Friday, November 13, 2015


One can choose to be superstitious. Today is Friday the 13th. but I am not going to believe it is unlucky.

How could I forget arriving in Melbourne at 
Tullamarine Airport, our family were the last of the ten pound poms(actually by then it was 300 pounds a family!), on Friday 13th, 1978. 
Unlucky for some, not for me: I have the priviledge of being White. Little did my 14year old self know I was perfect for  maintaining white Western Civilisation...

I had experienced a little of the fear generated by National Front thugs at a teenage disco in Birmingham, a good excuse for a young man to steer me away from their assault into the hall to cause strife to get closer to him in the long grass where nobody would see us....

I came away intact and the National Front which was forming in Australia was out of my outer-suburban radar. Link: 
National Front of the Commonwealth

Kyneton, Victoria - First home-owners thanks to Victorian State Government loan for low-income
citizens (like writers and puppeteers!)

I didn't know anything about the first indigenous people of Australia - they weren't mentioned in the film shown to us at Australia House in Manchester to prepare us for emigrating. 
Mum had told me about Yvonne Goolagong - a Wimbledon champion.

In later years Mum said when she was sent to a New South Wales orphanage at Thurgoona near Albury in 1950. 
It was a brutal experience, but at least they were white...the aboriginal kids got it worse...

What all the black and white "orphans" of Church and State were useful to White Australia for, was their hard labour around local hearths and farms.
(which they received no wage for).


Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts - special exhibition at National Gallery Canberra


LEST WE FORGET WE ARE A SIGNATORY TO THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS CONVENTIONS - Hang on isn't that where Fremantle MP used to work? LABOR'S LONE VOICE against cruel refugee treatment, Melissa Parke.

 Australia's treatment of asylum seekers has been heavily criticised by the United Nations' Human Rights Council in Geneva.
It coincides with a renewed push within the Federal Opposition to close the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.
Labor MP Melissa Parke will present a motion to today's caucus meeting in Canberra, demanding an end to offshore processing unless an appropriate standard of care can be provided.
Melissa Parke joins Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast.
One less Labor MP not a bastard.

15,000 years ago Aboriginal people started to paint and commemorate their lives, leaving a legacy of Rock Art at Laura (Quinkan), near Cooktown, Qld.

This Friday morning Fran from ABCRN Breakfast Radio reminded me it was the last day to submit (in 50 words or less) which Australian artist I would get to paint an Australian politician and I could get a trip to Canberra for the TOM ROBERTS exhibition at the National Gallery.

THE ABC is my artery delivering factual, intelligent discussions, and cross-fertilisation of the arts.

THIS IS WHAT I WROTE: My fantasy is Canberra, with Catherine Abel, Painter of sensually bold women to study the Senator for S.A. Penny Wong, a consummate politician and leader for gay marriage.
Tom Roberts would approve of contemporary representation of a State noted for its artistic and progressive values.


Friday, October 9, 2015


I spent the late teenage years in suburban Melbourne transitioning from Pom to Australian citizen, which is why I liked reading about the Labor Leader Bill Shorten's formative years.

I WANT TO LIKE HIM. David Marr says Shorten scored Brownie Points for his rapport and recruitment of young people at Monash University. 
The energy and idealism of youth, yes! I was a Pied Piper too - at school was voted Student Rep and organiser for live bands and discos!
While Bill was recruiting a new generation of ALP members and attracting Prominent and Influential Party figures to his fundraising events, I was a new Australian oblivious to all which wasn't in front of me...I booked La Femme to play Huntingdale High in 1980 after seeing them perform in Melbourne's thriving new wave/ pub /music scene(no ID then).

ACTU President Bob Hawke wanted to be my man too, as I was turning 18 and could vote for the first time.

1982 was a defining year - suffering from undiagnosed Depression, I left an office job which I thought was killing my soul. 
My tears of despair at hearing it would take 6 weeks to receive the dole, created compassion in the Centrelink officer and I kept a roof over my head.

