Monday, May 21, 2018

Australia was amazing!

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
Shane Maloney
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.