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Protest march: Aussie call to arms

Australians are now experiencing a government dictatorship. Until citizens have meaningful, ongoing stakeholder engagement through open dialogue, then democracy remains a farce, and our tax dollars will be misspent.

And I should know – I’m a change manager and communication consultant. I’ve had a gutful, and reading your letters to editor…I know we’re on the same page.

Aussies are no longer interested in government engagement via a four-year ballot box. We want a fair bloody crack of the whip – and that’s an ongoing place at the table.

This is our draft agenda; I’m suggesting we hash the issues between now and 3 December, before Australians march in protest on federal and state governments to present problems and potential solutions to our neurally-challenged political managers – not leaders.

Because let’s face, this is a crisis. Australians need change to become a socially progressive country. The nature of quality change management is always top-down and bottom-up approach – together, we are ‘our pollies’ best bet in becoming, the best version of us.

Draft agenda:

Health

  • Access to RU486 non-surgical abortion for girls and women…currently only 1094 Aussie doctors are registered with MS Health to prescribe out of 102,000 GPs…less than 1%, which means 4870 patients to every RU486 prescribing doctor since TGA approval Aug 2012 (figures as at Feb 2017)
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship that damages our children
  • Government-funded rehabilitation centres for drug users
  • Meaningful funding for mental health programs and to reduce homelessness
  • Ban Medicare-funded IVF

Education

  • Anti-bullying programs in all private and public schools
  • Free civilian spot-a-terrorist training programs: everyone must be eyes and ears

Government

  • Independent Ethics Committee to oversee all government spending
  • Independent public committees to oversee government departmental spending to prevent wasted tax dollars; eg. ATO recently installed squat toilets for 20% diverse people, when third world countries are phasing them out in favour of western sit toilets
  • Removal of GST on tampons and pads with funding towards domestic violence prevention programs and women made homeless through domestic violence
  • Remove internal government-provided psychiatrists for frontline specialists and increased treatment for PTSD sufferers including military, police, ambos, teachers, firies…
  • Senate reform to address party gridlock

Law and crime

  • All sex and domestic violence offenders to wear tracking systems for designated period and develop national database for all offenders, including DNA
  • Decriminalisation of abortion in 5 of 8 Australian states
  • Law reform that protects domestic violence and sexual assault victims from perpetrators and better funding for criminal rehabilitation

Human Rights

  • A new Aboriginal department and minister to progress human rights for Australia’s First Peoples: similar to Minister for Women
  • Terminate employment of the WA police who are responsible for death of Julieka Dhu, who were at best negligent in their duty of care and at worst, committed manslaughter
  • Same sex marriage: equal rights for all Australians
  • Shut-down Manus Island detention centre and stop locking refugee children up

Housing

  • Australian foreign property ownership laws requiring citizenship

Religion

  • Ban religion institutes funding government campaigning for true secular state

Business

  • Corporate law reform: cut tax breaks for business that do not create new positions
  • Reintroduce work penalty rates for poorest Australians

Climate change

  • Greater funding for renewable energies including federal and state alignment
  • End Indian Government Adani coal mine project that kills our environment and protects their interests via off-shore accounting

 

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The Great Escape

Keanu Reeves was my fantasy go-to back in the day…I oscillated between living on a houseboat or in a beach house, but one fact remained true.

I was a surf god, taking out Bell’s and Keanu and all in some naff black wetsuit – cos 90s fashion was seriously behind the eight ball.

The point is…I was the hero because I have post-traumatic stress disorder. The only person who can and will ever save me, is me.

Poor old Dad so destroyed after Vietnam War, advised – ‘kids, when gunmen break into house, crawl under your bed and pull the doona with you.’ Nevermind the rest of shit I saw and heard.

No biggie. One toughens up: becomes skilled in hand-to-hand combat and weapons, scan faces for threats, avoids dark alleys and looks for exit points in new environments.

Because men are always foe before friend. Until I determine your calibre, you won’t it…but you’re on notice.

So, when I meet an actual male hero, akin to my old man; my faith is restored. Because trust is my number one hurdle – good ole neural wiring. Something about working for and against…

Talking with new mate Sharpie this week was another mental teardown and refit – because it’s not my inherent distrust of men that proves the overriding issue. My life’s work is self-trust.

Why? I have a family of scientists – all three of them, through and through – so I’m an evidenced-based operator.

