19.9 C
Byron Shire
September 28, 2023

Neoliberal politics

Latest News

Families consider class action against Intrapac over cancelled Banyan Hill house and land contracts

Nearly fifty local Intrapac house and land buyers on the Northern Rivers may need to take Supreme Court action to avoid being short-changed and priced out of the region.

Other News

Bangalow General Store 

The concept of the Australian general store is an old one, dating back to the time when our population was smaller, and transportation much more difficult. The whole town and surrounding area would purchase their food staples, dry goods and sometimes basic home and hardware from the general store.

Running the NY Marathon for type-1 diabetes research

Southern Cross University student Georgie Collis has type-1 diabetes but this won't stop her running in the New York Marathon in November to raise funds for research.

Call to Jewish my brethren

I call upon my brethren and Jewish Australians and Israelis who have made their permanent home here and are...

Paco Lara Duende flamenco

Bringing the soul and spirit of Spanish flamenco, the acclaimed Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco Lara will inspire and capture the imagination of Australian audiences with the release and launch of his new album Duende, a self-produced album of original compositions. 

After school is extra fun in Kyogle, Grafton, Goonellabah and Tweed

Go4Fun is a free, after-school, healthy lifestyle program for primary school-aged children who are above a healthy weight, kicks off in Term 4 in Kyogle, Grafton, Goonellabah and Tweed.

School holidays: farmers’ market fun

It’s an image still with me, the little boy dancing in front of the stage, face split into a smile of pure joy, orange balloon floating from his fingers, his father bopping alongside.

The current Australian debate addressing the Voice now seems lost in neoliberal politics. Media organisations are falling over themselves to maintain exploitive and divisive structural social complexities, lacking historical colonial/genocidal/incarceration information. 

An obvious strategy of social manipulation to dumb down consciousness. As a young woman in the 1970s and 1980s, researching for a documentary on land rights and self-determination in Australia I was adopted and mentored by warrior woman, ‘Mum Shirl’.  A revolutionary woman/saint who changed Redfern forever, an area rich in an Indigenous community, poverty, over-policing, drug dealers, homelessness, trauma and distrust of white people.  

I watched Shirl stand up in court cases and beg the representative magistrate for systemically brutalised Indigenous children be sent to her,  with mob support, rather than to state prisons.  

Father Ted Kennedy, from the Redfern Catholic Church gave a large church space to Shirl. This space was lined with beds and in my old bomb of a car, I drove Shirl to many op shops as she gathered bedding, clothes, etc. 

Over the years 64 children were saved from prisons.

On one occasion Shirl had to go to the Redfern Police Station to get the children. Waiting outside for her and the children, I heard angry voices, on top of this terrifying noise I could hear Shirl yelling.  After approximately 15 minutes Shirl appeared, minus the children, running towards the car. She had been badly beaten by the police and had a swollen face, cut and bleeding knees. She had fought back physically. I viewed the legacy of the Redfern police.  

Shirl then tirelessly worked to establish the Redfern Medical Centre, and Redfern Legal Centre plus a daily food hub for homeless folk. 

Shirl was a frontline woman who took no shite. Her black eyes pierced through any point of any contention with a razor-sharp mind.  In 1983, at the Pine Gap demonstration, Shirl and I were in the central desert one starry night  which was to be an ‘aha moment’ for me. Shirl, who could not read or write, explained the connectedness of Mother Earth to the greater starry cosmology. I learnt that ‘all is connected’, as the greater cosmology in the sky travels, the dynamic emanations so impact all ecology on Mother Earth. 

I saw no neoliberal star, no Johnny Howard/Dutton star, no Rupert Murdoch star, no Western corporations’ star (tho’ much junk in the sky). I saw a constellation of ‘deaths in custody’ stars. I faced my own ignorance, it seemed colonial/Western philosophy and social relations remain in infancy, a primitive mind-seat with a greed trigger point. At that point, prisons entered my life. Another tragic story of Indigenous terror. 

Folks who feel ‘No’ in their consciousness, view Gerry Bostock’s film Lousy Little Sixpence. It will help with historical understanding. I have waited 50 years for a ‘Yes’ vote – accountability please. 

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Jo, it’s real sad that what you describe seems to be the new norm these days, although I’m not convinced that the Voice is yet indeed dead. It was always going to struggle the minute the Opposition and sections of Mining Industry started campaigning against it. Peter Dutton should be totally ashamed of himself for opposing it, but good luck with that. It seems that given his inability to land any sort of a blow on Albo since the Coalition lost the election big time, Dutton, in all his opportunistic “wisdom” has seized on the opportunity to try to derail the Voice and damage Albo before the next election, in the process, the extreme right just does not give a shit about anything apart from themselves, they must be kept out of Govt at all cost.

