Monday, October 20, 2014

Fictional story set in Geelong

from w

I wrote this after an incident with a woman who had somehow got out of the psychiatric centre in Geelong and was walking along Ryrie Streetnear the park and seemed disorientated. She said she was intent upon going to her home 15 k away but had no money. We gave her a lift, a cup of tea, a bus fare.  I met her three months later when she knocked on our door to say thank you and she was magically altered into a cultured well-dressed woman.

The Patient

‘Dr Stein?’ The voice was timid.

‘Me friend told me you could help with me aterlitus.’

She carried four supermarket bags apparently stuffed with clothes and food because I am sure I could smell pizza and pepparoni. She slouched into a chair.

I examined the woman’s knees and elbows but was hesitant to ask her to undress because  she wore layers of t-shirts and cast off clothes. I asked her about her family but there were none. She was probably diabetic too by the look of her skin. Her name: Rebecca Byleskowsky. That was a guess I think from my receptionist.  Address. No, she had none or she wouldn’t tell me. No Social Security Card. ‘Lost it,’ she said. ‘Well, I might get another one I suppose.’

Then it struck me that this bag-day who slept wherever she could -  by the look of her -  would be excellent for the experiment with the blue striped pills and the patches. I showed her how to place the patches on her forehead every night. I did not tell her they were not really for her ‘aterlitus.’  I prescribed pills for the slight inflammation but of course if she didn’t have a welfare card, how could she afford the cost at the chemist!

She ambled from the surgery her sneakers slip-slopping on the beige carpet.

------
The door opened. ‘Dr Stein?’

She looked the same but there was a little difference, not in the voice but in her stance. When she sat down she crossed her legs with elegance and I smiled at the incongruity as her clothes were still the same, layer upon layer of sweatshirts,  cardigans and a blue skirt over dark green tracksuit pants, one yellow sock, one pink sock and high heels. Well that was a shift. I gave her another twelve pills and six patches.

The homing gene. The travel gene. The wicked gene. All put into a blue and white pill. I wanted to know if humans can be reconstructed just with chemicals.  Would the bag lady change?

With a cheerio, she was gone.

-----
The door opened.

‘Dr Stein, good morning.’

I knew the voice but could not place the tall attractive woman who was well-dressed, made-up. She wore a black suit and gold jewelry.  I looked at the appointments list. Rebecca Byleskowsky. I couldn’t believe it.

 ‘What’s happened to you? I asked rather tactlessly.

But there was the same voice, a street voice.

Well, I’ve got meself a flat. I’ve got meself a job. And those patches are makin’ me remember who I am.’

The bag lady had vanished. Here was a professional woman.

I ripped the gold-lettered nameplate from the door. I would soon be elsewhere. I had taken the nomad pills.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Op-shops from the churches in Geelong

from w
I was looking up a website related to the sit-in at Richard Marles office and a Baptist minister, Rev Brent Lyons Lee, was involved, a guy who is into media and stuff.  Then I noticed he wrote something about op-shops which I found interesting, as over the years Peceli and I been involved in helping in op-shops - we started two of them, one in Hopetoun, another in Whittington. Many of our friends have been or are  volunteers. These days I still shop at them - a good one way down the other end of Boundary Road - Lifeline, and other local ones are Heaven Cent - Anglican, (where there's a notice reading 'Shop-lifters will be prayed for), one near the cemetery for Concern, and the usual Salvation Army op-shops. You can practically furnish a whole house using Geelong op-shops.  But are they missional for the local church communities?  Some would say yes.