I heard the call to action by Bob Hawke. His message was hopefull, but I was turned away as I hadn't registered to vote! Nobody had told me, but I still had some benefit from a Labor Government in the Commonwealth Employment Scheme.


On the tight-rope of a fringe existence in St.Kilda I was attracted to a theatre poster which led me into helping form a Youth Arts component of Fringe Network, 
a resource for artists.

Based in Brunswick St. Fitzroy the C.E.P. provided 6 month wages, and sent off to learn how to touch-type!

Brunswick St Fitzroy

I was flying high as Fringe Network Secretary/Board Director/Arts administrator and Festival Programmer and Performance Poet!

Shorten created NETWORK too, a youth faction of Young Labor at Monash. 

ALL THAT GLITTERS IN THE IRISH DNA from the Goldfields of Ballarat to the Coal Mines of Ipswich.
I met my husband at the first Melbourne Fringe Festival of 1983 and we became Partners in Puppetry. link here:

When Premier Joh and his cronies had left main stage in Queensland and Wayne Goss was the Labor man in charge we headed North for health and economic prospects. We felt at home in working-class Ipswich, but moved out into the Brisbane Valley because Roy wanted to plant trees.

THEN, Pauline Hanson scared us....We had to do our bit to fight Racism and Right wing haranguing by force of Reason and Humanism.

Something which was a revelation was ALP/DLP history. Many local branch ALP members were Roman Catholics like Bill Shorten. 
I went to Frank Hardy's Power without Glory for a literary summary of those post-war clashing of ideologies!

Bill's often going on about talking up Labor values for working people/families, but I was always puzzled by the Party not winning the participation of Unemployed workers.

Treasurer Wayne Swann ruled out the unemployed getting an extra $50.00 per week and Bill doesn't see that social democracy means building the party with victims of the worst of Capitalism.

Journalist David Marr opens his essay with the most important word in Politics, The Numbers.

I wouldn't read Machievelli's The Prince until Tory Tony Abbott became Prime Minister so now as I read the Quarterly Essay I wonder if  Leader of the Opposition Shorten has a knot of guilt about anything, and I guess that's what the Royal Commission into Trade Unions has been trying to find out with $80million of tax-payers money for Tory Tony's dirty digging.

How corrupted does an M.P's Conscience get?

If the means justify the ends, the silence by The Left and Right of the ALP on human rights violations towards asyslum seekers is abhorrent.
 Australia's Immigration "Border Force" actions and contracted Security operators off-shore detention behaviour is something they can live with for the pay packet, power and privileges, from Superannuation to gifting each other thousands of dollars for each others campaigns.
 Silence is sinister not golden.

Right Faction Labor man Bill Shorten with a Docklands political pedigree has been given the schooling and entre to the business networks via Unions and marriage.

 Becoming a Friend of Israel is something I didn't learn about in the elective of HSC Politics. but I have learned about it via observations with my local MP Shayne Neumann when he was part of a debate about ALP policy on Palestine.
What does it take to be a Politician? And to what end do you use the Power for?
Shayne Neumann MP for Blair and Bill Shorten MP in Ipswich Queensland during a Flood Insurance Inquiry.

Kurt Vonnegut  author of God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (aka Pearls Before Swine), wasn't on my reading list either. My husband has read widely and offered this relevant to our understanding.

