Category: Views

Op-Ed style pieces that express my views about issues that bother me. Mostly these pieces are politically based, but some are cultural critiques and social commentary pieces.

South Australia has been in lockdown since 18 November, apparently because someone, somewhere lied to the contract tracers. I won’t go into how casualisation of the workforce or unwieldy visa conditions may or may not have contributed to the person lying, but suffice it to say that hearing the Premier, Steven Marshall roast the person on national TV was probably not the wisest of moves. Our six day lockdown ended on the third day. Thank God. I wanted to pen a letter to the Premier of South Australia, outlining why the lockdown was unnecessary because hotel quarantine is unnecessary. And

Continue reading...

A while back, I posted an essay to a Facebook group of women writers that I’m in. In a nutshell, this essay is about me — while I was living in Hanoi — dating a much younger Vietnamese man for 10 months, who turned out to be a covert narcissist. He almost killed me. You would think that the comments about my essay would centre around the cycle of narcissistic abuse, or trauma bonds or intermittent reinforcement. Or how a smart, educated woman like myself could be drawn in by manipulation and lies. How I was gaslighted and controlled. Or why leaving emotionally abusive

Continue reading...

With the prime minster and National Cabinet introducing caps on the numbers of Australians returning home and a user pays system for mandatory hotel quarantine for returning Australians from mid July, taxpayers may be relieved that they are off the hook for this particular bill. I believe that the government’s argument of it being “fair” and “you’ve had enough time to get home” is flawed — the circumstances of expats are more nuanced and complex than they would have Australians believe, particularly if repatriating beloved pets is involved. My cat (and consequently me) is stuck in limbo in Vietnam because

Continue reading...

I started a PhD in 2008. A year later I quit, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about women, work, and career advancement. It’s about what I see happening again and again in workplaces. Where women overwork in the hope they will have career success. Where women are often chewed up and spat out by the places for which they work. Where women of a certain age can’t get work. Where women have to hide their age on paper to even get a look-in for work. This post is about that, which, coincidentally, was also

Continue reading...

I first published this letter to civil servants everywhere on 29 January, 2017. In light of recent events — Black Lives Matter and the Stupid Fucking Virus™ — it seems timely to republish it because its more relevant than ever. Dear civil servants everywhere (but especially in America), You have an important job to do. And it is more important than ever. Your job is to speak up and out about things that happen in the government organisations in which you work that you know are not right, or are criminal, or even downright psychopathic. I know that you worry

Continue reading...

There is an old Chinese curse that says: may you live in interesting times. That curse should be updated to a 2020 version that says: may you live in unprecedented times. And that’s where we find ourselves, and will for at least the next few months — riding out the coronavirus lockdown shit show. COVID-19, and all that that entails, means that plans are in limbo, on hold. Jobs gone. Freedom severely restricted. Flights grounded and travel limited for the time being. We are washing our hands with an OCD-like repetition, adhering to the social distancing demands of our respective

Continue reading...

When I left Australia for Hanoi, Vietnam, I was in desperate need of a change. I’d lived in the same country for 53 years, the same city for 30 years, and the same house for almost 20 years. I’d been in the public service for almost 10 years, albeit in different roles. My life was routine: running a few times a week, sometimes socially, sometimes not; the odd Friday night drinks with work colleagues; trying and failing to get my publishing and freelance career off the ground. My relationship with my daughter wasn’t the best.

Continue reading...