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Updated: 2008-07-13T21:05:30.993+09:30

 



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2007-11-24T13:54:50.329+10:30

Today is the day that Australians across the country can cast a vote that will see the social fabric of this this country change in a positive way.

For over ten long years the Howard government has drained and at times devoured the ideals that most Australians value; a fair and balanced industrial relations system (they introduced Workchoices taking many of our long fought rights away), a compassionate Australia (they have locked up children and women behind razor wire detention centres sometimes for years on end), world peace and a approach that puts negotiating outcomes as a priority (the Howard government has used our taxes to enter into a bloody war in Iraq that killed tens of thousands of people and injured even more), done nothing to address the issues of climate change (refused to even accept that climate change was a reality and only in the last few months have they wobbled a bunch of useless policies on the environment), giving those who are struggling a helping hand (people with disabilities, students, the unemployed and so on live on paltry welfare support payments that are below the poverty line). They have eroded our civil liberties and ignored the plight of Aboriginal people in this country.

Today we the people of this country have the power to say enough is enough. We have the power to change this country for the better. To do this I would suggest voting 1 Greens, 2 Democrats and 3 Labor in the House of Representatives and then number the rest of the boxes putting Family First last. In the Senate in order to ensure protection from the two major parties and to restore the Senate to the house of review vote above line and put a number 1 in the box for the Australian Greens.

Jeremy has written an excellent post articulating the reasons why we should be voting Howard's Government out. You can read it here.

Good luck everyone ... I'm hoping for Kevin Rudd to win this (though my gut feeling tells me Howard will get over the line) and for the Greens to gain seats in the Senate.
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2007-11-23T16:51:41.976+10:30

(image) Got the final exam out of the way this week and I am so glad I might add. It was a long, hard difficult year and I am really happy that it is finally over.

Next year will be pretty full on as I intend to have another baby too so the study and baby business will no doubt stress me out. I'm not pregnant or anything so don't get too excited but I plan to be by early next year; after the Xmas and New Year festivities and as we enter the cooler climate. I thought long and hard about it and whilst I hate the idea of being pregnant I love the idea of another child. Miss O finally talked me into it as she has wanted a sibling for some time now.

Let's see how it all pans out ...
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2007-11-07T23:10:51.844+10:30

Get ready boi's and gals! This YouTube is essential viewing.

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2007-11-05T15:05:58.367+10:30

It comes as no surprise that a report released today by former NSW Ombudsman Irene Moss has found that freedom of speech in Australia is being 'windled' away.Most Australians value freedom of speech. If you were to do a quick vox pop on the streets you would find that not only do most Australian's value freedom of speech, but hold the belief that Australia's democracy protects it. Most of us view it as a basic right in any democracy. The reality is that Australia's Constitution unlike the United States, United Kingdom and other Western Liberal Democracies does not expressly protect freedom of speech. The High Court however made several crucial rulings in the 1990's which have provided some protection. Whilst the High Court findings did not provide a specific/general right to freedom of speech, they found that an �??implied right to freedom of political speech�?? existed. The High Court argued that whilst the framers of the Australian Constitution did not explicitly protect freedom of speech they did constitutionally protect representative government and by implication freedom of political speech. This they argued was because in order for representative government to function effectively freedom of speech on political and government matters was required; thus providing an implied right to freedom of speech and consequently freedom of the press. However this does not mean that free speech comes without limitations as legislative reform and the activities of all levels of government regarding Freedom of Information (FOI) show. It's also important to mention that the lack of a Federal Bill of Rights means that free speech is open to court interpretation rather than something that is a part of the fibre of this democracy and protected through well formulated law.Some may wonder what all the fuss is about. We see what appears to be an active media during this election and might reason that all is well in freedom of speech land. However things are not what they seem. Firstly the role that the media plays in a liberal democracy is indeed crucial to its effective functioning because without it their would be no way of holding the government accountable as government action would not be known to the citizenry, the flow of ideas would be stifled, there would be little if any government transparency and extremely limited debate. This is where the Moss Report becomes troubling in its findings. The Moss Report has found that all levels of government are increasingly more secretive, defensive and mistrustful. The report found that government is more interested in managing the media and minimising its potential harm to government than opening itself up to public scrutiny and accountability. In other words the government is limiting not increasing the amount of information available to Australia's media. For example the advent of the Anti Terror Laws 2005 which saw a further restriction placed on access to government information, a watering down of protection for journalists and journalistic sources and increased penalties including jail terms for non compliance has raised serious questions regarding freedom of speech in this country and the media's ability to gain access to information that is in the public interest and ought to be placed in the public sphere. This report certainly goes some way in bringing the issue to the attention of the Australian public. After all it is the Australian people who will be the big losers if free speech and the current practice of secrecy continues. Without access to information the people are unable to inform themselves and ultimately cannot make informed political decisions such as who to vote for and how well the government is doing their job. It is important that all Australian's take an interest in this area. It is a fundamental part of democracy and if we don't demand that it be protected we are all going to be the worse off for it.The report was commissioned by the ABC, Fairfax, AAP and other commercial radi[...]



