Thursday, October 16, 2008

Personal Reflections - Anne of Green Gables, depression about indigenous issues, postives about India and Indonesia

While in China I bought a copy of L M Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.

Published in 1908 and set in Canada's Prince Edward Island, the book tells the first part of the story of Anne Shirley, an orphan who came to stay with Marilla and Mathew.

The Avonlea series are some of Canada's most loved books and formed the base for a number of popular TV series and films.

The photo is from the Anne of Green Gables series web site and shows Marilla (Colleen Dewhurst) with Anne (Megan Follows).

I have just been re-reading the book as a break from the world around me, an antidote for the depression that comes from too much exposure to serious stuff.

Part of the trigger here came from listening to the detail of and responses to the report into the Northern Territory intervention. After listening to an hour of radio discussion, I wrote Depression about indigenous policy - and a challenge to North Coast Voices. This led to a very tart response from one of the writers on that blog pointing out that I had my facts wrong. I brought the comment up into the main post as a correction, but it added to the sense of depression.

The way I feel at the moment, I don't think that I want to be involved in further discussion on indigenous issues. Things seem to go round and round. I listened to Fred Chaney being interviewed again. As always, he made good points, but he sounded very weary. How could he not be? I really admire the way he has kept on going.

I re-entered the discussion on indigenous issues in part to educate myself. Concerned with constant policy failures, I tried to use my skills as an analyst to suggest the reasons for failure, identify principles that might be used to develop new policy approaches. I also started writing on Aboriginal history again after a break of many years, focused especially on Northern New South Wales.

My knowledge has certainly improved, and that has sometimes been useful in a policy environment and to at least some readers measured by comments. However, I don't think that I have much additional that I can add at least at a policy or analytical level - the position I have developed is too far outside the often polarised main streams to be helpful at this point.

At some point I will try to consolidate all the posts I have written over the last two years into a single document to see if there is in fact anything more that I might usefully say. In the meantime, I will limit myself to continuing to build my understanding of Aboriginal history within New England.

On a more positive note, I seem to have been doing something right on this site measured by the traffic stats, with both page view and visitor numbers running at consistently higher levels.

On a still more positive note, my thanks to Ramana for Blogger From Australia. I have enjoyed the new visitors and my follow backs to their sites. Really a very nice break from a world recently dominated by economics. Ramana seems to have built a real community through, I think, his very positive comment policy.

Tikno, as I think mentioned in my response to your comment, material on Indonesia-Australia is spread in a number of posts. However, you may find the following of interest:

  • GDP - Australia in its Region (23 November 2006) looks at Australia's place in its region, including the impact this has on Australian trade policy. One point in that post was the need for growing integration between Australia and Indonesia.

  • UNE's Overseas Student's Association (October 2008) shows an Indonesian student at the University of New England in 1960. The first Indonesians I met were Colombo Plan students at UNE. The first Indonesian food I ate was cooked by them.

I spent the best part of an hour searching for a full post I thought that I had written on the death of President Suharto. I wanted this one because it had some historical material in it on the Indonesia-Australia relationship. I finally found it unfinished in drafts!

I will try to update and publish this so that there is another post similar to the one I did on India.

In the meantime, back to Anne of Green Gables!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention.

I would very much like to know more about why the present government of Australia has changed its mind about global warming. What are the ecological problems being faced by you now?

Congratulations on your 40,000th visitor. It will take me a long time to get there!

Tikno said...

Thank you for the given links above. I've been go there and find the relationship in education matter.

President Suharto, as the person who be in command for 32 years, I think many history has been created by him, including the matter of bilateral relationship.
About his death, there were those who felt sad because of his services to its country, and those who was not yet satisfied about the status of his law. I think, the feel of like and dislike were the matter that was natural for a leader.

Patiently, I'm waiting for the update. I believes, if it be written by an experience person like you, definitely will become interesting.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi RM. I will pick your question up in a post. I had intended to do so this morning in fact, but my Saturday Morning Musings went in a different direction!

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Tikno. I will bring a post up with a special focus on President Suharto. Australian attitudes towards him are quite complicated. No doubt Indonesian attitudes are too.

At a personal level, I have a far more positive view than some of my fellow countrymen.

Tikno said...

I found an interesting site to share. Perhaps you like it.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thank you, Tikno. It is not a site that I can simply visit. There is a lot of material I need to reflect on. I have bookmarked it and will come back for later reflection.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.