Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Above is our family photo on Christmas day: from the left is Son in law Alex with son Declan, daughter Nicla with Alice (Vanessa's newborn), Rachael with Liam (Nicla & Alex's baby), daughter Vanessa, Anne (wife) and son in law Mark.

Thankyou for your comments and interesting articles during 2005. I look forward to a continuance next year!

My youngest daughter Rachael, was very creative with her Christmas presents this year, the cost was a considerable amount of time and thoughtfulness but without much material expense. An alternative to the consumer Christmas has been a popular topic and should you be interested Rachael has posted an article and some photos of her hand made presents on her "less is more blog" [[click here]]

Thursday, December 22

Charlie A Father

My Father was a”mans”man. A bomber pilot in World War 2, invalided out of the war from his posting in India in 1944, where he had contracted some sort of blood disorder before hostilities ended in 1945. The war changed my father’s character.My Mother, knew this, and made such unbelievable allowances for him which seems inconceivable to me to day.

One day Charlie had been playing golf. As usual he had enjoyed himself with his mates, Curley Campbell, who loved to bet, and partnering Cuttee the club champion and other players had joined in for a game of “skins”. A “skin’ in golf is a hole won and my father had had a good day, collecting more than his fair share of winning “skins”. So he happened to consume a good portion of his “winnings” at the Club Bar. So much so that it caused him to overlook his planned wedding anniversary dinner date with my mother that night. Much later he drove home slowly, aware he’d had too much to drink.

Meanwhile at home my Mother had been sitting, rigidly in her chair, dressed for the evenings planned engagement, patiently waiting for “Charlie” to finally arrive home.There was certain tension in her tiny frame, like a steel spring ready to snap at the slightest surface disturbance.

Charlie arriving home saw my mother through the window dressed for the occasion, sitting motionless in the chair and remembered the anniversary dinner plans as he walked up the steps to open the front door.He opened the door slowly, tentatively; considering an appropriate entrance, at the same time reaching for his hat and crouching forward, as if in combat, gently throws it. It glides over the furniture for the perfect soft “landing” at my mother’s feet.

Charlie kept a War Diary.

Went on a 1,000 mile trip last night, a “bullseye”. Bags of searchlights and few night fighters. Flew at 13,000 feet and nearly froze.We are on another “bullseye” last night, airborne from 10pm, until 5am, about a 1,000 miles .Wizard trip. No night fighters but search lights were troublesome, my starboard motor wasn’t behaving very well, (it was a lousy kite anyway) and I was very pleased to return safely to base. Whole crew very tired. Squadron Leaders had given us the night off, so it’s early to bed.

My mother heads slowly turned, coldly eyeing its presence. Eyes glanced to the door; tension subsides at Charlie’s hesitant entrance. A momentarily flicker of compassion passes over her, for her Charlies home.
Charlie’s enters the room, a fleeting glance to my Mother, as confidence returns.

A contrite Charlie stands before the ‘Commander’ for he’s arrived back at base at 9.30am in the morning after a nights celebration ‘and his boys caught AWL are in plenty trouble’ but the incident is quickly overlooked.

He speaks slowly to disguise any hint of slur, ‘Hello Dear. Now I was thinking about our anniversary. Rather than take you out to –night as we planned I have a better idea. Tomorrow we could celebrate, you can cook for me my favourite “Sunday roast’ and I will invite all my air force mates, from whom you will hear some good jokes.’

This reminded me of the frequent stories by “Charlie” of the dear English folk whose homes became a home away from home to the “lads” from Australia.They outpoured the best of “British” gratitude. The ‘Homes of England ‘became a refuge, a sanctuary, warmth. Stiff upper lips, ‘The British Empire’, don’t worry about the bombs, siren going off, bloody nuisance, those bloody Germans, finish your cup of tea first son.

My fathers often spoke about it, almost in reverent tone, not one to normally show his feelings. Land of hope and glory, this was their finest hour.

A time to record it.

Arrived at the BBC studios at 9.30am. met several officials then a rehearsal after which we began recording. We made 6 records, 2 of which had to be repeated. because of technical faults. The BBC fellas were very pleased, called in story writers and 2 newspaper correspondents to get our story. To day we are going to have our photograph taken for the papers.

“Feeling a bit peckish Charlie” asks my Mother, fully restored to her devotional self.

Yes, sure I am.

Steak and Eggs ?.

Just what the Doctor ordered.

The Medical Superintendent handed Charlie his papers. Cause for celebration you’re being invalided out of the air force.The post message was brief
'Darling I’m on my way home. I can’t wait to see you. Everyone at the hospital is jealous. They have drawn pictures of you with me coming towards you. They think you’re a good sort. I nearly died, they thought I was goner, but I pulled through for you my dear, I was unconscious for 10days. I’m coming home.'

Her “Charlie’s returning.

It was almost too painful to talk about the long separation to anyone.
They (her feelings) must not be mentioned in any detail ever.

The emotion is an ocean, and you must not swim against the tide.
It’s not a good idea.
The red roofed houses of Sydney have received many telegrams of those who will not return. It casts a grey shadow over the community.

A sad note too deep to hear.

His premature death from cancer aged 57 was hastened, if not directly caused by his wartime experiences. I remember he had continued difficulty in breathing and frequent bouts of bronchitis. At his funeral I can remember the streets being blocked off; in anticipation of the large crowd as all of the numerous service organisations he had served so well, came to bid “au revoir” to their “faithful digger”.

And of course the spirit of those great mates, the best friends he ever had, who had perished earlier, in the “Theatre of War” were also present in the form of the last entry in his diary. …it seems if the war is like a series of more or less interesting events, with a nightmare of sudden death in the background. Many of the fine lads mentioned in this book will never again to see their homes. They will always, to me, be the good friends they were when we last met, they were men I was proud to call ‘friend”.

My parents marriage appeared to be made in heaven for I can scarcely remember a single cross word ever spoken between them .But it was based on a lop sided devotion of my Mother to my father, who reigned supreme. And to whom she spoilt rotten.

It belongs to a past era, never to be repeated, as the two stories testify.

Tuesday, December 20

Christmas Passsion Point

Charless Kovess introduced the importance of "Vision" in a previous issue and now has the results of the survey. He has listed what are considered the top 7 companies visions.

I think his Chrismas message set in California may be of interest and the newsletter is reproduced below.

A Passion Point to Ponder 20 December 2005

Welcome to the 11th Passion Point for 2005.

Our goal this year with these Passion Points has been to provoke you so that your business, and the rest of your life, become filled with more passion,performance, and improved balance of mental, physical, and spiritual elements. We are grateful for the many emails of gratitude that you sent to us during the year.

You will recall from last month’s Passion Point (16 November) that we conducted a survey amongst our readers, asking for inspirational Vision Statements that we could share with you.

Here are the top seven that appeal most to us, chosen on the basis of our work with teams that are inspired by a powerful vision:

1. Hydro Tasmania's vision is "… being Tasmania's world-renowned renewable energy business".

2. Vision for ANZ’s National Bank Limited :
To be New Zealand's leading bank through quality people, quality service,quality performance.

3. The vision statement of Hobart City Church of Christ is:
To become the living presence of Jesus in the City of Hobart.

4. Haigh’s Chocolates’ vision is to be "National Retailer of Choice selling our high quality chocolates"

5. The school vision of Tannum Sands SHS is encapsulated in the
MOTTO: Creating Our Futures and KEY VALUES: Respect, Responsibility and Excellence

6. Sensis’ vision is 'to make complex lives simpler'.

7. State Water Corporation of NSW's vision is 'to be Australia's most effective water business'.

The winner of the prizes worth over $1100 was randomly selected out of a hat, with all respondents having a chance to win. The winner is Ric De Garis, Managing Director of Kendle Australia. Kendle’s vision is "None of us is as smart as all of us" Congratulations to him!

However, we also had so many respondents, that we’ve decided to give three consolation prizes of a book to each of the following, whose names were also drawn out of the hat:

John Britten of Hydro Tasmania
Annabelle Beaumont of Sensis
Lindsay Byrnes of QBE.

Congratulations to all of you.



A man and a mare once brought Christmas magic to a small boy. They still do, if you read Bret Harte's short story "How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar".

