Contents Photography Competition 6 The Autopsy -Yin Lin 8 Just Imagine - Yin Lin 9 Quiet Achievers - Jacqui Ward 10 Medicine from the Heart - Daniel Thambiraj 12 A Future for Rocky - AnneMie Decatte 14 Change the world - Chantal McNaught 16 Corporate Revolutions - Rob Leonard 18 From Bond to the UN - Julian Reder 20 The shepherds of the sea - Linda Woelk 22 Social Pages 24 Social Pages 25 Material Instincts - Katherine Sarna-Wetton 26 Fashion for thought - James Mackechnie 28 Calendar Girls - Cassandra Gillespie 30 Gay Marriage - An Essay - Trevor Dawes 32 Where spiders sleep jewelled - Rob Millard 34 Sailing to Byzantium - Maddi Cassidy 36 Re-Invent myself - Tara Evans 38 It’s Time - Part II - Alex Myers 42 The Elder Scrols V - Skyrim - Hari Prasadh 44 Revolution from the soul - Milena Arsic 46 An animal is greater than the sum of its parts - Lauren Kennard 48 Top 10 ways to survive 2012 - Clare Todhunter 52 Interview with Matthew Reilly - Robert Rooney 54
Cover Picture: “WALL STREET, YOU’RE NEXT.” – Jaimi Lennox Winner of the Photography Competition Edition 121 Ground Zero is the name the protesters of the Occupied Wall Street movement have given to their head quarters in NYC. This image is interesting because they seek to draw a relationship between the movement and the tragedy of 9/11. The revolution seeks to put a stop to economic inequality, corporate greed, and Wall Street’s power and influence over government policy.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and facts as expressed within this publication do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the Journalism Students’ Association. The Editorial Team accepts no responsibility for the opinions and facts expressed in this magazine. The Editorial Team reserves the right to edit any article submitted for publication in Baked magazine.
Welcome to another edition of Baked. Boy do we have a lot in store for you! There’s an interview with bestselling author, Matthew Reilly, some amazingly inspiring articles as well as a low-down of the JSA’s Photography Competition. As we approach a new year, it is time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What we’ve seen is change, both from a grassroots and socio-political level. It is fitting that this issue’s theme is ‘revolution’. This theme encapsulates the very essence of change, liberation and movement. A story spun by a people ready to move mountains with their souls, words and action. Baked Creative designer, Christian Blumentritt, has done a great job weaving this theme throughout the magazine. As this is my last edition as Editor-in-Chief, I would like to leave with a big shout out to some amazing people. So here goes. Thank you to the JSA crew – Robert Rooney, Linda Woelk, Edward Fleetwood, Anusuya Krishna and James Machkechnie. You are all phenomenal and your continued support is truly appreciated. I want to wish James the best of luck for his first edition of the magazine next semester, and welcome aboard the new team – Karissa Straughen, Tara Evans, Clare Todhunter, Hannah Mitchell and Tiffany Breed. I would also like to thank Varsity Printing (especially Lisa), Maja Arsic, our advertisers, the Journalism Students’ Association, the Bond University Student Association, SCOPE photographers and our amazing contributors. It’s been an honour working on Baked and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey. Milly Arsic Editor-in-Chief Baked
Photo By Christian Blumentritt - Taken in Montevideo, Uruguay
PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Name: Milly Arsic Degree: Law/International Relations (Business) Nickname: Mills Where do you see yourself in ten years time? Happy, well-travelled, with a good work/life balance and changing the world. Superpowers you wish you had? I wish I could record my dreams so I could watch them on DVD. The power to speak all languages. The power to turn frowns into smiles. Role model/s: My parents, Nelson Mandela. I can’t leave the house without: Dettol and a notepad. The world would be better without: Poverty, dictators and mosquitos.
VP & TREASURER Name: Robert Rooney Degree: Law Nickname: Batman, Baman, Rob, Bob. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time: Powering down after a long day of being a robotic intelligence infused drone working for ‘The Man.’ No way. Probably working in Mongolia assisting in the development of legislation. Superpowers you wished you had: Telepathy. I’m sure that would win me a few cases in court. Role Model: My parents. I can’t leave my house without: Keys, wallet, phone and 6 teaspoons of salt mixed with 23.2% of purified water - to keep the vampires away. The world would be better without: Nothing. What makes is who we are is a result of our surrounding environment. If all things on earth were good, how would we ever learn what was bad? How would we become good people if we couldn’t face and defeat evil? Bit Star Warsy I know....
PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR Name: Ansha Krishnan Degree: Law/Arts Nickname: Ansh Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Hopefully working for Time or any great magazine. Superpowers you wished you had: Flying, Teleporting. Role Model: My Mum. I can’t leave the house without: My phone. The world would be better without: Bugs.
SECRETARY Name: Linda Woelk Degree: Bachelor of Communication (Business) Nickname: I know what Rob would put in here; mud wrestling champion. In Germany, it is Lenz (Goldie Locks). Where do you see yourself in 10 years: On an island in the middle of nowhere, living in an awesome beach house with palm trees, a hammock, a koala as a pet and a huge yacht that gets me anywhere in the world. Superpowers you wished you had: Being able to turn any object into chocolate, being able to fly - it would be cheaper than traveling back and forth from Germany to Australia. Role Model: My Grandpa - he was the wisest and most generous man on earth with the biggest heart. I can’t leave the house without: My diary (without it my life is not organised). The world would be better without: War and poverty.
SPONSORSHIP DIRECTOR Name: Edward Fleetwood Degree: Bachelor of Communication (Business)/Laws Nickname: Jewfro Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Retired. Superpowers you wished you had: Height. Role Model: Ron Paul. I can’t leave the house without: Headphones. The world would be better without: American military–industrial complex.
DESIGNER Name: Christian Blumentritt Degree: Master of I.T. Nickname: Blooms Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Somewhere in the world, thinking back to this question, saying: “So this is what I would have written if I had known.” Superpowers you wished you had: The power to control the wind. It’s mini-skirt season after all. Role Model: Ricky Gervais’ Lawyer. I can’t leave the house without: ...being overrun by my fans, asking for autographs, impregnation or two dollars for the Bus. The world would be better without: Tomato Juice, Brunch, Cheaply made Tools and Hipsters. Especially Hipsters, can’t stress that enough.
Name: James Andrew Mackechnie Degree: Communication (Business) with majors in marketing and journalism Nickname: “Ma-keg-nee” to one, nonexistent to others! Where do you see yourself in ten years time: In a high-powered corporate position – especially for a big company like David Jones or Myer (although a ten year time frame for this isn’t very realistic!). On the other hand, I have always had a passion for literature and very much enjoy writing so I haven’t totally ruled out the idea of pursuing a humble career as a book or magazine editor. I would love to work in the fashion industry someday. Superpowers you wish you had: I aspire to be like Clark Kent... he saves lives, is well liked and a definite charmer. As a superhero and journalist, he has the best of both worlds. Can you imagine the amazingly newsworthy stories you could produce if you had his x-ray vision, supersonic hearing abilities and unprecedented speed? Role model/s: Hermione Granger, sportsmen and women, like Roger Federer and Serena Williams (who play the only sport I can tolerate to watch) and everyday people like my year twelve English teacher. I can’t leave the house without: Moisturised legs. The world would be better without: Insecurities!
First prize for the event was a $300.00 cash prize with the winning photograph being displayed on the front cover of the 121 edition of BAKED. Second prize was a $200.00 cash prize and third prize was a $100.00 cash prize. The judges were extremely impressed with all entries and agreed to showcase the top 5 works at Gallery on the Lane. In Semester 113 the Journalism Students’ Association hosted the Photography Competition. This competition was designed to foster artistic pride and community recognition of Bond University’s photographers. We would like to thank all 21 entrants who submitted photographs - the standard was impeccable. The final decision was tough but the winners were well deserved. The theme for this edition is REVOLUTION a theme which was reflected in the photography competition.
Congratulations to the winners! Also, a huge thank you to our panel of judges for their time and commitment to the competition: -Joanna Doerr, Creativo Visual Communications Group -Nicola Parsons and Gareth Price, Gallery on the Lane -Ricardo from Ricardo Photography -Naomi Busst, Bond University The standard of photography was simply amazing. Feast your eyes on each masterpiece through the following pages!
Third Place “SELF-EXPRESSION, TEHRAN, IRAN” – Charles Ferry Taken in Tehran, this girl’s bright red shoes (not digitally altered) juxtaposed against the black of her hijab represent her desire for individualism in a society where tradition and conservatism are expected. Even though this girl’s self-expression is small, it demonstrates a shift in the mentality of the youth in Iran. This ‘youth revolt’ against the traditions of Middle Eastern society has been spreading throughout Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, where individual rights and freedom are being fought for.
Second Place “OLD MAN AND THE ELEPHANT”- Adam Peleg I am about to be the first Bond exchange student to the Indian School of Business next semester. As preparation I have done some reading on the current and historic politics of India, which is rich in violent but mostly peaceful revolutions. Thanks to Gandhi these have become almost an Indian trademark. I took this picture on an early winter morning in the town of Bundi in Rajasthan. It shows the interest and commitment even the poorest of Indians have to whats going on in their country (often referred to as “The Elephant”). And in the end, they are the ones that count.
" Revolution " Fifth Place “CHILDHOOD” – Isabel Dickson The concept of childhood has been revolutionised. Children of the first world isolate themselves in front of computer screens rather than play outside with the neighbourhood kids; they hunt for marijuana rather than a packet of sherbet lemons; they run wild along dangerous streets at night instead of staying at home with their trusting families. Children are hanging their toys and emerging themselves into dangerous, wild and thrilling activities. They are a revolutionary generation.
Fourth Place “FERRIS WHEEL.” – Latha Deva How do we forget the mistakes of yesteryear which hang between us or bury the seeds of undoing? How shall we turn the weight in our hearts from the gravity of the lives we should have led into a million gossamer wings? how do we let the abysmal emptiness in our souls take flight? We go round and round in faith that with each revolution, we are born anew. 12549F
V I S U A L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S G R O U P P T Y LT D
Th e Autopsy Yin Lin
What did you see when your last breath was stolen, swallowed by the impact of the drunk driver ramming into the side of your car Did you see the last glow of light that filters through a closing guillotine Did you see a womb of stars as life reversed and time got sucked out Now you lie, like a statue in its perfect symmetry. And I examine your lover-kissed lips, curved toes, and fleshed rivulets of a spine. But the man who snatched your life, a mother of his son and a daughter of his father, lives. Yet he will never understand the ghosts that ride their grief like heartbeats pulsating through veinstunneling through your body like rivers. He will not know the shadows growing from long to short to long whilst they kneel in prayer. Show me memories of a heaven filled with shapeless dreams Stitches on your knee – from showing off tricks to your mates on a skateboard A scar down your chin – trying to finish a race first, tripped and landed wrongly Burn marks on your wrist –you tried cooking to impress a first lover The writer’s bump that you acquired while studying in your law degree I am a stranger but you must trust me. I can discover the last moments of your waking life. Surgeon knives tear apart the poetry of your skin we shall write another day.
Just imagine… A tall light shining in between the narrow opening of a door and a wall.From the next room, a woman’s voice, “Jerry, I’m sick of you coming back late.” The blankets cocooned around a child, warm. Sleep tugs. He doesn’t understand the alien words bouncing off the darkness, passed along by the air. A man’s slurred reply. “You’re drunk, again!”she hisses back. You’re sitting down on a sofa, sinking in the soft folds of leather. What you don’t know, won’t hurt you. But what you do, makes you conscious of this child background, this child, who’s standing in front of you. He fists the side of your trousers. You reach out and hoist him up onto your lap. He’s still got that milky scent of a baby. “Tell me a story,” a he says. You feel his weight on your lap, warm and heavy. Phantom fingers curl around your upper arm, and he rests the side of his head against your chest. He yawns, his grip grows tighter, but not so tight. At your side there’s a bookshelf, and your eyes touch their spines one by one, wondering. “I like Bambi,” he suggests. But this was the first story you’d read. The first time you read a story: you are a stranger. You stumble over words, the vowels are jagged, the syllables broken. Your voice sounds clunky and unnatural. The more you try to smooth it out, the more wrong it sounds. Even before Bambi’s mother gets shot, you adapt your own innocent ending, that he finds his father and lives happily ever after. “I don’t like this story a lot, baby,” you murmur, hoping that he doesn’t notice the heat of guilt off your face. You give him a quick hug to compensate. It’s not that you can’t read; it’s just that read aloud, the voice sounds so different to those voices in your head. “Another story please?” He turns in your lap to glance up at you and you’re caught like deer in gun sight. How can you feed him a happy ending for false hope? How can you soil the delicate trust of a child by telling him everything will be alright?But that wouldn’t stop him from imagining, you realise. And it could stop him from losing hope. “Please?”
Photo by Dean Raphael
So you have to search for a next story. You try your luck again. And the words form at the tip of your tongue, just as it presses against the back of your teeth. They flow so much more easily from your lips. Maybe you lie a bit better; maybe you believe in yourself a bit more. The second story you read, you are a friend. You play hide and seek with the next sentence, fall in love with a character, make your first guess at the ending. You tell a story of a princess with an evil stepmother. The troubles she goes through and how she has to work to get what she wants. And near the end, she tries to reach her dreams….A slight simplification of real life, but something more realistic than the last one nonetheless. A story this child can see himself in. But before you manage to finish the book, he twists around, round eyes reminding you of what you’ve heard from the neighbours. You just can’t think past it. Words as natural as blood flowing in your veins form in front of your eyes. The 2nd day Papa woke he wanted to say never again but too late, Ma took me and left. Just imagine… You don’t want to tell that story. That is a child’s story – maybe his – but it’s not yours to tell. Your fingers slide along the bookcase, searching. You tryfind a story that will preserve his innocence, maybe a simple angel story…
Imagine, imagine you read a third story: The third story, you are family. You are the narrator, you live in that world. That world is yours. “God made two angels for everyone to keep them safe.” “Angels?” he interrupts, “with wings?” His legs wriggle a bit but he doesn’t fall off. “Yes, with pretty wings. So when they find the person they’re going to protect, they put their wings away.” “They don’t wear them anymore?” He frowns slightly, a slight imperfection on his otherwise perfect face. “No.” “Even if they’re pretty?” He turns, cranes his face upwards to look at your face. A smile smoothes out your face. A child is indeed a gift. “Even if they’re pretty.” He settles his head against your collarbone. You brush hair away from his forehead, and the words of the story come to you as naturally as the pianist finds her keys. “The pair of angels they keep the person safe, give him wings, and teach him to become an angel,” a deep breath, “Then, when the person gets stronger and stronger, the pair of angels get older and older, until one day, they find the chest they locked up their wings in, and wear them for the last time.” “I want to have wings,” the child announces. “And I wish I have two angels looking after me. You see, I fell down yesterday and Mommy had to stop the hurt.” He pulls up his trouser leg to show you the scab. “So I don’t have any angel looking after me.” Black words against white. Not only the symbols tells the story, but also the spaces. Read between the lines and your imagination fills in the gaps. That is what makes a bead of word a sentence, and a string of words a story. Through stories you live thousands of lives, know thousands of people, visit thousands of places. Here, hold this pen for me. You feel the cold plastic against your third knuckle, against the tip of your second finger and leaning against your thumb. The ink milks out on the paper. Just imagine. You could live more than one life.
