“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
09/12/2013 - Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s why
Psychologists suggest that it is not external experiences that contribute to our stress, but rather our thoughts and feelings.
Here’s a list of ten cognitive distortions that may be weighing you down, and some helpful examples of “counter” statements you can use to get you in a far healthier state of mind:
1. All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things in black and white; that if one thing goes wrong you think you are a total failure.
Counter Statement: “This is just one event that didn’t go the way I planned, but it doesn’t mean I’m not a successful person.”
2. Overgeneralization: When something bad happens, you overgeneralize and think that something bad is always happening to you, when in fact, it isn’t.
Counter Statement: “It seems the whole world is against me sometimes, but I know that’s really not true; many good things do come my way.”
3. Mental Filter: You only see the negative in a situation and ignore the positive.
Counter Statement: “My boss didn’t like my marketing plan, but she really loved my choice of graphic design.”
4. Disqualifying the Positive: Finding a reason to not accept positive feedback.
Counter Statement: “It made me feel good when my co-worker said I did a great job on my presentation. I know she meant it.”
5. Jumping to Conclusions: When you make a negative interpretation and conclusion even though there are no definite facts for it.
Counter Statement: “This traffic looks pretty bad, but I know I’ll make it home eventually.”
6. Catastrophizing: You exaggerate the importance of things and they become way beyond their reality.
Counter Statement: “My boss didn’t get back to me when he said he would, but I’m sure he’s just busy. I can check in with him again at another time.”
7. Emotional Reasoning: This is when you assume that your negative emotions reflect the way things really are.
Counter Statement: “I might feel a little undervalued, but when I take a step back I do see that my hard work is acknowledged.”
8. Should Statements: When you try to motivate yourself by having too many “should” and “shouldn’t” about how you should act, or how the world should be.
Counter Statement: “It’s healthy for me to accept some things the way they are.”
9. Labelling: Giving yourself or others a definitive label that cannot be an accurate description.
Counter Statement: “I know it’s not helpful to say that I’m weak or a failure. I’m a good person and I can grow, learn, and improve myself.”
10. Personalization: When you see yourself as personally responsible for an outside event; basically, you confuse influence with control.
Counter Statement: “The downturn has affected the economy in unforeseen ways, but I’m doing well at steering my business in the right direction.”
Copyright © 2013 Newfangled Ideas, All rights reserved.
December 9, 2013
”Hospital medicine is just a Band-Aid solution to all the problems we’re facing with the health of indigenous Australians. Hospital is just really the last resort for a lot of these problems and something that became bleedingly obvious to me is the fact that we need a more community-based approach to indigenous health problems.
”How do you start to worry about health when you do not have education opportunities and why would you bother about education opportunities when there are no employment opportunities? And why is employment important when no one you know has a job?”
Steinberg believes the solutions must ultimately come from within indigenous communities, but that models elsewhere in the world provide guidance, particularly on health.
Steinberg recently became the first Australian to win the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in International Jewish Service, a coveted international study opportunity he is going to use to further his examination of community development throughout the world.
He is here in The Zone today to discuss how the gap between the health outcomes for indigenous Australians and the rest of the community might be narrowed.
He believes ”radical new systems” are required, and that the key to progress is collaboration between indigenes and medical professionals, with Aborigines owning the responsibility of championing change in their own communities.
The full transcript of our discussion and a short video by Steinberg are at theage.com.au/federal-politics/the zone. He will be online on Monday for an hour from midday to respond to questions.
He stresses that, as a white man from Melbourne, he does not have the solutions. But he does, as a specialist in community medicine, have some informed ideas.
What is clear is there is a profound problem, the starkest encapsulation of which is that the life expectancy of indigenous people is about two decades less than that of the rest of the population. Money has not improved the situation.
”For every dollar the Australian government spends on non-indigenous health, it spends $1.47 on indigenous health,” Steinberg says. ”There is no doubt there have been resources devoted to this problem, but why is there not progress?”
Steinberg talks of a ”meaningful space” where change comes from discussion between medical professionals and indigenous people.
Australia has been going backwards, while the gap between the life expectancy of indigenes in New Zealand, Canada and the US and that of the rest of those populations has fallen significantly.
Steinberg has worked in Ethiopia, Israel and Ghana. He is now in Manila as part of a team from the world’s biggest Jewish humanitarian organisation, the Joint Distribution Committee, helping in the aftermath of the recent devastating typhoon.
