What drives someone to crowdfund? What makes a person effectively go out and beg to strangers to meet some goal? At this time, let me own up that I have a crowdfunding account and I am seeking help. I didn’t take this step lightly, I thought long and hard, weighed up the pros and the cons. I found having to ask for money to help me with a medical issue extremely embarrassing. It’s a big shame job, that I need help and have for a while, because my medical expenses are so big. It’s hard to admit that and it’s hard to always be struggling to pay everyday bills and then the never ending medical bills.

If I found it hard, how do other people feel about it? I feel sad when I see people raising funds for life saving surgery, or ongoing medical costs or emergency surgery. I feel so sad that people need to do that, that someone’s health and wellbeing is dependent on a bank balance. Just have a look at any social media platform and you see the call for help. What kind of a world do we live in where your life is measured by your bank balance, where medication is out of reach for many, and paying for a specialist is out of the question?

I have seen Aboriginal Communities calling for help to rebuild items after floods or fires, there are football clubs seeking help, because they are in a poor area and want as many kids playing as possible. I see calls for money to help ol’ mate get to an ANZAC day parade or Remembrance Day reunion to see his mates before they all die. I see all these and others. These I understand, you want to rebuild your Community but need help, I want to watch kids play sports and if by crowdfunding a club can reduce the fees to families, I think that’s great. I also like the idea of helping a person be it an old digger or the lady who has worked tirelessly for her community to be able to get to see their old friends or see a musical in a city they have never been too. I believe in paying back into your community to help.

I must admit I get cranky when I see crowdfunding calls to help a couple have their dream wedding or honeymoon. Really? Maybe set your dreams to match your budget don’t ask me to pay for a 70-thousand-dollar wedding, or your honeymoon to Hawaii. Same goes for the call to buy a bike, if you are not trying to enter a sport on a serious level, don’t get me to pay for a thousand-dollar deadly treadley just so you can look better than your friends. Come to think of it, don’t clog up my time line with your appeal so you can upgrade your iPhone, or an Xbox. Why should I pay for your frivolities?  I give when I can to the medical needs and to support others. I help at my local church and in the community doing clothing or blanket drives and giving to food banks. I believe in paying back and helping others, if I don’t have the money I help in other ways.

You may think that’s a bit rich considering I am using crowdfunding to help pay for surgery that is out of my reach financially and because terminal people don’t really get to go up the waiting lists.  But, I will give to a needy community, the school that must replace vandalised items, the local sports club, trying to make the financial burden easier on parents so the kids get to play and the person struggling to stay alive and live a relatively healthy life. If you are a sick kid wanting the Xbox because you can’t go out and play that I understand, same as the person who wants to see their favourite band before they die, these I will help, they are not the self-centred pages that I’m talking about.

I think the world had gone awry if a person wanting a PlayStation gets more money and more concern than a person who needs to help to pay for a new kidney. Where are our priorities? When did we become a place, where sick people need to plead for money to pay for medical expenses and yet someone can get more money to pay for a holiday? I have seen on my own timelines on social media a family crowdfunding for their child to go to a national competition, asking for airfares and accommodation for all the family, yet one child is competing, scroll down the page a bit more and I see them proudly posing next to the hole in the ground that will be their swimming pool and photos of the two new cars. How do you justify crowdfunding when you are not cutting back on your own expenses? How can you expect people to give when you are not cutting corners or saving?

Timelines are full of kids crowdfunding to get bikes or play stations or go to Schoolies. What happened to saving up for something? Am I that old and cranky that I think this is a bit rich?

Again, maybe it’s me, but I had thought with the inception of crowdfunding that we had a great way of helping genuine needs be met. Like I said earlier, I give to a medical fund, I do this because I know how it feels to have life kick you in the face and you must seek help.  I have spoken to some people who have crowdfunded previously and say it seems to be harder now, as there is so much competition for your money.  Unfortunately for those in dire need they have trouble competing with the cutsie couple or the crying kid who wants that bike.



Each year NAIDOC comes around and we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people celebrate our culture our survival and remember those who have fought for us to get the rights we have now. Please don’t forget the laws of this country kept us out of society for years, we were not counted on the census, we were ruled by the government who set protectors and missionaries over us, the local police Sargent has more say in our lives than we did. We had to get permission to move, to buy things to even get married. We had to fight to keep our children with us. The department sent someone around to your house to check if it was clean. We had no rights. We have fought for everything we have. We are still fighting for equality. Sure Stan Grant can talk about the Aboriginal Millionaires and the black middle class but even there we are seeing the great divide between those going up and those who are still battling to make ends meet.

