Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I really enjoyed watching the Great Debate last night, I will admit it was the first time I have actually sat down and given my full attention it. As a Labor supporter I was yelling at the telly like I was watching a footy match instead of political debate, but it really felt good to hear Rudd getting the chance to outline his plan if elected. the PM just looked old and cranky, which certainly distracted me from anything he may have said that i would agree with (little as there is). I especially liked Rudd's answer to questions on the recent tax breaks that have been proposed by both parties. Instead of thrusting more money into our pockets, and ultimately forcing upward pressure on interest rates, Labor would rather invest that money into infrastructure, health and education. I completely agree with this plan and hope they get the chance to carry it out. I would have liked to have seen a larger percentage go into these areas, but i guess they also need to appease the greater public, who like to see quick results, which an extra $50 in the bank will do.

Only a quick post as i have a heap of uni work to plow through.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Indigenous Australians

My parents recently returned from a trip to the Northern Territory. Whilst they were eager to divulge on the exquisite landscape and the awesomeness of Uluru, they were appalled by the poverty and filth the indigenous people live in.

'It's like a third world country' was one comment my mother had to give, with many Aboriginals begging for money, with one woman even coming into a restaurant and sitting down with diners, asking for any spare change.

When I heard about this I was pretty horrified and not a little embarrassed that in a wealthy country such as ours, we still have examples of developing country poverty. Whilst many people may argue that the government gives indigenous people plenty of money, I am of the mind that it is not money they need, but education and a purpose. A lot of these people have a steady income from the government and from the mining industry, yet a lot of them have no knowledge of budgeting or savings, and no reason to work because they are given money for nothing. This is not an attack on Aboriginals, but rather the opinion that the government should do more than just dole out money that is promptly spent without thought of the future.

The plight of the indigenous people has been a hot topic of conversation over the past few months, spurred by the reports of child abuse in the NT. in June the Howard government launched a massive project to take control of the horrific situation, with an increased police presence, bans on alcohol and pornography and compulsory child health checks. On Sept 20 during question time, an update on this plan was given by
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough. who believed excellent headway had been made, with over 2000 kids checked and follow-ups recorded. Mr Brough had also been liaising with Aboriginal elder Galarrwuy Yunupingu, to discuss the new legislation and the measures that have been put in place. I think it is important that this relationship has been fostered, as Yunupingu is a highly respected person in the indigenous community, who should be able to assist the government with the changes.

Even so, I believe more needs to be done to monitor the changes, this is not something that can be quickly fixed, it is a problem that has been festering for decades, and will no doubt take decades to rectify. I'd like to be optimistic and say things are finally being done, but a large part of me believes this is a knee-jerk reaction to appease people before the election. At least it has spurred action only time will tell if this problem will become something of a compassionate 'we've done all we can' or a genuine, long-term commitment to assisting a population that has never quite been able to overcome a huge culture shock thrust upon them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What's the world coming to?

Summer is just around the corner and that means once again we will have murderers masquerading as 'scientists' coming into our waters and killing a number of whales, including humpbacks and Minkes.

It's ridiculous that the government can't (or won't) do more to stop the Japanese. Why are they allowed to do it? isn't there some way to stop them? If anyone can tell me why this massacre of a creature that is only just recovering from the brink of extinction should be allowed to continue I would love to hear from them. I understand that they are only allowed to kill a certain number, but their methods are still barbaric, with evidence that only one in five minke whales die instantaneously, and it takes longer for larger whales like the humpback to die.

It seems that even though there is much talk in parliament of assisting the environment and looking for greener solutions, we are still carrying on with the same methods because they are cheaper right now. Does it ever occur to John Howard that right now isn't going to last? Anyone with half a brain should know that our planet is seriously failing to regenerate quick enough to continue coping with the pollution and waste we lovely humans contaminate it with.

At least one Australian state is looking out for the animals, with Victoria placing tougher penalties on animal cruelty, with jails sentences for two years and a ban on owning a pet for ten years. I think anyone who deliberately harms or abuses an animal should be sent to jail for much longer. If they starved a child or regularly beat them and chained them up the penalties would be much harsher, both cannot properly defend themselves or understand why they are being treated that way, by someone they love.

Sorry the post is so morbid, I guess I'm just sad that the planet we are meant to be looking after is being neglected and abused.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


COM318: Public Affairs

Assessment Two

Observation Report – House of Representatives, Standing committee on Industry and Resources

Reference: Development of the non-fossil fuel industry in Australia: case study into selected renewable energy sectors.

Thursday, August 9 2007


The Committee undertook a comparative study of different renewable energy sectors. For the purpose of time constraints, the majority of the hearing focused on solar energy and its benefit to Australia.