He says our failure to do better in one of the world’s richest nations surprises people elsewhere.
”When I was in Ethiopia the American doctor who had been based in Addis Ababa gave a presentation where he showed various developing world health problems afflicting Ethiopian children.
”He would put a slide up and ask the audience what the ailment was and each time he was shocked that I could recognise the condition. He couldn’t believe that Australia, a well-resourced, developed country could still have medical conditions you could find in Ethiopia and the developing world.”
Indigenous Australians suffer higher rates of almost all illnesses and disease. Rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the Northern Territory are the world’s highest. It is estimated that as many as three times the number of indigenous babies die in their first year as do non-indigenous infants.
About two in three indigenes die before the age of 65. Chronic illnesses, particularly cardiac disease, are the biggest killers. Deaths from diabetes are seven times more common for indigenes than for the rest of the population. Aboriginal people are twice as likely to die from a respiratory disease.
While in Darwin, Steinberg discovered that indigenous people languish in the hospital system. Upon arrival he was assigned an elderly woman who had been in hospital for three months and was not recovering.
”I said to my team, ‘You know what, let’s take this lady outside. These are people who spend most of their time in the outdoors, so let’s take her outside and just have a conversation with her’.
”And, really, what happened because of that single act was it opened up a whole dialogue about her, her community setting and the issues they were facing.”
He says that simple act created a ”meaningful space” that fostered trust and understanding. His patient recovered and Steinberg applied the idea to other patients. ”It really changed the way she interacted with the system and the problems. Imagine if we could do that on a national scale.”
He hopes his encouragement of other young doctors to go outside the hospital and listen to individual patients will engender ever-greater collaboration and understanding, and perhaps even lead to ideas about creating community clinics and ways to deliver medical treatment away from hospitals.
Steinberg is a first-generation Australian whose grandparents survived the Holocaust. As a doctor, he feels a sense of duty to the sick and unprotected.
But his desire to find solutions to the health woes of indigenous Australians is deepened by parallels he sees between their plight and the historical suffering of Jewish people.
”Your history needs to inform your values and therefore your actions and if you look at the Jewish narrative, from the Passover story in Egypt to the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, there is a strong message there about looking out for the other.”
He argues that by the time indigenous people, particularly those in remote Australia, get to hospital it is
all but too late. This is why he sees hope in community medicine, where the focus is on prevention rather than cure.
He believes empowering women has great potential, and draws on the experience of radical Indian social entrepreneur Bunker Roy, who has transformed communities through the world by training grandmothers to install solar power systems.
”When you change the life of a woman you change the life of her family and then her community. In Ethiopia, the [Joint Distribution Committee] really focuses on micro-finance, scholarship and vocational training of women in all different settings of the country.
”That target group can really start to change the dynamic and the fabric of a community. That extends to Ghana, where it is a huge focus of the development work. The lesson from the Israeli model is things like different notions of what communal living is.”
He sees it as ironic that so many of the diseases and illnesses suffered by indigenous Australians are caused or exacerbated by food and alcohol introduced by white people.
A simple community-based way to offset some of the dietary problems would be, he says, to help women establish kitchen gardens. Here again, he underscores the idea that such solutions can be suggested by outsiders like him, but must be owned by indigenous people.
Harking again to the Jewish parallel, he says the kibbutz model in Israel is helpful.
”The kibbutz is a part of a society where all your basic needs are really looked after by the community, but to be part of that community you have got to contribute in some way.
”And just imagine that if, instead of using all the Centrelink payments and land-rights payments to just give credit to people’s cards, we invested into the community in that way and really gave people a sense that if you do this for one person somebody else is going to do something for you and we can really look after each other in that way.”
After Manila, Steinberg is planning to use his fellowship to work in community medicine in the Russian city of St Petersburg. He is humble enough to know that, after decades of largely futile efforts by policy and medical experts there, he is unlikely to be able to solve the problems.
But he is determined enough to at least try to make some progress by surveying what is happening in similar situations around the world.
A new vision is obviously needed, and sometimes a fresh, young pair of eyes can bring focus and perspective to seemingly intractable problems.
The Honorable Shaoquett Moselmane has presented Gerry Georgatos with a certificate of appreciation for his longstanding humanitarian and philanthropic deeds with Wheelchairs for Kids.
