Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 8, 2011

Sunday, 8th May 2011 – Mother’s Day in Australia

Found an interesting, and disturbing article in yesterday’s ‘Australian’ newspaper. I will simply copy the first couple of paragraphs below –  my feelings/views should be obvious from the simple fact that I’m posting this.

[by Frank Furedi ‘Australian ‘Inquirer’, 7 May  2011].

‘The political bosses of the European Union and their army of technocrats could do worse than listen to the lyrics of the Band Aid tune ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. Apparently they don’t know December 25 still has significance for the vast majority of the EU’s 502 million people. A year ago the European Commission printed more than three million school diaries for distribution to students. They are lovely diaries which, true to the EU’s multicultural ethos, helpfully notes all the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals. The diary also highlights Europe Day which falls on May 9. But the diary is not without its significant gaps. It makes no reference to Christmas, Easter or indeed to any Christian holidays……………..Not surprisingly, not every European has been delighted with the conspicuous absence of Christian festivals from a diary produced for children………………..the Commission apologised for its ‘regrettable’ blunder. However the ombudsman dismissed the demand to recall the diaries, arguing that a one-page correction sent to schools had rectified the error. A storm in a teacup or a symptom of the commission’s indifference to the cultural legacy of Europe?’……………[no suggestion of any kind of militant atheist agenda or deliberate ommission, but]  ‘The authors of the diary were probably so obsessed with the EU’s administratively constructed values of diversity and inclusion that they never once stopped to think what kind of experiences really mattered to the people of Europe……………….It is evident that what influenced the authors of this diary was not the concern of hundreds of millions of people for whom Christmas and Easter constitute important events but the latest administrative diktat of the EC.’  The writer ends with the comment that  ‘A political culture that can be so cavalier with its past is readily disposed to regard the calendar as merely a set of dates to be fiddled with. Disdain for history is the flip side of indifference to a traditional calendar.’

Meanwhile, it is Mother’s Day here in Australia, and from what I’ve seen on Face Book, perhaps in other parts of the world as well.  While I didn’t have any specific ‘Mother’ classics to play on air this morning, I did end the program with 40 minutes of songs and arias from some of our wonderful female singers [Australia and elsewhere] such as the late Joan Sutherland, Yvonne Kenny [We’ll Gather Lilacs], Hayley Westenra [ the traditional Kiwi ‘Pokarekara Ana], Taryn Fiebig [with a delightful brief version of the traditional American ‘Simple Gifts’, Lisa della Casa, Renee Fleming, and the mother/daughter combination of Maggie and Katie Noonan with a rather special version of the Flower Duet from Delibes opera ‘Lakme’.   I noticed later on that the shops were doing a brisk early morning rush of business, especially the flower sellers!!

Speaking of radio, I notice that our station, along with all other community stations are going to be asked to complete a broadcasting census this month. This is apparently a two yearly event, and was previously undertaken as a survey. There is a major difference between the two. While a survey generally works on the basis of a sample of the available ‘population’, your census attempts to collect data from the entire population, This doesn’t always work, for a variety of reasons,  but rather than reflect the community sector on the weightings or average of a sample result, the broadcasting authorities are this time asking all community stations to participate. Now I don’t know if any penalties are going to be imposed on those stations that don’t participate, perhaps not, as I note that for participants, there will be a incentive in the form of a small payment of some nature. I would imagine most organisations would see it as a valuable resource [the findings, that is],  will the census aiming to provide a snapshot and better understanding of the sector, and provide an aid to lobbying and advocacy resource allocation, strategic planning and opportunities for growth and development of the sector from which a flow on affect to the advantage of individuals stations would be expected. The authorities have already indicated a list of nature of questions that will appear in the census so that stations can prepare themselves.  

While on the subject of broadcasting, I also note that the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia [CBAA] is now going to offer member stations a new service in the form of dispute resolution assistance – an initiative offering 3 hours of pro-bono mediation services by an impartial mediator.  The broadcasting sector is made up of many people with different passionate views about a range of issues. The Honorable Justice Michael Kirby noted that ‘To be human is to have an argument every now and  again, but arguments can become corrosive to individuals and organisations. Sometimes you need a bridge and that’s where a mediator can be helpful. The objective of mediation is not to impose a decision on the parties involved in the dispute. Rather it finds within the parties a resolution that they can both live with’.  No guarantee of course that it will always work –  from personal experience, having being dragged somewhat unwillingly in what I regarded as an unnecessary process of that nature, while it could be claimed that a situation was reached where both parties ‘could live with it’, I’ve never been particularly satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps in cases generally, the use of an external mediator may be more likely to provide a better outcome all around.  It’s certainly a useful initiative, and a particular advantage I would think to smaller organisations where it may be extremely difficult to find an impartial mediator in some instances. Certainly, the stated aim of the initiative is to give stations access to professional dispute resolution assistance and potentially heighten stations’ awareness of how disputes arise and how they can be managed. Certainly in external industry and business, an impartial professional external body is often used.

Heritage is more precious,

With every passing day.

Traditions keep us close,

In a very special way.

Travelled over to the ‘family home’  tonight for a casual evening meal with the two Mums of that establishment, only son number two was missing. Probably sleeping, in preparation for another early morning shift at the bakery! Susie apparently not returning to Bendigo until the morning, so she was with us tonight. I took with me a couple of little chocolate selections for the two ladies!  My mother of course is no longer with us, has been 21 years now. I was looking over some comments she wrote for her granddaughter [Raelene] many years ago [in fact, it was Mother’s Day, 1985], and realised how much she felt the fact that her family all became so dispersed around the country. She was very family orientated.  In a little section of her writings titled ‘When our family gets together’, my mother wrote  “I am happy that we all can be together sometimes – not very often now, because all my children have their own homes now and many miles separate us now. But I can always see some of you from time to time, especially at special times like Christmas and sometimes birthdays. We all have phones and can write letters.  I am glad you and Bruce are coming to Ballarat, Christmas 1985. I am also glad we are all able to talk about your Grandfather Kirk”,

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