The setting: Johannesburg, World Cup Final. In front of their home crowd of thousands, South Africa seemed to have the handle over Australia, the defending champions. In fact, Australia had been the defending champions since the inception of the World Cup in 1995. The pressure was high; the Australians were expected to win, especially after the women’s team and both Under 19 teams had won the trophies earlierthat day.
This was in October, and thanks to a great fight-back by the Aussies, they were able to bring the Cup home once again. But no, this wasn’t the rugby, the soccer (can you imagine!), or the tennis. This was the 2011 Indoor Cricket World Cup, played against the usual suspects – India, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand and South Africa. I know what you’re thinking - Australia has dominated an international sport for 16 years, beating the Poms, Kiwis and everyone else, and yet we haven’t heard about their success? Even more so, a sport as treasured in this nation as cricket?
Different forms of indoor cricket were developed in the late 1960s, however the game as we know it today originated in Perth in the late 1970s, partly by no other than Dennis Lillee. For those unaware, here are the basic rules. There are 16 overs per eight-a-man team, with batsmen playing only four overs in “pairs,” and all players bowl two overs each. Losing your wicket costs five runs, but you stay in. Runs are scored the usual way, as well as hitting to certain areas of the 30mx10m court.In addition though, three dot balls results in a wicket. Despite the little-known successes of the Australian team, indoor cricket is played regularly in this country – some surveys finding it to be the fifth most popular team sport in the country. In fact, there is an incredible list of players who have represented their country internationally in both forms. Think of Steve and Mark Waugh and Bruce Reid for Australia, New Zealand’s Scott Styris, and Mike Gatting for England. Unlike these players, many have a special passion for indoor cricket. Michael Spargo played in Australia’s last two World Cup wins and while he plays both forms, he finds the indoor version much more exciting. “It’s quicker, it’s more involved, you’re always doing something,” Spargo explained.“You’re not always standing around just waiting for something to happen.” The small playing area has six fielders, excluding bowler and keeper, so fielding has a much larger role than in outdoor cricket. What you’d usually call a short leg, or silly-mid-something in outdoor is normal for all players of outdoor, remembering the ball is hit just as hard. Good reflexes are a must. “Fielding’s a big part of it,” Spargo said.“It’s almost a bigger part than bowling ... everyone’s involved, the ball can go anywhere. The ball’s going to go to one of you every four of five times, so you’re always involved, whereas in outdoor it’s about one in 10, and if the bowler’s bowling corridor all day then only the offside field is going to see the ball.”
In addition, most players are picked for their all-round ability, making it more fun as a player and spectator. “You get three grabs – bowling, fielding and batting,” Spargo said.“You’re not a specialist. You can be, but you’ll get found out if you’re not good at all three parts. Outdoor, if ... you’re an opener and you get out early on the first day, you have to sit watching that whole day and the next ... especially if you’re not in a specialist fielding position.” It does seem strange. Unfortunately, though, the development of indoor cricket has only started to commence over the past two years. Not yet a professional sport, players and officials manage their sport whilst havinga full time job or study commitments. It’s a far stretch from ‘outdoor’ cricket, where Australian players are not only paid into the millions, but are widely recognised in the community.
He makes a good case. It’s also a fast game – a speed which not even Twenty20 can even keep up with. As a result, it’s popular with crowds.
gap on us. “Australia is very lucky at the moment due to the talent we have coming through and the talent we have had in the past which means we have continued to win,” Floros said. “However, the other countries are now catching us and the games are getting a lot closer and we are even losing some games. This is happening because we don’t have the money to have camps and continued training through the year for the elite teams.”
Billy Floros, the Australian Team Manager said the World Cup atmosphere was amazing.“South Africans love their sport, especially cricket, so in every game we played, including practice games, we had great crowds,” Floros said. “My most memorable moment, besides winning the World Cup, was the first game we played against South Africa. [I was] looking around the crowd and seeing how many people they had there. We were told there were around 2500 to 3000 people watching the game.”
Despite the slow growth, the players are starting to reap the rewards of their hard work. “We are just starting to see benefits. Slowly but surely, more sponsors are starting to get on board,” Spargo said.“Salary doesn’t exist for us, so if we’re lucky we get sponsorship deals and we get reduced costs at best. Also, a lot of bat-makers and gear-makers are starting to get on board. It’s a good start because it helps out with the costs.” So now, Michael Spargo has a difficult decision to make. The next World Cup in is New Zealand in 2014. Will he hold out for his love of the game?
Not bad for a sport with so little mainstream media coverage. Spargo recalled that same game, which as luck would have it,happened to occur the evening after Australia knocked South Africa out of the Rugby Union World Cup. “One of the crazy nights was the night match after we beat South Africa in the rugby, so they were already not happy about that,” he said.“That night it came down to a similar story to what happened in the rugby – they were beating us all game, they were on top ... and should have beaten us. But then the last [South African batting] pair came out and did badly. They got negative scores, which put a complete spin on the game, and we won. The crowd absolutely hated us and we actually had to get escorted out. It was just a round-robin game!” It’s great to see the growing popularity of the game, at least during World Cup time. Hopefully this growth will continue – only in the last few years was indoor cricket taken under Cricket Australia’s wing. While the game is in CA’s ‘Game Development’ division, this means it is still regarded as a ‘participation’ sport rather than a professional one. “All the elite players are hoping that as Indoor Cricket progresses it will come under the High Performance part which may mean that it won’t cost Australian players to go away,” Floros said.“It would also mean better training opportunities for Australian teams before they go away.” Although Australian players are still excelling, a lack of financial support means that other nations are rapidly closing the
“I’d like to be around for when it becomes properly professional, when a lot more sponsors get on board,” said Spargo.“But at the moment it’s quite hard to keep it going when you can’t treat it as a professional sport because you’ve got to put in time and money – you’ve got jobs, you’ve got university.” “It would be a lot easier if it became professional, because you could treat it like a job and you could put more time towards it because you know you’re going to get more out of it.” “At the moment we’re kind of waiting to see where it’s going.” Here’s hoping that soon, these talented individuals will be rewarded for their efforts both with national recognition and financial support. After all, these fine sportsmen are cricket champions. Plus, what other Australian team hasn’t lost a World Cup?
“Why do medicine?” There are some of us who grew up in a family of physicians and surgeons for generations. An example is the late Arthur C. Guyton, a champion of medical physiology, who fathered ten children who went on to become doctors. I can remember dreaming about the profession, hearing physicians and surgeons speak intelligently, saying that I wanted to be like them. Getting into medicine is an achievement; staying in medicine is a greater feat; graduating from medicine is the prize I look forward to. “P’s make degrees,” though earning a Pass requires A+ studying habits; a Vice-Chancellor’s or a Dean’s award recipient is likely pulling off a Triple-A focus. Learning medicine requires constant bombardment of voluminous information, likened to drinking water from a firetruck’s water-hose. I later understood how arduous the journey is, getting through each phase of Bond’s medical programme. Our perception of medicine has changed over the years where the once revered physicians and surgeons are now prone to patients filing lawsuits against them and a possible perpetual confiscation of licensing. Purchasing liable indemnity insurance rises quarter-after-quarter. With all this in mind, why on earth would anyone have the audacity to study medicine? I once said to a friend, “Medicine is from the heart – a heart to serve,” to which she replied, “You guys really are an inspiration.”
I was overjoyed when I was accepted into Bond University. I found the pathway to medicine a challenging ride for any individual to undertake. Medicine requires hefty studying; hefty studying catalytically precipitates sacrifice, and sacrifice inevitably rearranges one’s priorities. Studying for “the barriers” point of progression examinations, exhausts mentally and physically with emotions playing continuous mind games. What would be the solution? Constant discipline and healthy self-talk is necessary to maintain focus. A failed subject with any degree in Bond would require a student to retake that one subject. Bond medical students are given the opportunity to re-sit their exams. If one’s result is ‘below the acceptable standard’, one is asked to repeat the year, paying for all three semesters over again. It is not something any reasonable person would wish on one’s enemy. I assure anyone I meet, from airport security to cashiers, that Bond students do not buy their degrees. It takes miles of heart to overcome such barriers and continually cope with the challenges. As Zelda Fitzgerald once said, “nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” It takes perseverance and character to keep going, to fight our way to the next phase in medicine, as we desire to be good doctors someday. Medical students often hear people, patients, and peers talk about how “that guy there is a good doctor,” or “whoa, she spoke well – she’s a good doctor.” Our parents long to label us as ‘good doctors’. What is a “good doctor”? I sense that some believe a “good doctor” is one who is able to handle patients with appropriate bedside manners. I get anxious to some extent as to how our intense studying can affect our humanitarian side. I perceive an artful mastery of personality, persona, and perception as a needed trait. Personality is who I am, persona is how I express myself, and perception is how others will perceive me. It is easier said than done, albeit, as no one can truly please everyone. I have come to understand that such subjectivity comes down to taste. Medicine is an art, with infinite shades of grey and subjectivity, where perception, persona, and perception come into play.
I would say that many “good doctors” are skilled in mastering these aforementioned traits knowingly or unknowingly in a field where knowledge grows continually by the millisecond. I worry that by focusing too much on the science that some of us may forget the art as a corollary. Perhaps it comes down to balance and compromise to synthetically harmonize these two sides. G.K. Beale once wrote, “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration.” I believe that a balanced lifestyle of work and recreation revered, ergo, can continually restore one’s path of healthily balancing the Art with science. There is nothing wrong with being scientific. The scientific method is valuable to employ appropriate evidence-based medicine when treating patients. I do not want to lose the humanitarian part of me. A test of our characters as medical students is to maintain these humanitarian values within us in the face of continual pressure of demand and lifetime learning of saving patients’ lives – to view them as people, not things to fix. Is pressure necessarily a ‘bad thing’? I don’t believe so. I have learned that the only thing I can carry with me anywhere I go, in gain or in loss, is my character: medicine and its rewards become my character’s ancillary allies. I have acquired greater insight into a world of complex interrelations, and I am learning everyday as I proceed through my course. I am looking forward to the day when I graduate from Bond. Medical students want to be good doctors. We want the best for our future patients. We long to see our future patients happy with us for serving them. Spiderman’s uncle is correct when he said, “with great power comes great responsibility,” because with great responsibility comes a greater burden of care to carry on one’s shoulders. The burden of care purposefully gets heavier as a medical student progresses towards graduation and internship. I am disturbed when the media pounce on doctors and hospitals when things go awry or against expected results. A former Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Ireland P.B. ‘Bertie’ Ahern once ranted, “I can’t understand people who are always bitching, saying ‘it’s the government’s fault, it’s the doctor’s fault, it’s the cat’s fault.’ It’s everybody’s fault except their own.” I believe Ahern could have chosen civil words to express his sentiment. I would not dismiss Ahern’s rant for it also reminds me of taking responsibility for my own actions. I will make sure I continue following the medical tradition of safe practice for every patient, from the heart. There is a bitter aftertaste when a patient whom one had dutifully served comes into one’s clinic with a barrister’s notice. A medical student never dreams of such litigation but continues on the path of servitude. Our dear Queen’s father, the late King George VI, once said, “The highest of distinctions is service to others.”
“I want students to go with their hearts. I want them to remember why they chose Medicine.” — Dr. Charles P. Leduc, M.D
Why do Medicine? Medicine has to come from the heart, the source by which we keep going to practice one day, to serve the public. Every medical student develops and matures differently. No one is perfect, thus we have an opportunity to help each other towards the goal of perfection. It is good that our society encourages doctors to work with patients to create a more checks-and-balanced atmosphere. Medical students have studied, we have organised our notes, we have done all that we can, and we want to be “good doctors” treating people with bedside manners. I will, from my heart, echo the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the very end.” Is it fair that the men and women in uniform who served to protect us are not treated kindly by us when they are discharged from the armed forces? No. Do doctors serve dutifully for the people like the men and women in uniform? Absolutely! Do doctors intentionally make mistakes? No. Genuine, unintentional mistakes are what make all of us human. When we learn from our mistakes we grow stronger in character. I want you, friends, to rest assured that every medical student and doctor you meet had spent hours away from the sun learning and learning to serve you foremost. Future physicians and surgeons pray and hope that they will not be thrown into the firing line as they continue to persevere and study medicine from their hearts. “Why do Medicine?” A professor in our School of Medicine and fellow countryman once reminded us, “I want students to go with their hearts. I want them to remember why they chose medicine.” I chose medicine for I care, from my heart. We, the future doctors, in order to create a more perfect servitude, desire to serve you. Please pray for us, think about us, and stand by us, from your heart.
I feel honoured to have had the chance to speak with Dr. Nemat Al Saba, the mother of my dear friend and co-student, Fatimah Al Jaroof. I would like to thank her for sharing this amazing and extraordinary story with all of us. Two semesters ago I met Fatimah during a discussion about the importance of communication, when she told me that her family had migrated from Saudi-Arabia to Australia six years ago. I was immediately intrigued as such a move is a huge challenge for a family that is from a completely different cultural background. This morning I was invited by Fatimah and Nemat to find out more about their motivations for the move. I must add that I was welcomed with open arms and spoilt with homemade cake and biscuits. Nemat started by telling me that in Saudi Arabia she was already engaged at 15 and married when she was 17 while still in high school. It was an arranged marriage. This is a common practice over there. Nemat elaborated that people in her culture automatically presume that when you get married, you will stay home to look after your husband and family. AnneMie Decatte
A FUTURE FOR ROCKY Evolution in many layers
“I was lucky enough to be brought up differently,” she said. “My grandparents and parents looked at education as a priority.” According to them, education and knowledge are more important than money. Since her childhood, Nemat had the ambition to go to university and study. She said, “Just talking to you brings back memories about the times when we were sitting around at my grandparents’ house and they asked us, ‘What is it that you want from life?’ She would bless us and pray for us. I would ask her to ask God to give me more knowledge.” Nemat had this example from her parents who both studied, went to university and set the standard for her. She realized that she, together with her parents, would probably not be able to change the way society was set up in Saudi Arabia. Nemat also explained that in Islamic culture, marriage is about compatible thoughts, plans and agendas. She said that she wanted an open-minded husband who would support her decision in continuing her studies at university and practice later on. When she got married, her high school teachers were upset with her as she was a straight A student and they wanted her to continue studying. It was there and then that she decided to study medicine. Apparently, many of her professors told her that she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Studying medicine while being married and having children was going to be a challenge. However, with the assistance of her parents and her husband, Nemat knew that she would be able to do this.
