“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
“No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” ~ Nick Vujicic
Love is amazing!
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
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.
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.”
“Caring, Sharing, Nurturing, Love and Respect, these things need to take front and centre in all of our thought processes, actions, conversations and everything we do. Each and every person within our immediate circle needs to feel loved, valued and appreciated for the shift in consciousness to occur and create the ripple effect out into our societies. When we do this and our motivations are for nothing more that the betterment of human condition, the sky really is the limit.” ~ Nicola Butler 2013
“Aboriginal People are the skeleton in the cupboard of Australia’s national life …. outcasts in our own land.” ~ Sir Doug Nicholls, National Day of Mourning speech, 1938.
“All we want is to be able to think and do the same things as white people, while still retaining our identity as a people.” ~ Sir Doug Nicholls
Sunday 1st December 2013
Today is the 36th Anniversary of the term of Sir Douglas Nicholls as Australia’s First Aboriginal Governor
Sir Douglas Nicholls (Pastor)
“Aboriginal People are the skeleton in the cupboard of Australia’s national life …. outcasts in our own land.”
… Doug Nicholls, National Day of Mourning speech, 1938.
“All we want is to be able to think and do the same things as white people, while still retaining our identity as a people.” … … Doug Nicholls
Sir Douglas Nicholls (Pastor) was born on December 9, 1906 on the Cumeroogunja mission in NSW. His mother worked as a domestic helper and his father as a farm hand. However, unemployment was a regular occurrence. Schooling was provided to grade 3 standard and strict religious principles were emphasised. As a supplement to government rations, Doug and the other mission children would collect tiger, brown and copperhead snakes for sideshows organisers, who would pay them 1 shilling (10 cents) per snake.
When he was eight, he saw his 16 year old sister Hilda forcibly taken from his family by the police. The Government had decided she would be sent to the Cootamundra Training Home for Girls. His mother, Florence, threw herself into the car and refused to get out. The police drove her 20 kms from the mission and dumped her on the roadway, making her walk back to the mission, heartbroken. This brutal invasion of his family by the authorities left Doug with a deep fear of the police.
At 13 he worked with his uncle as a tar boy and general hand on sheepstations, and he lived with the shearers. He worked hard and had a cheerful disposition. This annoyed one of the shearers so much that he challenged Doug to a fight, with the loser to hand over one weeks pay (30 shillings – $3). After six rounds the shearer who challenged him conceded defeat.
He was a natural athlete and played Aussie rules football. During one match, a Carlton football talent scout encouraged Doug to shift to Melbourne and try out for the Victorian Football League to play for Carlton. Club officials allowed him to train but the players didn’t want an Aboriginal playing on the team. He overheard some of the players saying he smelled. He left Carlton and joined the struggling Northcote team. Players were given 10 to 15 shillings per game. In 1927 he played before a crowd of 9000 people and was a huge success. The club paid him a 2 pound ($4) bonus for the match. He played for the club for 5 years and was a member of their 1929 premiership team. In 1932 Doug joined Fitzroy where he remained until on-going problems with a knee injury forced him to retire in 1939. In 1940 he was back at Northcote as a non-playing coach. In 1935 he was the first Aboriginal player to be selected to play for the Victorian Inter-state Team.
Playing football provided Doug with employment during the winter months but during summer he had to find an alternative income. This is he did by joining Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Troupe, a travelling sideshow in which Sharman offered his fighters for challenge against all comers. Boxers were paid up to one hundred pounds a day ($200) and challengers were offered five pounds ($10) if they could last four rounds with one of his fighters. He also made money in running races and in 1928 won the Waracknabeal Gift netting him a sash, cutlery valued at 21 pounds ($42) and a 100 pound cheque. Following this race organisers paid him a 10 pounds appearance fee, board and expenses just for entering races, such was his popularity with the fans.
His mother died and Doug’s interest in religion was rekindled. In 1935 he was conducting church and hymn services as a lay preacher at the Gore St. Mission Centre in Fitzroy. In 1941 he received his call-up notice and he joined the 29th Battalion. In 1942, at the request of the Fitzroy police, Doug was released from his unit to assist with problems in the Fitzroy Aboriginal community. This commenced his career as a social worker. He cared for those who were trapped in their alcohol abuse, gambling and other social problems. He helped those who were in trouble with the police. Indigenous people gathered to him and eventually the group was so large that he became the pastor of the first Aboriginal Church of Christ in Australia. He was only paid one pound per week and so he had to do other work to support himself.
People began to approach him about the plight of his people throughout the country. In 1957 he became a field officer for the Aboriginal Advancement League. He edited the AAL’s journal Smoke Signals, and helped draw Aboriginal issues to the attention of Government officials and the general public. He pleaded for dignity for Aboriginal people as human beings. Support for the AAL grew rapidily. In this same year he was awarded a Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.). He helped set up hostels for Aboriginal children, holiday homes for his people at Queenscliff and was a founding member and Victorian Secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI).
In 1962 he was chosen by the Father’s day Council of Australia as Victoria’s Father of the Year. The award was given for “outstanding leadership in youth and welfare work and for the inspired example he set the community in his unfailing efforts to further the cause of the Australian Aborigine”. In 1968 he received an Order of the British Empire award (O.B.E.) and in the same year became a member of the new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria. He was inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation. He met the Pope at the Ecumenical Conference held in Melbourne and was among Victoria’s invited guests to greet the Queen on her 1970 visit to Australia.
In 1972 he became the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and he and his wife Gladys travelled to London to receive that honour. Then on December 1, 1976, Sir Doug Nicholls was appointed as the 28th Governor of South Australia.
In 1977 he suffered a severe stroke and he was forced to retire. He did not regain good health and was often in and out of hospitals. He died in 1988 after another stroke. A State Funeral was held for him and he was buried in the cemetery at Cumeroogunja, the place were he was born.
Sir Douglas Nicholls
|28th Governor of South Australia|
1 December 1976 – 30 April 1977
|Monarch||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Preceded by||Sir Mark Oliphant|
|Succeeded by||Sir Keith Seaman|
|Born||9 December 1906
Cummeragunja Reserve, New South Wales
|Died||4 June 1988 (aged 81)|
|Profession||Athlete and Pastor|
|Religion||Church of Christ|
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa