Socks and Sandals To Help The Homeless

Socks and Sandals To Help The Homeless

Underworks has partnered with the Salvation Army, who together are on a mission to provide socks to those experiencing homelessness. #igiveasock is trending around Australia and its exciting to see an family business doing their bit. 

 

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti

Journalist

Socks and thongs are a combo NOT made in heaven and neither is being displaced or homeless. 

This month, Australian family business Underworks is encouraging us to embrace this fashion faux pas to bring awareness to homelessness. They have partnered with the Salvation Army to provide a pair of warm, comfy socks to those that need it most. The mission is to help the thousands of homeless Australians who do not have access to this simple necessity that we may take for granted.  

All you need to do is upload a photo of yourself posing in socks n’ thongs (or sandals) to Instagram, along with the hashtag #igiveasock and the tag @underworksaustralia. 

With every post, a pair of socks will be donated to someone who needs it. The goal is to deliver 20,000 pairs of socks, which is almost half of Australia’s youth homelessness and a fifth of Australia’s total homeless population (2018 Census). 

Socks might not seem like much, but they are incredibly important. In fact, they are the most requested item by local shelters and least donated. Wet socks breed bacteria which causes infection. Not only this but wearing socks with holes decreases a person’s self-confidence, feeling of self-worth and motivation to seek employment. 

 

The Salvation Army Major, Brendan Nottle says that there is an increasing number of people who do not have access to clean socks. 

“In our experience working on the streets, we have seen an increasing number of people with serious foot diseases. Even worse, we have seen people lose their feet and, in some cases, lose their lives because they cannot access clean socks” says Brendan. 

A donated pair of socks will help keep people warm this winter, improve hygiene and health, and ultimately save lives. We think its worth posting a quirky pic for. 

Underworks has been keeping our tootsies warm and stylish with quality socks since 1999. They are one of Australia’s largest sock companies with a reputation for excellence.  

For this cause, they will be distributing a one-size-fits-all pair of socks made from premium excess yarns with a unique design to protect the feet from the elements.

Plus, Underworks have ensured minimised fabric waste, so the earth does not suffer. These brand-new socks have been specifically designed for the cause. 

Underworks founder and CEO Sam Todaro says:

“I Give A Sock is all about giving and offering some warmth to those who need it most. We’re proud to help make a difference.” 

You can help make a difference too. Instead of your usual selfie post, show that you give a sock and post something that will have a significant impact on someone’s life. The quirkier, the better!

 

Let us all embrace our inner bogan, put on our finest pair of socks n’ thongs and wear them with pride.

 

This is the perfect excuse to shake the dust off those rainbow-striped toe socks you have hiding in your drawer and give them the chance to shine for an unbelievable cause.       

 

You can track how many socks have been donated so far, here

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Bear Fire, Five Minute Reading Meditation

Bear Fire, Five Minute Reading Meditation

Instructions – please use a laptop or Ipad for this activity

*Attach your headphones-
*Click Play and on the Featured Artist.
*Skip the Ad! Adjust the volume for comfort
*Get Comfortable
*Read
*Ponder

So what is Mindmusic ? The first of it's kind just for you.

Instrumental music and language are syntactic systems, employing complex sequences in the Broca’s area of the brain. Linguistic and musical syntactic processing, these two human abilities can cross paths- sounds complex right? Let’s break it down- listening to harmonized music while reading a story designed to help you imagine and be mindful of the two experiences simultaneously. 

At first, it might seem distracting, but just like meditation, the more you practice, the better you get!

We have some uplifting and inspiring pieces coming up for you, paired with some of the world’s most beautiful harmonies. We have crafted some written pieces with a rhythm in the syllables and consonants.

We share it with you. A first of its kind in the world. May you imaginate while stimulating your senses and strengthening your mind. The first one is below- Bear Fire.

Bear Fire, our very first reading meditation. Plug in your headphones and select the music we have paired for you, relax, read and escape. Adjust the volume to suit your comfort. 

Instructions – please use a laptop or Ipad for this activity

The old man sits by the river, watching the ripples turn and eddy around branches. Shining egg like rocks weathered by eons of water flow shaped the movement of the water, and the old man smiles. His weathered face a portrait of a lifetime, and his smiles now as his grandson throws a rock into the water.

