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Indonesia's vicious circle renewed

Just two weeks ago, observers were congratulating Indonesia for a presidential election that was seen to consolidate that country’s process of democratisation.

Viruses, and Viral Marketing or What's the difference between Swine Flu, Facebook, Susan Boyle, and "chk chk boom"?

Lots, but there are some very scary similarities.

 

Okay, I’m not really qualified to write about flu epidemics, but the increased incidence of swine flu reports, made me return to an article that I read a little while ago.

 

Desperately seeking success: Or maybe hoping for a bit of luck

The link between success and luck is stronger than most people think, writes Economist Robert Frank of Cornell University in The New York Times. The difficulty that some have with his argument is that it challenges everything about the American dream. But, sadly for all those people who like to think that they are fully responsible for "pulling themselves up by their boot strings", "brushing themselves off", and "thinking about tomorrow", it is very much the truth.

 

Friends of Balibo

For those interested, please see my other blog site: Friends of Balibo at http://friendsofbalibo.blogspot.com/

Friends of Balibo is one of about 50 Friends of East Timor groups operating across Australia, and acts to suppor the community of the town of Balibo and its surrounding sub-district.

For those further interested, the movie 'Balibo', based on the events surrounding the murder of five Australian based newsmen at Balibo in October 1975 and another two months later in Dili, will headline the coming Melbourne International Film Festival and will be available on general release in August.

 

West Papua shooting of Australian, two others

The shooting of a young Australian engineer at the Freeport mine in West Papua on Saturday morning has raised questions about who did it and why. Immediate attention focused on the Free Papua Organisation (OPM) and the long-held grievances of the local indigenous peoples who have been displaced by the massive mine. However, it is more likely this is a set-up job, with the usual suspects, the Indonesian military (TNI), behind it.
There is no doubt that the OPM and other West Papuan independence organisations want a very different arrangement with Jakarta. However, their policy over the past few months has been one of public protest, with the aim of getting the Indonesian government to the negotiating table.

Indonesia's democratic consolidation

There has been some disquiet about each of the three pairs of candidates for president and vice-president are former army generals. Two of these generals have been identified as having been responsible for war crimes in the pre-democratic era.

New Unfair Terms Law

The Trade Practices (Australian Consumer Law) Bill 2009 was introduced into Parliament last month and contains the new unfair terms laws which, if passed, will enter into force on 1 January 2009.  They are, however, considerably watered down from the original proposed unfair terms laws and the Government has provided insufficient explanation for this change.
 

Funding youth violence prevention is a neglected community investment

There is currently no state government funding mechanism to support and sustain community crime prevention in Victoria. Given the available evidence shows that preventing youth volence and crime is a good investment, I call on the Victorian state government to set up funding mechanisms to support community crime prevention.
 
Recent reports have raised concern at rising rates of youth violence in Australia. Research recently completed by my team as part of the large cross-national International Youth Development Study (N=4,000) clarifies rates and determining influences for youth violence. For males in Victoria aged 14-15 in 2003 18% reported at least one episode of violence in the previous year (defined as attacking or beating another). These rates were significantly higher relative to a matched sample from Washington State in the USA (13%). The study revealed many of the influencing factors to be preventable.
 

What is development?

The postgraduate International and Community Development course has existed for over 20 years at Deakin University. It is Australia’s largest and oldest course of its kind with hundreds of students studying in countries around the world. Our past and present students work in international aid agencies, local councils, state and federal governments, community-based organisations, and UN bodies. All of them dedicating their working lives to bringing about ‘development’.

Senate Inquiry into Rural Access Terms Flawed

Deakin University will be making a submission to this inquiry. In preparing the submission it seems that the Senate may not have the full picture of where rural and regional students go to attend university. The Terms of Reference are restricted to:

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