Monday, December 15, 2008

Sarah Hanson-Young

I read about Sarah Hanson-Young when I was researching Bob Brown. She was one of his MySpace friends. I had a quick glance at her MySpace as well. It's very....Well, it looks like a typical MySpace page of a young adult, not one of a politician.    I'm fine with that.

Hanson-Young was born December 23 1981. What is the deal with the December birthdays? Really! What is it? November Australians blog and December Australians go into politics?

Hanson-Young is a Capricorn and her numerology number is 9. 9 is the humanitarian. Janette Howard (John Howard's wife) is a 9 and didn't seem like much of a humanitarian. Will Sarah Hanson-Young be any different?

Lord Wiki says she is South Australia's first Green Senator. He also says she is the youngest woman to be elected into the senate and parliament. But I think Despoja was the same age. I think Lord Wiki is a bit confused.

She was born in Melbourne--in a place called East Gippsland. I don't know what that is, but it's near Orbost.

Well, I got that wrong. She was born in Melbourne, but I guess then she moved to East Gippsland which is NOT in Melbourne. It's a 5 hour drive away.

She was president of the student association at the University of Adelaide. This is exactly what Despoja did.

It seems that Hanson-Young HAS done some humanitarian work. She has been involved with Amnesty International. She was a board member of an organization called Unibooks. This group sells text books and professional books, but they're a nonprofit organization. Interesting. They say they have the best discounts for textbooks.

She has been a mentor in a program called The Smith Family. The mentoring program sounds a bit like the  Big Brother/Big Sister program we have in America. I guess you guys have it too.

Lord Wiki doesn't have much about Hanson-Young, so that's already over and done with.

Now I'm going to get a better look at her MySpace page. She has music on her page. Right now it's playing Hilltop Hoods. Aussie hip hop.

It says she last logged in 12/11/08. Is that November 12 or December 11? I have no idea. Whether it was November or December, when she logged in her mood was happy; She looks happy in her picture. Happy and mysterious. She looks like she could be Wiccan. I'm going on looks alone here. Although if a Wiccan was going to be a politician, I think she or he would be part of the Green party.

She has a pretty detailed list of her interests. She likes house, blues and roots, and hip hop. I never heard of house. What is that? I'm very ignorant when it comes to music.

Lord Wiki says it's electronic dance type music.

I'm also not sure about Blues and Roots. I googled it and got stuff about an Australian music festival. So, maybe it's an Australian thing?

As for movies.....Her most recent favorite is Juno. I've seen parts of that movie and totally love it. She seems to like progressive political stuff: Thanks for Smoking, An Inconvenient Truth, and The Yes Men. I've heard of all those movies except the latter. I shall look it up.

It's an anti-corporate movie and Michael Moore is in it.

I'm not a huge fan of Michael Moore, but I think it's awesome that a politician would like an anti-corporate movie.

Her TV show list seems to be a mixture of American and Australian television. Maybe mostly Australian. Lateline. That's Australian, right? Summer Heights High. I'm guessing that's Australian too. American shows: The Daily Show, West Wing, and Brothers and Sisters. Why the hell doesn't she watch The Stephen Colbert show?

 The Daily Show is okay, but I like Colbert much more.

I was curious about Summer Heights High, so I found a trailer for it on YouTube. It looks fun. Do any of you watch it?

Oh! It is (or will be) available in my little country! Thanks, HBO. Link

Her list of favorite books includes some classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Eighty-Four, and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. She likes John Marsden's famous When the War Began. Two books, she lists, that I haven't heard of are The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and No Logo by Naomi Klein.

The Magic Faraway Tree is children's fantasy. It's interesting that she likes children's fantasy books, but she didn't list Harry Potter as a favorite. I'm a bit disappointed in her!

No Logo
is anti-corporate. It looks like a pretty good book!

Hanson-Young is married, and it seems she has a child. Well, she say she's a mum. I guess she might have a cat. Once my mom and I were talking about how motherhood is hard. My younger sister piped in and said something like. I know. I know. I understand how hard it is. I have a cat!

Yes, we laughed at her. The best thing is she's pregnant now! She did later get a dog though and I think that's slightly closer to taking care of an infant.

Maybe there's more people who believe taking care of a child is as easy as taking care of a cat. Maybe THAT'S why so many people think we don't need paid maternity leave. You certainly don't need to take time off of work to take care of your cat.

All right. She has a paragraph about herself--a little bio thing and it is not a cat that she's a mother of. She actually has a human toddler.

It seems her favorite place to eat is Big Table at the Central Market in Adelaide. It looks yummy, although I'm a little disappointed that a Green politician wouldn't go for something a little more vegetarian. I mean it doesn't have to be full on vegetarian, but maybe a place that serves cage-free eggs. Maybe they do and they just don't advertise it. Maybe cage-free eggs are commonplace and expected in Adelaide.