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2007-10-29T16:12:20.459+10:30

My beautiful five year old cat Mezzi died today. We are all very upset. I just can't stop the tears from flowing and feel so down.

She was hit by a car and was brought to the house within ten minutes of it occurring; we have buried her and will hold a little funeral tomorrow to commemorate her short but awesome little life. My other cat Pixi is looking for her and can't understand where she has gone. I have given her loads of cuddles today in the hope that she will not feel too lonely. It's just awful when pets pass away; she was a part of our family and is sorely missed.

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2007-10-20T15:18:48.158+09:30

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Hippy Chikky!! Going to the local flower and garden show.







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Dat's the cute look at me beautiful face.












This is my beautiful little girl at the Royal Melbourne Show.(image)



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2007-10-20T10:52:13.910+09:30

(image) I have been rather quite lately mainly due to the fact that I had a pile of essays due and presentations to deliver. At one point I was ready to pack it in and just withdraw this semester. Everything just seems to fall at once and when it does both Ocean and myself usually fall ill meaning that I have a pile of work and a sick toddler to take care of. It really does get frustrating and extremely stressful with all the other things that I juggle and as a consequence I just feel like packing it all in. Last Monday I handed in the final one and felt such a sense of relief that I made it through the semester relatively unscathed. As you can see I did lose the plot a wee bit and took some silly photo's one of which I have uploaded for your viewing pleasure. Besides I don't think I've posted any pictures for ages on the blog thought those on my Facebook have quite a few to have a laugh at! I now only have a couple of exams to get through and a long and hopefully enjoyable summer break before I get stuck into semester one 2008.

I am spending a bit of time away at the moment. The Union is holding its annual induction camp and I am running some workshops for the new crew and then spending a couple of days with the family in Gippsland. I hope to get some footage of the logging and start work on that documentary that I have been wanting to get onto since purchasing my new camera. Tonight I plan to start a little bonfire in the back yard of the place we are staying and do some ritual work outside surrounded by the fresh smell of the surrounding forest. I really enjoy and feel relaxed after a ritual that honours the environment and invokes a sense of well being and nourishment. I did not bring my tools with me but have picked different flowers and herbs from the local environment to use instead. I found a beautiful and perfectly suitable wand to use yesterday on my travels through some of the bushland and am just really looking forward to some quiet time tonight as I haven't had any for the last few months.

More photo's to follow hopefully if I remember to upload them tonight.
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2007-10-14T23:42:20.937+09:30

The Prime Minister has called an election today. It will be on the 24th of November 2007. This means you have until this Wednesday to enroll to vote if you have not done so already. If you have changed address or their are any inaccuracies in your enrollment you need to fix them up before this Wednesday. Otherwise you won't be able to vote.

You can download a form to register to vote from the Australian Electoral Commission. Here is the link for Victorian voters. If you live in one of the other states or territories please go here and download the appropriate form.

You must ensure that the Australian Electoral Commission receives your form. You will have to take the form into one of their offices or you can also fax the form too. You can call the Australian Electoral Commission and get advice 13 23 26. Cost of a local call anywhere in Australia.

If you are on the electoral roll but not sure if you are properly enrolled you can check on line to see your status by going to this link here.

Right. Please enroll to vote. It is a rather important election and the more people who are enrolled the better (me hopes anyway) the outcome will be.

