One Two Three

Growing up in a family that thought that General Motors Holden was the only company that knew how to make a decent car meant that I was destined to be wearing T-Shirts extolling the virtues of the General’s merchandise well before I ever had a license to sit behind the wheel of such vehicles.

I had a wonderful shirt with an old FX Holden on the front and one with a terrific Torana.

In those days I would happily parrot slogans about F.O.R.D. standing for Fix Or Repair Daily or even Found On Rubbish Dump.

Of course this was all before getting my first car …. a 1972 Ford Cortina. Life suddenly changed. I realised that Fords were far superior and since that first Ford I’ve also owned a couple of Ford Falcons, a Ford Fairmont, a Ford Escort and a couple of Ford Transit Vans. In fact, I’ve never owned anything but Fords.

I’ve held a motor car license for over 27 years now and the desire to own any kind of car has diminished greatly. Pauline has a car, A Toyota in fact, which I drive if we’re going somewhere as a family. I’ll even drive alone on those rare occasions that I need a car but I’m increasingly bored by the whole four wheels thing. These days I’d much rather be pedalling my bicycle.

Talking about cars does nothing for me. Looking at cars does nothing for me.

I used to look forward to the Bathurst 1000 each year. It’s a one thousand kilometre race which pits V8 Fords against V8 Holdens. I knew that the race was being run today but things were busy and so I didn’t even bother checking the results.

During the news tonight I heard the details of the winners.

Yes, I’m an avid cyclist. No, I don’t get excited by cars anymore. However, it would be a lie if I tried to tell you that I wasn’t just a little bit thrilled about hearing that Ford came home one, two three today.

So it seems that I was wrong all those years ago. It seems that F.O.R.D. really stands for First On Race Day.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Who will you highlight?

The ninth edition of Thumbs Up! will be posted in a couple of days.

That means that submissions officially close at midnight Sunday, Western Australian time, so you can still get an entry in if you hurry.

You can find the Thumbs Up! criteria and code for the badges here. Remember that the easiest way to participate is to fill in the Thumbs Up! Blog Carnival submission form. Once you’ve entered the permalink URL of your post, the form fills in most of the details for you.

Submissions have been light over the past couple of weeks which means that your post has an even better chance of being read if you’re a part of this week’s Thumbs Up! I’m looking forward to posting the ninth edition on Monday morning.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Making Poverty History

Around a month ago, on a Friday afternoon, a group of local church representatives met with the Federal Member for the electorate of Perth, Stephen Smith. Stephen is a member of the Australian Labor Party and Shadow Minister for Education and Training. (Click the photo for a better look.)

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Stephen a number of times in the past when he has given support to 98.5 Sonshine FM‘s annual Radiothon. I’ve always found him to be a very genuine person who is willing to listen to the concerns of those he serves.

With a Federal Election likely to be called at any moment and tipped to be set for late November, we felt it was a good time to raise concerns about Australia’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals which were agreed to by UN member countries in 2000 as targets for the year 2015.

In short, the goals are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education

3. Promote gender equality and empower women

4. Reduce child mortality

5. Improve maternal health

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

7. Ensure environmental sustainability

8. Develop a global partnership for development

During our meeting Stephen Smith promised to raise our concerns in the parliament and on Thursday, the 20th of September, just 13 days after our meeting, he made the following speech.

Labor believes that the Millennium Development Goals should constitute the new framework for global international development assistance.

The key objectives of the Australian aid program should be to work with developing countries to realise the Millennium Development Goals. The goals allow developing and developed countries to move beyond the sometimes flawed relationship that has characterised overseas aid in the past and provide a clear vision and framework for halving extreme poverty by 2015 and ending it by 2025.

Labor accepts the internationally agreed aid volume target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for overseas development assistance, and recently the Leader of the Opposition formally committed a future Rudd Labor government to ensuring that overseas development aid is 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015.