Wheelchairs for Kids has assisted 26,000 children in 68 countries and still counting. You can find out more about Wheelchairs for Kids here: Wheelchairs For Kids
We here at Lateral Love want to take this opportunity to Congratulate Gerry and let him know how much we appreciate everything he stands for and believes in.
We love you Gerry, Jen and Connie!
Yours in unity through lateral love and spirit of care,
Uncle Brian, Nicola, Andrew and the Lateral Love Team!
WFKids IN THE MEDIA
Wheelchairs for Kids helping thousands
The WA charity has helped over 25,000 children get their mobility back
28 Nov 2013
By HELEN VELISSARIS
Mobility is everything, and for disabled children, they wouldn’t have any form of independence without their wheelchair.
The Western Australian charity Wheelchairs for Kids is designed to give the right of mobility back to children who need it most.
WikiLeaks party member and journalist Gerry Georgatos has been the volunteer foundation manager for years and has overseen the transportation of thousands of wheelchairs to over 68 countries in the world to disabled children suffering through war and poverty.
Starting in 1998, the charity has grown from manufacturing 35 wheelchairs a month (all handmade and built by volunteers) to over 350 a month.
Most recently, the charity has shipped wheelchairs to war-torn Syria and Libya and will be adding Egypt to the list in their next shipment.
Over 150 volunteers – mostly retired individuals – help make wheelchairs of all shapes and sizes for children around the world. The volunteers often go the extra mile by making personalised toys to go with each wheelchair.
For Mr Georgatos, seeing the immediate benefit for the child and the community is what keeps him volunteering.
“A wheelchair means mobility, it means improved access to personal wellbeing, education, it means relief for the family,” he tells Neos Kosmos.
“It means a quality of life.”
To date, the charity has made 25,986 wheelchairs and is hoping to boost that tally as demand keeps rising.
“The demand is huge, the amount of kids we help, we know there’s millions waiting,” Mr Georgatos says.
The WA charity runs out of a factory in the Perth suburb of Gnangara and is completely funded by donations. The annual running costs are $600,000, enough to buy materials and pay for shipping for over 5,000 wheelchairs a year.
Each wheelchair is built to withstand rough terrain and is built to last. Many of the areas they are sent to don’t have the ability to fix substandard wheelchairs with spare parts.
“There are no wheelchair assembly factories, there’s no way of provision and they depend on international aid to survive,” Mr Georgatos says.
Right now the charity is looking to increase its reach, adding more countries to their distribution list. The only way they can do that is by raising more funds.
To donate to the Wheelchairs for Kids Foundation:
ANZ BSB: 016 261 - ACC: 267 255 563
Any school, association, organisation or individual that would like to assist WFKids please contact the volunteer foundationmanager, Gerry Georgatos on 0430 657 309 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” ~ Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba, from a letter to Makhaya Ntini on his 100th Cricket Test, 17 December 2009
When our son was 3 years old he saw Madiba’s image on a book we have in our room.
He got the book down and asked me, “Mum, what is this man’s name again?” like he knew him really well but just couldn’t put his finger on it.
I said to him “that’s Nelson Mandela darling.”
And he replied “Ooooh … that’s right. You know what Mum? … he has helped so many people right around the world, and he is one of my heroes”.
I had never talked to our young man about who Madiba was or what he meant to me personally.
He will be 4 soon and will be sad to hear of the passing of one of his ‘heroes’.
Yours in unity through lateral love and spirit of care,
Nicola Butler – 6th December 2013
This week’s edition pays homage to South Africa’s first black President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba.
It features the announcement to the world by President Jacob Zuma, a tribute from US President, Barack Obama, and a tribute by Birri/South Sea academic, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood.
Allan will be in contact with all our clients very soon to establish your upcoming communication needs.
The team is excited to have Allan on board, particularly Jordan because now there’s another bloke to talk to HA!
Feel free to email Allan at email@example.com
Visit the Dreamtime PR website here: http://dreamtimepr.com/
THE hurt is still there in Adam Goodes’ eyes, the trauma of being “cut deep” by a schoolgirl’s racist slur in an environment where he says he has always felt “safe.”
Now, five months on from the infamous moment when Goodes had a 13-year-old girl ejected from the MCG for calling him an “ape,” the Sydney Swans legend has revealed the true extent of his pain over the incident – and why it still haunts him.
In an emotionally raw interview with Karla Grant’s Living Black In Conversation program, Goodes admits he was feeling “vulnerable” in the moments before taking a stand against the racist taunt yelled at him from the crowd.
