What we are talking about…

The Impact of the Pandemic on Older Women

We need to look at ageing in Australia as a gender issue.

Australian women are ageing quite differently to the majority of men.

Covid19 has exacerbated the significant disadvantage older women experience on every measure of economic and social wellbeing compared to men.

It has also increased their social isolation and exacerbated their precarious financial position.

For women, ageing is a process of devaluation.
September 9, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Corona & the Common Good

In the autumn of 2020, for two months, Australia united around the common good – “pro bono publico”.

When the scale of the approaching threat of coronavirus became evident, two unprecedented things happened.

First, Australian governments, federal and state, chose to put aside politics and ideology and based their policy on the advice of health experts.

Secondly, the Australian people trusted that our governments were actually acting to avoid a national catastrophe. So remarkably, a public consensus formed around the need to uphold the common good as a priority. What kept the vast majority of people in their homes was not the possibility of fines, it was this shared belief that our individual welfare depended on the welfare of others. And what kept us resolute were the images of mass graves in countries where there was no leadership and no consensus regarding the common good.
June 26, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Indigenous women elders imprisoned for homelessness & poverty

" Janine (age 61) is one of a large and growing number of older women who are homeless. Five years ago, she was made redundant from her position as an Office Manager in Perth. Despite great effort she has been unable to find a job and ultimately couldn’t afford to continue paying rent. Since beginning to live in her car 8 months ago, Janine has tried to find relatively safe places to park at night. As a result, she has accumulated parking fines which she simply can’t afford to pay … particularly as these have compounded, had administrative fees added and now total over $3,000. When Janine was pulled over by police for allegedly speeding, she was immediately arrested for these outstanding fines and sent to prison. She doesn’t know what’s happened to her car, which contains all her worldly possessions."

First Nations women elders are being imprisoned as a direct result of being impoverished and homeless.
Minor non-violent offences, such as not having enough money to pay parking fines, can land them in gaol, and this can turn out to be a death sentence for an older woman.
May 31, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

“Through no fault of their own”

“ Through no fault of their own”. This is the phrase that Prime Minister Morrison used when he announced the new Jobseeker payment that would replace Newstart for the coming 6 months. We were told that thousands of Australians would lose their jobs “ through no fault of their own”.  And since these people could not be expected to live on the Newstart payment of $40 a day, the Jobseeker payment would be doubled to $1,100 per fortnight.

Prior to Covid19, most people receiving the unemployment payment, Newstart, were actually women aged over 50. Many had been on Newstart for years, usually until they were old enough to qualify for the pension. Not once in the past did anyone in Government announce that these women were unemployed “through no fault of their own”.
Quite the opposite. 

There was a deliberate campaign to devalue and humiliate the people on Newstart as dole-bludgers who needed to be drug tested. 

 
May 7, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Covid19 – Is it the economy or the elderly?

There is a disturbing narrative growing about Covid19 restrictions. It boils down to making a choice between the economy or the elderly. The argument is that the economy and young people are being sacrificed to protect older people. Mike Seccombe in the Saturday Paper defined it as “ the extent to which we will mortgage our children’s future to protect the health of our ageing parents.”   And he talks about “ repaying the massive debt we have accrued, largely out of consideration of those older people.”

First, this creates an artificial dichotomy that somehow presents an international and a national crisis as an  inter-generational conflict.
April 19, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Abandoning Old People on Ice Floes

It’s called Senicide - the custom of abandoning or killing the elderly once they reached the age of 60 or 70. The Inuit abandoned elders on ice floes. If you are ageing in Australia and are financially vulnerable, while you may not be dumped on an ice floe, you are at risk of being abandoned.

The Australian Government fails to acknowledge the scale and severity of an unprecedented crisis facing our ageing population. But confront it we must, because it has become an existential issue for Australia.

In the same way that we need a comprehensive climate policy to deal with climate change, so too do we need a comprehensive strategy to deal with demographic change.

However, the Government is not engaged in strategic national planning on this issue. Instead its policy towards financially vulnerable older Australians can best be described as a policy of attrition.
February 18, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

Now We Know Who To Blame

Australia is in the midst a housing affordability crisis. And now we know who to blame for it.

The Government is not to blame for a tax system that fuels skyrocketing house prices by benefiting local and foreign investors, developers and speculators. Nor is the Government to blame for its failure to address scarcity of housing including social housing.