The first year in medical school, Nemat fell pregnant with Fatimah. In her fourth year, she fell pregnant again with Amin (Rocky), who was later diagnosed with autism. In her last year in medical school, she had her third child, another son, Mohamed. Her last child was born with a clef lip and pallet. She graduated from university and took nine months to rethink how she was going to tackle this difficult situation. At that time, her second son needed 24 hour medical at-
tention and went through three major surgeries. She knew that these unfortunate coincidences were going to affect her career, but made it very clear that her family would come first. She had to re-prioritize. Nemat had always dreamed of doing her specialization outside the “kingdom” (Saudi- Arabia). She had been lucky enough to experience living abroad with her dad, who had undertaken his Masters of civil engineering in the US. She had been thinking about going to the US or Canada perhaps for four years to complete her specialization, but did not think about Australia. She wanted to give her children the same opportunity as she had had as a child, to experience different cultures. “I have been brought up that differences amongst us don’t matter,” she said. “It is actually more colourful and makes life more interesting. All the fingers of your hand are not the same, each finger is different, but together they form a hand.” Nemat explained that she felt that she had to take steps to accommodate for the care of her autistic boy, Rocky, as such facilities were not present in Saudi- Arabia. She attended several workshops and seminars to educate herself on how to deal with Autism and how to interact with her middle child. She described Amin as ‘a child out of space… an empty soul’ as he would never look you in the eye, instead he would look through you. Nemat was willing to do anything to be able to form a bond with her ‘beautiful son’ and to be able to communicate with him. She shared her findings with other families in the same situation. It was Nemat’s goal to go abroad and learn about how to treat Autism, come back to Saudi- Arabia and then in turn teach other people who also have Autistic children. Nemat and her family found out that Amin was strongly attracted to the English alphabet and rewarded him with magnetic letters. At this stage he was still not diagnosed. The family went through a series of tests to find out what was actually wrong with Amin. One of Nemat’s professors told her that it would be in her best interest to put Amin in an institution and forget that she had him. It was there and then that she decided that she would do everything in her ability to help him communicate. Nemat told me that at some point she was at breaking point and wanted to give up, but Amin surprised all of them when he formed with his magnetic letters the words ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Nissan’. He was only three years old. Because of Amin’s love for the English language, Nemat and her family decided to take Amin to an English speaking country as he would then have more opportunities to develop and discover himself and the world around him. It was Nemat’s quest to be able to communicate with her son. After firstly exploring immigration options to the US and Canada, Australia became their destination of choice. Nemat also decided to do her specialization in Australia. She first came as a tourist and later on stayed by herself for three months while working as a doctor. She explained that this was one of the hardest times of her life, having to leave her family. She organized to have her family follow her a couple of months later and chose to specialize in Emergency Medicine, which is, as she said, “very rewarding but intense” and reminds her daily that coming back home to her wonderful family is a blessing. “I have made a pact with God,” she adds, “to look after his people.” Amin is now 16 and he likes to be called ‘the young man’. Through coming to Australia, he has found ‘home’, and is surrounded by English speakers, which makes him feel worthy. He even goes to a normal school, and with the assistance of a special aid teacher, he enjoys his life very much. A few months ago, Rocky won the third prize at an art exhibition on the Gold Coast. Nemat is pleased to be able to also give her daughter Fatimah and third son Mohammed to opportunity to experience a different culture. The lesson in this story is that we have to appreciate and be grateful for the things that seem normal to us. Life comes with its challenges and situations can change. It is important to prioritize and be flexible. Everything happens for a reason, and in time, you will know how to deal with the situation that is given to you.
Earlier this month my life changed forever. I was amongst people of the highest calibre, including Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graham Innes, human rights barrister Julian Burnside and former foreign correspondent for TIME magazine and CNN Michael Ware. Put these people and many other likeminded, enthusiastic individuals together and you have the explosive and inspiring experience that was Amnesty International’s human rights conference. The Agenda - advocating change in our world. Chantal McNought
The focus of the conference was how mere mortals like myself, who simply have an interest in human rights, can make a substantial difference in our world. “Consolidating a global effort towards a better humanity could only be achieved through shared values of humanity,” said Graham Inness. The role of human rights with regards to those living with disabilities is essential to our national, if not global, prosperity. Disability is evidently a human rights issue, especially in Australia where 20% of Australians are living with a disability. Graham spoke of the two wheelchair policy of three major Australian airlines (QANTAS, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways). This policy is that when a customer arrives to board, only the first two who are in wheelchairs may board. Any subsequent customers in wheelchairs are not permitted to board the aircraft. This is simply one disparity of the rights of the disabled in Australia that Graham urged needs to be addressed. A panel comprised of George Williams AO, Graham Innes, Stephen Keim SC and Widney Brown discussed challenges and opportunities of human rights activism in the 21st century. For George Williams, it was an issue of possible constitutional change with respect to responsible government and international human rights obligations. He asserted that basic protections of individual human rights are severely lacking without an enumerated list of human rights protections. He exemplified the issue in terms of the treatment of asylum seekers. George mentioned such cases as Re Woolley, Behrooz and Al-Kateb where the High Court admitted that “the Australian government permits the detention of children indefinitely and inhumanely.”
Widney Brown, Secretariat of Amnesty International, asserted that we need activism in all forms in order to be successful. Widney then noted that women were under-
represented in relation to technology. She encouraged technologically enthusiastic women to take up opportunities to be key players in the development of technology. “A fundamental aspect of technology is that it is neutral, we may be able to utilise the technology for spreading human rights to the suppressed and oppressed,” she concluded.
Julian Burnside spoke of how individuals can change the perceived values of Australians. Currently, Australians seem to be very accepting of human rights with respect to racial, national or even religious groups to which they belong. There is, however, little concern for those who are outside of these groups. Julian pointed out that it is necessary to eliminate this “us” and “them” mentality towards human rights in order to progress to true equality. In his entertaining, albeit powerful speech, Julian read out some hate mail sent to him. He shared his reaction with us, and demonstrated how he was able to change the views of those opposed to equal rights. A later panel consisting of Sophie Black, Jeff Waters, Hugh Riminton, Mark Dodd and Michael Ware discussed the question of whether the media has turned its back on human rights. In the Q&A style discussion panel, several issues were addressed including the fluctuations the media is experiencing economically, online blogging and citizen reporting. Michael pointed out that popular mainstream journalism is about telling the story. “A compelling story will always make the headlines, and human rights is no exception” persisted Michael. Online reporter for Crikey, Sophie Black, and former ABC reporter, Mark Dodd, agreed. People dictate what the media generates. At the moment, people care about human rights - as long as it isn’t dressed up as human rights.
By far the most emotionally stirring of the presentations was Rebiya Kadeer’s story of working for the rights of the Uygurs in the Peoples Republic of China. She went from being China’s seventh richest woman and a member of the Chinese parliament, to a political prisoner of conscience sentenced to eight years, with two years in solitary confinement. Her recount of the history of Uygur suppression, endless human rights violations and her hope to change the situation for her people was both awe inspiring and tear jerking. Stories of Uygur children being executed days before Chinese holidays, economic degradation of the mineral rich former East Turkistan and sexual slavery of young women still haunt my thoughts. Despite her plight, it was the actions of Amnesty International members who demanded that the PRC release Rebiya, where she was the only Uygur political prisoner of conscience to be released prior to her sentence completion. Now, she works exclusively, sharing her story with the world and fighting for the human rights of her people. Rebiya is a strong and influential woman that I believe we most certainly can learn from.
Amnesty International is nothing without its solidarity. Amnesty International groups are the life blood of the organisation, and it is extremely easy to be part of the global movement to change the world and ensure human rights are protected for all. Bond University’s very own group meets at the ADCO Amphitheatre during Wednesday by the Water fortnightly starting from week two, and weekly in the CDC conference room on Tuesday evenings from six pm. Currently the group is looking for volunteers to help out at events such as music festivals, but the group isn’t just about volunteering. We will also be encouraging members to write letters, sign petitions and attend movie nights and discussion forums. Amnesty International: it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Only a short walk away . . .
. . . . is the Lake Café, centrally located to Varsity Lakes in the Market Square precinct. This waterfront bistro acts as the local hub of Varsity Lakes, and is a popular destination for local residents, business owners, and students. The Lake Café serves their delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu all day from 7am (closed Sunday evenings), has great coffee, and is fully licensed. Owned and operated by Chef Gerhard Breuss and his family, the friendly staff of the Lake Café is willing to accommodate any need. Why not have a lazy breakfast of French Toast, with poached pear and mascarpone? Lunch could be doubleLdecker tapas on the boardwalk over the water with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, while sampling from the European inspired Modern Australian menu for dinner. Whatever mood strikes you, the Lake Café can accommodate your needs. We look forward to seeing you soon.
235 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes, QLD 4227 Phone: (07) 5578 9962 Web: www.varsitylake.com.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 17
Revolutions are defined by the activities of their participants. Social media has increasingly encouraged individuals to selfselect into cultural movements. While such inclusivity can encourage large numbers of people to rally behind a cause, it can also prevent the dissemination of a clear and consistent message.Internal discrepancies amongst members are typically exacerbated when corporate marketing campaigns attempt to publically align corporations with these movements.
This claim was made despite the fact that Vodafone deliberately cut its service in Egypt in the weeks leading up to the mass rallies, in effect passively supporting Mubarak’s regime. Worse still, Vodafone had previously sent out pro-Mubarak messages, prioritising its financial interests over any association with the new movement for democracy. By later claiming that the company had a pivotal role in the development of this movement, Vodafone compromised its integrity in the region and lost the respect of many global commentators.
On September 17th, protesters marched past Wall Street’s bronze bull in NYC. Occupy Wall St had begun. Although the movement’s size prevented it from clearly articulating its goals, primarily itobjected to rising unemployment and income inequality within the United States.In the face of a potential double dip recession, these fears were shared by much of the public, and advertising executives quickly identified a marketing opportunity. Advertisements appeared, placing their brands alongside the energetic protesters. In particular, Ben & Jerry’s emphasised that their company felt the ‘deepest admiration for the protesters’ cause’. Somehow Ben & Jerry’s forgot that the brand that enjoys peace, love and ice cream is also owned by multinational corporation Unilever. Apart from the obvious conflict between a corporation and a protest movement against corporations, Unilever’s payment structure incorporates mechanisms that were criticised by Occupy Wall St protesters. Additionally, Unilever has worked to streamline its staffing. Between 2000 and 2008, Unilever cut its global workforce by 41%, directly contributing to rising unemployment. The evident clash between the interests ofthese two parties seems irreconcilable, and associating Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream with Wall Street Protesters seems blatantly dishonest. Using marketing to tap into the goodwill surrounding a movement may be a legitimate way of selling a product. However, it is a technique that only stands up to scrutiny when the interests of the brand and movement align.
“Using marketing to tap into the goodwill surrounding a movement may be a legitimate way of selling a product. “ Some campaigns attempt more than merely aligning a brand with a movement. Particular marketing campaigns actively assume responsibility for instigating revolutions. In the aftermath of the Egyptian uprising of January last year,Vodafone released advertisements highlighting its role in the Arab Spring. The ads claimed that Vodafone’s technology and marketing had enabledand inspired the assembly of thousands of people during the rallies in Tahrir Square.
A pro-Mubarak message sent from Vodafone
Even if Vodafone’s service had continued to operate during the uprisings, the company would have simply provided a medium for Egyptians to express their disgust at their government. Such a role cannot be said to have inspired a revolution, and as such Vodafone cannot legitimately claim to be solely responsible for the outcome. Suggesting that a product has eased communication of a revolution is not without truth. Most modern movements can’t get off the ground without relying on digital media. However, suggesting that a product assisted and inspired a revolution when it was not functioning at the time is deceitful and insulting. There is nothing inherently wrong about corporations lending their support to revolutionary causes. Corporate resources can be of significant benefit to such movements, generating attention and resources. However, both corporations and revolutions lose credibility when they associate with organisations that do not share their value. Accordingly, it is in the best interests of corporations and popular causes to ensure that the values of the movement and corporate sponsorship are aligned.
My master’s degree in International Relations from Bond University in Australia gave me an incredible grasp and depth of knowledge of the issues relevant on the world stage. My professors always emphasized taking theories and ideas and applying them in practice. The crux of issues, dilemmas, and ongoing crises in the international community were always presented and debated vigorously within each lecture and tutorial. I spent a year at the United Nations in New York City as a participant of the Worldview Institute and United Nations University’s seminar series on international legitimacy, security, and human rights organized by Dr. Jean-Marc Coicaud and Ann Nicol. The lessons I learned at Bond University were of monumental importance in my career development. Dr. Jonathan Ping’s courses, which dealt with microcredit, development, and issues from the Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific, gave me an indispensable insight into the current state of affairs in these emerging areas of the world. Ambassador Vanu Gopala Menon from Singapore spoke at length at the United Nations of the very issues Dr. Ping covered in his lectures. I, an American whose understanding of world affairs was at one time limited to the focus of the American news media, was transformed to incorporate the fascinating new elements that the Asian-Pacific sphere is now producing on the world stage. Ambassador Menon continued the conversation that I had with my professors at Bond University into the halls of the United Nations. I felt so proud to have acquired knowledge beforehand to comprehend the vast complexities of Singapore’s role in trade and international affairs. I owe Dr. Jonathan Ping a debt of gratitude for these important contributions to my knowledge. Bond University also gave me the wonderful opportunity to focus on my chosen specialization, which was International Diplomacy. Learning the mechanics and practicing the art of diplomacy in scenarios that dealt with the Six-Party Talks’ attempts to denuclearize the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and UNAMA’s role in bringing peace and stability in the Af-Pak region certainly developed a sense of urgency and relevance in world affairs. Dr. Stuart Murray’s courses on diplomacy gave me the chance to translate theory into practice. The art of negotiation was Dr. Murray’s passion and it enhanced my array of skills for the participation in multilateral settings, which debate and deliberate on looming conflicts with global
and geopolitical ramifications. Listening to the passionate defence of President Assad by Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari from Syria and arguments on how to respond to important Middle Eastern issues at the United Nations connected closely with the coursework I completed at Bond University. The art of diplomatic negotiation was practiced at the United Nations as I had been trained at Bond University. This was an indelible and advantageous hallmark of excellence I acquired from Dr. Stuart Murray. My coursework at Bond included the very essence of foreign policy and international affairs: projecting the future. While studying history provides the secrets of statecraft as Winston Churchill once remarked, Dr. Rosita Dellios ingrained that the present was to be utilized for working toward the future and its important consequences on the world stage. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin from Russia and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon personified this trait unlike any statesmen I had the privilege of meeting at the United Nations. Both men used their pulpits to advocate the acknowledgement of increasing multipolarity, interdependence, and human rights awareness. Dr. Rosita Dellios provided these important aspects of world affairs; forecasting the future lies at the very core of world institutions as I had learned in her courses and had seen demonstrated at the United Nations. Any career in government or diplomacy requires this cognizance and I am thankful for her wonderful teaching for providing and ingraining this in my outlook. Dr. Rosita Dellios’ courses established what the driving force behind policy-making is and this was an invaluable aspect I will carry on into my future career. In the final analysis, I believe that my career skills have been acquired by virtue of the wonderful faculty and coursework at Bond University. As I am currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, I am fully aware that these necessary skills and concepts contributed to my depth of knowledge and will continue to serve me well whether I am writing a PhD dissertation or pursuing a career in diplomacy. As Isaac Newton once remarked: “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This is especially true in my case and I am grateful to Bond University for providing those giants.
pods, name, and number classification. I had several visits to Orcalab in the Johnstone Strait and met Dr. Paul Spong who was also one of the original founders of Greenpeace.