Chelsea Bond can explain this better than I.


We want to share our pride in our Culture and share our pride in our people and in how our people are doing so well. But NAIDOC can be tokenistic when it’s the only time of the year that most media show an interest in us. Sure the media always have stories highlighting the bad or the sad, NAIDOC they show the good. The ABC is full of promotions of how they support NAIDOC week, you will hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and people. But why can’t they do that for the rest of the year? It’s not just the ABC many other radio stations will play Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi, Christine Anu and Jessica Mauboy and speak of how they support “their Indigenous Artitists”.

Some big business and Government Departments have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander shirts that staff wear for the week, again where is the concern and regard for the rest of the year? Sometimes it’s management that get the shirts, while the poor little black worker doesn’t. They will have a NAIDOC morning tea, usually organised by the Indigenous Staff, because it must be too hard for the non Indigenous staff to organise it. Schools will hold activities but depending on the school not everyone participates. Some schools have the morning tea and only invite the Indigenous students and their family, while some will hold events for the entire school, I like that, I want the entire school involved.

One school this year is banning NAIDOC as a racist activity.

I love going to Musgrave Park on the Friday of NAIDOC, catching up with family and friends, but over the years it’s become bigger, it’snot just about the culture. I must admit I get annoyed kids who have to grab everybag and throw away all the information and just keep the goodies in it. I think read the stuff first. But on this note I must admit I have a real dislike for the white people who go, the allies who take lots of photos put there kids on the rides buy show bags, but don’t sit down with our Elders or others to learn and jut to talk. Come on if you are going to NAIDOC and you don’t have a conversation with an Indigenous person you might as well not come. While I’m on a roll of what I don’t like allies who come and ‘stock up’ on rulers, pens and pencils and all the other stuff. NAIDOC is not the time for you to save yourself a few bucks at our expense, do you not see that as another way of stealing from us, using us.



It’s another NAIDOC week, this year the theme is “Our Language Matters” This is to highlight just how important it is, if you want to kill off a people one of the best ways to do that is stop their culture and language. We don’t have many languages that are spoken all the time. But we are reviving language, many places are re-learning their language. Our Elders are remembering as they are asked and encouraged to speak. The fear of whippings and other punishments for speaking language is gone.

Our language has not bee understood by others who in past years an Aboriginal person who couldn’t speak English was thought to be dumb. The fact that many spoke other languages was over looked. We still have that problem, sometime white people speak loudly to us, we’re not deaf, we just don’t speak English. So use as many words as you can and share them with your kids, lets keep our languages alive.

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The House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship

I don’t often promote things, but sometimes you just have to share something for the good of the rest of us….

The House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship 


The House Call Doctor Futures in Health Indigenous Scholarship recognises the immense contributions of Indigenous Australians throughout all sectors of society. However, the scholarship also acknowledges that Indigenous health professionals remain too few, numbering an estimated 0.3% of the national healthcare workforce.


Apply for this, we need more of our own helping us.

The trouble with AMS

A story of the difficulties sometimes at the local Aboriginal Community Health Service

I have trouble maintaining my medication regime at (Local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Medical Service). I go to the service, my whole family goes and it annoys me that I have to see a health worker, I tell him or her, what I am there for. If I wasn’t sick I wouldn’t be there so why do I need to see the bouncer of the AMS. I then go back to the waiting room and wait for my name to be called to see the doctor. My name gets called and I don’t see the doctor, I have to explain to the nurse why I am there and she takes my blood pressure we talk about that and when she has finished I don’t go into the doctor, I get sent back to the waiting room. After another wait, my name is called again and I finally see a doctor. But It’s not the same doctor I saw last time I was there and I have to tell him what I have already told the health worker and the nurse. I ask for a refill of my medication, should be easy, but it’s not this bloke needs me to give him my entire history, I dutifully submit to him taking my blood pressure, checking me over and asking me again why I need the (list of medications).

I explain again I tell him to look at my record and see that I have been on ….. for a while now as I have had a lump removed my breast recently and that I also need the (pain relief) for the pain I am in. I added to my list of refills some … for the nausea. He then calls in the nurse and asks her, right in front of me, if I have been receiving treatment for breast cancer, the nurse assured him that I have and that I have had one  removed and a biopsy on the other, followed by a removal of a lump.  Then he gives me the prescriptions I needed and I went home, annoyed that I had to have a nurse verify my story.