Posted by Brent Lyons Lee on 15/09/2014

An op-shop in Anglesea.
An important component to living out our Union's ‘Better Together’ motto is to create shared resources and networks. In mid-August we brought together our Baptist church Op shop managers for a lunch and conversation hosted by Baptcare. We have about a dozen Op shops around the state and most were represented on the day. We shared together what the benefits of having an Op Shop ministry were, along with some of the frustrations.
All of the shops shared the philosophy of ‘profit for purpose’ and were all ploughing surpluses back in to sustaining some form of community ministry. The ‘Seaside Seconds’ shop in Anglesea (pictured) even has a program set up for local community groups to apply for small grants. The “Mustard Tree” in Lilydale shared some of their innovative ideas for “up-cycling” which included finding a use for pesky mattress springs as the tip of garden stakes for climbing plants!
Most op shops have a mix of volunteers from the church and the local community. Some local “non-church” volunteers see the op shop as their primary base for community and special ministry was required for this. We discussed the notion of “alongsiders” which meant a relationship that was different to being a friend and also different to being a social worker. The “alongsider” relationship (as Mick Duncan points out in his new book of that title) intentionally walks alongside those who walk alone or those who are marginalised.
One of the greatest challenges was to get churches to see their op shops as missional opportunities. Some ideas were brain stormed such as having a regular spot in the church service for an update and telling good stories. The stories also needed to let the congregation know that it can be a really fun ministry and that the churches could host op shop fashion parades or “dress ups” for book week. Another great idea was to lay down a challenge to see everyone in the church participate in a “short term mission trip” to the op shop, which might even mean volunteering for one day a year!

Op Shops are great way to raise revenue for your ministry, but even more importantly they are a great way to get to know your local community, and build relationships with people who wouldn’t necessarily attend our churches on Sunday. If you are feeling entrepreneurial and want to start an Op Shop venture for your church, there are plenty of people in our Op Shop network who could help coach you through the process. Please get in touch with our Mission Catalyst team to find out more.

Is Moolap a place for birds or for development?

from w
They are arguing still about the old salt flats between Newcomb and Point Henry.  I'm for the birds actually as I dislike over-development.
Red-necked Avocets and Banded Stilts at the Moolap wetlands in Geelong. Photo: Eddie Jim
TO SOME it is an old industrial wasteland waiting for redevelopment as a modern residential estate. To others it is a bird-watching paradise and one of the state's ecological marvels.
Unlikely as it sounds, the old Moolap salt works - a few kilometres outside Geelong, and not far from the Point Henry aluminium smelter - is the site of an emerging environmental battle.
Agricultural products company Ridley - owners of the salt works, which was mothballed in 2007 - is proposing a massive property development over about half of the 465-hectare site.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Art and fibre exhibition about asylum seekers

from w
I've just caught up with the art and fibre exhibition at Wesley Church Hall, Geelong about asylum seekers. Beautifully presented of an awful subject. The exhibition was designed by a group of people in Queenscliff and is only on for another day. Highly recommended to go along - until 5 p.m. tomorrow. (Sunday) .












Actually the exhibition style was generally soft and perhaps other artists would have looked at the topic of detention centres in a harder way, or expressionist way such as in the style of Munch in 'The Scream'.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cruise ships and 87 empty shops

from w
Here's an article that points out that dreaming of cruise ships stipping by in Geelong isn't reaistic. With 97 empty shops who would want to wander around our CBD?

Cruise industry would offer more to Borough of Queenscliff and Surf Coast than Geelong, Steven Bradford says

