Praise for ‘brave’ college
Congratulations to Emmanual College on the plan to erect plaques regarding the actions (or should I say inactions) of Bishop Mulkearnes on the issue of child sex abuse by clergy and other members of the Catholic fraternity. Whilst this will be a small but brave step, it is also a step forward in recognising that just because a person occupies a responsible position in society, they are not exempt from their responsibilities to society as a whole. Brave move and one that deserves congratulations.
Bruce Mitchell, Berwick
Love the game not odds
Across the state this weekend, elite and community AFL clubs are putting aside traditional rivalries to unite in our love of everything that makes footy great. Things like skill, talent, loyalty and fun, competition, team spirit, MVPs and extraordinary or memorable moments. Seventy-five per cent of teenagers today believe that gambling is a normal part of sport, which is not surprising, given the huge volume of sports betting advertising. But the promotional hype doesn’t acknowledge there are risks and harms associated with gambling. We as a community need to do that, which is why all 10 Victorian AFL clubs and more than 300 community clubs have signed up to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s sporting club program, many of which are participating in the Love the game-themed round. This weekend is an ideal time for families to attend a local match and for adults to remind the kids in their care that sport and betting don’t have to go together. Whether a player or a fan, it’s about loving the game, not the odds. For more information, visit lovethegame.vic.gov.au or share your thoughts on social media, #LoveTheGame.
Craig Swift, acting chief executive officer, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
More agri funds
Victoria is an agricultural powerhouse, and we’ve built an enviable reputation as a region that can reliably deliver clean, green, premium produce to domestic and overseas markets.
Our willingness to adopt R&D and respond to market demands, and our rigorous biosecurity measures and export protocols have put Victorian farm and food businesses in a prime position to tap into growing export markets across the Asian region.
But the drive has stalled in the last three years with a State Labor Government that just hasn’t fully grasped the opportunity sitting at our farm gates.
State Budget papers confirm the Andrews Labor Government has cut trade engagement spending by more than half, and quietly shelved important work to strengthen market opportunities in Asia which began in 2013.
Similarly, there wasn’t any new money for agricultural research and development in this year’s Budget.
Trade opportunities take time, patience and persistence to develop and if Victoria continues to disengage our farmers, our wider State economy will miss out.
Victorian farmers and food manufacturers deserve a State government that has a vision for their growth and is prepared to invest in their future.
Peter Walsh, leader of The Nationals
Living with pain
Chronic pain – pain that doesn’t go away after the injury or illness has resolved and lasts at least three months – is a significant health issue in Australia, with around one in five people of all ages living with this invisible illness. Figures are even more alarming for our older population, with one in three people over 65 years living with chronic pain. A recent survey conducted by Chronic Pain Australia, the national voice of people living with chronic pain, highlighted that people in pain feel unsupported and unheard by the government and health professionals, and face negative attitudes and stigma on all fronts. We want to help change this. National Pain Week (July 23 – 29) is an annual initiative of Chronic Pain Australia, which aims to destigmatise the experiences of people living with chronic pain and provide an outlet to share their stories and experiences with the wider community. This year’s theme ‘Nothing about us without us’ is focused on ensuring people living with chronic pain have a voice and can be heard in any public discussions or health policy development that impacts their lives. During National Pain Week, the results of a national pain survey will be available online (http://www.nationalpainweek.org.au/) and I’d like to encourage people living with chronic pain to share their own experiences and ideas on the chronic pain forum (https://chronicpainaustralia.org.au/forum) or on social media using the hashtags #NPW2018, #nationalpainweek, #bebold, and #nothingaboutuswithoutus.
Dr Coralie Wales, president, Chronic Pain Australia