This was a very interesting and in-depth look at how an idea is put forward to the government. Two leading experts on Solar Energy, Executive Director of Cynergy Pty Ltd Mr Bruce Higgs, and CEO of Lloyd Energy Systems Mr Steve Hollis succinctly gave the Committee an outline of the two main solar energy systems available in Australia. It was fascinating to hear about how there is the potential to manufacture and implement an energy system that does not harm the environment, is economically satisfactory and can produce power for millions from a resource that Australia has in abundance; the sun.

The whole point of the committee hearing became apparent in question time, when the majority of questions where about the cost of producing solar power, and whether Australia could package the design and sell it to other countries. It annoyed me that the benefits to the environment where scarcely mentioned, whereas they spent an hour talking about the cost per unit of producing the energy.

I especially enjoyed being able to witness the progress of non-fossil fuel energy resources into parliamentary procedure. Hollis and Higgs where able to present their data to the government and receive feedback, or at least the peace of mind that they were being listened to and hopefully taken seriously.

It was difficult for me to understand the detail of the two different solar energy systems, because the discussion incorporated a knowledge of energy systems that I did not have. I did deign that one was a large 'power tower' with mirrors, suited to a farmer's paddock or remote area, whilst the other spanned a large area, and was made up of a series of troughs. The Power Tower model was more suited to the Australian climate, and could be installed in a larger number of areas because it took up less space.

The focus on solar energy and lack of detail on the other mentioned energy systems, such as wave, tidal, geothermal and hydrogen power gave the impression of a monopolization on the choices. It seemed that Higgs and Hollis were there to speak only about solar power, because it was the most economical and also the most popular alternative. I would have liked to hear more about the other options. Even so, I was glad to see a proactive discussion on non fossil-fuel energy resources, because up until that point it seemed that nuclear energy was all the government were interested in.

I believe public committee hearings are crucial to the democratic procedure. Although this particular hearing did not open for public questions because of time constraints, it was still important because society is able to gain knowledge and understanding of what was going on in relevant areas of their lives. The recent issues with global warming and climate change have certainly spurred this search for more environmentally friendly power sources, yet the decision as to which way Australia will head with energy obtainment will still come down to the bottom line: what's it going to cost?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Question time makes me ask more questions...

There has been a lot of talk in question time about increasing control over benefit schemes, because it seems many parents are not using the money they are given to care for their children. Not a big surprise really, it's taken the well publicised child abuse conditions in the NT to awaken the federal government to this situation that is occurring all over Australia, certainly not just the NT. Queensland has been battling the problem for decades, there are serious child abuse cases in central west NSW, with Orange being a major problem area. It is so annoying that the Howard government do not act on issues until the last possible minute. It's the same with climate change, traffic infrastructure and country medical facilities.

Frankly I'm saddened and appalled by the number of child abuse notifications each year, having doubled since 2001 to over 200,000. Whilst the government spends $5 million on Workchoices - sorry 'Workplace Agreement Act' advertisements, children in AUSTRALIA, are growing up without food and care. Priorities Mr Howard, priorities.

I Also think Kevin Rudd's new website is pretty funny. 'Kevin07' (www.kevin07.com.au)has a nice ring don't you think? with thousands of interactive friends Rudd must be feeling pretty cool and confident, especially when younger voters(18-24) who are using social media the most make up 12% of votes and seem largely ignored by Howard.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Back at Uni

Well it's over a month since my first post and I am about to begin my internship with a PR consultancy based in Sydney. It's exciting to finally begin to use the skills I've accumulated over the past 2.5 years though at the same time I'm petrified because I feel like I don't know enough to be more than annoying.

What I don't want to happen is I become the coffee-bringer or the photocopy girl. I know I'll have to do these things at some stage but I'm determined to learn as much as possible in the short space I'm there. I'm not getting up at 7am every morning for nothing!

On a lighter note I've begun to think about assignments (how is this a lighter note Jess)? Well it isn't but I always have a tendency to go crazy worrying about study so it's good to have a weak grip on my assessments. I've become interested in how emerging trends in society impact on corporate social responsibility so if anyone has any comments they'd like to make on this topic I'd be happy to hear them and talk about them. It could be very exciting don't you think? (note sarcasm). But if this is the industry we will be a part of I think it's important to at least attempt interest in aspects of it's improvement. If you agree or disagree with societal trends influencing CSR and to what extent let me know!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

First Post


I'm a third year PR student about to enter the communication industry and I have to admit I'm a little petrified. I started this Blog because I want to let others follow my journey into public relations and hopefully gain something from my postings.

Right now I have a million assignments due and only one week of uni to go before holidays, so this is a short post introducing myself, and my new Blog which will hopefully become more interesting after June 20 (when exams finish for me).

So until then, have a fun winter