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The ongoing saga of 2021’s trials and tribulations so I can remember what has gone down…..

Photo of The Lucky Country Book

In 1964, author Donald Horne wrote the famous book called The Lucky CountryMany people (having probably not read the book) believe that the book is positive reflection of life in Australia. Australia being lucky because of its weather, resources, the fact it is an island distant from other troubled areas and so on.

However Horne’s intent in writing the book was to portray Australia’s climb to power and wealth based almost entirely on luck rather than the strength of its political or economic system, which Horne believed was ‘second rate’. In addition to political and economic weaknesses, he also lamented on the lack of innovation and ambition, as well as a philistinism in the absence of art, among the Australian population, viewed by Horne as being complacent and indifferent to intellectual matters. He also commented on matters relating to Australian puritanism, as well as conservatism, particularly in relation to censorship and politics. (1)

Well after this last episode of ‘Bottom of the Barrel Awfulness’ – with little Tharnicaa Murugappan becoming seriously ill with septicaemia on Christmas Island and ending up in a Perth Hospital, I do believe we, as a country, have lost our moral compass and this episode, on top of many other Episodes of Awfulness, lead me to say that we should from now on be known as The Awful Country. If you want to read a short summary of what this Tamil family have endured, read this link to an ABC story.

Health Note to the general public caring for children in any capacity: Please do not follow the lead of the Australian Government’s treatment of this little girl – if a child gets a temperature of 40degrees centigrade and it lasts for 10 days without getting better, it is bad news and they need expert, immediate treatment – not languishing in a giant detention centre (being run at a cost of $7 million dollars to house JUST this family over the past 3 years. The family have 4 correctional officers escort them to school – yes embarrassingly there is a officer for the 4 and the 6 year old as well as one for each parent. I am sure there are some women’s shelters who would just love to have some of that money, or an organisation helping the homeless or an indigenous organisation to help with health measures in Remote Australia.)

The absolutely weird thing about this story is there are now politicians from all persuasions who are stepping up and saying enough is enough – let this family go back home to Biloela. Our regional towns are crying out for families to expand their population and enhance their ability to thrive with this added population expansion. Just let them go home!

But through sheer petty bloody-mindedness, these gorgeous Australian-born girls are being emotionally tortured and deprived of a lovely normal family life back in ‘Bilo’.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a sculpture of I Stopped the Boats in his office

Maybe this is the problem? Our Prime Minister was purportedly given this sculpture by a constituent and he has proudly displayed this in each of his offices on the way to his current lofty position. The sculpture’s message might be ruined if this family (including it’s little Aussie girls) are allowed to stay in Australia. Is it because of this sculpture that the Prime Minister will not back down on this?

Lots of my cohort – 65 year-old women – not traditionally trouble makers – are upset about this. Many young mums who have kids the same age as Kopika and Tharnacaa, are devastated about this; many 67 year old men like my husband – who are AKA Pop, Grandad, Pa, Grandfather are also furious about this and there are millions of other Aussie citizens who cannot believe this act of willfull awfulness should continue.

Sometimes people find it difficult to Change  their course of action once they’ve made a decision or decided to walk a certain path but being able to adapt and change is integral to a healthy sense of self-worth and compassion just as it is integral to good health in life –  we pelvic health physiotherapists teach patients the importance of adapting to Change each day. You’ll read more about that in this link to my Change blogs. 

But as Benjamin Disraeli wrote: “Change is as inexorable as time, yet nothing meets with more resistance.”  And there has been plenty of resistance to changing this decision.

I want to reassure our Prime Minister that it is OK to change your mind/ stance/ position/ thoughts/ beliefs/ mindset. Everyone will get it. It is the Right Thing to do, it is the Christian Thing to do.

And while we are about Righting Wrong Things – we used about 300 Afghani interpreters during our Australian participation in the United States-led coalition in Afghanistan to help with whatever we did over there and these interpreters need to be looked after by the Australian government now we are exiting Afghanistan. Fast-tracking protection visas for these people who now fear for their lives is the Right Thing To Do. Read more about this here.

High in the Awfulness Stakes is the lack of resolution of the traumatic assault of Brittany Higgins at our National Parliament and the many other disgusting revelations that have surfaced following Brittany’s brave decision to reveal what happened that night and what followed. A summary of what Brittany is enduring is found here.

And then there’s Australia’s Climate Change Apathy and Inertia. I believe there are many Australians – private individuals and businesses – who just want to get on with a policy and accept the Absolute Inevitable regarding climate change targets and limitations on carbon emmissions. There are many who are busting to buy an electric vehicle (EV) but are again being stymied by bloody-mindedness – if there are no charging stations and infrastructure for EVs, we can’t drive around our Big Lucky Country and the car companies just won’t bring them out to Australia. Read about what climate change will mean for Women’s Health here.

So I say to you Mr Prime Minister:

“If you resist change, you will face challenges on a daily basis. If you consciously refocus your attitude to see the benefits of change, your outlook becomes positive and life becomes easier.” (Catherine Pulsifer)

It seems harsh to label Australia The Awful Country , but we are all sitting back and letting these things happen. I could stay silent and comply, but then if I don’t speak out, I feel complicit in the Awfulness and how could I then look my grandchildren in the eye and say: “I am so sorry kids, but I tried “ .

Are you thinking hard about what our nation is becoming? 

(Again all our politicians are being weak and not putting forward positive change on many fronts and advocating for those who need help. It just so happens that the Prime Minister is in the position to make this family’s life get back on track. I know they will be amazing citizens of Australia.)