Promises for better education facilities by Victorian government and opposition will be put to test in the upcoming elections.
Victoria is the lowest funded state with regards to education and the Government promises to modernise every government school within the next ten years.
Australian Education Union President, Mary Bluett said there needs to be “significant reinvestment for secondary provision” as more resources have been put into primary schools in the previous elections.
Bluett said there are reasons for a higher proportion of students educated in government primary schools compared to government secondary schools and Government should “further research on why parents are choosing to send their children to non-government schools.”
Proportion of students in Government and non-Government schools.
She urges both parties to make significant reinvestment in secondary education to support students with behavioural and emotional issues and those with disabilities.
Bluett said she is a committed visionary and has been successful in making efforts in “lobbying her cabinet colleagues to get that agenda requiring additional resources”.
She thinks it would be an enormous loss if Minister Bronwyn Pike losses her seat in the upcoming elections.
Water experts believe that the Government panicked and decided to build a desalination plant and pipeline to counter scanty rainfall.
In spring of 2006, the fall of rain was only 100 of the usual 600 billion litres.
According to Sustainable Water Use Expert, Dr Grace Mitchell, the desalination plant is energy intensive and will impact the environment negatively.
CEO of Environment Victoria, Kelly O’Shanassy said, “there has been scientific analysis on all our large rivers in Victoria. They found that all our large rivers don’t have enough water in them to meet the basic level of health they need”.
“I do recognised that they are committed to securing water for consumers but if you don’t have a healthy river, you can’t have a secure water supply for consumers”, said O’Shanassy.
Both Mitchell and O’Shanassy believe that a better alternative would be to recycle water.
“Recycled water is less energy intensive, it’s cheaper than desalination water and you don’t need an ocean right next to you”, said O’Shanassy.
Sugarloaf Pipeline and Wonthaggi Desalination plant
Experts have stated that Victorian public transport has a two tier network – frequent service which are overcrowded and infrequent services that are unpopular.
Government has invested in 38 new trains to decrease overloading issues.
Chair of Public Transport Monash University, Professor Graham Currie said that train loadings during peak hours are “40 per cent higher than it should be” and 38 new trains is essential to keep up with the increase of public transport patrons.
“We are going to spend two billion dollars to get us nowhere”, said Professor Currie.
Public Transport Users’ Association President, Daniel Bowen says that buses do not encourage citizens to avoid using cars. Car parks in Chadstone Shopping Mall and Monash University Clayton are usually full during the weekends due to inadequate public transport services.
“Government needs to make more of a priority on buses in suburban areas for better accessibility”, Bowen said.
Melbourne has the largest tram system in the world. Professor Currie says that “we don’t really have light rails, we have street cars. We put three and a half to five million dollar vehicles in the middle of a traffic queue”.
He suggests that certain roads such as High Street, Victora Parade and Toorak Road should be closed for exclusive tram use to reduce traffic congestion.
The Government has announced that there will be 50 new trams in the coming months.
Sub-standard accommodation in Delhi has caused former Australian swimming star, Sarah Hudson to question their participation in the Unity Games.
The games, that will commence on October 3rd in New Delhi was planned to have 34 residential towers, of which only 18 are complete.
Security around the village is slowing and complicating the completion of the village.
Delegates from New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland described the condition as “unlivable” and objected letting athletes stay there.
Unity Games Federation President, Mark Leak held a press conference this morning in London stating that “the condition of their accommodation is deplorable”.
Leak said that athletes deserve better living conditions to prepare for their competition.
Australian swimming coach ,Jim Spence said that, “further inspection has revealed some issues with plumbing, wiring, internet access and mobile phone coverage”.
The Unity Games is one month away and residential towers are “not yet ready” for athlete arrival.
Former Australian swimmer, Sarah Hudson said doubts the commencement of the games as poor accommodation will affect athletes health and put their efforts to waste.
Mark Leak has written to Indian Government imploring immediate action.
I don’t think I’m supposed to feel the way I feel right now.
Set free, right? If I’m set free, why do I feel the way I do right now? Must it feel so burdensome whenever I step into that place?
Maybe, I’m too sensitive.
Maybe, I’m thinking too much.
Maybe, there’s something wrong with me instead.
