yes-reply #03


Yesterday was my second most holy day of the year, seconded only by election day. If you’ve been watching the news, you would know yesterday the 47th parliament of Australia was sworn in with much ceremony. I spent the day in front my TV, swapping between ABC and the parliament’s website depending on who had the best coverage at the minute. But there are two moments I’d like to share with you.

Firstly was Albanese’s speech after the welcome to country, the Prime Minister told the story of how the Rudd government introduced this procedure in 2008, and how at the time some argued it could not be allowed to happen because the rules of parliament didn’t allow for it. The second moment occurred after the election of the new Speaker, Milton Dick, in his acceptance speech. Dick’s speech was mostly ceremonial thanks, except for an unequivocal wielding of political power, he acknowledged parliament’s unsafe history of sexual assault and committed to implementing the Jenkin’s review for the safety of all who worked under the institution he presided over.

These two moments, these two acts, are acknowledgments of evil not inflicted by parliamentarians who travel to Canberra with intention of harm. Rather, these are acknowledgments of systems that have through gross negligence failed in their duties of care.

Indigenous Minister Linda Burney embraces Aboriginal elder

The day before I had been kicked in the ass (rightly so!) by a dramaturg helping me analyse the structure of the play I’m currently writing. We discussed different ways I can approach the act of writing, and how the structure of working will affect the structure of the play. Really it was just about playing more and expecting less perfectionism from myself, which seems to be a ongoing thread in these newsletters.

I’ve been reminded of the importance of the systems we work within. Although few of us has much at stake as the federation’s parliament, we all work within systems to create things. I think the critical act, is to consciously consider the structure of our systems, and accept culpability for their impacts.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Gillanders

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