Set in a mountain mining settlement above California's Sacramento Valley, the story begins on Christmas Eve 1862 and ends on Christmas morning. The Christmas Eve storms have swollen the rivers and Simpson's Bar is cut off from the rest of the world. It's a dreary place and, for one small, sick boy -- whose mother had once told him about "Sandy Claws" -- it must have seemed a very dark world. To the boy, Christmas was just a story and, as heis being nursed to sleep by his father, a few men of the town, led by one Dick Bullen, gather and resolve to bring Santa Claus to the boy and
Simpson's Bar.

Between midnight and dawn, Dick rides his wild and ugly mare Jovita to Tuttleville and back. They brave storms, swollen rivers and attempted human intervention; returning to Simpson's Bar before the boy awakes. Dick carries with him a small waterproof bag containing a few small wooden toys. One broken, one almost spoilt by water and one marked. It was the best he could do in the middle of the night.

Harte does not record the child's waking words, only those of Nick Bullen to is father "tell him Sandy Claws has come." Harte goes on "And even so,bedraggled, ragged, unshaven and unshorn, with one arm hanging helplessly at his side, Santa Claus came to Simpson's Bar and fell fainting on the first threshold."

Our Christmas mornings are usually a little less dramatic. Our children's and grand children's gifts are, typically, more than a few damaged and broken toys. Yet, all gifts are borne of the same spirit. It is this spirit which shapes our Christmas and, through our gifts, the Christmas of others. Unlike the town of Simpson's Bar we are not isolated from the world, but like that town, our spirit rises above all and connects us to friends and loved ones.

Unlike Dick Bullen, we need not ride through storms and rivers to buy and bring our gifts to others. Our gifts, whether purchased, or borne within, are just as precious as the spirit that bears them.

Harte gave his gifts to the world too. Little known today, he was once one of America's most popular authors, with over forty films being made from his stories. "How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar" was first published in 1872. Its final words record:

"The Christmas dawn came slowly after, touching the remote peaks with the rosy warmth of ineffable love. And it looked so tenderly on Simpson's Bar that the whole mountain as if caught in a generous action, blushed to the skies."

May your Christmas dawn, and those thereafter, be filled with love. May your actions be as generous as the spirit that lives within you.


"Never a lip is curved with pain that can't be kissed into smiles again."Bret Harte (1839-1902), American author.

Are your lips curved with pain, or does your spirit regain the smile that gives so much?

"If of all the words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are 'It might have been,'
More sad are those we daily see:
'It is, but hadn't ought to be!'

Bret Harte (1839-1902), American author.

Are your days and words what they ought to be, or do you see a change of scene; a difference from the might have been?


Charles Kovess
Australia’s Passion Provocateur ©

Copyright- Charles B. Kovess & David J. Wood of Passionate Performance.Republication welcome provided authors are acknowledged & advised at above address. If you want to see Charles on video, or listen to audio, just go to and follow the links.


For a list of keynote speech topics that Charles would love to deliver in a passionate, entertaining, provocative, and educational way to your teams,clients, or prospects, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, see below.

All 137 published Passion Points to Ponder are on our website. If you wish to review them, please visit the site. If you wish to receive a list of the 137 titles of the Passion Points please let us know.





Best regards from Australia's Passion Provocateur (copyright)
Charles Kovess LL.B.(Hons), LL.M., CSP*
Immediate Past National President
National Speakers' Association of Australia(*CSP means Certified Speaking Professional, the highest membership category of NSAA and the only internationally recognised designation for professional speakers.)
ph 0395622248
mobile 0412317404
PO Box 1412, Central Park East Malvern Vic 3145
Office: 17 Notre Dame Parade, Mulgrave Vic 3170
Author of 'Passionate People Produce' and 'Passionate Performance'
Co-author of '7 Heavenly Virtues of Leadership'

Sunday, December 18

Alice May, Mother and Grandparents

Here is a picture directly above of the proud Mother and Child. Both are doing very well. The baby has recovered remarkedly and the Doctors are all amazed. The baby has lost weight, but soon that initial loss will be reversed as she is tempoarily being given a supplement to her mothers milk supply. Vanessa also lost some blood in the operation and her red cell count is down, but not enough to warrant a transfusion. She is also recovering rapidly and is in good spirits.

Above the first picture we have the proud grandparents.
The first is my wife Anne and above, Mark's parents Muriel and Gary all joyfully holding Alice.

Friday, December 16

Miraculous baby girl Alice

Our eldest daughter Vanessa gave birth to a daughter about 8 am on Thursday morning within 10 minutes of being induced. The baby is doing fine,feeding very well and Vanessa is okay but feeling shaky and nauseas from the effect of her rushed caesarian surgery. The baby had a main artery located in such a position that this was inevitable it would be severed once the membrane broke.

By another stroke of good fortune the operating theatre was in the very last stages of preparation for another caesarian operation so they operated immediately.

The series of events are all somewhat miraculous.

If she had been at home and not decided to be induced the baby would have died. If her Doctor had not carried out the inducement and the theatre was not in the final stages of preparation at that precise time for a caesarian operation, the baby would have died.

Even so the baby had lost 70% of its blood at birth.

Tests have revealed no side effects; the pediatrician is delighted at her quick recovery hence she is known as the miracle baby in the Hospital where she is staying.

Wednesday, December 14

Time For Peace

I have just finished reading Dorothy Rowe’s book ‘Time on Our Side". kindly lent to me by Roger Gray who is employed by QBE be in Melbourne. Thanks Roger, it was good read.

It gave me the inspiration to compose a short poem entitled


Time is space for poets line
Time is space, what we create
Time is space, space our time
Time a space for peaceful state

Time is not our fateful date
Time is our imagined state
Time is not our real estate
Time a space for peaceful state

Time to cast off fears of time
Time to cast off fears of life
Time to cast off fears of death
Time a space for peaceful state

I think time and space are the same. If your interested in why I think that is the case click to read about that from my previous posting -assuming you think you have the time.

Sunday, December 11

The Birthing Centre

Our family to day celebrated 2 new births and one imminent birth, with our daughters Vanessa, Nicla and Rachael, along with husbands Alex and Mark, joined by grandchildren Declan and Liam and visiting friend Helga.

Vanessa, who is pictured directly above is expecting a baby girl in the next few days.Her husband Mark is soon to become DR after 5 years of hard part time study. Can you notice how he cradles his PHD publication, a birth of all 360 type written pages without alteration from his supervisors. .

Above is Rachael, who proudly gave birth to her permaculuturally based veggie garden.

Thursday, December 8

Letters from Malawi

If you're interested in world news you might like to read about Malawi from some facinating local contacts. I have posted 2 recent letters from Fr Patrick McCallion and Sr. Mary Doonan, a medical missionary, assisted by the Malwai Support Group (an inititave of the parish I belong to) Click here for link to the Malwai Support Group Blog. It's wonderful to hear news first hand rather than through the filter of popular press.

Wednesday, December 7

Corporate Social Responsibility

Even though in Australia companies are embracing ethical and fair corporate governance principles within their charters and seeking to confirm a culture of social responsibility I think the broader community remains highly sceptical. Part of the problem I believe is the lack of an understanding of ethical guiding principles amongst the “top management ranks “. I notice this aspect in many Annual Reports where mention is made of “upholding ethical standards “ without mentioning specifically as to how this is done. On the question of community social responsibility we also find statements of intent rather than of substance, vague notions that lead me to believe “flowery words “ are being used to pay lip service to this important aspect of Corporate reporting.

Maybe what’s also needed is training of Business executives on how to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibilities into their company’s culture. Changing culture takes a long time and is much had harder than most realise. From an educational viewpoint in most business courses, such as MBAs, the idea of ethics and social responsibility is not well covered. Maybe in some countries there are these optional subjects but on the whole those entering the work force haven’t got a particularly good grounding on ethics. Worse still many top executives are very poorly versed and I think that’s the reason for the community scepticism as they lack the clarity of thought to express clearly joint community initiatives. As far as the professional bodies are concerned they are doing a lot of worthwhile work in research and capturing the concerns of their professional members. Click here to view the latest survey by CPA Australia.

Sunday, December 4

Social Capital

When we measure economic development we tend to use crude economic data and compare per capita income in determining our financial health and prosperity. Non monetary aspects such as the value of voluntary work and our general community wellbeing are ignored. Our current crude monetary measurement makes no allowance for replacement and reinstatement of consumed finite resources. Its' an aggregation of honest and corrupt activities indistinguishable between those upholding human rights and those involved in abuses.

