September 29, 2021

Covid: An Alternative Interpretation

(As published in The Spectator on 28th September 2021)

I recently saw this acronym for COVID.

C = Censor

O = Oppress

V = Victimise

I = Isolate

D = Divide

In a country that is supposed to be free, we have politicians, bureaucrats and corporations controlling, bullying, harassing, discriminating, ordering, coercing and bribing our deeply traumatized and vulnerable population into a medical apartheid. We have endless lockdowns, quarantines, surveillance, social isolation, closed borders (allowing only the sports stars and celebrities through) and proposed vaccine passports and social engineering. In a nation that appeared to be passionate about fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, we are now contemplating dividing our community further.

We are living in an increasingly challenging and threatening world, and Australia urgently needs to foster a collective consciousness, kindness, generosity of spirit and raise people up. We are a target; dividing our people further will destroy this beautiful and previously blessed nation.

If Australia continues down the very dangerous and divisive path it is following, we will see even further increases in domestic and civilian violence, mental illness and suicides, terrible rifts between families and diverse groups, further loss of livelihoods and the certain destruction of our free society and productive economy. Our children and their futures will be severely compromised.  J. Krishnamurti famously said: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

This is not about vaccinated or unvaccinated. This is about the sort of community and society we wish to live in. My entire career as a social entrepreneur has been about creating charities, organisations and projects with a mission to break down the walls, siloes and boxes which separate human beings. My vision was always to remove ‘us versus them’ and bring together those of all generations, cultures, faiths, financial circumstances, educational backgrounds and abilities, to celebrate diversity and foster truly inclusive and welcoming communities.

In 1967 indigenous Australians were finally granted the right to vote. And since that time Australia has worked hard to embrace many cultures and faiths, and more recently gay marriage. Yet our very troubled nation, which cannot even find any agreement between our State and Federal Governments, now contemplates two more groups of Australians – the vaxxed and unvaxxed – with respective privileges and punishment. Wow!

And what of the many ASX-listed corporations, who have set up entire departments fostering diversity and inclusion, who seem to willingly encourage this sort of division by calling for vaccine mandates? Many diversity and inclusion staff will no doubt be made redundant. What a terrible loss.

Many ‘leaders’ say whatever it takes. Winning battles and deciding policy based on maximum votes has never led to the greater good. No wonder Plato thought democracy was a problem. Leaders will boldly and eloquently tell you what they are ‘against’, but, when asked what they are ‘for’ immediately lose any sense of coherence.

What have we become? What do we even stand for anymore? An elderly woman who is walking along peacefully protesting gets violently pushed over by police and pepper-sprayed.

Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. The politicians, police and public servants are supposed to serve, protect and consult with us, not dictate to us and take away our freedoms. That is why we pay our taxes. Our media is supposed to encourage open and transparent dialogue and debate. So why are diverse viewpoints censored and invalidated? Our doctors are meant to care for us with full disclosure on all potential treatments. So why are we being urged to take experimental injections with next to no disclosure on risks and benefits? And why aren’t our scientists curious, questioning and listening to other international experts, and the frightening statistics in highly vaccinated countries such as Israel?

Certain people and leaders are actively pushing for the creation of a two-tier society where the vaccinated are “privileged” with normal everyday freedoms and the rest are shunned, barred and excluded? In what universe does shutting people out of the economy, openly discriminating against them, and deriding them in every forum constitute a ‘Fair Go’? The Fair Go is what unites us and holds together the disparate and different people living here together. This is the one rock-solid principle that has stopped everything falling into chaos.

We are turning Australia into something we never thought it would be. Our politicians appear to be saying “We won’t mandate it for you, but we will make it pretty hard to live life or work!” This is absolute coercion and discrimination occurring in front of our eyes. And it is a shameful abuse of our human rights.

In Florida under Governor Ron DeSantis, any businesses, government or school that discriminate against people, forcing them to produce a vaccine passport and denying entry or service if they don’t, will be fined US$5000 for every case of discrimination.

If the virus is still carried and spread by the vaxxed, what purpose do “vax passports” have, other than destroying our privacy, and denying Constitutional rights?

Now what if we turned that COVID acronym around?