It came in the dying minutes of the game, with his side on top of their clash with Collingwood, during the AFL’s celebrations of its indigenous history.
“We were beating Collingwood by 30-something points and (the slur) came in a point in the game where I was just a bit vulnerable, to be honest,” he said.
Chasing a ball over the boundary line, he says he was stung by the sledge, recoiling in horror when he discovered the culprit was a young girl.
“I just looked back and saw this young girl and I just looked away. Then I was like ‘nah, this isn’t happening’ and I pointed her out to the security guard and said ‘mate, I don’t want her here, get her out.”
Goodes began to unravel emotionally almost immediately, saying a decision by his coach John Longmire to sub him from the ground “wasn’t a great idea.”
“I knew what he was doing … he was giving me a rest because there was probably five minutes to go, but I was sat there on the bench and that’s when it hit me. Hit me, cut me and I just couldn’t be out there anymore.”
Retreating to the change rooms he said: “I went downstairs and I lost it emotionally. It just really cut me deep and I didn’t want to be on the ground anymore.”
Part of his shock was being attacked “in an environment where you would like to think you are pretty safe … safe physically because I am built to play that sport. That’s what I think a lot of people don’t get. How can one girl calling you a simple name like that hurt you so much?”
Goodes was praised by AFL administrators and many fans for taking such a powerful stand against racism, including an apology from Collingwood president Eddie McGuire.
But just five days later McGuire would add salt to Goodes’ wound, linking him to the promotion of the musical King Kong during a blundering radio segment on Triple M.
It was another “disappointment,” Goodes says, made more inexplicable when it came from a professional of the game and leading media figure.
“I still can’t believe it … in my mind … how that could come out of his mouth. It’s disappointing but at the same time I take my hat off to Eddie for the way he sat in front of the media and apologised.”
The 33-year-old dual Brownlow medallist is still struggling with the aftermath of that fateful MCG moment – and especially the impact the national scrutiny would have on his young adversary.
“I can’t sit here and say it still doesn’t affect me because it does, When something is said to you like that it cuts you to your core and cuts you to your core more when it’s a young girl.”
In the days later, Goodes accepted the girl’s written apology and talked through its impact on him with her during a phone call from the teen.
He tweeted: “Just received a phone call from a young girl apologising for her actions. Let’s support her please #racismitstopswithme #indigenousround.”
His responsible handling of the explosive situation, says his friend and former Swans teammate Michael O’Loughlin, was “all class, all Goodsey.”
“I was lucky enough to be sitting in the commentary box and I was a bit stunned by it all as well but that’s the way he’s always been. The first thing was about helping the young girl and then going from there,” O’Loughlin said.
Goodes says the challenge of stamping out racial vilification in sport, and in the community, was “everybody’s job.”
“Unfortunately it still does happen it what we need to see is people standing up and saying ‘look, that’s unacceptable’ and reporting it. Saying ‘you know what, you can’t call me that … if Adam Goodes can stand up in the biggest stage, the MCG, in front of 60,000 people then I can do it out here in club footy and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
■ Living Black In Conversation with Adam Goodes aired at 8pm, Tuesday, October 29, on NITV and was repeated at 5pm, November 3, on SBSOne.
Monty Panesar – Image, http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Picture this: The Australian Cricket Board Chairman’s XI is playing against the visiting English team. The match is being played in Alice Springs. A spinner who has played for England 48 times in test matches, 26 times in One Day Internationals, and taken 188 wickets in these matches comes in to bowl his left arm spinners. The spinner is a 31 year old born in Luton in England. The ground announcer is David Nixon, a hitherto unknown individual.
David Nixon announces the spinner in a fake mocking Indian accent. Why? The spinner is Monty Panesar. Panesar’s parents are of Sikh religious faith and of Indian ethnic origin. Ironically the announcer is also the person who is required to remind spectators of the International Cricket Council’s Racism code which says in part: “anyone making “racially abusive comments and actions” will result in ejection from the ground”. Nixon then justifies his actions on Twitter that he is a fan of Panesar. Cricket Australia, on the other hand, does not tolerate the nonsense and stands down the announcer.