    • Keith ..it’s a choice..in the referendum ..
      Yes or No ..and the voters fortunately
      do have a choice…extreme far right keith ?
      What are you implying ? Anyone right of centre
      You call far right/ or extreme far right..
      What do you call your leader Keith ?
      Albo is a Activist no more no less
      And is the most left wing Prime Minister
      This country has had.. he calls anyone
      Who has a “no opinion” on the voice as spreading
      Misinformation or disinformation…. that’s what the
      Left dos so well keith..blame others for what you
      Are guilty of yourself…Albo will be one term
      Prime Minister..has not one centre policy in his
      Pocket.. all elections are one from the centre ..
      Albo is more aligned with the Greens every day
      That passes ..unbelievable how at the state
      Labor conference..albo suggests that the biggest
      Threat to national security is climate change..
      Not even that enept muppet greens leader
      Has ever suggested that..god help us..

      • Barrow, a lot of truth in your writing.
        Dutton is smashing Albo off the park, Albo’s personal approval score is tanking, just like the sinking Yes Voice support.
        The voters / by-elections in Fadden QLD and Rockingham WA show that PM Albo is a ‘oncer’, he’s a goner at the 2025 election.
        The biggest threat to national security was climate change but now it’s the USA, the AUKUS subs deal means we are “all the way with the USA” and we’ll be the first ones joining the USA when the USA goes on its next war frolick.
        Poor fellow my country.

    • Keith, “although I’m not convinced that the Voice is yet indeed dead.:”, well if going from some 60% Yes national support in January down to some 46% Yes national support in July and furthermore that now only 2 states – Tasmania and Victoria – showing above 50% Yes support, then I don’t know what a dead Voice looks like.
      Dutton is smashing Albanese’s approval rating.
      Albo is on the slide going down and out – ALP pummelled in Fadden by-election; ALP smashed in Rockingham by-election; now the Voice is going down.
      Keith, on the Voice Albanese and Burney are delivering a train wreck.
      They had plenty of time to get their lines and stories right before the No Voice gang got going. It’s another example of our too slow, couch dozing PM Albanese, as he now desperately tries to rescue the Voice. The damage is done, another Albanese/ALP Fail.

      • Joachim old son, if you think that recycled conglomeration of your usual Green propaganda is impressing anyone, you are just making another fool of yourself, a massive fail (as usual).

        • Keith, Keith, Kieth, we know that ‘Numbers’ not your strong suit.
          Keith, the tanking Voice ‘Numbers’, just “Green propaganda”,
          Keith, Albo’s tanking approval rating, just “Green propaganda”,
          Keith. ALP’s miserable results in Fadden and Rockingham, just “Green propaganda”.

          Keith, do yourself a huge favour, don’t go anywhere near issues where ‘Numbers’ are involved. As entertaining as it is, you just keep making a fool of yourself.

  2. Hi Jo,
    Thank you for sharing your story! Your precious insights and knowledge gained from the experiences had with your amazing friend Shirl! Loved it! What an amazing woman!!
    Some vocal Anglo folk (minority I’m hoping) are too conservative, scared, selfish to allow even the slightest piece of justice for an entity, no matter how worthy if it somehow crosses their own comfort zone.
    Indigenous peoples have my support to hold the highest positions of this land for they are the most amazing beautiful intelligent, knowing and inclusive people. They have innate intelligence. It is the Anglo that has made a mess of things, not the First Nations people.
    Vote YES, vote YES! These people need to regain their dignity, voting YES is a step in the right direction to achieving a better life for them for the current system is obviously not working, thanks again.

    • Thank you for name calling. The more you reduce people’s concerns to ‘scared’ and ‘selfish’, the more bullied they feel. And calling all non-Aboriginal people ‘Anglo’, is also helpful to us. Even the majority of White people here, aren’t of Anglo-Saxon descent, so that shows you people don’t actually respect people’s ethnic background. Telling Aboriginal people that they can’t compete on an even playing field, implying they are lesser than every other race here, even Africans, has done a lot toward pushing them over to us. Keep up the good work. Your lack of self awareness is appreciated.

  3. Vote yes and get what?. A prime minister and minister that will not disclose pertinent information raises suspicion. Come clean fools and tell all, or is the truth too horrible for the average Aussie?.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Heat the biggest climate change killer – Tweed Council takes action

Since 1890, heat and heat waves have killed more Australians than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods, and severe storms combined and Tweed Shire Council are looking at ways to future proof the shire through their DCP.

Former NSW Premier Bob Carr backs end to land clearing in NSW

Recognising the impacts of logging and clearing native forests former NSW Premier Bob Carr has backed ongoing calls to halt land clearing in NSW.

Crash following alleged pursuit – Murwillumbah

A vehicle has crashed following an alleged pursuit at Murwillumbah yesterday. About 9.30am (Wednesday, 27 September, 2023), officers attached to Tweed/Byron Police District attempted to...

Byron homeless hub forced to cut vital services

Byron’s only homeless hub says it has to reduce services owing to an increase in demand and a lack of government funding.