Why do you sit by the water so much Grandfather? The young man asks. Thinking how boring it must be to always be seated like this looking at the same water. His long grey hair is pulled back into a ponytail, he has humoured his granddaughter that morning and agreed to a pink sparkled hair tie with a small plastic butterfly glued to its edge. 

“You are in exploration, my child. But one day, when you are craving peace and stillness, you will understand that nothing remains the same in this water, it changes all of the time. Its the moments of contemplation that creates curiosity.” 

The young man grinned, so often his grandfather who would forget his truck keys would be full of this riddle like wisdom. He found him amusing. 

The old man sees the innocent amusement and understands it for what it is. Not mockery, but a youthful exuberance yet to know. 

His grandson is young and energetic, playing the sports of his peers, driving cars and holding the hands of pretty girls, he is good. He has made time to sit together.

The old man hopes that these small moments will stay with the boy when it is time for the old man to journey to his ancestors, for he knows it is coming soon. 

“Can you explain to me why you need to come here, other than getting away from the noise of the house?” asks the boy. 

“Ah, yes, the noise. It is the noise” he returns quietly as he reaches for their mugs and the thermos of tea he bought with him.  He hands them to the boy and motions with his wrinkled brown hand to pour.

Returning to the fallen branch he sat on, like a saddled old friend, he takes out the leather pouch and small packet of waffery papers.

The damp hairs and strands of tobacco are pressed into the paper, held gently between his fingers, and he breathes in deeply as he rolls it back and forth. The scent is earthy and whiskey, warm and sweet, amber and leathery. Like home. 

“Those will kill you, Abuelo,” says the boy. 

“Most likely,” says he. “Most things you love do in the end.” 

“We wear layers my boy, coats and shirts; the stories we are told and form our love and friendships, our beliefs and the things we use to survive. But sometimes we have worn them so long the fibres have etched into our skin.

We keep this hidden skin, and it keeps us warm, but we must be careful. The skin can become forgotten and grows knots and tears. Every so often, we must be still” he lights the tip of the cigarette and draws the sweet smoke in, exhaling slowly.

“By being still, we are reminded of the threads that need trimming, the loose threads that no longer serve us but bind us. New skin grows with a new coat, full of promise and hope. This is what our ancestors want for us, and it only comes from the stillness. I come here because Out There is a wild place of an exaggeration, it makes our senses run like a bear with his paws on fire, and we do not know it. We smell the smoke but do not know what it is. So I come here to put my paws in the water.”

“Moments are the currents in the stream you and I sit beside, coursing along, flowing and ebbing, running into each other. Without them, the fish cannot swim, the water does not stay fresh and vibrant. Such is flow. Without it, the water becomes stagnant, the heart develops a sickness in the soul, and the tragedy of moving through life without purpose is sad and causes anger.” 

“Like old Martha?” asks the young man. Old Martha was the woman who lived near their village, coming out every so often to yell abuse and grumble at every person for all the perceived wrongs only a bitter heart can conceive of. Her walking stick was as sharp as her words and her hatred for small children was notorious. People were frightened of her rage. 

“Yes, like old Martha, shaking her fist at our ancestors, because she feels they left her. But they did not, and neither did God, she forgot to be still so she could hear the whisper, the movement and the rhythm of life within the stillness. One day she will know it, and it will be a refreshing drink on a hot day, parching her poor soul. We must show mercy to those in anger for their longing.”

“Abuelo, how do you know all these things?”

“Because I did not rush, and I listen for a lost language.” 

“What is this language you talk about?” asked the boy. 

“It can’t really be explained, you either hear it or you don’t” he replied. 

The boy smiled at his crazy grandfather and they sat, listening to the sound of the water, the bird and the movement of nature. 

The boy was still and the old man smiled.

Did you enjoy our reading meditation? We would love if you would like and share it, or leave us a comment and tell us what your experience was.

Leave us a message on Insta or Twitter with #ponderingsmeditation.

