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Posts from the ‘Melbourne’ Category

The butterfly effect

How to effect real change in an imperfect world? Some champion human rights, one case and cause at a time; some shine lights on wrongs, the whistle-blowers, investigators and journalists. Some, like Professor John Tobin, share knowledge, inspire and create the next generation of change agents.

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Examples of the Emerson principle of success

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “…to know even one life has breathed easier, because you have lived. This is to have succeeded”. Getting into law or medicine at uni has long been a badge of success - but for some of those chosen few, it never was, and it never will be. Meet four law graduates who divert considerable energy in their own time to the greater good - helping young people have a voice & an education, animal welfare and activism & LGBTI communities. That old Transcendentalist would approve.

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From activist to muse to international guardian

At the end of June, a former “fairly bolshy” student activist will take up a position mostly formerly held by military men at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. She will be the first Australian, and the first woman, to hold the position in the organisation’s 150-year history.She was the inspiration of one of Australia’s biggest hit songs of the early 90’s by a band that’s just completed a 25th anniversary tour.

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When good people struggle, but stand up

A few weeks ago Dr Rodney Syme confessed on radio he supplied a drug to a dying man - specifically the one that would allow the dying man to hasten his own death. The man, Steve Guest, died at his home two weeks later (in 2005). This is one of those issues that tears people apart - but listening to Dr Syme, I heard an honest and careful man who struggled under the burden of two sets of rules - those of his conscience and the black letter variety. He could not longer keep his struggle to himself - and was prepared to deal with the consequences.

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Acting up

Some dreamy kids, who spend hours with their nose in books and happily absorbed in their own imaginary worlds grow up a little and explore the world of theatrical performance and harbor dreams of being a great actor. Then sometimes they dump that idea and decide to study law, fight human trafficking and slavery in their spare time, do stints in leadership positions in the legal world, and then get a gong on the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll.

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NSW born but Melbourne made

Elizabeth Proust has occasionally been referred to as “Madame Melbourne” and no wonder really. Melbourne, and many of it’s key institutions have ‘made’ her just as much as she has (re)made many of them. This is a woman who barracks for Collingwood Football Club and was also chair of MSO; who worked for two Victorian premiers at opposite ends of the political spectrum (Cain & Kennett) and who, like many believed that it was ‘just a matter of time’ before there would be equal numbers of women in leadership positions. She now says time’s up on that strategy.

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