before the High Court, in a unanimous decision, overturned the flawed conviction.

Issues like these are what Meloni is standing up for. Italy, as closest to North Africa, has borne the brunt of Angela Merkel’s EU decision to allow untrammelled flow of illegal immigrants from Africa. An estimated 5 million took advantage of the opportunity. Italy is just one of EU countries having to deal with clusters of illegal Muslim immigrants who have fled unsavoury cultures, yet bring it with them, rather than absorb and reflect the best of the culture to which they have fled. Makes me wonder why they bothered.

Biden is just as deliberate in narcissistic compassion opening the US border. Already 2.3 million people from all over the world have crossed since his presidency, funding the cartels and fentanyl that has already killed 107,000 young Americans in a year. Thanks to former PM Tony Abbott, Australia had that problem sorted years ago, while being savagely pilloried for doing so.

There is nothing fascist about Meloni seeking to restore and refocus on Italy’s wonderful history and cultural treasures, to rejoice in the tradition of family and historical riches of Christian faith. A majority of Italians obviously think so.


On attending the jobs and work summit, Tapscott found out how little family care work was valued. Availability and subsidies for childcare have continued to increase to incentivise women with pre-school children to re-enter the workforce. Little deference was afforded family care work on which so much of the market economy depends.

Tapscott’s experience updates a debate that has surfaced from time to time since the 1970s and 80s when pressure for equality of opportunity for women in the workforce emerged as a critical issue in women’s independence. Having one’s own income would empower women to make choices in their own lives. Freely available abortion was a central tenet of the push. The family was seen as “hostile to women”. Men too were viewed as patriarchal. Family care work was deemed “unproductive” in simplistic Marxist terms because it was not paid, unions having negotiated for a “family wage” to enable working men to provide for their families.

Context and truth for the debate

As State and National President of Women’s Action Alliance, annually I attended pre-budget talks with the Prime Minister and Cabinet and made representations to Ministers seeking greater education and work opportunities for women, at the same time as value for family care work. Income splitting was proposed as a more equitable way of accommodating people who were doing the right thing producing and socialising larger post-war families. We successfully lobbied the ABS to include a question on unpaid work in the Census. Griffith University published my research essay, Why Value Unpaid Work.

At the same time, demographic changes were affecting our social mores: in extended term and quality of life; and better contraception with the pill, which with abortion, led to smaller families of around 1.6 children. People now live a long life of 80-90 years. Women could have it all, at once! Except in reality, they found that to be untrue. By the time women achieved their labour market or political heights, fertility had declined.

I noticed that the drive for equality in work for women created a blind spot in feminist rhetoric and family policy, touched on by Tapscott, which ignored the impact on the mother/parent and child in the long term.

Literature emphasises what care is undertaken to/for the child. Little attention is paid to what the child does to/for the parents: invoking love, care, responsibility and bonding that impels maturity in the person caring. We become more whole people in our loving response to the child’s invocation.

This mutually beneficial exchange between the parent and child lays the foundation for relationships, language and skills upon which the whole of the child’s life will be built. Done well, prospects for the child abound. Done poorly, long, costly, fraught and often unsuccessful attempts at remediation ensue. The 47,000 children in state care are ample evidence of failure that is far more costly than would be tax concessions to functioning families to emphasise the value of their work producing and socialising the next generations.

Childhood is fleeting. In the context of a long life of 80-90 years of self-interest, a couple of years laying a sound foundation for development of the next generation are small sacrifices to make and worthy investments. The rewards are certainly worth it.

Lifetime institutionalisation of children who have escaped abortion leaves them vulnerable to false indoctrination on environment, critical race theory and gender fluidity that undermines their lives and our democratic Judeo-Christian institutions and culture.

Investing in family care also means keeping alive our family history, warts and all, as context for today’s families’ decisions, attitudes and achievements. Keeping alive our national history and civic knowledge provides context for the country’s decisions, education and culture. That’s why it’s so important to invest in family care.


