Oops…. – The Icing on the Cake

Comments (0) Susie Dunn

Recently I was, literally, at sea for a few days and deliberately didn’t see any news. Landing, I discovered our Federal Member had resigned as Nationals leader and Deputy PM. Then I discovered our Council CEO had been head-hunted elsewhere. Meanwhile, there seem to be some rough seas for Council … We need to steer our ship full ahead.

I saw our tireless State Member, Adam Marshall, at the airport, and only he seems to be sailing purposefully onwards on course. What is happening in the world? People simply want their representatives to work with intelligence, transparency and stability – undistracted – on their behalf.

Our region has so many clearly positive advantages, yet on the point of resounding success, someone seems to throw an anchor overboard. Just as the SMH’s pages 1, 4 and 5 (26.2.18) are devoted to “the Sydney exodus” for the livable regions, we are too preoccupied to promote ourselves. Sadly, Barnaby Joyce’s painful TV resignation backdrop from the Lookout was itself a picture perfect promotion for an idyllic Armidale City!

In March 2014 I wrote about similarities I saw between Tasmania and here, and how proud its people are in showing it off. Well, they’ve streaked ahead to the extent that Fairfax’s recent Good Weekend front cover was “How Hobart became a mainlander’s dream”. How many boats have we missed?

Student activists after the terrible Florida school shooting asked pro-gun adults to “grow up”… “You might as well stop now, because we will outlive you”. We should be framing our activities to ensure the views of young entrepreneurs are taken on board. Can’t we hum and walk at the same time?

People with passion care about our region, about our university and about our environment. These people deserve pre-emptive information about why certain things happen. The handling of the substantial demolition of Robb College is a case in point. If UNE explained earlier why an extensive rebuild was preferred to a much cheaper solution by the original architect, information would perhaps have calmed dissatisfaction.

Good news that the APVMA are building headquarters on the sadly available old Armidale Club site, hopefully signalling new generational energy for this vital instrumentality. A tragedy in the Creeklands reinforces moves to rethink those areas. Council has received a commissioned report and the people-led Visions for the Creeklands group have launched their formalised group and are seeking members.

Passionate people pursue their passions relentlessly. Grazier, citizen astronomer, meteorologist, member of the Royal Society, Henry Archibald Belfield of Eversleigh was passionate about his weather observations, recorded faithfully from 1877 to his death in 1922. Now digitised as a result of descendant Richard Belfield’s passion, they are being used in research into human impact on climate globally. Everyone can contribute to the whole if they follow their passion.

Passion for art shapes life for Stuart and Anne Boggs of Armidale’s only commercial gallery, Gallery 126. Their March exhibition, Monolithic, shows works by Kerry Dunne and Jane O’Sullivan, both passionate contributors to our cultural scene.

We have refugees from terrible war zones arriving here, and much thought has been put into settling them so they can join us in contributing to our diverse community. Wise people say,  “What’s important is what brings us together, not what makes us different”.

Each second becomes the future, and change is a condition of life. I was interested in The Australian’s “Online stores move to bricks and mortar” (24.2.18). And apparently there’s a move away from “boring centres” back to “High Streets”; and planners want Central Sydney to be car-free. It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Let’s get the Armidale Mall right!

You’ve probably noticed advertisements for General Medical Practice lately. In Melbourne I saw an article, “Sad fact is that traditional GPs are dying out”. NO! GPs are the traffic police of the medical world. They direct us to appropriate specialists if necessary. And in the bush they are everything. My advice is to find a GP who suits you. Treasure them. A world without them would be inefficient and absurd.

Susie Dunn. 

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