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post #1 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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Introduction

Hi folks,
I apolgise for not introducing myself when I joined.
I am 78, supposedly retired. seem to be doing just as much work (unpaid) but with a different emphasis.
Originally a farmer on the irrigation in NSW. Built an engineering business; sold both the farm and engineering. Invested in a manufacturing company I eventually bought in order to recover my money.
Sold it and then entered the public service as a consultant.
Was involved with employment and training programmes; later Industrial relations and OH&S and finally before retirement Industry training, (administering and monitoring apprenticeships, traineeships and adult training).
Since retirement I have been involved as a volunteer community advocate. So many people have difficulty putting their cases and concerns to government departments. Probably because they (departments) speak a different kind of english, lack compassion and understanding of their clients, although this does not apply to all public servants.
Hobbies, wood carving, wood turning and making small pieces of furniture, toys, jewellery boxes and have now developed an interest in automata. Still do some engineering and metal work. However I still have much to learn.
I found public service frequently frustrating as many of the middle to upper management appeared to have degrees for "Not being able to make decisions". I found it easier to do the job and give them the results. They also seemed to find this easy to cope with.
I tell my children and grandchildren and now great grandchildren "Opa has lots and lots to learn. Maybe when he has learnt everything he wants, he can die:) so Opa looks like living a long time.
regards
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 08:47 AM
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Welcome "opa".

May your quests for learning NEVER cease! Such a philosophy is a great inspiration to the younguns.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 10:39 AM
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Glad to make your aquaintance Opa, sounds like a great success story with more to come.

"IF IT'S TOO TOUGH FOR THEM, IT'S JUST RIGHT FOR ME"
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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professori_

Hi again

A little story, not really relevant to woodworking but I thought it was worth passing on.
As part of the advocacy work I do a young mother and her children were brought to me to see if I could help.
The story is and relates to social injustices in our legal and health system. It took a few years to get a resolution and my family became fond of this family of brave little troupers. The three children are disabled. When I first saw them they were so terrified of strangers that they hid behind their mother's legs till gradually they begun to trust me and would race up Opa, Opa and want to be picked up and given a hug and a cuddle. Their mother would often say the children knew I was coming before I came to the door and would already be waiting for me.

My family has accepted them as an extension of the family and the mother is accepted as another daughter and the children as nieces and nephew.
My family bring items that might be useful and as the mother is a very intelligent girl, my children often ask her for advice about their children's upbringing, especially those with ADHD children as she has had some 26 years experience with ADHD and autistic spectrum children.
When leaving I call out Opa is leaving and they come up for a cuddle.
However, recently the eldest girl I noticed started to hang on to me and I asked the mother was there anything wrong with her or at school. She said no, she did not think so. I explained her behaviour and her mother said "Oh you were in hospital recently, she now realises that you may not live forever and she is clinging to you for assurance.
I had a little talk with her and said Opa has this plan. He plans to live until he is eighty and then will review it again. That seemed to relieve her a bit. I guess because 80 is still a couple of years away and by that time she will be older.
The family had suffered from domestic violence both emotional and physical violence. The mother said you are special to them and their idol. They trust you and know they can come to you if they have problems.
I thought it was heart warming to be able to give some love, care and protection to children who will face difficulties throughout their life.

As I said it is not really a woodie story but I hope you like it. It is representative of some of the outcomes of advocasy work. It is as you may gather, something I am passionate about, having been a victim of physical violence while living in an orphanage during WW2 years. It engendered in me an extreme dislike for bullies, whether individuals, corporations or government departments and I will willingly do what I can to help those who are vulnerable.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-31-2011, 12:05 PM
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Welcome from Texas !!!

Welcome to the forum.

Has the flooding affected where you live?

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-01-2011, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Flooding

Hi to Texas,

Australia is a very large country and where you may have read about the flooding is the North East coast and those floods have been catastrophic. The floods have not only flooded the land but the added flash floods on top of the river floods have wiped out some of the country towns.
It will take Queensland and New South Wales quite some time to recover from the Economic damages as well as the loss of homes etc. There will be psycological effects on some of the population as much of the land has been under drought conditions for some 10-11 years and now this.
Some of the infrastructure has been damaged so badly it will need re-building.
I live in a provincial city called Geelong in Victoria. The rivers that go through this area, while they have been high and flooded some of the riverland, they have not done the damage that has occurred in other areas.
The part where I originally came from is called the Murray Valley and spreads on both sides of the border of Victoria and NSW.
The flood waters have done damage to towns along the Murray River and its tributories. Crops have been flooded and those not already stripped will be valueless.
The fruit and vegetable growing areas from Queensland through NSW and Victoria have been severely damaged.
The flood waters have been spread as wide as 50-70 kilometres.
However, Aussies are still of the pioneering breed and most will start again.
It is part of the rural philosophy. Tomorrow will be better and the crops will justify living on the land. If not next year then the year after will be a good year.
I guess that is farmers all over the world. It does not make it any less a tragedy but life goes on and most of us choose not to worry too much about what you can't control but work on what you can.
I spent more than 20 years facing adversity from floods and fire.
Prof is a real philosopher after 78 years
regards
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-01-2011, 12:30 PM
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Flooding

Wow.
I am glad to see you are doing okay considering all that is going on.

Well keep you and your Countrymen(women) in our prayers.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-02-2011, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Texas,

Just a quick update.
Queensland is being hit again with what is claimed to be the Largest cyclone to hit the coast in living memory. If my information is correct it is expected to hit the coast shortly carrying with it a surge that is estimated to be at least 15 metres high (48.75 feet).
The surge will go possibly 100+kilometres inland as the land is already under flood and will endanger several coastal and inland towns.
It will not cover as wide an area as the floods and flash floods before but it has meant that people have to be evacuated from the land that will be hit by the surge. It is still a fairly wide area.
These are the people most in need of your prayers. I suspect many may never return to their homes or farms, Having suffered 10-12 years of drought and now devastating floods that have washed away crops that had been anticipated to be bumper crops that would make it worthwhile farming. I think many will be mentally burnt out from the stress and trauma and will lose the will to start again, especially as many will have been in debt to the banks over the droughts.
It will be interesting to see how our governments respond to the needs of the people. There are lost businesses as well as farms, meaning no employment. At a rough estimate I would think probably 75% of the state will be effected.
Then there will also be the other states that have been effected by the floods.
I hope that the Aussie Spirit remaINS alive and strong with them.
I can symphathise with them having been through similar when I was farming.
The strong point of the farming community is their etnernal optimism. Tomorrow, next year will be better.
I believe Australia needs to set up a investment fund to ensure the future of these areas, but already there are those who resent any tax or whatever to be used. I do not believe the charges need to be high as long as everyone contributes proportional to the revenue that they generate, individuals, corporations, banks, investment companies, etc. After all they benefitted when the going was good.

Regards
Prof.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-03-2011, 12:34 PM
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Storms

I can symphatize with those folks as having gone thru Katrina and Ike.
Personally have had no home damage but having rode thru Ike at home I can understand. Somewhat.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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