Fresh focus on grammar will boost career options

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Whereas it’s not against the law to ask about one’s nation of origin, the query is: how typically are white Anglo-Saxon folks requested the identical query? I’m guessing not often. Ashley Berry, Toolijooa

A strange new world: Italian migrants arriving in Australia.

A wierd new world: Italian migrants arriving in Australia.Credit score:Employees photographer

I used to be first requested the place I used to be from within the early ’90s, by a fellow mother or father at my son’s college. I informed her I grew up in Collaroy, intrigued by why this lady with a Portuguese accent needed to know this banal data. “No,” she continued, “the place did your folks come from?” No one had ever requested me this earlier than. For it appears the lot of the Australian is to feign a way of belonging in a rustic the place, other than the Indigenous folks, we now have all come from someplace else; and the query about our origins shouldn’t be seen as a supply of offence, however slightly appreciation for somebody’s curiosity and curiosity in us. Lyndall Nelson, Goulburn

To keep away from giving offence, I’ll politely ask: “What’s your ancestry?” There’s no must assume that simply because somebody is a special shade, Australia isn’t their birthplace and residential. Richard Abram, Bexley

With the identify Pasquale, I’m typically requested, “What nationality is that?” I reply, “Irish.” Some proceed, “Which county?” I proudly reply, “County Calabria.” Pasquale Vartuli, Wahroonga

In making an attempt to be pleasant in direction of strangers, once I’m in a taxi if it appears to be like as if the driving force is from abroad by their accent or, sure, their pores and skin color, I’ll often attempt to have interaction in some form of geographical dialog. The motive force has often been delighted to speak. Subsequently, I’ve learnt rather a lot about Sikhism, how Bangladesh happened, and the actual motive for political instability in Pakistan. It now appears as if I’ve been behaving as a racist all these years, and I’ve obtained the message. Any more, all conversations can be in regards to the climate. Ross MacPherson, Seaforth

Authorities’s ferry unhealthy concepts

How farcical that the federal government company Transport for NSW has to rent a non-public engineering agency to inform it whether or not Transdev, its non-public ferry operator, is aware of what it’s doing about repeated failures of Chinese language-built ferries (“Extent of steering faults uncovered”, December 5). That is hands-off authorities gone to dysfunctional excessive. How about we now have engineers completely employed by the federal government who can impartially declare {that a} contractor is unfit to run the ferries, then eliminate the non-public operator and run the ferries correctly? Perhaps, even, we construct the ferries right here, so the builders’ authorized accountability is throughout the similar jurisdiction because the homeowners and operators? Barry Laing, Citadel Cove

To lift funds to construct new ferries that work, why not run a tontine? Punters might vote on which overseas-built ferry would be the final to be pulled from service. Because the pool diminishes, it might grow to be very thrilling, so long as you aren’t a passenger on a Manly run when the steering cuts out and you find yourself on North Head. Nola Tucker, Kiama

Gough the Nice

As a former Liberal authorities minister, is George Brandis essentially the most goal individual to be critiquing Whitlam’s legacy (“Was Gough Whitlam an awesome man?”, December 5)? Whitlam believed the position of presidency must be “to scale back worry, not elevate it”, and strove to scale back the worry of unemployment, poverty in previous age, the price of obligatory well being remedy and the worry of instructional drawback. His authorities ended conscription, withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam, carried out equal pay for ladies, established a separate ministry for Aboriginal Affairs and instituted Aboriginal Land Rights, established Medibank (which Fraser tried to revoke), elevated pensions, abolished tertiary schooling charges, handed the Household Regulation act with no-fault divorce, handed legal guidelines banning racial and sexual discrimination, and launched One-Vote-One-Worth to democratise the electoral system, to call a number of of his large achievements. Generations of Australians have benefited and nonetheless profit from his quick time in workplace; he achieved extra progressive, social change in three years than successive Conservative governments have in a long time. Alan Marel, North Curl Curl

Gough Whitlam on the Great Wall of China in 1971.

Gough Whitlam on the Nice Wall of China in 1971.