What's the solution? Introduce the term 'Social Capital'. By that I refer to the value of a community network of social interaction, the civic responsibility and trust that exists within communities, an expression of values and whether or not they are being upheld.
You might say this as a somewhat vague notion but I think it needs urgent debate, definition and measurement to determine our current level of wellbeing within communities of people.

I suspect with the current "War on Terror" our community standards overall and values are decreasing at an alarming rate in many countries, but the politicians have no fears, as our measurement is anecdotal, a confusion of sorts, characterized by a vague sense of unease and some irate bloggers. Such unease often surfaces long after the events that preceded it were suitably quarantined away from the public eye.

If you would like to understand better what's meant by social capital and its progress a good source is social commentator Author Robert D Putman. Click here.

In Australia the Commonwealth Bureau of Statistics has 'Social Capital' as 'Work in Process'. Click here to visit their site.

I hope one day we will be measuring 'Social Capital' and ensuring that it is showing an improved trend just like unemployment, compared around the world as a matter of course. We need international standard for social capital and I hope one day it's included as part of Foreign Policy.

I am not saying its a panacea for all ills, rather an improvement on the current fatally flawed system of economic measurement.

Saturday, December 3

Australian Christmas Carols

At the time I grew up as a child Australia was more “English” than the English. We sang traditional English Christmas carols and songs about a winter wonderland each Christmas despite it being in the height of our hot summer. Our parents slaved over a hot stove to serve up our piping hot Christmas family dinner with plum pudding appropriate to any English household blanketed in snow.

At this time the landscape in Australia fades to brown, and is fanned by hot Northerly winds”, which herald the beginning of the ever present threat of raging bush fires. Australia is a fragile land and one of the driest on planet earth.

The summer heat brings with it an increased chorus from our birds who loudly proclaim the new seasons bush flowers. At that time we would head for the beach or plan family picnics alongside cool streams by shaded trees.
Australian Composer John Wheeler captures that reality with these evocative words as Christmas carols, which I like to sing each year. “Orana” is an aboriginal word meaning “Welcome”. Here are 3 of his carols

Carol of the Birds

Out on the planes the Brolgas are dancing
Lifting their feet like war horses prancing
Up to the sun the wood larks go winging
Faint in the dawn light echoes their singing
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas day

Down where the tree ferns grow by the river
There where the waters sparked and quiver
Deep in the gullies Bell birds are chiming
Softly and sweetly their lyrics notes rhyming
‘Orana! Orana! to Christmas Day

Friar birds sip the nectar of flowers
Currawongs chant in wattle tree boxes
In the blue ranges, Lorikeets calling
Carols of bush birds rising and falling
‘Orana! Orana! to Christmas Day

Christmas Day

The North Wind is tossing the leaves
The red dust is over the town
The sparrows are under the Eaves
And the grass in the paddock is brown

As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ child the heavenly King

The tree ferns in green gullies sway
The cool stream’s flow silently by
The joy bells are greeting the day
And the chimes are adrift in the sky

As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ Child the heavenly king

How about 3 wise drovers!!

Across the plains one Christmas night, 3 drovers riding by ….and gay
Looked up and saw a starry light, more radiant than the Milky Way
And on their hearts such wonder fell, they sang with joy “Noell Noell”

The air was dry with summer heat and smoke was on the yellow moon
But from the heavens faint and sweet came floating down a wondrous tune
And as they heard the sang full well, those Drovers 3 “Noell Noell”

The black swans flew across the sky, the wild dog called across the plain
The starry lustre blazed on high, still echoed on the heavenly strain
And still they sang “Noell Noell ” those drovers 3 “Noell Noell”

Wednesday, November 30

Hello to Western Australian Readers

I would like to say hello to any visitors from Western Australia reading my blog. I’ve noticed frequent visitations from viewers on the “Big Blue” internet provider based in WA. Please feel free to comment on any of the articles as I’d love to hear from you! I have great memories of my many visits to Western Australia it’s such a lovely place. You can comment anonymously if you are not a registered user but you will need to complete the word verification.

Saturday, November 26


Our space is a continuum
Of space and time within that space
Of particles to waves in space
Of waves to particles in that space

Our space is a continuum
Our food for life within that space
Our food for thoughts in that space
Our lights reflection in that space

Our space is a continuum
Of dualities of time and space
Of single times to multiverse
Of universe to multiverse

Our space is a continuum
Its energy is our quantum state
Energy from dyeing stars
Recreate our new life state

Friday, November 25

Human Rights as a corporate responsibility.

When faced individually with situations we know are morally wrong, I think it becomes a question of discerning who we are, and what we stand for, so hopefully you stand up against corruption. By not going with the flow and doing your part to expose corruption, corrupt practises maybe curtailed or eliminated, a benefit for all of us as we share in a fairer society.

It’s when good people go with the flow for fear of "rocking the boat" that corrupt practices flourish and become “institutionalised”. These same issues apply to the management of multinational companies, collectively, in the countries where they operate.

It’s no co-incidence that regions with the worst corruption are often the poorest as a corrupt society cannot efficiently distribute its goods and services. The benefits in such a society become concentrated in the hands of the powerful few to the detriment of the community.

To- day people expect a company to reflect community standards, to show respect for the environment, and to uphold human rights wherever it operates. I think many companies do that as a matter of course, including a "company culture” based upon human rights. But there are some who say that’s the role of government and have no hesitation in employing people in appalling conditions, in violation of human rights, insisting they are simply responding to the “local” “conditions.

I think it’s important for the management of companies to have strategic links with recognised Ethical advisors such as the St James Ethics Centre (click to view) or other excellent organisations such as Amnesty International (thanks for your link Gary) and partner human right initiatives into their “corporate culture”. I think it’s a good policy for companies is to provide free counselling via the St James Ethics Centre so that if ever an employee was to feel uncomfortable about anything, anywhere in the world, that matter can be discussed confidentially with a counsellor, on the basis the “company” is committed to that “independent umpire” should a change be necessary. I know of such instances that work very well in practice.

The “torture” and abuse of prisoners under US custody was in centres managed by private contractors. Something went terribly wrong in those centres and words like “strangulation”, “asphyxiation”, “blunt force injuries” and arterio cardiovascular disease”- (sudden heart attacks ) in de classified army reports help us understand what happens to some prisoners. Australian Human Rights lawyer Michael Houigan was recently in Iraq examining evidence of human rights violations and I attended his lecture here in Melbourne entitled "Compassionate Capitalism ", doing good can be an integral part of doing well. I think that sums it all up, doesn’t it?

Thursday, November 24

Corporate Morality

Since my first posting on ethics, and subsequent postings on triple bottom line reporting it's amazing the amount of new material I am reading on corporate morality and sustainability. It's encouraging to see such a change in mindset that's fast becoming a matter of corporate necessity.

Its also interesting to note in Australia, our best performing companies are also the ones that give the most prominence to sustainability and ethics, and have very strong ties to community projects.

The debate now is all about how to best incorporate this new found morality into the corporate society as whole. Should it be by way of descriptive principles or in detailed prescriptive measures, or is the tide of general opinion strong enough to see these changes occur independently of any legisative efforts.

There is no shortage of detailed submission being put forwards and one of the best I have seen is from The Charted Secretaries Australia, which has a submission on corporate responsibility before the Federal Government's Joint parliamentary committee considering this aspect.

Click here to read the submission.

Sunday, November 20

Physical Magic

When the ancients gazed to the heavens and began asking "Why is it so ?" philosophy was born. As these questions led to new discoveries, philosophy, science and religion were seen as one: inquiries into the nature of reality.

Today most believe a dichotomy is necessary and it's unwise to link philosophy or religion with science. Attempts to offer plausible scientific explanations for seemingly "Out of body" type experiences or the like are seen as fruitless inquiries into the "unexplainable".

Fortunately not all physicists share these views and I find the thoughts of Dr Allen Wolf very interesting.

During an interview with Dr Allen Wolf entitled "Physics of the Soul" he talks about how he believes we always have one foot in the past and one in the present. He is particularly interested in dreamtime and the culture of the indigenous Australians.

"There is the Aboriginal Spiritual legend that the Great Spirit dreamed all this into existence. The land of Australia is a sacred land in which the Great Spirit currently abides and lives and sleeps, and is awakened from time to time partially when an Aboriginal women has found out she is pregnant, and feels life emerging in her as she goes out on walkabout. And she feels this presence of a life within her, and says 'Aah that's the spirit of the land at this particulate spot, that's now inside of me". So the whole idea of the dreaming spirit awakens in birth"

If your interested in his thinking click here to view his website.

