Australia – the can-do country - excerpt from Jamaica Observer column published 4 June 2018
by Jean Lowrie-Chin
|Veteran broadcaster Jean Meserve leads the discussion|
"Tidal Wave: Changing Ocean"
|With colleagues from Jamaica - Peta-Rose Hall|
Chair, Jamaica Forum of IWF and the
legendary Valerie Facey
|Lively discussion on "Evolution or Devolution:|
Fake News, Opinion, and media bias"
On a recent visit to Australia, we enjoyed the energy and good humour of its people. With colleagues Peta-Rose Hall, Chairman of the Jamaica chapter of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and Valerie Facey, we attended the IWF Annual Cornerstone Conference entitled ‘Evolution – Revolution’. Thought leaders explored critical global issues including shifting geopolitical alliances, fake news, artificial intelligence, genetics, human origins and the #MeToo movement. We were addressed by Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne and Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue & Financial Services and Minister for Women.
|At Dine-Around chez Sophia Beboff|
We always look forward to ‘Dine Arounds’ where we get to know a little more about each other – at the home of Sophia Bobeff, we heard stories of courage and realised how much we had in common.
Education in Australia must be at a high standard – regardless of position, service personnel were courteous and articulate. Patriotism was in evidence, as the ‘Proudly Made in Australia’ label was like a badge of honour on myriad products. When we asked for directions, people stopped and took their time to explain exactly what routes to take.
|With hosts Daniel and Elaine Mulcahy|
|Touring the Great Ocean Road with guide|
So there we were, walking around unafraid in a strange country, enjoying the free tram that circled downtown Melbourne, which, for the seventh year in a row, has been rated as the best city in the world, and then to Sydney, more diverse but equally hospitable country. We enjoyed a magical cruise to Manly Beach to meet gracious Irish-Australians Daniel and Elaine Mulcahy.
In Australia, you are bound by law to vote – perhaps this accounts for the engagement of its people. The Australian model is worth a good study – it has a successful superannuation retirement scheme and is now in its 27th consecutive year of economic growth.