(Half of) No Award goes to Uluru

Last weekend, I had the extraordinary privilege of spending three days at Uluru. I thought I could write it up in a quick, pithy post not unlike a museum shop review, but this post is almost three thousand words long, and how can you reduce such an amazing and awe-inspiring place to a score out of five?

(Five out of five cork hats, though.)

 

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Activism for Aussies: penalty rates

Last Thursday, the Fair Work Commission announced a cut to Sunday penalty rates for the retail, pharmacy and hospitality industries. Casual workers are unaffected, but full- and part-time employees in those areas will see their Sunday and public holiday pay drop.

News.com.au has an outline of who is affected and how.

Below the cut: more information, and action points.

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Further Activism for Aussies: outcomes and new scripts

Some friends of No Award have been using our scripts from last week, so today we’re having a look at some more scripts, and also some of the reactions we’re receiving. This is to allow you to prepare for the possibility that, as much as we advise you to be polite to staffers, a staffer might be rude to you. This way, you can engage in self-care before and after making stressful phone calls and receiving rude emails.

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Museum shops of the Clare Valley

But first, a brief Aussie activist announcement

We are obviously unsurprised yet disappointed and angry that Malcolm Turnbull has refused to denounce the US #MuslimBan, and Scott “remember that time I oversaw the militarisation of Australian Customs and Immigration?” Morrison has claimed credit for inspiring it.

Dismantling Australia’s policies and rhetoric around asylum seekers is a big job with a lot of facets, and it often feels overwhelming — at least to me. But here is something we can do right now:

A thirty-seven year old Kuwaiti woman detained on Nauru is in the final weeks of an incredibly dangerous pregnancy, and doctors are pleading for her to be airlifted to an Australian hospital.

Call Peter Dutton’s electorate office on (07) 3205 9977, or the Ministerial office on (02) 6277 7860, or email him at minister@border.gov.au and peter.dutton.mp@aph.gov.au to ask him to stop faffing around and bring the woman to Australia.

UPDATE 11:54 Tuesday 31 January: Pregnant Nauru asylum seeker in critical condition flown to Australia: Doctor. Hooray!


Back to your regularly scheduled museum adventures…

I visited my father and stepmother in Adelaide the other week, and Dad took me out to visit the Clare Valley wine region. This is quite close to the better-known Barossa, but whereas the Barossa is a land of giant industrial vineyards, the Clare Valley is full of family-owned and boutique wineries.

I visited Martindale Hall, an historic mansion, and Sevenhills Cellars, which isn’t so much a museum with a shop as a shop (well, a cellar door) that happens to have a small museum attached. WORTH IT THOUGH.

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Ideas for Australian Activism

Hello Quokkas. Here at No Award we are all about activism and empowerment and knowing your enemies but, just as our popular media is so dominated by US voices that we had to start No Award to centre us here in Antipodia, we’ve found the statements and actions around activism to be very UScentric.

So to start your 2017 off right, we’ve pulled together an Australia-focused how-to on activism and maintaining the rage.

Please note we started this guide about three weeks ago and were taking our time about it, but given the events of the last few days thought we’d better get it up and running ASAP. As always, we welcome your suggestions.

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No Award reads Auslit (that’s set in England and France): Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Bashir “Bish” Ortley, a London cop — currently suspended after his drinking problem led to an incident with another cop — gets a phone call: a bus full of British schoolkids has been bombed in France, and his teenage daughter was on board.

And worse, one of the other passengers is Violette LeBrac, whose mother has been in prison for thirteen years after she confessed to helping her father bomb a supermarket — and Bish was the cop who took four-year-old Violette from her mother’s arms after the arrest.

Violette is the obvious suspect, but before the investigation can even begin, she has disappeared, taking a thirteen-year-old boy with her.

Controversial OzYA opinion: I’m really ambivalent about Melina Marchetta’s work. Looking for Alibrandi was my favourite book in grade nine, but then it became assigned reading for grade twelve advanced English, and didn’t really hold up.

So I’m not a wholehearted Marchetta fan. I’ve liked some of her books, hated one, didn’t bother with her fantasy series. And YET, when I heard that her next book was a thriller aimed at an adult audience, I was intrigued. (Crime fiction: my other passion.) I bought Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil from Kobo and spent the weekend on the couch, inhaling it.

It was wonderful.

Continue reading “No Award reads Auslit (that’s set in England and France): Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta”