March 1, 2021.
Today, I attended ‘Breakfast with Papers’, a program of free hour-long live interviews that continues for two weeks during the Adelaide Festival. Mostly socially distanced.
The only problem, is that it begins at 8 am and at the moment dawn is 7am. It’s a tall order for a retired person to get into town by 8 am – and in a reasonable state. I managed that this morning and was richly rewarded with a very interesting discussion between three authors and journalist. The discussion centred around the issue of aged care in Australia and the Royal Commission that has tendered its final report to the government.
Australia has an ageing population and, without counting immigration, has a declining population. The government must now consider taking on board the 148 wider-ranging recommendations that are contained in this commission, and this is while the level of public funds being thrown at the age care sector is considerable. (2017–18, the Australian Government spent over $18 billion on aged care). This afternoon, our government announced that another 452 million aud will be spent in this sector. They are printing lots of money.
In two years of hearings, the Commission was presented with countless confronting cases of abuse and neglect in aged care facilities. Something radical had to be done to improve the services provided.
On top of this, there are a hundred thousand people on the waiting list for a package for their age care needs. The top package is valued at 52,000 aud.
I then went to the first session of the day of our Adelaide Writers’ Festival.
We finished the 2020 Festival just before the first lockdown of last year. So, we are delighted that the 2021 Festival is open.
There are two sessions, running concurrently, from 9.30 till 6.15pm, every hour and a quarter. They take place under East and West ‘tents’ – really shades slung under the many trees of the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.
The first session was an interview with Louise Milligan, an investigative reporter for the ABC TV program Four Corners, on the subject of her book, ‘Witness’, an investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice for victims – mainly of sexual abuse. There is a problem with our system for complainants of sexual crimes. Louise explained how harrowing it is for victims to ask for justice from our system, how the victims are belittled and suffer long term damage psychologically from the process. Many victims suicide. There are lifelong consequences of these crimes.
This is all very pertinent, as the issue of reporting and dealing with alleged sexual crimes by members of our government and their employees is in the news.
I will write something about the next interview in another post.
I had a wonderful day, and when I return from 5 days down the Yorke Peninsula, I shall drag myself up early, into town, for more ‘Breakfast with Papers’ before our Festival ends.