Two years ago I posted about the bushfires engulfing the Eastern seaboard and prior to the pandemic, climate change was most young people’s number one concern. The flip side to drought and fire is of course, floods and again Queensland and NSW have borne the brunt of extreme weather events. Yes it is a La Nina year and yes, Australia is prone to both drought and flood however I can’t help but feel that climate change has upped the ante with regard to our weather. If you are interested in helping out at more of a grassroots level locally (pun fully intended), the Warringal Conservation Society environmental group has been around for over 50 years.
I’m feeling most grateful to have a roof over my head and while my belongings are a little scattered at the moment, they are still here which is more than I can say for locals in Lismore – some of whom are lucky to have escaped with their lives. I do feel like there’s a lot going on at the moment in the world – issues with the global supply chain, rising petrol prices and other living costs, labour shortages and the nature of work. I read this article on Labour Day by Deputy Lord Mayor and ANZSOG alum Nicholas Reece with interest, as well as this article on Co-working spaces that mimic hotels to attract tenants and it is a very interesting time of transition in the workplace.
ANZSOG hasn’t been immune from the labour shortage and I think at any given time in the almost 12 months I’ve been there, there has been anywhere from 5 – 15 vacant roles – a lot in an organisation of less than 60 people. I worked last Friday as I’d organised an Alumni Advisory Council member to speak plus two First Nations alum to do an Acknowledgment of Country and Maori welcome mihi to the graduating Executive Master of Public Administration cohort at the online ceremony (which is normally held face to face in Wellington, New Zealand).
In the absence of all the graduates being in the one place to celebrate – local jurisdiction dinners were held so I found myself hosting two tables in the private dining room at Argentinian restaurant Palermo (owned by the same group that run San Telmo and Pastuso) last Friday night. I walked down Hardware Lane on my way there and it was packed with lots of young people enjoying themselves which was great to see as much as it felt strange after all the time we’ve spent in isolation. The food and service were excellent but it’s probably not a place for vegans or vegetarians given it’s focus on meat – there was a big display in the window. A number of guests had flown in from other states and while my colleague and I left to head home afterwards – most of the grads went to party on with drinks at the newly opened HER rooftop bar.
I am feeling a little sad tonight and those of you who know of Busybird Publishing in Montmorency may have heard about the sudden passing of founder Blaise van Hecke. I was invited by her as a guest some years ago to attend one of her writing retreats in Kinglake. She was an incredibly inspiring person who saw more, lived more and did more than so many other people in this lifetime including walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and celebrating a milestone birthday dressed as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. This post is dedicated to her memory and my heart goes out to her mum Lin, her partner Kev and their children, her creative partner Les Zig and all at the Busybird studio.