To day I think an understanding of Quantum Mechanics can help underpin our philosophy and a provide a better understanding of the nature of our own reality.

I think the strange world of "quantum mechanics" leads us to a conclusion that we have power to influence events, more so than was previosly understood. What happens is influenced by the observer, we cannot remain independant, so we are all "empowered" to realise outcomes.

It doesn't mean life wont be hard or painful, but ultimately I think it means we are responsible collectively and individually for that reality, reflected in the world we create through our actions. In that sense all life is miraculous.

Wednesday, November 16

Malawi update

The Malawi Support group recently sent off funds for immediate food relief in Malawi. Father Patrick at the time of writing is buying in maize and beans in preparation of food distribution. He advised us Lilongwe itself, as well as the the central and northern regions are beginning to feel the effects of the hunger from the shortage of maize. The southern part of Malawi has been affected for some time.

Any of the funds we send go into a fund for people in need and he has advised that he will do his best to reach those most in need. Since returning from Ireland he has been helping a local sister with funds to feed children in the under 5 clinic she is running in the southern region.

We have sent our Christmas cards to Fr Patrick with our messages of goodwill to provide encouragement and support for the challenges ahead.
If you want to hear more about the support group and their latest activities click here.

Tuesday, November 15

Marys Meals

As you’re probably aware, the position in Malawi is becoming desperate in many parts of the country which is in need of immediate food. A Scottish based charty SIR began making Mary’s meals a reality in 2002 by feeding 250 children in a rural area of Malawi.

To day Mary’s Meals projects are running in many countries around the world as well as Malawi and if your interested in viewing their site to see how you can help Click here

Monday, November 7

Hanmer Springs

A picture taken just before entering Hanmer Springs. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Our last stay in New Zealand was at Hanmer Springs located in the basin below the Southern Alps, and famous for its thermal resources, first discovered in 1859. It's thermal pools became an important place for returning soldiers from the first and second World Wars seeking rest and recuperation.After discovery it quickly became an important stopping off point for stage coaches.

The surrounding area is also rich in history and has some fine homesteads such as "St Helens", built of limestone in 1915, that was once part of a great sheep station of 250,000 Acres. Originally settled by the French in 1860, the St Helens sheep station property was adversely affected by rabbits,
erosion, severe winters and subsequently was abandoned to the crown in 1949.

Hanmer Springs is 385m above sea level and 90 mins easy drive from Christchurch or on to Kaikoura where we undertook our whale watching cruise

We visited the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve and enjoyed a number of the thermal & sulphur pools and I had a swim in the 25m fresh water pool. We both enjoyed a relaxing massage.
Waipara Wine Region is just 1hr away and I understand it is one of the most rapidly expanding wine regions in New Zealand. We were unable to fit it in on this occasion.

We stayed at Albergo Hanmer Lodge and Alpine Villa .Click here to visit their website

Out hosts were particularly friendly and we enjoyed some good conversations, in a relaxed comfortable atmosphere. The breakfasts were simply stunning.

This was our last stay before departing for Christchurch and returning to Melbourne.

The Holday was a great experience and our thanks to Melissa Anderson OWNER/MANAGER of Harvey World Travel Eltham who organised it for us.

Saturday, November 5

Majestic Sperm Whales

To day as the sea was calm we went on the Whale Watch Cruise.

The waters of the ocean just off Kaikoura are up to 2,000 metres deep, in the shape of a giant underwater canyon and its funnel effect provides an ideal environment for deep water marine life to flourish, which is the exclusive diet of the great Sperm Whale. This whale species is much older in its evolutionary chain, unlike those that who more recently evolved to eat krill and has an enormous mouth capable of devouring a 4 metre shark is one hungry gulp. Post mortems have revealed large objects such as 44 gallon drums in their stomachs. They are able to dive to incredible depths and stay submerged for over 2 hours.

During the cruise I was fortunate to learn about their superior intelligence from our on- board Marine Biologist. Our intelligence is known to arise from the more recent development of the frontal lobes, that are the executive function of our brains, co-ordinating the messages and data from other areas which allows us to make complex decisions and give us our "consciousness".

These frontal lobes are more developed in the Sperm Whale and are much larger as a ratio to body weigh than ours. In other words if we measure our IQ as an average of say 100/110 than the Great Sperm Whale according to the scientific research would be 2,000. Their level of consciousness is much more developed than ours. Apparently they spend more time in nutering and caring activities and do not exhibit any of the anxiety and fear we have in relation to death.

She has promised to send me an- email on this research which I will publishing when received.

After 2 hours of searching for whales and listening with underwater equipment for the familiar clicks, the skipper announced sadly none were sighted or heard to day. We did see a number of sea birds including the giant albatross and some dolphins mating but no whales.

We received a refund of 80% of the cost as compensation , and I understand it's unusual not to sight any. I look forward to posting more material about the intelligence of these majestic Sperm Whales soon.

Thursday, November 3

Christchurch to Kaikoura

A seal at the colony at Kaiakoura -click on the photo to enlarge.

Today we travelled to Kaikoura which means in Maori means Food Crayfish. EGG KAI =Food and KOURA =Crayfish.

We were struck by the unusual landscape, different to the rest of New Zealand as snow clad mountains meet up directly with seashore. Kiakoura is on a peninsular that juts out into the Pacific Ocean from the 2600 metre high Kiakoura Mountain Ranges.

Around Kaikoura are the remnants of 15 individual fortresses and lookouts, set up by the Maori tribes and evidencing fierce battles against invaders hoping to gain a foothold in this settlement as Moa numbers declined elsewhere. That's what the local museum said.

To day its a popular holiday resort and a world famous as a feeding ground for those gentle giants of the deep, what must be the grandest creatures on earth, the giant sperm whales. They had nearly been hunted to extinction, but whether they now survive the fresh hazards of ocean pollution I guess is unknown. We were booked to go whale watching but unfortunately the seas were too rough, better luck I hope tomorrow !! click here to view whalewatch

To day we did sight fur seals, unconcerned and just metres from us.

Wednesday, November 2

Christchurch continued

To day we visited the Botanical Gardens, the Art Gallery; re visited the Museum and finally saw the New Zealand Kiwi, which is a flightless bird and icon to New Zealand.

The Botanical Gardens are 75 acres of picturess flowers, trees and Cambridge Punts (gondoliers) who take visitors along the smallish Avon River alongside the gardens.

The new art gallery houses 5,500 individual displays and is one of the largest collections of NZ art in the country. Completed in 2003, it's modernistic in design. Click here to view.

The Kiwi bird is an icon to NZ, appearing on its coins, regimental badges and internationally as Kiwi shoe polish. The Kiwi is a flightless bird that forages in the forest and its numbers have been decimated by introduced species that eat its eggs and by loss of its habitat. A breeding program is underway. If your interested in finding out more about the Kiwi Click Here.

Tuesday, November 1


Click on the photo to enlarge.

We spent the day visiting the Cathedral and the Museum.
Christchurch was named by its founding fathers, after Christchurch in Oxford, from where they came. It’s an easy city to visit, very English in its architecture and style but using local stone materials. We went on tour of the Cathedral, climbing the narrow staircase to the bell ringing tower and turret. Very impressive.

The history of the Maoris’ makes mention of their wars over territorial rights and cannibalism. I think there position pre colonization may also have been effected by other important factors, primarily arising from the depletion of their food supply. History confirms they hunted the Moa to extinction through burning of their forest inhabitant. Populations would have relied upon that source of food and of the forest bird life. Extinction would have had a devastating effect and I think the population would not have been sustainable. It’s likely I think the subsequent wars and cannibalization were driven by an ultimate fight for survival. Their history is an oral one, yet there seems no oral history of warfare when the Moa was hunted.
It’s not surprising various tribes formed allegiances with the British in the Mauri Wars, fighting against other tribes. Theses disputers were no doubt due to other factors as well, but I believe the first wars are more likely you have arose as consequence of the reduction in their sustainability, brought about by the depletion of their primary food source.

Monday, October 31

Greymouth to Christchurch

To day we travelled to Greymouth and then on to Christchurch on the Tranz Alpine train.

Greymouth is known for its coal mining, that became the "black gold" after gold mining returns dwindled. The journey by train was a steady climb through the wilderness to Arthurs Pass at over 700 metres and slowly down to the Canterberry plains. A memorable journey of 4.5 hours involving 16 tunnels, with spectacular scenery.

