11. Brooke Prentis: political vs partisan, bushfire smoke, burning rainforests, humpback recovery, cashless welfare cards, civil liberties narrowing, persecution of Uyghurs
Jan 28th, 2020 by thegooddirt
A conversation with Brooke Prentis, Waka Waka woman, Aboriginal Spokesperson for Common Grace, Coordinator of the Grasstree Gathering. Brooke is currently a Senior Fellow at Anglican Deaconness Ministries, Director of PEACEtalks here at Paddington Anglican, and in a delightful piece of news, Common Grace have recently announced that Brooke will be their next CEO, starting in February.
I. What's the big idea?
Byron chats with Brooke about the difference between being political vs being partisan, arguing that the former is inevitable but that the latter needn't be. Being political in this broad sense is a neutral term to do with the distribution and application of power in society. Being partisan means to take actions that are intended to benefit or advance the agenda of a particular organised political party. People's aversion to being partisan sometimes leads them to seek to avoid being political, but this turns out to be impossible since even the attempt at neutrality is itself a political move, one that upholds the status quo in its various injustices.
Byron and Brooke also consider some of the ways that the current Australian government has been deliberately trying to erode this distinction, trying to subsume everything within the framework of partisan conflict.
II. What's going on?
- Longing to Breathe - Byron's Advent reflection for Common Grace
- PM Scott Morrison Rejects Calls for More Assistance to Firefighters - SBS
- 'I don't see a contradiction' - Albanese backs coal exports - The New Daily
- Note that the statistics quoted were accurate at the time of recording. At the time of publication, the area in NSW burned by bushfires has increased from 2.7m ha to over 5m ha, with more than double that also burned in other states. Sustained periods of hazardous air quality have also since been experienced in Melbourne, Canberra and many more regional areas.
- Revealed: Monumental NSW bushfires have burnt 20% of Blue Mountains World Heritage Area - Guardian Australia
- Bushfires in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia - UNESCO
- Note that these statistics were accurate at time of recording. At time of publication, the fires have now burned an estimated 80% of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. As for the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area, more than half of those forests, previously too wet to burn at all, have been damaged (perhaps permanently) by the fires.
3. Humpback whale population on the rise after near miss with extinction - Science Daily
- Cashless Welfare Card: Honest Government Ad - Juice Media
5. Australia’s civil rights rating downgraded as report finds world becoming less free - Guardian Australia
- Apology to Australia's Indigenous People: PM Kevin Rudd - Parliament of Australia
- Bringing them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families: April 1997 - AHRC
III. What do we do?
i. Immediate: Consider air quality: NSW Air Quality Index.
ii. Podcast recommendation: The Eucatastrophe by Joel Harrison and David Taylor.
iii. Film recommendation: Top End Wedding.
iv. More ambitious: #ChangeTheHeart prayer services, called by Aunty Jean Phillips with the help of Brooke Prentis and Common Grace. NB At the time of recording, these services were still some weeks ago. Apologies for the delay, meaning that the opportunity to participate in these services in 2020 has now passed. Check the Common Grace site for more information and to ensure you hear about next years' services.
- Host - Byron Smith
- Producer - Simon Bunstead
- Sound - Byron Smith
- Music - Francis Preve