This ship and its sister ships were built in the first decade or two of the twentieth century in a last ditch attempt to match steam power. They eked out an existence until 1949 running grain between Port Victoria in South Australia and the Aland Islands of Finland. These are remarkable things non? The tallest of the ships had to lower their masts to pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This Hindsight doco starts a little slowly, but the story of the grain racing round Cape Horn is just gripping. Undermanned, and battered by rain, hail and blizzards these things made their way from South Australia, down the west coast of Tassie and into the roaring forties with sailors some of whom began their journey without any training at all. And some had to climb the ropes to the top of the mast in the howling, freezing gale and look out for icebergs!
The Sycamore Tree is a doco from Street Stories on a restorative justice program involving the victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. It’s magnificent. The program runs in WA and is run by a lawyer. The highlight for me (in an ideological sense) was the lawyer’s comment that while he was arguing for the ‘humanisation’ of what the perpetrators had done, he’d have no hesitation in sentencing them. In other words there was no blurring of their responsibility. No hiding behind goody goody excuses about their background etc.
The emotional highlight is the response of the two women – one of whose life had been ruined so comprehensively it is hard to believe. And to bang on about my little obsession du jour, it just shows how fundamental the basic idea of feedback and relationship is to us little humangos. In great trepidation the women confronted and had some human interaction with those who had so cruelly and violently attacked them (or people who stood for their attackers, as they were sexual predators but not the ones that had attacked the women) and remarkable and great things happened. I don’t know about ‘moving on’ and achieving ‘closure’ but a great miracle was worked inside them – and no doubt some good done for the perpetrators. How much is pretty unclear as their stories are not told.