Daily Archives: December 11, 2008

Fantastic, but another reason to feel old!


cover_dec08 I was skimming the Sydney Morning Herald’s glossy free mag just now, checking out whether I was on the list of Sydney’s Top 100 Influential People… 😉 Many of the usual suspects were there, and quite a few I hadn’t thought of. It is one of those that really attracted my attention.

thumb_jack There under Community was Jack Manning Bancroft.

Now there was a familiar name: Class of 2002 at SBHS!

So how at the age of 23 did Jack get into the Top 100?

Through this:

Jack is the founder of the AIME Program. He graduated from Media and Communication in 2006, and attended St Pauls College in his time at university. He was awarded the inaugural ANZ Indigenous Scholarship for his degree, and received the Sydney University Union Leadership and Excellence award in 2005. He is a member of the Bundjalung nation in the North Coast of NSW. Jack hopes to lead AIME to every university in the country in the next 5 years.



Click on the screen grab to explore AIME. It is well worth it!


I found some blog references to Jack and his work.

Indigenous Literacy Day by Judith Ridge (September 2008) says:

Tonight I went to the launch of Bronwyn Bancroft‘s beautiful new picture book, Possum and Wattle: My Big Book of Australian Words at Gleebooks. The book is, as you would expect if you know Bronwyn’s work, quite stunning. The images are striking and vibrant, and the colour reproduction remarkable. And a great celebration of indigenous Australian language.

Possum and Wattle was launched by Linda Burney, who spoke of of the terrible loss of Aboriginal languages (which she rightly said are, of course, Australian languages) while reminding us that all Australians are in fact speakers of Aboriginal Language. Each time we speak certain place names, or of native flora and fauna, even certain idioms, we are speaking Aboriginal Language.

Bronwyn spoke of the importance of education and literacy, especially for Aboriginal Australians. Her own father was excluded from formal education because of his Aboriginality. Now her children are school and university students and graduates, and she is about to embark on her PhD—just one generation away from that exclusion. And there is no education without literacy…

I also have to mention Bronwyn’s son, Jack Manning Bancroft, who spoke at the launch about the organisation he heads up, AIME Mentoring (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience). AIME pairs Aboriginal university student volunteers with Aboriginal high school students in a one-to-one mentoring project that aims to support young Aboriginal students in education. It was the first I’d heard of the program, and it’s something I want to learn more about. Jack was strong and heartfelt as he spoke about the value of the program, which hinges on the dedication of the current generation of young Aboriginal people to get out there and do something practical to support each other. As it says in the "About" section of their website, AIME is action. Fantastic. (And I am really curious—must ask Bronwyn about this—my grandfather’s middle name was also Manning, after the river/region where he was born. I guess that means Bronwyn’s people come from there, as mine do, although so much more recently.)

A blog called Event Mechanics promotes 2007’s Indigenous Carnivale, and quotes another blog to this effect:

A very cool, and damn motivated and inspiring bloke, called Jack Manning-Bancroft is helping organise the above day. He writes: “We welcome you all to this years Indigenous Carnivale. On Saturday the 26th of May it will be National Sorry Day. We will pay our respects to those who have suffered in the past, we will pay our respects to those who continue to suffer, and we will offer nothing but respect to each other. This is our arena. This is our community. This is our time.”

Running alongside Carnivale is it’s big brother AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) – where Jack’s helping me to do some mentoring work. It’s a mentoring program that works with High school Indigenous students. All of the profits from Carnivale will go to its big brother AIME.

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Posted by on December 11, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, education, ex-students and coachees, Indigenous Australians


Teh Marcket as a 21st century ghoulie or phantasm…

A nice jab at one of our most habitual reified abstractions or galloping personifications.


Thanks to Nicholas Gruen, an economist of note, for passing this on via Club Troppo.

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Posted by on December 11, 2008 in America, current affairs, diversions, globalisation/corporations, humour, satire, USA



Frank Sinatra, of course, a touch ironic in itself:

How sad for Obama!

There was a reference to Blaggerthingy on God’s Politics just before the Big News broke — anyone want to buy a senate seat? — and of course there is also that factory sit-in. All of it bad for the image of the USA. If Blaggerthingy is guilty as charged, then he has managed to screw his country’s reputation in a way that would cheer the hearts of anti-US terrorists and others the world over. Good one, Blaggerthingy! Be proud.

The God’s Politics reference is hardly flattering either, but does serve to remind us that we shouldn’t entirely judge the USA by events such as those we have been appalled by lately.

