Lunchtime Links

I often don’t make it over to the communal lunch area at work, because I am too busy filling up on non-work related interwebz happenins’.

Finger. On. The. Pulse.

‘Lunchtime Links’ could then possibly become a regular segment. I’ve certainly catered for it with the dual capitalisation, something I take very seriously. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

So, two stories grabbed my attention as I chowed down on a ham, cheese, tomato and mustard toastie:

1. American actress, Elizabeth Banks, has become a mother via surrogacy. Keeping in mind the recent media uproar over Kidman’s use of terminology when announcing the arrival of her new daughter, Faith Margaret, I noted Banks’ description of her experience:

“The one true hurdle I’ve faced in life is that I have a broken belly,” she continued. “After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy: we make a ‘baby cake’ and bake it in another woman’s ‘oven.'”

A baby cake! I could probably critically deconstruct this statement in a politically correct kinda way, but my first instinct is to think it’s a pretty creative and light-hearted description of what would have been a difficult and complex journey. She does go on to acknowledge the virtues of the surrogate, which also helps contribute to my warm and fuzzy vibe on the cake call. Thoughts? Full article here.

2. A story has emerged of a 9 year old in state care left lakeside last at night by his carers in Melbourne’s north. All stakeholders are predictably outraged and dutifully pointing fingers. The article references Premier Ballyhoo’s inquiry into the state’s child protection system, which I will be watching closely here. Age journalist, Carol Nader, wrote an opinion piece earlier this year on what this inquiry needs to achieve.

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3 Responses to Lunchtime Links

  1. mamaposs says:

    So much I want to say about the second story…
    I think when people hear that a 9yo boy was left in a park by his carers, they assume the adults are foster carers rather than workers in a resi unit. They also think about the sweet, innocent 9yo boys they know or have known. However, without wanting to cast aspersions on a specific child, a 9yo in resi care will be an extremely damaged individual. He will have experienced significant abuse and neglect from his birth family, will have passed through (probably) dozens of foster homes before his behaviour became so antisocial and difficult to manage that no family could look after him. He then entered a resi unit, staffed by a constantly changing group of employees who are directed not to form any attachments to the children. He will have been abused (physically, sexually and emotionally) by other children and will likely learn to abuse others to survive, and given the chance, will hit out at anyone in authority.
    Okay, there’s my long-winded background to the story. DHS supervisors told the carers to leave the child as their own safety was at risk. He had run away and may have threatened the carers. Being out of their direct supervision, he would have the opportunity to find a weapon and could sneak up and attack the carers.
    Apparently police told DHS to collect the child, but it may not have been unreasonable for the dept to ask police to find the potentially violent and dangerous child.
    Then there’s the Premier’s investigation into the system. Yes, the system is in crisis, but yet another inquiry to look at the problems isn’t going to fix anything. The previous government left the system in a mess, but they inherited a mess too.
    “[Baillieu] says the inquiry’s key task is devising recommendations to reduce the incidence and negative impact of child neglect and abuse.” This has echoes of Hawke’s infamous, “No Australian child will be living in poverty by 1990”. Frighteningly, I suspect the only way for the government to show that it is achieving its aims will be to reduce the number of children in out of home care. While it can look good on paper, the reality would be that more children are being left in abusive and neglectful homes.

  2. Build in all the contextual factors and it completely changes the shape of the story, but that’s the media. Maybe it is good to have the wider lens on these stories, so that pressure is put on the right people and it triggers the beginning of change. Somehow though, I think once the media management piece is over, things aren’t going to look a whole lot brighter any time soon. Oh, to be less cynical!

  3. TortoiseMum says:

    Just wanted to say that I’m pumped about the idea of Lunchtime Links … I do love my daily scan of the newswebz.

    And *waves* at Mamaposs x

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