Thank you and good luck, Yirrkala School!

“Yirrkala School, located at Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land, caters for students from the community of Yirrkala and neighbouring homelands. The school has a bilingual program where students learn in their first language using a step bi-literacy model. The school teaches English, maths and other learning areas using an English as a Second Language (ESL) approach and incorporating Yolngu Dharuk (Dhuwaya dialect). The school has a strong history of working in partnership with the community, where Yolngu culture and language is an important part of the school. Yirrkala School offers education to students from 0 to Year 12 and adult education. ”

Video from: https://www.facebook.com/yirrkalaschool/

Can you commit a crime and walk away un-noticed?

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“Can you kill a person and walk away without ever being held accountable?”

My grandfather asked me out of the blue. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and killing was not on my card by any chance – I was somebody who had to be taught it was ok cut cut a piece of paper with the scissors, that it would not have ‘hurt the paper’ if I cut it.  I remember my grandmother almost burst with disapproval, however quietly, but only held herself together with the strong faith in her husband and the intension behind his words.

We were sitting over a pot of green tea. Hot water was poured into the pot, and we were waiting for it to steep. “What do you think?” he asked me. And he went on laying the tea cups on the table before us.

I had to think.

If I killed a person: starting right there, it required a great amount of imagination. If I did, the police man would come and catch me. But what if nobody saw it? Is it possible to commit such an act without ever being seen? What about preparation? What would I need to do to hide everything after the act? Could it be possible to do all of those steps without ever being seen? – remember,  Japan is a collectivist nation with an extremely high context culture. If you planned something deviant, you would not likely pull it off without somebody sensing the change in your mood, life style and routine, and the mannerism that would have come with it. But all that granted, if you did managed to commit the act, never mind how, you would have to clean up the trace behind the act. One might flee overseas, because I was already aware that Japan was not the only country in the world, but police man would have chased you as long as you left a trace behind. So is it possible to commit a crime without leaving a trace?

“I don’t think you can do that. Somebody would have seen it, and if you killed that person too, it means more people would have seen you commit the second act.” I answered.

My grandmother was now gasping for breath beside me, but she still managed to hold her words in. And my grandfather asked me. “And if nobody saw you doing any of that, who saw it?”

Was that a trick question? I knew the green tea was almost ready to serve.

And I realised that there was one person who would have seen the whole event, even nobody saw me commit a crime. “Me.” I said.

“Well done,” said my grandfather. “Well, that was a lesson,” my grandmother said, who finally regained her breath. And with that, grandfather poured the tea, and we never spoke about that again.

Murder was a large theme, but any crime would be the same in essence. Whatever the decision you make, you will live with it for the rest of your life. I learned something important that day, drinking a cup of green tea with my grandparents. Had he used a petty crime as a subject, would I have understood the lesson as well~ that I would never know. But I am glad that he taught me this lesson early in my life. Life lived hiding away from the world would be too hard for me to bear.

Australia – what once was

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It seems that around the globe, people are calling to make their country how it once were – ‘great’.

As for Australia, this statement is immediately questionable: which Australia are we talking about – the one under the ‘colonisation’ of European settlement, or the continent 250 years ago with indigenous people living their civilised nomadic life? Australia has not reached a treaty, nor it has managed to acknowledge the rights of Indigenous people in its constitution. So what are we trying to ‘bring back’?


I only know Australia for the last 12 years. I have lived here. I have studied, worked, and obeyed by the local law. And I observed the nation form into something quite different to what I once knew.

I first thought it was my coming to reality, that I thought I was only beginning to see the country from a resident’s point of view instead of a traveller’s; that it was probably normal to see some ugly side of a nation as you get to know the everyday life. But it was not just that. The law has been changing somewhat un-kindly. The parliament is gasping for money as it is panicking about the idea that the nation is no longer debt free – every other nation seem to have debt and seemingly managing fine, but the idea of Australia and debt does not seem to mix. Migrants and some specific cultures are under pressure. And the education is being considered as a new place for business ventures, and education frauds is flourishing, supplemented by government accreditations. What nation prohibit same sex marriage but promote education fraud in name of the government?

What on earth is wrong with these people, I thought. I did not spend 8+ years of my life to gain my residency to a nation that considers education as a mere place for business. Where is your foresight, I questioned. Can you not see what the history has repeatedly showed us?

But here I am, still wanting to see Australia the way I used to see. The country I once fell in love with; how after the 2 initial years of working here on a temporary visa, I became drawn to the idea of living here permanently. I fell in love with the big sky. I fell in love with the people around me, the typical Australians who were madly inclusive and took me in as one of their ducklings so quickly. When the draught eased, I saw the greener side of Australia, and I knew that I would manage here ok. I knew that this was a nation where anybody who was willing to work hard would get a fair go – whatever happened to that in the last 5 years.

So when I hear the idea of bringing back Australia, I think of the spirit of the land I fell in love with. It was never about the colour of skin, income level, what you wore, marital status, or what belief you had. It was that “thanks for your help, do you wanna stay over for dinner?”, and how nobody seemed to care what accent I spoke. How I’ve always said hello to a dog before a human, and nobody questioned my sanity for my nature.


Life isn’t about competing whose armour is shinier; those things belong to the past. We need courageous academics to declare that greed is an addiction to money; that materialism is a religion. I would like to live in a nation where people are expected to stand on their own feet, provided with decent education that allow each person to build their own path. Education is an invisible infrastructure of a nation. Suppose we accepted that we probably wound’t want to just go backwards, what kind of future would we want to go back to?

 

It is NOT an ‘illusion”- abuse

Forget those “perception” thing that is going around, fully entitled. It is wrong.

If you injure another, the injury is real. Perception merely refer to whether the injury was received as the deadly damage or something the victim could finally recover from. If you stubbed another, you stubbed a person; whether the person lived or died, whether there was an ‘upset’ or not. Same goes for psychological and spiritual abuse and intrusions. It is not the victim being ‘sensitive’ or ‘was easily hurt.’ Your action to injure and intrude was wrong. Don’t even defend those who tries to joke, normalise, and encourage abusive acts.

It’s unfortunate that in Australia, government employees are ‘educated’ in a wrong way that they willingly dismiss all abuse claims/complaints as mere ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘misperception’ as soon as they can. I guess human rights is too hard for them to pursue.

I wish people would realise soon that education does not have to come in exchange of common sense. Education should be a tool to enrich one’s life, not to disengage one from who they really are.

How soon would people wake from their long absence?

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Image taken from Instagram

 

 

 

Until lions have their historians – African proverb

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. – African proverb

Forgiveness is not about giving up your rights. When those entitled demand, we may need to recede for the moment but not for long. You don’t need to wait for an academic to write your history either. Write your own. Educate yourself to write, if you want to do it ‘properly’. But essentially, if you stick with love so others can relate to you, they will share your words. Keep writing that there is nothing cool about the reign of greed; that ‘getting rich’ by deception and exploitation no longer win them admiration nor social status; that addiction to money is an ill-health, not wealth.

“Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword.” Thomas Jefferson