I was very pleased recently to welcome to my electorate office some local members of the Make Poverty History campaign in my electorate in Perth. That meeting occurred on a Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago.

I was very pleased to welcome to the office to discuss these matters Ian Kirk from the Bassendean Church of Christ, Daniel Smith from the Morley Salvation Army, Rodney Olsen from Beechboro Baptist Church, Steve McKinnon from Lockridge Baptist Church, Brian Thorpe from Maylands/Mt Lawley Uniting Church, Ross Fraser from Bassendean Presbyterian Church, Geoff Bice from Lockridge Anglican Church, John Holmes from the Charis Fellowship in Bassendean, Jim McKinnon from Bedford Baptist and Lockridge Baptist Church, Cecilie Holmes from the Charis Fellowship in Bassendean, Colin Craggs from the Inglewood Church of Christ, Pastor Pam Devenish from Highway Church in Beechboro, Pastor Anne Ison from Highway Church in Beechboro, Captain Niall Gibson from the Salvation Army Catherine Street Church and Amy Fitzpatrick from Lockridge Anglican Church.

We had a very fruitful conversation. It was so pleasing to see so many people in the local community in my electorate committed to wanting to see Australia act as a good international citizen, committed from a personal point of view to always trying to ensure that someone who is not as well off as you are gets a helping hand up, and as far as Australia being a good international citizen is concerned, ensuring that Australia is committed to overseas development aid, is committed to the Millennium Development Goals and committed in an international sense to making poverty history for so many developing nations around the globe at the moment.

Our hope now is that if the Australian Labor Party is elected to power this year that they will do everything within their power to act towards making poverty history.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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It's Showtime!

I’ve been broadcasting live from the Perth Royal Show every day this week.

It’s been busy but a lot of fun. It’s nice to get paid for sitting in our broadcast tent watching the world go by. I’ve been loving the extra cycling distance each day. My usual round trip to work and back is about 13 kilometres. This week the round trip is about 44 kilometres. I’m feeling a lot more alive with the extra time on the bike.

We did the family thing at the show on Saturday. I wasn’t rostered to be on air so we took the opportunity to spend the day checking out the attractions.

Pauline took a great shot of Emily which she then sent to the Perth Now section of the website. They put the picture up on their front page. It circulated through along with 6 or 7 other main news stories. You can click on the screen shot in this post to get a better look. The photo stayed there for over 24 hours.

Remember, if you are in the Perth area and planning to be at the show any time over the next couple of days, drop in to the 98.5 Sonshine FM broadcast tent, just up the road from sideshow alley, and say hello. I’d love to catch up.

If you can’t make it, you can have a look at some photos at the Sonshine FM Royal Show photo gallery.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Chris Mainwaring … 1965 – 2007

Working in the media, I heard about the death of West Coast Eagles legend and television sports presenter Chris Mainwaring before most people. I was at the Claremont Showgrounds yesterday morning getting ready for a day of broadcasting when we got a call to give us the early details. At that stage it was all still unconfirmed and so we held off mentioning anything on the radio until we were officially notified of his passing. He was just 41 years of age – far to young to go.

I met Chris many years ago when I was working for World Vision. He was putting together a weekly television segment called WOW for Channel 7 Perth where he would highlight upcoming weekend events. The World Vision 40 Hour Famine was coming up and he agreed to record a couple of minutes to promote the event.

A local food outlet had agreed to provide lunch for a group of young people at the completion of the fund raiser. We thought we’d say thank you for their generosity by recording the promo at their premises.

We met at the restaurant and I was immediately surprised at what a thoroughly likable guy ‘Mainy’ was in person. Even in the short time that I spent with him he gave the impression that nothing was too much trouble. He certainly didn’t act like a ‘star’. He simply got on with the job and was more than friendly.

He was a great footballer and his media role seemed to be the perfect fit once his playing days were over. I’m sure he’ll be missed by thousands of sports fans but even more by his family, former team mates and friends.


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