Blogs by Bahais

A compilation


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Review: A Doctor’s Dream

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of A Doctor's Dream A Doctor’s Dream: A story of hope from the Top End by Dr Buddhi Lokuge and Tanya Burke, (Allen & Unwin, 2014).

A Doctor’s Dream is about a microscopic mite, a huge health issue and the fraught nature of ongoing injustices towards Aboriginal people in Australia. It is a very Australian story. Both white and Aboriginal people are tired of the same intractable problems and tired of announcements of quick fixes that never work. In this book Dr Buddhi Lokuge and Tanya Burke offer a way through this mire, but only through hard, time-consuming commitment and respect.

Scabies is a mite that is a scourge in some outback Aboriginal communities. It causes itching which leads to skin infections in the tropical environment of northern Australia. Some people do not have any natural resistance to the mite which leads to huge colonies living on their skin causing the disfiguring and serious…

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Review: A History of Australian Schooling

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of A History of Australian SchoolingA History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor (Crows Nest, NSW:Allen & Unwin, 2014).

For over a century Australian schools have acted as future-shapers. Since the era of compulsory schooling emerged in the Australian colonies during the late nineteenth-century, every Australian child has spent a number of years in school. Children take at least some of the ideas and behaviours that are developed in the classroom and in the playground with them for the rest of their lives. As such it surprises me that education history is seen as a ‘special interest’ and not a field that is part of the core of Australian history.

A History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor is a chance for people to catch up on the latest research in Australia’s schooling history in one readable volume. It is long overdue. When I started exploring the history of…

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Book Review: ‘Thrive: the Power of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies’

Peter has been doing some interesting reading.

Everybody Means Something

Van Gogh's Prisoners Exercising: nine out of 10 prisoners have mental health issues when they enter prison. Photograph: Alamy. Van Gogh’s Prisoners Exercising: nine out of 10 prisoners have mental health issues when they enter prison. Photograph: Alamy.

It is an indictment of our society’s approach to mental health that effective treatment for many forms of mental problem is not sufficiently available to meet the need. The strength of Layard and Clark’s book – Thrive is to draw this forcefully to our attention. The Guardian Review quoted at length below gives a good sense of the case they make.  

The data the authors refer to in the book include the fact that (page 381):

. . . while over 90% of diabetes sufferers receive treatment for their condition, under a third of adults with diagnosable mental illness do so. This is largely because good evidence-based psychological therapy is not readily available. 

They are also quite scathing about the absence of adequate provision for children, a position which Wednesday’s BBC News item

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A really good book -no fooling either!

Another Book Review

Knitting & whingeing in Abalama-ding-dong

'Abdu'l-Bahá in Their Midst‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst by Earl Redman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I strongly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who may be feeling down about the condition of the world, or their own lives/families, or whatever. You do not need to know anything at all about ‘Abdu’l-Baha or the Baha’i Faith to find this book of use.

A few weeks ago, the author was visiting family in the town where my mother lives. She met him, bought the book and raved about it. Last week, while I was visiting her, I started reading and I finished this today.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

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Review: Boy, Lost

A review from Yvonne.

Stumbling Through the Past

Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson (UQP: 2013) Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson (UQP: 2013)

Anyone who researches their family history of the twentieth century is inevitably confronted by a wall of silence about something or other. These secrets are often about events that occurred before we were born and now that the holders of those secrets are dying the story of these tragedies becomes even more difficult to retrieve.

Kristina Olsson and her family have done the difficult task of unravelling their family secrets. They are exposed in her book, Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir. It won Kristina Olsson the nonfiction prize at the Queensland Literary Awards and has been shortlisted many times. Yesterday the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge published an interview I did with Kristina Olsson in which she gives insights into how she wrote her book. This book has impressed many people but it was a difficult story to tell.

Olsson’s mother, Yvonne had a…

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The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman

Yvonne certainly reads some interesting books.

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of The Power of Bones The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman, (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2014).

“I chose survival” says Keelen Mailman in her memoir, The Power of Bones. Powerful, painful and memorable, The Power of Bones lays bare the struggles and achievements of Aboriginal life in  Australia during the late twentieth century and more recently.

Mailman is an Aboriginal woman from south-west Queensland near Charleville. She had a hard childhood and a poor education but she has risen from this to be the first Aboriginal woman to run a commercial cattle station. This book is a lesson in never writing a person off, no matter how bleak their background appears to be.

Mailman is proud of her Bidjara culture. Her knowledge and commitment to the Bidjara people was recognised by one of the community elders who asked her to manage the Mount Tabor cattle station for the Bidjara. The work at…

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