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The Warrior, the Compass and the Fight for Truth

The Warrior, the Compass and the Fight for Truth

A medical system in crisis, and one doctor’s fight to restore the moral compass. We unpack the issues with Paddy Dewan and put an invitation out to the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt…

 

There are archetypal roles in human history, representing and maintaining the “moral compass” aspect of our human collectiveness. 

Shaman, Cleverman, Kung, Elder, Healer,  Judge, Psychologist, Nun, Yogini, Pastor, Rabbi, Journalist, the list of these intended guarding personages goes on. They all share a common fibre; people have looked to them to show us the way, to set the example and uphold safety, truth and care for the good of each other.  One such very admired role is that of Doctor.

The learned person who cares for the vulnerable and ill. Yet according to many in the field, it is becoming frighteningly apparent in many Australian medical establishments, the rose of the medical compass is faltering, no longer pointing North but rather  bending towards closed doors.

Yet there are those who are relentless in their dedication, these warrior types who continue to strive and fight to uphold the ideal, climbing through the trenches onward to navigate treacherous roads for the people left broken hearted and left wanting.

Missiles and words from colleagues are thrown, twitter grenades are launched and the very processes needed to keep the soles on their warrior shoes and continue the roles they have worked so hard for are being stripped away. 

 

People are hurting. This is real.

The hand on heart promise to ‘remember that there is an art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.” These are the words formed so long ago adopted and adapted all over the world. The Oath of the Doctor. 

Vulnerability, accountability and tough conversations are no longer the growth tanks from which new ideas and ways spring forth. Instead of peer reviews, tainted news reports waxing lyrical into the hearts and minds of the general public seek to control the wheel.  The puppet strings are pulled by the powers to be, and brilliant journalists are haunting the halls with silenced mouths, and empty pens.

An underground smattering of Doctors and patients afraid to speak up and operate, patient’s heartbreaking -purposefully buried beneath a decaying process that may have lost its way. 

The inability for Surgeon Dr. Paddy Dewan to perform a life-saving operation in a public hospital because he has upheld his oath in favour of kowtowing to the people who have forgotten the face of their teachers. 

A surgeon banned from working in a host of public hospitals, not because he is not brilliant at what he does, it is because he says, he has tried to hold people accountable for mistakes, to make sure they don’t happen again.  

Yet people like Paddy are accused of the very thing they fight against- power and ego.   

There are not enough walls to fill the qualifications, I have never seen so many in one space. Then there are the photos, photos of happy kids and smiling parents. He fights day in day out from a tiny office in Sunshine, with old lino and bare of the glitz and glamour of the Eastern Suburbs. He is a globally respected surgeon, he runs a successful charity called Kind Cuts for Kids, helping save lives of children in developing countries and he gives a shit. 

Courage is a tangible and often instinctive response to a threat or a need to protect others, how do you believe it is forged? 

I was walking with my nephew many years ago, in a paddock. We were going to dig for worms beside a dam. I looked at my hand on the long-handled shovel as I raised it in the air and thrust it in the direction of his foot. I cut off the head of a snake that was just next to him, between the two of us.  

My primitive brain saw, heard and directed the message to the action centre, bypassing the white-matter neocortex that is much slower.  When it comes to the survival instinct in my medical career, I obviously prefer the primitive pleasure of the joy of the family to the strategy of ensuring you ingratiate oneself to colleagues – I probably would have died early in the German times of Hitler or the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

Courage is also demanding physically and mentally when it is an ongoing requirement to work in your field – where do you find the guts to keep going? 

Like the real Patch Adams, I get my inner strength from the families I assist. He rang me a few years ago after one of “my” families arranged for him to come to a charity function in Sydney. He said, “Hi Paddy, its Patch here. I gather your system is as fucked up as ours”. I agreed!  His phone call that day was an inspiration.

When the protectors and the lifesavers are desperately trying to uphold the moral compass when their intention is PEOPLE and not power or ego, what can they do to help you, what can everyday people do? Democracy is built on the tribe having a say in their rights. 