No matter prime minister, the curse of the Timorese folks is definitely to have been so geographically near Australia. An enchanting sequel to George Brandis’ opinion piece can be a dissection of the avaricious Australian espionage in opposition to the Timorese in 2004 and its attendant greed, lies, sleight of hand and cowardice. Gough’s “tepid” method to the Indonesian invasion set in practice 24 years of Australian complicity in Timor’s struggling, culminating within the shame of the spying. Abnormal Australians proceed to replicate on the historical past and are grateful that our small and really shut neighbour is so magnanimous. Susan Connelly, Lakemba

Sympathetic listening to

Sean Kelly has demonstrated over time that he’s an astute journalist who has a coronary heart (“Ought to we really feel sorry for pollies?“, December 5). Politicians are folks and have a few of the similar wants and desires as different folks, however can be judged by their phrases and actions, as are all of us. Sean, it’s OK to have just a little sympathy for somebody like Morrison however that doesn’t excuse what he has carried out. His “mates” within the Coalition solely supported him within the censure movement as a result of to do the proper factor would have proven their very own culpability. To reply the query, we must always solely really feel sorry for politicians when they’re handled badly for doing the proper factor. Geoff Nilon, Mascot

Sean Kelly is true. Expertise can mould folks, however in numerous methods. Anthony Albanese appears to have turned his upbringing right into a social conscience. He might equally have turned it into scorn for many who can’t rise above their humble beginnings. Change into a believer within the dog-eat-dog world. Scott Morrison appears to have picked up the infallibility a part of faith. The blind religion unchallengeable by motive. Happily, it was so blatant that folks noticed it and rejected it. Neville Turbit, Russell Lea

Flash within the pan?

My blended Sydney Trendy expertise on the weekend tallies with John McDonald’s first impressions (“The Trendy Age”, December 3), however equally disappointing was his rating of the AGNSW assortment as fourth in Australia, regardless of the constructing doubling in dimension. Maybe there’s reality within the cliche about dimension and high quality, and it begs questions on our gallery’s humble place after 150 years within the nation’s oldest and wealthiest state capital. Flashy new buildings and installations are one factor however, like firework shows, they shortly fade alongside Shirley Hazzard’s phrases, “Artwork is the one afterlife of which we now have proof.” Right here’s hoping we’ll really feel this manner at Sydney Trendy over the subsequent 20 years. Peter Farmer, Northbridge

Sydney Modern Museum

Sydney Trendy MuseumCredit score:Flavio Brancaleone

What an ideal description your correspondent (Letters, December 5) has given of her underwhelmed response to the brand new Sydney Trendy gallery. Approaching from the gardens, one is first confronted by an enormous financial institution of fireside extinguisher/hydrant shops – perhaps it’s an “artwork set up”? – adopted by a constructing that resembles a regional airport or, at finest, a Nineteen Seventies suburban council chambers. It’s removed from making an attempt or attaining any Utzon/Gehry wow issue, and this location cries out for it to generate such an preliminary response. I suppose we’ll get used to it, identical to the weekly go to to a buying centre. Greg Vale, Kiama

Impartial research

The information exhibits your probabilities of successful a recognition competitors are best in case your opponents are Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce (“Professional-teal vote sharply anti-Coalition”, December 5). Was there actually a necessity for a research? Lyn Savage, Coogee

Inter-net service

The “lived expertise” (Letters, December 5) that make me giggle is the “live-streaming” of funerals. Know-how or not – the lifeless stay lifeless. Judith Fleming, Sawtell

Clown prince?

Will Netflix categorise the Harry and Meghan docuseries (“Sussex v Windsor missile incoming”, December 5) as a comedy? Margaret McCabe, Bawley Level

Phrases and knowledge

Letter writers are such superb educators. One other phrase so as to add to my literary information: scotoma (Letters, December 5). Sally Spurr, Lane Cove

Final dance for Sykes

Bravo, Jill Sykes (“Urgency of younger love lives on”, December 5). Take a bow. A half century of reviewing dance is worthy of a standing ovation. Sarah Johnson, Sandy Bay (Tas)

Oh, no! Who will make me take into consideration dance now? Philip Smith, Waterloo

The digital view
On-line remark from one of many tales that attracted essentially the most reader suggestions yesterday on smh.com.au
Excessive variety of steering failures involving new Manly ferries revealed
From Elyahu: ″⁣Getting these boat, trains and trams constructed abroad was supposed to economize. All have had critical issues that has elevated their value considerably. Additionally, how a lot tax do the builders of this stuff pay in Australia? How a lot cash do the employees who constructed them spend to enhance the Australian financial system? These transport objects usually are not low-cost and are costing us all large time. They need to all be constructed right here.″⁣

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