ANZAC Day – 2013

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Today in Australia is one of the most special days. Today is ANZAC Day where we remember the fallen soldiers who have fought and died for our country. Whilst we also celebrate remembrance day ANZAC Day is special to both Australians and New Zealanders.

ANZAC Day stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and falls on the 25th of April every year. This day is special to Australians as it was the day of our first major military move in World War 1. On the morning of the 25th of April 1915 the ANZAC’s set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. This was seen as an important area to capture. However, much did not go to plan as they met a very strong resistance. In the 8 months which the campaign lasted (which turned into a stalemate) more then 8000 Australian lives were lost. Through the news Australians back home were shocked and a year later it officially became a day to remember all Australians who have sacrificed their lives so that we may be here today. ANZAC Day today is a day to remember all the lives that have been lost by Australians through war. We remember them during a dawn service and after many family members march in honour of the fallen and those who have returned. Information has been taken from the Australian Army Website which can be found here

While ANZAC day is a great day to remember and take time to sit and remember the sacrifices that these men have women have made so we can live our lives I believe we should be remembering them every year as we still have men and women overseas protecting those who need it and dying so others can be free like us. So not just today but every day We Will Remember Them.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

The Ode of the ANZAC

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Today I am feeling very proud of our neighbours across the sea. Last night New Zealand became the 13th country to legalise same sex marriage. This is a great move forward for the world and I really don’t see why more countries haven’t allowed this. Growing up I never was exposed to couples of the same sex. I do know that my mum had friends who were gay. When I was around 17 I was properly introduced to those who were attracted to the same sex as one of my friends in the group I hung out in came out. This then opened to a whole new world I really had no idea about. Over the course of the next few years I was introduced to more gay friends and they were some of the most awesome people I have ever met. Nowadays I have many gay friends. one of my most awesome friends I made in Queensland and one of the most beautiful people I know has been with her partner for a few years now and they are the most beautiful couple I have met. I also have gay friends who live in my home town who are some of the nicest people I know. Have they made my life worse. Nope in fact quite the opposite they have probably made me more open to the world. Do I think if they marry it would be the end of the world? Nope. I think it would be awesome! Australia’s current leaders do not believe that same sex couple should marry. Australia is way behind in the times on this issue. More then half of Australia’s population are for same sex marriage. This is a great thing. We have a federal election coming up in a few months and I do think this will be a big selling point as to who takes power for the next 4 years. The Labor party who are currently the party in power are very mixed on the subject. While the leader Julia Gillard does not believe in same sex marriage she has allowed her party to have a conscious vote on this subject which means if there was ever a vote on allowing same sex marriage then the members of the party would be able to vote in the way in which they felt was right. The Liberal party don’t have this. They have been told to vote with the party line which is to not allow same sex marriage. I personally think in about 20 years time we will be looking back at this issues and wondering why we didn’t change it sooner. Just look at the Americans with their inter-race marriage. They though the would would end if people of different races married. Well I can tell you now that I am pretty sure the world is still turning! I have included some links that show Australia’s stance on same sex marriage as well as the decision that was made in New Zealand last night. One day I do hope that every single person around the world has the opportunity to marry the person that they love no matter what sex, race or religion they are!

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/gillard-abbott-unmoved-by-nz-gay-marriage-vote-20130417-2i0sv.html

http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/

I know it is controversial but do you support same sex marriage?

Thoughtful Thursday

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This photo really angers me. Not because it is stating that refugees get more money then pensioners, but because it is completely false! This snapshot has been floating around the internet for a few years and every few months it pops up on my facebook page and it just makes me so mad! most of the time I bite my tongue when it is posted so not to offend anyone but sometimes I just have to say something because some people do not do their research and will believe pretty much anything that they see on the internet. So I have decided to blog today about this email and then the next time some one post something like this I will send them here so they can read the cold hard facts and then more people might stop spreading lies.

So I thought I would start by defining what a refugee actually is. The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees has used this definition of a refugee since 1951

“[A]ny person who: owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”

So a refugee is someone who for fear of death flees their country to seek for themselves safety. Which according to Maslow is one of the most basic human needs. (For those who don’t know about Maslow here is a link in which you can read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs ). Also to state refugees are not illegal immigrants. In Australia it has never been illegal to come here seeking asylum and in fact the UN has made it a part of the rights of refugees which Australia helped to write. Pretty crazy right. We say that these boat people are doing the wrong thing but in fact we are going back on a piece of human rights legislation that we helped make by saying this.

