13 November 2012


It has been give or take 11 months since I last made a post on this blog of mine. I really do not remember how many followers I had when I began invisible to all and sundry in the blogging world, and it matters not. Life is not about followers and in many respects it was not about blogposts either.

I have thought about blogging a number of times in the intervening period between the then and the now. It was not writer's block, it was not a lack of material, it was not even an ever-increasing workload at work, rather it was more about focusing on those things closer to home and trying to stay on top of things at home and at work.

Life is an interesting ride and one that I have thought greatly about over recent months. It is about perspective and losing perspective. I find that I lose perspective a lot more now than I did in the past. I guess there are arguments to be made for an against the relativity of perspective, but for me I find that I question a lot more why I do what I do and whether I am really happy doing what I do where I am doing it. Perhaps it is not a loss of perspective but a realisation that there is more than one way to go about achieving the outcome one so desperately desires.

This is not a particularly happy post, in fact it is way too dark and morbid for the first post back but, it is what it is, what is on my mind.

I have read a lot lately about bullying and cyber bullying, particularly the trauma that our youngsters suffer at the hands of others. However, it is not only children that suffer, there are plenty of adults that suffer too. I have found myself wondering what it must be like to be at the mercy of these monsters, some who hide behind the cloak of anonymity on the internet.

Yet, some bullies are much more overt than they ever are covert as there is no fear of repercussions. The whispers as one walks down the street in a small town, the rocking of one's roof, the constant rattling of windows, the scratching of cars, the throwing of rubbish into a backyard, throwing rocks at pets, and then the name up in lights on the internet. All these things no doubt culminate in high levels of stress and thoughts of escape from the constant barrage of hate and vitriol designed to wound to the core.

It is a hardy soul that can resist for an extended period of constant psychological, physical, emotional, and mental abuse at the hands of the bullies.

There are plenty of things to read on what is a tragic and disturbing trend of people, particularly young people, opting for the ultimate "out" of suicide as a means of ending their misery. This is a worldwide tale of tragedy that knows no borders or boundaries. It is also one that is not new, Megan Meier found herself in the tragic position of seeing no other alternative than to take the ultimate action to thwart the bullies. The beauty of the internet is that it makes the world a smaller place and allows us to learn of things more quickly and to communicate more freely. However, it also allows crazed stalkers and bullies the ability to harass and harangue one no matter where you move. The recent suicide of Amanda Todd is testament to this.

I always thought that suicide was a coward's way out. When times are good it is easy to get caught up in this self-belief that you are invincible and that no matter how hard it gets that you will always be a little bit stronger than the bullies who target you. However, I am much older and wiser now; I no longer believe that it is the coward's way. To the contrary, I feel that many, if not all, of those who take that ultimate and forever final step have thought long and hard about the decision they are making and make. The reality is more likely one that says the pain that I leave behind for my loved ones will never be as bad as the pain that I must endure every single day and that will cease when I cease to be.

This is the real tragedy. Victims, whether they be younger or older, reach a point where they feel not only worthless but they also reach a place where they feel they are doing more harm than good by staying, enduring, and fighting each and every day. It is at this point victims make a judgment call that the pain they are ending is far greater than any pain that they can ever possibly leave behind.

I just cannot understand the mindset of a bully, particularly a bully who drives others to self-harm.

28 January 2012

The Colly Crew on ABC TV's 7.30 Program...

The Colly Crew are moving onwards and upwards. The things that we do are being recognised as making a difference. They are being recognised as allowing for change. They are being recognised for creating opportunities. And, they are being recognised for opening doors.

The Colly Crew grew out of a program called "Step-By-Step". It is a hip hop based program designed to engage kids with school and their education. It is worth noting that Collarenebri is a small, very rural and remote community. The school is a central school and there is a significant local Indigenous community with a very rich history. Consequently, the program is often referred to as being an Indigenous hip hop program. For me, perhaps a community hip hop program is a more accurate reflection of what we are actually doing.

About the program. There are elements of literacy and numeracy, but it is more than just about literacy and numeracy it is about understanding how the choices we make impact upon our lives. It is about how we can take control of our lives and make smarter decisions and achieve those things that perhaps others in our families have never had the opportunity to do. Any teachers out there looking for a spoken word, performance poetry, rap unit of work that incorporates what we have done so successfully in this program let me know, we are always happy to share.

I am not sure how to embed just the video. Nevertheless, the link to the 7.30 Program and their report can be found here.

I encourage you to watch it.

All feedback is accepted. I am sure that there are those out there who love what we are doing and are amazed by it. I am also not naive enough to believe that absolutely every single person out there is in favour of it. Keep it civil though.