Allan Takes Aim Blog

About statues and status

Posted on: 13 March 2011

No new statute needed for statue removal

I am delighted when people respond to my Chronicle column by e-mails, rude and otherwise. And while I don’t want readers to stop sending them if they want to tell the community that what I wrote was wrong a letter to the editor would serve their purpose better. Indeed I believe they have a responsibility to send one.  

 The rude letters often come when I present the truth rather than opinion, although I confess that if my speculation seems to touch a nerve particularly among politicians it adds an enjoyable dimension and an experience of the kind of ecstasy a gold prospector might feel on discovering a rich gold seam. 

And if you believe in the old adage, there’s no smoke without a fire, the following might touch political nerves.

Apparently some Canberra residents are so disenchanted with a particular piece of Public Art they are taking a leaf from Senator Gary Humphries book and intend to present a petition to the Legislative Assembly asking that the statue of former Federal Minister, the Hon A.J. Grassby MP, be removed from the Theo Notaras Centre.

I am given to understand that because of Mr Grassby’s history they view his statue as a blot on the face of Canberra. Fortunately its removal will not require any amendment to ACT Law or the permission of Federal Parliament. Indeed if removal of the statue will enhance the environment of a prominent public building, the petition should have Greens’ support. 

 Apparently however, some people think that apart from removing the statue, the Assembly should also consider removing the Member who commissioned it.

  About Equality

For a few weeks now there has been much in the media about lack of female representation in the nation’s boardrooms. There is no question that such representation is necessary and I have no hesitation is supporting any proposition that will address that situation. However, I think trying to come up with an equitable solution might be beyond the wit, wisdom and selfishness of many male board members.

I also think of classrooms as the boardrooms of the future. I am in no doubt that as an area of contribution to a successful society, classrooms are as important and perhaps even more important than boardrooms, thus making the absence of male teaches an equally serious  situation that will continue to be replicated if a solution is not found. 

 According to a report “Male teachers a rare breed’ – Julieanne Strachan and Phillip Thompson, the Sunday Canberra Times (13 March pg 13), Canberra’s classrooms face a drought of male teachers. Like the absence of women in boardroom this, too, would seem to be a national problem.

 That being the case, one would think this important issue would have been at the forefront of the BER. If it was, it seems to have had little press or electronic airtime. And it is an important issue; not just an issue for Ministers to use when addressing children at school gatherings or when addressing groups of parents with children at school.


3 Responses to "About statues and status"

No, you can’t prescribe or legislate the make-up of a board, or any body, for any group – based on gender, disability, religion or whatever the case may be – you can certainly encourage the values that make for inclusive attitudes and thinking.

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Thanks a lot for writing this, it was unbelieveably informative and told me a ton

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