Thursday, January 26, 2017

Australia Day PART TWO Paul Keating REDFERN

   Australia Day ALWAYS reminds me of this Speech! I still remember watching it on the TV News that night and even with less passion for and experience of the deep issues it addresses I knew it was something so important. It evokes similarly strong feelings I held when we did hear Shane Blackman and others in Belmore Park in 1988.
   When Geoff Smith and I recalled this speech recently the anecdote was shared of Uncle Ray Minniecon talking about what it was like to be there...
   At the beginning [and you can hear it if you know] the crowd had a palpable anger and unrest, thinking blah, blah, blah... yep, here we go, the usual superficial stuff from our politicians. Only the raw honesty and plain speaking changes that...

Redfern Speech (Year for the World's Indigenous People)
Delivered in Redfern Park by Prime Minister Paul Keating, 10 December 1992

Ladies and gentlemen
I am very pleased to be here today at the launch of Australia's celebration of the 1993 International Year of the World's Indigenous People. It will be a year of great significance for Australia. 
It comes at a time when we have committed ourselves to succeeding in the test which so far we have always failed.

Because, in truth, we cannot confidently say that we have succeeded as we would like to have succeeded if we have not managed to extend opportunity and care, dignity and hope to the indigenous people of Australia - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

This is a fundamental test of our social goals and our national will: our ability to say to ourselves and the rest of the world that Australia is a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be - truly the land of the fair go and the better chance.

There is no more basic test of how seriously we mean these things.
It is a test of our self-knowledge.
Of how well we know the land we live in. How well we know our history.
How well we recognise the fact that, complex as our contemporary identity is, it cannot be separated from Aboriginal Australia.
How well we know what Aboriginal Australians know about Australia. 

Redfern is a good place to contemplate these things.
Just a mile or two from the place where the first European settlers landed, in too many ways it tells us that their failure to bring much more than devastation and demoralisation to Aboriginal Australia continues to be our failure.

More I think than most Australians recognise, the plight of Aboriginal Australians affects us all.
In Redfern it might be tempting to think that the reality Aboriginal Australians face is somehow contained here, and that the rest of us are insulated from it.
But of course, while all the dilemmas may exist here, they are far from contained. We know the same dilemmas and more are faced all over Australia.

That is perhaps the point of this Year of the World's Indigenous People: to bring the dispossessed out of the shadows, to recognise that they are part of us, and that we cannot give indigenous Australians up without giving up many of our own most deeply held values, much of our own identity - and our own humanity.

Nowhere in the world, I would venture, is the message more stark than it is in Australia.
We simply cannot sweep injustice aside. Even if our own conscience allowed us to, I am sure, that in due course, the world and the people of our region would not.
There should be no mistake about this - our success in resolving these issues will have a significant bearing on our standing in the world.

However intractable the problems seem, we cannot resign ourselves to failure - any more than we can hide behind the contemporary version of Social Darwinism which says that to reach back for the poor and dispossessed is to risk being dragged down.
That seems to me not only morally indefensible, but bad history. We non-Aboriginal Australians should perhaps remind ourselves that Australia once reached out for us.

Didn't Australia provide opportunity and care for the dispossessed Irish? The poor of Britain? The refugees from war and famine and persecution in the countries of Europe and Asia?

Isn't it reasonable to say that if we can build a prosperous and remarkably harmonious multicultural society in Australia, surely we can find just solutions to the problems which beset the first Australians - the people to whom the most injustice has been done.
And, as I say, the starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians.

It begins, I think, with that act of recognition.
Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.
We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. 
We brought the diseases. The alcohol.
We committed the murders.
We took the children from their mothers.
We practised discrimination and exclusion.
It was our ignorance and our prejudice.
And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.

With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds.

We failed to ask - how would I feel if this were done to me?
As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded all of us.
If we needed a reminder of this, we received it this year.
The Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody showed with devastating clarity that the past lives on in inequality, racism and injustice.

In the prejudice and ignorance of non-Aboriginal Australians, and in the demoralisation and desperation, the fractured identity, of so many Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
For all this, I do not believe that the Report should fill us with guilt.
Down the years, there has been no shortage of guilt, but it has not produced the responses we need.
Guilt is not a very constructive emotion.
I think what we need to do is open our hearts a bit.
All of us.