Wealth and Power

Nobody and nothing is perfect. Yet many who’ve grown wealthy risking and taking initiative, stepping up, working hard to win, can be dismissive of the value intelligence of others not so financially blessed, especially in matters affecting their own lives.

We’re every ready to applaud achievements of the wealthy, especially when benefits accrue to the population at large.

Perhaps like me, you’ve been looked down on as stupid because you haven’t attained the same grand wealth of those who’ve reached the pinnacle, joined the club of global elites to bask in mutual congratulatory warmth, well above the fray. With a little humility, other factors like timing, good luck and personal supports could be recognised as contributing to success, not just their own efforts.

It’s worth having a look at what a few wealthy people have done with their excess money, over and above attending to essentials.

In Australia

Australia has a handful of people who’ve grown wealthy on the back of digging up minerals for export, primarily to satisfy China’s insatiable demand. Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, sponsors Olympic swimmers and rowers to encourage them to do their best. Others don the God complex to save the country and the world from Climate Change, the taxpayer subsidised scam.

Twiggy Forrest seems an affable sort of guy who has been particularly generous in supporting Indigenous training, employment and business development. His business and charitable pursuits have been lauded at home and abroad. So much so he’s been able to grease a smooth path through the corridors of global power to push his green hydrogen initiative tapping nobly into the ‘renewables’ gravy train as a glorious saviour of the planet.

Twiggy claims $A9.2 billion investment over four years will complete decarbonisation of the company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

Hydrogen’s natural abundance and carbon-free combustibility have made it the holy grail of clean fuels for decades. But while it is the most common element in the universe, it is highly unstable, and left to its own devices always bonds to other elements. Getting hold of it in its pure, useful form is labour- and resource-intensive and expensive, especially if you want to do it with zero emissions.

Forrest faces at least three huge cost challenges: making hydrogen cheaply using renewably-generated electricity; storing it cheaply and safely; and exporting it. The challenge is to make green hydrogen cheaper to produce, store and transport than key competitor fuels or energy stores, such as coking coal, natural gas and lithium-ion batteries.

Whereas traditionally scientists would develop a test model to prove the technology before expanding into production, Twiggy is going the whole hog straight up. Taxpayers struggling to get over COVID to build or rent a home will be expected to subsidise yet another unproven CC frolic.

Nobody is perfect.

Simon Holmes a Court directed the power of his inherited wealth to political interests and “renewables”’, funding a dozen or so Teal candidates to run against Coalition candidates pushing the CC agenda. Not only were candidates to unseat his adversaries, they would push through parliament extreme “renewables” policies to benefit his green investments. Holmes a Court used a female front to save the country and the world. How noble!


George Soros, an Hungarian who escaped to London in 1944, made his $billions as an investor buying and selling English pounds, to break the Bank of England. Through $32 billion invested in his Open Society Foundations he has funded such worthy causes as academic scholarships to South Africans under apartheid and students from Eastern bloc countries to develop broader thinking of different governance systems.

More recently, funding has been directed at undermining the legal integrity of governance in the USA.  By funding 300 left wing Attorneys General who introduced no cash bail practices that allows thefts, injury and murders to be waved through the courts, keeps criminals out of prison. No consideration is afforded the victims. As a result, tax-paying residents are inconvenienced as shops and large chain retail outlets close in these Sanctuary Cities. Crime, homelessness and drugs have increased inordinately, making living there unsafe and unpleasant.

At time of writing Soros’ foundation is funding legal action on behalf of the 50 illegal immigrants that Governor Ron de Santis of Florida flew to the exclusive compound of Martha’s Vineyard to highlight the difficult plight of Border States dealing with President Biden’s open borders policy.

Bill Gates: One would think that a person of over $100 billion wealth and much awarded globally for both his technological development in computing and charitable endeavours of the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation financing the dissemination of life saving vaccines around the world, would give pause and thanks. Yet success and awards tend to feed omnipotence.

Not satisfied with granting the world with computing technology at our cost, Bill joined the Great Reset of the WEF (World Economic Forum) bringing green socialism to the world, where we’ll own nothing and be happy. The irony of denying to plebs the very capitalist system that facilitated Gates’ vast fortune is not lost on me, even though it will be deemed honourable, saving the planet.