The people she wants to meet are Nelson Mandela, Angelina Jolie, Martin Luther King, and Audry Hepburn.

She has 608 friends including Sarah Blasko and The Audrey's.

She supports gay marriage and is disappointed with Rudd for being against it.

I like this woman.

This Green website has her first speech, not the transcript but the actual audio. She has a beautiful voice. She sounds a bit nervous, but I would be too! She's doing much better than I'd do.

I don't want to listen to the whole speech though. I'm not good at listening. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a transcript later; maybe on the Parliament website.

The Green website has some bio info on her. They're like Lord Wiki in that they say she's the youngest in the Senate and Parliament. I guess she beats Despoja by a few months. Maybe Despoja was twenty-six and not twenty-five?

She writes for a woman's health magazine. I'll have to check that out later.

Her page has information the Green's beliefs about women. They're all fairly typical and expected...such as right to freedom from violence. My favorite is: Women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value, and to have their unpaid caring responsibilities acknowledged and properly valued throughout their lifetime.

In America, the main goal, in terms of families in poverty, is to find jobs for woman. Get them on their feet. So, they get a job and then struggle with the daycare issue. I think it would be so much better if there was a way to pay these women to stay home and take care of their own babies. I know not every woman wants to stay home and make motherhood her main job.  But if she wants to, I think the government should help make that possible.

Hanson-Young and the other Greens are pushing for 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. That would be GREAT; although I think 18 weeks is good too. 26 weeks would be over six months. Babies are supposed to be exclusively breastfed for at least six months.  Having 26 weeks at home would make it easier for moms to breastfeed at least that long.  

Hanson-Young doesn't concentrate only on mothers staying home. She also deals with daycare issues. She wants to reduce the childcare ratio to 1:3 for babies. Right now in Australia, it's 1:5 for babies. That is NOT good. I can't imagine how that would work well for the babies or the daycare worker. The United States isn't really better. Although I think it varies from state to state.

Hanson-Young does speak out against Mem Fox's statement--the one where she said putting children in childcare is child abuse. I despise how people throw around that word. Locking your child in a closet and not feeding them is child abuse. Beating your child and breaking their bones is child abuse. Constantly yelling at your child and calling them worthless is child abuse. Molesting your child is child abuse. Sending them to daycare is NOT child abuse and neither is homeschooling, circumcising, raising them vegan, spanking once in awhile, or letting them eat donuts for breakfast. We might not agree with other people's parenting choices, but it doesn't mean we need to call it abusive.

We DO need to fix childcare though. Due to poorly paid and poorly trained childcare workers, CERTAIN childcare situations MIGHT be abusive. But that doesn't mean all situations are bad. If a mother chose to stay home and she abused her infant, would that mean all children who stay home with their mothers are abused?

I am now following Sarah Hanson-Young on Twitter. I need to remember to do the whole Twitter thing. I keep forgetting.

Here's the parliament website. Now I can READ her speech. It was done on September 1, 2008. This was the same day I wrote my post about forgiveness.

She mentions that it's the first day of Spring. I actually remember that day because people wrote about Spring in their blog and I was surprised because here we start our new seasons in the middle of the month.

Her language is very flowery. Is that the right term? Here she says: May this, the first day of spring, mark the time when we as Australians shake off those cobwebs of cynicism and distrust. It is a time to bring out the broom and sweep up the mess left after years of inaction, mindless consumerism and self-perpetuating fear.

We need to shake off those cobwebs and sing Tomorrow. Tomorrow! I Love Ya! Tomorrow. You're only a day away!

I do like the terms mindless consumerism and self-perpetuating fear. I think in some ways they go hand in hand. Retailers thrive on our paranoia and do Republicans.

I like what she says here.

Despite always being an active member of my school and my town, I never thought that one day I would be standing in this chamber giving my first speech. As a kid there seemed very little to believe in when it came to politicians and their parties. Most of it seemed much like what I witnessed in the schoolyard—games and tricks played among those who sought power and privilege. So even though aspects of representing my community appealed to me I never wanted to become what I saw as a stereotypical politician.

That actually brought a few tears to my eyes. I think most of us can relate to what she says. We want to believe. We want to have faith. We want to have hope. But it's so....HARD.

Oh! Wow. She speaks VERY strongly against the treatment of asylum seeker: I was appalled that here in the land of a fair go we punished and violated those people who needed our protection and safety. I still shiver when I remember the images of children with their lips sewn together, who, in desperation for understanding and help, had no other means of communication but the mutilation of their own bodies. I was disgusted that our government was perpetrating the fear of innocent children in the display of political might. A strong sense of rage fueled me to take action and I felt compelled to join the Australian Greens, who had stood strongly against the disgrace that was the Tampa.