Whale Rider

Whilst staying in Franz Josef we watched a video entitled “Whale Rider”, based upon the novel by renowned Maori writer Witi Ibimaera. The film wren released won several awards. Click here to learn more about this remarkable writer.

Its a delightful tale of mysticism and Maori culture set in a small New Zealand coastal village, where the Maori claim descent from a Whale rider. The Maori tradition is the first born son of the chief succeeds to that rank as would his first born and so on. When twins are born and the boy twin dies prematurely the chief will not accept his granddaughter as a future leader. Tribal misfortunate are then attributed to his granddaughter, but despite the hostility, his granddaughter remains compassionate towards her grandfather, as she realizes she is confronted with 1,000 years of tradition.

The film is cotemporary story of love and tribal customs and ultimately the young girl’s courage triumphs as she rescues her tribe form a possible apocalyptic end, in a scene connected with the beaching of whales. The acting of the young girl is simply stunning and it’s a riveting tale.

Sunday, October 30

Maori Culture

It has been estimated the Maori's first came to New Zealand about 1,000 years ago. They would have visited in their giant ocean canoe's, and its not clear exactly where they came from, possibly somewhere in the Polynesian area, like Tahiti and or the Cook Islands, but thee would certainly have brought their rich culture with them. They quickly prospered and as these lands were previously uninhabited their principle source of food, the giant flightless bird called the Moa, was easy prey, and hunted to eventual extinction. The Mao stood over 9 feet and weighed 240Kg. The Moa inhabited the forest, so the Maori undertook extensive burning to drive out their quarry into the open for the hunters. Thus with a high protein diet Maori numbers expanded, mainly in the North Island, and to a less extent in the South Island.

They were fearsome warriors and wars broke out, mainly over territorial rights connected to the land. Later with the British there were wars that eventually led to the signing of the treaty of Waitangi, between the chiefs of New Zealand and the Queen of England. What it actually means remains unclear and it is the subject of on going negotiation.

Their culture is rich and they believe in a Earth Mother and Sky Father who bore a multitude of children who were confined to their parents bodies in total darkness.
Eventually the children rebelled and forced their parent's apart, creating a new "light" that subsequent generations enjoy. These first born children became the Gods of the Polynesians and one called "Tane" is the god of the Forest. The strength of Tane is embodied in the trees and they believed if too many trees were cut down that darkness would fall upon the Land.

The 2 original parents, the God of Earth and Sky show eternal love for all, evidenced by the tears of rain and dew of the sky god and the mists of the earth god. They lay to together in a timeless embrace of love.

Franz Joseph Glacier

Click on the photo to enlarge.

To day we are at Franz Josef. click here to view.
We travelled from Queenstown in a North Westerly direction, entering the region known as the Westland National Park, another World Heritage Listing area.

Currently we are staying in the township named after the Glacier. Behind us is a range of mountain peaks, including Mt Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand at over 3000 metres. Consequently, within these conditions, a huge volume of snow is dumped on the upper slopes and the Franz Josef Glacier is one of 140 within the parkland. To day we went on a magnificent walk to view this mighty glacier. During the walk it was interesting to note just how far the glacier has retreated, attributed to global warming and despite minor advances from time to time with increased snow fall.

Friday, October 28

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

To day we traveled to Te Anau and then by boat to the Te Anau Glowworm caves.
Click here for a link.

Glowworms I think are native only to Australia and NZ, appearing like tiny strands of wire, the lenth of a matchstick, hanging from cave walls. A chemical reaction in their stomachs produces a light, becoming brighter as they become hungrier. Insects attracted to the light become their food.

You enter the cave by foot and then proceed for most of the journey by boat.

Your senses are completely overwhelmed, from pitch blackness and silence (no talking is permitted which would frighten the glowworms) to illumination revealing cathedrals and a roar from underground streams cascading down the rocky crevices beside you.

Its like entering a mysterious underground world of weird rock formations, waterfalls and illuminated cathedrals.

Thursday, October 27


Click on the photos to enlarge.

A view from our window of where we are continuing our stay in Queenstown and our hotel situated in Reese Street is named ater its Scottish founder who established sheep farming in 1860. Not long afterwards he was paid 10,000 pounds compensation for part acquisition of his land for gold exploration. Gold was discovered in the Shotover river in 1862, bringing thousands of men and some colorful women to converge on the settlement. The Shotover river is the second highest gold bearing river in history, second only to Klondike in Northern Canada. The River yielded 57.6 Kgs of gold per day in its early days.

Today we went on a long day trip to Milford Sound. Click here to view the area. The fiord at Milford was formed by a giant glacier over 1,000 metres in height that carved out its current day shape meeting up with the Tasman ocean. Its mode is one of teeming rain and high winds. Rainfall is 30 feet a year and winds can reach 160kmh but we were fortunate to experience a beautiful day and only temporary brisk winds of 40 knot's. The second picture is view from the boat.

Our journey to MIlford took in lush farming land, mainly sheep (there are 40 million NZ) and deer, ostrich and fishing. Like most areas NZ suffers from imported species and havoc is inflicted by Stoats (from the weasel family) and Possums.The Stoats devour the flightless birds and the possums rare vegetation.

Driving through the foirdland we encountered towering mountains and green remote valleys, a true wildnerness area.

Upon arrival at Milford we boarded our ship and on our cruise encountered penguins and seals sunning themselves on the rocky outcrops below the towering cliff faces of the snow clad mountains. The views along the way were stunning and those within the fiord breathtaking.

Tuesday, October 25

Dunedin to Queenstown

To day we set off from Dunedin to Queenstown traveling in a north westerly direction.

Our first stop for lunch was at the small township of Lawrence where gold was first discovered in 1861. The first settlers established large sheep runs but is wasn't until Gabriel Read made a gold discovery that the region blossomed and the township expanded temporarily to over 11,000.

As we journeyed on the scenery changed to reflect more arid features of rugged craggy barren mountain peaks.

It is of interest to learn during the gold maning boom, just as what happened in Australia around the same time, the country became a haven for Chinese immigrants escaping the "Opium Wars " and unrest of their homeland. However their arrival was not welcomed and they suffered at the hands of the local diggers despite only prospecting discarded pickings. Such was the hostility to the Chinese they were forced to erect shelters amongst the rocky outcrops and amongst the boulders so they were difficult to see and access.

We arrived in Queenstown and were immeadiately struck by its beauty, surrounded by the mountains with snow capped peaks and nestled on the shores of the mighty Lake Wakatpu.

Monday, October 24


Today at Dunedin we visited the Royal Albatross Centre -Click here for their website and Lanarch Castle-click for their website . The picture is of the Alatross nesting area high on the cliff tops. click on the photo to enlarge.

The Albatross Centre is managed by the local Conservation Dept who have undertaken 60 years of research, builing up a colony of 160 breeding birds. These magnificient birds can cruise at 140 kph and spend most of their time circumnavigating the globe, returning to their nesting grounds after reaching breeding maturity after 5 -7 years.The colony is unique as its only a few KM from the city centre. The birds are like humans, mating for life, but divorce at 10 years is not uncommon and causes ugly scenes.

We explored an area to day on the southern edge of the Harbour passing lush pastures, small bays, sandy beaches, rugged hills and volcanic landforms. Wildlife abounds with the Royal albatross, yellow eyed penguins, seals and wading birds.

Larnach castles is the only one of its type in NZ , commanding a beautiful view from its tower and set amongst dazzling native fauna.

Sunday, October 23

New Zealand Holiday

The harbour at Akaroa. -click on the photo to enlarge.
Anne standing in front of Wilderness House -click to enlarge
The view from Wilderness House. Click to enlarge.

Our first stay was at Akaroa which is situated 90 minutes from Christchurch on the South Island. Akaroa was the scene of the first settlement of the British who arrived just 5 days before the French. Both happily co existed together, making the settlement a flourishing fishing port. Many of the streets today have French names.

Like many similar developments the harbor was overfished and to date the 1,000 local residents rely on tourism. We stayed at a delightful "Bed and Breakfast" called "Wilderness House"click here to view and our hosts were great company and told us about the local history and attractions.The beakfasts were suberb.The pictures depict the beatiful harbour, and in front and looking down from Wilderness House.

