My take on Ruddfest

It’s common knowledge that Kevin Rudd will assemble 1000 Australians in Canberra for a “summit” to brainstorm ideas to shape the future of this country. It’s logical to assume that the people invited would be at the forefront of issues that are critical in determining the direction that Australia heads in the next 10-15 years – issues such as infrastructure, finance, key industries, etc.

Tory Maguire lambasts (justifiably so, IMO) the rumoured guest list as reading “more like opening night than big think” in his Daily Telegraph article. There are big names on this rumour mill, but are these names merely a facade that houses uninspiring and perhaps unintelligent ideas.

I, for one, would be rather puzzled to see any member of the NSW Labor front bench, given that Rudd seemingly refused to be seen with Morris Iemma in the leadup to last year’s Federal Election. Why would Iemma be enlisted to help map out the national future if he oversees a group of incompetents who are (in their various portfolios) downgrading the reputation that NSW should have?

As for heads of television networks, I can’t help but agree with Maguire. Sure, they oversee a medium that has influence (some positive, some downright ridiculous) on Australians, but heading a television network doesn’t give you the skills to analyse social and economic trends in different areas of Australia.

Which is why the vast majority of this think tank should be names that the vast majority of Australia will never meet or hear of in the news. They are the driving forces with visions for their respective fields, which will help this nation to retain a positive reputation in the eyes of the world. They will have experienced what works and what doesn’t work in the pursuit of ideas that transform a vision into a reality.

Kevin Rudd needs to open his ears to the little people who may never get the chance to have their ideas heard, because those ideas may be too precious to fall on deaf ears. And if they do indeed fall on deaf ears, they may lose hope to persevere and see injustices, inequities and other problems ironed out. It’s all well and good to make an apology to the “stolen generation” a priority, but as this happens, voices cry out daily to be heard. Thing is, there’s no respondent to take those cries seriously where it matters.


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