1
Cruise Down Under chair Stephen Bradford has questioned the need for a cruise ship pier i
Cruise Down Under chair Stephen Bradford has questioned the need for a cruise ship pier in Geelong.
IN what could be the final blow in Mayor Darryn Lyon’s campaign for a purpose-built cruise ship pier, the head of Australia’s peak cruising body has questioned the need for new infrastructure in Geelong.
The chairman of Cruise Down Under, Stephen Bradford, also said cruise ship passengers disembarking in Geelong would be more likely to take bus tours to the Great Ocean Road or Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale than they would be to explore, and spend money in, central Geelong.
Formerly chief executive of the Port of Melbourne and head of Great Southern Railway, among other high-level tourism and maritime roles, Mr Bradford is one of Australia’s most experienced and highly-regarded maritime, tourism and logistics experts.
He said with vying for the cruise industry came the cost of building infrastructure.
Mayor Darryn Lyons' concept design of the Yarra St pier and convention centre
Mayor Darryn Lyons' concept design of the Yarra St pier and convention centre
“It’s all right if it’s there — already built — because it’s serving another purpose but when you have to purpose-build it’s a question for State Government on whether to support it. They say yes to some (projects) and no to others,” Mr Bradford said.
While some passengers arriving in Geelong might choose to stay close to the ship and stroll around pretty Eastern Beach, most would take the cruise line’s prearranged day tours, which would transport them about 40 minutes to an hour away from Geelong to attractions such as the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse or spectacular Great Ocean Road, “with perhaps a winery stop for lunch”, he said.
Visitors are more likely to take a tour of the Surf Coast or Bellarine.
Visitors are more likely to take a tour of the Surf Coast or Bellarine.
As a driver of the local economy and vehicle for job creation the cruise industry might deliver broad, long-term benefits across the region as a whole, but probably not to Geelong specifically, Mr Bradford said.
“Now, what would people do who got off a cruise ship in Geelong? I don’t think they’d go to Westfield. Because large numbers of them are Australian and Westfield is a wonderful shopping centre which serves a great purpose but (would cruise ship passengers) rush to Westfield or visit a Woolies supermarket? Probably not,” he said.
Cruise ship passengers were also unlikely to bolster the coffers of Geelong cafes, Mr Bradford said.
“Don’t expect, in Malop Street for example, for people to sell more coffees and cake. They (passengers) are well catered for on the ship. I’ve wandered through the business area of Geelong myself and it’s great but I’m not sure that I’d do it as part of a major holiday,” he said.
Cruise Down Under is made up of 78 members and represents regional ports, national and state tourism agencies, shipping agents, inbound tour operators and companies.
Mr Bradford has played a key role in the past in the development of the Darwin Harbour foreshore and Darwin port facilities.
He has also been a board member of Ports Australia and deputy chair of the tourism and transport forum.

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  • The ship has left town of Wandi HeightsPOSTED AT 9:19 AM TODAY
    Anybody been on a stroll around the CBD? Exciting stuff, eh? How do you think a visitor from NYC would view Geelong once they get past the green turf of Steampacket Gardens? Eighty-seven vacant and derelict shops in the city, and this is what constitutes an interesting shore-based experience for passengers? Seriously, Geelong's CBD is dead. Cruise passengers will be better served pulling up at Anglesea, Torquay, Lorne or the Otways hinterland than taking a tour of a ghost town. I suggest Clown Hall reprioritise its spending to smarten up the town rather than scandalise Geelong with pipe dreams of a garish glittering Christmas tree and a ready supply of hair dye for the Mayor's mohawk.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Protest in Geelong by praying

from w
The Age ran the story, but I didn't see it in the Geelong Advertiser!
Religious leaders arrested for protesting inside shadow immigration minister's Geelong offices
Date
October 14, 2014 - 12:33AM
Workplace Reporter for The Age


Police watch the "prayer sit-in" inside the Geelong offices of Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles. Photo: Love Makes A Way Facebook page
Several religious leaders have been arrested while staging a sit-in protest inside the Geelong offices of a federal Labor frontbencher over the party's stance on children in immigration detention centres.
Police arrested the protesters - from Christian groups including the Salvation Army and the Uniting, Baptist and Catholic churches - on Monday night after when they refused to leave the electorate office of Shadow Immigration Minister and Corio MP Richard Marles.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that seven people had been taken into custody and charged with trespass. All were bailed to face the Geelong Magistrates' Court on December 11, she said.

Salvation Army Captain Craig Farrell is taken away by police. Photo: Love Makes A Way Facebook page
The group of seven had been holding a "prayer sit-in" inside the office, saying they would not leave until gaining a public commitment from Mr Marles to "end the bipartisan brutality" and demand the release of all children and families from immigration detention centres.
An adviser for Mr Marles said the group had spent the "majority of the day" - about eight hours - inside the Yarra Street office before being asked to leave shortly after 7pm.
"Richard Marles met with the protesters in his office and they expressed their views," spokeswoman Lidija Ivanovski said.