“The what?”
The Money River, where the wealth of the nation flows. We were born on the banks of it. We can slurp from that mighty river to our hearts’ content. And we even take slurping lessons, so we can slurp more efficiently.
“Slurping lessons?”
From lawyers! From tax consultants! We’re born close enough to the river to drown ourselves and the next ten generations in wealth, simply using dippers and buckets. But we still hire the experts to teach us the use of aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, siphons, bucket brigades, and the Archimedes’ screw. And our teachers in turn become rich, and their children become buyers of lessons in slurping.
“It’s still possible for an American to make a fortune on his own.”
Sure—provided somebody tells him when he’s young enough that there is a Money River, that there’s nothing fair about it, that he had damn well better forget about hard work and the merit system and honesty and all that crap, and get to where the river is. ‘Go where the rich and powerful are,’ I’d tell him, ‘and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark to the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You’ll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.
Another thing Bill Shorten and I have is visiting Victorian State MP for Oakleigh, Race Matthews.
I had been to his office as a 17 year old homeless student in fear I wouldn't be able to stay at school. He put me in touch with a local youth worker and not long after I had a room in a house which supported my Year 12 study.
I would have been a good candidate for being a mere member of the ALP, even to hand me a pamphlet.
Bill Shorten showed more promise. He had formed a 

 In the school holidays I worked with Mum and the middle-aged, menopausal Greek women clocking on already in a sweat! 
Didn't see any Union organisers promising better working conditions in the heat of the metal sheds around Clayton.

Marr shows what a men's club Shorten has risen from.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

SWAN SONGS - Bomb the World w/lyrics

ALL I HEAR is the penetrating silence between bird chatter, and I am spooked - no harsh Super Hornet Jets flying over our house, test piloting, running fossil fuels, costing a fortune. 
On the Insiders Barrie Cassiday asks if Australia is going to bomb Syria and the Cabinet Member doesn't know, can't say...
I know, because my air-space is peaceful, which means theirs won't be.
FLEE now, families of Syria. The psycopathic leaders have the God of Abraham snapping at their macho, hides. Go back to the Goddess origins or be a Humanist and free.


From the day I became an active member of the ALP I was alerting the influential to make our party more attractive to young people, then there was Kevin 07...popular by young and the baby-boomers(even though he did the Sunday church PR).

The Greens shouldn't be slagged off, that is an insult to members like me, who are Green Labor - care about inhumane treatment of other sentient beings. 
There was no agreement from the office blokes of the Right, didn't agree with me, including then Queensland State Secretary Anthony Chisolm who is now comfortably heading for the Senate.

Too many times, I shook my head in disbelief. I respected them as comrades, but sensed the ambition for power was widening the gap between us.

I have been inspired by leaders Bob Brown, Christine Milne and now the new Leader making his mark: This interview should have been coming from a Labor Leader.

Signing off into the baby boomer bolshie radical rainbow, secular humanist Enlightened GREEN band-wagon...
Based on the polling indicators I have a healthy gut feeling.

P.S.  Human Rights Lawyer, Julian Burnside far more Honourable than the currient Parliamentarians of the Old Parties.    refugee-resettlement-getting-the-facts-straight

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


30 June 2015 - To Queensland Labor State Secretary - 
(re-edited version)
                                                              Wished I'd voted for Albanese...
Ipswich Trades Hall, with Bill Shorten.

Dear Evan, 

Regretfully, I wish to resign from the ALP and request you stop the direct debit on my membership (2006-2015). 
On the whole I have enjoyed the experience, and would suggest to any person it is worthwhile being a participant in the political system.

I had to leave with failing mental ill health; haven’t got a tough enough shell to deal with my growing horror of the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees,  breaching UN Conventions we signed in good faith(as a response to turning the Jews in the boats back to the Nazi's).

To not correct the Conservatives(Lib/Nats) on these principles is to be part of the breaches of international law on torture, and rights of the child. The Greens Senator Sara Hanson Young’s voice never fails to ease my bleedin’ Labor heart. 
Maybe I'd be better with the Freemantle tribe? 

When I was a member of the Federal Electoral Council(FEC Ipswich) I discovered our M.P. Shayne Neumann might be a terrific, hard-working member locally, but he was expressing views as hard-line as the Tories - discarding the rights of the individuals fleeing. 
I spoke up, 

“I know if I was stuck in an Indonesian camp with daily suffering and assaults on my body and dignity for more than a couple of years with no hope of a decent future I would take the gamble on a boat, wouldn’t you?” 

