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Daily Archives: October 21, 2009

Communication, Education, Respect

“Those are the only three words in my dictionary,” Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo, an Aboriginal Elder originally from Walgett told me today when I interviewed her for next month’s South Sydney Herald.

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Arriving in Sydney in 1958-9 to be a nanny to an Eastern Suburbs family she pursued her dream to achieve all three and to return her education to her community. She still has good relations with that family. “I had to learn to read, being a nanny and the kids going to Sydney Grammar…”

You’ll have to wait for the South Sydney Herald article for the rest.

Now her dream is a reality as she cofounded, through a training and employment initiative of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, Yaama Dhiyaan Hospitality Training College.

Our Name
Yaama means ‘welcome’ and Dhiyaan means ‘family and friends’ in Aunty Beryl’s Yuwaalaraay language of the Gamillaroi people of north west New South Wales.

Our Logo
The emu design was chosen as it is the totem of the Gamillaroi people. The emu design was based on an Aunty Elaine Russell design and developed by the artist Marian Aboud.

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“We can’t forget our past,” she said, reflecting on some of the hard things, “but you’ve got to move on for the sake of future generations.”

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What an inspiration she is!

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Ross Gittins today and last Monday’s “Media Watch”

I am about to do what so many bloggers do – refer to a newspaper item, quote part of it, and make a brief comment. That this practice is exercising the minds of the media owners was made clear in a very interesting Media Watch (ABC) on Monday:

The Philistines, in Mr Murdoch’s view, are the bloggers and aggregators, from Crikey to the Huffington Post, who, he claims, survive by commenting on the stories that newspaper journalists dig up.
And they’re also the search engines, the Googles and Yahoos, who Mr Murdoch says reap a fortune by making news available without creating it – and feed none of that money back to the content creators.
But Rupert Murdoch and his son James, the heir presumptive to the News Corporation empire, believe the public must be made to wake up too.
The free ride is over:

James Murdoch: Yet it is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it.
— Edinburgh International Television Festival MacTaggart Lecture delivered by James Murdoch, 28th August, 2009

Now for Ross Gittins. Today he offers a quick diagnosis of our current evolutionary dilemma. I tend to agree.

… At one level we’re smart enough to have dreamt up all our amazing machines and ways of organising society; at another we’re people with caveman brains struggling to cope in the space age.

We’ve been too successful for our own good. When humans lived in small groups on the African savannah we were hardwired to be preoccupied with the pursuit of resources, which were scarce. Since our ancestors often couldn’t obtain all the food they needed, they were programmed to grab all they could find…

The greatest consequence of our transition from scarcity to abundance is that human economic activity, which at first was puny relative to the huge natural environment, is now so big – so many humans in the world enjoying such high material living standards – it’s doing great damage to the ecosystem that provides us life.

Climate change is the most pressing instance of that damage, but our politicians seem blissfully ignorant of the threat.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Australia, climate change, environment, media watch