Can we be more as Australia than we are now?‏

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“A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful money-maker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example”

(Robert Menzies – Prime minister)

Being asked what brought me to Australia and what my perceptions are about Australia I would first say that I am happy to be here, – to live in this particular country, – having had and still having the opportunity to look after my family, and lastly being in the fortunate position to be a Family Physician in a rural area, with great diversity and with the scope to help some sort of way..
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In my case in the providing of primary care, which is quite fortunate and I am grateful for the opportunity…In other words healthcare is my domain of work,.. which does not take away I want to speak on other aspects of Australia, besides the wish I would be able to do more..
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Australia is really a most interesting country, both beautiful and multicultural, with plenty of scope for a positive future.

Hence being happily prepared to say a few things and I will try to keep it brief.., but can’t resist perhaps to give for a moment a context and a further outlook..
As originally largely born and bred in the Netherlands, my family and I came to this country of Australia because of a fondness being created for this land, …..settled once by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606… And for sure for a different challenge as well….I arrived as a medical professional, – neither as a navigator as such, nor as a British convict….In fairness I have to say that I have been working in both England and Scotland as well in the past, before arriving here, – with lots of good memories on my roots overseas, old friends and many other things…..The journey in Australia proved  so to say –  a refreshing new journey, both for my family and myself.
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Definitely  with some challenges as well..
Similar applied perhaps somehow to both the for sure far more adventurous British and the Dutch pioneers, who explored eastern , western and southern coasts in the 17th century… Often I have been wondering as how they e.g. have been cooping with the then existing heat waves and wide-spread bush fires,  which went across this large continent in the Summer season….
One may get used to those things, … both as they were…. and both as they are…
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I am fully aware that those explorers were not the original inhabitants of this country and that the real native inhabitants of Australia are believed to have arrived between 50000 and 70000 years ago, and established a spiritual artistic and musical culture which are among the longest surviving traditions in human history, – traditions so ancient that they deserve anciently to be cherished… Those Indigenous Australians were greatly weakened and their numbers diminished by introduced diseases and conflict with the colonists in the 17th Century and beyond… Those original and very early inhabitants  had to coop, however with far more!
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As masters of both the land and the deserts they knew this continent from deep in the earth better than we would ever know, – adapted as we are through the latest centuries to modern civilisation.. Still,  the after effects of this once hostile frontier between those who lived here – and came here, has not completely diminished as yet from Australian soil, – despite a formal apology from the former PM Kevin Rudd….
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History however will likely show that the last scars of this once wrongly grounded bondage will be wiped out when the working foundations have been laid out for the next frontier of Australia. Finding and refining its own identity with a broader purpose, – for the future of both this young and relatively rich country… Finding and refining as well e.g. it’s policy to those who arrive from far away, who would like to embrace this country as their new homeland, – simply because their right to exist with meaningful purpose would be better respected here than in the countries where they came from… We know some of the predicaments of people living abroad, and even though we can’t fix the worldly problems inherited by troubled generations in various countries, at least we can contribute to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, – both at our own shores and far away…
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It’s a difficult subject, largely to be answered by ending conflict and sectarian violence in those often so far away areas, so that people can start to get on with their lives… The problem with refugees, which applies to Europe as well, is that it is at large related with  the international community facing major problems of maintaining or creating peace in war stricken areas, – combat the evil of terrorism in some of those areas as well…
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Australia impacts on the international coalition of forces in embattled areas as such, more than it does on the dilemma of refugees, – but at least it could do more on individual cases knowing that the spirit of law enforcement never goes without justice or fairness.
Somehow every day in Australia we may consider as a confirmation , a celebration  actually  of  liberty and  freedom,  “accountable freedom” being the better word perhaps, .. – every day with new choices to be made,  in a land with a huge variety of people… A celebration actually that we have the freedom of speech, the right to express ideas as well to a better future for those with whom we share this country, for the benefit of both our distinctive multicultural  heritage and the future of our children. The last who will make up the next generation, and carry forward the responsibilities when we are finished, and they are both worth  the investment of education , the investment of all-round protection and the investment of job creation.
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With an increased foremost educated liberty, through decades of peril and hope, emancipation and freedom, we can choose, – not to follow the inflated whims of some politicians which proved not to work, – not to follow those who by cheap manipulation of the media may gain access to positions of power without the wisdom to use this power with restraint and proper judgement for the common good, – but to keep the sacred rights of western society that each man or woman in Australia may  become that which he or she is gifted of becoming.
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This is in essence our difference with various countries around us, countries  which worship the state over people and the systems of state over human and collective rights , – the so-called totalitarian states,  where freedom of speech, press  and of religion are suppressed at various degrees…
But not mistakenly even our country is a culprit where it comes to the risk of a destructive gap between appearance and promise, display and assurance, – as if this should be the normal pattern in politics, where election campaigns are festivals for pledges with at times very contrary performance once elected… Where e.g. at some stage personal contention and party politics may lead to closed-door decisions with e.g. one Prime Minister walking in, – and an other one walking out…
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It is one of the many reasons people may get disengaged on the cultural dynamics of their own political system, despite the Aussie media covering this in quite excellent ways and uncovering cock and bull stories in many presentations…With a few exceptions, longer ago, the various Prime Ministers we had in recent years were neither Presidential nor Executives with a great embracing vision for finding Australia “its new identity”, in both a changing country and a changing world….It looks like Australia is still searching for its real identity amidst the various changes in society, and the provided political structure in its present-day format seems not to be the strongest motor to invoke progressive , balanced, .. and sustained positive change for the future of this increasing multicultural society.
