Friday, March 07, 2014

A possible solution to the "refugee boat crisis" affecting Australia...

It seems that the divide is like this...  one side says we cannot let them in and the other side says let them in.

That is a huge oversimplification of course, presently the "we cannot let them in" camp is the dominant paradigm.

Let's examine what is happening now.  Refugees are "detained" in deplorable conditions in Australia and overseas and while a few are "processed" many are simply detained indefinitely without having ever committed any actual crime.

It cannot be argued that this treatment is humane or good for anyone, however I do grant that some refugees are happier to be in this situation rather than being shot at or killed in the countries from which they have escaped.

I propose a radical and different solution to this "problem" working on two basic beliefs that I believe to be consistently true:

  1 People who flee their countries in this way are almost guaranteed to be hard working go getters who not only work their butts off for /with the country they are accepted into.    But also the contribution they make with gratitude for taking them in will translate to a valuable participation and improvement in the country they are accepted into.

 2 What are we are doing now COSTS HEAPS.  We could actually create a WIN WIN situation where Australia can act in a humane way as well as makes money from refugees rather than lose it on detaining them.

The solution...

1 Accept every single person who attempts to arrive in Australia by boat and bring them into the country to live in "ghost towns", that is places that are in decline because nobody really wants to live there.  Or places where there are plenty of jobs, that no Australian seems to want to do.  Of course they have to be health screened for TB etctera.  Here they are processed but are able to work immediately and contribute to society.  They can be setup with a sort of Parole Officer type arrangement where their progress is tracked and they are kept closely under tabs.

2 Everyone accepted in this way is fined a one off fee of $50,000 which they have 5 years to pay off.  Obviously if after 5 years they have come close to paying that off I would not recommend sending them back to where they came from.  But if they fail to have paid this amount by that time they are deported and the debt remains.

I have arbitrarily come up with the figure of $50,000; of course a different amount could be used.  I simply believe that a clear positive cash flow towards the costs of having them here rather than the black hole of cost that we have now is a very good thing.

This a very simple solution and I believe it should be implemented quickly as the human cost of what we are doing now is destructive almost beyond measure.  To add mental distress to people by ongoing detention of people who are already facing a bleak mental health future from viewing or having escaped atrocities is a serious crime indeed.

What I propose is a skeleton, details would need to be fleshed out of course, but what we need to see right now is an end to what is happening now immediately.  What is happening right now is akin to the internment camps for Japanese in WW2 in Australia and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.  I simply do not understand why our country is putting ourselves in this position at this time and fear what will be said of us in future history books.

I write this in good faith that a solution is needed right now and nobody else seems to have suggested one.  Australia needs to show its true colours and accept more refugees now.  While the humanitarian element is important the economic opportunity utterly wasted now is an important element to consider also.

I can be contacted via this blog or nimja at  yahoo.  com.

I put this to both sides of politics and all minor parties.  Let's make this "problem" a "situation for windfall" rather than a cesspit of wasted $s and improper/inhumane treatment of people.


  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

more photos


Fwd: Subaru 1994 for sale; WRECKING (dead radiator,fan and manifold)




Front end collision: damage underneath.  See ebay for listing week ending 22 Dec, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Eclipse: Kiritimati, 10 May 2013

Ok so it has been a million years since I have posted on here!  I am at Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean to view the annular eclipse happening this afternoon.  Captain Cook was here to see one in 1778; indeed he named the little islet in the bay here "Eclipse Island".  It was soon renamed Cook Island and is now a bird sanctuary hosting many varieties of birds.

Hopefully I will get a chance to see it and also will report here about the eclipse hopefully with some photos!

xoxo  Nim

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Colony; a new play in Cairns; see it now!!

The Colony

JUTE Theatre Company's Indie Season in collaboration with Cairns
Centre of Contemporary Art (COCA) reaches a thrilling conclusion for
2012 with The Colony by the Centre of Australaisan Theatre (CfAT).
This truly multicultural company brings us an ensemble cast from many
different countries including Japan and Indigenous Australia. With a
fusion of live theatre, dance, movement, music, film and visual art
the work comes to a life of its own!

Audiences immediately are brought out of where we are now into this
mysterious and strangely beautiful world of "the island" by a backdrop
created by two celebrated Aurukun Artists, Mavis Ngallametta and Craig
Koomeeta, collaborating with Guy & Gina Allain of Moulin Rouge, Rabbit
Proof Fence and The Matrix fame. Their vision to create an island for
Hamlet (the main character and our guide) and company from ghost net
materials and other marine debris, is realised beautifully in the
cleverly designed space. Renowned Australian Fashion Designer Linda
Jackson's costumes blend wonderfully both with the ghost nets and the
set which not so much looks like an island as becomes an island with
us on and in it!

