UN International Women’s Day 2015

The Hon Jillian Skinner MP NSW Minister for Health
The Hon Jillian Skinner MP
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Logo
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

UN International Women’s Day Seminar – CEDAW 2015 March 8 was celebrated for the 5th year in State Parliament House Sydney on Monday 9th March this year with our Parliamentary sponsorMinister for Health The Hon Jillian Skinner MP opening the Seminar  immediately after Acknowledgement to Country by Indigenous speaker Robyn Carroll from Mulla Walla Family & Community Support at Woolloomooloo.

 

Robyn Carrol
Robyn Carrol
Pam Lemoine
Pam Lemoine
Valerie Weeks
Valerie Weeks

Pamela Lemoine UNAANSW member read out the message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to UNIWDay. Valerie Weeks, Co-Convenor of UNIWD and past President of co-sponsor of the event UNAANSW spoke on the History of Women in Australia.

Robyn Carrol and Affie Adagio
Robyn Carrol and Affie Adagio

Sue Conde past President of UN Women Australia was to speak on the topic CEDAW Convention for Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women which was set up to monitor the progress of the Convention; but unfortunately had to attend a funeral so sent her paper which I spoke to as I was speaking about my experience with attending as one of 22 community representative the UN Conference/Forum for Women Peace and Development in Copenhagen in 1980 when CEDAW was launched to the world and Australia had signed the Convention during the Frasier government.

Jillian Skinner MP -  NSW Minister for Health
Jillian Skinner MP

The same number of women government representatives had also been chosen by the Minister for Home and Women Affairs The Hon Bob Ellicott. Decades later we still  have a lot to achieve. At that time in the Scandinavian Parliaments there were many women members. We still have women in countries such as USA and Australia not being paid the same as men for the same work! And murder, rape and verbal and physical abuse is still rampant throughout the world however, the Minister advised that the Baird government would ensure a Minister for Domestic Violence as the priority if they are re-instated, that is how serious the situation is.

Robyn Carroll spoke of the history of Walla Mulla Family and Community Support which was created by a nun and is now a vital service to the Indigenous community. Robyn also shared about her struggle in life and we were all so happy for her because she has been awarded the NSW Woman Award for Sydney 2015 in the NSW WOMEN AWARDS 2015 and we presented her with a box of congratulatory chocolates along with her bunch of flowers for being a speaker.

Margaret Conway
Margaret Conway

The next speaker was Margaret Conway from GLAPDGreat Lakes Agency for Peace and Development. Margaret spoke about the Great Lakes of Africa especially women from Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo.

Chris Hamer
Chris Hamer

Buddhist Venerable Dr. Tich Minh Tam UNAANSW Committee member brought Professor Chris Hamer UNSW who spoke on the work of Women, Peace and Sustainability. It was rewarding to have full attendance in the Waratah Room and especially that we had for the first time a large contingent of men in the audience.

The Humanist Society of NSW has also been a co-Sponsor of the UNIWDAY for 5 years especially generous with covering costs and Ian Bryce the current President was invited to say a few words.

Mina Batra AM
Mina Batra AM

Mina Batra AM member of the UNAANSW Committee and responsible for the Interfaith Portfolio dressed in a beautiful sari thanked the speakers while Valerie Weeks handed out the final bouquet of pink roses to me not only as a speaker and Convenor/MC but also because the UNIWDAY coincides with my birthday on March 8th. So it was indeed a great day for me.

Waratah Room
Waratah Room

We thank State Parliament House for letting us have the Waratah Room for the venue gratis. We had beautiful croissants and tea and coffee with a platter of fruit and gluten free cupcakes for those who have sensitive stomachs but that was not gratis and that is why we needed to charge for the event.

International Womens Day flowers for speakersMany thanks to Fred Flatow HSNSW member who sat at the door collecting entry monies which covered the expenses of the afternoon tea. We are pleased to announce that serendipitously Fred won the lucky door prize which was a huge heart shaped pink frame for family photos which could be mounted on a wall which he loved and truly deserved!

I would like to finish with mentioning 3 important points: There are two reasons I chose to convene the UNIWD for five years:

  1. To disseminate information about women’s issues
  2. I chose the venue to be State Parliament House Sydney to show that the community especially women have access to Parliament House and gratis.
  3. We have available printed copies of Valerie Weekes’ History of Women in Australia, and Sue Conde’s CEDAW History and the event has been taped and will be on YouTube soon – contact Dr. Affie Adagio <affie@affie.com.au> or 0421 101 163 or (02) 9690 1431 (h)

Australian Gypsies?