Gates’ idle capital has recently been active in pursuits that will affect us mightily:

  • Tracking our behaviours by embedded chips, to be controlled by whom? Him? On some CCP socialist credit system, as promoted at the WEF in Davos;
  • Promoting insects and artificial food as suitable nutrition instead of meat, deemed contributing to CC;
  • Investing in media and communications such as the BBC to control the narrative. Having a vaccine-injured support group silenced on social media is beyond unconscionable;
  •  Buying up vast tracts of productive land that will affect food security.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame, like his counterpart Jack Dorsey of Twitter, has also applied his wealth by exercising influence into the political arena beyond his original success. Each sought to change the balance of the 2020 USA election by banning President Trump from their carriage services. Zuckerberg also now admits to conspiring with the FBI to hide the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop holding evidence of the Biden family’s corruption. Exposure would have changed the voting pattern of many who favoured Democrats. Algorithms filtered, cancelled and banned any who posed a view alternative to Biden or supportive of Trump.

Through his charitable foundations, for the 2020 USA election Zuckerberg invested $400 million in vote harvesting in six critical states to swing the election to Biden and the Democrats.

Well, Zuckerberg’s wealth and power, through the manipulation allowing Biden to become President has cost dearly the USA, the world and ordinary individuals like us, in failed governance, foolish green policies to address the fantasy of CC, international disruption from the war in Ukraine, threats from emboldened China, North Korea and Iran, the rising cost of fuel and inflation, and the almost total breakdown of borders, law and order. What a return on investment of a mere corrupt $400m.

Analysis of each of those mentioned shows that attainment of great wealth delivering something worthwhile lends to notions of omnipotence, exercise of God-like power beyond scope and contempt for people like us. Although nobody is perfect, no wonder it’s hard to fit through the eye of a needle.

For us

Our ideas matter, especially when well informed. Emotion should not rule on matters of climate change. Facts are: there is no appreciable change in climate. Natural disasters are in decline, polar ice is stable and polar bears flourishing, the Great Barrier Reef is in robust good health. We should all continue to be mindful of caring for the environment, yet alert to the CC scams that suck money from taxpayers, increase the cost of energy and leave our energy and national security vulnerable.

Our opinions and votes matter if our country is to regain control over productivity, merit and reward for effort. A conversation, an email, a letter is our responsibility for addressing the excesses of wealth and power that diminish our value and relevance. We count.


Longer Life Lessons

Nothing and nobody in this life is perfect, especially when being confronted by unfamiliar experiences. Reflection of what is happening and how things could be better is usually worked out over time.

“How’s the hip?” asked the surgeon on a follow-up visit after surgery. “A bit hard to explain,” I said, trying to discern the difference between creaky joints and post-operative healing, “I’ve never had hip surgery before, nor been this old”. Recovery and rehabilitation was a new experience I had to learn to deal with.

Elderly amongst us are dealing with new experiences and changing relationships. Certainly in getting older, a noticeable shift in authority relationships occurs towards the following, more tech-savvy generations, who assume the mantle of responsibility for decision-making in families, work and community.

Not so long ago, these late mid-lifers with children off their hands and relatively healthy, would be free to enjoy later years unencumbered by elderly parents in decline. Just when they are relieved of responsibility for their own children, when the world of opportunity opens up for them, they may be challenged with the issue of how to care of elderly parents who’ve cared for them. Frustration is understandable.

Longer life, new lessons

Reciprocation is an important task of maturity. Willingness and good grace in meeting the needs of elderly parents who’ve given life and a platform for success are crucial elements of personal growth.

Continued growth to maturity for the elderly can also be found in their willingness and graciousness in acceptance of help offered, or not.

When and how to respond are dilemmas faced with rapid change resulting from accidents, illness and isolation. We are still working out patterns and policies of services and ways of communicating to see how effective efforts may be. For instance, elderly do not manage texts as well as person-to-person discussion: harm can be done in nuance lost through text. In any case, elders less acquainted with technology may not even have their mobile charged, switched on, or handy to use.

