This blog looks past partisan politics to find solutions and provide insights into public policy. It is the companion blog to the author's on-line training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au
It covers a wide spectrum of issues from local to international concerns.
It was previously the support blog for the author's biography "Finding Home, An Autobiographical Account of a Child Migrant Growing on the Edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness” available from Amazon.
Erik is a public policy professional and owner of the online training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au
…explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military.
Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.
I like optimism. It’s one
of the reasons I bought and read former senator and national Greens leader Bob
Brown’s book ‘Optimism, reflections from a
life of action’. That, and the fact that I got to know Bob a little while working
as an activist in the 90’s.
Optimism is not a political
memoir and those looking for political intrigue, expose, or detailed history
will need to look elsewhere. Rather it is a very humane and deeply personal
account of how a confused young man came to terms with his sexuality and found
his place in the world. The fact that this young man helped found a national movement,
a political party, two NGO’s, became the voice of left wing resistance in
Australia, and went to jail at least twice along the way, is incidental to the
Each chapter is a complete
account of a person or event that impacted the author. All are engaging and
some are surprising. There is a good deal of humour and irony. Bob doesn’t preach
and while his passion comes through only once does he get angry, describing the
apostle Paul as an “ancient sociopath” for his condemnation of homosexual
activity. Mostly the reader will encounter his sensitivity. ‘A young person is
as likely to ignore their sexuality as a butterfly is to keep its wings folded,
and I was 30’ he says of a time before he came out publicly.
While Bob describes
himself as an atheist I have never really been convinced and after reading the
book I am less convinced. ‘God is a God of love’ Bob records himself saying to a
member of the Exclusive Brethren who threatens him with hell fire. Elsewhere he
clearly rejects his Presbyterian upbringing but speaks positively of Jesus and
of Christian social justice activists. However his Presbyterian background
shines through with his intuitive grasp of materialism as an essentially
religious belief system in the tradition of the pre-Christian pagan gods who
must be appeased. This is the only place he delves into theology and he is, in
my opinion, absolutely correct. Here is the core of his belief system and this is
really the message of his book, with relevance to believers and non-believers
On a final note, Bob
founded The Wilderness Society with fellow ex Presbyterian Helen Gee Decades
later he was MC at her funeral where we sang some beautiful old hymns. The
wilderness that inspired them exists beyond human reason. It seems that when
sensitive people spend bulk time in the wilderness it is hard to believe that
there is nothing out there.