I am an everyday person; I am a plumber, a boy from the bush but, I roar like a tiger when I see injustice in medicine. If everyday people informed themselves, then reacted, we would have a better world. Others can contact their politicians, contact the regulator and make those that are advocating for them feel they are not alone. 

The problem is that most are self-interested – once the champion has solved their problem, they lose interest in the problem they have created for the champion.

You are brave, and you are human, not infallible and not emotionally bulletproof, when you read and hear negative comments from peers and the institution you have invested time, education and faith in, what does that feel like? 

Such negative comments led to me writing “Look the Tiger in the eye”, while in the witness box.  I am reminded of the father who punched the door when I said his boy needed an operation – because he was so angry with the neglect of others. In the VCAT courtroom, the AHPRA barrister was presenting a barrage of negative comments about me.

That very same father stood up quite fiercely and said: “I am not listening to this fu**ing bullshit any more”.  

I am also reminded about Lindy Chamberlain, then I go and use a chainsaw or build a fence, or go to a developing country. Sometimes I am angry, but these days I feel more resolved than angry.

 

What does it feel like to hear positive and endearing commentary from peers and those who believe in you and what you do each day, preserving health- what does that feel like? 

I love hearing the positive comments, and more-so, I enjoy the positive body language. The look and behaviour of friendship, thanks and caring. This is everything. 

What do you believe drives a person to protect their career more than the care and life of a person?  

Human nature! Selfishness, money, greed, a lack of caring. Often it seems that those who are better at protecting their career have less clinical skills. Within organisations, it appears that those who are not a performance-comparison threat are more likely to be promoted.

The opinions of others are none of your business, and yet they seek to destroy and hurt. What is your go to, to help equalise and keep you focussed on your life and your life’s work?  

Writing Poetry, dancing, some art and furniture making, farming, a 1962 Fordson supermajor tractor, developing country visits, my Australian patients and, last but far from least, my wife, Padma.  I blame Rudyard Kipling!

What does your family love most about you? 

Standing at the kitchen bench typing, as Padma says, “my multiple abilities” – so I remind her I fixed the heating yesterday.

Were you a rebel when you were younger or have you been forced into the perceived role of rebel rather than simply being someone trying to do their job? 

I was the “father” in the family home. I learnt to cook and clean had an after-school job and was top of my class. I was good friends with all the teachers and had great friends from all backgrounds.  At university, I had little money so wasn’t a pub lad, but couldn’t afford haircuts. But I could dance, which was a bit radical – it certainly didn’t make me popular with the guys!

Then in Ireland, I experienced medicine by the spin doctor (which led me to do a PhD to prove what many were saying was “product driven medicine”.)  Then on return to Australia, I found poor standards accepted, false indications for surgery supported. I was soon elevated to the status of a radical when I refused to accept certain events.

I have been presented by the media as a radical as a way of them supporting the poor standards of the regulator, VCAT, the coroner, medical administrators and other surgeons.

Is the moral cost to you submitting to the system trying to force your hand higher than the one to keep going and fighting?  

Absolutely, a German officer was quoted to say – something like – If you have a difficult decision to make, look to consider the worst possible outcome of what seems the right decision and, if you can tolerate the consequences, then make the morally correct decision.

If we imagine humanity as a linear story – if you had to choose just one person as the protagonist for choosing good over conformity who would it be? 

Nelson Mandela – his time in prison reminds me of the little time since 2003 when I lost my position at a major hospital for choosing justice over conformity.

Favourite photograph and why? 

The wedding photo of Padma and I standing by the water of the Woolshed falls, which is on the creek. Our wedding was on the land on which my great-grandparent looked for gold (5 acres),  near Beechworth.

We purchased that land, and a little more, on the 10th anniversary of our wedding, on the anniversary of my mothers birthday (23rd May), which was one of our two weddings, the other was on the 50th anniversary of Padma’s parents’ wedding, on 20th June (Padma and I will exchange crystal on Thursday).

We both love the wonderfully romantic story of our two weddings.

Documentary or Netflix binge when travelling? If so, which one do you recommend? 

I NEVER watch television when I travel; I watch an occasional movie on a plane – I often crying during movies. But if I was to binge it would be on documentaries.

What irritates you more, losing a sock or being late? 