Give me qualitative and quantitative research, but only if undertaken with a sufficient sample size and a suitable line of questioning in neutral environment – baseless assertions confound my type.

And yet, ask me if I make decisions with my head or my gut…and it’s instinct; every, single, time.

In fact, it’s saved my life: once hitching a ride in Mexico when my motorbike broke down, and another time, as a povo student desperate for rent.

So the story goes…I was showing computer guy through place, and weirdly, simply could not turn my back on him the whole tour.

But it wasn’t until I’d slept with Kung Fu short staff next to bed for the next three nights, that I asked him to move out. Dude’s like, why – me: I don’t know; bye!

Because I do frontal cortex mechanics bloody well – but my instinct is superior. Right here, right now – how many times will you go-with-gut, over your head; or vice versa to avoid cognitive bias, your head over gut?

And here’s the kicker – no one’s talking about it. However, the evidence is in. How many times where you told growing up during exams – your first multiple choice response is usually correct?

If students are being taught to follow instinct, when did intuition stop applying as an employee?

The answer is; it didn’t. And people who use their gut instinct get better at identifying instant discord.

The problem is – if you don’t react ‘and respond’, then prepare for anxiety and mental stress.

I know when I don’t listen to me – I’ve conducted a personal bowline. A knot is the weakest part of any rope structure; you gotta untie that shit to move forward.

But self-trust isn’t just my issue – I know it yours too; because, the unassailable truth is…females are taught to worry that they are ‘too much’. And conversely, males are only ever concerned that they ‘aren’t enough’.

Women: don’t show too much emotion – it’s wrong. Men: how can I ever be enough to support my family?

The thing is: hopefully you’ve surrounded yourself with people who love you, no matter how you go about learning life lessons.

We should all be in space that is safe enough to self-level before refabrication: mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it…

And if you’re not; until you get there, you take the hits until you become your own hero. Because, the only person who can look after you, is you.

Leadership is not the sole domain of managers and CEOs – everyone must be their own leader.

If you cannot be the leader of your clan, or for example, self-empower in a job designed to disempower: then your back is always to the wall.

And one can research leadership till blue-in-face – but a single fact remains true ‘o’ subject. Leaders know when to break the rules.

Like the recent state versus federal government ringside event regards the polled two-third populist Australian move to renewable energy.

In one corner weighing in at 350 pounds: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill eyeballed featherweight SmarmyMacSmarmson Josh Frydenberg at crashed press conference, interjecting at will.

It was like being a prisoner of war: and in rides Steve McQueen on his TT Special 650 Triumph, pulling an epic motorcycle jump to escape Nazi capture. And the crowd roars.

So, while it’s true, I’m always on the lookout for people who have the courage of conviction to bring about social justice, which is my ‘hero’ definition…I’m still the leader of my pack. Are you feeling me?

What the world needs now

I’m a natural evidence-based dissident. Why not. I’m a smart, strong woman in a man’s world. If I can see a hole in an argument, it would be erroneous to validate the assertion with silence?

Like when SMS colleague Ed thought to advise me one sunny day to ‘write everything down; if you’re anything like me, you forget what happened the day before.’

It’s a little-known fact, but one of my superpowers is memory – it’s fucking technicoloured since age 2. So the cognitive dissonance that occurs, when a fallacious male entity proffers unrequested advice that attempts to align me with their personal limitations, is quite sharp and shocking.

And for both parties I’d imagine, when I shortly disinclined the argument and left. However, when it comes to Dunning Kruger, it’s important to demonstrate relationship inequalities, lest continue in the same vein. Boundaries – no good, if not enforced.

Besides, there is nothing quite like a timeless, well-delivered slapback. My rewards centre is always lit in pursuing linguistic perfection, but especially when it comes to returning shade where certain characters are involved.

Plus, I’ve got that slapback memory, which amuses mates and I decades after the fact. Sure, it’s my small brain in action, I freely admit; but at least it’s cerebral and ultimately, highly practical.

I only throw shade when I get it, or someone is being bullied. Meaning, if your operations negatively impact me or you’re prick generally speaking, I’m happy outlining argument theory flaws. It’s a pleasure.

Everyone does it in their own way. Like Charles Sturt University public ethics Professor Clive Hamilton on Friday, when he nationally disgraced the Australian Government by resigning from the so-funded Climate Change Authority.

