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As we head towards 2050 and beyond, our society will be faced with many challenges.

Climate change, food security, equality, justice, health and welfare challenges are but a few. Here I share my thoughts and observations about many current and continuing issues. I would be pleased to receive your feedback and I invite you to join me in the conversations.

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It is inherently human to be inquisitive. 

In the event of tragedy striking this trait can be disturbing.  Some individuals may become intrusive in their thirst for knowledge and not even be aware when boundaries are crossed or limits pushed. 

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Preamble: Well the time HAS come and the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP has done the right thing. Today she resigned her role as Speaker.  In doing so she made this statement:

I have today written to the Governor General and tendered my resignation as Speaker of the House of Representatives effective immediately. I have not taken this decision lightly, however it is because of my love and respect for the institution of the Parliament and the Australian people that I have resigned as Speaker.

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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. 

The remit of the Royal Commission is to uncover where systems have failed to protect children so it can make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices. 

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What might your eulogy say about you?

The words spoken in honour of a life lived often tell a concise tale of the impression left on loved ones by the deceased. 

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Preamble:

These words from Justin Baxter are poignant. 

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They sit comfortably as a sea breeze funnels along the verandah and touches their skin.  Chilled glasses of sparkling wine are held delicately in manicured hands.  Three likeminded women are deep in conversation.  The conversation, spontaneous in its evolution, is centred on how fortunate they are to live their mostly contented lives in Australia. 

In their circle of family and friends their children have never had to worry about from where their next meal was to come; or if their water was safe to drink; or if they had shelter from the elements.

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With the close of one year and the beginning of the new, we often use this time to reflect on what has been; to make resolutions and decide upon changes we hope to make in our lives.

One could argue that our feelings may be skewed at this time of year with the celebrations and happiness that typically accompanies the festive season.  However not all families are able to celebrate with happiness at this time.

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For most parents living in a country like ours, a ‘first-world’ country, from the moment we learn we have conceived or even in the ‘planning’ to conceive, we have hopes and dreams for our unborn child.

When the child is born, be it a male child or female child, the contemplating commences; who does he/she look like, what will their disposition be, what colour eyes will they have and what will he/she be when they ‘grow-up?’

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Background: Justin was born in the mid north of South Australia and moved to the city at a young age.  A member of the local Country Fire Service Brigade and a full time Emergency Services Officer in the Gas and Oil industry, Justin has a unique insight into the Emergency Services in this State and here he shares his views on the increase of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).  J

Justin holds an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (Emergency Management).

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I, for one, know intimately what it is like to fail in a contest which meant the absolute world to me.  The pain of a failed democratic contest is like no physical pain known, it gnaws at your gut, your soul, your heat and your values.  It eats your very being.  

I have found though, that as the sensation of defeat eases, and it does, it is replaced with an immortal inner strength which welds itself to your frame and reinforces it with fortified traits of integrity and resilience.  The sensation of conquest is eventually replaced with a sense of calm.

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Nature is a splendid thing. The regeneration and rejuvenation of the Port Germein Gorge and the Southern Flinders, following the devastating January fires, is remarkable.  

Just yesterday, as I drove north towards the Southern Flinders Ranges and as the Bluff came into view, the scars of the January fires were more apparent.  The starkness of the Range took on the appearance of leather in need of nourishment.  The type of leather of old boots, old boots which had walked too many miles and endured too much sun. 

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It alarms me at how easy it is for people to bully, abuse, intimidate, torment and oppress from the relative comfort of their living rooms, work stations or other areas of sanctuary by using social (or sometimes I would suggest anti-social) media.   

Some of my tweets have received brutal opposition.  It is not that I am offended by the feedback, I am not.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to freedom of speech, but it is rather the way in which those opinions are articulated that may offend.  

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