Good luck.
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2007-09-30T01:36:12.762+09:30

Surprise. Surprise. Our very own home grown arseholes that is code for Liberal Party are making money from the suffering of the people of Burma. The Greens Kerry Nettle has exposed the nasty Liberal Party links.

"We now find that there is a Liberal Party-linked company that is doing business with the Burmese military regime in oil and gas exploration," Ms Nettle said.

"The company ... is made up of a family who has been providing funding to the Health Minister Tony Abbott in his legal actions against other political parties," she said.
So it appears that good ol' Catholic no abortion, no rights for same sex couples and so on Abbott is quite happy to accept money from companies who deal with the thugs that are currently running Burma. How Christian like of him; I'm sure god won't mind.

Quite frankly it is reprehensible that Australian companies are doing business with these thugs. I do not in any way support the notion that food, medical aid and so on should be withdrawn however to fund a nasty and violent military is quite another thing.
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2007-09-30T01:25:21.998+09:30

The current system is a load of shit and we need to overturn it. Direct action anyone?

That is all.

*Disclaimer* This is not seditious. Just saying.(image)



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2007-09-06T22:11:59.328+09:30

It appears that the NSW Police have pretty much taken over in Sydney. Not only have they succeeded in having a Court ban APEC : Georgy Butcher Bush protesters from passing through Martin Place during Saturday's rally but they have also arrested the Chaser boi's for doing what they do best; political satire.

The NSW Police are seriously beginning to be annoying no thanks to the special legislation Howard put through giving them increased powers and taking away our civil liberties in one foul swoop. I cannot for the life of me understand why we cannot march through a public place. Surely risk or no security risk we live in a democracy and should be able to walk through public space without all this fuss. I do understand the security concerns however these concerns do not pale to the very fabric of our democracy being unraveled. Honestly its the protesters safety I'm worried about here not the armed and vicious police they are going to have to deal with. Look I know it sounds like I'm rather dirty on the police however the reality is that in my experience the thugs in these situations are the police and not the protesters.

Secondly, all this money we are spending ... actually let me rephrase that all the money Howard is throwing away at securing Bush and Co. doesn't appear to be well targeted if the Chaser could get through unnoticed. That's right folks the good people from the Chasers Ware on Everything managed to get past two police cordons in the red zone. Sure they were eventually found out but only after they had entered exclusion zones and driven past police who thought they were an official delegation; clearly communication in the police force requires a bit of er tweaking. Honestly this doesn't give me much faith here ladies and gentlemen. I mean honestly not only could they not do their jobs but they also have no sense of humor. The Chaser boi's were held by NSW Police who have now pressed charges. What a crock of poo poo people.
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2007-09-04T20:27:20.020+09:30

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2007-09-04T20:00:43.418+09:30

Right. The more I read and catch up on today's happenings the worse it appears to get.

Now the NSW Greens have been threated by the NSW Police because they have scheduled a media event that will run for an hour and highlight why the APEC leaders need to take urgent action on climate change. Green MP Sylvia Hale and Senator Kerry Nettle have vowed to go ahead with the media event as planned and are upset (as they should be) that their right to hold a political media event in a public place is being placed in jeopardy.

Personally I find this type of police intimidation outrageous. Firstly these are two of our elected representatives in our democracy and they sure as hell have a right to express their point of view and call on APEC to do something about the environmental mess that they are responsible for creating.

Further how dare the NSW Police threaten to arrest someone for going about their business in a peaceful manner.

This folks is not a good start to the week and I fear it is only going to get worse. It appears the police are under the delusion that they can do whatever they like; this is not the case and I would hope that someone in the police force quickly pulls their head in and ceases to use threats and intimidation to silence dissent.

You can read about it here ...
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2007-09-04T19:18:59.260+09:30

There you have it folks. Our right to protest is being severely eroded due to the fact that George the Butcher Bush is in town. This makes me very angry. The New South Wales police have lodged Court action asking that the protest be stopped from undertaking its planned route. The mere fact that the New South Wales Police have had the guile to actually ask the Court to stop the protest through Martin Place is offensive.

The Prime Minister is still yelling from the roof tops how everything that is happening in Sydney in terms of the lock down is due to the violent protesters. Oh boo hoo. Honestly does anybody believe this rubbish?