That's very powerful writing there. It makes up for the cobweb stuff.

She's passionate about the Murray River issues and uses the book Storm Boy in her pleas. That book was one of my birthday presents. I haven't read it yet. I'm guessing it might have something to do with the Murray River.

Hanson-Young worked at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. It seems the festival happens in November and December in various places around Australia. Hanson-Young participated in Melbourne on a discussion about a film regarding the Dalai Lama.

This blog talks about how Hanson-Young supports fair trade chocolate. She wants to help stop exploiting and child slavery. One way she she said she'll do this is by seeing if it's possible for fair trade chocolate to be available in Parliament House. Cool!

I found her woman's magazine writing. It looks like she does a Q&A column for Woman's Day. They don't show much, just a question about biodegradable diapers. I didn't realize there are biodegradable diapers. That is so cool. I found this Australian company, but they sell in the US too. It really sounds like a great alternative. Plastic disposables are evil in many ways. I'm ashamed we used them. But cloth doesn't make me feel all that better. All that washing and use of water. I wonder what's better for the environment...biodegradable or cloth?

I'm very impressed with Sarah Hanson-Young and I'm very impressed with Australia for having her in their government. Really. I thought Obama was cool. Sarah is even better. Well, at least I think so.


  1. Hi Dina
    i love Summer Heights High, it is brillant, its a mockumentory based on Australian school life, where the 3 main characters are played by the one actor and creator of the show, and is very funny, but very australian humour. Im all for paid maternity leave, but think half should be provided by the government (instead of baby bonus) and half by the employer, i think 18 weeks would be a good starting point but 26 weeks would be the ultimate goal. I work at Sydney University and you can get 1 year maternity leave at half pay or 6 months full pay. As for child care in this country it is terrible, and is one area Rudd has identified that needs to be fixed up.

  2. Matt,

    When I saw the trailer, I never realized it was the same actor! I did think the female character was played by a male though. That I noticed.

    I agree with you about the government paying half of maternity leave. That makes a lot of sense.

    Sydney University's deal is GREAT!!

    Child care is really bad here too. There was a term that one child development specialist used. He called it Kentucky Fried Childcare--referring to how many childcare specialists are no better educated/trained than a fast food worker.

  3. Summer Heights High is awesome. I'm so glad you'll be able to pick it up over there.

    Child care in Australia *sigh* We've just had one of the biggest chains of child care centres in Australia - ABC learning - go under. Working mothers have been thrown into turmoil. To obtain quality childcare in Australia, you put your name down when the child is conceived - or earlier.

  4. Anja,

    It's like that in certain places here--like NYC. You have to sign up for childcare so early.

    Here in Fort Worth, it's not like that. I think it's pretty easy to get in. But as far as I know, the centers are all pretty horrible.

  5. Raising your child vegan can be considered child abuse. You're right about the other things (although maybe clarify that by 'circumcision' you mean male - female "circumcision" is a whole other and extremely abusive kettle of fish, obviously) but my friends who are doctors deal very often with children who are underdeveloped, malnourished and/or extremely ill because their parents have decided to raise them vegan.

    An infant or child does not have any choice over what he/she eats, nor any understanding of diet and how it affects them. A parent makes these choices for the child. A parent may think it's cruel to consume any animal products, and that's totally fine FOR THE PARENT. But they should NEVER force that upon a child. Because it does affect them. Badly. And often in ways that are irreversible and will stay with the child for life.

  6. Raising your child vegan can be considered child abuse. You're right about the other things (although maybe clarify that by 'circumcision' you mean male - female "circumcision" is a whole other and extremely abusive kettle of fish, obviously) but my friends who are doctors deal very often with children who are underdeveloped, malnourished and/or extremely ill because their parents have decided to raise them vegan.

    An infant or child does not have any choice over what he/she eats, nor any understanding of diet and how it affects them. A parent makes these choices for the child. A parent may think it's cruel to consume any animal products, and that's totally fine FOR THE PARENT. But they should NEVER force that upon a child. Because it does affect them. Badly. And often in ways that are irreversible and will stay with the child for life.

  7. Anonymous,

    Would you think it's abusive for a parent to raise their child vegan if they carefully planned out a diet that provided enough protein, Vitamin B12, and iron?

    For the malnourished children that your doctor friends care for....what nutrients are they lacking?

    Exactly how many destroyed vegan children have they treated? Less than 10? More than 10?

    What about parents who feed their children food that's known to be unhealthy (fried food, foods with dyes, hot dogs, etc, lots of red meat, etc). Do you consider them abusive as well?

  8. She is an elitist fool. I was talking to her on and she said she had the right to share MY LIFE WITH ASYLUM SEEKERS!

    Watch out for this psycho.