Friday, 13 February 2009

Mansell's Money Fix

Saying sorry for the past history of the stolen generation of indigenous Australians was done by our current government one year ago. There has been many calls for monetary compensation, lands rights issues and improvement for aboriginal health. Michael Mansell who is well known in Australia as an activist for aboriginal rights and issues had this to say:

"Aboriginal people, and especially members of the stolen generations, are probably worse off," indigenous leader and director of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, Michael Mansell said on Friday.
"There is no land rights for the dispossessed, no compensation for the stolen generations, the health standards are not improving and the Aboriginal imprisonment rate continues to climb ...

"The apology has provided the Rudd government with a political shield against criticism of its failures in Aboriginal affairs.

"Rudd used Aboriginals to improve his social standing, then walked away."
If Mr Mansell is claiming land rights for those dispossessed as he puts it, then surely he cannot mean today's generation.They were not dispossessed of any lands. They were born into a democratic, modern society where despite racism on both sides, they are a hell of a lot better off than if they were born 50 years ago. Will money make it right for the descendants of the stolen generation. For those that were unlawfully taken then yes I don't have any problem with compensation. Not for the descendants though. The Aboriginal culture is vast and rich in history and one to be respected but seriously, I ask, how many of today's youth truly live and explore their culture and live by it day to day.

Millions of dollars are spent on health issues in Australia, as well as extra on aboriginal health issues. If the money spent was managed and spent in the correct way as to educate all people and maybe, just maybe some, not all of those affected took notice of the education and health programs available, then again I ask, would there be so many issues?

There comes a time when you have to accept responsibility for your own actions which brings me to the point of Mansell's comment about the high rate of indigenous peoples in prison. Well why use race? No matter your race or ethnicity, you do the crime, you do the time. It is about time people such as Michael Mansell stopped using his aboriginality as an excuse. That is an insult to the intelligence ALL peoples especially those of his own culture. There is good and bad in all races, be it Caucasian or Aboriginal.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fire , Floods and Frogs

Over the past few weeks Queensland, more than 61% of Queensland has been under torrential flooding. Where I live had its own dramas, the worst being water flooding my street, the river bursting its banks in many places and the town cut off to the north and south. Ingham which is about an hour and a half south of here had been entirely cut off and houses inundated by the rising waters for over two weeks. The above photo shows the river bursting and between the dinghy and line of trees in the background is a road and a jetty. Supplies in the shops were getting to a bare minimum and despite living in the biggest banana growing district in Queensland, the price of bananas went through the roof. Funnily enough we never ran out of alcohol or the likes but many of the supermarket shelves were bare. I have spent time fishing, standing in the rain like an idiot but still happy to do so.
The peacock who ventures into my back yard everyday has now been named, which is Herbert. One only has to stand at the window and call him and he comes running up. Very friendly but still wary. The cats don't take any notice of him anymore but Felix still likes to get in on the action and see what is happening and makes sure he sits beside me when Herbert is there, think he is afraid of the big bad noise that scared him once when Herbert let out the call that peacocks do.
With all the wet weather, there was another visitor to my house. I am glad he didn't take a venture into the oven like poor little one a few weeks ago, would of been enough to for a feed with the size of him.

Take a look at this green beauty. As much as I do not like frogs, this one got me all excited due to his color and his size. I don't think the photos truly reflect just how vivid the green was and his exact size, you can see by one of the photos that his back foot was longer than a normal cigarette lighter. Quite impressive.

We can consider ourselves lucky in many ways after thinking of the plight of the Victorian people who have lost homes and lives in Australia's worst bushfire in all our history. Over 700 homes and more than 181 lives at time of posting, have been lost. The sheer sadness is overwhelming at times and nothing compared to what the people are going through, the firefighters and the wildlife included. Mother nature can be cruel at times and when tragedy such as the fires and floods, it makes one grateful of what we do have, appreciate and treasure those around us and know that there is always someone who has it worse than our own worries. Out of every sad tale comes one or two of hope and inspiration, this little guy was sure happy to have a drink of water, right now at time of typing this , there is an update on television on this koala who has been named Sam.