Really? I love Monty P – cult hero. He should bat 3. My style didn’t fit theirs. That’s all. RT@sjrohweder: ABC’s David Nixon stood down
I commend the actions of Cricket Australia. The scenario that played out herein reminded of two other incidents that I dealt with in recent times. The first of these was one that involved Nic Naitanui from the West Coast Eagles. What transpired on that occasion was that Tim Clarke then at WA Today Sports Department, contacted me at the then peak ethnic advocacy agency in this area to say that he had discovered a video that had been uploaded online that portrayed the footballer as a spear waving tribesman. After making the requisite enquiries I tracked the producers of the video to Tasmania where a trio of young school teachers and football enthusiasts admitted to having put together the offending video. Concurrently I had contacted the hierarchy of the West Coast Eagles who indicated that they had had a conversation with the footballer and he was offended by the portrayal in the video. Accordingly I spoke to the people who had uploaded the video and interestingly their response was also along the lines of that advanced by Nixon above and that they “were huge fans of Naitanui”. To their credit, the boys in Tasmania did not attempt to justify putting the video up and pulled it off the websites as soon as they could. They then issued public apologies to Naitanui. However, newspapers all around the world ran the story close to or at the front page as an example of the racism that exists in this country. Details of some of the news coverage can be found here:
The second incident that occurred that I was involved in related to the WA Parliament. As I recall it Margaret Quirk and Peter Watson on the Labor side of state politics chose to mock Michael Sutherland about his South African accent. Details of that incident are here:
I wrote to the local newspaper pointing out that the mimicking of other’s accents was racist. A number of agencies involved in the area of assessments of racial vilification and discrimination have examined this issue. The University of British Columbia is one of those that has examined the issue and this is their analysis that I have used in the past. They define racial harassment in these terms:
I hasten to add that in the case of the state politicians my letter emphasised that I found it quite out of character for someone like Margaret Quirk to have done what is claimed herein. I had had the good fortune to work with her when she was the Minister for Multicultural Interests in the state government. At a later date she went to great lengths to indicate to me personally that she had been suitably chastened by my letter to the editor.
The latest incident that occurred over the weekend in Alice Springs is simply further proof that we have much to learn in so far as these issues are concerned. The mimicking of people’s accents and styles of speech is something that is unacceptable. It is far from funny and can be considered offensive by many. Somehow, I have never understood the justification that because the perpetrator is a “fan” of the victim the actions are somehow acceptable. As a fan I would consider it completely inappropriate to mock my idols. So why would it be acceptable for others to do so?
If there is a lesson that we can learn from the events of the weekend, it would simply be that we need to be mindful of our comments and actions when dealing with anyone. A second thought as to what the impact of our comments are going to be, would be a worthwhile thing.
‘Sulkari’ Performed by NDTC
For four days in March over a dozen dance companies, studios, dance crews, high school dance troupes and independent dancers of Jamaica wove intricate patterns across the stage of the Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Performing Arts, University of the West Indies, Mona. Under Jamaica Dance Umbrella 2012, they wove a tapestry of the state of dance in Jamaica today, highlighting both popular and contemporary dance.
The showcase was introduced to the local dance calendar in 2009 and has been making sure-footed growth since its inaugural staging. The assorted dancers which took the stage in March were operating from different levels in dance, showcasing from the amateur to the professional. The dances varied in style, vision and texture exposing the divergent paths in aesthetics and choreography that each of the companies tread. The range of dances included the minimalistic and the extravagant, the sombre and the frivolous, the traditional and the contemporary.
Festival Director Michael Holgate explains that Jamaica Dance Umbrella was born out of the drive to expose the breadth of dance in Jamaica to patrons in a single space. “The Jamaica Dance Umbrella was inspired by a desire to create a unique dance experience in Jamaica, where dance audiences and patrons could see the best that the Jamaican dance companies produced in one space over a few nights,” he said.
Holgate pointed out that although there is great diversity in the number of dance companies in Jamaica, the average patron sees a few of the seasons, or often only their favourite troupe or company in each year. This means that smaller and emerging companies can get lost in the shadow of the more established ones. “The intention therefore was also to create a space for exposing niche dance audiences to other genres of dance in a safe space,” Holgate explained. “It was felt that it was important to create a shared space which facilitates the various dance companies at their best.”
