Friday, October 12, 2018

On the reading table..

Decided to take some to write a little about what I've been reading.  As I mentioned I had been working my way through Gillian Triggs' memior 'Speaking Up', which to be fair is as much about Gender and Human Rights in Australia (perhaps focused on the rights of refugees and our first peoples) as it is about Trigg's and her career. 

One of the issues she touches on is quotas. Its hard not to see a value in quotas and the change that representation in parliament will make. I certainly believe you can't be, what you can't see.

Was intrigued as I read to see how Australia's attitude to human rights and our obligations has seemingly changed from being involved in drafting these documents, and leading these discussions to evading the obligations contained in both the letter and spirit of the documents in question.

I am also reminded of how progressive NZ is, and that I'd like to see Australia take a leaf or three out of NZ's book particularly when it comes to indigenous rights and recognition within parliament and broader society. Both major parties are failing the leadership test in terms of pushing or driving change in terms of indigenous rights, rights of the refugee.

Her chapter about Adam Goodes and the abuse he copped is also well worth the read. Adam Goodes treatment is a black spot in our history. We can and must do better when it comes to how we treat indigenous people, and particularly indigenous people who decide to speak up and out about their treatment.

The book didn't really address the question, but I do wonder what she is doing now. I'm certainly thankful for her work and believe that our Liberal Government has treated her appallingly.

Given the enforced time in bed I have also been able to read Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I didn't know much about the author prior to starting to read the book. It was a really fascinating look at what the future may hold.

I found the chapters on God and religion to be interesting while I didn't completely agree with them I do think religion does face a battle for relevance in its future. I certainly think religion is relevant and has an important role in shaping both individuals and society it appears this is a less common thought than it used to be.

Harari certainly made me think about a range of social issues and the impact they may have on us as people and societies. Well worth a read.

Next on my list is Laura Tingle's Quarterly Essay on Leadership which is now relevant again with Australia having a 'new Prime Minister'. Questions about leadership will certainly be on my mind as we approach the election next year. To me, Australia is crying out for real leadership and I don't think I see genuine leadership in either Scott Morrison or Bill Shorten.

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