Welcome to 2020SocialJustice

If you care about social inequity, you are in the right place.

This site has posts about asylum seekers, race and racism, gender and sexuality, bullying and abuse of power, mental health and disability, lifestage issues and suicide, poverty, power and privilege, as well as general ideas about social justice.

Navigate from Categories in the sidebar or start browsing below.

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.

 

Most recent ...

When ‘depression’ fills the knowledge gap and trauma loses its voice

May 25th, 2018   

Have you ever had the experience of going to a doctor, feeling unwell, only to be told there seems to be nothing wrong, but “I think you might be depressed”? Were you satisfied with that response? Did you question it? What sort of answers did you get?
In this post, I reflect on the knowledge gap that can arise when symptoms are unexplained, and argue against filling it with convenient labels that can cause harm.

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In defence of universities…under fire from left and right

March 24th, 2018   

Universities are under fire from both sides of politics. The right complain they fail to meet the needs of employers. The left argue they legitimise the ‘meritocracy’ and hence fuel inequality. Both arguments can be co-opted by governments intent on cutting funds. In this post, I respond in defence of universities.

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Choosing euthanasia is about more than legality

February 16th, 2018   

Euthanasia is not a topic of everyday conversation. Understandably. There are many barriers. But, Nikki Gemmell’s account of her mother’s suicide left me feeling urgent about the need to break taboos. Secrecy appears a poor choice, but how do you navigate such shadowed territory with loved ones who would be left behind?

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International High Flyers win Study Support Scholarships

October 26th, 2017   

The “International High Flyers”, we decided to call them (unofficially). They are the five winners of the 2020socialjustice Study Support Scholarships at RMIT University in Melbourne.
They came to Australia on permanent humanitarian visas from different corners of the world, and are an amazing group of young people. Whatever they are doing in ten to twenty years, I’m sure it will be impressive. Winning these Study Support Scholarships is a step along the way.

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Caring (for the bottom line) in residential aged care

October 20th, 2017   

It makes bloodcurdling reading, the series of articles by Fairfax Media on residential aged care in Australia.
And, it’s not just about ‘a few bad apples’.
Residential aged care is big business, profits take precedence over care, the accreditation system eclipses neglect and abuses, the complaints process is ineffectual, and the market myth camouflages the cracks.
This post expands these points, drawing on the articles.

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Spirit-Sickness and Values through an Atheist’s Lens

September 1st, 2017   

As an atheist who believes in spirit-sickness, and the importance of strong values, I find myself having interesting conversations about how that can be. What does it mean to believe in the spirit if you don’t believe in God, one friend asked. How can disbelievers suffer spirit-sickness? Where do values come from in the absence of a received framework (such as can, for example, be provided by religion)?
I’m interested in other people’s experiences and moral journeys.

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Getting angry (or not) about abuse, injustice, illness

July 22nd, 2017   

I get angry about abuse and injustice, but (so far at least) not so much about my own illness. Friends are surprised by my apparent complacence. I’ve been surprised by their surprise, intrigued by my own inconsistencies, and curious about triggers for other people’s anger.

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Who am ‘I’? What is ‘me’? In sickness, health, and (near)death?

June 23rd, 2017   

‘I’ have hope and passion and belief in social justice. The embodied ‘me’ too often feels defeated, especially when my body is behaving badly. This separation of ‘I’ and ‘me’ is not an everyday occurrence, and I wonder about other people’s experiences.

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No excuses for “crimes of the father”

May 19th, 2017   

There are no excuses for child abuse, and Tom Keneally makes none in his novel about pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Keneally’s insights into the perpetrator mindset are disturbing and he also illustrates why it was never going to work for the Church to investigate itself. His narrative seems a plausible fit with reality, although views on this may differ depending on personal experience.

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Wealth Inequality – from Daniel Blake to Robo Debt

April 28th, 2017   

I recently watched “I, Daniel Blake” and “The Founder” in a single viewing, immersed in the story of wealth inequality unfolding between their extremes. These films, closer to fact than politicians care to admit, reflect the lived reality of punitive welfare systems on the one hand, and unfettered plutocracy on the other. They have close parallels in current Australian society.

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