Step Up For The Poppy Pledge And 'Bullet-Proof' Women This Anzac Day

Never forget.

This year’s Anzac Day is a challenging one, given the COVID-19 lockdown, but even that hasn’t stopped a rallying of the troops so that Australians can show their respect to service men and women past and present. And leading that rallying cry is Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie with her virtual Poppy Pledge.

Through the website, thousands have already marked their spot on the map with a virtual poppy, and a pledge to stand in remembrance on Anzac Day, be it in their driveway or on their balcony.

“All we want people to do is go out there, I don’t really care where they stand, just to give a minute’s silence and remember those in the past who have served, and those who are serving now and into the future,” Senator Lambie said.

“You can do it in your pyjamas, you can do it in your dressing gown, you can do it in your suit, take you rum and coffee down with you, just do that minute’s silence.”

A vocal advocate for Veterans, Senator Lambie wants Australians of all ages to show their support this year. She served in the Army herself and knows what it takes to survive as a woman in the Defence Force – and how hard it can be for those women to ask for help when you need it most.

“It’s a man’s world, let’s be honest in that uniform,” Senator Lambie said.

“When you’re a woman and you think you’re bullet-proof, and you’ve been in that uniform, putting your hand up to ask for help, I found it very, very difficult.”

Indigenous Australians, too, have long been forgotten from the history books, even though they have served in every Australian conflict since Federation.

But Senator Lambie said while many of those early war records went missing, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was making strides in recovering and sharing stories of sacrifice.

“It is the most sacred place, I love going there, and walking into that Unknown Soldier area there, I tell you what it sends shivers up my spine every time, it just takes your breath away” Senator Lambie said.

“And of course it’s on Indigenous ground as well, so I think that makes it even more special. I think just between both the spirit of the Indigenous, the spirit of those people who have fought in wars… it’s extraordinarily very spiritual.”

You can listen to our full chat with Senator Jacqui Lambie here:

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The Winner Out Of Malcolm Turnbull’s Salty Book Is Julia Gillard, Again

Her head is held high.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man ousted as Prime Minister, must be in want of a book deal to spill his tea. Every guy booted from the top job seems to think it is their duty to unload all their thoughts in a memoir. And this time around that grand gesture belongs to one Malcolm Turnbull.

Even before his book hits shelves, we know that Malc doesn’t hold back in his rather colourful takes on former colleagues and foes. He unloads on those who orchestrated his dismissal, with some special mentions for Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison, as well as detailing the toll it took on his mental health. Turnbull even declares who truly deserved to win the 2019 election – an election he wasn’t even a part of.

It’s not all that surprising, really. There’s a common theme here.

Every time a bloke gets evicted from The Lodge he promises to behave himself, carry on with an air of grace, and not go after the party that got him elected in the first place. And then it all falls apart. Pretty damn quick.

Remember when former-PM Tony Abbott famously said:

“There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.”

That lasted about two seconds.

It’s not just limited to the Liberal Party. Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd wrote not one, but two memoirs about his political career. I mean, just have a look at the synopsis:

“The betrayal of June 2010 is the most significant Australian political event of the century.”

He is, of course, talking about Julia Gillard. And she, friends, is the real winner out of every one of these salty, salty books from both sides of politics.

Because when Julia Gillard was ousted as Prime Minister, by Kevin Rudd & Co no less, she left the politics to Parliament. She went off and poured her energy into leadership opportunities for other women, mental health support for all Australians, and becoming BFFs with Rihanna in the fight for education for girls around the world.

Now I am by no means saying Gillard was a perfect Prime Minister – no one ever is. Personally, her stance on marriage equality still disappoints me. But to walk out of the Prime Minister’s office and not look back (publicly) in anger takes guts and a whole lot of grace.

Women will always be held to a higher standard. That, sadly, is the reality of the patriarchy we live in. I remember watching Gillard’s speech after the party room vote that ended her career and thinking: how long will it take for Australians to remember her fondly? Will it ever happen?

For survivors of child sexual abuse, that moment came in October 2018 when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse resulted in a national apology in Parliament House. Gillard was hailed a hero, because ordering that Royal Commission, which went on for five years in horrific detail, was her final act as Prime Minister. That is how to leave a legacy.

Just because a Prime Minister has left office doesn’t mean they’re done for. Australia has six living former-PMs now, and they all have incredibly powerful connections and opportunities to do some good in this world. Why waste time casting shade on the past?

What If The 'Sports Rorts' Scandal Happened To The Arts Community?

Would we even care?

Try as you might to ignore the mess that is Australian politics, you’ve no doubt seen the headlines about the “sports rorts” and Scott Morrison’s inability to sack the minister at the centre of it.

tl;dr the Nationals’ Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie is accused of using her position as Minister for Sport to over-rule Sport Australia’s grading system for $100 million dollars in government grants in order to favour Coalition seats ahead of the 2019 Federal Election.

To make matters worse, it was later revealed that McKenzie is a member of a shooting club that received one of the grants.

The prime minister ended up assigning Philip Gaetjens to investigate if McKenzie broke the rules. But it’s going to take a lot for her to resign, let’s be honest.

Keep in mind that a lot of community sporting clubs are run by volunteers, so naturally they’re pissed at this situation, and rightly so.

But what if this whole mess happened in the arts community? A sector that also relies heavily on government grants. Would we even care?

Apart from being synonymous with the Aussie spirit, sport has very strict rules and standards. Sure there are a handful of subjective sports like figure skating or boxing, but most sporting competitions have a clear winner.

But when it comes to the arts, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s so open to interpretation that for many it just becomes overwhelming and “elitist”.

Fine art or experiment plays may not be your thing, but the broad arts sector turns the lens on ourselves and society and encourages us to do better. Just like sport motivates us.

We need both to truly succeed as a society. And this idea that people are either sports mad or arty farties can get in the bin.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to participate in a range of sports and study dance and learn to play musical instruments. They all taught me vital life skills.

At the heart of this “rort” is fairness. Community groups poured out their heart and souls to pretty much beg the government for money. And sadly for many, their efforts were for nothing, all because of an unfair judging system.

Perhaps this scandal will sharpen our focus onto the goings on in Parliament and government agencies. We should all question where our hard-earned money is going, and whether it’s fair. Especially when we have a Prime Minister spruiking a “fair go for those who have a go”. Ultimately, I hope the sports rorts also unites Australians in the fairness and equal respect for athletes and artists. Then we all win.

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