We spent an enjoyable afternoon on the Harbor and encountered a school of dolphins, known as "Hector Dolphins" who are only native to the South Island. We also saw a colony of seals. Because of the large swell our "Skipper" would not venture out beyond the "Heads".

In the evening we had a super dinner at a French restaurant and on another occasion visited a little boutique movie theatre and enjoyed the equivalent of "gold class service".

To day we have traveled to Dunedin in the South East, taking the scenic route, which allowed us to view the snow capped mountains s and unusual river gorges.

Thursday, October 20

Land of The Great White Cloud

Holidaying in New Zealnd for a few weeks, a fabulous destination with some of the most spectacular scenery of anywhere in the World.

Click on New Zealand to visit their travel website.

Wednesday, October 19

Singing St Patricks Cathedral

Our Lady Help of Christians, Eltham celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation for the scholchildren and congratulations were extended to everyone participating in the Confirmation choir.

The Bishop thanked us, Fr Barry thanked us , the school thanked us , and it was a very uplifting experience for all.The photo shows the happy members of the choir in the Cathedral.

Sunday, October 16

Rachael's EP release

Rachael Byrnes presents - Behind the Mask....
As you may know Rachael is my musical daughter. She has just produced her first EP release Behind the Mask. If you would like to listen to a selection from this CD visit her website

Thursday, October 13

Free Spirit Flow

Mind was in search of a fragrant new start
Mind was rewarded by prose from warm heart
Mind now refreshed, its new spirit will find
Mind now healed will be it's past sign

Thoughts now explain it’s time to let go
Thoughts that allow your new spirit to grow
Thoughts to find room for your spirits new space
Thoughts now accept the challenges you face

Sweep through your day with your heavenly twin
Sweep through your day to your new daily spin
Sweep through your day and embrace your sweet heart
Sweep through your day like the worlds at your feet

Your mood is surprise, your changes were fast
Your mood please confirm is your freedom at last
You mood is surprise, for our world changes fast
Your mood I suspect is a free spirit at last

I don’t have the answers, just words for your ear
I think life is mystery, its meaning not clear
Can I sense your mood change that moment at last
Your mind is free from a hot wind of the past

A better way maybe is a slower way

Charles Kovess in his latest newsletter, which is reproduced below challenges us to think about finding a better way rather than staying in a rut, and being willing to venture out of our comfort zone. Others might argue if it isn’t broke, why try and fix it?

I think the better way is often masked by a reluctance to proceed at what seems at first to be the slowest possible route. By researching a problem and thinking about a future path, we can discover better ways to proceed, rather than rushing ahead with the first thoughts that comes to mind and simply repeating what we did the past.Imagine however the reaction from clients if we billed out chargeable hours under the headings of thinking time, research, planning a work path and actual hours spent doing the work. Yet it’s all work and the thinking, planning and research determine the quality of the final output.Coming up with uncosted or untested concepts is generally frowned upon in business, but concepts have led to some of the greatest changes ever seen in our world.

It’s interesting to reflect that Einstein’s theory of relativity was just a concept to him at first and he needed the help of his friend, more skilled in mathematics to undertake the detailed calculations that validated his brilliant theory.

I think a better way for organizations is to actively encourage new ideas and concepts and use others who are partners to the concepts but more skilled in the detailed costing. Currently theses roles are often seen as adversarial or a role of a policeman to ensure projects return desired returns. Ultimately however you can’t be certain of anything, and sometimes to grow you have to also allow for some mistakes.

Dear Lindsay

A Passion Point to Ponder 28 September 2005.
Welcome to the 9th Passion Point for 2005.
Our goal this year with these Passion Points is to provoke you so that your business, and the rest of your life, becomes filled with more passion, performance, and improved balance of mental, physical, and spiritual elements.



We are delighted to announce a move to new premises from Monday 3 October: 17 Notre Dame Parade, Mulgrave Vic 3170.
Our phone number changes to (03) 9562 2248, but of course mobile phone number does not change.

Our post office box also DOES NOT CHANGE, but remains as PO Box 1412 Central Park, East Malvern Vic 3145.

MAN'S INNER JOURNEY: A GREAT PROGRAMI attended a great weekend seminar entitled 'Man's Inner Journey' in July 2005. It's excellent. It's being repeated in Melbourne on 28 & 29 October. Details are below. "IS THERE AN EVEN BETTER WAY?" Glenn M Renwick, the Chief Executive of US insurerProgressive Corp. recently said "When you stop evolving, you've got a real problem." Wise words that apply to us, as well as corporations. The world challenges us to change, to evolve and become better than we are. Renwick added "We're always asking 'Is there an even better way?'" The answers led Progressive Corp. to the number 1 spot in the 2004 Business Week 50--a ranking of the best performing companies, based on a 10 part formula, in the Standard & Poors 500.

"Is there an even better way?" That question applies to us also. Sometimes we stick to old ways, not because they are best, but often because we arecomfortable with them. Comfort can be more than azone, it can also be an attitude.

The Business Week 50 tends to be a growth list that, generally, outperforms the market in growth periods, but lags when the market is in recession. Growth has many dimensions, but companies on the 2004 Business Week 50 list showed, not only a growth attitude and entrepreneurial spirit, but also a customer focus ahead of their rivals.Attitude, growth, spirit, customer focus, are allthings we can practise every day. "Is there an evenbetter way?" is a daily question we can all askourselves. Our answers and efforts might not take us to the top of any list but our own--and that's not a bad place to start.


"What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth."Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author.

What law do you obey, the one of growth or slow decay?"Growth is the only evidence of life." John HenryNewman (1801-1890), English Cardinal.

What lives most throughout your day, a self that grows or goes away?

To your ongoing development of your passionate performance.
Charles Kovess Australia's Passion Provocateur © Copyright- Charles B. Kovess & David J. Wood of Passionate Performance. Republication welcome provided authors are acknowledged & advised at above address. If you want to see Charles on video, or listen to audio, just go to and follow the links for a list of keynote speech topics that Charles would love to deliver in a passionate, entertaining, provocative, and educational way to your teams, clients, or prospects, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, see below.

All 135 published Passion Points to Ponder are on our website. If you wish to review them, please visit the site. If you wish to receive a list of the 135 titles of the Passion Points please let us know.

MAN'S INNER JOURNEYFor Men: How often do you invest in YOU?Commence the journey from your head, to your heart. Discover the tools to improve the way your life works! The Man's Inner Journey Seminar is designed specifically for Men. The workshop offers you a practical blend of information and experience for you to develop insights into the beliefs, attitudes, influences and patterns ofbehaviour that impact (positively and/or negatively) on the quality of your life outcomes. The workshop offers you the tools to change and develop.

The next Man's Inner Journey workshop is on October 29/30 9AM-6PM in Melbourne.For more information visit the website


Friday, October 7

Whispering Spheres

Click here to listen to my daughter's song by the same title featuring my poem

As the sunset rays cast their fading light
Birds fly past to rest for the night
Night air cools as the sky is at dusk
Farwell to our toils time for our rest

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
Peace is that energy a dream for your mind
Peace and rest for a mind of that kind

The moon beams alight and rest on our skin
Heavenly spheres, our heavenly next of kin
whispers of hope to enter your mind
Refresh and to heal for all humankind

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
Peace is that energy a dream for your mind
Peace and rest for a mind of that kind

A universe reveals each night its rebirth
New stars are born, death is new light
Time and space are our one universe
Continues forever its beginning in light

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
Peace is that energy a dream for your mind
Peace and rest for a mind of that kind

Dawn approaches a light of daybreak
Birds fly in and herald the day
Sweet note refreshed to sing of a new way
Awaken a mind, open thinking to day

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens rebirth every night
Peace is the light of the dream of your mind
Refreshed and ready to heal for humankind

Wednesday, October 5

Sydney Swans- Aussie Rules Premiers 2005

Although the Sydney Swans are thought of as a Sydney based team they evolved from the the original South Melbourne Club in Melbourne. Hence their recent premiership win was a celebration both for Melbourne and Sydney.

South Melbourne last won the preniership way back in 1933. Since 1987 the Sydney Swans have been sponsored by QBE Insurance. If you would like to visit their website click here on Sydney Swans or the icon next to the photo or the link at the end of the posting.

The photo shows some of the Sydney QBE employees celebrating the win. Click on the image to enlarge.

Can Melbourne also put their hands on the Cup ?.