Perhaps when we recognise what we have in common we will see the things which must be done - the practical things.
There is something of this in the creation of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
The Council's mission is to forge a new partnership built on justice and equity and an appreciation of the heritage of Australia's indigenous people.

In the abstract those terms are meaningless.

We have to give meaning to "justice" and "equity" - and, as I have said several times this year, we will only give them meaning when we commit ourselves to achieving concrete results.

If we improve the living conditions in one town, they will improve in another. And another.
If we raise the standard of health by twenty per cent one year, it will be raised more the next.
If we open one door others will follow.
When we see improvement, when we see more dignity, more confidence, more happiness - we will know we are going to win.
We need these practical building blocks of change. The Mabo Judgement should be seen as one of these.

By doing away with the bizarre conceit that this continent had no owners prior to the settlement of Europeans, Mabo establishes a fundamental truth and lays the basis for justice.
It will be much easier to work from that basis than has ever been the case in the past.
For that reason alone we should ignore the isolated outbreaks of hysteria and hostility of the past few months.
Mabo is an historic decision - we can make it an historic turning point, the basis of a new relationship between indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australians.
The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include indigenous Australians.

There is everything to gain.
Even the unhappy past speaks for this.

Where Aboriginal Australians have been included in the life of Australia they have made remarkable contributions.
Economic contributions, particularly in the pastoral and agricultural industry. They are there in the frontier and exploration history of Australia.
They are there in the wars.
In sport to an extraordinary degree.
In literature and art and music.

In all these things they have shaped our knowledge of this continent and of ourselves. They have shaped our identity.
They are there in the Australian legend.
We should never forget - they have helped build this nation.

And if we have a sense of justice, as well as common sense, we will forge a new partnership.
As I said, it might help us if we non-Aboriginal Australians imagined ourselves dispossessed of land we had lived on for fifty thousand years - and then imagined ourselves told that it had never been ours.

Imagine if ours was the oldest culture in the world and we were told that it was worthless.
Imagine if we had resisted this settlement, suffered and died in the defence of our land, and then were told in history books that we had given up without a fight.

Imagine if non-Aboriginal Australians had served their country in peace and war and were then ignored in history books.
Imagine if our feats on sporting fields had inspired admiration and patriotism and yet did nothing to diminish prejudice.
Imagine if our spiritual life was denied and ridiculed.
Imagine if we had suffered the injustice and then were blamed for it.
It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice we can imagine its opposite.
And we can have justice.

I say that for two reasons:
I say it because I believe that the great things about Australian social democracy reflect a fundamental belief in justice.
And I say it because in so many other areas we have proved our capacity over the years to go on extending the realms of participation, opportunity and care.

Just as Australians living in the relatively narrow and insular Australia of the 1960s imagined a culturally diverse, worldly and open Australia, and in a generation turned the idea into reality, so we can turn the goals of reconciliation into reality.
There are very good signs that the process has begun.
The creation of the Reconciliation Council is evidence itself.
The establishment of the ATSIC - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission - is also evidence.
The Council is the product of imagination and good will.
ATSIC emerges from the vision of indigenous self-determination and self- management.
The vision has already become the reality of almost 800 elected Aboriginal Regional Councillors and Commissioners determining priorities and developing their own programs.
All over Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are taking charge of their own lives. And assistance with the problems which chronically beset them is at last being made available in ways developed by the communities themselves.

If these things offer hope, so does the fact that this generation of Australians is better informed about Aboriginal culture and achievement, and about the injustice that has been done, than any generation before.

We are beginning to more generally appreciate the depth and the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
From their music and art and dance we are beginning to recognise how much richer our national life and identity will be for the participation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

We are beginning to learn what the indigenous people have known for many thousands of years - how to live with our physical environment.
Ever so gradually we are learning how to see Australia through Aboriginal eyes, beginning to recognise the wisdom contained in their epic story.

I think we are beginning to see how much we owe the indigenous Australians and how much we have lost by living so apart.
I said we non-indigenous Australians should try to imagine the Aboriginal view.
It can't be too hard. Someone imagined this event today, and it is now a marvellous reality and a great reason for hope.
There is one thing today we cannot imagine.
We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through fifty thousand years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and environment, and who then survived two centuries of disposession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation.
We cannot imagine that.
We cannot imagine that we will fail.
And with the spirit that is here today I am confident that we won't. I am confident that we will succeed in this decade.
Thank you

"Australia Day" 2017 Part ONE

I acknowledge the Awabakal People who share a unique relationship with the land on which I live and work. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and being formed for the future.