No. The real culprits it appears are older Australians still living in their homes. It is their generational greed that is to blame.
March 10, 2020/by Augustine Zycher

We, the Matriarchs…

We, the Matriarchs… are the first generation in history of older, highly educated women to number in the tens of millions.
We are the first ever generation of older women who have spent decades in the workforce in professions and skilled employment, and not in the sweatshops and the fields.
We are the first ever generation of older women who have accumulated independent wealth and economic clout, despite discriminatory wage practices.
And we are the first ever generation of older women who can expect to live into their 90s.

But now we are entering the age of retirement. What next? What does society expect of us?

Well, nothing really.
June 18, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

True Face of Newstart Recipients

Wendy Morgan, in her appearance on ABC’s The Drum, showed the true face of Newstart recipients.

The majority are older women and they are on Newstart much longer than younger people, often for four years until they are old enough for the pension.

Wendy is not a drug addict. Nor is she a dole bludger.

She is a science tutor, has a double science degree in physics and chemistry, ran a printing lab and also has a forklift license.
October 7, 2019/by Augustine Zycher

Top 5 Places

Leading Australian women share their favourite places in Australia

Michelle Garnaut – My Top 5 Places in Australia

For centuries, empires, governments and global companies have vied with each other in displays of wealth, grandeur and power along the Bund in Shanghai. For close to a quarter of a century, one Australian woman has maintained her position on the Bund with no power other than the power of her reputation.

Michelle Garnaut, CEO of the M Restaurant Group, has established restaurants and lounges that have pioneered independent fine dining in both China and Hong Kong.
December 9, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Rosie Batty AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Rosie Batty made Australia listen.

Her son, Luke aged 11, was with his father playing cricket in the park when his father walked over to him and killed him.
In expressing her personal grief, Rosie compelled us to see that family violence was our business. She made us see that the plight of thousands of women and children could one day be our plight, or that of someone close to us.
September 11, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maureen Wheeler – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Maureen Wheeler AO is a pioneer of landmark enterprises in both travel and in the cultural life of Melbourne.

She was the co-founder, with her husband Tony, of Lonely Planet books - guides as indispensable to travellers as their backpacks or suitcases.
Maureen was also the co-founder of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. This centre for books, writing and ideas played a critical role in Melbourne achieving its status as a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
April 21, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maestro Simone Young – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maestro Simone Young AM is one of the world’s great opera and concert orchestra conductors. She has been called a ‘superconductor’, a conductor whose elegance and power, strength and sensitivity on the podium inspire her orchestra. She is a highly esteemed interpreter of the works of Wagner and Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner and Brahms, as well as those of contemporary composers.
July 4, 2016/by Rosalie Zycher

Olivia Newton-John – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Olivia Newton-John is an internationally recognised superstar.…
May 14, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Professor Marcia Langton AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer and holds the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is a strong Indigenous leader with an unwavering commitment to achieve justice for her people.
May 27, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Kathy Lette – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Kathy Lette epitomizes smart and sassy. Her razor sharp wit…
September 10, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Anna Goldsworthy – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anna Goldsworthy is an acclaimed solo pianist, memoirist, playwright, and librettist.
She has performed widely, particularly at festivals in Australia and throughout the world. As a chamber player, she is a founding member of the celebrated Seraphim Trio.
Her two memoirs, 'Piano Lessons' and 'Welcome to your New Life', have been widely acclaimed.
April 29, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Maggie Beer – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maggie Beer is an outstanding figure on the Australian culinary scene and was recognised on a postage stamp of Australia Post Australian Legends. She is known for her beautiful and accessible cooking using fresh, seasonal produce sourced locally.
December 7, 2014/by Augustine Zycher

Anne Summers – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anne Summers AO can be described as someone who is always in the vanguard as a feminist, journalist, author, editor and publisher.

Now that the issue of domestic violence is on the national agenda, we recall that 41 years ago, Anne Summers lead the charge into an abandoned building in Sydney and co-founded Elsie, the first women’s refuge in Australia.
October 30, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Polixeni Papapetrou – My Top 5 Places in Australia

When photographic artist Polixeni Papapetrou chose her 5 favourite places to visit in Australia, they were not just travel destinations. They were landscapes that captured her imagination and inspired her to transform them into her art. Dramatically beautiful, they are insightful and unsettling works.
July 3, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Professor Gillian Triggs – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Gillian Triggs, Chair of Justice Connect, won enormous respect for her courage and fortitude in defence of human rights in her previous position as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. This despite being subjected to unprecedented attacks and pressure from government ministers and their representatives.