I have a system of keeping track of “one-tys” so that never worries me. And I love mending them, I call it “cycling” (as compared to recycling). I prefer not to be late but relax in a traffic jam.  

Are there other people like yourself believing in upholding the moral compass within our institutions that strive as you do regardless of the threat to their credibility and reputation? 

Yes, I have met some of them via the Healthcare Excellence Institute Australia – Jane Bannan and Jane Tolman, for instance.

How does it feel when a patient celebrates a birthday because you were brave enough to do an operation or find an anomaly that helps promote life? 

Interestingly, this question reminds me of the occasions where I have helped families come to terms with the death of their child. On a visit to PNG, I saw a boy with a big lump on his chest wall. He was about 10 yo.

The next day I saw the family with a chest x-ray that indicated he had a terminal illness. I said in my broken PNG language, “him buggarup algetter” which implied he would die from the illness. They said as I was almost in tears, “we are happy that God has given him to use for 10 good years”. 

During the same trip, a judge and his wife were losing their boy to kidney cancer, while he was on his death bed, they were phoning Europe to chase more refined histological interpretation and were falling apart.

The first family taught me how to cope with death, and has helped me teach other families around the world. Not from a religious perspective, from the importance of knowing what can be changed, and accepting it. And, knowing you have saved a life and enabled another birthday celebration is amazing.

How does it feel when a person is diagnosed correctly after misdiagnosis?  

Lucky; the more I practice, the luckier I get; the more I listen, the more I know.

Do you cry very much? 

Usually while watching “call the midwife”, and while watching “Invictus”, the movie. Sometimes when flying away from the countries, I have gone to treat kids in developing countries – tears of joy really.

How hard is it to separate your emotions when you like a patient? 

I like most of my patients. Operating on someone is a very personal thing, with great responsibility. Maybe it is like a pianist and the piano – great music can be created, great admiration for the instrument,  

Is there a legislative action that can be taken to protect those that seek to protect us? 

We do not have free speech in Australia; the media publish to a formula, not in the pursuit of truth and many politicians are liars and cheats. 

What is the point of difference between you and the Doctor who looks a patient and their family in the eye and says “there’s nothing we can do” when in fact they know there is and they know they are being influenced by peers and boards to say no?

I once wrote a poem called “you child becomes mine”, which says it all – just by the title. Others seem to have the attitude that if something went wrong and they were not on-call, it was not their problem. The best example was when I was a registrar in Dunedin. A fellow trainee had operated on a man in his forties for varicose veins.

While operating in the back of the knee, he injured the main vein of the leg. When he was called to suggest he come to help fix the damage, he refused “because he was not on-call”. He got away with what I thought was unthinkable behaviour.

Are there many others like you that have seen the character assassination and are frightened to make a stand? 

Yes and there will be more!  I work on our farm, volunteer overseas and review coronial cases and report adverse events to the surgeon, the hospital involved and the regulator. I give expert opinion in coronial cases, spend time organising meetings to review the regulatory process, and remain determined to make medicine safer.

Are you a hindered lifesaver? 

Yes and No. As a result of the Australian political rubbish, I have made a huge difference in developing countries.

If you could tell the Australian public one compelling aspect you wish they knew about our current medical establishment, what would it be? 

Education of the public to enable them to get the best health outcome for their children is not a priority and combined with a failure to listen to and respect parents results in overtreatment, undertreatment and adverse events. I invite the Health Minister to sit down with me to discuss the coronial process and regulations, the system is broken and this is not getting taken seriously. 

Dr. Paddy Dewan’s eyes light up when he speaks of his charity, his love of helping others and the curious nature of those possessed by ego. Every day he marches on, fighting for the rights of Australian’s to have access to truthful medical care. We have pondered with him and its the kind of ponder that you leave better than when you started. 

So – Hon Greg Hunt MP will you ponder with Dr. Paddy Dewan? Are you prepared to sit down and listen to a man dedicated to the oath he took and the protection of the integrity of our medical system and those whom you represent? 

Join our other 22,000+ Ponderers and discover the real stories and voices of us. Subscribe today and get your Free Copy.