A few days later I had to go back to the AMS for ….(pain killers) as the doctor had only given me a prescription for a few days worth. I had to see the Health Worker, then the nurse and then the doctor, of course it was a different doctor and I had to go through my history again. I asked him, why he needed me to explain and why he couldn’t look up my record, he said that all doctors have their own records. So why can’t the nurse give information to the doctor? Why do I everytime I go to the doctor tell my history and why I am there to three different people, surely this is a waste of time and makes a visit to the doctor a lot longer than it should be? Painkiller prescription in hand I left, just so I could do it again in another couple of days.

The next week, I go back to the AMS, this time I didn’t tell the health worker why I was there, I told the nurse that I needed pain relief and could she tell the doctor all my history as I never have the same doctor. I went into the room to see the doctor expecting it to be easier, surely the nurse told him. Instead I had a third doctor that I had to explain to him my history. He didn’t call in the nurse to verify my story. This doctor decided that I had some problems, one of them being an addiction to painkillers. I was concerned when he talked about my dependency on them and that he wasn’t going to give me a prescription for …painkillers. I went home and worried about how easy it was to bcome addicted like the doctor had said, I was worried that he was right, maybe I had become dependent on them. I suffered pain, but didn’t take anything stronger than tablets you can get at the pharmacy. I had pain that …. and …. wouldn’t relieve.

Luckily, I had a check up at the hospital not long after and I was asked about what I was taking for the pain, and I told the hospital doctor what I had been taking. He was amazed and said you must be one tough old bird to be only on paracetamol. After explaining what the third doctor at the AMS said, he scoffed and said nonsense, I needed the painkiller for a few weeks because of the surgery. I was grateful that he organised for me to have a prescription that was for more than a few days.

This isn’t stand alone incident, I have had problems before at the AMS because I never see the same doctor, it’s always different doctors and you can’t request to see the same doctor, you have to see whoever is on duty at the time. This isn’t good service. I have had problems trying to see a female doctor. Family also complain of the same problems, because you never see the same doctor you have to tell them all the time. I have a niece who feels shame when she has to go for ongoing personal-body problems, she has one doctor give her one medication and another doctor give her a different diagnosis and different medications.

What I want to know is why do we have to be treated like third rate people in our own services


I am sharing a very sad and not an unknown story, I am sharing this one because some have been through this terrible problem within their own family. I can relate to some of this. Thank you to Kara for allowing me to reprint her story….