The play begins with the performers stumbling around in a kind of
mysterious limbo. The audience begins to feel disoriented and we are
not sure where we are and what we are doing. This is an intentional
construct, exacibated by the entrance of Catherine Hassall's
mysterious ghostly singing and macabre figure. Like Ariel in
Shakespeare's "The Tempest", Hassall's character seems to be pulling
strings somehow and gently stringing us and Hamlet (the protagonist
{perhaps no relation}) through the journey through this
discombobulating island. A fascinating effect this has is of a
cohesion and an inclusiveness where audience and players alike are
drawn together in this mysterious longing for something or someone
lost. Where the story begins with feelings of disconnectedness we all
soon realise that we are in this together and the performers begin to
move together and draw us into this camaraderie.

The live music of Jeremiah Johnson blends delightfully with the
haunting and powerful singing of Hassall, whose voice is matched only
by her fluid, magical and puissant movement. Warren Clements is an
utter joy to behold with his likable and bawdy antics; add to this mix
the disciplined and measured eloquence of Miyako Masaki's dance and
you have a piece of Multicultural theatre of a very high level indeed!

Often in these kind of multimedia experiences the film occurs as an
incongruous parallel, but not in this one! Savannah Productions' film
scenes blend charmingly with the live action and add another dimension
to the performance. At times they blend with the backdrop while at
other times they become another face of particular characters allowing
greater depth of expression and coherence.

This play puts Cairns on the map of Multicultural Theatre in Australia
and I hope CfAT can tour it Nationally. Guillaume 'Willem' Brugman's
vision for Graham Henderson's text comes to life magically with this
ensemble cast from many corners of the world. This group is certainly
one to watch out for in the future and if you are in or anywhere near
Cairns, go see this now!



RATED 4/5 stars

by Nim Jayawardhana for Artshub!


Details

The Colony by Graham Henderson



WRITTEN BY Graham Henderson // DIRECTED BY Guillaume 'Willem' Brugman
// COSTUMES Linda Jackson // SOUND Jeremiah Johnson & Nigel Pegrum /
/ SCENOGRAPHY Guy & Gina Allain // FILM BY Savannah Productions // ART
Ensemble: Warren Clements, Piers Freeman, Srianjali Gunasena, Catherine Hassall,
Sue Hayes, Jeremiah Johnson, Miyako Masaki, Kara Ross

November 16-17, 20-23 November
JUTE Theatre, Centre of Contemporary Arts, 96 Abbott St. Cairns
7.30pm
$20-$25 - on sale from http://thecolony.australasiantheatre.org
rated M

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tinpan Orange; Northcote Social Club Feb 2012

The support act for Tinpan Orange was Jess Ribeiro and she was well
chosen for the slot. The crowd were sitting blissfully listening to
her delightfully dulcet tones. She began with maybe 40 people in the
room and they were with her all the way. Towards the end of the show
there were 80 happy relaxed people in the room. As people startied
filling in for the main act the audience had to stand to fit them all
in.

It was a sellout show and I began to realise why very quickly. This
band just oozes talent; but more, Tinpan Orange is driven with a
singular purpose! Sometimes when a group of musicians this talented
play together one may want to outshine another. This team of talent
are most certainly all on the same side. They quite clearly love
playing together and the audience is brought into the sheer joy of it!
You feel like you are their mate sitting in your very own private jam
session!

They're a hard band to define; with elements of country, folk,
flamenco and jazz. I guess one handle could be indie; but it's just
not a good enough description of what they do. I think of Tinpan
Orange as: Stevie Nicks crossed with Peter Garrett and Kate Bush
fronting a band that is really like no other. Emily Lubitz
is striking and hauntingly sweet; a valkyrie/amazon who expresses
emotion with her hands and voice beautifully. Her brother; Guitarist
Jesse Lubitz; along with Harry Angus (keys and trumpet) and Alex
Burkoy (violin, mandolin) make some angelic three part harmonies that
float beautifully behind Emily's lead vocals. Danny Farrugia's drumming while
compelling was not overpowering and it was marvellous to see brushes
out in the first song! I loved his little cymbals attached to his
right hand drumstick although for audiences it probably means he never
throws his sticks into the crowd for souvenirs! :(

The crowd were mesmerised by the relaxed vibe of short, cute intros to
each song and I think it helped build the intimacy of the gig. The
sound was beautifully engineered by Brett Doig allowing the band to all be heard
delightfully in a PACKED room! I can't praise the Northcote Social
Club enough as a venue. Wow! Good visibility, good size room,
intimate and comfortable (as long as you made sure to remove your
layers). This was a great gig to celebrate the second anniversary of
SLAM (Save Live Australia's Music); a rally Tinpan Orange played for
in 2010.

This band is bound to make it really big; my tip: see them as soon as
possible while they are filling up small venues and while their ticket
price is so low!

They next play WA Nannup Music Festival 4th March, Fremantle; Mojos
Bar 5th March, With Jordie Lane and 9th-12th March Port Fairy Folk
Festival , Victoria.

Jess Ribeiro 4 stars.

