Letters to the editor October 9

Ruth Holmes at the 'Shades of the Plateau' exhibition by Dorrigo artist Peter Mortimore in Sydney. This painting 'South over Gondwana' is of her farm below Griffiths Lookout
Ruth Holmes at the 'Shades of the Plateau' exhibition by Dorrigo artist Peter Mortimore in Sydney. This painting 'South over Gondwana' is of her farm below Griffiths Lookout

Bellingen Shire on show in Macquarie St Sydney

I recently visited Sydney and stayed at an inner city hotel. It was walking distance from all those wonderful iconic buildings on Macquarie Street.

What surprised me was that the locals were in two large exhibitions along this historic street.

What a delight to see the wonderful exhibition of paintings and drawings called "Shades of the Plateau" by Dorrigo artist Peter Mortimore at Sydney Parliament House. I saw Atkins' dairy cattle, wonderful paintings of the green farmland of Dorrigo and was surprised to see our paddock below Griffiths' Lookout in one of the paintings.

It is a large exhibition beautifully presented and made me feel so proud that our area was being shown so favourably in Sydney.

Prior to attending the exhibition I asked the Parliament House security guards how to get to the exhibition. They were most helpful and said "We've been here 12 years and seen many exhibitions but this is the best!"

The exhibition is on until October 17.

The other exhibition I attended was the Living Language Exhibition at NSW State Library with Gumbaynggirr man Micklo Jarrett as the face of the exhibition.

I saw the article by Ute Schulenberg in your paper on August 7 about this exhibition which prompted me to see it when in Sydney.

Wonderful seeing Micklo doing a Welcome to Country and he was one of the people who helped create this fine exhibition.

We were fortunate to have Micklo run a well-attended Gumbaynggirr language morning for Dorrigo Historical Society in our CWA rooms earlier this year. This exhibition runs until November 17.

If you are in Sydney during the next few weeks make sure you visit these two exhibitions. You won't be disappointed.

Ruth Holmes

Dorrigo

How dare you

Lately I'm feeling increasingly unhappy to call myself an Australian. But it's not our people we need to feel ashamed of; it's our so-called political leaders.

And not just ashamed, but ANGRY.. The words of inspiring 16- year-old Greta Thunberg capture the growing mood here and across the globe:

'How dare you!'

While this articulate, passionate schoolgirl attended the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, our man Scomo was busy soaking up the red-carpet treatment of the self-proclaimed 'greatest man in the world'.

Morrison's grovelling attitude is hardly going to endear our largest trading partner, China, to Australia. This man has no right to spout his lies on our behalf.

Asked in interview what he thought about Greta Thunberg, here is his reply:

"I want children to grow up in Australia to feel positive about their future, ... (confident) that they will have a wonderful country and pristine environment to live in ... and an economy to live in as well. I don't want our children to have anxieties about these issues."

Even if we could believe these empty, platitudinous lies, Scomo,it's not about what you want!

What you really want is 'quiet Australians'. There must have been a few around on May 18, but the numbers are fast disappearing as the people are beginning to 'get it' and recognise how dishonest, greedy and out-of-touch you are.

You should be afraid: there is huge change coming. People are seeing the reality of imminent climate disaster not just in Australia but globally. Our current politicians are in the way.

Suzanne Ferris

Bellingen

Positive energy must come from the people

Change,the kind of change that requires thinking differently about life fundamentals, substituting new values for old ones now invalid, is not so easy for many.

We tend to be locked into prevailing structures of belief, which something in our brains resists questioning, doubting, rejecting, then seeking more convincing alternatives.

These belief structures have often been imposed from outside us, usually by societal institutions such as political or religious systems, economic theories such as capitalism, growth obsession, nationalism, patriarchy, to name a few.

In our present era, the anthropocene era in geological terms, the entrenched practices of our combined belief structures have brought about a situation of crisis, one which threatens to disrupt "business as usual".

Call it climate change, climate emergency, global heating, whatever, it is real, incontestable, and to some degree irreversible, whatever action we as a species undertake to slow its progress.

It is unlikely that average global temperature rise can be kept below 2C because of existing feedback loops.

That's bad news, but not terminal for us highly adaptable creatures,although thousands more less adaptable plant and animal species will certainly go extinct with this degree of warming.

However, if warming reaches 4C, all bets are off.

So, do we abandon hope, surrender to our fate, become passive victims of our own stupidity, greed, and lack of foresight?

Certainly not, because there is reason to hold on to hope a while longer, but only if enough of the right changes are made, now and planet-wide. By whom will these actions be taken? By our federal, state and territory governments?

Sadly, no, not beyond some minor token gestures; our major political parties are captive to subservient relationships with their overlords: minerals councils, corporate capitalists, media barons, some trade unions and agribusinesses.

The positive energy must come from the people, us; people of all ages, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, occupations and education levels, working together in a concerted effort to challenge power and force it to yield to right action.

We must face the reality of climate crisis, accept the need for radical changes from much of what we have been conditioned to believe to what we now know to be necessary, and go on pushing governments, talking to each other, protesting in public in non-violent ways, each of us according to our ability. Think global, act local, our future is at stake.

Jeremy Barrett

Bellingen

Help stop drownings

We write on behalf of Royal Life Saving Society - Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia to urge readers to take the greatest of care in, on and around water.

Latest data reveals 276 people drowned across Australia over the past year, which is a 10 per cent jump on the previous year. A significant number of these deaths happened in summer. It is of great concern that 101 people drowned in inland waterways and there were 122 coastal drowning deaths ... including 71 on beaches. It is also of enormous concern that in the past 12 months, 584 people have been hospitalised as a result of non-fatal drowning incidents. Some of these people will sadly end up with irreversible brain damage.

We do not want to see tragedy taking place. It is vital readers supervise children at all times around water. We urge everybody to learn swimming and essential lifesaving skills including first aid and CPR.

We urge people to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, and adopt a STOP, LOOK, PLAN approach to water safety. We know that risk taking behaviour - often involving alcohol and drugs - is having a clear impact on drowning rates. Poor swimming skills are also a factor.

It is vital to wear a lifejacket when boating, rock fishing and using watercraft. Too many people are drowning in Australian waters. Taking simple steps will make all the difference. One practical step all readers can take is to visit our websites to obtain more hands on tips and information.

Justin Scarr, Adam Weir,

CEOs of Royal Life Saving Society and Australia. Surf Life Saving Australia

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