Bob-1a-314x235 This image shows the Bob (aka dING) campsite where his motorbike with sidecar and tent is how he   spends his time away from home as a “grey nomad” which is what we call people at the age of 72 who love to travel or live permanently in campsite communities. His partner is no longer able to accompany him for health reasons but that has not stopped him. All their lives they travelled often sometimes in different ways. In Australia there are swish caravans, some restored old ones some not! Also campervans and today I saw a program on TV44 where someone converted a stationwagon into a motel bedroom in the back (or so it was called) with a colourful huge quilt. The thought occurred to me, as I was born in Romania, how different is the permanent campsite life to that of the Romanian Gypsy? One program shows a well known country singer/TV sports announcer (whose name sadly escapes me now) where there is a whole community of happy campers who top it off with rock and rolling – how great! the gypsy in me is tempted at times especially that I love rock and roll but I’m a city girl so unless I get involved with a guy who likes rock and roll then I’m not likely to be ‘going bush’! Nevertheless have we got Australian Gypsies that we call more socially acceptable names like grey nomads, or happy campers, or caravan communities?!

Mortgages high levels low interest beware

Mae Sultana Look into my eyesBefore you jump into the deep end “I’ve been there, done that!” so watch out because the banks and lending bodies appear as benefactors offering huge mortgages and low interests and unless you can get FIXED RATES you will suffer their SIEGE MENTALITIES as many of us did with some facing great losses and bankruptcy. I was interviewed on the current affairs program of the day telling our stories where one minute we were given huge mortgages for 6% interest and one blink of the eye and they were up to 23% with the banks not even returning our calls! We ordinary people were not the only ones, even the millionaires went broke too! So when I see those advertisements enticing you to get the huge mortgage at low interests I think “come in suckers!” and “BE CAREFUL!” they’ve done it twice in my lifetime already and this will be the third I’m sure!

 

The image is my Tabby cat Mae who’s got the perfect look “watch out!”

Adam Lambert: American Idol audience prejudice

Adam LambertI don’t usually follow talent shows because the final choice is quite often unexpected. Nevertheless, as I flicked onto one of the American Idol shows with Adam Lambert performing, my hair stood on end at the talent of this man. His voice and performance was iconic. Every time there was a new segment I watched with anticipation and recommended it to others.

He is a star in the making and everyone who watched him with me agreed. We got goosebumps every time he performed. He may have sometimes looked Gothic and with his black nail-polish could be misinterpreted but he was pure talent and the judges even gave him standing ovations. Adam changed his appearance to suit the genre assigned for that particular show, and any mentor supervising their performances could only confirm the enormity of his unique talent.

At that stage rumours abounded that he was gay too. Nevertheless, his talent was undoubtedly iconic no matter what his sexual preferences were. I expected that Americans would be far more progressive than they proved to be in the final vote.

When Adam did not win American Idol even the winner, Kris Allen, admitted he expected Adam deserved the award. Kris, the winner was talented in a traditional way but Adam was undoubtedly exceptional. I even taped his performances, something I had not done ever before. I imagined he was this generation’s Elvis Presley or Freddie Mercury, yet he fit in with KISS and Santana in the final show.

So when he did not win, I was convinced America’s bible belt had pushed for a majority vote against him.? I could just hear the religious leaders saying to their parishioners “make sure everyone votes for someone other than Adam who will lead our youth astray”.

Then Adam made it known that he is gay and good for him.

Well, it was obviously a prejudiced vote and I pledged I would not watch American Idol again.
And I haven’t since. Americans need to lift their game or they will be seen by the rest of the world as being backwards. No wonder more and more people are turning away from religions.

So Adam, you will exceed and there are many worldwide who can see your talent and we are waiting for your CD’s. I am looking forward to the day that you become the star you deserve to be. And you will be.

Alone – revisited

Self portrait, photo by Marcelo Terraza, Brasilia, Brazil, me myselfI was contacted by a reporter, from Melbourne Age, who found posts on my site about living alone and I was interviewed. The interview covered my personal experience of living alone, those of clients I have seen who live alone, and what I would say as a Life Coach about this lifestyle. The most important points are that it is a rewarding lifestyle when it is by choice, it provides a unique feeling of freedom to do whatever I want when I want (within reason) and as I have been in the wife and mother role before, now my priorities are different. That doesn’t mean I will stay alone, as someone may come along who fits in with my current lifestyle and then I will be willing to share it. However, for now I am enjoying my aloneness.