Indeed diversity is the best element of Jamaica Dance Umbrella as the dance companies and put their best pirouette forward. It is only through a festival such as Jamaica Dance Umbrella that one can enjoy the divergent offerings of The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) and L’Acadco over one weekend. On Friday night, The NDTC contributed the beautiful ‘Sulkari’ which rested at the point of intersection between visual art and design and dance. Choreographed by Eduardo Rivero the dance brings Yoruban fertility sculptures to life, playing with poise, pose and geometry. L’Acadco on the other hand, contributed three pieces on Saturday night: ‘Desperacion’ choreographed by Barbara Caballeros Ramos; ‘L’Antech Meets Reggae’ choreographed by L’Antoinette Stines; and the aptly titled ‘Passion’, choreographed by Stines and Kalil ‘Aaron’ Vereen. ‘Passion’ is a wonderful blend of drums and movement, and while the drums easily overshadowed the movement, as the sound reverberated around the PSCCA, one would have been hard pressed to complain.
Movements Dance Company, another of the more established companies to participate in the festival, displayed their new crop of dancers and an aptitude for grand, bold religious statements. The company opened Friday Night’s showcase with the stoic Monica Campbell McFarlane choreographed piece, ‘Bread of Life 2011’. The company ended the night on a even more thunderous note with ‘The Wrath of God 2012’, a dance of epic proportions choreographed by Christopher Huggins.
The sombre and more mature moods of Movements contrasted well against the light-hearted contributions of Desiree’s Dance Centre. Desiree’s delivered two pieces ‘Breathe’ a reasonably poignant piece choreographed by Renee McDonald and ‘Fashion Addiction’ choreographed by Oneil Pryce. ‘Fashion Addiction’, a cute and fun homage to fashion veered from Pryce’s occasionally avant-garde but always unconventional choreography, but aptly reflected the youthful enthusiasm of the dancers from Desiree’s.
The University Dance Society’s contributions also added to the hearty helping of youthful zest that was lovingly spread across the festival. Their contributions included the tragic piece ‘Stillborn’, choreographed by Renee McDonald and ‘Jazzzmin’ a Liane Williams choreography which artfully blends the jazz and reggae vocabularies.
The inclusion of popular dancers and dance crews as well as independent modern contemporary dancers allows Jamaica Dance Umbrella to significantly widen the plethora of dances that it features and allows each night to pulsate with differing energy levels. Neila Ebanks, lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the first Dance Fellow for the Commonwealth Connections Residency (2011) performed the intriguing experimental piece, ‘No Home like This Body’. The dance is intriguing, bearing jarring and often discordant moves that evoke displacement. Ultimately, it shows that the journey to acceptance can only be reached through determination and that things that once bound and frustrated can ultimately lead to triumph. The piece beautifully melds modern contemporary movement with sashing, taken from traditional dance.
Schoy Stewart’s ‘Mental Party’ was a welcome step away from the usual coordinated moves without meaning that goes into the staging of popular dance. Describing his piece as “a collection of thoughts that dance around in my mind,” Stewart presented an intriguing solo performance that highlights that street dance can be distilled without its authenticity being watered down.
Jamaica Dance Umbrella 2012 also welcomed dancers from the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination from the UWI Cave Hill campus under its folds. The EBCCI contributed several pieces most of which attempted to deal with social issues but generally displayed a limited grasp of vocabulary. Nonetheless, their piece ‘Wo-Man-Hood’ was funny and intriguing and showed great potential.
The presence of the performers from the Errol Barrow Centre indicates that Jamaica Dance Umbrella is stretching beyond the shores of Jamaica and has potential to become a great regional showcase. It seems that the dancers of Jamaica has welcomed its shelter, and it is only natural that it extends to the rest of the Caribbean as we seek greater connectivity and dance toward the future together.
In celebration of their fifth anniversary, the Jamaica Dance Umbrella has brought a lot more events into its shade. The ‘umbrella’ now shelters not only three nights of dance featuring the potpourri of Jamaican dance companies, but this year also features guest performers from the United States, Cayman and Guadeloupe. The organizers have also unleashed a calendar full of panel discussions, dance workshops and have combined with the Kingston Book Festival in a marriage of movement and books.
Jamaica Dance Umbrella 2013, culminates this weekend (March 1-3) with three nights of dance at the Philip Sherlock Centre, UWI. According to a release sent out by the organizers, their calendar plays with their celebration of their fifth year in a countdown of activities, and a varied fair for dance enthusiasts.
