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.

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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.


Most recent ...

Does “everybody” have the right to a peaceful death?

April 24th, 2020   

The right to a peaceful death may seem a strange topic when we’re all so intent on staying alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, many people I know who are highly conscientious about social distancing also support the idea of rational suicide. They are not, in fact, suicidal in the normally understood sense, but do want the right to a good death at a time of their choosing.
I was recently part of a panel discussion on mental health and rational suicide. This webpost includes the substance of my talk.

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Wanted – a good death!

February 13th, 2020   

Lisette Nigot had “a good life”. She wanted a good death. Two weeks before her eightieth birthday, she took an overdose of barbiturates.
“I am of sound mind,” her suicide note read, “not ill or in pain or depressed”.
Lisette’s story, exemplifying rational suicide, is told in the documentary film “Mademoiselle and the Doctor” (featuring Philip Nitschke as “the Doctor”).
Lisette died by choice. Should we all have that choice?

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Cold indifference – new normal for community services?

December 6th, 2019   

“I’ve seen a lot in my thirty plus years as a social worker, and have some scars to show for it,” writes Dr Lorraine Harrison in this guest post for 2020socialjustice.
Lorraine refers to the “cold indifference” of funding-driven organisations in community services in which “the number of clients who pass through the service seems more important than whether they are helped” and workers are treated as “dispensable human resources”.

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New Hope for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse?

August 30th, 2019   

“I have a voice, and I intend to use it,” writes Keith Thomas Davis, Survivor of childhood sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
“My initial experience with my claim drove me to the edge. They will not do that to me again. I have recently found out I have a new avenue of appeal and I will not be silent. That would be a disservice to myself, to other Survivors, and to those who could no longer bear the pain, and are no longer with us…My heart and resolve beats strongly for them.”
(Many thanks, Keith, for this guest post for 2020socialjustice. May your voice resound in all the corners it needs to reach…Joan Beckwith.)

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Why wouldn’t we have Jacinda-envy?

May 9th, 2019   

Of course we have Jacinda-envy. Why wouldn’t we? When you look at the prime ministerial revolving door in Australia over recent years. Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, with Peter Dutton lurking in the wings, provide miserable substitutes for Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand.

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It’s a Long Walk from 1788 to January 26

March 28th, 2019   

It’s a Long Walk from 1788 (when British sovereignty was declared) to January 26 each year in Australia. Much of the country celebrates Australia Day, but others mourn the mistreatment of First Nations people. The journey of truth-telling may be painful, but necessary, if we are to shed the cocoon of white dominance and work towards a healing future.

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In praise of early childhood educators

January 17th, 2019   

Early childhood educators do amazing work for meagre money and sparse recognition.
I greatly appreciate the contrast between my granddaughters’ early learning and my own (lack of) education in ‘White Australia’, where women were interned at home and children had no voice.
I want educators to know their work with children is awesome, and something to be proud of for the rest of their lives.

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Hovering over the opt-out button on “My Health Record”

October 11th, 2018   

It’s a lifesaver, so the politicians say, spruiking My Health Record (MHR), the centralised electronic health database. I have my doubts, and this webpost burrows below the political spin. My number one critic says it should come with a TLDR alert (at 4896 words), but I’m hoping you stay with me, consider your options, and add your comments.

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“The sandwich did it” – reflections on moral maturity

July 26th, 2018   

When politicians exhibit the same level of moral maturity as a pre-kinder child, alarm bells ring about our sociopolitical health.

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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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