We interrupt the normal flow of my writing and posts to give you this breaking news……that means I’m tapping on my iPad, paper and pen put aside for speedy delivery.
If you are up to date on my blog and current affairs in Melbourne, Australia being my beloved home.
Last Friday, the 20th of January 2017 saw an incident Melbourne is not known for having. I’m going to use some generalised terms however bear with me. A young man in a Holden Commodore performed burn-outs and donuts in the main intersection of Flinders Street and Swanson Walk in front of Flinders Street Station. He was apparently screaming out obscenities while hanging out the window of his car. While he used terms like ‘Reign down terror!’ His actions were not perceived to be terrorist relayed. The driver was persuaded down Swanson Walk and the Bourke Street Mall. Both precincts known for being busy pedestrian traffic areas.
For those unaware, Melbourne has had the popular Australian Open Tennis, which is huge with tourists and Melbourne in general. We Melbournians love our coffee and our culture. We are happy and friendly people, so what happened next was (for lack of words,) just awful. The driver just drove into and over people. The youngest victim was a 3-month-old baby who was in a pusher(pram) and two people in their 30’s were killed also. Many others were injured, later reports indicated injuries to limbs and some brain injuries. The latest report is that five people were killed including the baby.
Passers-by pulled together to help the injured people until medical assistance could attend.
The driver was eventually stopped by police who shot him in his car, then dragged him from his car that still sported part of the pusher from earlier.
Now, I premise by saying this is likely not normal anywhere and most definitely not Melbourne.
I generally go to the city once a week. And was only made aware this was happening when out getting groceries and ran into an old carer who mentioned her son was in the city and she was concerned about him.
I don’t spend much time on social media, however I checked in on Saturday night. Lots of posts about sending people back where they came from when they cause such incidents and posts about acts of terror.
Clearly very glad I had not been anywhere near the city on Friday however with all the love and respect and support in the world to those who died, suffered injury or emotional trauma for witnessing such atrocities, I’m a little surprised my own family and friends have neglected to reach out and just ‘check‘ I wasn’t anywhere near the city……
And my point is that the silence is deafening and telling, isn’t it?
It’s now late Sunday night. Ok, it’s early Monday morning and I’ve avoided social media today. Sometimes, I like to let the dust settle on these events and rather than get caught up in the early assumptions I like to get the real facts….. There is no point getting caught up in the drama until the media gets all the information and updates correct.
So far, the reports I seem to have seen somewhere indicated he had mental health issues and not a terrorist related event.
Many posts I did see early Sunday morning, indicated the driver had slipped through the cracks in the legal system and had he been remanded for a prior infringement, he may not have been on the streets to cause such chaos. I prefer to imagine the mental health system failed him and everyone else affected on Friday.
Meanwhile, in a suburb in the North I had a conversation with my mum on the phone about the status of the lovely NDIS. In 2016, I was given the funding that is supposed to be the silver bullet to fix all problems and level the playing fields. My funding was rushed through giving me the lowest level of assistance. The first plan is supposedly designed this way…. So I’m not saying I’m the only one to get screwed. Just stating facts.
Last year Stupidlink (sorry, my favourite term for the government agency that handles pensions, etc) did to review my DSP (Disability Support pension) because apparently, I might be job ready?
So, the NDIS has also triggered an overhaul and review of my mum’s carer allowance although it’s not at all what they told us it’s what they were intending.
Now, I have had great carers who cared from the second they walked through the door and I can tell you I think they love me like family not just because they get paid to care and while I’m transitioning to new carers I’m micromanaging and already can tell I would have the same level of stress free care any time soon.
My NDIS funding needs an appeal/review and my mum, my only family member to actively help me has stated she is not going to assist with any paperwork unless she is paid to do so.
It’s the loneliest moment to feel the government is working to isolate me from the only family assistance I receive because, do they think they have my best (can’t think of appropriate word here) in mind. Because everything else points to the government wanting to institutionalize me and take away all my rights and independence.
I don’t mean to minimalist the events of Friday in the city because in that situation people died. I’m not planning to reach for the razors (my home has no razors) or the pills and let’s hope it continues that way…….
Now, please do not adjust your dials while normal transmissions resume.