More than 700 convicts were included in the Fleet, along with sailors and soldiers – and today, it’s even a little bit cool to trace your family back to a convict settler. There’s no doubt that those who survived those early years were incredibly hardy, determined and resourceful people. But for me in particular, I find the story of the women founders of this country to be quite amazing. Continue Reading
Okay, if you’re a believer and delighted Australia has its first saint, then here’s a warning for you – I’m about to rain on your parade.
I don’t get it. I really don’t. And if somebody out there would like to enlighten me, I’d appreciate it. I mean, what’s it all about? What is a saint, exactly? A half-human, half-god? If so, whatever happened to the whole ‘one god’ religion? If not, then how come she has the power to cure people of deadly diseases? I thought god was the only one supposed to have control over life and death. At least, that’s the excuse right-to-lifers have when they shoot people for carrying out abortions, or those people who sneered when the Nobel Prize for Medicine this year was given to the person who perfected IVF treatment. So if god has a monopoly on life and death – how did Mary McKillop save anybody’s life? If she didn’t do it herself, but god did it – then why are we making her a saint?
This is a big question: who owns my body? The obvious answer, you’d think, is me. And in an ordinary conversation, nobody would argue with me. But the moment I step outside my house, I’m faced with a multitude of arguments – and none of them take my wishes into account at all.
If I go to a football match (doesn’t matter which code), I’ll inevitably see women represented there in the shape of shapely cheerleaders in their amazingly skimpy outfits. Amazing that they stay on while they leap and gyrate in front of the crowd, each routine a dance filled with hip thrusts and butt wiggles suggestive of only one thing. Continue Reading
Here’s a question for you – with equality between the sexes apparently won, done and dusted, (according to some pundits) – where are all the female game show hosts?
There’s a great story from the 2002 Winter Olympics – you may have heard of them? A wonderful skater by the name of Steven Bradbury won Australia’s first Winter gold medal when everybody else in his race was involved in a tumbling accident, leaving him to skate across the line in first place. At the time, he was referred to by some as the “Last Man Standing”.
I mention this story, Tony – may I call you Tony? – because there’s a little of the Steven Bradbury to your story, isn’t there? Continue Reading
There’s a point in every election campaign, when your average, sensible, rational and mostly calm punter, will suddenly find himself walking around with gritted teeth, avoiding newspapers, televisions and any pub that allows the open discussion of politics, even if it’s on the other side of the world. Imagine long nails being dragged down an old chalk-board. An ice-cube on a sensitive tooth. Forty seconds in the same room as Tony Abbot. You get the picture.
For a while there, things were looking up. It seemed the message about negative representations of women in advertising was finally getting though, and while not actually being acted upon, wasn’t being argued about. It appeared that one day we might actually not be plagued with boobs and bums plastered across billboards, televisions and newspapers. That day wasn’t coming soon – but the suggestion, if not the promise, was there.