Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  155 / 168 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 155 / 168 Next Page
Page Background



Picture this. There are two boats on a river. One, a luxurious cruise

ship, the other a raft, barely staying afloat. Whilst staff on the cruise

ship continue to build their already lavish boat, people on the raft

below call out for help. They’re sinking. ‘Sorry!’ call out the crew on

the cruise ship, ‘we can’t afford to help you, we need to build the 37th

floor of our ship.’ The cruise ship sails on, and the raft is left behind,

slowly sinking. Seems pretty unreasonable, don’t you think? Words

that come tomind include selfish, greedy and uncaring, to name a few.

Not typically words you would associate with Australia. Yet, I’m

ashamed to inform you, that as far as my metaphor goes, the cruise

ship represents our great country, and the poor, struggling raft could

substitute for any number of third world countries we are refusing to

help. Tony Abbott’s decision to cut foreign aid is embarrassing. It is a

deep contradiction of Australia’s moral obligations as an affluent

nation, and will not only adversely affect the people in recipient

countries, but will also permanently damage Australia’s international


Abbott’s primary explanation of the cuts is that, ‘We will build

the roads of the 21st century rather than shovel money abroad.’ Ah

Tony, tactful as always! I’m sure Australian aid recipients in Africa

and the Middle East would hardly perceive their desperately needed

funds as ‘[shovelled] money.’ In fact, we know, and Abbott knows,

that for many people, foreign aid is the difference between life and

death. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that less funding will mean

vulnerable people in developing countries will continue to be

entrenched in a deep and devastating cycle of poverty. Here, at

Ruyton, under the sublime leadership of Zoe Rachcoff, our

Sustainability Captain, we sponsor the local, disadvantaged worm

community, providing the little slugs the opportunity to develop and

grow to their full potential, allowing them to reach the ripe old age

of six, the life expectancy for your average worm. Yet, we must

remind ourselves, that we live in a world in which we must sponsor

not only the local worms, but children, who, unlike us, were not born

among the lucky few, who have a lesser chance of reaching their sixth

birthday than the worms of Kew. And, if we parallel the Ruyton

community’s sponsorshipofworms, with theAustraliancommunity’s

sponsorship of people in developing countries, I think you’ll find

that as a school, we are doing a lot more for the worms, than our

nation is doing for people in developing countries.

Cuts To

Foreign Aid?

What’s Going

On, Australia?

Lauren Sibree

Alan Patterson Public

Speaking Award