I could tell Australia Day was coming in the week that's just passed by:
- The crappy merchandise and [made in Bangladesh] swimwear is in the shops
- Reindeer antlers have given way to car window flags often accompanied by xenophobic stickers
- Fear of difference brings unhelpful perspectives on the burqa and the hijab
- Social media includes people's mixed feelings about indigenous history and the 26th January

There will be some diverse celebrations in places like Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and indigenous culture will be included but it could be so much more. Not enough people have the empathy to even consider the issues. Is our sense of identity so fragile?

I believe we are 'the lucky country' and any travel I've been fortunate enough to undertake reinforces our climate, landscape, opportunities, broader values, blue sky, urban and rural settings and how great a place we live in. Being Australian to me is bigger than jingoism and more important than stereotypes. I choose to prioritise the values I hold that flow from my faith and where that and patriotism or nationalism are in conflict, being Australian comes second. It's far from a thoughtless or ungrateful attitude, quite the opposite. Even in sport it's great to have a team or competitor that "punches above our weight" but that's no reason to celebrate poor behaviour...

The Triple J Hottest 100 and Festivals like the 'Big Day Out,' the ODI cricket in Adelaide and the Australian of the Year Awards celebrate some aspects of our creativity. I for one will be buying some lamb for the BBQ this year [inspired by some of the the nonsensical responses to the clever TV advert].

One SBS TV and NITV contribution to the conversation here
Listen to inspired music "Under the Motherland's Flag" from Jim Moginie here

Here's a small re-write of my 2011 poem the stanzas of which may sound familiar:

My Country 2017 [inspired by Dorothea Mackeller]
The love of field and pruning
Of green tree shaded lanes
Of pommie woods and gardens
Is the backpackers domain
Putting up with grey-blue distance
Brown streams and that low sky
Is nice to sometimes visit
But we could pass it by

I love a sunburnt country
Across the great western plains
Of bushwalkers mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains
I love our far horizons
I love the Bar Beach sea
The beauty and the terror
The wide brown land for me

A stark white ring-barked forest
The loggers lop in tune
Three Sisters and Blue Mountains
The midday sun breaks through
Annoying spikey shrubs
Lantana and pesky weeds
A bunch of 50 dollar natives
With a protea is all you need

Core of our soul, our country
Land of storylines told
For flood and fire and famine
Our payback comes threefold
Farms and backyards dampen
Rain thunders on the tin roof
And green tinges reappear
The steady soaking rain

Core of their soul, their country
Land of the Rainbow snake
Flood and fire and famine
The dreaming stories make
Sand through the hand is poured
Lingiari was his name
The greenness will return
When they the land can claim

An opal-hearted country
A willful, lavish land
It isn't love or leave us
fear of difference holds us back
Our diversity is richness
first or second to arrive
We owe it to this brown country
To at least give hope a try

Friday, January 20, 2017

Row K Seat 17 "Lion" rated PG 118mins SPOILER ALERT

"A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family."

Based on a true story...
   Saroo Brierley is delivered to an adoptive family as arranged in Tasmania. Restless and determined to understand his own story he really does try to use Google Earth to find his mother and family. It's a story beautifully and movingly told in both India and Tasmania [and Melbourne].
   It's about identity, choices, finding yourself and your path in life. It reflects on real circumstances and consequences in a world of such disparity where we have recently been reminded the world's eight most wealthy people have as much as 50% of the world's poorest. But go further, most of us in Australia would make the top 1-4%.

   Sue Brierley and her husband adopted two Indian boys and that was not without it's costs and challenges but their story is real and inspired. In the same way the film's production company have launched a charity to assist 'lost' children in India.
   It's easily the most I've teared up in a film for some time, it's not sad, it's moving and real and taps anyone's story about their identity and the experiences that shape a life, including mine. 
   The specifics of India are ever present but drop away to reveal the personal stories that happen in that place. The Australian connection, accents and time in history give the film a texture unlike big budget American films. We are fortunate the Weinsten's didn't transplant the story as a generic US story but stayed true to Saroo's life and journey as celebrated by him in the local media and premiered here in recent weeks around Christmas!!
   Visions, ever present people in our stories, faith and one's place in the world offer a rich spirituality within this story of place and people. I would happily watch it again, soon!!