While the world cries out about global warming and natural disasters, no one pays attention to the shocking incidents that happen every day in the oceans. Each year more than 7400 whales are killed and while many travellers see Taiji as a place of picturesque beauty, it is in reality a place of hidden horror.In September each year thousands of dolphins and small whales are captured and slaughtered. Fortunately, there are people that have taken on the task to protect the oceans and its creatures - the Sea Shepherds. In an attempt to stop these mortifying incidents, many active volunteers and supporters of the Sea Shepherd organisation mobilise their forces and fight for justice. One of the very first supporters of Sea Shepherd Australia is Terri Melloway, who I was lucky enough to meet during a Sea Shepherd event. She shared with me her experiences. WHAT DOES SEA SHEPHERD MEAN TO YOU? Sea Shepherd is the only organisation that will take direct action to stop illegal activities on the oceans. It is not a protest organisation; it primarily consists of global volunteers who give up time from their jobs, businesses and other commitments to work on various Sea Shepherd campaigns. The supporters serve time onboard the SSCS vessels and work on specific projects around the world. Our land crews run stalls and fundraising events to keep our campaigns in operation. Sea Shepherd’s number 1 mission is to protect the biodiversity of our oceans while working under the United Nations World Charter for Nature giving non-governmental organisations the authority to uphold International Conservation Law. Many rules and regulations have been made to protect the oceans and marine habitat, with little or no co-operation by government agencies to enforce the laws. This is where an organisation such as Sea Shepherd will take action against poachers and law-breakers. WHY AND HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED? I had supported Greenpeace probably since its inception in the 1970’s. Ooops! Now I’m really giving my age away! As you may know, Paul Watson was one of the founders of Greenpeace, and later Sea Shepherd. I have always had a passion for conservation and had done a lot of hands-on work in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. I regularly went on whale watch boats each season during the Humpback whale migration and attended lectures through Southern Cross University Marine Education to learn more about Humpbacks and other whales. I did an internship with Trish and Wally Franklin of Oceania Project researching Humpbacks. I also became very interested in Orcas (killer whales) and during trips back to the USA to visit familiy, I went to British Columbia to experience the Orcas in the wild. I was enthralled and fascinated by them, and learnt about each of the northern and southern residents by
Now you know my passion for whales! I felt that Greenpeace, a huge organisation, was going to the Antarctic each season to confront the whalers, but only held up signs, took publicity pictures, and were ineffective to stop the slaughter. Greenpeace became a huge money-making business. Because I had lived outside of the USA for decades, I was not familiar with Sea Shepherd, based in Friday Harbor, Washington DC. When I heard they wanted to bring the “Farley Mowat” (formerly The Ocean Warrior) to a Port in Australia so that they could leave from here for the Antarctic, I learned everything I could about them and found others in Australia who had joined via the then tiny website and also made contact with former crewmembers. In 2004, I contacted the International Director, Tim Midgley, and also made many phone calls to negotiate with him. (There was no Skype or Facebook then! Can you imagine the cost of the international calls to the USA?) Tim wondered if we had enough support in Australia to start up chapters and I said we could get it going. I was very optimistic!
CAN YOU SHARE WITH ME HOW EVERYTHING STARTED HERE IN AUSTRALIA? Tim Midgely came to Australia and set up presentations about Sea Shepherd on the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The first group to start a chapter was Gold Coast, then Byron Bay, Melbourne, and Perth. Sydney and Brisbane didn’t get started until about three or four years ago. Byron Bay was at a standstill for nearly two years as the first coordinator left the country. Melbourne and Perth had rocky starts, but Perth kept going and has been run by the same coordinator for several years. I arranged Media Talks for Tim on Radio and Newspapers on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. Volunteer membership of the various chapter groups fluctuated. We had constant opposition from the general public and also other activists who were in support of the well-known and well-publicised Greenpeace. Most people had not heard of Sea Shepherd and some reacted negatively due to the direct action tactics used. Some people felt Sea Shepherd was too heavyhanded or violent. As we know, SSCS is not violent, but tales of the ramming were rife. We did not yet have an Australian SSCS Head Office, so all our contact was through the USA International Head Office. Neither did we have any flyers, t-shirts, or any other merchandise here. What little we were able to obtain was shipped to us from the USA at great cost. So needless to say, each flyer was precious and was not readily handed out as we do today. Another keen member and myself printed out information from the SSCS website and handed out the sheets to the public. She and I used our own funds to have the first 100 SSCS Australia T-shirts printed so that we would have merchandise to sell. They are now collector items.
The following year Sea Shepherd was given a small office in Kindness House, Fitzroy, Melbourne, where many other environmental groups also had offices. Sea Shepherd Australia still operates from that address. The ship “Farley Mowat” docked in Melbourne in 2005 where it stayed to be repaired, refitted, re-stocked with supplies and readied for the 2nd Antarctic Campaign. Capt. Paul Watson was onboard and later in the year we were able to have him come to the Gold Coast to speak. The only place I could get him into at that time was the local environment centre where he received a less than “lukewarm” reception from the “Old Guard” members, which was as I expected. However, there were many others who knew of SSCS and packed the place to overflowing. Supporters’ cheers and whistles drowned out the nay-sayers.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST PROJECT SEA SHEPHERD AUSTRALIA WAS INVOLVED IN? HAS IT BEEN SUCCESSFUL? I would say that the first project SSCS Australia was involved in is the Antarctic Campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet. Because of our proximity to the Antarctic and the southern marine sanctuary, it is a logical location for our ships to use Australian ports. Our aim is to put ourselves out of business so that we no longer have to send our ships and crew to the Antarctic to defend the lives of whales. Our objective is to “sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically” by preventing them from killing whales, making it uneconomic for them to send ships to the Antarctic. Last year Japan began late, sent half their fleet and quit early as we had chased them all the way to Patagonia where they were forced to turn around and return to Japan. Out of the 1,000 whales on their kill list they unfortunately did kill 159 animals. Each year we see more success as the Japanese have obtained less and less of their quotas. Last year we had them over $200 million in debt. So, yes, it has been more successful and we will continue to fight to save the whales until the killing stops.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROJECT THAT SEA SHEPHERD IS FIGHTING FOR? The most important project is to preserve the biodiversity of the oceans. Every species of marine life is linked to another and taking out or destroying a species causes a domino effect to harm others and then ultimately the oceans. We must protect the oceans from poaching and pollution. Each plankton
is as important as the largest whale in the ocean and we must protect them because if the ecosystems of the oceans die, we die. GREATEST SEA SHEPHERD ACHEIVEMENT TO DATE? I believe it would be the rapid growth of support in all things for SSCS from Australia. The support of the volunteers both on land and ship crewing has been tremendous. When our ships are in port, Australians are ready to help with donating food and working to help with repairs, maintenance etc. The growth of the SSCS chapters Australia-wide shows how much the public care about helping Sea Shepherd raise much needed funds for various campaigns. From a small seed planted, a mighty tree grew. I like to think of it that way. CAN THE SLAUGHTER OF DOLPHINS AND WHALES BE STOPPED? Part of what keeps the dolphin hunts going is the substanital profit made in black market. One dolphin can sell for over $200,000 and higher to particular buyers. The rest of the dolphins, which are not kept for the sea aquarium trade, are killed. Their meat is fraudulently sold as whale meat. The dolphin meat is dangerously high in mercury and PCB’s. Everyone needs to see the Academy Award winning documentary film, “The Cove,” and learn what happens in Taiji, Japan from Sept 1 to April 1 each year. Education is a great part of the answer to stopping the slaughter and trade of dolphins. Ric O’Barry says “call and petition the Japanese Fisheries Minister and the Taiji Town Council to make the non-slaughter policy permanent, and revoke all permits allowing capture and slaughter.” Sea Shepherd also has the Cove Guardians who volunteer to go to Taiji and document the activities in Taiji on a daily basis. These issues can be followed on Facebook and on blogs written by individuals who are there. Publicising these activities so everyone is aware of the horrors occuring will cause people to start taking action, if only by petitions. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SEE SEA SHEPHERD AUSTRALIA WITHIN THE NEXT 5 YEARS? To quote Capt. Paul Watson, “we are trying to put ourselves out of business.” This means that the governments would take over the role of stopping poaching and illegal activities at sea. I would love to see the Australian government take over Sea Shepherd’s role in protecting the Southern Marine Sanctuary. Currently, less than 2% of Australian territorial waters are protected as sanctuaries. I would like to see the Australian government join with other governments of the world in an international policing body to protect our oceans so Sea Shepherd volunteers do not have to risk their lives to protect the sea anymore. I hope you enjoyed this insight into the very beginning of Sea Shepherd Australia and Terri’s personal story. Sea Shepherd Australia has already left its marks in our society, but the fight is not yet over. Until then, we will all envision the day when we can happily say “goodbye” to Sea Shepherd as this will mean they have acheived their goal of protecting the oceans. So join the forces and become a Shepherd of the Sea! More information can be found at www.seashepherd.org/ australia
SOCIAL PAGES: ABC PARTY & WHITEHOUSE
SOCIAL PAGES: HALLOWEEN & MOVEMBER
For parents, doctors, scientists, politicians and governments – getting the message across isn’t always easy. Whether it is irrefutable evidence in support of quitting smoking, avoiding processed foods or adopting an active lifestyle, health messages have an enduring track record of rejection. While graphic images of smokers’ clogged arteries or grieving loved ones employ shock tactics – and have proven (at least to some extent) effective – the proportion of health warnings that go unnoticed by information consumers far outweighs those that are acted upon. Would couching the risk of an adverse lifestyle in economic terms prove more effective? Recent studies, inspired by previous findings in the area of behavioural economics, suggest that it might. In 2008, American study participants were given the chance to reclaim moneys ‘won’ in a lottery, or a deposit they had paid, in return for achieving a weight loss target. About fifty percent of participants in the ‘incentive groups’ achieved the target, as compared to just over ten percent in the control group.
While the notion of money as the greatest motivator may initially seem a depressing reflection on the human spirit, it does not lack a logical basis. While many desires that ‘should’ drive us (such as the need for love, companionship, well-being and happiness) are oftentimes difficult to explain and understand, money allows us to visualise the consequences of our actions. It is difficult for a father to deny his son a computer on the basis that if the family’s finances run out his already fragile marriage won’t survive, and the three of them will feel insecure, uncertain and frustrated. It is much easier to say, “Son, we can’t afford it right now.” But just how an outlay is unaffordable emerges as an interesting question. Just how can a person afford to ignore their health? Just how can society afford to tolerate a selective and sensationalist media? How can future generations (and future economies) afford rigorous exploitation of natural resources (a practice only made less politically correct by the emergence of eco-sensibilities)? Rather than being embarrassed by a picture of ourselves as materially motivated, perhaps it is time to view fiscal language as a powerful and persuasive communication tool.
“While many desires that ‘should’ drive us are oftentimes difficult to explain and understand, money allows us to visualise the conse- “Just how can a person afford to quences of our actions.“ ignore their health? Just how can society afford to tolerate a selective The freshly imposed Carbon Tax also exemplifies the human and sensationalist media? How can need to have risk and benefit expressed in familiar terms. The tax has emerged out of a struggle to reconcile scientific opinion future generations afford rigorous with the public’s limited understanding. Many people would exploitation of natural resources?” have difficulty explaining exactly why or how ‘carbon’ is a problem, yet, have come to understand its release as a decidedly bad thing. Of course, in its desire to satisfy the cries of environmentalists, and others who have come to view the issue as pressing, the government has failed to communicate the explicit dangers of atmospheric pollution and the implications for individuals. This is probably because, for the average 21st Century Australian, there are very few immediate (or even distant) consequences. A problem created by the collective actions of the global community is unlikely to be solved unless local-level impacts are forecasted. Enter the Carbon Tax – a tangible inconvenience for Australians that compels artificial acknowledgement of the climate change issue by way of instant fiscal ramifications.
Perhaps money, like any other abstraction, is a means of valuing human experience, rather than detracting from it. The equity of a human lifespan is often perceived in the language of years, while weights and measures are superimposed upon our otherwise chaotic and random lives. Money may simply be another unit that allows us to convey elusive concepts such as risk, security and worth. As we gain greater insight into our Palaeolithic selves, it is perhaps necessary to accept monetary desires as intrinsic to human computation and interaction.
Fashion for Thought James Mackechnie
Think sun, fashion and free food. Is there any better way to spend your study break on a Wednesday afternoon? Mid last semester, a group of bold Bond University students decided to put on a runway show featuring clothes sourced only from the St. Vincent’s De Paul charity. Alongside the weekly barbeque hosted by the Bond University Students’ Association, the event saw an array of students strut their stuff at the ADCO Amphitheatre. Wearing all different kinds of pre-loved items, the ensembles reflected the culture of the Gold Coast. Needless to say, this was all for a good cause. Apart from wanting to score a spectacular grade for their Organisational Behaviour class, the event organisers appeared to have a truly altruistic motive behind the overall concept. Afterwards, every item in the show was available to the public for only two dollars and all of the proceeds were donateddirectly to charity. Thinking back to the earlier eras, women were forced to restrict themselves and limit how much of their body was revealed (which in many countries is still applicable today). It wasn’t until they were needed in the war effort that they finally started to gain some freedom in what they wore. But, you only need to go to Robina Town Centre or Pacific Fair on a Thursday night to see just how much this has changed. Is anyone else sick of the rising number of twelve years olds casually displaying a disturbing amount of midriff or butt cheek? Like seriously, where are your parents and why did they let you out of the house in that?
A much more extreme example can be seen with celebrities such as Lady Gaga. They have capitalised on fashion in order to support their own beliefs about the world we live in and to initiate change. Moreover,wearing such zany outfits is a rather strategic move on her behalf because it keeps her in the spotlight and thus generates interest in what she does regardless of whether or not people like her. Clothes are much more than mere pieces of fabric. As there are so many varying uses for fashion, the next time you put something on, I urge you to think briefly about why you did so. Was it a conscious or subconscious decision? Does the colour reflect how you’re feeling today? Try it, you might be surprised.