We cannot claim to have a foundation based on social justice whilst staying silent about the authoritarian regime growing like an invasive weed, a destructive Tory terror on our Egalitarian principles. 

Resilience & Courage admired in Freemantle MP Melissa Parkes speaking oath to Gov. General
Mrs. Bryce, and PM Gillard.

Our racist White Australia Policy belonged to the 19th & 20th century. How do we tell our children it doesn't have a current influence?  
How do politicians expect respect from voters when they show by their actions, If you have money, even ill-gotten you can fly in and be free.
Boat people are sub-human, demons - daring to defy our Sovereign Borders so we can persecute the persecuted, outa sight outa mind. 

Labor 4 Refugees soften the tyrannical edges, but not enough to contaminate the current ideologues of deterrance via fear.

My capacity to push on regardless, continuing to be a solar light on the hill in the Brisbane Valley was finally done in by a deepening depression and disatisfaction of certain expectations on my role as Branch Secretary. 

Premier Bligh visits Fernvale After the Floods 

Crikey, I was even censored, told to 
close the Somerset branch face book page - a wee bit paranoid about me speaking out of turn! We really needed some younger members... 

The straw that broke me to the core was the thwarting of plans(by men) who were new and ambitious, changing the dynamics of the Branch. 

I was perceiving their inputs as hurdles/barriers to my pure vision of shining only Labor women's light for an International Women's Day event - especially as Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk had accepted the invitation to come to Fernvale on that special day.

Like the turns of a kaleidescope I was stunned by the shifting hues taking place, until I became exasperated,  and threw my Secretarial tools and papers in the air with histrionic effect. Why go out with a wimper? I was fuming.

Shit happens in any group but there was a bit of history repeating itself. 

Let me say that 80per cent of time has been great being a Labor Party member - many like minds with the goal for a brilliant Labor Government. 
It was interesting to campaign for Fiona MacNamara for Wright, Neumann for Blair, Wayne Wendt in Ipswich West, then making sure every vote counts in the booth.

Feb 2009 Fernvale Futures: Learning about Climate Change
with Karey Harrison, Senator Claire Moore, Wayne Wendt MP
Running a regular branch stall at our popular Fernvale Market meant getting to know the news and view of my neighbours, and helping them to solve their problems with their Parliamentary representative.
Fernvale Markets

I would still recommend becoming an active member of the social democratic ideal of the Australian Labor Party. You learn about political process, and meet some inspiring people. 

Senator Doug Cameron in Ipswich for talks on Housing crisis
though he shied away from removing the tax perk of Negative Gearing which had been shown not to work for the purpose it was designed for. Yes, he shied away, champion of the Left, entrenched in Power plays, and a comfortable office - his rhetoric on refugees now a ghost of his radical self...

Of course there is still so much to do - even with polling suggesting the population at large is of the view for autonomy in reproductive rights and access the best of us are thwarted by control my conscience freaks.
I regularly brought up the separation of powers principle where our Parliament should stop voting on social issues like theocrats.  
The abortion case where Deputy Roman Catholic Premier Paul Lucas were firm - don't let the Cairns couple who used the safe self-administering abortion pill open Pandora's Box. 
It was a blight on the Bligh Government.
The policy platform is secular - abortion should be out of the criminal code - it is a health

I thought it was great to participate in regional conferences and meet, ask questions of various ALP MP's and apparatchik: At Ipswich Trades Hall, during the Bligh Labor Governance, The Deputy Premier and Minister for my Health,couldn't be convinced that as women who manage our own reproductive issues from 10-60, it was an insult to be under the Criminal Code from England in the 1860's! 

Chaplains should be in Sunday schools not State schools. Or is there a secret Christian army being built for the end of times?

I felt so much better when I made the decision to quit the party. My conflicting inner-self was less inflamed. I'm a cheer-leader for Premier Annastacia but disappointed on the Gallilea Basin coal con- job, proposed by the Adani company.