Monday, October 3

Sustainability Reporting

I refer to my earlier posting on sustainability included in my article on ethics and I have noticed companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to comment on sustainability not only from their company viewpont but also in relation to their responsibilty to the global enviroment.

Click on the blue print to read the BHP Report as it is particually comprehensive.

I have just finished reading many of the Annual Reports of Australian Public companies and I have noticed that many are keen to indicate a comprehensive enviromental review for their operations which entails being responsible for their own actions and accountable for their choices.
The Reports on the whole are barely recognisable from that produced of a few years prior and represent a big improvement.

Research on the question of sustainability reporting is underway as per my previous posting click on sustainability.

Thursday, September 29

Multiculturalism versus Nationalism

Multiculturalism is alive and well in Australia but a friend recently told me he doesn’t think multiculturalism is appropriate, prefering a nationalistic approach to bring people together under a common culture, quoting the USA as a better example.

I do think there is a fundamental difference between Australia and the USA as the USA to my mind engenders a culture of nationalism born from a deep sense of allegiance to one’s country. That's a feeling that's not so deep rooted in Australian culture.

If you would like to read about Australia's official government policy on Multiculturalism click here

My question is “Is this realistic or appropriate for Australia ?” or are we better to follow the American model and embrace a common nationalistic purpose to represent all ethnic groups ?.

An extract of the opening gambit to goverment policy from the website is as follows: Australia is a culturally and linguistically diverse society and will remain so. The government’s multicultural policy and programs respond to this diversity, seeking to meet the challenges and maximise the benefits to all Australians. Australia’s cultural diversity is a key part of our national identity. According to the 2001 Census, 23% of Australians were born overseas. An additional 20% had at least one parent born overseas. Between us, we speak about 200 languages and practise a wide variety of religions.

The government’s multicultural policy responds to this diversity, seeking to meet the challenges and maximise the benefits, for all Australians. The key statement of the Australian Government’s multicultural policy is Multicultural Australia: United in Diversity (May 2003). It updates the 1999 New Agenda for Multicultural Australia, reaffirms its fundamental principles and sets strategic directions for multicultural policy for 2003-2006 with a specific emphasis on community harmony

I would be interested to hear what people think? Can we have both ? Is there really a distinction?

Tuesday, September 27

Quantum Self

I have just finished reading the Book “The Quantum Self” by Danah Zohar which was written in collaboration with her Psychiatrist husband Dr I N Marshall.

I would recommend the book to anyone with an interest in modern physics and its application to our “consciousness"and human nauture.

Her writing is informative and philosophical but in a conversationalist style so I found myself being swept along with her infectious enthusiasm. She makes frequent references of how she applies her philosophy to her family situation so that you feel as if you’re sitting down listening to a chat at times. Her early building blocks of thought are based upon the well known experiments of “Schrödinger’s Cat” and the duality principle of the wave and particle experiments. Its presented in a disarmingly simple way, far removed from the usual dry scientific writings connected to these experiments.

She makers frequent references to our modern day world being adversely affected by the residue of superseded Newtonian science.

What Danah introduces to us is a more enlightened philosophical view that has as its base a ”quantum leap” into the implications of “quantum mechanics” for our human future embodied within our “consciousness”.

Her conclusion is that the new physics of quantum mechanics will lead us to a unifying theory connected to the brain and our consciousness. I think it not unlike what was envisaged by (click on the blue print )Albert Schweitzer-His Life & Thought in his wonderful insight contined within his "Reverence for Life" thought philosophy. If you want to visit his webpage click here.

Its also makes me think there really are (click on the blue print ) Whispering Spheres

Wednesday, September 21

Triple Bottom Line Responsibility

Following on from my earlier posting on Ethics in Business it’s interesting to note the continued changes in emphasis that's occurring within the corporate world.

Triple bottom lime reporting is the latest buzzword. What’s meant by that is an acknowledgement of the responsibility to three different stakeholders,eg: shareholders and employees, the community and the commitment to sustainability in perpetuity for future generations.

It’s refreshing to think we can identify a work commitment to enterprises that espouse these standards of triple line bottom line reporting. That’s in stark contrast to recent events, as we witness previous CEO’s sentinced to long prison terms following convictions for fraud in a climate of greed where the very idea of sustainability never entered into the corporate culture. Corporates also have responsibilities to their local communities or countries in which they operate. The sort of organisation that needs to make sudden huge reductions in staffing is not only failing their local community, it’s also a sign of very poor management that failed to act to earlier warning signals.

It’s interesting to note recently in Australia local institutions actively discouraged investment in a US property group for ethical reasons. Whey was this? The large US property group, was in a lock out negotiations to reduce the conditions for their security employees to exclude holiday pay benefits. Leave the rate the same but take away the holiday benefits so that that amount the employees earn is a lousy annual salary of $20-$25K a year. That company in the US will be struggling to have others invest in their future property development as it’s on the nose? So hopefully investors will be interested in investing in companies that are fair to their workforce and are serious about a commitment to triple bottom line responsibility.

I have noticed in most Annual Reports these days specific mention to these 3 aspects and particularly on the question of long term sustainability. Interestingly enough, judging by results it’s also good for business. Being proud of your enterprise and liking what you do makes good business sense, just as it applies to investors. And we are all investors either directly or indirectly through super or pension funds.

But on the question of sustainability we need to press down hard on the accelerator for change as in Australia and particularly in the USA emissions are the highest per person in the world.

Click on the link lank to see how AGL is making renewable energy available to its customers to help reduce greenhouse gases.

Thursday, September 15

Fundraiser Thursday September 22

Rachael is playing at a fundraiser benefit gig next Thursday
for a friend who has MS and needs to buy a wheelchair.
Come along and help out if you can.

MS Australia on their website tells us that Multiple Sclerosis is a devastating disease, growing at the alarming rate of 8% pa. It’s affecting 3 times more women than men, with up to 1,000 new diagnoses each year in Australia, often starting with people in their 20’s.
That’s the human cost. The community cost in Australia is nearly $700 million pa.
However there is hope. MS research in Australia is poised to make important breakthroughs, that will directly counter this financial and human cost.
MS Research Australia has been established to resource these breakthroughs, and accelerate progress toward a cure for MS.
It is developing as a strategic research initiative, focusing our world-class strengths in neurobiology, immunology and epidemiology onto MS research, with a nationally, unified, collaborative research approach and best-practice governance.
View MSRA's executive director, Jeremy Wright discuss the foundations of MSRA, raising awareness, and the approach to realising MSRA's aims.'

You can view the video and read all about it on the link.
It also tels us about the cost to the community as Access Economics report—MS costs $2 billion a year in direct financial and other costs. The report confirms that the national financial cost of the disease is over $600 million every year. Nearly half (43 per cent) is the cost of informal care. Lost productivity contributes $160 million. The lost value of healthy lives adds a further $1.3 billion.

Friday, September 9

Office Scene

I commented on the fact that in my previous posting the modern office is so much different because of what’s been invented in the past 40 years.

Personal computers, personal phones, the Internet, voice and e mail, and fax facilities are now taken for granted but they didn’t exist in that form 40 years ago. Communication was largely by letter via the “typing pool” or a personal secretary who took “shorthand”. Hand written notes were much more common and most systems were either manual or partly mechanized using accounting machines to record all of the transactions onto hard copy ledger records.

Other aspects of office life then that have since disappeared include the beloved Tea Ladies, formal morning and afternoon tea breaks, sing on and sign off books, lunchtime interoffice sporting competitions, lunchtime card playing and the Friday afternoon office lunches.

My poem attempts to take you back in time to an office scene of yesteryear. When I was working then I was also studying of an evening, and having left home resided in a not so flash boarding house. It was "tough" going and I often arrived "late" for work in a crumpled mess as the poem attests.