Photographs by: James Mackechnie
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By the time you read this, I’ll be gone... To Mexico!! Hola mi amigo’s! Como estas? This semester I am on student exchange in Mexico. “Mexico?” I hear you say, “Isn’t that place really dangerous? Why would you want to go on exchange in Mexico?!” Fear not my fellow students, this is actually my third trip to Mexico; however, it is my first long-term stay.My first trip to Mexico was back in 2008 as part of a round the world trip that also took me to Las Vegas, Paris, London and Hong Kong. And it was on this trip that I fell in love with everything that is Mexico. So again in May 2010 I packed my suitcase and headed back to the land of taco’s and tequila. This trip was only supposed to be a three week stint in Mexico City, Acapulco, Monterrey and Guadalajara, but lucky enough for me, I managed to get myself a contract to shoot a calendar for a company in over ten cities all over their great country! Shooting that calendar was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to see some of the most amazing parts of Mexico that most tourists never get to see. So here is a behind the scenes sneak peak at some of my favourite locations and some of the ‘lost in translation’ moments that happened.
Rio Lagartos, Yucatan:
Rio Lagartos is about a five hour drive from Cancun on the waters of the Caribbean. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, although there is not a lot here! What there is; however, is a salt mine. I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever seen a salt mine, but they are marvellously beautiful! Just imagine mountains of salt seven stories high right on the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean, and surrounded by the pink waters of mine where hundreds of flamingos make their home (this is actually the location that National Geographic uses to film a lot of their images of flamingos). Apart from the downside of shooting in a salt mine think trekking up a seven story mountain of salt in bikinis and high heels as well as the dehydration from being surrounded by salt and that deceiving sunburn you get like in the snow - this place was remarkable! Being able to see this incredible place that tourists don’t get to see was such an experience, and I now have enough salt at home to last me about ten years.
Now for most people, including me, the chance to be able to spend the day shooting in a tequila factory is very appealing, especially for the free tequila going around. However, after eating some bad chicken in Manzanillo (shooting in a steel mine the day before) I had come down with salmonella poisoning. Not good! As sick as I was, the shoot had to go ahead. Now how to describe the smell of a tequila factory, hmmmm.... Fermenting agave. It is a horrible smell, but even more horrible when you are extremely sick. Funnily enough though, these were some of the best shots from the entire three weeks of shooting. Most tequila factories are in beautiful old haciendas and make for absolutely amazing scenery, so even with salmonella poisoning you can’t help but be amazed and appreciate at all the sights, sounds and smells (from the fresh agave, not the fermenting stuff!) around you.
Now this is where I have some stories to tell that are going to make me sound really badass! Tampico is an extremely dangerous place at the moment due to the narco’s. I originally wanted to go here for my birthday weekend which was during my trip, but my friends wouldn’t take me because it’s too dangerous eg. You can’t go out to nightclubs at night and you have to be careful where you drive through so you don’t get killed, basically. Lucky for me I still got to go, yay! The actual shoot was on a tug-boat which at one point I got to take control of, so normal shoot; but WOW, that was a couple of days to remember! So we were doing a bit of sight-seeing one morning, and my Mexican friends were driving me around some old abandoned buildings on the beach which used to be owned by Pemex, and we’ve come up to one and there were two military vehicles of soldiers there (there is a considerable drug-war going on here remember), so we turned the car around to leave them alone and the guy sitting in the back of the car yells out to stop and turn around to go back to them as they were calling us back. So we do and we have to get out of the car so they could search our car (and take our beverages) and then let us go again. I thought this was all very amusing until I asked what would have happened if we didn’t turn around. “They would have shot” one of them said. “The car?” I reply in shock, why would they shoot the tyres? That’s a bit extreme. “No, they would have aimed at us” came the next reply. Note to self, if you are in a place where a drug-war is taking place, always turn your car around at the request of military who are pointing there gigantic guns at you! There were so many more amazing places I went to from that trip and so many wonderful stories to tell. Mexico is a crazy place and everyone who goes there falls in love with the country. The culture, the people, the food, the tequila, the fiestas, the beaches, the country side, its everything about Mexico that makes it my favourite country and I can’t wait for the crazy adventures I am going to have this semester. Signing off,
La Kangura (The Kangaroo – the nickname given to me by the Mexicans)
Gay Marriage An Essay Trevor Dawes
Gay marriage is an unwarranted intrusion on majority rights. The promotion of same sex marriage, as a legal entitlementin order to address legal disadvantage, is fundamentally flawed. In most cultures, homosexual marriage is abhorrent to the religious tenets of those cultures.There exists a societal/religious view that the “sanctity” of marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Legal rights for homosexuals regarding inheritance, property, support and other matters are able to be satisfied without intruding on that majority view.
A critique of Sullivan’s work is outlined by David Warner in his book The Trouble with Normal: an Argument about Homosexuality. Warner argues that marriage is merely a bundle of rights. The major concern raised is that the normalizing of homosexual marriage will disenfranchise a section of that community who choose not to marry. He puts the argument succinctly by stating that marriage will “sanctify some at the expense of others” There appears to be little agreement amongst law makers, academics or homosexual activists regarding this matter.
In Nudge, it is contended that marriage should be privatized with default rules and prohibitions. The authors argue that marriage should be divorced from religious belief and assert that it is a “crude tool” to protect women and children. Unfortunately, no empirical methodology is outlined and both arguments appear specious. As recently as June 2010 in Malawi, a gay couple who publicly performed a same sex marriage were incarcerated for fourteen years. In a majority of liberal western democracies, there is no clear majority support for homosexual marriage. Put simply, it is virtually impossible to separate marriage from religion in the majority of the world’s cultures. Whilst marriage may indeed be a crude method of protecting women and children, there does not appear to be any viable alternative. Taking account of the connection between marriage and its religious elements; it does not appear that the default systems outlined in Nudge will attract main stream support. In his book Virtually Normal, Andrew Sullivan argues for a balance of liberal/conservative views on homosexual marriage. He goes on to outline some controversial matters on the subject.
In On Liberty, Mill outlines the proposition that thought and discussion should be totally free. He argues that all ideas should be heard and that failure to discuss even accepted opinion is dangerous. His idea is, of course, a standard that society should aspire to. However, if the interests of minorities are questioned, those minorities invariably engage in tactical labeling.For example, questioning the actions of the Israeli State in Palestine is invariably met with accusations of anti-Semitism. Just as easily, this essay could be labeled homophobic because it questions conventional wisdom. A similarly important subject outlined by Mill relates to the Harm Principle. This is an extension of similar discussions by Locke and Von Humboldt. It is contended that society should only intervene when actions of the individual harm others or, when an individual owes a duty of care to others. The argument can be extrapolated further to include the rights of the majority being paramount over those of the minority. Such an argument inevitably leads to the derogatory label regarding the tyranny of the majority. This argument presupposes that the majority will always abuse their power over the minority. There can be no argument that all modern societies are composed of some elements of discrimination, but it is erroneous to argue that the entire society fails because of that discrimination. There is no doubt that democracy is flawed,and no doubt that democracy is at times tyrannical. However none of the proponents of the theory of this ‘tyranny’ ever propose a viable alternative. It is entirely reasonable for a majority of a society to set the default standardsof law and morality for that society.
Sullivan states that homosexuality is a matter of both nature and nurture. The debate on decriminalising homosexual relationships in this country was bitter and divisive. Many, including myself, were of the opinion that the State had no role in activities engaged in by consenting adults in private. This argument was strengthened by the widespread and strongly advocated claim that homosexuality was entirely involuntary. In arguing that homosexuality can also result from ‘nurture’, Sullivan opens a Pandora’s Box regarding the right for homosexual couples to adopt children. At its worst, the nurturing of a child by a homosexual couple could be seen in another context as grooming.This argument appears simplistic. I contend, however, that if Sullivan’s arguments were widely examined at the time of the debate in the 1970’s, there would have been a conservative back-lash that would have undermined the entire liberalisation process.
Homosexual marriage is and will remain a subject of controversy. At least in a generational sense, there appears little likelihood that this link will be broken in the foreseeable future. If it is accepted that homosexual marriage is a current impossibility then there have to be alternatives found to address the clearly discriminatory legal minefield that confronts homosexual couples.
You used to sit on her lap, when you were tired or sick, and a cuddle would make everything alright. You used to sit on her lap, reading a storybook. Scanning words on used pages, her voice taking you on an adventure. She smiles, giggles when you correct her. You’ve read this one together countless times. You finish the book, and you just sit. It’s your mother’s lap, after all. * But times change. You walk down the hall, to the closed bedroom door. You rap your knuckles on it, and gently open. Is she asleep? You don’t know. ‘Are you getting up today, Mum?’ you ask. Not expecting anything. This is regular now. ‘Mum…?’ She just lies there, asleep, awake, indifferent. And it aches. You want to charge in there and shake some sense into her. To hug her. To tell her you miss her. To talk to her like nothing had changed. But more than anything, you want to run. To stamp hardened feet on glowing bitumen, abrasive concrete and weathered grass. Exhaust yourself to heavy panting, wheezing. To collapse in a heap in, to suck in oxygen, to escape. To make the ache disappear. But the reality is you can’t. Things carry on as normal. You have to go to high school as normal and pretend it all makes sense. You research the medication to try and understand and learn as much as possible. Dad hasn’t explained. He probably thinks you haven’t noticed, or maybe he’s just scared and doesn’t know what to say. Maybe he wants to run too. Her spirit, as absent as her eyes through the window, caved in colour’s shadow, like rings around closed eyelids, crushes you. And lost in this ocean of a haunted future, you become an apostate. With blind, directionless faith, your deepest wish, that she will be better for your birthday, fills you with a stretched hope. A morbid ultimatum. A game with your expectations. A test of your selfishness. ‘Are you getting up today, Mum?’ Your wish does not come true. * Your small hands well experienced in making smudged mud pies and colouring in the lines fit comfortably in hers. Trailing behind in newly scuffed shoes, she leads you down the sunny lane, following the offensive steel fence to the open school gate. You release your hand from her soft grasp and screw up your little nose in anticipation of a farewell kiss. A peck on the cheek and you leave her at the gate. People and games await and you don’t look back. * One day she does get up. A rush of relief, almost contentment calms you and everything is going to be better. Dizzily drunk at a wedding, though, you realise just how much it affected you. In a corner, you weep – salty streams erupting from abused tear ducts. Whisper through your teeth a hidden shame. A hidden guilt. No one stops to ask. Inside you’re still as fragmented and fragile as ever. And more uncertain that it will ever go away. You feel abandoned. Restricted. Limited. But it’s also like you don’t have permission to feel; it’s time to resurrect the façade. Never have you wanted to be back sitting in her lap more than this very instant. * You grew up though. An arbitrary code in your mind reels off jaunts and lies that pigeon hole you. Routine provides a sense of normality and a regularity so craved. And it all seems a distant memory, her sickness. Insidious though – a horrible infection, grossly manifesting itself. Metamorphosing. The mirror is silent in time’s great ebb and flow. You look at yourself. Barely a man. And hardly awake to the turmoil inside. It’s not an end or beginning, but a static feeling and impregnable discontent. Yet there’s something far more positive. A girl with messy streaks of blonde and collapsed ears who dares to care and laughs a real laugh. The discontent is not so formidable because she’s the lighthouse, steering you clear of the dangers on your voyage. You feel lucky that you know her. But the vacant, blank expression can’t hide the fact that you’re worried. * Your mum’s arms stretch out beckoning you towards her. You embrace her and squeeze hard, feeling her warmth, her spirit, her love. A not-so-sullen face, slight wrinkles and a reddened nose meet a toothy, mousy boy on the verge of something cruel. And it’s a memory you wish you didn’t have to fall back on, to remind yourself that beyond the grave there is a kingdom.
Since departing Australia in August to reside in Turkey, I’ve ridden a camel in the Sub-Saharan Desert, spent one amazing week with a past Bond exchange student in Paris, experienced true Eastern European culture, drank beer in Germany, witnessed the true beauty of Lebanon and have been warmly welcomed into a Turkish home. Participating in an exchange program has been one of the best decisions I have made. I have learnt a lot about myself and made strong friendships with people from all over the world. My initial fear of leaving seems absolutely ridiculous now, because I truly have had the time of my life. My requirements for exchange: a non-English speaking country, culturally rich, and different to my daily life in Australia. I settled with Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is a magical country. I can imagine living here permanently. The huge city of Istanbul has nearly the population of Australia. I lived in a suburb called Sariyer which is a sweet little fishing town along the water. My university campus is in a hilltop forest which overlooks the Black Sea. I’m living a dream, emerged in a great culture which such a rich history and lifestyle. Hearing the call to prayer multiple times a day is a true blessing. I was fortunate enough to stumble across a Sufi* practice called ‘Sema’ or better known as the ‘whirling dervishes’.
Being immersed in a strong Islamic presence has been incredible, something I wish to continue studying in the future. The Turkish people are patriotic and have a strong sense of community. Flags and images of the founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, cover the streets, stores and houses; this was a totally new experience for me. During my time here, Turkey has experienced many traumatic events. The earthquake in Van has had devastating effects on the country. The PKK have continued to cause turmoil, exacerbating the Kurdish issue and further complicating TurkishIsraeli relations. These issues would not appear as real to me if I hadn’t experienced them firsthand. As I am an International Relations student, it has been a great experience to gain a Turkish perspective. Some advice to students: utilise the exchange office. Create some memories that are bound to last a lifetime and plunge into the unknown. It may be the best decision you make. If you’re interested in a more detailed description of my adventures, please check out my blog maddyistanbul. tumblr.com *Sufism is a mystical Muslim sect
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In this article I pledge to remain honest in all that I say. Okay, it’s that time of year again. The time when our first semester of university has arrived, our hectic Christmas and New Year period is behind us and of course, those New Year’s Resolutions are looming around. The ‘get fit’, ‘get rich’ and ‘stay happy’ resolutions we swear by have once again re-surfaced and multiplied. Maybe it’s the conclusion of yet another heads-down bum-up, financially strapped and incredibly stressful year that has brought this on. I am no stranger to the fact that, as a general rule, people make these resolutions in a bid to have some purpose for the year ahead. And why not? Day to day life is so jam-packed that sometimes we lose sight of what we really are striving for. But are these generic and detail-lacking resolutions really necessary? Does that one phrase really get you anywhere? Never fear fellow students, my resolutionis here – with incredible detail I fear. My resolution this year is fourteen-fold, explanatory and comes in the form of an acrostic poem, for the child in all of us. Here goes… This is the year that I will RE-INVENT MYSELF.
Things happen for a reason – for someone who needs to be in constant control, this is hard to do. One cannot control every minute of every day. I might as well come to realise this so I can enjoy my days instead of panicking when yet another one of my ‘plans’ falls through.