 

 

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  • You support the publishing of free media and it's the best feeling being part of something with purpose. 

 

  • You become a member of a genuine community with rewards from those that believe in what we are doing. 

 

Get your free copy and all of this for $24.95 a year, YES PLEASE! 

 

 

Independent Media is critical; it means no large media giant is pulling our strings or dictating what we write. Ponderings provides an alternative to networked media, producing stories about issues of social justice and humanity; that might not otherwise be told. Some you will need no introduction and some you will be uplifted to find out about and be inspired by. This year, in particular, our lineup is going to delight and surprise you.

 

Yes I want to support Ponderings and subscribe

$24.95 AU per year


From Devastation to Transformation- One Woman’s Journey

From Devastation to Transformation- One Woman’s Journey

Pondeirngs Magazine From Devastation Article Julia Lorent

by Jasmine Pedretti

The absolute devastation of losing two loved ones created a ripple in Julia Lorent’s life that would change its course forever.

 

Julia’s outlook on life changed forever after her mother and fiance passed away due to smoking related illness. Anyone that has experienced the crippling anguish from losing a loved one, knows how close it can come to derailing your life. Instead of letting her grief beat her, Julia decided to channel it into helping others fight their own demons. For the next 2 decades she would leave no stone unturned to find answers in helping people with addiction, with no judgement. For the judgement of others was too harsh a force to be reckoned with. What resulted was a successful career and it continues to grow. 

Julia Lorent Ponderings Magazine

This Melbournite has dedicated every ounce of her energy to helping others live their best life.

 

Julia is passionate about empowering people to overcome limiting beliefs. This transformative therapist helps patients quit smoking, lose weight, gain control of their eating habits and become self-confident. Essentially, she gives people trapped in an endless cycle of addiction, a chance for a longer, fruitful life by equipping people with the tools to regain control of their health. What drives Julia is the need to prevent others from experiencing the same pain of loss she suffered when losing her mother and partner. Every time Julia helps someone break an addiction and transform their lives, she saves their death from devastating the lives of loved ones.

Ponderings Magazine Leaderboard Julia Lorent Article

Her courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities has gained Julia the respect as a notable transformational therapist.

 

From Devastation to Transformation Julia LorentShe is highly regarded all over the world and has been invited to speak at an array of different keynote presentations.

Most notably, Julia has been asked to speak at one of Australia’s newest and exciting transformative events, Hypnobiz. 14th – 15th of March 2020 will see hundreds of the world’s top practitioners come together in one room. The biggest names in the industry have been asked to speak. The celebrated hypnosis conference brings together hundreds of top practitioners to share their best advice and tips for success. Mental health and family therapy professionals that come will learn the latest trends and ways to improve their skills, business and overall net worth. It’s also an excellent opportunity for attendees from diverse backgrounds, to potentially partner together. Hynobiz Australia is the most international and progressive hypnosis conference in the world.

Ponderings Magazine Gift Picks of the Month

Looking at Julia’s extensive list of qualifications, it’s no wonder Julia was invited to be part of Hynobiz.

She is the founder and principal practitioner for Melbourne Quit Smoking Clinic, Melbourne Clinic of Hypnotherapy, and The Savvy Changemaker.

She has also been making waves academically. Due to her illustrious reputation, Julia recognizes that she has a platform to bring awareness to matters that demand attention. Her most notable work includes a recent whitepaper that uncovered shocking numbers of harassment towards women in the workplace. The survey highlighted the profound emotional implications this has on women’s mental health and physical safety. Julia is also causing a buzz in the academic world with her belief that addiction is pain. A claim that is grounded on a lifetime of academic investigation and dedication. This new way of looking at addiction could help change the future of addiction diagnosis forever.

 
To get in touch with Julia, contact her on + 61 412 810 078 or email julia@thesavvychangemaker.com

Visit her site for more information about her services.

 

 

One Brave Mother and 65 Roses

We spoke to the wonderful Jennifer Jury who runs the annual Charity Ladies Lunch Event on the 31st...

