Category Archives: First Peoples

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What the?????!!!!

 It’s been a while since I last wrote anything here.  In that time there has been much of the ‘stuff of life’ going on. So much in fact I’m not sure where to start, what to say and what to leave unsaid.

Journeying with people as they begin married life, others who are laying loved ones to rest and hearing stories of injustices endured by indigenous peoples, and those who have endured loss due to decisions made to become the person they believe they are.

I often feel inadequate in many of the situations I find myself in, sometimes its a stranger who engages in conversation.

 One of those took place today.

As I was parking the bike a person approached as blurted out How can there be a God when the world is so shit??   (a reasonable question)

What followed was a comprehensive list of what is wrong with the world, conspiracy theories and the like.
The conversation, which was one sided, concluded with ‘well I have enough of this shitty world, so everyday i throw myself in front of trucks and buses because I’ve had enough’.

Where is a person supposed to go after a conversation like that? (to the pub????)

So whether we ourselves are experiencing darker moments or we are journeying with others through dark times, may brighter days await us.

Sometimes the words of others best help us understand the darker times.
These words from an Elder at Parihaka (NZ)

After the shades os darkness comes the dusk of dawn, 
whilst  before lies the shimmering glory of a fair day.
(he maru ahiahi kei muri te
maru awatea he pakiarohhi kei Mia)

…then this line from a song called..we’re all in this together

we’re all in this together walking the line between faith and fear…..
(not sure of its origins but heard it on a cd by old Crow Medicine Show)


This from the good book in Psalms, read at a funeral recently.

He shall cover you with his feathers, under his wings shall you trust:his truth shall be your shield and *buckler.

(*a smaller shield fitted to the wrist for added protection?)




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Here we go again……….

You could be forgiven for thinking that the US was the only place on Earth there was an election going on.

While the quality of candidates both here and there are about on par, you probable won’t get  wealthy business people from the US suggesting we need a dictator to step in, as we have here in Australia!!

At the very basic level you would hope our political leaders would be the voice of the voiceless and not the wealthy!!

Sure perhaps an enquiry into the union movement is needed, so is one into the banking and finance sector, sadly the issues with the bank/ finance sector are not seen as moral issues, only of the safe schools program or marriage equality are deemed to be the only ‘moral’ issues up for debate.

We ought to be providing housing for the homeless, shelter for the asylum seeker and support for those who have issues around their mental health.
Sadly these issues are left to smaller political parties with weird names.

So as we become further disillusioned with our politicians we sail towards a ‘hung parliament’.

If we do have a ‘Hung’ Parliament lets hope its ‘Well Hung”!!!


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on the turning away

Hey you, hey you, yes you…I wanna talk to you, this is what I heard as I loitered intentionally recently on the streets of Melbourne.

‘It was a bloke who I knew from a community in  another suburb.

I had not see him for a while, and to be honest the last encounter had been a little strange.
Strange, because this man spotted me riding my motorcycle, jumped in his car and started to follow me!!
This man, has a history of severe mental health issues.

This chance encounter was a bit different, although I did have an uneasy feeling, and I made a snap decision to keep it short.

After a brief conversation we went our separate ways.

I was reflecting on that encounter recently while listening to some Pink Floyd on vinyl.

I considered the words from the song, on the turning away.


On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away” 
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud 
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night 
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

I am aware that not all those I encounter are my ‘responsibility’, however on this occasion i wonder if a meal or coffee together may have been appropriate? I may never know, I can only hope that we meet again, or I hear that still small voice and respond.




Leunig







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National Anthems ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED

I often wondered why we don’t sing the other verses to out NA.I am happy to be a citizen in Australia, sadly our history is littered with hurt and mistakes.One would have thought we might have learnt from them, but it appears not.



A verse from our ‘anthem’ with additions in brackets by me….Beneath our radiant Southern CrossWe’ll toil with hearts and hands;To make this Commonwealth of oursRenowned of all the lands;( for being a pack of bastards)For those who’ve come across the seas ( to stop the boats and send them back)We’ve boundless plains to share;(not really but it sounds good)With courage let us all combine(courage to do the right thing is lacking)To Advance Australia Fair.(actually Dutton cannot read so me missed this point)In joyful strains then let us sing,Advance Australia Fair. ( then stick our heads back up our bottoms)










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SO YOU WANT SOUP??

YOU GIVE THEM SOUP, THEY WANT THEIR LIVES BACK.

That is a line from a movie I watched last week and that one line has caused me to think about, why and what I do on the street.

This is not to say providing food, clothing,meals and conversation or friendship is not a good thing.

 For me however, it goes to motive.

Why do I do what I do?

Is it the best for the other, does it bring new life or indeed a ‘better’ life??

Those are the questions I am asking myself.


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Silent Vigil, Actions Speak louder Than Words!!

Every Monday on a prominent mall in the Melbourne CBD, a Silent Vigil happens.

The Quakers have been there at the same time for the past 15-18 years.
Not a bad effort by any standard.

I join them from time to time, as they respectfully acknowledge Australia’s First Peoples.

Anyone who is interested or curious are able to take a handout explaining why they hold this vigil.

Many years ago a student in her final year of secondary school, presented her art workpiece for the yr 12 art competition, a State wide competition.

It was at the same time as the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996

This was described as the ‘worst massacre’ in our short history, by many journalists, commentators and politicians.

This student disagreed, and depicted in her piece the massacre of many of our First Peoples in Tasmania, suggesting this was the first massacre and equally despicable.

This student was aware her piece would not qualify to win the competition, and proceeded anyway.

 As I watch people. observing the vigil, and recall the students art, it reminds me that there are times when actions speak louder than words!!


Upcoming Events

Mar
1
Sun
3:00 pm St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
St David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 1 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Guest conductor from Wales National Eisteddfod of Wales blue riband winner / soloist 2 other blue riband winners 5 local Welsh voice choirs Congregational hymn singing Projected 700+ in attendance. Wow….should be wonderful!!!