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, through the facebook page, 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 ...

When the ‘twain’ won’t meet and ‘might’ defines ‘right’

September 5th, 2014   

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”
Rudyard Kipling’s verse, from 1889, makes a mockery of pride in ‘progress’. His ‘twain’ takes many forms in contemporary Australia, and none more entrenched than the division between those who see mandatory, indefinite detention of asylum seekers as inherently wrong and those who consider it necessary to stop the boats and protect borders.
Whose ‘might’ will define ‘right’ in this destructive divide?…Joan Beckwith.

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Swimming with Tony Abbott

August 23rd, 2014   

No, I’m not trying out for Team Australia, or Team Abbott, or even Team Tony. There’s no danger of that. But I do need to talk about a disturbance of the peace that arose at my local swimming pool around the time he was elected. I reckon there’s some connection, and I would really welcome your input…Joan Beckwith.

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Putting prayer protest on (atheist) record

July 20th, 2014   

They made no noise and caused no trouble, but were arrested because of their prayers. “Praying together in a Member of Parliament’s office was not a gimmick,” writes one of the protestors. “Rather it was an effort to identify with people who have suffered trauma in their own country and are being retraumatised in Australia.” As a secular member of the community, I appreciate this action and wanted to put it on record…Joan Beckwith.

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Restraining children is NOT caring

July 11th, 2014   

If it’s forced it’s not ‘treatment’ and it’s not ‘caring’. Restraint is inevitably forced, and children in psychiatric care are more likely to be restrained than adults. A mother who contributes to this post explains how damaging this can be for already traumatised children. Restraint is also a poor response to safety concerns, and the ongoing challenge is to develop alternative possibilities…Joan Beckwith.

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The “sunk cost fallacy” and refugee policy

July 5th, 2014   

The cruelty of Australia’s refugee policies must have some explanation, and rational ones are thin on the ground. I have started wondering about the relevance of the “sunk cost fallacy”. Achieving refugee justice may require grappling with such irrational and addictive processes that are unresponsive to reason, appeals to compassion, allegations of immorality, or breach of international law…Joan Beckwith.

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WE SHARE THE SAME SKY: Refugee Week 2014

June 22nd, 2014   

We share the same sky, and need to share the same earth. Those who know this can invite others to do so too. With open arms and open hearts, open minds and open policies we can restore our communal spirit…Joan Beckwith.

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Re-boot needed on government values

June 3rd, 2014   

This post provides a marker of a few days in the Australian media soon after the federal budget of 13 May 2014. It lists 10 values I think underpin government policy under Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Please feel warmly invited to add your comments…Joan Beckwith.

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We need to talk about suicide

May 24th, 2014   

Philip Nitschke, euthanasia campaigner, says we need more words FOR suicide. I think we mostly need more words ABOUT suicide, particularly when the intolerable pain is primarily sociopsychospiritual. In this post I raise five questions for discussion and comment…Joan Beckwith.

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Upbeat stories for downbeat times

May 10th, 2014   

While the Australian government spends like drunken sailors on fighter planes, mega-agencies for ‘border-protection’ and sweeteners for Big Business, it also preaches ‘heavy lifting’ for ‘the other 99%’. Such dispiriting politics call for counterexamples; please feel warmly invited to add your contributions to the four stories in this post…Joan Beckwith.

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Is feminism anti-science?

April 11th, 2014   

I first wrote about the tension between feminism and science some years ago, after a conference dinner at which the person next to me asked what sort of psychologist I was – probably expecting to hear about my ‘specialty’. My response, no doubt naive, was to describe myself as a feminist psychologist. The effect could not have been more dramatic…Joan Beckwith.

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