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Treaties, Climate Change and the Fight Club of the 2019 Vote

Makarrata, a treaty and 650,000 years of carbon dioxide lead to this moment, a minister walked into the Fight Club of the Australian Election.

At Ponderings, we believe in telling the stories of those who have overcome adversity to achieve positive change and to reflect, to inspire and to prosper.

When a person becomes so impassioned for the justice of others that he leaves the safety of a pulpit and walks into the den of politics- you take a breath in. He is part of our Ponderings community and has rolled up his sleeves and entered the fight club holding a torch. What is he coming with? Climate change, The Uluru Statement from the Heart and voice of the Makarrata.

He is a grandfather, a devoted husband and a beloved minister of the Anglican Parish of Gosford. This is not a man sipping his Grange from a megamansion or a lefty infuriated throwing around restless and careless words. He gives a shit that’s for sure. He set the social media world ablaze and became the talk of the world when he used his church message board on the front lawn to say “Dear Christians, some people are gay, get over it.”

What followed was advocacy and lots of it. Informed, educated, and a whole of fearlessness. It’s not easy standing up for those who need it most. Rod Bower has braved break-ins, had sermons bombarded by white supremacists and death threats come weekly. A minister of the church opening the Sydney Madigras? He’s copped it and still he marches forward.

Fast forward 2 years, and he is the representative for the ICAN party in the Federal Election; Independents for Climate Change Action Now. ICAN is a coalition of independents from across the political spectrum with some specific plans on what needs to happen to give the mechanics of our democratic machine a grease and oil change.

So I asked Father Rod Bower some questions because if you have made it to the top row in the voting ballot, people want to know what the heck you are going with that platform if they vote for you.

What do you hope to achieve once you’re in there?

In the first 100 days, I will help the parliament to declare a Climate Emergency. I will help the parliament to revisit the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This will set the cultural parameters for the term. All legislation must be climate-informed for our children to have a bright future.

Ponderings: The Uluru Statement from the Heart – is a national Indigenous consensus position on Indigenous constitutional recognition, which came out of a convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates in 2017.

The Uluru Statement sought a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about indigenous history. Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. The Yolngu concept of Makarrata captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle, healing the divisions of the past.

Why climate change?

In the past 650,000 years, the carbon dioxide Level in the atmosphere has never risen above 300 part per million, with an average of about 200ppm. Today it is over 400ppm.

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 0.9 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.

We can mitigate the devastating effect of global warming by becoming a zero-emissions society and by capturing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it the ground and plant life.

In short;

The planet is warming.
We did it.
It’s bad.
We can fix it.

Why is it important to have independents elected?

The two-party system is no longer agile enough to meet the rapidly changing political landscape. The system has become so corrupt that only a solid group of centrist independents will be able to precipitate changes to election donations and establish a Federal ICAC.

How can voting for an independent positively impact government in Australia?

The Gillard Government was one of the most productive in modern Australian history. That is in part, due to Julia Gillard’s excellent negotiating skills but also to the fact that she had a group of sensible independents with which to negotiate. A minority government, where the balance of power is held by productive independents, works well because ideology has to stand aside for practical solutions.

What do you need now to get there?

To win a Senate seat in NSW a candidate requires a quota of 14.5%, that’s a little over 700,000 votes. The more primary votes we get, the more preferences we will attract. So if voters believe that a proper response to climate change is essential and a sustainable society is crucial that they can vote 1 ICAN in the Senate.

Group Q in NSW
Group K in Qld
Group M in Vic

People may not understand the vital importance of independents representing sections of the social fabric of our country in government. They help create a balanced representation, to pass legislation and stop the corruption of our democratic system. It’s a system worth protecting!

If you would like to find out more about the ICAN party and the members, you can click here.

To read about the Uluru Statement of the Heart and Makarrata you can click here and read the statement below.

We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the Heart:
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds, and their culture will be a gift to their country.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

One Brave Mother and 65 Roses

One Brave Mother and 65 Roses

We spoke to the wonderful Jennifer Jury who runs the annual Charity Ladies Lunch Event on the 31st of May (2019) for Cystic Fibrosis at the RACV City Club in Bourke St Melbourne.