Okay, so maybe the work-out cliché has its merits. What girl doesn’t want to look good? Between you and me, after a year and a half of unknown, underlying health issues, it is about time I looked damn good! Some extra self-confidence won’t go astray.
Intelligence in all that I do
It is true what they say, ‘old habits die hard’. I am in no way, shape or form about to go and flunk out, quite the opposite in fact. Intelligence is important. For someone who strives to be the best and settles only for the best, mediocrity will not suffice. This year, I am going to become the poster pin-up girl for intelligence. Think excellent study skills, perfect tutorial answers and incredible intuition in my job-scoring habits. Oh, and of course, a fabulous, sophisticated and yet oh-so-chic wardrobe that screams intelligence when I walk into a room.
No more shying away from career seminars, functions and the like. My career is not going to develop overnight. I need those industry contacts and a kick-ass professional network. This year, thou shalt network like no tomorrow.
A job will come with hard work – following on from my ‘network’ element comes yet another fundamental concept that, once mastered, should logically, lead to wonderful opportunities. This year I am going to spend a significant amount of time volunteering – a job, and a good one at that, will come with hard work. As the Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine did (and look at the position she scored – my dream job!), make yourself indispensable. I am going to be the first to arrive, last to leave and will fill my time with work experience until the pages of my 2012 kikki.k day planner are full to the edges with voluntary work experience and meetings. I admit, the two stints of work experience that I have lined up for this year are not quite as extensive as they ought to be. Watch this space!
The secret’s out, this is my dream job. This year I am going to fall back on all those studies that claim ‘a visual goal is a completed goal’, ‘see your dreams, achieve your dreams’, you know the drill. This six-letter word shall bombard my every movement and every decision that really my only option is to be closer to achieving this career goal so that I can justify getting ridof my constant visual reminders. Makes sense, right?
Never fold under pressure
I have known myself long enough to realise that after a slight nervous breakdown or two, perhaps I shouldn’t internalise my pressure. Or, better yet, maybe I should swallow some concrete and harden up. To be honest, I am hoping that each element of my resolution intertwines so much so that the result is one cool, calm and collected uni student. Give me a year, I shall keep you posted.
Not going to delve into this one too much. Ultra transparency of oneself is not always wise, if I do say so myself. This year I shall think thin - enough said.
Money, money, money
My god I may just die from ‘stingy-ness’ if I do not get my act together on this one! This year I will properly budget and severely save: rego, insurance, textbooks, the essentials (coffee, my social life)… it all adds up.
Yesterday shall have no regrets
Not going to lie, this is really just a fancy way of saying ‘no regrets’ but I had no letters left. No matter, this year I want to fill my days with what I want to do and when I want to do it. Each morning I will wake knowing yesterday occurred because I wanted it to.
Successful, I will be it!
Another mini mantra for me. If hypnotising works, supposedly, well then I also assume that little mental sayings have their place. For those reading, don’t for a second fall into the trap of associating success only with a high GPA. Whether it is success in finally sorting through your wardrobe or success in finally standing up to that overly, domineering friend, these achievements are to be celebrated. For me, my success includes being a better student, but also clearing those mind hurdles that have surfaced over the years. Better self-confidence, facing forward in confrontation and being unafraid to be are the things that will count to my success this year.
The image this conjures up in my mind is quite aggressive, really. Think dark skies, rain, mud and a hell of a lot of rugbylike tackles. Quite intense I know, but I really do work better with a little passion and competitive spirit. Fellow classmates fear not, I am not about to spear-tackle you away from your internships and HD’s. This is more so a little reminder to myself that there are many others in similar positions to myself and I am going to have to fight my way to the top. We all do really…
Let go of the old
I mean this in the most literal way possible. It is too difficult to continue to put effort and energy into friendships that are well and truly beyond their expiration dates. As I see it, milk spoils but my redundant relationships will not spoil things for me. This point is quite nostalgic for me, to be honest. Too often I have had to deal with constant criticism from these ‘friends’. If it’s not my university choice, degree choice, choice to eat healthy, choice to stay remain sober on some nights, put effort into my uni and extra-curricular activities, too often I face ongoing reminders that in some way I am ‘different’ to how I was in school. Well duh! Two years on, of course I am not the same as back then. The problem, they are the same. My dad always told me ‘you will never soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys’. I completely understand this and my solution is to simply let go. I don’t think I need to make justifications for wanting success and personal happiness. This year, I will be turning a lot of my attention and effort into the things I want and need for the future. Hopefully, there are many of you whom can relate. To those of you I say, “hello, when can we meet?”
Focus on me
Last but not least. This one is a little superficial but I really want to take time out to care for myself: nice hair, nails, clothes and make-up. I want to read more, dance more and laugh more. I will go out more, stay in more, sleep in more and cook more. Really, I am just going to focus on me because at the end of the day, I am at my happiest when this happens. The rest will come later, I hope. So, this marks the end of my detailed, personal and, for me, exciting New Year’s Resolutions. In one year’s time, I hope to have maintained all that I have said and aim to be a new me: exceptional marks, personal accomplishments, a hot career and body to boot. I will re-invent myself. Until next time, Yours in honesty xx Tara Evans
Democracy is an exciting concept, and one Australians sometimes take for granted. Having a right to express our views at the ballot box is what sets Australians apart. Australians are not like the ironically entitled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran or Zimbabwe. Australians have the power to change what they do not like.
“Being forced to vote is not only an infringement on our liberty, it is fundamentally inconsistent with the notion of having the right to choose whom one votes for at first instance.” Although Australians, and indeed members of every democracy are lucky in this regard, there is a catch. Everyone has to vote. Regardless of whether a person knows or cares about politics, he or she is forced to participate in choosing a government. Being forced to vote is not only an infringement on our liberty, it is fundamentally inconsistent with the notion of having the right to choose whom one votes for at first instance. The rationale behind this article is in line with the theme of this edition of Baked, as it is an attempt to encourage people to think about changing something there is very little appetite for doing so in Australia. Australia introduced compulsory voting in 1924. Section 245 of the Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) states it is the duty of every person to vote at each election. If a person is recorded as not having voted, the Australian Electoral Commission sends that person a letter asking them to explain the reasons behind not voting. At this stage, the person may choose to pay a $20 fine. If this is done, the investigation goes no further. Additionally, the conventional wisdom that having one’s name crossed off at a polling station but not actually marking a ballot paper is sufficient to constitute voting, is false. The High Court held as such on two occasions, first in Judd v McKeon and second in Faderson v Bridger.
Much of the debate around compulsory voting is centred on who would benefit. Minority reports of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral matters, from members of the Labor Party, stated ‘The rationale behind [the desire to abolish compulsory voting] is partisan self-interest’. Simon Jackman, of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, identifies that the ‘Conventional wisdom’, is that the Labor Party would stand to lose from a shift to voluntary voting. Jackman also identifies however that there is very limited research available to demonstrate this is in fact the case. Some research has shown in Australia that leftwing parties benefit from compulsory voting, and that rightwing parties would benefit from its abolition. The Australian Election Study Survey asked approximately 1700 voters at the 1996 Federal election ‘Would you have voted if voting had not been compulsory’? Of those that said they definitely would have voted, 53 per cent supported the Liberal or National Parties, whilst only 36 per cent supported Labor. 45 per cent of those saying they definitely would not have voted were Labor supporters, only 28 per cent of those in the same category were Liberal or National supporters. In all likelihood, the Liberal-National Coalition would benefit and the Labor party would lose out if compulsory voting were abolished.
“In a voluntary voting process, those more likely to vote are those who do understand the process, and who care about the direction the government is moving in.” However, this limited survey is not a reason for avoiding change, and it in fact says a lot about politics in Australia. Polls are the focus rather than policies. Parties will often fail to take decisions that would ultimately be for the benefit of all citizens if those decisions would make the party unpopular. In a voluntary voting process, those more likely to vote are those who do understand the process, and who care about the direction the government is moving in. Those who do not care would not vote. Politics would likely become more about having to convince a majority that did care that a particular policy was a good idea.
In any case, much of this debate is a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Regardless of who benefits from which system, the real problem with compulsory voting is its infringementupon our liberty. Discretion is the foundation of a democratic society. Australians should have the freedom to choose not to participate in a process they either have no interest in or understanding of. The notion that one has a right to total discretion over whom he or she may vote for is fundamentally inconsistent with the idea that one has no choice over whether or not to exercise that right at first instance.
“Democratic government is about the person or party whom gets the most votes deciding how a country should be run. Arguing someone who is elected by a majority of all citizens is a more legitimate governor rather than all those who choose to vote is nonsensical.” Support for compulsory voting rests on several grounds. Colin Hughes, an avid supporter of compulsory voting who was the Australian Electoral Commissioner from 1984 to 1985, listed several reasons. Some were: 1) Democratic government means majority rule and the expression of an opinion by a majority of electors, 2) Voting is akin to other civic duties such as military service, compulsory education, the giving of evidence or jury duty, 3) Compulsion enforces political education. Each reason for supporting compulsory voting is either wrong or misses the point. 1) Democratic government is about the person or party whom gets the most votes deciding how a country should be run. Arguing someone who is elected by a majority of all citizens is a more legitimate governor rather than all those who choose to vote is nonsensical. It is highly presumptuous that everyone who votes makes an informed vote, fully understands and comprehends the ideas of both sides, as chooses whichever person or party he or she believes is best.
“Compulsory education is about ensuring all people are educated to a similar level. That is, everyone is taught up to a certain level of knowledge, the leaving age for school. Nobody has a choice over whether to become educated to a particular level, however, when choosing whom to vote for, a person may choose to not educate himself or herself at all.” 2) Each of these civic duties has an entirely different rationale behind it. Military duty is about ensuring States have adequate soldiers to protect their interests. Forcing people to go to war against their will is wrong for similar reasons, however that is not what is being debated here.
Jury duty and the giving of evidence relate to ensuring justice is done. If 12 ordinary people cannot be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is guilty, the uncertainty that that person is not guilty is enough to abstain from punishing him or her. Compulsory education is about ensuring all people are educated to a similar level. That is, everyone is taught up to a certain level of knowledge, the leaving age for school. Nobody has a choice over whether to become educated, however, when choosing whom to vote for, a person may choose to not educate himself or herself at all.
“Exactly how much knowledge about all candidates a person must possess before he or she can be deemed ‘politically educated’ is impossible to determine.” 3) There are many problems with claiming compelling people to vote increases political education. No evidence exists to support this fact, as the level of ‘political education’ of an individual is a highly subjective concept. Exactly how much knowledge about all candidates a person must possess before he or she can be deemed ‘politically educated’ is impossible to determine. Further, many of those that vote are ‘educated’ by the biased and uninformative political advertising in Australia. Any assumption compelling a person to vote will encourage him or her to go and read and research about policies to a level where an informed decision can be made is wrong.
“Think about whether compulsory voting increases political education. Think about whether forcing every individual to participate in a process he or she may have no interest in, no or limited understanding of, and no desire to become properly informed, is a good thing. It’s time for a change.” Moreover, voting is voluntary in New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, the countries with political systems very similar to the one in Australia.Why does this country have a system not supported by Australia’s closest allies? The state of politics in each of those countries is no worse than, and arguably better than, politics here in Australia. It’s time to start thinking about why that is the case. Think about whether compulsory voting increases political education. Think about whether forcing every individual to participate in a process he or she may have no interest in, no or limited understanding of, and no desire to become properly informed, is a good thing. It’s time for a change.
The Elder Scrolls series’ latest installment of Skyrim is finally here, after a five year wait following the previous installment. The team at Bethesda Game Studios have removed all the notso-good features from the previous installment Oblivion and polished it to make a better experience this time around. The game is directed by the legendary game designer, Todd Howard. I am sure that everyone who have been working on the game would be proud of what they have accomplished. For everyone who hasplayed any of Bethesda Studios’ games, you would know that they are the masters of open-world Role Playing Games. Their creations range from the 1992 classic,The Elder Scrolls: Arena, to their previous game, Fallout 3: New Vegas. Stating that Skyrim is the best game that they have ever made would be a complete understatement. Skyrim is more than just a game. It gives players an interactive experience unlike anything ever experienced before. They started the project by wanting to make the ultimate warrior game, the ultimate fighting game, the ultimate assassin game, the ultimate flower-picking game, and so on. In this review I will try to findout if they have managed to achieve all of these above goals.
I have used the XBOX 360 copy for my review, and I would suggest to anyone wanting to play the game in the future: try to keep yourself away from the console version. I feel the current console generation is almost in its final lap of its life cycle, so if anyone wants to have an optimum experience of the game, the PC version is the way to go. In saying that the console version is not as good as the PC version, Bethesda Studios have still managed to put together the best possible experience on the current gen consoles, by pushing the hardware to its maximum capability. I have played this game for somewhere around 50 hours and I’ve finished the main quest line and the Dark Brotherhood quest line (aka the assassins quest line). Rest assured, I will not put in any spoilers. The game starts off like every otherElder Scrolls game – the player starts off as a prisoner, who is on his or her way to execution. Then the player is given the character creation screen. The character creation screen in this game is probably one of the most in-depth character creations that I have ever seen since Oblivion. It is so much fun playing around with the creation screen that it almost becomes a very fun experience in itself. It took me roughly an hour or so to finalise the character that I would be playing as for probably the next 300 hours. The storytelling method used within the game is very interesting. It manages to tell the player a great story without removing
the control at any point in time. The game tells the story without any cut-scenes or visual cinematic. It has used the environment and all the non-playable characters to tell the story. Any event that takes place in the world will be something like a news flash in a real world where all the characters in the city would be talking about you killing a bandit, or praising you for slaying a dragon that was a menace for the people of the town, and so on.
The game features a radiant AI system, which means all the nonplayable characters react to what you have done, so it tends to be mostly unscripted. A good example of this was when I was given a quest to deliver a letter to someone without reading the contents of the letter. However, I immediately opened it and read the letter. When I delivered the letter to the non-playable character, it automatically find out that the letter has been tampered with, so he did not pay me for delivering it. The gameplay is simply flawless as it plays a very important role in making the game a really fun experience. The gameplay mechanics is really simplified, so that anyone can pick up the game and play. The AIs within the game are really balanced well. The game manages to give you a feeling of achievement when you manage to kill something as big as a mammoth or a dragon. The game world in Skyrim is amazing. The designers have spent a lot of time on making the game world really believable. The game world features, day-night cycle and transition are probably one of the best that I have ever seen since Red Dead Redemption. The sounds that have been used within the game give the player a real feel of the game world. It acts as a good way to enhance the overall experience that the player has with the game. The game also tends to set the sound environment right when you are looking at the towns from a peaceful mountain or even when you are in a fight with a dragon. On the downside, the game tends to have many glitches, but since it is a very big open world game, some glitches are inevitable. The inventory screen in the game could have been more user friendly, but apart from that, there are no big flaws in the game. The final verdict: Skyrimis a must-play for any gamer. It is probably very significant in game history. It lets you live your own virtual life with infinite possibilities. One more thing: make sure you start playing the game after your exams, as you will completely lose track of time and probably end up playing it for days!! I would rate this game a 9.5 out of 10 Dragons!! WHY ??
