In Pakistan's Floods I commented that the coverage in the Australian media had not been especially good, far less than the coverage of the previous earthquakes. That is no longer true. The sheer scale of the disaster is now attracting a lot of coverage.
I think that it is still true that that the Australian response has been more muted than in some other cases.
After initial technical troubles, a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft is due to leave Amberley this morning with emergency stores. The distances involved mean that the C-17A will still be delivering its load of emergency relief stores this weekend, with a second sortie due to arrive in Pakistan early next week. However, at this stage it appears that we have yet to establish a special operation as we did earlier, for example, with Operation Padang Assist.
I have discussed in several posts just what role Australia might play in regional disaster relief. The Rudd Government had been looking at ways to enhance Australia's response capacity. This seems to have been somewhat submerged by other matters!
In Australia's election confusions, I mentioned the proposed abolition by the coalition of Labor's trade training centres in schools. Cousin Jamie came in with an interesting comment based on his experience in Wagga Wagga. Reading the comment, I wasn't sure whether the problems that Jamie referred to lay in the schools or were, in fact, a symptom of a broader systemic problem.
The crux of the problem can be put this way. Is trade training at school level value for money? If not, is this a school specific problem, or a symptom of a broader problem in trade training itself? When I read of kids trained at school to a certain level who then have to be retrained at TAFE, this suggests a combination of training and assessment problems.
Since I wrote Ranga, budgie smuggler, Green Desperados & the Three Amigos, the possibility that the Three Amigos might end up with the balance of power has begun to attract considerable media attention. I think it unlikely because of the size of the House of Representatives, 150 members, but I am enjoying the discussion! It's one way of getting attention for some of the things that I am interested in.
Back in June in Search for Captain Thunderbolt I referred to the search by Australia's National Film and Sound Archives to find a full copy of this film. This drew a comment from David Donaldson. Now what I didn't know was that Director Cecil Holmes was known to David Donaldson during the 1950s when David was a film society organiser and inaugural director of the Sydney Film Festival. According to David, Homes was a film distributor (New Dawn Films) as well as film maker who helped the burgeoning non-commercial arts-oriented film movement to see a wider range of film in those days of cinema starvation. It is David who has been driving the search.
I felt quite chuffed to have got a comment from David, and then had a lot of fun digging around with stills. I have decided to do a New England Story on the making of the film through the eyes of the child I was then. I am too young to remember the actual making of the film, but I did go to the premiere and was brought up on stories about the film. You see, it was very much a local affair!