Many nations set forth their own pattern of uniqueness in the developmental stages they face, – but often they have an older tradition that fits the country on the original brand of their political system, rather than a borrowed one that will prove to be inflated one day… The last here in Australia, – when a growing majority proves to be receptive for this perspective and gains momentum as a driving force to change this, – it will,  and with this it will change the motor of “the train”, like such thing can change the tapestry of a business, the colours of an improved painting and more important the outcome of a changing culture, – one that will attract, and one that will be more dynamic and break new ground …
And this should be the future of Australia, speaking briefly about the future of this country… But for the moment we have a “workable” system, where as always applies that it is made by the people who work it with genuine intentions, rather than that is purely based on the strict lines of Party politics and lobbying associations.
However, courage in politics and examples of men and women who are pushing through with both bravery and spirit, with both their inner genius maintaining original standards as a shining light for others, are fairly rare… apart from ordinary people in the circumstances they face, either by fate or accident…”If Athens shall appear great to you,” said Pericles, “consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty.”….This applies for Australia as well, …. you can’t push change but people need to be ready for it through the insight and vision of their leaders.
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That is the foundation of largeness and abundance in all societies, and it is the cornerstone  of daring advancement in our own time, – made by people who are larger than life or politics….We live in a country where all this is possible, and it is a matter of thanks giving not to retreat in isolation but ask what together we can do for our human destiny.
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Both for God, councils and government we share the same human rights, regardless colour or religion, – in this country by law … Despite many obstacles to get things right, to improve the living conditions of all, – we face the injustices of our time as well, – the variety of the objective living conditions of so many people and likewise both the political and economical imperfections in this country, – the last only however to be resolved long term by a moral tapestry with the increasing colours of justice… You know,… it is beating the drum the right way and keeping the best possible balance, – tuned into the focus to enhance opportunities at home and abroad… Knowing that surrounding countries have a different pace and nobody likes it to be dictated… Knowing as well that not always we need to follow the footsteps of the US, our greatest ally, but that we have a way of our own, an Australian own-made brand, – regardless the drummers in other countries, – and that we can contribute to solutions elsewhere, in very distinct and humane ways.
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The moral authority of a country is not based on the amount of ammunition, but on the ability to ease a deal without throwing oil on the fire. And this is a lesson from the past, not always applied, – though applied it should… Not always considered as strong, but strong it is….
As a Nation we can either try to help countries  or areas at risk of getting increasingly flawed on moral authority, – or retain a face of indifference… However, our common humanity does not end in the town we live or the community we share, and as a Nation we have an obligation to help to bring Nations together and resolve their differences in peaceful ways. We live in a time being more dependent on each other than ever before and even though each country has both different problems and goals, – common citizens of each country are often more close in their desires and hopes for the future than that their governments are…
An Australian traveller crossed various countries supported by 2 horses and his dog and crossed e.g. the territory of Kazakhstan, historically inhabited by nomadic tribes.. On each encounter with people and families he met, the first day he was a guest and the second day he was part of the family… Our 2 Nations have perhaps not much in common, but the bottom line is that all people all over the world in the diversity there is, – do share at large the will to live, want to do this with purpose, and like human company, – not willing to have war.
Once you provide fascination as a human being, often you receive back…Once a country provides invitation by the fine standards it provides, without force and willing to negotiate in the positive, – it will receive back, and often in the positive as well. The last does not take away that also Australia will not permit the undoing of principles to which this country has been  bound and dedicated to maintain.
Those who have power need to use this with wisdom and restraint because as a people, as a Nation as part of many Nations, we all had our fair level of scars caused by the injustices of history. It is the task of the current generation and the coming generation to wipe out the last remainder of that merciless believe that real influence of powerful Nations is dependent on the amount of cruise missiles in their possession, – and the willingness to use this stockpile if it suits one’s military need. …
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Australia signed up with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treat (NPT) but the Australia – India nuclear treaty is really a travesty by principle. India did not sign the NPT and even after the recent NPT review on the 27th of April – with a strong message from the Obama Administration – none of the countries who did not sign this treaty changed their stance in matters…
For Australia applies that if they supply the ingredients for further nuclear processing to a country not signing the NPT, – it does not show being principle centred on this aspect of trade and foreign affairs.. India’s failure to both feed its people adequately and to stop e.g. gang rapes, the last with the law enforcement innocent people deserve , – warrants help of a different nature and not the potential material for nuclear weapons… With all respect to all the good things of India and its ancient culture.
