RiotACT – Page 2 – Kim Fischer

Hipster Lane: A place for everyone, not everyone in their place

In this week’s RiotACT article, I muse about the nature and variety of subcultures present in Canberra:

A subculture must define its identity somehow in opposition to the culture it operates within. The hipster desire to seek out indie, handmade and boutique as a conscious rejection of modern, digital and especially mass-produced goods, is in reality just as much a statement of identity and rejection of the mainstream as the stereotypically dark makeup and clothes of the Goth movement.

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Canberra is truly a liveable city

In my latest RiotACT article, I talk about how Canberra now regularly ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities:

Despite some knee-jerk scepticism about the results, the statistics don’t lie: Canberra has evolved, particularly when looking at our retiree and family population.

In the 1970s, senior citizens were four times less likely to live in Canberra than the national average. That gap has now virtually disappeared, with many more retirees choosing to stay in Canberra instead of moving to other capital cities or the coast.

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The power of language

My latest RiotACT post discusses commemoration of International Mother Tongue Language Day next week. The United Nations-sponsored event has promoted “linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism” since 1999:

… it is important to recognise and respect how language impacts a person’s cultural heritage, identity, and place in society. Speaking in the language and accent of your parents and grandparents is a continuous and powerful reminder of where you come from.

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What women want – when returning to work

This was quite a personal article for me for the RiotACT, as I discuss the challenges of being a woman transitioning from full-time employment to motherhood:

I have found that there is no more personally or professionally challenging period than the switch to becoming a mother. Almost all women I know under 40 entered the workforce with the expectation that they would have a career their whole life … Maternity leave and return to work provisions are critical for ensuring women aren’t left worse off financially. But the disruption to a woman’s professional career path is harder to avoid.

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Play it cool this summer

Heat stress and heat stroke can be deadly if not managed properly on hot days. From my RiotACT article:

A 2014 study found that since 1900, [heat stress and heat stroke] have been responsible for more natural, non-disease related deaths than any other cause, including floods, cyclones, bushfires, and storms combined. Twice as many people died from heat stroke during the period of 2009 Black Saturday fires than from the bushfires themselves.

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Spare a thought for those working this Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time for many families, but it can also be tricky for some:

… spare a thought for those dedicated workers and volunteers who are there for people who need care, and to pick up the pieces when Christmas really doesn’t go to plan for the rest of us. Babies still get born, people still have accidents, our elderly still need care. Whether they are police, paramedics, doctors, or nurses, some people simply don’t get to spend Christmas Day at home.

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Mix it up: Why mixed-use developments are key to Canberra’s future

With the release of the draft Kippax Town Centre Master Plan, I discuss the benefits of mixed-use developments and how they make our town centres more vibrant, safe, and sustainable:

Planners now recognise that mixing residential developments with commercial developments is an important “eyes on the street” solution. By creating public spaces where residents and shop patrons are potentially watching at any time, people feel safer and crime levels drop.

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Time to strengthen ACT Assembly governance over Canberra

The CSIRO is looking to redevelop its 701 hectare Ginninderra Field Station site to hold up to 15,000 homes. Due to a quirk of self-government provisions, as a National Land site it would be the NCA approving this development, not the ACT government. This is undemocratic and needs to be addressed:

There is no justification for the NCA to ever approve developments that aren’t expressly needed for Federal Government purposes. The Act relating to National and Territory Land status in the ACT should be amended to ensure that land must revert to Territory Land status in the event that it is no longer required for Commonwealth purposes.

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