So secondly many people believe that as soon as refugees arrive in Australia they get benefits straight away. This is simple not true. They are placed in Immigration detention centres while their claims get processed. This can take upwards of 6 months ore more and these places aren’t pretty.

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The majority of detention centres are in the middle of nowhere where it is hot and dry. They are also like a prison with guards, and high cyclone fences. If a refugee is lucky they can be placed on in community detention. This means that they are able to live in the community like a normal person however they are not allowed to work while on community detention. So while when they first arrive in Australia they can not receive financial assistance and this can put them under sever financial hardship. This is where the Red Cross come in and are able to help them. There is help to those who arrive in Australia and face financial hardship. The Red Cross are able to help refugees to receive a small sum of money (89 percent of centrelink special benefits) however to receive this they need to meet the criteria of financial hardship and have to have been waiting for their protection visa to be processed for at least 6 months. More information on this can be found here  and here.

So once a refugee is found to be a genuine asylum seeker then they are given permanent residency. But again this is a long process that on average the government claims to take 3 months but there have been cases of it taking more then two years. Permanent residency mean that they are now able to recive all the benifits that a normal Australia get. No more and no less. So lets compare the differences between a single male refugee and a single male pensioner.

Single Male refugee Single Male pensioner
Base Income $492.60 $712
Health care/ Pension Card Only after being in the country for 2 years Yes
Rent Assistance $121 $121
Telephone Allowance $25.60 a quarter Included in the Pension supplement
Pharmaceutical Allowance No Included in the Pension supplement
Pension Supplement No $60.60
Total Yearly Income $16,056 $23,423,

This is information based on the Centrelink website but as you can see pensioners get a whopping $7367 more a year then a male refugee! Nothing like what is shown in the photo up the top is it.

So now comes the question of how many illegal immigrants are there in Australia and how do they get here. Most people focus on the ‘boat people’. These are in fact probably some of the most genuine refugees but they get the most flax. In 2011 there were 4565 refugees who arrived by boat. Not that many really if you think about it and let me say it would have to take a lot and the stress the family must be under for them to use all their money to get in a leaky boat and travel to a land where they don’t even speak the language. This though is the only way for them to leave their country. Passports aren’t cheap or easy to get as there is a lot of paperwork and if all your belonging have been destroyed then it is near impossible. Not to mention that you then also need to get a visa to go to the country you attend to seek asylum from and be able to afford plane tickets. Sometimes this is the only avenue that these people have. So if in 2011 there where only 4565 people arriving by boats and there are estimated to be around 58,000 illegal immigrants in Australia where are they coming from?

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As you can see in 2011 the top 4 countries in which Illegal immigrants are in order China (8070), United States (5080), Malaysia (4200) and the United Kingdom (3610). Not exactly fleeing from war torn countries now. So how do they become illegal? 3 in 4 of these illegal immigrants are visa over stayer who arrive on a holiday visa, 1 in 7 are students and 1 in 15 disappear after being granted a temporary resident visa. The scary thing is though is that more then half of these illegal immigrants have been here for more then 2 years and around 20,000 of these have been here for more then 10 years. Kinda puts the number of boat people who arrive here into perspective doesn’t it!

So the next time that you see this top picture in your email or on facebook please tell the poster that they need to read their facts before posting things and not to believe everything they see on the internet without doing some research first. Even send them a post to this link of you like. And in all honesty can you really say that your not a boat person and have come here illegally. Just remember who was here first. So unless you are of Indigenous stock then technically you are a boat person!