Recently, West Side Chicago folks went down to the state Capitol, seeking release of long-overdue reimbursements for services to homebound elderly – $1 million outstanding, enough to cripple a struggling community development corporation. We stood outside the governor’s door, our chant loudly echoing through the halls of the Capitol:

Blagovich, Hynes, pay your bills;
the community suffers, pay your bills;
seniors suffer, pay your bills;
you’re making hard times, pay your bills.

Meanwhile, paydays are delayed, salaries cut, and people laid off. Our controller said the state is out of money; legislators and the governor blamed each other. Nothing happens, and yet we must still provide the services. Thirty-one states are in fiscal crisis; cities and counties are slashing budgets. And they’re slashing the very survival programs for the poor.

The economic crunch, as we all know, is not only a matter of investments and credit on Wall Street and Main Street. It deeply impacts low-income families and low-wealth communities as a whole. In our low-wealth community, we don’t debate whether we’re in a recession or depression; we know we are in HARD TIMES. It is not a matter of shopping; in our community, it is life-challenging issues of food, medicine, rent, and jobs.

Poor and low-income communities are mostly left out of the conversation and the bailout plans. At least unemployment payments have been extended, but so much more urgent action is needed.

Speak out for those who cannot speak, Speak out … defend the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:8-9). Right now there is only a whispered mention of the rights of the poor and needy. Who will speak? Where is the church in speaking out, joining the chorus? Where is our sense of the common good, of caring for each other?

Mary Nelson

Serves to remind us too that people of faith are not necessarily right-wing nut jobs…

The factory story has been well covered on the Net and has cheered the hearts of my Marxist friends.

Beginning Friday, around 300 workers at the Republic Window & Door factory in Chicago have occupied the plant demanding severance and back-pay owed by the company. For the first time since the birth of the CIO union federation in the 1930s, U.S. workers are occupying their workplace. As the bosses push to place the burden of the failing economy on workers’ shoulders, the class struggle is back on the agenda in the U.S.

The 300 mostly Latino members of the United Electrical Workers union began the occupation on the last scheduled day of operations before the bosses would close the factory. The company gave the workers less than 60 days notice of the closure, in violation of federal labor laws. The company reported that its monthly earnings had dropped by around 25% to $2.9 million. But the company continued filling orders through the last scheduled day of operation, which gave workers little room to believe that the factory needed to close its doors.

Republic management told workers that it was necessary to close the factory in order to get loans from its main creditor, Bank of America. UE workers picketed the Bank’s Chicago headquarters on December 3rd. Despite pledges from the bank and Republic management for a meeting on Friday with the UE local 1110 to discuss severance and other issues, this meeting was sabotaged when Republic management failed to show up. Workers replied by occupying the factory.

Bank of America was one of the many large banks to get a part of the gigantic $700 billion bailout package approved by the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress in October…

I am very much in sympathy with the factory workers in that one. Other commentators in the comments on the post I have linked to have suggested that the factory owners are in breach of quite a number of US laws as well. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath about the Revolution just yet, scandalous as this case is.

I’m afraid I am neither for Marx nor for Hayek in these matters, but I shouldn’t offend the faith of others, should I? Or should I? Apart from the fact I am too old and too uninformed, really, to say much new or intelligent along such lines. But the history of the past century or two does not encourage me in faith in either…

Jon Taplin puts a positive spin on Buggerwhatsy and other recent issues though, citing Teddy Roosevelt: A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

…Teddy Roosevelt was right. It’s the geniuses with the college educations that are robbing us of our future.We are all aware that we stand at a seminal moment in history where the very foundations of our society are being remade. Many observers seem to think that the object is to patch things up so we can get back to the “status quo ante”. But I disagree. This is a reform moment. We must clean up the role of money in politics and we must give the regulators power to prevent the abusive use of the tax laws that Sam Zell and his genius bankers used to wreak holy havoc on their employee’s future.

Jon, a a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, is not being anti-intellectual in saying all that, as anyone who follows his blog will know.


Pesky spam comment development…

Even though I have binned and deleted this:

Recent comments

Kevin Allen on Competition, cross-cultural ro…

…its ghost is temporarily still in the side bar, as above.

It appeared at first glance to be a genuine comment, relevant to the thread and the post but led via the commenter’s link (replaced above by “”) to one of those pathetic enhance your **** sites…

There is no Kevin Allen, of course, but the technique does get past Akismet. Check the URLs on your comments, folks, before allowing them to stay.


I laid the ghost by renewing the comment list widget.

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Posted by on December 11, 2008 in blogging, computers, web stuff, weirdness, www