“5 years of Jamaica’s first ever dance festival” will feature four (4) explorative dance workshops; three (3) days of the island’s best dance performances; two (2) stimulating dance dialogues and one (1) pioneer, a Jamaican dance stalwart, Ms. Barbara Requa,” their release said. Miss Requa will be among those engaged in the Dance Dialogues: My Love Affair With Dance set to take place on Sunday, March 3 prior to the final night of performance.
Miss Requa will be a part of a panel comprising Dr. L’Antoinette Stines, Khama Phillips, Aisha Commissiong, Maria Hitchins and dance photographer Monica DaSilva. The panel, provides these dancers and choreographers space to talk about their experiences and vision for dance and presented under the patronage of the Embassy of France in Jamaica and in partnership with the Kingston Book Festival. The second dance dialogue being staged on Sunday, will be the more physical kind as Catherine Dénécy, of Urban Bush Woman, presents a 55 minute solo performance.
Friday night’s line-up includes Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, ProMoves Dance Company, University Dance Society, Vickers Ballet Academy and Khama Phillips (USA). On Saturday night, JDU will stage its gala event which will feature L’Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force, National Dance Theatre Company, Grupo Cativeiro Capoeira Jamaica, Shady Squad, Katherine Denecy (Guadeloupe), and KRI Performing Arts (Cayman). The final night of performances will feature The Company Dance Theatre, Ashe Company and Dance Theatre Xaymaca, One Body One God, Quilt Performing Arts Company, Kim-Lee Campbell, TeamDanceJA and Khama Phillips (USA)
Jamaica Dance Umbrella is staged under the Philip Sherlock International Arts Festival.
Sydney Morning Herald Coverage
When actor Aaron Pedersen says that half the population of Winton came to a preview screening of Mystery Road, the tense new Australian thriller he stars in, he’s not exaggerating. Almost 400 people crammed into the Queensland town’s outdoor cinema, watching a compelling story of corruption, denial and murder, which was filmed mainly in and around Winton and featured local Aboriginal youths as extras.
”They turned up dressed to the nines and got to see themselves on the big screen with their families there,” says Pedersen. ”It brings a bit of pride to the local people and gives them an understanding that anything is possible, especially breaking out of such an isolated place. Things don’t always have to appear inaccessible.”
It’s a simple story, but it’s layered with complexity. You want to believe that the world is intelligent enough to understand that.
The 42-year-old indigenous actor, best known for roles on television shows such as Wildside, The Circuit and City Homicide, knows a thing or two about escaping isolation himself, having grown up in Alice Springs before taking up acting via a stint as an ABC journalist in Melbourne.
Collaborating with writer-director Ivan Sen on Mystery Road, a work Pedersen is deeply connected to and proud of, is a statement of intent after years of success.
”He wrote it for me and I’m grateful for that, but he’s also grateful that I was able to do it right. It’s a responsibility, but responsibility has always been on our shoulders. If you don’t have responsibility in a journey, then the journey becomes selfish.”
Mystery Road takes place in an unnamed outback locale, where the discovery of a teenage Aboriginal girl’s body begins an uneasy investigation for local police detective Jay Swan.
A product of the town who’s been away for years, Swan is estranged from his indigenous community and his teenage daughter because of his job, yet treated with wariness by many of his colleagues.
Swan is a continuation of the tracker figure, or turncoat, the Aboriginal torn between two cultures, and Mystery Road is an examination of the contemporary racial divide in Australia. But it’s also, Pedersen emphasises, a genre piece, a police procedural that slowly uncovers a conspiracy that obsesses Swan.
”It’s a simple story, but it’s layered with complexity,” Pedersen. says. ”You want to believe that the world is intelligent enough to understand that, but there are a lot of people out there set in their ways. If you make something that makes people feel connected to the piece, as opposed to challenged or ostracised, then that’s the sign of a good story.”
Often on the shoot Pedersen would finish work for the day and then meet the next member of the ensemble supporting cast, who had flown in to shoot their scenes, so they could rehearse together.
Ryan Kwanten plays the belligerent son of a local farmer, Jack Thompson is an ageing retiree, and Hugo Weaving brings genial wariness to a fellow police officer. Each interaction is a taut showdown that advances the plot against a backdrop of black and white Australia.
”It makes it much more complex,” notes Pedersen, who cites films such as Norman Jewison’s 1967 Hollywood hit In the Heat of the Night as a precursor to Mystery Road.