Hired to develop meaningful, fully-endorsed policy, Hamilton was horrified when the government’s snakes-and-ladders approach to a world crisis, opted for a Red-bellied Black backward-arse tilt. Perceptually positioning, most can appreciate the cog-disconnect for an ethics academic hired to do a job by piss-weak blockers pretending to manage a shitshow.

‘It is perverse to boost coal production when 2016 marked the hottest year on record,’ Hamilton said, referring to the new Australian report by Climate Council’s Dr Tim Flannery. He continued, ‘If the new coal-fired power plants are built, the government’s already-weak 2030 carbon-reduction target is unattainable.’

But Hamilton’s stand demonstrates not just a perverted government actively seeking to destroy an environment they do not own, when numerous solutions are available; it’s this…that largely, government ‘business’ operations are an unethical farce.

If an ethics professor cannot work ethically for a government, then that government by definition is unethical and therefore, a farce.

As any associated employee, contractor and/or consultant will tell you, at any point in their career, government hires us and then actively prevents us from doing that job.

Hamilton has publically demonstrated the actual perversion of Australian Government; its operations are a converse error. That is, a government-funded agency is created to provide advice that the government takes because they fund it. Wrong. The latest ‘fuck you, Pachamama’, which Hamilton evidences, shows government is logical fallacy.

And the kicker? What was the government’s response to a public relations crisis of global proportion – what communication would Federal Government ‘choose’ when referencing the fact, the boy’s club are set to continue negatively affecting climate change, which will be an extinction event?

Wannabe-chief Australian environmental protector and second-in-command, Mr. Josh Frydenberg commented, we are ‘unapologetic as we transition’. Yep. Instead of manning-up to look like a ‘dick speaking the truth’, he went with looking like a ‘dick with a strong arm’. Good choice – always a great public relations move.

So what was the truth? That the Australian Government is scared shitless about last week’s Adelaide electricity debacle, when a 40% renewable-energy state leader suffered massive outages when wind farms were ‘becalmed’. That’s right – Adelaide hit the doldrums, and the government pissed its pants.

In any case, when it comes to dissidence – the meaning, like anything, is in the action. And Australia’s call-to-arms regarding our failing duty-of-care, tantamount to torture and murder, is on 22 April for Canberra locals.

So start saving your cardboard boxes, because not only are we marching for ‘that waterhole we spent hours’ duck-diving each summer with Mum yelling at us to get out, or the world’s totally-fearful soon-to-be displaced island peoples who have no voice’, but his Holiness Sir David Attenborough is visiting.

The world’s preferred grandad-adoptee is gracing Aussies with his presence, as his science peers kindly name a local slug in Dave’s honour. And he is honoured like only Dave could be – with gorgeous child-like wonder at the natural world, even if it’s slimy.

Apparently, the snail’s healing properties are a metaphor for his special brand of environmental balm. But will his message stick before we reach the scientific tipping point, and will anyone care if not?

For more information about the Aussie efforts regarding the global March for Science, go to marchforsciencecanberra.org and follow @ScienceMarchCBR.

To the mattresses: part 1, basic training

Manners maketh man’ is sizable social construct by a patriarchal religious institution in a patriarchal society, which largely, a patriarchy eschews practising? Well – when one considers 98% of incarcerated persons are male. At what point do women need to become downright fucking rude to advance their human rights?

Over the weekend, women in STEM hijacked an existing industry campaign to give US President Donald Trump a big-ole social media finger. And it was as pretty as it sounds.

The ‘actual living scientist’ tag ‘to improve industry access to professionals’ was leveraged in an emerging gender issue as threatened by the new White House administration.

Worldwide; tough, intelligent, tenacious STEM women segued existing discussion to comment professionally on Trump’s new ‘dress like a woman’ workplace policy, and tweet pics.

Like Karen Romano Young, who assert for her female colleagues in science and snow – ‘here’s what we wear in the Arctic when we’re studying the effects of climate change’.

Or, Ivelisse Viruet who tweet Trump commenting: ‘while you were granted five draft deferments, I served 22 years in the military – I #dresslikeawoman, and you need to #actlikeapresident’; and, Amy Tan MD, who says ‘I can’t #dresslikeawoman without my scrubs.’

But it’s Herding Movement who best demonstrates a continuing workplace problem: ‘I’ve had engineers ask me to get them a coffee because I #dresslikeawoman (and) then realise that I’m the #actuallivingsciventist running the damn project.’