All this shows the shortcomings of human justice with examples everywhere, the flaws and limitations of human grace, the insufficient awareness of the suffering of others and as a Nation we need to make at least the effort of showing compassion where we can, as this will decide the real Australian standard where we stand today and tomorrow.
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And for this it is so important that we protect and look after our children, and try to live for them by example, – as they are the future of people who labour on the street, labour in education, politics or any other domain of society. We can make or break this youth, this
new generation,  in the level we support them.  We can nourish the qualities of the next generation into the awareness that we are in essence an international community of people trying to find purpose in their life. A world where the basics of human dignity and freedom are respected with the law enforcement it deserves. The last which means we have no other choice than to wipe out the importation of drugs like “ICE” and identical variations, – and punish the culprits in line with the law’s of each country…as they destroy the minds of many children and adults.. It means as well that we have to wipe out the evil of human trafficking and child pornography in all its dimensions… We have no other choice, by law, than to do this with the greatest proactivity and vigilance.. It’s a matter of both responsibility and social justice, like it is a matter of social justice and responsibility to enhance the efforts of preventing terror in the way it manifest itself. We have really no other choice, and like Australia already does within the last domain, even in Australia itself the protection of children has scope for improvement.. Not only this but also to enhance their right to pursue their talents and hopes for the future, by stimulating education and financially support it.
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We are living in a country with a good healthcare system and Medicare serves a good purpose, but even here the strains on the healthcare system are clear as a result of budget restriction, with accelerating waiting times both in A&E and hospital treatment. The gap fees on top of Medicare are increasing whilst  the majority of the Australian population has difficulty as well to coop with increasing costs for daily living, .. electricity and all the others.. We face challenges as well in this country at various levels, but our land is still a land rich in natural resources and a huge variety of people of all walks and colours, which makes Australia interesting and a good country to be part of.
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For the future at least in this part of the Pacific, Australia could play an eminent role of leadership in the domains required to contribute to a better and more stable world.. The last obviously at large dependent on the quality of its leadership, the selection process and the level of expertise being used, – which for sure this country has. There are thousands and thousands of people who could change the life of so many others provided their skills are used, provided the seed for the next generation is both protected and nourished, provided we see the common humanity in each men and woman, provided we break the barriers of both religion, social class and disregard.
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It’s a hard thing to be on the steering wheel for the future as part of dynamics are not always easy to control, wherever this applies, – in business, education, healthcare, government or any other dimension of society. But we need to be careful with inflated convictions and outmoded catchphrases. The world can’t be moved by those who are attached to the present and existing conditions, – but can only be moved, in this country as well, by those who have the state of mind, the creativity, and the attitude, along with the courage to stand strong, – and for this reason we need to get the new generation on board to take eventually the lead. The lead against adversity, brutality, shallowness and injustice…. The road to the death camps in Auschwitz has never been paved by those who did oppose it, – but it was the silence of those who knew and did not act against the evil of their authorities, and they were the majority, besides those who did not know.
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High desires along with principles and idealism are not opposed to pragmatic and resourceful concepts for the future for the things we want and ponder about… Those who enter the list of engagements with proper values on humanity and love, –  can climb the hill to “the high city”, – whilst efficiency only may lead to other concentration camps and mass slaughter…as we have seen elsewhere.
Each of us has his or her own work and responsibility, along with the problems we have to coop with, – and at times perhaps we may feel lonely or isolated, due to competition or being let down or other things. – But matter of the fact is that with shared compassion we are somehow wired together, and as such we may glue a joint future with both our collective vitality, both our unified dedication and faith, – and this may cause a ripple effect on  our collective  hopes and an effective endurance… And from this longing we can build on this future of Australia, – as this ignites a chain of events being required to build on the next generation, .. both within ourselves, our families, and the communities where we live.. This is possible in Australia and anywhere else.. This is possible in  Australia as we don’t have to resolve the burdens of civil war, sectarian conflicts and all the others ,.. and also because we are still living in a free society with still both the opportunity and the responsibility to make sensible and creative choices. And for sure as such Australia is worthy as well.
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We are a generally a compassionate people which shows in people reaching out in flooding, bushfires and all sorts of other tragedies… We are a people able as well to face challenges and more than that, – Australians are known to be generous. And generous as this country is, with optimal policies in place, generous and compassionate our Government can be, – and as such  should be a true reflection of what we are,  and with a real driving force among the heaps of bureaucracy, –  government for the people and by the people can make Australia even a better place,.. defining its future for the best of what we can be as a society and for the best of what we can be in the region…
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We may not see the outcome in our life time, in our generation, – but we can pave the way for the next generation, – as a process of goodwill, as a process of being visionary, … and finally as a process of demonstrating the best possible quality and excitement in our activities… Knowing that we can do more than we do now, knowing that good intentions are always subject to prove, – and knowing that trying and failing are not a weakness but a strength, – as long ..we learn from what we do, wherever we are..
I am confident that many of the men and women who have the benefit of being part of this free country will be able to give from their lives and from their gifts, and as a measure of service render the best measure of striving.
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And this is to despise ignorance and seek to know.  This is to observe truth and make others see…
Thank you!
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