Welcome

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.

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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 ...

This is what it’s like to need income support

April 16th, 2016   

Following a media report that “around a quarter of dole recipients are skipping job interviews or rejecting work,” I collated responses from those at the pointy end of the “dole bludger” narrative. I have reproduced these responses (with initials only, not names) – pretty much as they were posted on my Facebook page. They speak for themselves…Joan Beckwith.

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Have you ever wanted to rewind refugee policy?

April 9th, 2016   

A poem by Brian Bilston cleverly reflects polarised positions on refugee policy, and an interview with the Minister for Immigration epitomises Australia’s entrenchment at the negative pole. Both pieces of work are included in full in this post, for the record, and in the hope that we will find our way back in the way of the poem…Joan Beckwith.

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The writing on the wall for public education

April 5th, 2016   

The neoliberal behemoth hovers over education. Saving our public system is not so much about changing our Prime Minister as about unravelling the mindset that has taken occupation within, across, and beyond party lines…A job for the people…Joan Beckwith.

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“JOURNEY” – Propaganda extravaganza to deter asylum seekers

April 3rd, 2016   

“JOURNEY” is a government-funded movie intended to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia, and is part of a $70.7 million dollar budget allocated for the purpose over a six-year period. It is a sadistic piece of work to my eyes (despite virtuous spin about “saving lives at sea”) and this post provides a record of the grim political times that give rise to such a movie…Joan Beckwith.

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More free play + less homework = better mental health + less medication?

March 31st, 2016   

If more free play and less homework are better for children’s mental health, what are we waiting for? Especially if that could mean fewer children taking less medication?

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When parents are in prison

March 24th, 2016   

What would it be like to have a parent in prison? How would it change everyday life? How would you go about dealing with courts, police and jails? What supports would be useful along the way? These important questions are largely ignored in existing research, and who is left standing to pursue them in current sociopolitical times? (Joint post with guest blogger, Natasha Graham.)

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TALKING ABOUT POWER with Penelope Fowler 2020socialjustice student award-winner 2015

March 11th, 2016   

We met – to talk about power – on a beautiful summer afternoon when many others would have been at the beach. We did not previously know each other, but Penny Fowler is the 2015 winner of the 2020socialjustice student award, and this post is a Q&A with her in four areas of Indigenous families, mental health, fathers in family work, and the challenge of balancing support and monitoring dimensions of social work roles. We would greatly value your comments and feedback.

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Dear fella-whitefellas on Australia Day…

January 26th, 2016   

Is this a good time to talk about racism? Probably not. Nobody WANTS to do that. Not when the barbie’s hot, and the beer’s cold. Just the same, it’s way past time, don’t you think, to pin white privilege with a steely eye, chip away layers of white fragility, and LISTEN to Aboriginal voices?…Joan Beckwith

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Social justice – under the neoliberal table

January 8th, 2016   

I used to believe it was possible to work for social justice by working against discrimination, and that economic justice would follow as a corollary of social equity. This now seems naive. The influence of neoliberal ideology on Australian politics has turned the fight for economic justice into a priority and prerequisite. In this post I talk about my own awakening and the need for interdisciplinary thinking…Joan Beckwith.

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“Australian leader eats raw onion whole” and other gems from a jaw-dropping era

November 8th, 2015   

Tony Abbott’s parliament (18 September 2013 to 15 September 2015) got above the radar for cringe-worthy reasons including praise of coal as good for humanity, and criticism of marriage equality as a threat to cattle exports. This post includes media headlines from the era, sampled from a compilation by Evan Williams…Joan Beckwith.

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