Professor Triggs was catapulted into national headlines when she released a report on children in immigration detention. Tony Abbott, the then Prime Minister, Attorney-General George Brandis, and the then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison declared that the report was biased, that they had lost confidence in her and that she should resign.
November 13, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Places

Iconic Bathing Boxes of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Did you know that women are the reason we have those iconic, brilliantly coloured bathing boxes on the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria?
June 15, 2016/by Rosalie Zycher

In Praise of Solo Travel in Italy for Women

Italy is the perfect place for solo travel for women. But when I told people that I had recently travelled through Italy myself, they looked at me in disbelief and the usual response was — “ Well, that takes balls. I wouldn’t do that.” But why not? Travelling solo is a liberating and exhilarating experience. It fills us with a sense of adventure, opens our minds and relaxes the soul.
August 9, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Uluru – Icon of Australia

At the end of May 2017, Uluru stood as a silent sentinel over an historic summit of the First Nations of Australia. They had come from across the continent and the Torres Strait Islands, 250 community leaders. At the end of 3 days of deliberation, they issued a powerful and beautifully crafted document, entitled Statement From The Heart.  It rejected symbolic recognition. Speaking from the  “ torment of powerlessness” it demanded a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice in government decision-making. It also called for a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreements with government and lead the way to a treaty.

This summit and the charter it produced added another dimension to the political, cultural and spiritual significance of Uluru.
September 28, 2014/by Augustine Zycher

Legendary Stockman of the Australian Outback, Luke McCall

Luke McCall, aged 84, is one of the few surviving stockmen. For over half a century he crossed the vast length and breadth of Australia with thousands of head of cattle and horses. He loved the life and the stock and never saw it as a life of extreme physical hardship, danger and isolation. In this profile she has written for WomanGoingPlaces, Patricia McPherson describes her mate, Luke McCall as " a legendary stockman whose name stands high right across the north of Australia."
July 23, 2014/by Rosalie Zycher

Outback Australia in the Wet Season

My daughter Genevieve and I drove 4000 kilometres from Port Augusta…
May 8, 2016/by Augustine Zycher
Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef Australia for Women Travelers

How I came to swim with the sharks, giant turtles, stingrays, dugongs and endless schools of dazzlingly coloured fish in Ningaloo.

Everyone knows of the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast of Australia. Far fewer know of the magnificent corals that form the Ningaloo Reef off the west coast of Australia. This is surprising given that Ningaloo was awarded World Heritage status and recognized as one of the most spectacular and last remaining pristine coral reef systems in the world. It is home to 220 species of coral and 500 species of tropical fish.
September 22, 2013/by Augustine Zycher

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur is a place full of contradictions.

At first glimpse,…
April 27, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Geisha in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is the centre of Japan’s Geisha culture. There are almost 200 Geiko (Geisha) in Kyoto, making it the largest concentration in Japan. It is hard to find a Western equivalent for this exclusive profession. It combines the rigorous training and discipline of an elite ballet school and music academy, with the self-renunciation of a nunnery. Exquisitely costumed Geiko are sometimes seen along the narrow streets in the Gion quarter. Meeting a Maiko, a young woman in apprenticeship to become a Geiko, was one of the most memorable events of our time in Japan.
January 2, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Our Top Places in Japan

WomanGoingPlaces has chosen some of the places we saw as first-time visitors to Japan that became our Top Places in Japan.
These are to be found on 4 different islands of Japan - Honshu, Miyajima, Hokkaido and Shikoku. The choices are arranged according to islands and not in order of favourites.
March 3, 2017/by Rosalie Zycher

Tasman Island Cruise, Tasmania

The boat is fast and the seas are often very rough. In the front rows, it’s the thrill of being on a roller coaster. The waves hurl you up and land you with a thump. From the middle rows to the back it is a more sedate ride - depending on the weather. So you get to choose what sort of ride you want, according to where you sit.

But wherever you sit, the views of the south-eastern Tasmanian coastline are spectacular.
April 18, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Woman In…Outback Australia: Camooweal, Queensland

Right across the top of Australia, old drovers are rolling their swags because it is time to head to Camooweal for their annual reunion at the Drover’s Camp Festival held every year on the 4th weekend in August. This event commemorates the droving tradition when Camooweal was the centre for the largest cattle drives the world has ever seen.
July 11, 2014/by Rosalie Zycher