Homeless or “Houseless”

I felt obliged to write about the vexed topic of homelessness after witnessing people sleeping rough in Queensland’s small towns. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. The stereotype of a homeless person is the hobo asleep in the doorway of a city store, worldly goods in two carrier bags as a pillow. The reality is closer to an unhappy teenager, couch surfing with friends, or an 60+ women in a van on her own. Or…

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When Aussie families lived in kerosene tin huts

This week we are leaving president-elect Joe Biden to struggle with his Disunited States, to reflect on a time in Australia’s history when homeless people were forced to build kerosene tin huts. This Depression-era story may also give us pause for contemplation as the year-long corona virus pandemic sends many nations into deep recession. No-one wants to use the D-word but also no-one can predict how long countries will have to deal with Covid lock-down periods….

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Tales of quarantine and homelessness

Had it not been for the coronavirus outbreak (the WHO calls it COVID-19), few Australians would have known of Manigurr-ma, a purpose-built accommodation village 30kms from Darwin. Manigurr-ma, or Howards Springs as it is zoned by Australia Post, was built in 2012 at a cost of $600 million as part of the Ichthys LNG gas project. Developed by infrastructure company Aecom for the multinational INPEX consortium, the village can house up to 3,500 people in…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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