Australia has many unique features including being home to the oldest living cultures on earth, the indigenous Australians inhabiting the land for over 60,000 years. This together with only close to 100 years or so of recorded national history makes us a complex country. We are a nation of immigrants from all over the globe, especially so in the last 50 years, and at the same time we are only now beginning to fully realise our indigenous history, and even that only in pockets of understanding across the country.
Division is something of a fact of life for democracy. In a political system like this one, compromise is the order of the day. We go to the polls, we cast our votes, and we throw our support behind the candidate or party we most agree with. In some cases, we get what we want. In other cases, we do not, and the perpetual cycle of debate and conversation continues.
If you are a parent in modern day Australia, then this is most likely what you are. We are talking about our own status as digital immigrants in a land of digital natives.
From a young age, we learn that we should "do unto others" as we would have others "do unto" us. The social me is a more sophisticated version of this and is a recognition of the different connections and intrinsic links that make up a society like the one we engage with every day.
Australia is a democracy. It may not be a perfect democracy -- what is perfection, after all? -- but it is a democracy nonetheless. This may mean different things to different people, but, at its heart, democracy means conversing, listening, understanding, and reaching a consensus on the best course of action for society -- a consensus that represents the broader needs of all of our citizens.
As Friday afternoon wore on, and thoughts turned towards the weekend, as they naturally do at this time, news began to break of sickening events taking place across the Tasman Sea. Sketchy reports emerged, filled with the kind of words that can only turn stomachs – words like “shots fired”, words like “panic”, “violence”, “desperation”.
Today, 39% of Australia's agricultural output depends on this water system, and over three million people rely on the basin's waterways to survive.
But this precious resource is dying. Severe droughts have shrunk water levels at a dangerous rate, resulting in the deaths of countless plants and animals within the system, and pushing numerous businesses, individuals, and even entire communities to the brink.
If you get sick or injured in Australia, you are in good hands. Australia continues to score highly when it comes to health care, and is consistently ranked among some of the world's best health care systems, thanks to high-quality infrastructure and some of the best doctors in the world.
One thing that unites us is receiving a ‘telling off’. Every one of us — from the straight A students to the young rebels — has been on the receiving end of a stern ticking off at some time or another in our childhood, perhaps from a teacher, a parent, or another member of our community. So today we explore what happens when we don't do as we're told (and so we do nothing) and how does this dissonant leadership style affects our next generation of leaders.
Leadership is - and has always been - about finding the balance between continuity and change. As leaders, across all spheres, it is valuable to recognise what is working, and what needs to be altered to achieve the right outcomes for all.
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