Let's take a look at the statistics shall we:

1. Deaths caused by APEC protesters = 0

2. Deaths caused by Bush, Howard and Blair = 655,000

That's right folks that would be six hundred and fifty five thousand Iraqi's killed due to the Coalition of the Willing being in Iraq.

So please let's put this into perspective.

APEC protesters have not killed anyone and do not intend to do so .. On the other hand Bush, Blair and Howard have been responsible for six hundred thousand murders as a consequence of invading Iraq. If Howard wants to talk about violence may I suggest he takes the issue up with the world meanest butcher; George W Bush.

In fact I would say that if we should fear anyone it ought to be Bush who is known for his violent, inhumane tendencies.
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2007-09-03T20:00:40.906+09:30

There has been a fair bit of talk about APEC. Our Prime Minister has been yelling to all and sundry that it is the violent protesters fault that security is so tight. Never mind that at this stage there is no protest and that the most violent person within a thousand kilometres of APEC is in fact George W Bush President of the United States of America. The reason that security is so tight is not because of any potential violence that protesters pose but is directly related to the fact that Bush being one of the most violent leaders of a Western Nation has put off side most of the world with his violent and greedy foreign policy. This level of security is needed because the man is so highly despised. Heck most Australians can't stand him though we would much prefer that the American people boot him out of office rather than a sniper blow his head off. But no, the fact that quite a few people wouldn't mind and in particular our Prime Minister has attempted to focus the discussion, and voters attention, to the alleged violent elements in the up and coming protest. Howard claims that it is the alleged violent protesters who are causing this high level of security and inconvenience to Sydney residents. What a load of nonsense.I have attended numerous protests and most have not had any violence whatsoever. Funnily enough these protests generally do not get any media coverage. I mean why would our ring wing controlled media (read : Murdoch and Packer). However when a largely non violent protest has a handful of violent people involved the media focus all their attention on this handful. They completely ignore the fact that a) most people did not engage in nor endorse the violence and b) the actual reason/s the protest took place.Having said that the question that I am more interested in as an activist is whether or not violence has any role to play in effecting change. My personal view is that violence particularly to people, animals and the environment ought to be avoided at all costs. I do not support the destruction of any living thing.However sometimes in times of great turmoil violent means of over turning the powers that are inflicting severe pain on people, animals and the environment is warranted. Such examples include revolutions whereby inhumane fascist dictatorships must be over thrown if the violence is to cease. This is an extreme situation where all manner of non violent means of action is not going to bring down the government of the day. However as I have said this is something that is rarely warranted even in a dodgy democracy/capitalist society such as ours.I believe that the vast majority (if not all) APEC protesters will do so in a non violent manner. I cannot say the same for the police who I know will use unnecessary force to shut down the dissent. I have seen brutal violence being instigated by police against non violent protesters whose tactics are being effective. One example was the S11 protest against the WTO that occurred in Melbourne Victoria at the old site of Crown Casino. Police used excessive and brutal force during this protest against unarmed, non violent protesters. This was certainly not the only occasion however it is one that most Australians and indeed Melbournians would recall.In regards to APEC the Howard Government is itching for violence. They want to use any violence that occurs during the protest to justify their civil liberty infringing and quite frankly dissent squashing anti terror laws. I wouldn't put it past this Government who has lied to us about significant issues such as the invasion of Iraq and the lies they fed the Australian public on Tampa to place agent provocateurs in the protest. This would[...]



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2007-09-02T20:06:23.768+09:30

Howard has reportedly spent $2 billion dollars on government advertising and promotion in the past eleven years. At the moment the Liberal's have 18 advertisements on tv and apparently there are more to come if what the Age is reporting is accurate. This extraordinary expenditure is not only unique in Australian political history but is also up there with the best of them globally.

According to Melbourne University academic Sally Young, the author of Government Communication in Australia, the Howard Government's spending on advertising is among the highest per head in the world. "It's up there with only a few other countries," she said.

Oh really. We're have some of the dodgiest politicians in the world. That's wonderful; don't mind that people are living on the streets in this country and unable to afford basic medical cover. You Mr Howard go right ahead and spend billions of our tax dollars to further your political career and that of your party.

