Among my better photos — 22

Back to pics and back ten years….

Ward Park, Surry Hills:

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In Surry Hills:


Chinese Garden Darling Harbour:

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Watering hole I once knew rather well in Redfern:

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Grotesque spectacle? I rather think it was…

I refer to this account by Michelle Goldberg of the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

…The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever.

Religions like “Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism” lead people “to an eternity of separation from God in Hell,” Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor, once said. He was chosen to give the opening prayer at the embassy ceremony. John Hagee, one of America’s most prominent end-times preachers, once said that Hitler was sent by God to drive the Jews to their ancestral homeland. He gave the closing benediction.

This spectacle, geared toward Donald Trump’s Christian American base, coincided with a massacre about 80 kilometres away….

Indeed, indeed.

See also Philip Williams, Trump’s embassy opening in Jerusalem is a warm embrace for Israel but a strategic blow for Palestinian hopes.


Sir Joseph Banks High School: inspiring

Last night on SBS we met this young man, among others.


They are the captains of Sir Joseph Banks High School in S-W Sydney. He is also dux. The school not only encompasses just about everything Pauline Hanson would be scared of, head-scarves for example, it also brings to life just why she is tragically wrong-headed. Not to mention all those Hanson think-alikes (male or female) out there.

At Sir Joseph Banks High School we are proudly inclusive. We welcome students to our school wholeheartedly, and celebrate the fact that they come from a wide range of cultural and language backgrounds. Within the school, we have fostered an environment where students care for each other and for those less fortunate than themselves. Our growing reputation within the East Hills and Bankstown areas is based on the success of our students who are thriving in this environment and who are able to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities we provide for them.

This explains How Sir Joseph Banks High School turned its fortunes around.

Just a few years ago, student numbers at Sir Joseph Banks High were dwindling; it was far from the first choice of school for many and its reputation meant neighbouring high schools attracted the best and the brightest.

But within three years, the dedicated team of teachers, led by principal Murray Kitteringham, have turned the school around and for two years in a row, every student from the Revesby school who has applied for a university place has been accepted….

[The Principal] said the school had a reputation of being a “rough school” and the local Arabic population favoured single-sex schools over Sir Joseph Banks.

But while the school is still dominated by boys, the number of girls is rising and there has been an overall growth in enrolments of 10 per cent in 18 months. It is also the top school in its area for student growth – the most important measure in education.

The school has used some of its federal Gonski funding to employ a youth worker for years 7 to 10 students as well as a senior studies coordinator, Amaney Khazma Roumieh, who develops a personalised learning plan for every senior student….

Do yourself a favour if you can and watch that episode of Insight, linked at the top of this post, and also on the school’s website.

This extremely powerful episode will touch your emotions and make you feel very proud that you are part of our Joeys’ family. Where else do people care so much for each other that they go above and beyond to provide the support needed for students to succeed? Thank you to the many students who bravely shared their stories. We applaud you!

As a former teacher I am just in awe at what this school has done!


Year 7 students from Sir Joseph Banks HS being inspired by a visit to Sydney University