Courage that serves as a model to us all
Amongst the multitude of tributes for the late Anthony Foster, including those offered at his state funeral service, the words moral courage, really stood out to me. Despite his sad passing, Anthony Foster's legacy must continue to be honoured and that of other heroes like him such as Ballarat's Peter Blenkiron, a survivor who has courageously led the fight on behalf of so many others in an area that sadly has become known as an epicentre of historic abuse perpetrated by various catholic priests and brothers.
As a practising catholic, I have not only been devastated by the harrowing stories from the Royal Commission, but also shamed by the failings of those in positions of power within the church who compounded the sufferings of victims and their families, with their apparent focus on church reputation at the expense of those very people they were charged with the responsibility of protecting.
Sadly, the disgraceful failings of the past cannot be undone, however the victims and their families at least deserve proper acknowledgement of such and leadership right from the top. As the architect of the now totally discredited "Melbourne response", my first call would be for Archbishop George Pell to do the honourable thing and resign his position within the Vatican as a tangible indication of his true solidarity with victims, he says he has. May the moral courage of the likes of Anthony and Peter continue to challenge us all.
Tim O'Brien, Delacombe
A simple incident to restore some faith
The kindness of strangers should never be derided or scorned. This afternoon, I decided to stroll up to the local shop and get a few groceries, so I rugged myself up and started trudging there. It had been raining so that's why I dressed warmly. I got to the shop without any mishaps, did my shopping and headed for home.
A few minutes into my walk home, the rain started to fall a little bit heavily; not exactly pouring down, but just enough for me to realise that if I didn't hurry, I'd be wet through by the time I got home.
I was walking along the footpath in Brahman Drive and a young man in a white toyota ute pulled up and offered me a lift home. My sincere thanks, Josh for your kindness and thoughtfulness for giving me a lift home today. You restored my faith in the kindness of young people today.
Lynette Lee, Delacombe.
Brutish few hold sway
As I stood outside Minister Jaala Pulford's office in Ballarat on Thursday, observing bodies of dead waterbirds (including threatened species shot illegally) and piles of cartridge litter left by shooters, I wondered at the maths of it all. How can a tiny 0.4 per cent of Victorians - the licensed duck shooters - hold sway over governments? Are they more important than the 87 per cent of Victorians (Morgan poll, 2007) who oppose the cruelty of duck shooting? Are there political donations involved? Is it a legacy from last century when men ruled the world? Is it the lie that duck hunting is the salvation of rural economies, when in fact environmental tourism would attract visitors all year round? The Andrews government has committed more than $20 million of taxpayer funds to support the (predominantly male) hobby of shooting. Just think what that money could do for eco-tourism.
Mary Wilkinson, Wattle Park
An afternoon to remember
An Afternoon at the Proms at Her Majesty's Ballarat on Saturday was an absolutely delightful performance. We are so privileged in Ballarat to be able to host such quality productions - the virtuoso violinist MC, the soloists, dancers, orchestra and Melbourne Pipe Band all so professional. They have promised to come back next year and it is to be hoped that HM will be filled to capacity.
Alec and Betty Wood, Ballarat