In Australia I trust
This is the seventh in a series of posts from hand-picked guest bloggers about trust. The idea was kicked off by me rewatching Game of Thrones and thinking about its twin themes of power and trust.
My seventh guest blogger is Glynis Rosser. I first met Glynis on Twitter (of course!) but have only managed to cross paths with her once in real life. She has two adult daughters (both of whom she likes to embarrass), and cannot remember her life being devoid of pets. Glynis works in HR, has a keen interest in organisational development and can be found on Twitter at both @gdrosser and @HumResSources.
Di invited me to write a guest blog piece on the topic of trust. Until this morning I struggled with the concept. I could not think what to write. Then I stood with my fellow Australians at the dawn ANZAC Day Memorial Service.
It was awesome in the literal sense, set in beautiful parkland at The Gums in Magill where I live. The name of the park is a giveaway. It is chockers full of beautiful gum trees which this morning exuded the deep, cleansing perfume that only a eucalypt can. It is a perfume which, since I was a child and I first arrived as a migrant, I identify as Australian.
It rained last night so the scent of the morning were heavy. The gums, the sodden earth, the native grasses. Above, a blue sky dawned clear and crisp and the birdsong was, simply, wondrous. All manner of native birds, hundreds of them, seemed to be squabbling over the bright morning. Just as the memorial service concluded a kookaburra sang loudly, and as it stopped, the Last Post commenced. I don’t think I have ever felt more Australian, and more pride in my country, than I did at that moment. I was overwhelmed with emotion and I thought about how lucky I am to live here. It was then I knew what I could say about trust.
You see, because I am Australian, I can wake up every day and trust that my home will not be bombed, or that I will not be caught in cross fire as a collateral casualty. I can write, broadcast, tweet, about any opinion I may have about our government and trust that I will not be imprisoned or tortured or disappear because of my expression of that opinion.
I trust that I will be able to vote in all elections, even though I am not a member of any political party, and even though I am a woman.
Last week I read the sad story of the poisoning of girls in a school in Afghanistan. A protest by the ignorant against the education of females. By contrast I was able to trust in an education system that saw all the females of my family in Australia achieve multiple university degrees in humanities, business and medicine. As the first in my family to obtain a degree, this was an opportunity afforded to me which may not even have been my option if my family had remained in the class ridden society into which I was born.
My friends and acquaintances hail from all parts of the globe. They were born in Singapore, China, Greece, Italy, Britain, Ireland, India, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, to name but a few. In this country we have all been able to trust that we can achieve whatever we aim for if we work hard. We have been able to trust that we will not be hindered by class or religious or racial prejudice.
I work in a law firm (forget the lawyer jokes, I’m in HR) and I am proud of the work we do. I am most proud of the Westminster System of law we fairly administer in Australia. An uncorrupted system of justice I can trust. It is not perfect and errors occasionally occur. Human error can never be obliterated. However, I intimately know the officers of our Courts, the lawyers, the judges, some Attorneys General, and I know that they strive hard to ensure we have the best, uncorrupted, the most accessible, justice system in the world. A system constantly striving in this fast changing world to develop and improve.
I and various friends and family have at different times suffered emergency medical situations, retrieved by ambulance and rushed to hospital. Sometimes this was due to illness and other times to a trauma. Never, have any of us doubted that we would receive world-class, absolute best, medical treatment. Never, in an emergency, has anyone of us been asked if we have insurance cover. I trust that anyone in this country has access to and will receive the emergency treatment they need and if they do not have the means to pay they will not be denied that treatment (although I know the tyranny of distance can sometimes hinder the speed at which that treatment is administered).
I know we can do better in Australia. I am sure if I were a refugee awaiting processing I would not feel trust. I have gay friends who would like to legally marry but do not trust our politicians will listen to the voters and pass the necessary legislation. If I lived in a remote Aboriginal community I would not trust that my children would finish school, let alone get a job, or even survive to adulthood. If I were a homeless child on the street I would not trust I will find a warm bed tonight. However, and most importantly, I trust that the people of Australia have a conscience and sense of fair go and as one strive to do the “right thing”. I trust that debate in this country will eventually lead us to the point where everyone can experience the luxury I experience, of a peaceful, cosmopolitan, uncorrupted, free, healthy and educated environment. After all, when our Diggers, our Service Men and Women, fight and die for us, is this not the ideal Australia they were, and are, fighting for?
Lest we forget.
ANZAC Day 2012