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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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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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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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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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Social justice – under the neoliberal table

January 8th, 2016   

I used to believe it was possible to work for social justice by working against discrimination, and that economic justice would follow as a corollary of social equity. This now seems naive. The influence of neoliberal ideology on Australian politics has turned the fight for economic justice into a priority and prerequisite. In this post I talk about my own awakening and the need for interdisciplinary thinking…Joan Beckwith.

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Borderline Personality Disorder – a label with history and her-story behind it

September 9th, 2015   

As a young adult, Ann Kennedy says she was “given the label of Borderline Personality Disorder”. Her family history was not taken seriously and her self-mutilation was dismissed as “attention-seeking”. Her experience is not unusual. BPD is mostly diagnosed in women who mostly have histories of trauma. Understanding the psychological pain within its social context and personal history can be crucial for recovery….Joan Beckwith.

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“WHILE I ENJOY NORMAL TUESDAYS” Immigration detention through the eyes of a 13-year-old

May 15th, 2015   

Thirteen-year-old Imogen Senior was not bogged down by entrenched views when she wrote about Australia’s offshore detention centres. Her uncluttered eyes saw children younger than herself in awful circumstances who want to kill themselves – while she “enjoys normal Tuesdays”. This kind of clarity has been hijacked in the adult population, as reflected in responses to Imogen’s letter…Joan Beckwith.

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