Self Discovery

It’s amazing what you discover about yourself.

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Ride for Compassion 2015


What’s your image of Ethiopia? Are your ideas about the country still shaped by the famine that filled our television screens around 30 years ago in the mid-eighties? Thankfully much has changed since that time. Ethiopia is not a totally dry wasteland. In fact, it’s a land of rolling green hills where improved infrastructure and living conditions are driving the country forward. Everywhere you look in the capital city of Addis Ababa you see cranes and construction machinery as new buildings take shape. This hardly seems like the country that sparked Band Aid back in 1984.

Unfortunately though, not everyone is enjoying the benefits of the developments. There are still many battling poverty.

I was in Ethiopia in July last year and I saw conditions that confirmed that there is still much to be done there. Thankfully Compassion is there and is serving the poorest of the poor. That’s why I’m so glad that the Ride for Compassion is supporting a project in Ethiopia this year that will see thousands have access to hygienic toilet and showering facilities, dramatically reducing the risk of disease and illness.

Ride for Compassion 2015

Every year since 2009 I’ve traveled between Albany and Perth, a distance of over 500 kilometres, by bicycle. Next week I’ll be out there again. The ride will involve over 20 cyclists riding around 520 kilometres from Albany to Perth.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll know that I work for Compassion, but I’m not supporting Compassion simply because it’s my job to do so.

I work for Compassion because I am convinced that there is no more effective organisation serving the world’s poor. I have seen no other method of working with those in poverty that even comes close to the way that Compassion is working.

I’ve seen Compassion’s work first hand in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Thailand. Every time I visit another church that is partnering with Compassion I am amazed at the change it is making in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our world, children.

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need your support, simply visit my fundraising page.

I can assure you that your money will be well spent in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

For the 14th consecutive year, Compassion International has earned the highest rating for U.S. charities from Charity Navigator—the nation’s largest charity evaluator. The 4-out-of-4 stars rating places Compassion International in the top one-percent of non-profits reviewed by Charity Navigator.

Let me thank you in anticipation of your support for children in poverty.

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The Future of Work


I’ve just been reading a great article at McCrindle titled Technology, Innovation & Collaboration: The Future of Work with Claire Madden.

As those of us that have been labelled as Baby Boomers get set to move out of the workforce (to live on our children’s inheritance), Generation Z is getting ready to take our place. Their working lives won’t simply be different from ours, they’ll be different from the generations in between us as well. We’ve already seen big changes in work habits and work lives but the change is about to accelerate.

Generation Z bring new approaches to work, problem solving, innovation and collaboration. They have been born into an era of unprecedented change – this will be reflected in their approach to their careers. Today’s annual turnover rate is 15% per annum which equates to people staying in their roles for approximately 3 years 4 months. Projected over the lifetime of a school leaver today it is estimated they will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime.

Most of us in the workforce now have had a number of jobs and perhaps a few careers. The idea of someone joining a company at 15 and staying until retirement is already a part of history but now we’ve got to wonder if those about to start their working lives will ever qualify for long service leave.

There’s a lot more of interest in the McCrindle article and it’s well worth taking the time to read it in full. I guess I still can’t get past the idea of someone having 17 jobs across 5 careers. As the world around us, especially the world of technology, changes ever more rapidly, it seems our lives are changing more than ever. Where is the room for stability when our jobs, careers and our homes are constantly changing? How do we view the certainties of life when life becomes so changeable?

I’ve had a few jobs myself.

I must admit that I’ve had a few jobs over many years. I began full time work as an apprentice chef. After four years I was handed the certificate to say that I was qualified. I then promptly left the industry.

I worked within the Education Department for five years, in radio for around twenty full time years and about 6 part time, I was employed by the Bible Society for five years and almost two years ago began working for Compassion Australia. I’m now 52 so I’m hoping I still have quite a number of working years ahead of me. I don’t know what the future may hold but I’m hoping that a large part of it will be staying right where I am, seeking to see many more children released from poverty in Jesus’ name.

What has your work life looked like so far? Are you still in the same job you started in? Are you even in the same career? I’d be really interested to hear your experience of work, whether you’ve been in the workforce for a short time or you’re nearing the end of your working life. How have you seen society’s attitudes to work change over the time you’ve been employed?

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Unfriendly Workplace Bullying


A ruling from the Fair Work Commission means that you might need to be a little more careful next time you decide to purge your Facebook friend list. While you might think that deciding who you ‘friend’ or ‘unfriend’ on social media is a matter of your personal choice, but it could have much wider consequences.

Employers around the country will be scrambling to update their social media policies after a decision by the workplace tribunal found unfriending someone on Facebook can constitute workplace bullying.

Rachael Roberts, an employee of real estate agency VIEW Launceston, went to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in February this year alleging she was being bullied by sales administrator Lisa Bird and her husband James, the business owner. –

Of course there’s more to the story than just unfriending someone on Facebook but the act of removing someone from a list of Facebook friends was significant in the commission’s findings.

When I first started using Facebook I would accept most friend requests. I later decided that I needed to maintain a little more privacy and so I created a new public Facebook page to give me the opportunity to interact with many more people while keeping my personal page a little more … personal. (Feel free to connect with me on my public page.)

What’s your policy regarding who you ‘friend’ or ‘unfriend’ on Facebook? I’m sometimes tempted to remove friends who post offensive and ill-informed statements and articles about other people groups, faith, politics and other issues but I generally resist because I know that I don’t have to agree with everything someone believes to be a friend. I also realise that I need to hear what others are thinking, even when I can sometimes feel the anger beginning to rise.

Are you ‘friends’ with your work colleagues? If you friend one or two colleagues do you feel you should friend them all? I’d be really interested in your thoughts.

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The Frightening New Normal


I posted this video a couple of years ago. The frightening thing is that the behaviour in the video seems more normal than it did back then. What they tried to overemphasize to make their point doesn’t seem odd or strange anymore.

It sometimes feels like we’re in a sci-fi movie where some evil genius has found a way to control everyone on the planet. How do we break free from that control before it’s too late?

Try walking down any street and see if you can go more than a few metres before you see someone on their phone. These devices have become extensions of ourselves. It’s something I need to watch for myself. I don’t want to only interact with a device when there are people all around me.

What steps are you taking to ensure that your phone doesn’t take over? Could you go a few days without your phone? What about a few hours? A few minutes?

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