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“The city, Swedru, was as big as Robina Town Centre,” Maddy said.
What you are about to read is more than just a big story. It is the journey of an eighteen year-old Bond University student who got lost and found, made sacrifices and encountered hope. In a country ravaged by disease and hunger, she found promise hiding behind the smiles of children. You can revolutionise yourself through believing that change must firstly come from within. I met with Maddy Roberts. This is her story. Maddy was not prepared for Ghana. Physically, yes, following twelve vaccinations (for yellow fever, typhoid, Hep A/B/C, rabies,etc). Mentally, no. She expected something out of a documentary: living in huts and cooking freshly caught food. Yet, her expectations in no way prepared her for what she saw. It was all part of a three-month volunteer trip she undertook last year with an organisation, Antipodeans Abroad.
“I lived with a local family in a furnished home. We had to have bucket showers using really cold water. The water was untreated so we had to be careful not to get cholera.” Food consisted of two meals a day. Dinner did not exist. The menu rotated between yams (sweet potato), jollof rice (chicken with rice) and ground nut soup (peanut butter soup). They had meat once a week. Despite their daily struggles, the people were extremely friendly. “Everyone was a friend in Ghana. You could walk up to strangers, have a full conversation, and leave without ever knowing their name,” Maddy said. She also told me that Ghanaians are very religious people, attending church services that last anywhere between four to ten hours. The country has a majority Christian population but also a large Muslim group. The first half of a service incorporated traditional song and dance, whilst the second half involved preaching. Weekends were spent traveling all over the country. The organisation visited Cape Coast castles, a canopy treetop walk and safaris. Twenty minutes out of the city, there is an orphanage called the Helping Hands. This is where Maddy spent most of her time. The orphanage was run by in-country agents of Antipodeans Abroad. It mainly housed flood victims, children whose parents had died and those whose grandparents had no income to support them. Maddy was originally meant to teach but she soon decided against it. “I didn’t get why we were taking away teachers’ salaries when we were unqualified to teach,” she said. Maddy then got put into day-care, looking after farmers’ children. The job involved songs, games, puzzles and crayons. The orphanage was a run-down kind of place with mattresses so thin you could feel the ground. The kids eat dried kassara, a nutritionless water-based mush. It looks like sand and it is just to fill their stomachs, Maddy told me. The lack of mosquito nets was another problem. Having already endured many physical challenges, Maddy’s emotional strength was then put to the test was when three year old Kwabi contracted malaria and measles, and died.
“The people in Ghana don’t mourn death. They were happy Kwabi was going to a better place. They didn’t understand our sadness.” There was no service. Just as soon as he came, Kwabi was gone, buried behind the orphanage. Triggered by his death, Maddy helped set up the Helping Hands Medical Fund. The fund provides money for monthly nurse check-ups and maintaining an onsite medical kit.
The trip soon became worse when the trials of Maddy’s expedition finally started to catch up with her. She was constantly tired and stopped eating full meals. She lost fifteen kilograms. It took her a month to discover she had contracted malaria - despite consuming oral anti-malaria pills daily. Maddy told me the pills were only 60% effective, anyway. In hospital she received antibiotics and swallowed ten pills twice a day for a week. The malaria went away, and thencame back after two weeks. It remains in her body and Maddy has complications to this day. The country is still very poor. In the three months she was there, Maddy spent somewhere between AUD $1500-$2000, which included all her meals and accommodation. Pineapple costs 50 c, bread loaves cost 20 c. Milk is a rare commodity, and the children are calcium-starved. “Ghana has no fridges, only long-life milk and milk powders aren’t very popular,” said Maddy. The feeling of helplessness still haunts her. Maddy recalled passing through starving villages, knowing there was nothing that could be done. You feed one person and all of a sudden, the whole village has heard about it and expects help. Supplies are not infinite. However, people there see Westerners differently. There is great pressure to help.
Maddy and Steffan
“In Ghana, they think that ‘white people’ are equivalent to God because we have endless supplies of money,” said Maddy. “They call you their Saviour.” “A five year-old was shocked when I told him I couldn’t buy him a Ferrari.” “They either want to marry you or rob you. I had at least one marriage proposal a day and goat offerings.” Maddy thinks that developed nations should step up. “Education is the number one priority,” she said. “Nobody knows how to take care of themselves or their kids here, or how not to have kids. They don’t see education as a means to an end; they focus on minimum wage jobs to survive. It is a vicious cycle.” “Germany is doing well, for example, high-school graduates can either elect to join the army or volunteer in their gap year. It is a great initiative. People are all too focused on traveling to Europe but if we had half as many people travel to Africa, things would be different.” “I’m really excited to finish my degree and try to help. Eventually I want to work in Africa.” During her stay, Maddy became really attached to one yearold Steffan. His first word to her was “mum”. She still gets upset thinking about him. “I plan on visiting him for two weeks at the end of this year,” she told me. “When I’m 21, I’ll go back and adopt him.”
This year at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas, there was a speaker talking about vegetarianism. I have to say when I was reading the program I had to look twice. Since when was what we eat such a dangerous thing? After seeing some of the vitriol directed at both those who eat meat, and at vegetarians on public forums (yes Fairfax, I am referring to you!), I was mistaken. It seems that not eating animals is one of the most dangerous ideas that there is. The ‘intelligent’ conversation at these forums made me realise one thing: in Australia, we get animal rights so incredibly wrong. There are vehement meat eaters who attempt to paint vegetarians as a blight on society as ‘they require more water with their excessive vegetable consumption’ and attempt to point out that carrots feel pain (I find this difficult to believe as they do not have a central nervous system). There are rabid animal rights activists who refer to the average consumer’s stomach as an ‘animal graveyard’ and try to guilt trip the world into becoming vegans with no logical basis for their assertions but way too much emotion. I feel that both sides have missed the forest for the trees, and as a result animals continue to suffer in Australia today. Today, I intend to inform you about three things: 1. Where your meat comes from 2. The damage some animal rights groups cause to the beings they allege to be defending 3. Pet ownership and responsibility I will not be issuing any cause of action today other than one: to be informed. I am not attempting to advocate vegetarianism or veganism, I am simply attempting to inform you about what I see as important issues in Australia today. This is an emotive issue, and I leave the choice to you. Part 1-Meet your Meat Ok, I am not going to put on a gory video in an attempt to confront and disgust you like other certain animal rights groups do using this phrase (cough, cough PETA). I am simply going to explain how the meat industry works in Australia-nothing confronting here, just the facts. Who feels like chicken tonight? You may not after I inform you how broiler chickens (that is, meat) are treated in Australia. They are bred to gain weight very quickly. They are genetically chosen to have lots of breast muscle and to grow from birth to slaughter weight in a mere 35 days. There are a number of problems which come with this phenomenal weight gain, which include leg problems and lameness, breast blistering, feet and hock burns, and heart and eye abnormalities. They are kept in the dark for 23 hours a day to discourage movement, and encourage as much eating as possible so they grow even bigger. There is absolutely no mental stimulation in this environment either. These birds feel pain and boredom and these cognate, sentient birds are treated like machines. Birds have brains and can feel pain, yet we remain so ignorant to their plight, instead focussing on when we will get our next fix of KFC. Ignorance for the sake of convenience works well. Chickens I guess are easy enough to ignore, because they tend to act pretty brainless (look, I love animals, but there are some facts you cannot deny). So maybe I should move onto the next industry in Australia-the pork industry. There are so many problems with the pork industry in Australia I am not even sure where to start. According to the RSPCA (a somewhat mainstream, respected animal protection association), the worst problems with pigs is their confinement in sow stalls and farrowing crates. Oh sorry, you want that in English? Allow me to elaborate.
An Animal Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
A sow stall is a single stall that houses a sow (that’s a mummy pig) for most of her 16 weeks of pregnancy. Such a stall is only two metreslong, and 60 centimetres wide. This means that there is just enough space for the sow to take a step forward/ back, not to turn around etc. About a quarter of farmers will keep their sows in these stalls for the entire 16 weeks, but most will for quite a bit of it. Farrowing crates are where the sows are moved right before birth. It is like a sow stall, but narrower and with bars on it (keeping with a jail theme I suppose). The sow is kept there for four weeks. This confinement does not allow the pig to engage in natural behaviours, and leads to muscle and bone deterioration and anti-social behaviour by a normally incredibly social animal. This all seems pretty wrong to me. Pigs have been found to be an incredibly intelligent animal, not only by nutty animal rights groups (ahem, PETA) but by scientists! Pigs have been found to have the intelligence of a three year old with one exception-pigs are unwilling to defecate in their living or eating quarters. The pig industry attempts to justify this treatment of pigs by saying it is more convenient to do it this way. They are probably right. It is probably more convenient to confine a three year old child in this way too, but (rightfully so) it is a crime. Pigs are not baby-making machines. They are intelligent animals that feel every bit of the pain inflicted on them by the pork industry. I have only scratched the surface with the problems in the pig industry. Procedures such as tail docking (recently illegal for dogs), teeth clipping, and wait for it boys… castration are performed without anaesthetic.For the sake of convenience, we ignore that these animals actually have nerves and brains. If this was to happen to a dog, we would scream bloody murder, but because it has happened on a pig (an animal which is arguably smarter than a dog) and because there are so many of them, it is ok. Double standards, anyone?
If only it stopped here. You might be a little bit turned off meat now, and be thinking you might like an omelette for dinner. If that is the case, do not read on as my next point of attention will be layer hens (not strictly meat, but still very important). As the RSPCA so astutely puts it on their website “Caged Hens Live Miserable Lives”. This is true. It is common knowledge that cage hens are put in cages about the size of an A4 piece of paper. Anyone who has seen a chook will know that this is a pretty tight squeeze. They are unable to exhibit natural behaviours like forage around, scratch in the dirt and stretch and flap their wings. Sunbathing is completely off the cards given that most of these chooks are housed indoors and probably will not see sunlight until they go to the slaughterhouse. If any animal is treated like machines, cage hens are it. The turkey industry has similar problems in regard to the rapid growth. They have similar health problems, and similar miserable lives as a result of these farming practices. After all of this reading, you might feel like a coffee, maybe a latte. Well make it a soy latte if you intend to continue reading on. The dairy industry isn’t quite as dramatic as the examples I have stated above, but as far as I am concerned, there is plenty of room for improvement. The way that bobby calves are treated is one example. Bobby calves are basically excess animals that are not required for the industry, and are slaughtered. For cows to continue producing milk, they need to have a calf every year, hence the existence of these calves. The situation at the moment means they are allowed to be packed off to the slaughterhouse at five days old. These animals are so young they can barely stand up straight, but they are packed into trucks, without food or water for a very long time, and are often handled roughly because shockingly, they do not walk like grown up cows (perhaps because they are not!). Another problem in this industry is that dairy cattle often become lame because of the time spent traipsing to and from the milking sheds on poorly maintained tracks, and then having to stand on concrete floors for hours on end whilst milk is extracted from their lady lumps. (Ok, not quite how the RSPCA puts it, but still…) This lameness can be very painful for the animal. This industry has the same way of thinking as the others-that animals are machines and that at the end of the day, numbers talk. More produce=good. Less produce=bad. Pain of animals=irrelevant unless affecting one of the previous factors. I will now talk about the problems I have with the way they are killed. Personally, I believe that an animal shouldn’t have to die because I am hungry. This is a personal belief, and not one I intend to force on others. But one I do think should be enforced is that animals should go through as little pain as possible. For the most part, this is the case in Australia, with stunning before slaughter. But there is one notable exception to this-religious slaughter. Some Halal, and all Kosher slaughter is done without stunning before. Why this is necessary to make the meat ‘clean’ is beyond me-whilst it is required that the animal is uninjured prior to slaughter, stunning can be done in a way that does not actually injure the animal (such as gassing, or electrical). Religion should not be exempt from the code of practice that other abattoirs are forced to comply by, especially when they have no basis for this cruelty. People might cry out religious freedom at this point, but remember, religious freedom is not guaranteed when it involves an element of illegality. Consider female genital mutilation for instance, which is actually an offence, although practised in
many religions worldwide. Why is this cruelty exempt? People should not be allowed to inflict cruelty to animals on the basis of who their imaginary friend is. I have outlined a number of problems, and despite dropping hints that you might be turned off particular foods (for rhetorical value and all that jazz), I am not expecting everyone to become a vegan, or even care about these problems. But if you do, there are solutions: free range eggs and hens, turkey and pork are readily available at the supermarket. You can check on the RSPCA website to see which foods are cruelty free. Yes, they cost more, but from experience, they tend to taste better (not quite as plastic) and you get the benefit of them being relatively cruelty free, which may or may not generate a batch of warm and fuzzies. Part 2-The Problem With PETA In case you haven’t noticed, I have a lot of respect for groups such as the RSPCA who advocate a cruelty-free life for animals as their number one cause. I also hold a lot of disdain for groups such as PETA-that is, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA is a vegan group (i.e. they want people to become vegan), and have been known to be incredibly rude, and fanatical to those they see eating meat (such as throwing red paint on someone eating a sausage sandwich in public). I have no problem with veganism in itself, but I take issue with any sort of fundamentalism, and it is these characteristics that they display.
I have another example of this group, before I find some hard hitting statistics. I once attended a talk by a PETA enthusiast. At this talk, she began with, “So, who is a vegetarian or vegan?” At the time, I was not. Not a hand in the room was raised either. So she continued with the phrase, “You are all meat eating scum”. It got worse from there. She was referred to as the “crazy PETA lady” from that point forward. She had an opportunity to address some hard hitting issues, and instead by appealing to emotion, she alienated herself and made her cause a joke.
If PETA’s cause was as noble as it looked, then I might have less of a problem, but here are a few figures to get your minds going: •93.8%- the percentage of animals that entered into a PETA shelter which were then killed in 2010. •$33 Million-PETA’s Annual Budget •1%- the amount spent helping animals •The rest- spent on ‘questionable’ ad campaigns (just Google Image PETA if you are curious), and funding convicted arsonists, whale boat attackers and terrorist groups such as the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front (I am not for violence to prevent violence). I know these figures look sad, so here is one to make you happy: •At age 22, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk was sterilised as she opposes giving birth-at least there won’t be more of her :) If you are wondering why PETA kill so many animals, then the reason can be found on their own page: they are opposed to pets! I would argue that their reasoning is shoddy at best, but they apparently are of the opinion that I, as being incredibly keen to have a pet and yearn for the love of a dog or cat, am actually an extremely selfish person. Whilst they don’t want to set animals free, they basically want to prevent the production of more pets, so that at some point in the future, they are rendered extinct. For a group with this level of toxic hubris, it is no surprise that they kill the animals they receive in order to allow this process to occur even more quickly. Read their arguments. They do not disappoint (although should perhaps be used more in a comedy sketch than in an animal rights argument). Their ads do not disappoint either (google ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur and go into imagesbut NOT at work). They are actually starting up a pornography website to get even more money (though it is beyond me what this is for-making more porn perhaps?) Well done PETA-don’t objectify animals, objectify women instead!