Kenneth White from Palm Springs California made a comment on one of my posts on living alone and I thought it would be beneficial to show it here.

Bravo!!
Great site.
Very open and informative. Especially on
living alone and relationship checklist!
Congratulations.

Thanks, Kenneth.

Self portrait, photo by Marcelo Terraza, Brasilia, Brazil, me myself

Escapism

Sunset  over New York City 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, United Sates, romantic cityLife can be so stressful that at times it does us good to see some movies that classify as codependent drivel. For women otherwise known as romantic comedies where ‘boy meets girl, they fight, then they end up together and live happily ever after’ and we leave the theatre smiling. This is often called a ‘chick flick’. For men the unbelievable action story where they dodge bullets and explosions and still live through, only to have sex with the perfect female star. As long as we remain aware that these movies are purely a form of escapism, then it is harmless codependent drivel.

my friend, Elizabeth, and I went to the movies
and as we considered which film to see
we spoke of our emotional state
I said I felt like watching something light
perhaps some codependent drivel
and we chuckled thinking about it
to this day I don’t remember what we saw
but I do remember us laughing
and leaving with uplifted spirits

sunset over New York city 4, photo by Dee Fontenot, New York, USA, romantic city

Same sex relationships

Ballroom, photo by Lioness65, Frankfurt, Germany, gay couplesWhen I write about relationships it is important to understand that the same applies to same sex relationships except for marriage, which is not legally permitted in this country, yet. A gay couple who wishes to make a relationship commitment can do this in a ceremony which is similar to a marriage. Any civil celebrant can perform such a celebration and I have not come across one who would not be happy to do so. One day in this country, we will progress to the point when we can have legal marriages between same sex couples, and I as a celebrant look forward to that day.

They came to me to be married and
I explained that in this country
same sex marriages were not permitted
I felt so sorry that I was the messenger of
such an antiquated way of thinking
nevertheless, we planned a beautiful ceremony
which involved everything that a
heterosexual couple would experience
the only difference was that there were
no State documents signed
yet the moment was captured in
a sentimental ceremony which will
provide an exceptional memory
to all those who were at the ceremony

Ballroom, photo by Lioness65, Frankfurt, Germany, gay couples

Flirting and seduction

Flirting Swans, photo by Jenny W., Honolulu, Hawaii, nature's loveWhen people first meet, they spend all their time involved with flirting and seduction. That’s what keeps their passion alive. It’s understandable that in time the passion will cool and usually a truer love will grow because nothing stays the same. Nevertheless, it’s so important for the relationship when the flirting is maintained as a ritual, because it keeps love alive, stopping people from becoming too serious.

they noticed that it had been awhile since they
had chuckled, teased, flirted and joked a little
then it became apparent that they hadn’t had
such a great time in a long time, so
they made an agreement to include flirting in
a part of each day to develop the art
rightfully so, not only did they get better at it
but it was such a boost for their relationship
something so simple yet so effective.

Relationship checklist

from:New York Times

Heart, photo by Michael Bretherton, Brisbane, Australia, customised relationshipsQuestions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying
Published: December 17, 2006
Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each others financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one anothers ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each others spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each others friends?

11) Do we value and respect each others parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the others family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the others commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Honeymoon period

Lovers, photo by Sundar Chinnusamy, Erode India, loving relationshipsMost times when we romantically connect with people, the first phase is called the honeymoon period because it’s a state of ‘love in bloom’. We think alike, we enjoy the same food and drinks. We share the same interests, even to the extent that the men watch ‘chick flicks’ and the women watch ‘action movies’ (usually full of gruesome violence). Just being together is fun. It’s a moment in time that usually lasts for 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, as shown by surveys. The relationship can then transform into a loving relationship based on friendship. Couples can customise their relationships to suite themselves and make life fulfilling which will provide a safe environment for their children, if they have any.

he asked her to marry him and
as both had been divorced
as well as having children between them
they discussed two or three vital issues
which they expected to face in marriage
then they agreed on some resolutions
which they could use to avoid disharmony
it was a peaceful, happy, sensual relationship
and above all a friendship based on respect