”It’s about a young girl, irrespective of colour, turning up dead, and a policeman having to do his job. Because of who they are and where they are, it’s much more dangerous. Jay’s outnumbered in some ways, but he persists.”
The film also taps into the iconography of the western, with characters framed against a vast and unyielding landscape dotted with sites of past and present violence. Swan’s white cowboy hat and holstered gun echo previous screen lawmen as part of Sen’s and Pedersen’s intention to make an Australian movie that could appeal to an international audience.
The two encountered racism on an initial 10-day location scouting trip they took together. ”We’ve seen it before and we know what it looks like,” notes Pedersen coolly, but they’re focused on what they’ve achieved with Mystery Road.
”It’s not just about dollar signs and fame. It’s about our people and the truth in our storytelling. That’s what you’re meant to do: change people’s lives by educating and empowering them. We believed we could do it and we have. The ancestors were with us on this one.”
Mystery Road opened October 17
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/tense-showdown-20131010-2vav0.html#ixzz2mTmL7eBC
Dennis Eggington – Image, http://www.caama.com.au
The Aboriginal Legal Services Western Australia (ALSWA) has endorsed a recent report by a parliamentary inquiry committee into police services and custodial situations. ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington however said that endorsement is one thing and implementation of the recommendations another matter. If the recommendations are not followed through then the report is more waste.
Earlier this year, ALSWA presented its own findings to the Community and Justice Standing committee. ALSWA’s legal services director, Peter Collins criticised not only the police, whom he accused of disproportionate arrest rates and maltreatment when it came to Aboriginal people, but also slammed Government legislation – mandatory legislation, move on orders, curfews, three strike behaviour policies – and described cultures of rampant racism.
“There is no doubt in my experience that Aboriginal people are policed far more harshly in this State,” said Mr Collins.
Mr Collins is correct – WA arrests, sentences and incarcerates Aboriginal people at the nation’s highest rates. Mr Collins criticised police for arresting Aboriginal people for something as benign as swearing.
“It is hard not to think that similar language used by a non-Aboriginal person would go through to the keeper,” said Mr Collins. He was disgusted by the Government’s push for a law that would punish repeat offenders by “naming and shaming them.” He said if this “insidious legislation” was passed it would be a racist disgrace.
Mr Collins described the Prohibition Behaviour Orders Act 2010 as “a form of ethnic cleansing” targeted at Aboriginal peoples. He said that orders of this nature were not behaviour management strategies but an obvious agenda to remove Aboriginal peoples from various precincts.
The In Safe Custody report made 22 recommendations from replacing ageing infrastructure (some of the watch houses should be condemned) to enforcing requirements for a minimum two police officers and 24/7 medical staff at watch houses, and that a number of cultural training programs should be implemented for police.
Mr Eggington said that the report merely validated many of the concerns that had been held for many years by the ALSWA.
“We endorse the findings and recommendations, along with those from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC).” He said that the RCIADIC findings, now 22 years old,
“need to be implemented once and for all.”
“There are such simple steps that can be taken, such as providing ALSWA with a properly funded phone service for Aboriginal people to contact for legal advice if they’ve been taken into custody.”
“It also makes good sense that the WA Police expand their cultural training for recruits and sworn police officers.”
Mr Eggington said that the Aboriginal Visitor’s Scheme needs to be supported with access to all Aboriginal people in all lock-ups. According to a former 20 year AVS officer, Joyce Capewell, the AVS has been neglected by police and prisons services and far too many towns and communities have no AVS.
Mr Eggington pushed that no time is wasted in implementing the report’s recommendation 17, that amendments are made to the Inspector of Custodial Services Act 2003 to enable the Inspector to assume oversight responsibility for all police lock-ups. Mr Eggington also supports that amendments should be made to the Criminal Investigations Act 2006 to ensure that detainees in lock-ups receive timely access to legal services, and in particular ensure there is immediate notification of, and access to, legal services by Aboriginal detainees. He said that evidence should be made inadmissible in court where a detainee’s right to legal access has been deliberately suspended.
One of the report’s recommendations urged for the State Government to supplement Federal Government funding to ALSWA given the unmet demand (of Aboriginal detainees).
Mr Eggington said State Premier Colin Barnett should expedite the implementation of the recommendations and that he should “resource the development of a national Indigenous interpreters framework through Western Australia.”
Mr Eggington said that if common sense prevails there is “the capacity to put to an end unnecessary injury or loss of life within police lock-ups.”
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