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What are Australia's just deserts?

By Noel Wauchope - posted Thursday, 15 December 2011

At first glance, one might consider that some punishment might be in order. Just consider the way we treat refugees, the way we're going to sell uranium to India, just as it ramps up its long range nuclear missiles. Consider the way we let the nuclear industry take over Aboriginal land, the way Australia wimped out at the Durban Climate Change conference. Not to mention how nasty and hypocritical our politicians are to each other.

But – that's not the whole Australia. Wherever I go in this, my country, I find that most people are kind, and we must be the most multicultural country in the world. I have watched a Muslim nurse, all correctly hijabed, very gently dressing the injured foot of an elderly Jewish gentleman, all correctly yarmulked.

Australia's much maligned public health system is full of caring and capable staff of all colours and creeds. That's just one example of Australia's multicultural and accepting society – despite our history of prejudice, and continuing discrimination against Australia's first people.


How do we compare to the other kids on the global block?

Well, further fields might look greener, more kindly and intelligent, but probably not. In a world where many countries are militaristic, where many countries have deprived minorities, and some with impoverished majorities, Australia might not be too bad by comparison - I don't know.

Would we be given presents?

Well, I think yes, we would, knowing Santa as I do. I speak from personal experience. At the age of six, I was troubled because my best friend, a very well behaved child, got miserable little presents at Christmas, while I, a known misbehaver, got magnificent ones. Obviously, Santa did not have a clue.

Would our presents be taken away?

No, I've never heard of Santa doing that. So, deserving or not, as the case may be, Australia ought to get presents from Santa.


What would those presents be?

Well, I'm recommending just one going across Australia-wide.

This present would be a meme. A beautiful new meme, that I will call – positive interaction. This positive interaction meme would infect families, and individuals, myself included (I need it). It would affect each of us, so that each would listen, with real interest, to find out about the other, and about what he/she wanted. In any negotiation, or any argument, the actual subject or topic would be less important than the process of discussing it. How we worked things out together would matter more than the things.

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About the Author

Noel Wauchope taught science before switching to nursing. She has several post-graduate qualifications, in health informatics, medical terminology and clinical coding. She is a long time anti-nuclear activist.

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