Lessons well done

Self-reliant elderly, who choose to down-size from the family residence to something more manageable in a retirement village, established for the comfort and enjoyment of peers, are best placed to live out their lives in optimum peace. Distanced from family responsibilities, mutual support and interests can be engaged at will. Personal posture and power can readily be maintained even in the face of encroaching physical and mental diminishments.

Choosing to leave the family home full of memories is probably the hardest decision, followed by what to let go. Challenging as they are, decisions such as these are further steps to maturity in ageing. Best to look at the limited time left to live to decide to take only what will be needed in the next stage.

Having a funeral photo taken early, while we still look presentable, leaves a more positive image of our life.

Lessons still to be learned

Not all families negotiate the challenges of ageing parents well. Busy, important, powerful adult offspring have shown to be cursory, terse and impatient in dealing with parents. They become impatient with the technology competence gap and slower pace of decision-making and moving that inconveniences their very important schedule.

Rushed decisions may be as minor as impromptu visits, changes to arrangements, demands for money, or exclusions from family events. Invariably elderly will need time to absorb the requests and fashion a response. Needing time does not mean elderly are stupid (although that is a possibility), as is often implied. Gracious silence does not mean approval of hustling.

Well-intentioned major life changing decisions like moving interstate or into a nursing home are not matters to be railroaded, though that is known to have happened. Adjustments to up-rooting of living arrangements, especially in inauspicious circumstances, are extremely hard to negotiate late in life. Affected with haste, bullying and inconsideration can mean later years end bitter, resentful and divisive.

Two areas of responsibility are necessary for maintaining civility, even love, during tenuous negotiations towards best end of life outcomes. Firstly, elderly themselves must give full consideration to how they expect to live out later years so they are ready to accept the possible inevitability of being cared for in assisted living. Secondly, responsible adult carers must develop respect and patience, even enjoyment of their parents who are part of their history and have given them life. Merely hastening their passage to be relieved of the burden of care or to reap the assets is a common, yet shameful approach, a poor lesson for those who come after. Powerful adult children will also age.


Many will be dismayed by attacks on our history: condemnation of key contributors like Captain Cook, Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill, defacing statues; burning books no longer judged acceptable according to today’s woke standards of equity, race, climate change, colonisation or gender. Quite unfairly, people are cancelled, discredited and isolated for living or speaking their truth.

Similar attitudes are exercised against elderly when judged by powerful midlife adult children who’ve failed to mature to accept elderly parents as they now are. History cannot be changed. In order to mature, adult children must move on from childhood recollections of how unfair life was for them (in their ‘story’), to accept life as it is now. Harsh judgements made against parents who operated in the context of their own history and values of the time are out of place today. Adult maturity means acceptance of reality, of people, with all their limitations. Blame is a function of immaturity, little different from burning Shakespeare and Enid Blyton, and about as much use.

Lessons to survive and flourish

Everyone, including the elderly, need to feel useful, valued and accepted for who they are. Gary Chapman’s 1992 book The Five Love Languages gives a clue about how that might be achieved:

  • Quality time: means willing, cheerful presence without the urgency to rush off;
  • Words of affirmation: are crucial to the mental wellbeing of someone feeling isolated;
  • Physical touch: becomes ever more important for those whose only contact with other humans may be their doctor;
  • Acts of service: Physical limitations may mean assistance is required with some tasks;
  • Gift giving: Perhaps becomes less important at later life stage, excepting small things to brighten a day.

A sense of humour in the elderly and their adult children is a great tolerance-inducing tension relief. While Ricky Gervais may not be everyone’s cup of tea, his Netflix series, After Life and Derek, were to me, funny, insightful glimpses of life in later years.

Gratitude is owed to those adult children who try to do their best for ageing and perhaps difficult parents, providing thoughtful, useful time and service to improve life, especially when delivered in a spirit and manner of acceptance, tolerance and patience.

Therein are today’s lessons for longer life to enjoy in peace and harmony. Tell me yours.