But no. I’ve tried to look at it from a different perspective. And I’ve tried being.. Less sensitive? Ha. Haha.
Expectations, expectations. Who made this word?
Revolution Conference (June 4th-6th)
Woah. It’s been *insert something indescribable* for the past few days. It wasn’t just any altar call, it wasn’t just another emotional moment but really, it was God showing up. I’ve been blessed beyond words : with the most wonderful Church members, imperfect (because we’re all humans ma hor?) leaders who mean the best for me (I couldn’t ask for anything better. =) ) and above all, the love of my Lord Jesus.
Before I stood up to answer to the altar call initiated by Pr. Sam, I felt my conscience (there’s no good conscience without the Holy Spirit) say to me,
“Is this gonna be just like those altar call?”
“Where you feel an emotional encounter with God which dies off after a few days?”
“Will you still stand up and kneel before God if your mum was beside you?”
And I think, yes. I would. Just as Boon Wei has said, there’s nothing bigger than my God. Nothing.
While I was there, questions started pouring in again.
“If you really still be kneeling here if your classmates were before you?”
“Will you still continue to sit in class and tolerate your classmates or turn around to tell them that what they are doing is displeasing in the eyes of God?”
“Are you going to be driven by the consequences you face? Or rather, driven just because you love God and them so much?”
“How big is your God? Bigger than your insecurities?”
“Are you going to live ‘faithful’ to God and yet, keep those habits?”
I had enough of living in fear. And that Friday, was really the day I gave my life to Jesus. My life just wasn’t mine anymore.
This wasn’t just the usual ‘touch n go’ conference. It was one where I believe, the whole Church just had one thought, one purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10) and that is to live a life not by ourselves but by God. To do something radical not by our own strength and wisdom but with God‘s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
Sunday (7th June)
Elder Kien Yiak was sharing this message from the passage of 2 Samuel 13. It was about how Amnon, son of King David, forced his blood sister, Tamar to bed with him. He seek the advice of his friend Jonadab which suggested for Amnon to lie in bed sick while he(Amnon) ate of of Tamor’s hand. Now here are a few facts that will get you scratching your head (just like how I did).
Amnon‘s name means ‘faithful’
Jonadab‘s name means ‘wise’
Firstly, Amnon didn’t deal with this lustful desire of his. And in time, his faithfulness turned into tiredness. If we don’t deal with the issues in our life, we become tired and begin to dwell in the pursuits/desires of the flesh. Just like how Amnon, didn’t deal with this issue in his life.
Amnon, instead of going to King David for advice, went to Jonadab for advice. Just like how we seek men’s wisdom (yes now we know why he’s named ‘wise’), instead of God. Why? Because we want to hear the answers we want to hear. Elder told us that whoever you open up your life to has a big impact on you. Yes because of the advice they may give you but also because of the very fact that you chose to open up(entrust) that person with whatsoever.
You know sometimes, I get tired so easily. Not because I’ve ran 84km, did any bungee-jumping or had an average of 135 minutes of sleep a day. But simply because I never deal with that part of my life. And whenever I think about ‘getting out of it’, I feel so ‘tired’ because I am thinking about how I would overcome it with my strength. Then Elder went on saying, “You think you can manage your sins? You think you can allow that one part of your life to be the way it is? But fact is, that area of your life will continue to come back and haunt you.”
And that’s so true. I realized that I’ve always had this issue that I’ve never dealt with for 12 years. And there are days where I don’t ‘do this thing’(no it’s nothing to do with porn) and think that I’ve finally overcame it. But really, I haven’t dealt with it yet! I may have forgotten it but I didn’t go through the process of getting rid of it. For example, you can dream about exercise. But nothing really happens until you actually do it. There’s more beyond listening to the message. There’s applying it. Let’s not look at other people’s problems anymore. But really at ourselves.