Tinpan Orange 5 stars.

Nimal Jayawardhana

** this review was written for artshub.com.au but was not published
due to time etcetera.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: The Rat Trap; Polytoxic; Bille Brown Studio, Brisbane

The Rat Trap


First and foremost it is essential to suspend disbelief when you walk
through the doors into the space for this production! This show is a
little like a Salvador Dali painting meeting a novel written by Paulo
Coehlo and Gabriella Garcia Marquez; that probably should be taking
place in Montmarte in France. I think I was unexpectedly prepared by
watching Midnight in Paris this afternoon before attending!

The programme is a must read for having some idea for what is about to
transpire when you go to see this show. It is a beautiful melding of
traditional pacific islander / cabaret / circus and burlesque; that
without the programme makes absolutely no sense; which for the
audience is a strength (if you read the programme) or a weakess (if
you do not).

The story begins with half man half woman; JanUri (Fez Fa'anana) who
sets the scene of a seedy and divey tiki bar somewhere. We are then
introduced to the no longer conjoined Siamese Twins (Lisa Fa'alafi and
Leah Shelton); who are suffering "serious seperation issues"; thanks
programme you're a lifesaver!! We are led into a confusing but
alluring tale of debauchery with amazing circus feats stirred into it.

Natano Fa'anana plays the somewhat estranged father or the girls and
his grumpy busboy is a highlight of the show. It all makes sense when
you read that he is a "blackbird in hiding and the last of the now
defunct slave trade". This is what polytoxic does very well indeed;
the melding of the traditional into the modern. Referencing ancient
culture with quirky, lovely modern takes on traditional pacific
islander dance. These little asides were quite wonderful and it would
have been nice to see more of them!

If you want a good clean narrative I would not recommend this show.
If you want to be wowed by clever circus mixed into surreal magic
realism it's the show for you! The lighting is subtle and dingy;
beautifully suiting the story and I was impressed Andrew Meadows
managed to put an antique Paton 125 to good use lighting this show.
Another highight was the scene towards the end where we get to see the
riggers highlighted not as invisibles but as participants in the
magic; this breaking down of the fifth wall has long been an interest
of mine in theatre. Go see it; if only to have a night of it in South
Brisbane ; the Joynt down the road is bound to be pumping after and
you can really make a night of it!


3.5 stars.


Nim Jayawardhana for Artshub (artshub.com.au)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

new REVIEW: House of Cards- Anywhere Theatre Festival - Turnstyle; Brisbane

rewrite

House of Cards at Turnstyle

It's an ambitious project with Mikhala Hawken it's creator saying it,
"will leave audience members reflecting on the paths they have led and
the people who have touched their lives." Astoundingly, it actually
does just this! The style of the venue, the lighting which is
evocative of makeshift share house lamps and even the books on shelves
take you into some rememberances both of the characters and yourself.
House of Cards is the debut performance of Synestheatre.

Mikey Bailey sets the scene by laying out the cards and this
deliberateness seems to reverberate with his character who seeks
constant control. The serious and sometimes dark aspects of this
character are a long way from his usual roles as a physical comic. He
rose to the challenge delightfully in this more dramatic role, which
was informed by his physicality.

We are then introduced to Mikhala Hawken and Benjamin Jacksons'
characters who interact in two parallel stories of an old man meeting
a young girl and a couple of lovers; both pairs meeting on a park
bench. The cards are used as a playful vehicle with the love story
represented as the Queen of Hearts. The third being (Bailey) keeps
trying to steal this card and a little of his circus background is
displayed in his clever and acrobatic thefts.

This piece is hypnotic and beautiful with the shadow play, film and
live elements working together almost seamlessly. The accurracy of
the choreography in the film to live transition was wonderful. It's
not so much a straight story as a journey through the feelings
elicited in relationships. Radiohead's music drives both the movement
and the narrative in delightful ways.

Mikhala Hawken and Benjamin Jackson move together fluidly with Bailey
menacing as a third presence. This piece of theatre and movement
really is a thrilling achievement as it draws the audience into their
own experiences, by allowing just the right amount of space in the
story to allow this. The movement really worked as did the use of
film which was almost as if it was live. One problem with this
vehicle was that the costumes did not match the characters on screen,
but it was not a major problem as the characters "walked onto the
screen" so cleverly; that gimmick really worked well!

Turnstyle is a non-profit, community run space; The Theatre Anywhere
Festival uses everywhere from city lanes to parks to showcase new
theatre. House of Cards was
performed in a space that looks like a rumpus room with old books
lining bookshelves along the back walls.

This challenge to what is normal from the venue, disarmed the audience
just enough to open their minds up to what was about to transpire on
the makeshift stage. And this non-linear, journey through
relationships is as much about the experiences the audience brings to
it as the performers.

Look out for the next piece by Synestheatre; it is bound to be a great
show too!



4 stars


Nim Jayawardhana for Artshub in Brisbane