I follow you and I feel a solidarity, I have kids who cause me trouble, too many people say that my kids are bad, that they should do more for me, I suppose they should but I can’t control them. I had cervical cancer, when I was diagnosed my world fell apart. I lost my job, because I was having too much time off work, then I couldn’t get another job, while I was going through all of this, I had to go on sickness benefits and that is when the problems with my kids started. We were struggling for money, with only one wage coming in and that was a parttime job my partner had. My son he was 16 and my girl was 17, they didn’t want to tighten the belt. They wanted to still live like I had a wage. I wanted them to get jobs, so they could pay for things themselves, like going out with their mates, but they didn’t. My kids, started to steal from my wallet. At first it was a small sum, $5 here and there. Then it became bigger amounts, I mean bigger. When I was in hospital for surgery, my partner with me, my  son stole the bankcard, he went on a spending spree, he visited the city with his mates, shouted everyone lunch and a movie, bought himself new gear stayed late and did the same thing the next day and just spent money like nothing. $3000.00, gone in two days. That money was the rent, groceries, my tablets, Electricity, petrol and parking money. When we found out we hit the roof, he had no explanation for it, just that he was sick of having no money like his mates. We talked to family asking what to do, some said call the cops on him, some said make him work it off, or get a job and pay back the money. But that still left us broke and having to get a loan to make ends meet. We spoke to the counselor at school, who told us to go to the hospital to the mental health unit, they have an adolescent unit.  They were good, they spoke to us and ….. spoke to (my son). She said that he was having trouble coping with the family situation, it was new, watching me being sick and the loss of his lifestyle. He had weekly appointments, because they were concerned for him and his coping abilities. Family and friends that knew, thought we were being soft, that (he) was getting off lightly. We didn’t know what to do so we stuck to the advice of the counselor. My son kept stealing money from our wallets and taking the card, it was like we were getting a new card every couple of months. He was buying lunch at school everyday he went and many days he didn’t go to school and was buying lunch all over the place, he was getting on trains and going all around. We would talk and talk it had no effect. The counselor told us he was troubled, he felt guilty that he had taken money and the effect that had on the family, so he stole more. I don’t understand it either. I just know that I was sick and wasn’t able to do a lot or spend enough times with my kids and my partner was struggling to keep our family together. We noticed that somethings had gone missing, and thought it was my son, that he had stolen or broke something. while we were arguing with him,things just got ugly, my daughter joined in, and it was one of those fights, where everyone is having a go and everyone else. Voices were raised and my son pushed his sister, then my daughter threw her bag at him. The contents of her bag fell, and there was a bag of ganja. I think everyone went quiet for a minute, but then it was on again. Everyone was yelling at her, why did she have it, was she smoking it or worse, was she selling it. She had been smoking it for a while it, someone had given her a joint and told her it would help her mum, me. Somebody gave my daughter drugs for me. She told us that she smoked it herself, one night after another argument over her brother taking money. It seems to be her way of coping. She had been taking things from home and selling them at cashies. Only small things, she said her friends told her, anything too big you have to prove you own it, but if it’s not, you can get a bit of money, enough to buy some ganja.  I cried that night, I thought I was the worst mum in the world. What kids do that? I thought, my kids aren’t the sort of kids to do that, they are better than that, but I guess not. I wanted to teach my kids a lesson, I wanted to call the police on the both of them, not just because I was angry, but to stop them from having a life of drugs and theft that could lead to jail.  I went to the counselor with my daughter and son. I cried and told that woman everything. The kids didn’t want me too, they said it was shame. I think they were more shame about themselves. I told her that its a low act to steal from your family, but when you clean out your family and when you have a mum with cancer having treatment, that takes a low dog to do that.  The counselor talked to all of us, alone and as a group, asking each of us what we thought, how we felt. She told us that as a family we were faced with a difficult situation and that our coping mechanisms have been internal, self centered and destructive. Told the kids they were fortunate, that some parents would call the police, but we didn’t. The kids made a promise they wouldn’t do stealing or drugs again. I told them they had to get jobs and pay back all money and replace everything stolen. Things seemed to be okay for a while, I could concentrate on getting better, until my son stole our car, I had to call the police then, I thought, what if he has an accident, what if he kills someone, so I had to call the cops to stop him. He was found, but he doesn’t like me, and honestly I don’t like him at the moment. My partner handled all the legal matters with him, I was too sick, I think treatment and then stress made me worse than I was before. But it gave him a chance to see what the world is like without two parents who love him. He went into a juvenile facility, for a few months. I was immune compromised, so I couldn’t go near the place. He really learned that life is harder for others and that he should count his blessings. He was bashed for having two mums, he was bashed another time for stealing money from his sick mum. Strange kind of justice meted out in those places. All this I think scared my daughter enough to realise that maybe yoga is a better way to find calm.  I don’t know how some parents do it. They have kids that take care of them, who do so much. I have heard of kids younger than mine, helping parents with disabilities or mental illness. But my kids didn’t do extra, they didn’t give more, they took more. I’m glad I am not alone in having kids with troubled hearts. I am not angry at my kids anymore, I am sad about them. One day I will forgive them for all this, but not yet, I am not a big enough person to do that.

Grandmothers pain


A readers story.

I took my gran to the hospital for a check up after she had surgery to remove a lump. We were waiting and waiting and gran started to get a bit sore. I told the nurse that she was starting to hurt and I asked for some panadol. The nurse told me they couldn’t give her any, so I fished around in my bag and found a strip of neurafen and got some water and gave them both to gran. The nurse asked me what I had given her I told her what and she wanted to know why and I told her why, I said my gran was a bit sore. We waited some more and another nurse came over and asked my gran how she was feeling, gran told her she was a a bit sore but she had some neurafen and that she was still sore. The other nurse called out that my gran didn’t need any more relief that she had had enough.the nurse (second nurse) turned to gran and told her she shouldn’t be taking more than she was told and that pain relief was not meant to be a way to feel happy. My gran told her she wasn’t using them to be happy, she just wanted to have no pain. Nurse then told us that gran would have to be tested to make sure she wasn’t overusing her painkillers. Gran and I told her that she was only taking them 4 hourly, she was told she could take something in between if she needed it and she needed it and it was only neurafen. The nurse told gran that she only had her word for it and it would be best to check on it anyway. If it was just me, I would have told her where to go, but it was my gran and she did the test for how much pain killer she had.  When we finally saw the doctor, the doctor told us that getting gran tested for drugs was a waste of time because their was nothing in the notes about the test or what the result was.