All posts tagged: vulnerable

Australia Shows Poor Form in Supporting the Poor

One billion dollars. I find it hard to get my head around that figure when most transactions in my household are less than three figures. In case you’re right now trying to count how many zeros come after the one in 1 billion – it’s nine. One billion dollars is a ten-figure quantity. When I (logically) asked my four-year-old what he could buy for $1 billion, he said, “A Stegosaurus. A big one. And a plant.” I don’t doubt that. If a paleontologist stumbled on the last living Stegosaurus and wanted to make some cash, maybe $1 billion would be a reasonable price tag (perhaps they’d throw in the plant for free). A T-Rex fossil affectionately known as Sue sold back in 1997 for a record $8.36 million. Can’t say I was much enlightened (or surprised) by my son’s response. He has ODD… Obsessive Dinosaur Disorder. He’s a prehistoric fanatic, and they tell me it’s a phase… So, I turned to Google and found an image of the sum. One billion dollars in $100 notes …

Walking the Catwalk of True Beauty

A friend went to the dancing competitions recently with her three young girls in tow. She expected a chance to appreciate the talent and dedication of our city’s fledgling dancers, to ooh and aah over the costumes with her daughters and just have a fun, girly time together. She also expected to feel that old pang of connection to her childhood days when it was her up on the stage, leaping and twirling, smiling heartily in a cloud of glitter and sequins. Instead she walked away feeling cold. “How things have changed,” she said to me. “I wish I hadn’t taken my daughters to see that.” What seven or eight-year-old’s performance could evoke such a response? She described little girls dressed in costumes more suited to a gentleman’s club, gyrating like Miley with saucy moves and expressions far beyond their years. Another dad relayed how uncomfortable he felt seated in the stalls of the local theatre, waiting for his daughter to perform. He thought they’d all be wearing pretty dresses, leaping and pirouetting around the …

My Two Cents Worth on the 2014 Federal Budget: Entitlement & Opportunity

“The age of entitlement is over. It has to be replaced, not with an age of austerity, but with an age of opportunity.”  Treasurer Joe Hockey in his budget address on Tuesday night. “Yes!” I wanted to bellow from my lounge-chair arena, like some footy head on a Friday night.  At the risk of opening a can of worms here, I will say that it’s been real interesting listening to the roar of dissent from different corners of the community. It was going to happen. No budget satisfies everyone. And we all have our bugbears, our causes and our unique circumstances. Those key words again… Entitlement. Austerity. Opportunity. If we would believe Hockey’s bold words, handouts are kaput, not to be replaced with any kind of severe governance but rather to uphold opportunity as the individual and corporate way forward. Sounds good. But cutting Australia’s aid budget by a whopping $7.6 billion over five years sure makes me uncomfortable. That means that cuts to aid (1.2 per cent of Federal Government expenditure) will provide 20 …