Pound for pound, these women, and women globally, are doing it better than men in their arena. Period.

It’s easy to qualify that statement; simply, those women did it without the resources men have thrown at them, and yet, they continue to throw-in for the potentially criminal shitshow that they are often victim too.

Like my 1990s Defence colleague, ADFA naval officer Fiona, who was physically tortured by her officer-in-charge – made to march while carrying a vacuum cleaner over her head because he knew she had a bad back.

Or my mate Summers, a naval investigator at Garden Island whose well-qualified Christmas Day search request was blocked by lazy male officers.

In the end, she went around them; ran the investigation herself and uncovered a hoist of illegal weapons. One sailor had nine guns. Job done.

Or the time I was sexually harassed working for Immigration in 2010. Again, yawn. I was chatting with female colleagues about the green wedding dress Cate had worn, when ACT change pretender Troy lurched over.

Troy thought to demonstrate his kinky workplace VPL fashion concerns, which seemed strange for a Hawaiian-shirt loving Neanderthal? ‘You wouldn’t have worn panties on your wedding day, would you Amber,’ Troy grunted.

I tend to feel sorry for these professional deviants or workplace terrorists; well, look at them? What’s someone like that actually got going for them? Hot tip. It will never worry me when a 2017 male mode ‘chooses’ socially, politically and economically regressive personal policy, which as studies show, negatively affects ‘their’ mental health.

As women, we need to focus on circumstances within our control. These oft-silent terror attacks are and continue-to-be managed by professional women on a case-by-case basis. Think Turnbull and Trump for next four years, ala ANZUS Gate last week. Besides, warfare is a training grounds.

The real problem for women is not the odd workplace dust-up. It’s this. Despite the Dunning-Kruger effect, professional females who are ‘actively’ aware of their talent, are ‘actively’ underselling themselves because it’s ‘unladylike’.
And Australian female professionals have a further cultural barrier; more colonial hangover with the Tall Poppy Syndrome. Women are taught in so many ways – not to acknowledge professional strengths that aren’t sexually-based, and sell themselves in a capacity which is not physical-based. Think about that, people?

On the other hand, men are biologically-programmed and well socially-advised to double-down on risky behaviour that backs numero uno. Studies show, men are more likely to talk themselves up, and all the while, women are talking themselves down. Christ, I don’t need a study. I am the study.

Like Airservices colleague, German national Sven, who introduced self as an ‘ANU scholarship awardee’? Sure, it’s impressive – but it smacks of hubris, and is ultimately unAustralian. One does not walk around dispensing tickets to their own show, PT Barnum-like. ‘Step right up, folks!’ People want people to go about achieving quietly, and this is especially true of women.

Why? Over 150 years of studies show the incredible conscious and subconscious bias that both genders have towards women. Neurobiology well demonstrates the hurdle.

For example, researchers recently discovered that while both genders objectify undistorted images of each other – when the images were both distorted, both genders continued to objectify women…and not men.

Clearly, human beings have no real response control to ‘the feminine’ as a society – and I doubt we can ever know the full depth and breadth of an issue that will make or break us, I’m sure.

One thing is clear – male self-promotion is effective. This means professional women must adopt a new personal public relations strategy, and enforce new boundaries.

Because no one is here for anyone – if you don’t believe in you, with necessary self-talk required to develop a positive attitude and enact supporting behaviours, nobody is going too.

So, try it out. It’s won’t be easy for most – people will laugh at you, depending on the size of your social experiment. Like Canberra Business Chamber representative Katrina, when I test to partially determine her usefulness to me?

Although, it’s worth noting, the failure finally occurred some 14 days later, in which time, Katrina had managed to sign-me-up electronically for a $180 in-house workshop, all the while not distributing to me, the start-up information freely proffered.

Apparently, a smart professional woman who self-brands as ‘talent’, will continue to be confronting. Of course, there is the other thought? That it’s just so hard to find talent these days.

Ghandi said it best: when you go to ‘change the world’, people will ignore you at first. Then they laugh and resist you, before finally, accepting the change. The beauty is, also according to Ghandi, all you need to do is, ‘be the change’.

Yep, there it is. The man-made world already largely ‘works’ for men. So – it’s actually time for women to beat their change drum, which will benefit our species. Yep, time to double-down, ladies.

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