So that:

C = Community, Consciousness, Creativity, Courage and Collaboration

O = Openness and, One-ness

V = Validation and Victory for Humanity

I = Inclusion and Involvement

D = Destiny

There is no more time left for despair, no place for self-pity or silence and no room for fear. We must create, write, debate and speak because that is how civilisations heal and become more equal, generous, loving and inclusive.

September 7, 2021

A Prayer to Humanity in a Time of Crisis

As we look into the shining eyes of a child so we look back at ourselves – in all their wholeness and light.

It’s time to return, for we are all children;

And as we pass into adulthood and elderhood, we come to learn that nothing in this material world is permanent;

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August 30, 2021

I feel so sad about what Australia has become

Our politicians say things like “we are all Australians” and “we are all in this together”. We are NOT.

They hide behind secretive ‘health advice’ that has banned everything, from playgrounds to golf and sunsets, contrary to global scientific evidence. They keep children from attending school which has led to a crippling, devastating shadow pandemic of self-harm, mental illness and domestic violence. This will lead to lifetimes of suffering due to the inter-generational nature of trauma and mental illness.

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August 11, 2021

Are we saving lives or destroying them?

(As published in The Spectator on 10th August 2021)

The great Albert Einstein said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. Our politicians and public servants need to find a new way of dealing with the pandemic which empowers rather than disempowers Australians. With premiers around the country demanding zero cases before they open borders and remove their draconian lockdowns, it is not surprising that people around the nation (and the world) wonder if Australia can ever get out of the mess our governments have created.

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January 8, 2021

Give Us Back Our Humanity

(As published in the Herald Sun on 8th January 2021)

Dear Leaders, Premiers, Health officers and others

I am sure that each and every one of us wants this to be over. We want to move on with our lives, work, families and communities.

Many people lost loved ones to Covid-19 or as a result of the fall-out from it. Small businesses and whole economies collapsed under lockdown. Unemployment, suicide, domestic violence, divorce and addiction rates skyrocketed, and global hunger and homelessness doubled.  We are a planet and a nation in grief and disarray.

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October 12, 2020

A Sad State of Affairs

(This article was originally published in the Herald Sun on October 10 2020)

I am really missing home, especially my Mum.  I miss my Melbourne; the way it was before this mess. I even miss my office and all the meetings I used to have. And I sure miss singing and connecting with audiences.

My husband and I came to NSW for a short holiday in June and here we still are, working and Zooming. Where we are, you’d never know there was a virus. People go about their lives. They go to school, bands and the beach and have friends over for parties, BBQs and dinner.  It reminds me how much I miss sharing happy times with friends and community.

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October 5, 2020

How Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy Changed My Life

From Singing to Psilocybin

I don’t drink or smoke. I’ve never taken any drugs till four years ago. Yet today, my life revolves around psychedelic medicines — heavily stigmatized substances still illegal in this country and most others across the world.

How did this happen?

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August 24, 2020

This Is Not Australia

The Seekers’ much-loved chorus lyrics for the iconic song ‘I am Australian’ are:

“We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian.”

This song symbolises a nation whose people, history, culture and landscape are deeply intertwined. It is a song that celebrates both Australia’s diversity and its unity.

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April 28, 2020

My Magic Medicine Journey

I want to start with a snapshot of how I’m probably different from you and a lot of other people.

I don’t smoke. I haven’t been drunk, ever, nor do I really drink alcohol. Before this chapter of my life began, I’d never taken any drugs apart from those prescribed to me by a doctor. I live in Melbourne and I don’t even drink coffee.

Yet today, my life revolves around psychedelics — heavily stigmatized substances still illegal in this country and most others across the world.

I get it. This huge shift is likely confusing to you and it’s one I’d like to outline here in the hope it provides a deeper understanding of why I co-founded Mind Medicine Australia (MMA).

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April 14, 2020

There is no health without mental health

In Australia’s reaction to COVID-19, our lives are being changed profoundly and our liberties curtailed. Without consultation, by federal, state and territory governments. Few have yet fully grasped the gravity of the effects on our wellbeing of this, and what is still to come.

Focusing on saving lives and livelihoods isn’t wrong. But there is no truly good health without good mental health, and given humans are social beings, for most people good mental health requires positive social interaction and hope. Our mobility, work, education, recreation, exercise and, most importantly, our interaction with others is being restricted by authorities. We have to follow the regulations or we face being punished for disobeying them. Right now, it feels as if our careers, dreams and futures are vanishing in front of our eyes.

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