A provoking encounter
I pulled up at the wayside stop, parked the car and walked back down the hill to take a few photographs, something I’d been meaning to do for weeks. On approach, I discovered a grey kangaroo, sitting rather precariously by the side of the road.
Now less than three feet apart, we eyeballed each other and my immediate reaction was why hadn’t the roo hopped away? His eyes portrayed fear and a desperate plea to be put out of his misery. The unmarked, perfect upper body and vitality, seemed to be a total contradiction, as I lowered my eyes, to take in the desecration and violent trauma that had been inflicted on completely severed, long hind legs! The kangaroo balanced awkwardly on his huge tail. We stood there frozen, face to face.
Many things raced through my mind, as there were no houses close by and my phone was back in the car, parked at the wayside stop some distance away. The euthanasia debate also came into my thoughts; what value a life in the scheme of things? In my wanderings, I had on occasion encountered kangaroos’, so too my car unfortunately. But today it was different; was this conversion on the road to Damascus? A helpless animal looked into my soul wanting protection, while at the same time, pleading to be put out of its misery and I felt useless. Finally, a passing police car heading into town got my attention and I was never more pleased to see a law enforcement official. Having no wish to witness the kangaroo’s demise I retreated, leaving the officer with the legal and moral dilemma. But many weeks later, the kangaroo’s eyes were still haunting me.
On a side road to Damascus, a kangaroo and I shared much that day. We seemed to have little value in an uncaring world that tends to measure worth more in influence, wealth and power and I pondered the long held views and much of the debate surrounding euthanasia. How do we realistically, evaluate a sense of compassion and what constitutes cruelty or perceived negative attitudes generally? Without a reputable policeman overseeing any such process, an environment can easily be created which doesn’t act in the best interests of an individual and many people, including me, may at some stage find themselves vulnerable? As I looked into the pleading, vital eyes of a terrified animal, it was cause to reflect on my insignificant mortality and any notions of faith, in particular issues surrounding euthanasia, were thrown into disarray.
Susan Henshall, Corryong
The art of negotiating
The Australian Road Transport industry could could learn plenty about how to garner a better remuneration outcome from their corporate masters by following the example of the Australian cricket team and players in their current dispute with their corporate employers at Cricket Australia. Unlike the transport Industry last year, the players have maintained a united front in their efforts to gain a larger share of the income their efforts and skills generate. Unlike the transport Industry, the cricketers have come up with a model which raises the income of all but still maintains a level of competition, with opportunity for better performers to be better rewarded, without disadvantaging those at lower levels.
Unlike the transport Industry the cricketers have not been scared by threats of unemployment, understanding as our industry operators should have that without them the show doesn't go on. Unlike the transport Industry, the cricketers representative association has not sought to divide members and muddy the waters with misinformation. And unlike the transport Industry, no one is likely to come out of the woodpile, with a misguided social media campaign and a political rally to prevent the cricketers from getting a fair reward for their skills and efforts. The resolve of the cricket players and their association will result in all players being fairly rewarded. Fifteen months ago the transport industry subcontractors could have enjoyed a similar outcome.