People like me let down
When I read the article about Nolan House in The Border Mail, I had mixed feelings. As a former patient, I was slightly triggered just by seeing Nolan House mentioned, then I was thrilled that there was some awareness being raised about how underfunded it is. But I was also very disappointed in the wording. It focused on the risk that mentally ill people pose to others and the community, when surely the real issue here is that mentally ill people are not getting the care they need and deserve.
Last year I attempted suicide three times, and I was a patient at Nolan House twice. After my second suicide attempt, my parents and I spent four days trying to get me into Nolan House, or any mental health ward. We were told there were no beds available in NSW or Victoria. I have a chronic mental illness. It's people like me that are being let down by this system. We're being let down by the lack of funding and other flaws. And we're being let down by the stigma around mental illness. Can we please have a discussion about this without demonising the people who are being hurt the most.
Name and address supplied
Name change a bad call
I am concerned that a change of name for Charles Sturt University is even being considered.
Finding an acceptable name for the new university in 1989, comprising as it did existing campuses in Albury, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Orange, was a real challenge. These cities had a long history of competitive development and, in the main, were reluctant draftees into the new federated university. A unifying force was the name of the distinguished Australian explorer Charles Sturt who had navigated each of the three rivers – Murray, Murrumbidgee and Macquarie – on which the new university was to be located. The name soon found universal acceptance.
There are many “Sturts” in Australia and locally but there is only one “Charles Sturt” – the distinguished explorer of inland Australia – and hence the name uniquely places the university in the region it seeks to serve. Universities are enduring institutions and their identity should not be changed on the whim of some “Johnny-come-lately”.
It takes decades for a university to build momentum and a reputation through the achievements of its graduates, its contributions to the local communities and to build the elaborate infrastructure that modern universities require. If a “fresh” image is what is required after 30 years that is best provided by innovative teaching, relevant research output and staff who can be effective thought leaders in the community, not a name change.
Professor Clifford D. Blake AO, Foundation, vice-chancellor, Charles Sturt University
Sussan’s out of touch
Sussan Ley is so far out of touch (‘Gender agenda’, The Border Mail, January 5). Love the quote “it’s the best person for the job”. Does that mean back in 2001 Sussan Ley was not the best person, as she was there because she was “different”.
I do the ‘pub test’ nearly every day and people are laughing at you and others who keep peddling this ideology. If you or any person is there because of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation then you will never be the best person for the job and will be looked down upon as a waste of time. There are more important things to worry about.