Radio In Colour: 1971 & the day a future author saved a future QLD premier’s life

springboks springboks2Jackie French is Australian Children’s Laureate 2014-2015 and Senior Australian of the Year 2015 along with many other awards. She has written hundreds of books on topics ranging from organic gardening, to wombats, children’s and illustrated books, fantasy and history fiction.

Jackie grew up in Brisbane, where she became part of history herself as a university student caught up in the 1971 anti-apartheid protests that swept Australia in response to the tour of South African football team, the Springboks.

In this interview she tells us about the day she saved future Premier Peter Beattie from police violence.

Jackie talks to 4ZZZ’s Kim Stewart for the Radio In Colour series.

**NB This story contains descriptions of police violence and sexual assault that may upset some listeners** Continue reading


Radio In Colour: Brisbane vs The G20

g20-3In November 2014 Brisbane hosted one of the world’s biggest meetings of world leaders – the G20.

The then LNP governments led by Campbell Newman in Queensland and Tony Abbott at a federal level, resulted in predictable overkill of security measures, crackdown on dissent, and surprisingly, neglect of one of the most important global issues – Climate change. Continue reading

Radio In Colour: Tree clearing in QLD

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

In the 1990s Queensland had the highest rate of land clearing in the world, greater even than the Amazon.  The Vegetation Management Act 1999 was brought in to manage the problem, but successive governments have allowed it to be weakened and it is reemerging as a problem.  Today there is a lot less vegetation left than there was in 1999, but the rates of clearing are nearing those disasterous levels experienced two decades ago.

Kim talks to Nicky Hungerford, Coordinator of the Queensland Conservation Council, who has a long history of campaigning on this issue. Continue reading

Changing minds and social change: can we predict and influence activist commitment?

foebrisPublic participation is an essential element of a healthy democracy. People engage in collective actions and form groups with political aims to influence the direction and nature of change in their world.  One of the conundrums for activist groups wanting to mobilise their community is how to engage others and keep them engaged for the long haul. Retaining the valuable experience of people in the movement is vital to the task. 

At the heart of this research is the question of why people choose to act: what social, environmental and psychological conditions must exist for individuals to participate in collective actions?

As a student of psychology and social work I have had pause to reflect on these dilemmas. What if we could predict whether people will act on a political issue? Dr Winnifred Louis, of the Centre for Research in Social Psychology at the University of Queensland, says we can.  For more than a decade now, Louis has been researching psychological dimensions of collective actions, particularly in the Australian peace movement. Continue reading

My change, your change, climate change

carteret islands

The Carteret Islands are on the frontlines of climate change. erosion and extreme weather is causing the relocation of the 3000 people who live there.  Can we change our behaviours to avert further loss of people’s homes, land and culture?

If there is one thing we can be sure about in life, it’s the inevitability of change. Whether that means personal change (like overcoming fears), behavioural change (like giving up smoking) or social, political, environmental or technological change, the process is similar. Change requires the recognition of a problem or need not being met by current circumstances and behaviour, thinking about options for change, preparing the ground for that change, undertaking the change and then maintaining the new and better life or world that one creates.

Sounds super simple, right? 🙂

Continue reading