Welcome to this website on social justice. I’m Joan Beckwith, and one of those people who have IDEAS in the middle of the night, many of which seem less amazing in the light of day, but some of which take hold. This website was one of those ideas, and came about when I realised that most of the work I have done as a psychologist and most of the issues I care most about involve social justice.

I decided to call this website 2020socialjustice because the cherished ideals are a bit like 20-20 hindsight, or 20-20 vision, representing a state of perfection that is unlikely to be achieved and yet is still worth working towards in whatever ways are possible. At this stage writing is possible for me though being on the front line is not.

2020 is also a time in the future, far enough away for substantial change, and near enough for realistic commitment. With this in mind, I decided to write this blog until at least 2020, produce at least 20x20 relevant posts by the end of that time, and complete at least 20 of those in any half-calendar year (including those on this website as well as those on the facebook page).

So, welcome to 2020socialjustice where you can:

The 2020socialjustice motto is that ‘thinking is important, being an expert is not, being right is unlikely’. Comments are very welcome through this website, via Facebook or Twitter, or by email to Joan Beckwith at 2020socialjustice@gmail.com.


Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this site may include images and other references to people who have passed away. It may also contain links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.



In brief ...

Feeding a community with small change – Woodstock shows the way

May 22nd, 2015   

By adding $0.25 to their supermarket bill, the people of Woodstock (Ontario, Canada) raise $75,000 to $90,000 per year, which is then transferred to cards that are distributed to local folk in need. The cards can be used to buy food and other supermarket supplies. This strikes me as an excellent idea, and I want to see if I can develop something like it in my local Australian community…Joan Beckwith.

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Provoking the law on euthanasia

May 20th, 2015   

Dr Rodney Syme has been deliberately provoking Australian law on euthanasia for twenty years, having assisted thirty deaths since 1996. He describes his motivation in terms of professional ethics, and sees his behavior as a form of non-violent civil disobedience. This post puts his position and its (currently criminal) legal status on record…Joan Beckwith.

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“WHILE I ENJOY NORMAL TUESDAYS” Immigration detention through the eyes of a 13-year-old

May 15th, 2015   

Thirteen-year-old Imogen Senior was not bogged down by entrenched views when she wrote about Australia’s offshore detention centres. Her uncluttered eyes saw children younger than herself in awful circumstances who want to kill themselves – while she “enjoys normal Tuesdays”. This kind of clarity has been hijacked in the adult population, as reflected in responses to Imogen’s letter…Joan Beckwith.

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Freedom of speech? Not if it offends the boss!

May 3rd, 2015   

Freedom of speech is always a hot topic, particularly in relation to the media, and particularly on “World Press Freedom Day” (3 May) the theme of which for 2015 is “Let Journalism Thrive”. Given that, today seems a good time to talk about Scott McIntyre, who was sacked as a journalist for tweets reported to his boss by an MP. No ‘thriving’ for Scott, and not for journalism either, under such circumstances, would you think?..Joan Beckwith.

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Going for a walk…but not through the park

April 24th, 2015   

A woman is killed in a park – women are advised to stay out of parks. A woman is killed on the street – women are told to stay home. Women are killed at home – they should have left, the pundits say. Women are assaulted in immigration detention – they must have been “too provocative” it seems. This post suggests four ways to reshape the dominant narrative about violence against women…Joan Beckwith.

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“TRUST US” on metadata retention has a hollow ring for whistleblowers

April 3rd, 2015   

Whistleblowing is not for the fainthearted and the new metadata retention laws in Australia add another layer of potential intimidation to an already precarious undertaking. Framed as making us safer from criminals and terrorists, they will have the effect of making us less safe from abuses of power by governments and other institutions. The pool of whistleblowers willing to report such abuses is unlikely to increase under conditions of mass surveillance…Joan Beckwith.

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Learning about disability – from my cousin and my course

March 12th, 2015   

Guest post by Miranda Tooth (student award 2014-15)
My cousin has an intellectual disability. This is not how I think of her though. Instead, it’s her bubbly, enthusiastic and loving nature that first comes to my mind. Some of the things I have learnt from her, and also (more recently) from my combined degree course in psychology and social work are about the importance of social inclusion, the need to challenge assumptions, and that identity is more than (dis-)ability. These are the issues I discuss in my essay….Miranda Tooth.

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Celebrating International Women’s Day…but what about the violence?

March 8th, 2015   

Elizabeth Potter’s father controlled her mother “with fists and madness”. When she tried to leave he had her committed. Kathryn Heyman’s mother could not escape, and decades later Kathryn fears we are heading back to “that dark country of the past”. On the other hand, a royal commission into violence is underway in Victoria, a significant report has been handed down in Queensland, and Rosie Batty is Australian of the Year. Are we making progress?

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What would feminism (circa 1960) make of a transgender documentary (circa 2014)?

February 15th, 2015   

What sort of journey has feminism been on over the last five decades? No doubt volumes could be written on this topic, and I’m not silly enough to attempt an answer in a few hundred words of blogpost. All I really want to do is put the question on record as it arose for me from a video on transgender (2014) juxtaposed against another on (1960s) feminism…Joan Beckwith.

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Having our say on Australia’s refugee intake (43 critical voices)

January 29th, 2015   

Australia’s response to refugees is of vital concern in a political climate of increasing contempt for human rights. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) invited submissions on Australia’s future refugee intake, and this post (follow the link) contains my response to that invitation, and that of 42 other people who added their names to mine…Joan Beckwith.

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