We now discover Adani has employed former Labor party staff and members to lobby Ministers on their behalf! The company had misled everybody by it's 10,000 jobs headliner, which apparently was going to be worth sacrificing the Great Barrier Reef for. 
It smells like rotten eggs. The self-interest cycle perpetuates itself and we all suffer by it. 

I will sign off now and wind down my blogging as a former apparatchik.

Julie McNeill
former Secretary, Wivenhoe/Somerset branch

 my editorial for The Gatton Star
                and sewing improvisations
Labor Day Ipswich March - to show our solidarity - all of our branch members were proud
Unionists, except me, being unemployed.

Wivenhoe branch founder Virginia Clarke campaigning for Nanango

Branch meetings on Saturday arvo at member's homes and roving along the valley between Fernvale and Esk.

At front is Life Member Stan in company with visitors & neighbours Hon. Bill Hayden
& Dallas Hayden, They shared many campaigns together in the former Oxley.
           Convivial, stimulating conversations among

Fed MP Shayne Neumann with President Peter Arndt & State MP Wayne Wendt
at monthly branch meetings.

Wivenhoe branch meetings convivivial comraderie.
Wivenhoe branch Founding member VIP Kim Travers swan-song to new CPSU
 organiser job in Melbourne.
Dinner for Wayne Goss anniversary of Labour return to Qld Govt.
with Brisbane branch member Paleni Thevar
From the Lockyer and Brisbane Valley, Janet and John and Julie

Fernvale Markets on a Sunday morning.
"Pollies, Pies & Poets" at Fernvale Bakery. Thom the Poet from Austin Texas reminisces
in Poetry being a Chermside Kid with fellow Chermside kid Senator Mark Furner.

M.P. for Ipswich West MEETING his favourite local constituent, Labor member and pro-choice activist outside Qld Parliament!

Abortion debate. Qld Parliament with Anna Bligh as Premier.

more wordsmithing for free - local news-papers:


Remember when we had visionary politics?
A Creative Nation and Republic, plus a good fundraising dinner
for Premier Anna Bligh. and an autograph for my poem!

The truth about Refugee Policy with former Immigration officer, now refugee
advocate, Frederika Steen.
Guest speakers

Somerset Cr Jim Madden now Ipswich West M.P clarifies the Newman Govt.
anti-Bikie laws at Esk meeting.

David Ford bringing facts to the 2 State Solution Israel & Palestine policy branch table.
at ALP Life Member Stan Walkers home.

FERNVALE BOOTH with Greens volunteer


  1. CRIKEY- Bernard Keane National Conference Muse/labor-on-turnbacks-moral-conundrum-political-no-brain



  3. Barry Jones, former MP and ALP President writes on the Oligarchy of the ALP

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Patron Saint of Australia, Michael Leunig



In the post-psychosis after-life,
I dissolved, so my husband 
Supports me in sickness and 
In health till death by a deep
Depressive catastrophic sea-level 

No malingerer, yet never good enough;
Tried to work as factory fodder, shop-girl,
Girl-Friday but after a time my mind
Was washed up on a different shore.

My armour plates were shed  
To sad/istic souls, feelings sunk
Like buried news of crustaceans in our
 Acid ocean, burned by brutal care-less Capital.

I have to be a house-wife contained 
As a sensitive flower, no longer an 
Angel of the house, or the morning,
Bereft of protection against an overload
Of Reason, critique and bullying tactics,
Expectations everywhere like poisoned darts.

So, I require poetry, beauty, and a 
Garden, with landscape as if I was 
Entitled through DNA, my birth-right,
To feebly step, corseted, fragile
Lady of aristocratic lineage
Dependant on Man or Minister.

If I'm sent off the grid to pauper status
Resilience limited, reclusive in my
Green valley, perpetual convalescence
Shelled to an inch of flesh and heart,
I curse the radio news
You Christian MP's will be damned and go to Hell!

