Welcome

Welcome to this website on social justice. I’m Joan Beckwith, and one of those people who have IDEAS in the middle of the night, many of which seem less amazing in the light of day, but some of which take hold. This website was one of those ideas, and came about when I realised that most of the work I have done as a psychologist and most of the issues I care most about involve social justice.

I decided to call this website 2020socialjustice because the cherished ideals are a bit like 20-20 hindsight, or 20-20 vision, representing a state of perfection that is unlikely to be achieved and yet is still worth working towards in whatever ways are possible. At this stage writing is possible for me though being on the front line is not.

2020 is also a time in the future, far enough away for substantial change, and near enough for realistic commitment. With this in mind, I decided to write this blog until at least 2020, produce at least 20x20 relevant posts by the end of that time, and complete at least 20 of those in any half-calendar year (including those on this website as well as those on the facebook page).

So, welcome to 2020socialjustice where you can:

The 2020socialjustice motto is that ‘thinking is important, being an expert is not, being right is unlikely’. Comments are very welcome through this website, via Facebook or Twitter, or by email to Joan Beckwith at 2020socialjustice@gmail.com.

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Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this site may include images and other references to people who have passed away. It may also contain links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.

 

 

In brief ...

No harder than when she came out as vegetarian!

September 23rd, 2016   

“How was it for you when your daughter came out as lesbian?” my friend asked. I was a little taken aback by the question (my daughter having been out for years) but did my best to recall some memories. Really, I summed up in the end, it was less of an adjustment for me than when she became vegetarian.

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Eating like a refugee – for a week

August 26th, 2016   

“Eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee”, the advertisement invited.
“I did,” writes Nicole Soorkia, guest blogger for 2020socialjustice, “for a week. It was hard, but not nearly as hard as it would be if it was every week. I’m humbled and grateful for this glimpse into part of a refugee’s life, and here are my notes from each day.”

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Save Medicare to cut emergency care

July 23rd, 2016   

The erosion of Medicare is an incendiary issue in Australia, and yet patients are urged to go to general practitioners instead of hospital emergency rooms. Stories collected in this post illustrate crucial barriers to this otherwise reasonable aim.

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Aged care cuts: My old friend is scared and needs solidarity

July 9th, 2016   

My old friend is scared about the aged care cuts. She lives in a facility where rumour runs rife about being dumped on the street or stranded in bed without incontinence pads. It would be easy to buy into divisiveness about the ‘burden’ of old people, but solidarity is our best defence against neoliberalism.

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Detention dilemmas in refugee week

June 19th, 2016   

It is, I find, impossible to celebrate refugee week in Australia while offshore detention persists. I found myself, instead, thinking about the dilemmas of detention work – for workers themselves, as well as the rest of us.

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Why can’t we learn some Finnish lessons? The Minister explains

May 7th, 2016   

Why can’t Australian education be as good as the Finnish system, a teacher of 40 years recently asked, answering his own question by highlighting the politics of education, and particularly of standardised testing. I put his question to the Minister for Education, and this post records the response. It didn’t satisfy me, but would be interested in other views…Joan Beckwith.

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This is what it’s like to need income support

April 16th, 2016   

Following a media report that “around a quarter of dole recipients are skipping job interviews or rejecting work,” I collated responses from those at the pointy end of the “dole bludger” narrative. I have reproduced these responses (with initials only, not names) – pretty much as they were posted on my Facebook page. They speak for themselves…Joan Beckwith.

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Have you ever wanted to rewind refugee policy?

April 9th, 2016   

A poem by Brian Bilston cleverly reflects polarised positions on refugee policy, and an interview with the Minister for Immigration epitomises Australia’s entrenchment at the negative pole. Both pieces of work are included in full in this post, for the record, and in the hope that we will find our way back in the way of the poem…Joan Beckwith.

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The writing on the wall for public education

April 5th, 2016   

The neoliberal behemoth hovers over education. Saving our public system is not so much about changing our Prime Minister as about unravelling the mindset that has taken occupation within, across, and beyond party lines…A job for the people…Joan Beckwith.

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“JOURNEY” – Propaganda extravaganza to deter asylum seekers

April 3rd, 2016   

“JOURNEY” is a government-funded movie intended to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia, and is part of a $70.7 million dollar budget allocated for the purpose over a six-year period. It is a sadistic piece of work to my eyes (despite virtuous spin about “saving lives at sea”) and this post provides a record of the grim political times that give rise to such a movie…Joan Beckwith.

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