Baptist minister Simon Moyle is arrested. Photo: Twitter: @lovemakesaway
"At about quarter past seven, you would appreciate that people have to go home."
Ms Ivanovski said police officers asked the protesters to move on, "but they wanted to be arrested".
The group, which calls itself Love Makes a Way, said those arrested including theology lecturer and grandmother-of-nine Jan Morgan, Salvation Army Captain Craig Farrell, Baptist Reverend Brent Lyons-Lee and Uniting Church Reverend Isabel Greenall.
A similar sit-in was staged by the group at Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's office earlier this year.
Salvation Army spokesman Bruce Redman said Captain Farrell had the full support of the organisation.
"The Salvation Army is proud to support Captain Craig Farrell in his attempt to highlight the suffering of families in immigration detention, in particular, women and children," Dr Redman said.
"From our point of view, it is about dignity and protecting innocence."
The group's allegedly illegal behaviour was also praised by the Uniting Church, with church moderator Dan Wootton commending their courage.
"The willingness of Uniting Church ministers to participate in an act of civil disobedience reinforces the deep concern that is felt for children in detention," he said.
"I commend them for their courage and join their calls in asking for a bipartisan commitment to get all children out of detention centres with their families."
Shortly after 10.30pm, Reverend Lyons-Lee posted on social media: "Safely home and no longer behind bars, unlike the 789 kids in detention tonight".

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ARt at the Wintergarden

from w
Yesterday morning I joined a writing group at the Wintergarden Cafe and took ten minutes off the writing assignments to go upstairs to view the latest exhibition which was to do with memory and memorials as there was an Acquisitive Prize by a company that is 150 years old in Geelong. Three of the pictures that I liked I found on their internet site.(They don't like you to take photos on site because of copyright issues).  You can go to their website for more information . http://artwintergarden.com.au/



Thursday, October 09, 2014

Is Mayor Darryn messing up?

from w
One writer thinks so.

DAVID CAIRNS: Mayor Darryn Lyons drops another awkward bomb

·         DAVID CAIRNS  GEELONG ADVERTISER   OCTOBER 07, 2014 8:44AM

OUTSPOKEN Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons appears to be on an unrelenting roll of PR disasters. Spluttering from one hiccup to the next, right now our mayor looks like the star of an AAMI ad. Cr Lyons’ recent misfires include:
INSISTING people will see the city’s new 25m Christmas tree from outer space;
CAMPAIGNING for the Yarra St pier as the city’s No. 1 funding priority without the support of his council;
CALLING for an increased speed limit on the Princes Freeway despite opposition from police, the TAC, the Government and in the face of a contradictory statement from his own council;
HIS apparent affection for being photographed in the mayoral robes and referring to himself in the third person and;
HIS public tweets showing his annoyance with council meetings and briefings.
To that spectacular list we now add a detective dismissing Cr Lyons’ claims that he was the target of a petrol bomb attack on his Home House nightclub a couple of months ago.
It’s an extraordinary development that a mayor of Geelong would go public with these accusations without having the backing of the police. Just extraordinary.
What was he thinking? Surely, a man of his experience in the media would know that without that crucial support he would quickly look, at best, an amateur. And at worst? Well, you decide.
The celebrity culture that Cr Lyons once serviced through his paparazzi empire would have you believe that no publicity is bad publicity. Perhaps that is the mantra for our flamboyant mayor. But while that might be OK for him, does it make it right for Geelong? Does his poor judgment make for a poor reflection on the city? Right now there is a case that it does.
His public utterances are becoming more and more cringe-worthy. If his aim is to use his profile to put the city on the map, it might be working … but for the wrong result. If there is another strategy at play behind the scenes, it is hard to see what it is. It seems more likely that these very public misfires are a result of Cr Lyons shooting from the hip, or, more accurately, the lip. There is no PR strategy. There is no collective approach. There is only Darryn. One wonders where it will end.