30 Reflections #01 Context

  What a time to begin to exercise gifts for ministry with young people!! Generations of young people disappeared from the mainstream church denominations as I was finishing High School. Massive social change and a new kind of questioning fitted to the times meant 'all bets were off'. People discovered the sky didn't fall if they opted out and doubt, skepticism about hypocrisy and the changing values across society exposed a fragility or social convention of church participation.
   Curricula struggled, people began to write books about ministry with small numbers and divides opened up around focus, purpose and core message or what the 'good news' actually is.
   Suddenly models of ministry with youth which were built on a steady stream of participants began to struggle. Mark Senter was writing about "The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry" and "Four Views of Youth Ministry." David Bosch was writing "Transforming Mission." The wider church was just being confronted by the idea that our 'mission field' came home and it was no longer OK for the "preparatory" model to predominate. As I lived in two worlds [both anglo middle class ones mind you] I tried to bring empathy, non judgement, questions, creativity and what I knew to be of value in any context, with me!! Movies, music and other conventional stories could come from any sources and most that were not 1980s culture of 'copying' e.g. terrible Christian music and films could be part of 'culture-making' in a new way of 'announcing the existence of the rule and reign of God' if only we could be communities as visible signs of this reality [sorry my post is getting nerdy and jargon filled which I used to pride myself at being neither of]...

I'm jumping ahead a bit BUT some inherent and some learnt values:
- Young people are people and 'adolescence' can look like but is not a mental illness
- Goals need to be shared and have ownership amongst the young people, not just my agendas
- Young people have an ability to make meaning, find significance and have great 'bullcrap' detectors
- In every group of young people some will warm to a more black and white story of the Christian faith and then some will embrace the grey questions. This often includes being more immersed in 'the world where they live' and the rich challenge of helping them do so. That's diversity.
- Place sharing, un-shockability, suspending judgement, being yourself and listening are vital
- Just as I and my life story deconstructed and helped reconstruct 'the way I speak of God' and what it means to me to seek to 'follow' Jesus life, example and relationship with God... I can share stories, space and life in ways that help others
- I hate making mistakes but I do try to learn from them...
- I avoid conflict if I can, but am much better than ever at it when I can't
- As a 'big picture person' I have learnt to overcommit less so as to not appear like I can't organise
- I care much less whether everybody likes me or values my contribution or me

There's many more things to write and one thing I'm learning and being affirmed in these days is that so much of this translates to people of all ages. People have occasionally commented to the effect "I guess that may be relevant in a youth context OR I know your experience is with young people BUT..." OK, better post this or I'll never put the full stop and write Post #02

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Celebrating Thirty Years

   It occurred to me late last year that January 2017 represents thirty years of 'putting one foot after the other' pursuing what I perceived to be the 'right' choice for my work. As in, doing something I've loved as what the average person knows as their job. Part time University was a job, Accountancy Trainee or Manager in Training and even doing a Diploma in Education were a job. This is more the sometimes overblown, over complicated, pursued or misunderstood sense of call.
- I knew it would be a mistake to be an Accountant and I struggled at University part time
- I loved my voluntary youth leadership role/s
- The Uniting Church existence and ethos are crucial to my story
- I put my hand up locally but needed to go further afield
- Normanhurst took a chance after they'd had some less effective experiences
- I started as Parish Assistant Youth & Retirement Village Pastoral Carer for two years
- I finished a Bachelor of Economics and started a patchwork of formation/education/training
- I participated in networks, had mentors, listened, learnt from mistakes
- Dip. Ed and SRE teaching
- Order of St Stephen Hunter Regional Youth Worker
- NSW/ACTStatewide Youth Unit
- Hunter Youth Ministry Development & Resource Minister Upper Hunter
- Congregational Minister at Morisset Uniting

There are learnings, key relationships, anecdotes, how we speak of God and models/ideas to share
[in coming weeks as I'm on holidays]

Anyhow I'll have a fittingly quiet celebration of fav. food and beverage this coming week sometime with more reflections to follow!! It's a bit like this audio only youtube song