Honestly this blatant abuse of tax payer provided resources ought to be criminal. We have so many areas in urgent need of funding that spending money like this on ineffective 'community information' advertisements is not only insulting but perverse.
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2007-09-02T19:56:10.057+09:30

(image) I thought that I had heard it all .. but alas I had not. According to this high school students could potentially be fingerprinted in Australian high schools to combat violence, truancy and to generally know what they are upto whilst on school grounds.

This is truly scary stuff and I would, as a parent, be completely opposed to my childs finger prints being used in this manner. It is an invasion of privacy and does little to actually curb any violence. According to professionals this technology being installed in State Schools is inevitable which quite frankly is bizarre as I cannot see too many parents being really supportive of the idea.

The President of the Victorian Principal Association had this to say about it:

'Victorian Principals Association president Fred Ackerman said he did not believe the community was ready for schools to adopt biometric technology �?? which identifies people using unique markers such as fingerprint, iris print, face image or voice �?? but conceded it was only a matter of time.'

Funnily enough (and I don't mean in a ha ha kind of way) the push for this technology to be implemented is not coming from parents, teachers or school officials but from a marketing company.

'The push for biometric security measures comes from a school photography company, Academy Attendance Systems, which is offering technology that scans a student's thumbprint at a console and matches it to an existing template and then to students records.

The company's national marketing manager, Vladimir Ostashkevich, said the thumbprint technology was foolproof, whereas swipe cards could be used by others.'

Honestly this type of thing really makes my blood boil. I would never subject my daughter to this type of thing and if it ever comes in I will home school her instead.
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2007-08-27T20:35:03.459+09:30

I helped out on the Union table on Uni Open Day recently. We had some 'Make Howard History' posters up from the NUS Campaign; nine out of ten people walking past agreed with the posters. There was a cross section of the community at this open day and I had the opportunity to speak with many people. Even those who have voted Liberal in the past two elections are switching. Also some good news for the Greens in the Senate. It appears a Labor / Greens combo is popular.

The times are a changing me thinks.
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2007-08-27T20:23:03.529+09:30

Yup. I have a new blog over here.(image)



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2007-08-23T20:24:18.151+09:30

The boi is on this show tonight. The terror laws are the topic.

That is all.(image)



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2007-08-17T20:25:11.173+09:30

(image) The boi is Prez next year. And the lovely leftist crew all got elected. Congrats comrades: Steve, Damien, Seamus, Ela, David ... You all rock.

A huge comrade hug for the new Queer Rep ... and Sec/Treas ... can't wait to chill with you both.

A a big welcome back to Brad ... as long as those LU boi's are kept well away I think we will all get along just swell.(image)



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2007-08-17T20:01:30.251+09:30

In one word; she's a racist. Racist being the one word.

Honestly this women is playing the race card in a way that makes me shudder. Calling for all Muslim immigration to cease is absolute stupidity. Clearly she has a fear of people whose physical attributes are a little different to her own. First it was people with Asian backgrounds and now its people with Muslim backgrounds. The reason that her rhetoric is nonsense is that nothing she mentioned has anything to do with ALL people of a Muslim background. Sure Muslim's like all other people may from time to time commit a crime. That is some Muslim people may commit a crime; some Christian people may commit a crime; Some pagan people may commit a crime and so on. This doesn't mean that ALL people of these backgrounds commit a crime. It not bloody genetic. People commit crimes; not religions. They may use religion as their excuse for example God told me to do it but that's just an excuse.

I saw her on an interview earlier this week and she just came across as crazy. She sounded like a candidate of that nazi party that Slack Bastard discusses on this blog.

I hope that Queenslanders will see some sense and put nothing in that vote box.
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2007-08-09T08:50:05.901+09:30