A Silent curse when a Commonwealth safety-net
Is begrudgingly given in it's redistribution to those
Of us damaged, at a disadvantage by Providence.

Protected Species on a
Queensland mountain top.

Australian voices contribute to this guide
 including mine!

(c)copyright J.McNeill July 2015
Shell-shocked poem
all rights reserved

BITE BACK is an evolving space for you to discover ways to amplify the good stuff in life, share real, personal stories with others, check out videos, blogs and interviews of interesting people, read up on important issues, check and track your mental fitness, and enter awesome comps.

Great link for Young people seeking well-being.


Tighter disability support pension rules are hurting, say welfare groups - 26/06/2015

My husband has retired at 65years - after 30 years as a self-employed professional Puppeteer and 20years as a Disability Support Worker for the Queensland Government, (with a negotiated Award thanks to the Australian Workers Union).
His body and brain were showing signs of stress and strain leading up to his birthday. Worsening osteo-arthritis, needing new knees and then a mini-stroke alarm. Politicians were talking about extending retirement and not being able to access the Aged Pension or Superannuation.
The Commonwealth is getting mean-spirited and mean with money. If he didn't retire now he would be at risk of injury at work. Retirement was something necessary - stay home and cultivate the garden and rainforest.

My GreenMan looks after me too as I have a chronic mental illness which is episodic in the severity of the Bi-polar mood affective disorder. I have been economically dependent on Roy's wage so now he is retired it is necessary to apply for some social security of my own. 
As the Minister of 
With some anxiety I went for an interview at Centrelink today to be assessed for NEW START which sounds ridiculous to a 52 year old who has had many experiences in the mainstream workforce but failed to keep a job.

All Welfare Reports on Mental Health and Work show the common discriminations, stigma and barriers of work flexibility which lead to blows to self-esteem and ending up Poor in old age, and reliant on the tax payers for a decent standard of living.

The Australian Medicare system where every citizen has a right to health care including subsidised medicines is much valued(except by stingy, selfish Conservatives of course).

Our monthly Pharmaceutical bill has been over $250.00 so now our income is reduced a Health Care Card enables us to keep functioning in society; top example is looking after the grandchildren to enable our daughters to keep up with their nursing and teaching profession.

This medical expense does not include disintegrating eyes and teeth. Be warned kids, prepare for fifty - care for your health so you don't fall in a heap! The public health system can't be relied on when Parliament regards welfare recipients as "Malingerers"(Minister Morrison), or should not have a sense of "entitlement"(Treasurer Joe Hockey). 
THE DRUM: Tim Dunlop writes of -strategy-to-end-egalitarian-australia
"The Abbott Government's game plan for the nation is pretty obvious by now: it is a three-pronged attack on what we might call Egalitarian Australia.
Egalitarian Australia can be defined as the idea that government has a role in managing the risks associated with the inevitable problems that arise in a globalised, capitalist economy." (ABC The Drum)
Jenny Macklin is the Member for Jagajaga and Shadow Minister for Families and Payments and Disability Reform. This link leads to a discussion about Social Policy Renewal.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Once upon a time, there was a lucky country where a lot of people wanted to live because it had great weather, the best wages and employment opportunities, so a better chance to own your own home and have a family.
There was plenty of room for everybody to thrive and when Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister it got even better because women and indigenous people were paid respect with liberating policies.

Working class people called Australia the "Workers Paradise" as the Labor movement negotiated for health and safety, and a decent minimum wage and standard of living. The Proletariat could finally move above the station their ancestors had been kept in by the worst of capitalism.

Australians could expect to build a dream home, and if the Mrs got a part-time job they could also build an in-ground swimming pool....for their first generation Aussie kids.
From Yorkshire to Frankston , Victoria - & jobs at Target and Myers.

.Let's see how citizens are faring on the scale of egalitarian ethos and a Fair Go! The Politicians still express these values as enduring. PLEASE PLAY