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From The Vault - Don't follow me…I'm lost too…

Don't follow me…I'm lost too…

Arts Hub Australia
 Monday, March 27, 2006

Australia has no right to crack sheep jokes on the Kiwis anymore - why? - because our present day leadership is sooo woolly that it makes the jolly jumbuck look like a naked mole rat. 

Can one ONLY become a Leader in this country if we are following? Or worse still, if we employ the rules of nepotism?? Failing that, can one only be a leader if we embroil ourselves in some self-serving scandal??? 

Has the used by date EXPIRED for Australia’s MVP’s of the 80s leadership game? – YES the same ones who held on for dear life throughout the 90s leadership game and are now digging in deep for the new millennium? Is collective Australia souring faster than a carton of milk in a fridge with the door ajar…DURING a power-strike over privatisation - IN a heatwave!!!! – all because we have a lack of monumental leaders?

I’d say YES and on top of that, encourage a bloody debate about it.

Then again perhaps this is a foregone consensus rather than a debatable item and if that’s the case it’s surely more about rising up as a majority voice to make the change.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a WYSIWYG [computer nerd speak for What You See Is What You Get] so I call it like I see it, and from my observations this is what I’m looking at…

The era of the oxymoron known as subservient leadership is well upon us and has been for years. Just look at the Howard Government. Through their leadership we have followed the US, followed the UK…followed – followed – followed, without the thought that some of the initiatives or some of the vision we had created ourselves was worth two-bob.

And its not looking promising across the fence either, as it seems the other team forgot that they were batting left-handed, OR batting at all. Case in point, at my father’s State funeral last December, I sat through epitaph upon epitaph from the shadow leadership, espousing their views [or lack thereof] and alleged condolences – ALL of which had appeared verbatim in a sanctioned media release two days earlier. So in my personal grief I’m looking at these alleged leaders thinking faaarrkkk are you only as good as your ghostwriter?!!? Only one of these leaders broke rank and shot from the heart, inspiring a well-respected Unionist to encapsulate the moment, when he whispered in my ear “There goes the greatest Leader Australia will NEVER have.”

How on the money was he, especially given present events see this Labor party veteran failed by his own leader for pre-selection of a seat held for 16years.

But the impotent leadership dilemma is not exclusive to the political arena, it’s a widespread issue that crosses all borders. 

Indigenous leadership in Australia is also perpetrating cycles of irrelevance and disassociation. While we’re advocating for generational learning, the successional hand-over is not forthcoming to enable the next league of leaders to emerge.

Nor is this helped when non-Indigenous Australia consistently promotes the “top 5”, without a consideration that communities may have actually evolved and new thinking emerged. You may be surprised to find that we HAVE evolved!!

NOW I would ‘ave a go at Arts leadership in Australia…BUT, it’s stuck in a glass of Chardy at another opening night or endless suare and I can’t seem to find it! …And we wonder WHY arts is not valued as the social change mechanism it truly is…OR funded to the level it need be…OR an integrated part of our cultural identity!!??!!

The true measure of a good leader surely must be to know when you’re out of step and to discretely slide aside with your wisdom and wherewithal intact? Ya think??? 

To me, it all seems so counterproductive - this constant having to take the bush track when the leadership freeway lay right on the other side of the roadblock. This invariably is breeding a generation of dissidents who are going to have to ram raid the ranks to be heard. It shouldn’t have to be this way.

One should be secure enough in knowing their contribution was valued, was appreciated, was impacting - then look forward to the day when you can knock back the offer to present at the next international forum/conference/media call and instead offer it up to those with new energy making the change.

The clock is ticking.


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