I have been experiencing some unusual symptoms over the last few weeks which are causing me quite a bit of alarm today.I have had headaches which are painful enough to treat with pain killer (paracetamol) usually on a daily basis. This I can probably attribute to the fact that I don't stick to my gluten free diet. I'm a coeliac and should follow the coeliac diet but find it hard to resist bread and other yummy stuff like that ...I am getting random pains in my chest. Left, right and middle. Its random and all over the place.I am getting (the past week) a sharp stabbing pain in my temple. It comes and goes. Maybe three times in the past week but it really hurts.I've noticed that my memory isn't as good as it used to be however that could be due to aging more than anything else. I don't forget things all the time but every now and then I forget stuff.I'm getting cold sores just before every period and really bad headaches when I get my periods.I have Thalassemia Minor and don't take care of it. I'm very low in iron and B12.I also get this clicking sound from each side of my temple when I walk and my head hurts. When I take paracetamol the clicking goes and so does the headache.I get a popping sound in my ears when I move my jaw. My ears kind of pop.I'm noticing the intensity of these ailments over the past three to four days. Today has been awful with the onset of a tingling sensation on different parts of my face. A sweeping tingling sensation will come through the left, right or middle back part of my head. Its not numb; just tingly. I don't like the feel of it.I also appear to get pins and needles more often these days. I didn't use to get them very often at all but now they occur more frequently.I also felt quite flushed for a while earlier this evening and have turned the heater off. This is probably due to the fact that I am anxious over the other symptoms and thus anxiety is setting in.At the moment I'm having rolling symptoms. With a headache (mild), occasional chest pain, tingling feelings periodically on different parts of my face and I'm worrying like hell. I have been under a fair bit of stress lately so maybe its just anxiety as I have suffered from anxiety attacks in the past. I am very tense so maybe it is anxiety. Its a bloody awful feeling; I just want to know what it is. If its anxiety I can deal with it. But lord what if its something else.I just wanted to get it off my chest.Right. I think that's enough for now. I am going to go and see a doctor as soon as I can. Can't convince the boi to look after Miss O for tomorrow so I can head to the hospital emergency for a chest scan and further assistance. I'll try the childcare centre maybe they will have a spare spot.Fingers crossed. Hopefully its anxiety.UPDATE: They had a spare spot today so I am going to see my doctor. I spent all night thinking about it and have come to the conclusion that it is more than likely anxiety. I just want to rule out anything else through some tests and in the meantime I will start my anxiety repelling tactics.Those Who Remain Silent Consent[...]



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2007-08-07T17:36:52.968+09:30

I have been so busy of late now that Uni has started again. The reading and research is slowly but surely piling up and I can't seem to find the motivation to keep up with it all. This coupled with an unusually busy social schedule has meant that I have had little if any time to myself.Spent last weekend on a Union Team Building and Planning Camp. We went to the beautiful Rawson Village where we enjoyed basic but clean accommodation and use of a small conference room. We made some good progress on the planning and also outlined our achievements and areas we could improve on. It was certainly productive in that sense. We also incorporated team building into the camp and enjoyed Friday and Saturday night over a few drinks and a ridicoulos board game called Rum Convicts or something like that ... On Saturday we spent a bit of time at the amazing Mt St Gwinear. It was freezing but the snow was amazing. Unlike Bulla and Baw Baw this snow mountain is virtually untouched. Just a first aid hut and a Victoria Parks hut on site and toilets. We went tobogganing and took a walk through the snow where we reached a look out where we were greeted by a beautiful view. The most amazing part of this mountain is just the sheer beauty of it to be honest. With no development we were treated to an environmental delight. Event the bark of the trees were amazing with their explosion of green colour blending into the beautiful white snow. Whilst we were up there is actually snowed too; for most of the time actually so we not only got to see the snow but also enjoyed a lovely snow rain. Cost of entry for everyone was $9.90 and with a packed lunch in tow it was a very cheap but effective team building exercise. If your looking for a cheap and relaxing time away consider going to Rawson Village.On Sunday we went for a walk through a beautiful forest and also checked out the logging situation. The forest in the Baw Baw National Park are amazing; I cannot find words to describe them. We didn't go all the way down to the logging site but you could see the smoke rising from the areas being logged. It is an absolute disgrace that this is occurring. Honestly it really was beautiful and its such a shame that profits are being put before this natural wonderland and environmental gem.With food and accommodation costing around $33 per person per night it was absolutely fantastic. Rawson Village have a bistro on site too with qualified chef's serving up absolutely delicious food. You can then go and sit on the very comfy lounges in front of the log fire and enjoy a nice quiet drink. There is quite a bit to do around the area too despite the fact its a small town. I have some photos that I will upload a little later on tonight when I get them off Mr C's computer.That's about it folks ... Come back later to check out those photos and I'll have a political post up soon too.Those Who Remain Silent Consent[...]



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2007-07-30T19:43:17.632+09:30

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