"The Calling" Mary Chapin Carpenter
Deep in your blood or a voice in your head
On a dark lonesome highway
It finds you instead
So certain it knows you, you can't turn away
Something or someone has found you today

Genius or Jesus, maybe he's seen us
But who would believe us
I can't really say
Whatever the calling, the stumbling or falling
You follow it knowing
There's no other way, there's no other way

There are zealots and preachers
And readers of dreams
The righteous yell loudest
And the saved rise to sing
The lonely and lost are just waiting to hear
Any moment their purpose
Will be perfectly clear

And then life would mean more
Than their name on their door
And that far distant shore that's so near
They'd hear the calling
And stumbling and falling
They'd follow it knowing
There's nothing to fear
Nothing to fear

I don't remember a voice
On a dark, lonesome road
When I started this journey so long ago
I was only just trying to outrun the noise
There was never a question of having a choice
Jesus or genie, maybe they've seen me
But who would believe me
I can't really say
Whatever the calling, the stumbling and falling
I followed it knowing there's no other way

Jesus or genie, maybe he's seen me
But who would believe me
I can't really say
Whatever the calling, stumbling and falling
I got through it knowing there's no other way
There's no other way

Movies I'm Looking Forward to in 2017

It's obviously easier to find advance reference to blockbusters BUT here goes in no particular order:
[click on most of the film titles to see a trailer]

Looks a great yarn with a terrific cast, should have more awards as a Weinstein project
Manchester by the Sea
Critical acclaim
Some stories are worth the admission price [none are worth the cost of snacks/drinks]
Hidden Figures
A great story and I reckon it'll be my pick of the year by the end!!
A thriller
Jasper Jones
Based on the aussie novel
The Zookeepers Wife
A tough but important story
Star Wars Episode VIII
Looking forward to the unfolding story
Justice League
Ramping up the Affleck
Hoping Chris Nolan doesn't stuff it up
No fan of war/violence these films tell our anglo founding stories one way or another
Spiderman Homecoming
Don't be confused, this is 'young' Peter Parker
I know, but they're action packed escapist stories
Wonder Woman
Who is UN empowerment symbol of the year
Kingsman The Golden Circle 
A quirky 'sleeper' if they get it right
The internet is full of fan made trailers
Jumanji 2
Where the kids get trapped in the game world
Oscar nomination for Dwayne Johnson?
Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie great storybook/s
John Wick Chapter 2
Because it will be completely ridiculous and he will kill whoever
Cars 3 Lightning Strikes
Really, but it could be OK

Yeah, not so worried about...
Thor, Transformers, War on Planet of the Apes, Beauty & the Beast, Pitch Perfect 3, World War Z 2 [the irony],  The God Particle, Flatliners, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Smurfs, TRainspotting 2, Bladerunner 2049, etc

Sadly the number of TV shows remade as films, sequels and bad ideas is only increasing
I would hope 'Baywatch' with Zac Efron is somewhere near the bottom of the curve

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

40 Degrees Today in Newcastle

 I know, it's crazy, I don't love the summer heat but I do enjoy it as my fav. time of year. I always say, I wouldn't like to be laying bricks today and I know many older folk struggle with the oppressive conditions. Others in my household are not so enthusiastic!! There's also been more pollens and dust in the air the last few months and I end up with very sore eyes BUT I could wear six jumpers in winter and still not be warm, I find it depressing and tend to hibernate in some ways because of the infernal cold!!
   It is why I love January holidays as you can be in the heat from a shady vantage point, take a swim, get in the air etc etc... but I've also regularly until about 40 something played cricket in up to 38 degrees and wanted to take the challenge. It's only been recent years I drive past Bar Beach and Empire Park and wonder which side of the road I'd rather be on...
   I will enjoy the cool change mooted for this evening as much as anyone, it's part of the summer thing and who doesn't like an iced coffee during a thunderstorm?
   In the meantime I will ride my bike a little earlier today but then possibly start my garage clean ip and re-organise... I will have the chance to swim before lunch!!
   This is also the time of year I have much greater motivation to eat better and lose some of the kilos my broken knees make easy to put on... 8kg down so far, but that just means back to where I was a year ago, there's much more to do...
   So while my thoughts are with those working outdoors, the elderly and anyone who struggles with humidity... I will happily drink more water that I did yesterday [I wasn't on top of that], bring in the washing, shop, ride, check the mail and later water the gardens to see if 55 year old me is as resilient as I used to be...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

End of an Era

  After every year since it's inception we are finally NOT heading to Sydney's 'Openair' Cinema at Mrs Macquarie's Chair!! The 2000 seat bleachers [complete with Sebel plastic chairs] and catering on the edge of the Botanical Gardens has been a staple through kids, all weather [we've only had the worst of it once in that time] and another one or two light showers nights... ponchos are handed out free and only high winds would stop a screening. Various reasons we're not going I guess... oh well!