Link to where I got my Information From

Adelaide Now

Parliament of Australia

Refugee Council of Australia

“The Kochie Blog”

Centrelink

Red Cross Australia

Thoughtful Thursday

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Change is something that scares the crap out of a lot of people. Change can mean going into the unknown and doing something out of the ordinary. I am currently going though a few changes in my life. I am in the process of changing degrees. I am currently doing social work however I am not finding it satisfying. I love some of the things we are learning about but others I find I am struggling with. When I first started uni I wanted to study HR. I missed out by a point. So I went on to study social work. It is an eye opener. I have also made heaps of new friends that I might not have made if it wasn’t for this course and some of them I class as close friends who I can tell anything to. This year however I have made the decision to change direction and go for my dream of completing a HR degree. Business is something that interest me and I will enjoy this course more. Another change that is happening is I am moving house. While this isn’t a big change I have been in my current place for over 3 years and I had hoped to be in here a while longer however about 3 moths ago when I resigned my lease it was only done for 6 months so I knew that this was coming. Thankfully I have 3 months to find a place and I am in fact looking at a place today which if I get I will be moved in by next weekend so things will get a little hectic here and I might not be posting much for those few weeks! I do like change though. Change is something different and new and while it can be scary and freak me out it’s a good feeling when you do something out of your comfort zone and succeed!

Do you like change or do you resist it? What is the biggest change you have made of late?

Thoughtful Thursday

Love-is-patient

This is one of the most well known quotes from the bible. When my sister got married last year I was honoured to read this at the ceremony. ‘Love is patient.’ this is so true. If you love someone then you will happily wait for them. Yes sometimes you need to just move on but real love waits until the time is right. ‘It does not envy, it does not boast.‘ People who are always going on about how much they love this person and that and has to tell everyone. That I think is boasting. Real love does not feel the need to do that. people who only talk about their relationships really annoy me. Even more then then people who ignore you because they have a man in their life. ‘It is not self-seeking.’ True. Real love finds you not the other way around. Don’t look for love. Love will find you one day. Some times you just have to wait a while to find that love. I have looked for love. I have looked in the wrong places. I have thought I had found it when in all honesty it wasn’t really love. I have come to realise love will find me when the time is right. Not when I want it but when the universe or whatever deems me ready for love as it is one of the strongest emotions around. ‘Love never fails’ True love is forever. No matter what. If love is there on both sides then t can never fail no matter what happens.

What is love to you? What does it mean?

PS. Happy Valentines Day

Thoughtful Thursday

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‘Fifty Years from now when you’re looking back on you life don’t you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car’

This Quote. I love it. For the last 3 years I have had it written on the white board behind my computer. Surprisingly it is not from some mega inspirational movie, nor did someone profound say it. It’s from the Transformers movie. I love these movies. I resisted at first then an ex of mine took me to go see it (he point blank refused to go see Harry Potter) and I loved it! This quote would have to be the stand out for me. When I look back at my life when I am 80 years old. I want to be able to say I stood up and had the guts to do what I didn’t think I could. I took the risks and I am glad I did. Sadly It wont involve any transforming cars, Josh Duhamel or Patrick Dempsey (But hey a girl can dream). But I would be happy to say when I am older that I had the guts to stand up for what I believe in and that I did what scared me!

Do you have any movie quotes that you love? Or any movies that have changed your thinking?

Thoughtful Thursday

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DANCE I love dancing. Dancing makes me happy. I did tap and jazz when I was growing up and I have been dancing for the past 2 years which however has been sidetracked due to fracturing my L5 transverse process in a horse riding accident. This means that dancing fully is off the cards. But when my back is feeling ok I like to crank the music and dance around the house with my son. There is nothing more therapeutic then a good dance.

LOVE –¬†Personally I think love is overrated. Yes I have been hurt. Pretty badly. Right now I am very happy being single and it is what suits me. One day though I hope to find the one person who can show me what it feels like to really love again. But for now my son is the thing I love most in my life (along with coffee… coffee rates up there!)

SING – I am one of the off tone singers ever! Some how my sister and brother got really decent singing voices (they both got solo’s in the primary school choir – my brother even got an Adelaide solo) but sadly my singing skills failed. Doesn’t stop me from singing though! I quite randomly burst into song. At uni, doing the shopping. Basically anywhere. My son hates my singing! Christmas time I was waking him up in the morning by singing Christmas carols. It’s the funniest thing ever and he was telling me to shush and get out. I will never stop singing. Much to many peoples annoyance!

LIVE –Life happens. There isn’t anything you can do to change that. I chose to live my life with as little stress as I can. Housework not done, Who cares (I say this with a sink full of dishes). I don’t stress about money. As long as I have enough to pay my bills and give us food I don’t need anything else. People don’t like you? That’s their problem not yours. You only have one life so make the most of it!