Friday, 3 July 2009

Have Woolies & Coles gone Chinese?

On Thursday night I attended the launch of a photography book by a former work mate about Tibet. Here's one of the book's wonderful photographsClick here to read more about Shane Marden's book child of Tibet - a lost innocence.

After talking about his experience in meeting with the Dalai Lama (who provides a moving forward for the book), Sen Bob Brown's official launch speech, Shane made an emotional speech about the genocide that occurred in Tibet and how China is systematically destroying the Tibetian culture. Yet, China is Australia's major trading partner. They buy our resources.

In essence, China is doing bad things yet we like the money we make from them.

Sounds like how Woolies and Coles/Wesfarmers and many state governments relationship to their pokie revenue. The parallel goes further when you consider that the pokie revenue earned by these institutions is but a small almost insignificant part of their total enterprise like Tibet is to the Chinese nation. They deflect criticism of the harm they are causing and relentlessly move forward to enhance their pokie profits.

By the end of next week I am visiting my daughter in Beijing. I encouraged her to take a 6 month job there. Did I do the wrong thing? I don't think so. Engagement and continued dialogue is always the best way to go. The knowledge gained by her engagement with the Chinese culture can only be of value as her own life unfolds. Ultimately engagement and, by virtue of that engagement, knowledge of Tibet will provide the solution.

Late on Thursday I received a call from Alecia Batten, Team Coordinator - Coles Corporate Affairs. She was seeking confirmation of a meeting time. I asked if she was aware that I have insisted that Coles/Wesfarmers respond to my earlier correspondence most of which resulted from earlier meetings. I asked if she was aware that Mr Hadler had responded. I asked if she had read this blog where I had posted the course of events.

She had not.

Alecia pointed out that there would be benefit in a face to face dialogue. My response was that it is possible that an infant could have died as a result of their failure to respond to my request to place signs in their pokie pub car parks warning about leaving children in cars.

I confirmed my that I would not meet with Mr Hadler until I received a meaningful response. While this stance may run contrary to what I have written above, it seems the only way I can motivate Coles / Wesfarmers to engagement. Failing any substantive response, I am working on a plan to engage Mr Goyder and will post my future steps on Tuesday. I will continue to blog about my progress or lack thereof.

Shane closed his speech about Tibet by talking about the saying that is written on the wall where he met the Dalai Lama:
"Never give up. No matter what is going on."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic work! Kudos to your activism. Keep up the good fight.