   Much like the SCG members who turn up at 10.20am expecting their favourite seats to be available, my favourite viewing has always been those who rock up at 8.15pm with a date to impress and discover there are only single seats 150m apart because many people have lined up since 4-5pm to be let in after 6pm and grabbed a seat and a table and settled in to make a night of it!!

If you plan to go here's the way to do it:
- Open a St George account I guess, pre sale access 500 tix per film or main sale a week later
- Tix in advance but no reserved seats, first in gets the choice
- Personally we rule out films over 2 hrs [plastic seats]
- There is early parking at Mrs Mac's Chair but go around so facing west
- Go early and line up with your print at home tix [that's changed most over the years]
- One race to get two seat reserved St George signs and go up the first stairs to find good seats
- Another head straight for the Dining Tables and grab spots
- Grab your free Lindt ball on the way through
- Take your time before ordering, the eating/drinking
- Move to seats a bit before 8pm so you can still read a newspaper/magazine
- The screen mechanically goes up around 8.15pm
- Movie 8.30pm-ish
- Enjoy!!

   There are deck chairs for first 200 St G customers, special nights for them too. I preferred the original Phillips sponsors and no VIP seats [although there's always been a VIP bar and a bevy of celebrities]. Props to the famous who sit with the great unwashed... there's plenty of spottos each year!!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Vale Brian Rudd Pitt St Mall Shoe shine

It was inspiring at Christmas time to read this tweet from Father Bob...

"full of resilience and gratitude"

   Brian was a well known 'shoeshine' in Sydney who I often saw and very occasionally spoke to in Pitt St Mall over many years. It was humbling and fascinating to have heard Father Bob speak of Brian's story and background at a fundraising dinner for the South Sydney Herald.
   Brian had been a ward of the state in Victoria from 3 months to 18 years of age and had moved to Sydney because he feared the drug culture in Melbourne would be his undoing. Sharp, funny and as Father Bob says "full of resilience, he slept rough or in boarding houses and didn't want charity but was happy to shine shoes and carve out a simple life in the city. He died quietly in his sleep just days after the phone call/tweet. I used to regret that I mostly wore joggers or suede shoes every time I went past Brian in the Mall.
   I had cause to share the little I knew of Brian's story with young people and other audiences over the course of a few years when talking about who makes up this world, what 'good news' might look like to different people and/or just to invite people to 'walk a mile' in the shoes of another and hear their "story of hope". I know he inspired me and caused no end of honest self reflection.
   You can read a little about Brian here and I understand that Father Bob has been rushed with offers to take Brian's ashes to the Ganges, not least of which from holiday travellers, businessmen who shined Brian's shoes and the ED of Steve Waugh's charity. I think they're still looking for pro bono transport of Brian to Melbourne for a Funeral with remaining family [his brother].

Vale Brian Rudd

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mike Frost's 'New' Blog is worth a read

 I sense a motivation for a bigger conversation than a Facebook Post can offer and so Mike Frost is blogging in a 'new' site and today's post is well worth a read and a thought here

Sunday, January 01, 2017

"The Sound of Summer" Jim Maxwell

Just quietly I don't often enjoy reading!
   That said, some books I can't put down [often autobiographies] while others join the pile of six awaiting another try. I've just read Jim Maxwell's excellent memoir since Christmas Eve!! Interesting, fills in some gaps from newspaper articles, gives great insight into the ABC and it's characters.

Jim offers honest and generous assessments of various cricketers, Captains and others. Since his medical incident during the local van based coverage of the Olympic Hockey from Rio he's been confined to 'phoning in' his insights and observations of the cricket... typically sharp and relevant comments!!

Wishing him well in his stroke rehab and wondering if I take the book to the SCG and see if he's about for autographs!!