The First Step Feb. 2011 - Page 27

I have had many role models in my life but the people who continue to inspire me everyday include my mother and father, my aunty Marnie, Florence Onus, Ms Andrea, Fred Hollows, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. I owe my motivation and success to these ordinary, everyday individuals who in my eyes have done and continue to do extraordinary things. My opinion about the current government includes a variety of mixed reviews. The federal Labor Party has dug its own political grave by choosing to tackle climate change; “the greatest moral challenge of our time.” Although I commend Julia Gillard and the ALP for addressing this important issue, their selling of their most significant policy has been appalling. The constant negativity and relentless attacks on Julia Gillard and the ALP have further strengthened the peoples’ frustration and disappointment of the Gillard government. So many other incidents involving Gillard of which most occurred after she had assumed command of the ALP have also accumulated within the minds of Australians today and in their anger and distress they have stopped listening to Gillard and have abandoned the ALP altogether. I am sad to say that I am one of the many, though not all Australians that have lost faith in the ALP. The two most controversial policies which caused me to lose faith with the ALP is the recently announced Refugee Swap Deal with Malaysia and Labor’s support of the 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). Both policies contradict Labor’s principles and their continued support and commitment to these racist and unspeakable policies will continue to reveal their bigoted ideology and will ultimately condemn and haunt them to their political graves. Since a very early age I have possessed a great awareness and understanding of global blemishes such as world poverty and hunger. Because of this I have developed a gift of which I consider to be immensely valuable to me as a human being. This ideal gift is empathy. Whilst sympathy limits a person to only understanding the feelings of another person and adopting a similar emotional state, empathy is a more extreme extent of empathy, in which a person vicariously feels the emotion of another person. This can be both a blessing and a curse because although it allows for me to psychologically connect with others, ultimately establishing a more personal and profound connection, it can also sometimes cloud my judgement and deter me from my desired outcome. I believe that the reason we have so many potential and successful leaders within society is because a true leader has courage and conviction and stands up for what they believe in. a true leader is prepared to be ridiculed, criticized and dragged through the mud just to have their beliefs gain substance and become a reality. For as long as I can remember I have possessed a passion for learning. This has been both a priority and a privilege, and continues to be evident in my unwavering enthusiasm in numerous extra-curricular activities, leadership roles, and public speaking and debating competitions. It has also translated into various educational opportunities, community and school based events, as well as several other educational and political engagements.