Ode to an old office scene

An office window reflects my bleak and dreary day
Cold and frosty morning comes to visit and to stay
Faint scenes of office staff appear in the distant haze
Ghostly apparitions all take the centre stage

I am thinking of my past as feelings are not dead
As waves of pure nostalgia help to clear a fuzzy head
Enter roars of endless voices, faces from a working past
Fades to just a whisper, time to start I hear at last

The working day begins as if by starter’s gun
You start on time and end on time bit still a time for fun
Mr Smith is our captain, a step as strong as steel
Attendance Book his companion, pen upon his ear

His gaze is dignified, no compassion will he share
For anyone who signs on late or those who are not there
The time of reckoning is near, his pen is in the air
No room to sign for latecomers, they’ll face his dreaded stare

There’s a murmur in the office of a fact that’s not been missed
Poor Lindsay’s train is late again; he’s lost the sign on race
He stagers in, his face is grim, no fashion statement yet
Land ladies forget to iron his trousers and his shirts a crumpled mess

He settles into a work , to check the ledger cards
The system is manual, a checkers life 's not hard
Tea break is upon him, tea lady says gidday
Not afraid to let you know, secrets of the day

Lunchtime is a signal for people great or small
Assemble at the front desk to represent us all
Teams are chosen wisely, football teams a must
Lads return victorious to cheers, slaps and hugs

Card players are a serious lot, there is no idle chatter
Game is called 500 and the rules are all that matter

For wobehold the new recruit who joins the old brigade
Who leads back trumps to lose his partner's game
He hangs his head in sorrow, will it ever be the same
Learn by your experience and hang your head in shame

The afternoon drags slowly on; the outpu's just a trickle
Soon aal ther work is done when we hear the knock off whistle
We stand in line in time to sign, our work is truly ended
Goodbye my friend, nostalgia time, that time is now all ended

Muddled or Clear

The modern office reflects the revolution that’s taken place in the past 40 years with personal computers,the internet,e mail and faxes facilities now taken for granted. But 40 years ago communication was largely by letter via the “typing pool” or a personal secretary who took “shorthand”.

Despite theses advances in the speed and flexability of communications I am not convinced the “quality” has improved.

Charles Kovess Australia's Passion Provocateur asks the question IS THE MESSAGE YOU ARE SENDING TO OTHERS MUDDLED OR CLEAR?"I am including the full extract of his news letter here.

Dear Lindsay

A Passion Point to Ponder 6 September 2005.Welcome to the 8th Passion Point for 2005.

Our goal this year with these Passion Points is to provoke you so that your business, and the rest of your life, becomes filled with more passion, performance, and improved balance of mental,physical, and spiritual elements.


"Excuse me, but I couldn't help hearing your English" said the English voice in a foreign restaurant. Or did he say "Excuse me, but I couldn't help hearing you're English"? An English speaking man or an English man?

What a difference a "your" or "you're" can make. Similar sounding words that convey different meanings and, in this case, the difference between communication--when information is received and
understood--and miscommunication.

Miscommunication is usually unintentional, but can be frustrating as well as humorous. Consider the ad that said "Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it." Or the hotel that,in describing its wonderful views, said "Swim in our lovely pool while you drink it all in." Or the ad for the sale of a bed--"Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover." We know what they mean,they just don't say it that way.

In the difference between communication and miscommunication, punctuation plays a significant part. A recent book by UK literary editor, Lynne Truss, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" became, perhaps
surprisingly, a worldwide best seller. Subtitled "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", it was partly promoted by a T-shirt message, the front of which proclaimed "A woman, without her man,is nothing." The back of the shirt displayed "A woman: without her, man is nothing." Clear messages reversed through punctuation.

There is a distinct lack of punctuation in the headline "British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands"; its absence muddling the message.
Is your message muddled, or reversed? What is your clear message to the world? Just as punctuation can make a difference to the message, so can we. Do you want to make a difference? You may need to discover your passion and its message, before your are ready to communicate it, but when you do, the challenge is clear--you can communicate or complicate, and, in that, you, and punctuation, make all the difference.


"Words aren't only bombs and bullets--no, they're little gifts containing meanings." Philip R Roth (1933--), American author.

Do you mean what you say, or does the way you say it confuse?
"Language is the archive of history." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American poet, author and philosopher.

Do your strive for greater things, or simply archive them with your message? To your ongoing development of your passionate performance…

Charles Kovess
Australia's Passion Provocateur ©

Copyright- Charles B. Kovess & David J. Wood of Passionate Performance. Republication welcome provided authors are acknowledged & advised at above address. If you want to see Charles on video, or listen to audio, just go the website and follow the links.Click on the link.

For a list of keynote speech topics that Charles would love to deliver in a passionate, entertaining, provocative, and educational way to your teams, clients, or prospects, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, see below.

All 134 published Passion Points to Ponder are on our website. If you wish to review them, please visit the site. If you wish to receive a list of the 134 titles of the Passion Points please let us know.



Tuesday, September 6

From a Bourke Street Window in Melbourne

I often glance out the window in the foyer of our 13th Floor offices.
Its an interesting view of city traffic streaming in from the freeway emerging from the Westgate Bridge, to the docklands development and Spencer Street Station with its giant roof depicting the sales of a boat, to far off hazy views of Port Phillip Bay dotted with container vessels, add to a pulsating kaleidoscope of city skyline refecting endless activity.

Anthony Toomey from the property insurance area of QBE is a talented photographer and he kindly took these recent pictures from the window in the foyer just before you enter the 13th Floor.
Click on the images to see an enlarged version.
Notice the reflections from the giant roof of the Spencer Stret Rialway Station in the 2nd photo.

My poem is about the drive home from Bourke Street to the quiet Eltham suburb in the North East of Melbourne, a suburb moulded in a softer landscape of rolling hills and valley with a meandering lazy Yarra River.

Burke Street Melbourne to Eltham

Burke Street window, reflect city light- rays
City heart races in many strange ways
Time for journey , lets be off and away
Sufficient is the work for today

Rush to lifts, down 13 floors,
Rush to carpark just up 2 more
Rush to car, seatbelts now in place
Zoom out of car park, cities to face

Wait for roller door, sson out in the lane
Wait for walkers and for light change
Wait for tram, then wait for big buss
Wait for bicycle, don’t make any fuss

A city pulsating, its lights and clatter
A city so busy, for peak hour traffic
A city of sirens , sound sirens of panic
A city of beauty, congested with traffic

Time for traffic snarl, my tempers to hide
Time for good news to banish the blues
Time for sweet music, calm my mind
Time to remind my mind to be kind

I drive throught a city, lights all ablaze
Whine of the engine, din and faint haze
I make a fast move, away from the pack
Away from congestion, there's no turning back

A city pulsating, lights and it's clatter
A city so busy, rush hour traffic
A city that sonds its sirens of panic
a city of beauty congested in traffic

At last I am home, it's quiet at last
Drive in the driveway, work now past
Hello to wife, off to my yearning
Off to writing, thoughts now returning

A city pulsating, light and it's clatter
But now in my nest, my mind is at rest
Its light energy, a reflection for me
Its simply the beast, for my poetry

Tuesday, August 30

Rachael's Next Gig

Rachael performed another of her gigs to an appreciative audience the other night and I am including the lyrics for 2 of her compositions. She was accompanied by Nick Williams on harmonica and Cat on drums. It sounded great.

Behnd the Mask

I have been lured by the mythical
Romantic ideas of the mystical
But I’m far too cynical to believe
But far to dreamy to disagree

I’m a border lining ambivalent fool
I’ll never know the joy of blind faiths rule
Nor do I claim to be an atheist
Devoting my life to the meaningless

This world of belief is a murky stew
Of premature ideas creating a hazy view
Facts, myths, faith entwine in a false cacoon
And fear breeds behind the mask of truth

This is the hardest place to be
No framework for me to follow blindly
Just a vague sense of what to do
A whisper, a nudge, a will to pursue

Sitting on the fence, it can be hell
But I wont sit in an ignorant cell
Instead I follow a rich tapestry
Of catch 22’s & duality

I have been lured by the mythical
Romantic ideas of the mystical
But I’m far too cynical to believe
But far to dreamy to disagree

This world of belief is a murky stew
Of premature ideas creating a hazy view
Facts, myths, faith entwine in a false cacoon
And fear breeds behind the mask of truth

Pyramid program

Starlight star bright first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might, I wish my wish come true tonight
Find me perspective, find me clarity
Find me a will that’s higher than self deceit

Starlight star bright
First star I see tonight

Pyramid structured self improvement program
For $800 your can teach me who I am
But tell me this Mrs break on through
Why do I see so much fear in you?

Your eyes are wide
They’re hypnotised
Your brainwashed confidence
Is just a lie
So starlight star bright
Help me to never fall for this hype

Layer upon layer of purchased pride
You say I don’t know coz I’ve never tried
But I’ve looked up to the stars a million times
And they don’t bill me for their insights

Starlight star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
I wish I could save her from this Pyramid hype

Well I’m sorry if this offends you
But sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth
And surely with your pop psychology
To offence you are immune