Issues that matter

Like most people, I have my pet issues, those societal concerns that drive public debate and political rhetoric. As a healthcare provider the standard and means of its delivery is high on my list. There’s the environment; the use, waste and pollution of our water supplies worries me. I have family and friends in rural Australia reliant on rainwater and I camp each year with friends on the Murray. Discussion about water always comes up at some point in the week.

I’ve also always had an interest in human rights. Whilst I can respect and see the value in the tenets of many faiths, I eschew religion myself. I have found it to be more divisive than uniting. I care not what creed, colour or race you belong too. I am more interested in the content of your heart, your intentions and subsequent actions.

Fundamental to human rights is the right to be heard and represented when a crime is committed against you. For many people, be they refugees, non-English speaking immigrants or Indigenous Australians, such a fundamental right is never realised. The one thing these people share in common is their low socio-economic status. Without money and a solid grasp of English, it is all but impossible to fight things out in a legal stoush that often takes months, if not years. Human rights is a role carried out by those with a greater social conscience than an interest in their bank balance.

Many of us, myself included, espouse opinions, but are only willing to take them so far. Few are willing to risk public denigration in order to shine a light into the darker corners of society’s conscience. The website Blak and Black aims to do just that. It is a forum in which this human rights advocate publishes his thoughts and draws attention to the marginalisation of many, particularly Indigenous Australians. A recent Getup! survey found the issue of second greatest importance to many Australians is Indigenous rights. I would urge you to take the time to read some of the posts on this new site and check back as it evolves.

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