As for the eco-terrorism, there is such thing as uncompromising ethics (the reason I will not be eating Turkey or other meat this Christmas), but this does not excuse violence in the name of environmentalism. A group called the Earth Liberation Front partake in the practice of arson, on SUV dealerships, housing developments and chain stores. Bombing has been used before as well by other groups. How is it ok for these people to do this violence and be seen as revolutionaries, but not ok for a Christian Fundamentalist to pipe bomb an abortion clinic. In fact, they are both amongst the most morally reprehensible things that one could do for their cause. The fact that PETA thinks some of this is ok (evident in its ties to ELF and ALF) quite frankly, scares me. PETA are dangerous in my opinion, and do a lot more harm than good. If you want further elaboration, consider their stance on euthanasia (defined as uncompromising) or ‘no kill shelters’ , yes, they actually want animals to die. They have a dangerous agenda, and I am not a fan. 3. Pet Ownership The silly season is coming up. Whilst you might have a lot of fun, be mindful that this is the time when most animals are abandoned at shelters and so to finish this piece, I am going to make a few recommendations: 1. Don’t EVER surprise someone with an animal-too many animals end up abandoned this way because they eat too much, howl too much, or are simply not cute after they grow from the puppy/kitten stage. If you are getting someone an animal with their knowledge, consider letting them choose it-a Cattle Dog or German Shepherd Pup might feel a bit cramped on a quarter acre block. 2. Do your research. Find out how long these animals live. Find out which ones are suitable around children, which are not. Getting an animal is a hefty commitment and it is smart to know what you are in for. 3. Get the animal from the RSPCA. Yeah, they are ‘damaged goods’, but in my opinion, some of the most beautiful, loving and well behaved animals come from the RSPCA. There are so many good, cheap animals (far cheaper than a Pet Shop) who just want a little love, and have a lot to give in return. I adopted my last cat from the RSPCA, and she is the most well behaved cat we have ever had. If you don’t want to go the RSPCA route, then at least buy from a registered breeder-don’t keep puppy farms in business. In conclusion, I believe animals have 2 rights: 1. The right to a good life 2. The right to a good death It seems both are being flouted these days in the name of convenience. Consider what I have written. Check my sources for me. Send me a filthy letter if you are so inclined, or eat a steak in my honour. Whatever floats your boat. But don’t try claiming ignorance to what is such a huge problem. I could have written another ten pages on this, but I have tried to touch on issues quite common in daily life. Animals are not machinesthey feel, and think like we do. The more I see of how they are treated in our hands, the more I am convinced of one thinghumans are the most disgusting creature of all.
As we know, 2012 is the year of Armageddon. Here are some of our best tips to make it through the apocalypse….
Don’t be afraid to spend a little in the last year living in the world as we know it. This is no time to be stingey! Every investment you make could be a vital tool when it comes to the end. Remember, you’ll never need to pay back your student loan once the end has come! Go ahead and spoil yourself while you still can.
We highly recommend you invest in learning some martial arts. You never know what obstacles you may come across while fighting to survive the end of the world. Karate lessons may be a beneficial form of self-defense when encountering those manic looters gone berserk. Zombie Combat Training may also be worth looking into. It’s a thing. Seriously. Google it.
It only takes a little bit of manual labour and a few trips to Bunning’s in order to build a suitable underground shelter. These bunkers offer protection from a great many different potential problems and disasters. And no, the Bat Labs just won’t cut it.
If underground living doesn’t quite ‘float your boat’ (excuse the pun), perhaps put your efforts into putting together a submarine oreven building an ark. After all, it worked for Noah the last time all this went down.
Whether you choose to go underground or sail the seas, your shelter will be only as good as your supplies. You’ll be living in seclusion until all the chaos dies down and you never know how long all that will go on for. A good first aid kit is necessary. Be sure to include Band-Aids and antiseptic. As for food, we recommend stocking up on tinned fruit and honey. Honey in a glass jar with a good seal will last forever!
Some global warming theories suggest the Earth is moving closer to the sun, causing our planet to drastically change in climate. Skin cancer is therefore a very real threat. Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap with high SPF sunscreen and shelter the best you can from those nasty UV rays. You may also wish to invest in a high quality pair of sunglasses!
Once an electromagnetic pulse hits the earth, planes will start falling from the sky. If travelling, be sure to always pay attention to the airline safety briefing. Keep your seatbelt fastened and leave everything behind (that includes your heels, ladies!) while evacuating.
Forget everything you learned in sex education; it will soon be up to you to repopulate the earth! There will be no need for condoms or any other contraceptive methods in the new world.
Learn to cook. Don’t you go thinking McDonald’s will always be around to do it for you!
Be prepared for anything that may come your way. Download the ‘End of the World’ iPhone app and take notes watching apocalyptic movies such as Zombieland and the Day After Tomorrow.
Following bestselling author Matthew Reilly’s October release of Scarecrow and The Army of Thieves, Baked writer Robert Rooney had the chance to meet the man himself. Baked: Many of our readers are law students. We understand you were also a student of law. How did this come about? MR: Yes that’s right. I actually studied and completed an Arts/ Law degree. I initially wanted to go into the film industry. But I was told when I was about 17 or 18, by a movie producer, that the film industry was a fickle industry. He told me that I should study law whilst at university. Now knowing what I know, I fully agree with him. Studying at university is a great thing. You learn the discipline and it’s great fun as well. You learn how to allocate your time. Law is just excellent. A lot of people don’t realise that the rules of our society form the law. It is an incredibly handy thing to have a good grasp on. If you want to be a journalist, learn defamation law. If you earn millions of dollars, learn tax law.
ley Scott; people sometimes ask him how he feels about other people trying to rip him off. He simply states that he has been in the business for 40 years and dares them to try! I am very similar. I have been writing professionally for about 13 years now so I know what I am doing. You see the odd book which says: if you like Matthew Reilly, try this book. I sometimes have a look at those novels and can see that guy cannot replicate my style. You can try but I guess it’s something that you get in your system. It’s just what I know. You know when to stop. Unlike some other authors, I format Microsoft Word to the size of the page so I know how big the chapters are and how big the book is. I don’t write double space, I don’t count how many words I wrote. I say, I’ve written five pages today or something to that effect. I am always aware of overstaying my welcome and I ask myself if I have written too much on one topic or on one particular description. Character development comes through in what they say and what they do. What I tend to do is have them speaking whilst they are being chased by something. You can keep that pace of the story going whilst working on the development of the character. There is a lot of character development in the new book. Baked: Do you take inspiration for characters from people around you?
Baked: You also wrote Contest whilst you were at university. How did the idea come about for you and how did you manage time both studying and writing? MR: During university, I enjoyed reading many action novels, but I wanted to read a book which was faster. I liked the thrills and I liked reading a page turner but these novels weren’t fast enough and they weren’t big enough. Another thing I realised was that there was no reason why a book couldn’t be as explosive as a film. In many action novels you would burn through chapters of the novel and there would be two action scenes. So I wanted to author a novel with more action scenes, a faster pace and massive plot lines. So yeah – build a better mouse trap; write a book which no one else is writing. I wrote Contest in the first year, then Ice Station in the final year. I was recently speaking at a conference where I focused on the real life technology I refer to in my novels. Hover Car Racer was a big one for that. It’s a big favourite. It has heart to it. I hope that when children read Hover Car Racerthey take something from it. Baked: Your novels often focus on massive storylines with massive explosions. How do you maintain the balance between detail, character development and story progression? MR: The illustrations and maps help a lot. I literally get home and draw massive images everywhere to help me focus my description. Then I just describe them through the text drawing on the readers’ own imagination to make use of the illustration. I always wonder how this works for the audio readers. In any case they seem to like the books. Generating pace and generating story is something I have learnt over years. I spent my teenage years watching every action movie and reading all the thriller books I could find. There is a great theory called ‘outliers’ which is basically this theory that people have to do 10000 hours of practise in something. I did my 10000 hours as a teenager. A lot of people take their whole life to do their 10000 hours. The Beatles did their 10000 hours in the bars of Hamburg. It’s just from watching and learning and building it up and figuring out how a story works. I’m often asked how I feel about others trying to copy my writing style. It’s like Rid-
MR: Not so much… It’s more invention than anything. Although recently I have been invited out several time to see the Second Commando Regiment at Holsworthy. This is the first Scarecrow book I have written since I met up with them. I think everyone in this book is much cooler under pressure because of what I saw them do. They are incredibly competent. I’ve learnt a bit more from meeting real commandos. Baked: Who are your favourite authors and who influences your writing style? MR: My favourite author is Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park was one of the books that really got me really interested in writing. Tom Clancy’s stuff as well. In Jet of Honour,Clancy had someone flying a plane into the capital building. This came out seven years before 9/11 - he saw the potential for using the aeroplane as a weapon. His ideas were always very good but it was also quite a slow pace. I wanted something that had the pace of Crichton and the ideas of Clancy. Movies? Die Hard, Star Wars.. I mean that’s often a result of the era in which we are born. I was born in 1974 and the 80’s were when the big action blockbusters were coming out. Baked: What does your office look like? I have massive sheets of cardboard all over the room and I write the story onto those sheets. That map at the start of Army of the Thieves – I had a massive poster board with the story laid out over it, the diagrams showing where all the characters were throughout the story. Otherwise, there are lots of movie posters, old toys ranging from Han Solo to a figurine of Superman, and books. I surround myself with books. I read a lot!
Baked: What is your process for writing a novel? MR: Well it takes me about 13 months to write a novel from start to finish. I release a novel every two years. It’s just too long to fit one in per year. I like the extra time to work on the story ideas and make each novel better than the last. This means that I sell more books and the fans are happier. So I’m happy as well. My process? Well normally I create the plot first and then I go and research it for a few months. Then I map out the story. I need to know what the plotline and the story is before I write it up. I need to do all of this before I write page one. Then I start writing. I write hard on Mondays and Tuesdays and wipe myself out. Then I go and play golf on a Wednesday. Being a writer is very solitary so you have to make sure you get out. Of course I might write Thursday and Friday – if I’m in the zone. So eventually over the course of the year the pages grow and grow and I have a novel. Golf is great – it relaxes the mind, which is handy if you are inside a lot. Baked: Do you research ideas for your plot lines and content? MR: For my Jack West novels I actually travelled to Egypt, Europe and Easter Island. Some authors have researchers, I don’t. I like finding stuff out. When you do the research yourself, you find the story stuff out. Like Easter Island with the 1200 statues all carved out of soft rock. Four of them were carved out of basalt. I find that interesting – why four? I mean the British came and took two of the basalt statues and put them in a museum. I look at that and ask,why did they do that? What did they know? Why did they pick those four? That’s a story. If you have researchers working for you, they may not pick the story ideas up. That’s what I do. I find the interesting stuff. I found the book which addressed the Great Pyramid of Giza being nine feet shorter than it should be. I don’t know if a researcher can find the story stuff. Even Bertie the robot in Army of Thieves is based on actual battlefield robots. 85% of my novels contain a story based on actual, real life technologies and ideas. It’s just the 15% at the edges which I tweak to suit the story. If I’ve done my job properly,you won’t be able to tell reality from fiction. Baked: Do you enjoy what you are doing and do you think there is a time you might retire from selling the novels? MR: I really enjoy what I do at the moment. I think that, in time, the subject matter of my books will change. I have actually written the first draft of another book set in the 1500s. I find that once you’ve exhausted the present day, you turn to the past. I have really enjoyed researching what the world was like in 1546. I get to choose what I write about and when I deliver on my novels. I don’t know if it will get more serious. The 1500s book is a fast, thrilling murder mystery. I might dabble in film work but I find the procedure for making a film is quite laborious. It’s like building your own jigsaw puzzle once piece at a time. With a novel I can just go ballistic from the start. Baked: Your novels follow a similar sequence of events, how do you prevent the reader from being lulled into a false sense of security? MR:Well you can never let your readers become complacent; killing of Gant in Scarecrow was something I needed to do to keep that suspense, really. I received hate mail for killing off a character in Scarecrow; people said they would never read my books again. On the same token, more and more people have said that after what I did in Scarecrow they felt as though none of the characters were safe. It’s something which reverberates for the next four or five books. Like Mother, people love her and they don’t want to see her have a horrible grizzly death. Baked: Who is your favourite character from all your books? MR: Hmmm tough one. Well, you know, Mother is obviously
a favourite. She was one who really took on a life of her own. Aloysius Knight is another favourite. Umm I do like the heroes as well – Jack West, Scarecrow. In Hover Car Racer ‘The Bug’ is a favourite character. The scene where he dives over the finish line with the steering wheel is one of my favourites. Baked: Some of your torture devices are quite explicit. How did you come up with the idea for the rat cage? MR: If the CIA looks at my web browser history they will be wondering a thing or two. I don’t want to advocate Wikipedia because in certain areas it is quite dodgy. However, it has amazing coverage on the history of torture. With this new book I really wanted the Army of Thieves to be really accustomed to violence and to be really evil guys. That second half of the book is not for the squeamish. I won’t make a habit of doing such gruesome stuff though. Baked: This new novel has a very contemporary theme with the rise of China as a global superpower. How did you create the idea for the novel and was there any agenda behind your novel?
MR: I was actually waiting for that to happen. Scarecrow came out in 2003 and I wanted to write another Scarecrow book. In 2004, America was in Iraq and Afghanistan so I didn’t really want Scarecrow fighting in those theatres. It wasn’t until about 2008 or 2009 that I was able to return to the idea. It’s not just the rise of China; it’s the decline of America. I mean, look at America now. Since the GFC, unemployment stands at 10%, manufacturing is almost gone, yet America still clings to the belief that they are the best. Yet I think more Americans are sinking rather than swimming, more than ever before. I mean Scarecrow books take place in the real world. So if you are going to destroy half the world you need a good reason to do so and the leader of the Army of Thieves needs to have a very good reason to do so and to stick by it. The good reason really sells the novel and makes people want to keep reading your novels. It’s like Silence of the Lambs – it’s creepy that a guy is killing lots of girls but when you realise the guy is making a suit out of the girls then the memorability and effect of the book rises to a whole new level. But for a demented mind it seems understandable and possible. Baked: So what is the plan for the next couple of years? Is there another Jack West? MR: Well I would like to figure out the 4, 3, 2 and the 1 of Jack West with an overarching theme. Mind you that’s about five years’ worth of writing there. I will probably do a series of stories though. I don’t think I will do another cliff hanger ending. The 1500’s book will be revised next year. I would also like to do a screen play. I would also like to look into doing another Scarecrow novel.