Tell us about the luncheon and your part in it

​Charity & Fun (aka Jan Dalton, Bee Pitts, Jennifer Jury) run an annual Charity Ladies Lunch Event for Cystic Fibrosis always in the Month of May, where hundreds of women will come together to celebrate ’65 Roses’ Month and raise funds to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  My 10-year-old daughter Ellie-May has CF & we are proud to say that with the incredible generosity of everyone involved to date we have raised over $175,000 for this worthy cause so far! Proceeds support 2 CF organisations – Cystic Fibrosis Community Care & Cure4CF.

One Brave Mother And 65 Roses, Geelong Social Media, Geelong Digital Media, Cystic Fibrosis

“The phrase ’65 Roses’ comes from the mouth of a child who mistook the pronunciation of Cystic Fibrosis thinking it instead ’65 Roses’ and as such it has become a meaningful symbol for the charity.”

“When a newborn baby is diagnosed with CF the grief experienced by the parents is unimaginable. CF is the most common, genetically inherited, a life-shortening condition affecting young Australians today – a baby is born with CF every four days.  The condition affects the lungs, digestive system and sweat glands requiring relentless expensive, daily physiotherapy and medical regimes. The average life expectancy for those born with CF is 38 – there is no cure.”

Book of the Month Ponderings Magazine

The idea of a ladies luncheon came to us about 8 years ago when we were attending a Ladies Lunch Event for Ovarian Cancer. We loved being part of that experience & decided that we could replicate the event for Cystic Fibrosis. There is just 3 of us volunteers, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the day is a huge success & that all runs smoothly & we maximise our potential to raise much-needed funds & awareness for CF. Now in our 6th year, we have a good, efficient blueprint to follow, but chasing ticket sales & donations for prizes is always the most time-consuming part.

The CF Luncheon is all about raising funds & awareness for CF while having a good time.

One Brave Mother And 65 Roses, Geelong Social Media, Geelong Digital Media, Cystic Fibrosis

There is a 2-course meal, free-flowing beverages, goody bags for all guests, live music & lots of dancing, celebrity MC & lots of ways to donate to our cause through raffles, auctions & mystery balloons. It really is a chance to rally the girlfriends together & enjoy a “long lunch”, and all for a good cause!

What do you wish people knew about CF that perhaps they don’t?

​”That there is NEVER a day off from CF” – as my 10 yo often tells us & this year Ellie-May will be speaking as the Guest Speaker to let the audience really know what it is like to be a child living with CF. The constant stress & anxiety for all family members is massive, but you really do learn to appreciate the special things in life.

Ponderings Magazine Gift Picks of the Month

Who have been some if your fave MCS?

​Where do I begin – we have been so fortunate & thankful to have had amazing & extremely talented MCs in Claire Hooper, Denise Scott, Cal Wilson & Lano. They have all been unique in their approach & had the audience in fits of laughter, which always helps create the perfect atmosphere. If I really had to choose, we took a risk last year having a male, but Lano absolutely nailed it. We were all in stitches.

One Brave Mother And 65 Roses, Geelong Social Media, Geelong Digital Media, Cystic Fibrosis

What does the rest of your life look like? What’s a regular week for Jen?

​BUSY is probably an understatement, but like most mums, we are good at juggling and multi-tasking!! I work part-time at Vic Beach Geelong (our own family business), run around after 2 busy daughters 10yo Ellie-May & 12yo Olivia and try to have some “me” time especially to exercise and love nothing better than hanging out with my hubby Greg & kids and enjoying life in Jan Juc.

Why do you feel it is important to be involved at this capacity for things you feel passionate about?

​I think when you have a personal connection & know how important research into finding a CURE is, you will work your butt off & you can’t help but be passionate. The reward when it all comes together far outweighs the workload. Ellie-May is now 10 years old & we know how precious time is. In recent years we have had a few scares when lung function has rapidly dropped to 50% so I will continue to do whatever I can to make a difference & am so fortunate to have great friends who jumped on board with me. And despite all the hard work, we do have some fun along the way 🙂

To book seats or a table of ten for the beautiful 65 Roses ladies lunch this May, email charityandfun@gmail.com

 

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