Well it was close but no cigars this weekend in terms of early easing of restrictions. It’s tantalisingly near but with the recent outbreak in Melbourne’s north, I think things were always looking like November for the economy opening up. I’ve started Christmas shopping supporting local retailers and I hope if you’re still working, you’re also doing the same.
While I fear things may potentially worsen post March-next year, we have to give things a red hot go now and I’m thinking particularly of those in the arts, recreation, tourism and hospitality whose businesses need to be reinvigorated to give them the greatest chance of surviving on the other side of this pandemic.
Banyule Business is holding a free How to build a roadmap to success online workshop on 11 November if you are a local business determined to ride out the storm. Like with most things, while some businesses may go under, those built on the strongest foundations will survive and people who’ve been able to pivot and diversify their business stand the greatest chance.
For me, this time in lockdown has crystalised what’s important and who’s important in life – what we’re prepared to put up with (or not) and this time has been a reckoning and appraisal for most of us. If you’ve been lucky enough to live in a functional home environment, I think the pandemic has actually brought people closer together and it’s the simple pleasures in life that I’ve appreciated – cooking, reading, walking and talking to friends and family. I’ve sought solace in nature and I think green spaces have been incredibly important for people’s mental health.
We cannot live our lives in denial but must confront our issues whether we like it or not if we are to move forward and progress as individuals, and in life. With that in mind, there are a couple of interesting lectures being held next month to round out the year at La Trobe.
COVID-19 and the Pandemic of Denial moderated by ex-ABC broadcaster Jon Faine is being held on 10 November as part of my former Bold Thinking public lecture series while A Farewell to Arts: On the Morrison Government’s University legislation is being held on 19 November as part of our Ideas & Society series convened by Emeritus Professor Robert Manne.
As an arts graduate, I believe increasing of the price of humanities degrees will have unintended consequences such as increasing the prestige of these degrees while not necessarily reducing demand and with bigger margins to be had, universities will still continue to offer these courses. La Trobe’s media and communications course has an incredibly high employability rate for its graduates with a focus on practical subjects like The Agency and it was the same for my Public Relations degree from RMIT.
Studying an arts degree has been one of my greatest achievements in life of which I’m incredibly proud. I mentioned this as part of the video series my Cultural Committee at work undertook over winter and we’ve been rewarded with a Staff Award nomination for our videos. Whether we win or lose, it’s been a great way to end our year with our plans now centring around an outdoors Christmas picnic if we are allowed to meet as a division.