What we fail to deal with will overthrow us in life sooner or later. Example, after the exams, you might feel the sense of urgency and zeal to study and to think of it, these are pure emotions. Sooner or later, we’ll slack back into laziness. Because we cannot rely on emotions. Let’s offer ourselves to God. Your thoughts, our emotions, our body. Everything.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God‘s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God‘s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
It’s an irony how King David got angry when he found out about Amnon and Tamar but he never did anything about it. He just stayed angry. He did not deal with the things closest to his heart (family). And many times, we don’t deal with things that are close to our hearts. I believe that when there’s a real God, there’s also a real devil. So, yeah I’m sure you get what I mean. =)
I really felt God speak directly to me on Sunday and I don’t wanna rely on me anymore. Because I’m just all the strength I have. But today, I wanna live and commit everything to the Lord. I know it won’t be easy, (if it is it won’t be called a challenge)I know that the way to eternity is narrow but let’s do it.
Monday (8th June)
Today in prayer meeting, I shared about what Deacon David shared during the breakout session. About how it is biblical to be radical. Six people turned up for prayer and I was just reminded by what Pastor Andy said. If 100 people turned up, it would have been a testimonial. But there are those days when you’re alone or with one or two other people and this is when God wants to know if we’ll still go on and I believe that this, is then really a testimonial. We praise God for quantity. We praise God even more for quality because where there is quality, there is quantity (in time).
I’ve never been so calm while sharing and I really thank God for that because pastor has been declaring boldness over my life. I felt that the people’s heart just stirred even as God spoke through me and that truly awesome. Prayer meeting went on till 8.10am and yes classes have started. When I went back to class, my Legal Studies lecturer, Mr David was there already. I felt, somehow, that it was God‘s will that I was late.
Mr David, “Ann Ee? Where were you?”
Me, *whispering to myself* “Prayer meeting..”
Him, “Pre.. What?”
Me, “Prayer meeting.” ><
Him, “What? Can you speak louder?” YES I WAS SO SCARED.
Me, “Prayer meeting!” (I think it came out in a squeak or something)
Him, “Oh there’s prayer meeting? Wow. Where?”
And wow he sounded like he wants to come. And he didn’t scold me for coming in late! And all my results came in today and I was again amazed by God. My results were better than expected and I was really encouraged by my teachers. My Accounts teacher told me that she tried her best to give me as many marks as possible and this nearly moved me to tears because she used to scold the class everyday. My English teacher wrote on my paper, “Incomplete but well written” and I honestly thought that I did reaaaalllly badly and she told me not to be discouraged. And lol my Math teacher hahaha. He so funny la. “Ann Ee! What happened?” Eek yeah I need to work harder! My results weren’t good but really, God came again.
God has answered two very personal prayers of mine today! I wasn’t expecting it at all and I really wanna give all the glory to God for it.
Currently, the CF has a guitar and two singers during worship. During my break, I was at ECA (Student Centre) with Daniel Shin and suddenly, I just asked him whether he played the drums. AND COME TO THINK OF IT. We DO have a drum set sitting in Darren Lau’s house. So, there will be drums this week in CF! And then Joshua Song suddenly remembered that there’s a piano at The Hub and tomorrow, he’ll be getting permission through JK from Elder if we can borrow it for CF! Wow this has never happened before.
Almost 10 of my classmates and 2 of my lecturers are coming for CF this week! This is just crazy cause it’s normally just 3 of us and wow. Also, Albert Ling will be sharing in prayer meeting this Wednesday and Ronson next Wednesday! Praise the Lord! Pastor Andy will be speaking in CF this Friday as well!!
Shaun and I have finally found a way to publicize the CF! In student portal, they have all the students email addresses there so nyahaha. =D
Although there are so much to rejoice about now, I’m reminded of what Bill Clinton said years ago. In time of peace, prepare for war. Because in these times, the devil will want to drag everything down. So yeah let’s put on the armor of Christ and stand firm!
HOLIDAY WOOOHOOO. Yes I just finished my mid-term examination a week ago and now.. I have two weeks of holiday! Time to resolute!
I realised (yes through personal experience and observation) that sometimes, when we go through tough situations, we tend to complain and ask the usual, “God! I’ve been so good to you. Why do bad things happen to me? Why?”
Very recently, I myself asked the same question and it’s very funny la. I’m just reminded that..
WHO SAID CHALLENGES WERE BAD + EVIL + NOT GOOD FOR YOU? HUH? HUH?! Lol.
Hmm yes that was a good smack for me. Veli good. Echoing the Tailor (which is God) from The Tailor Made Man play from ACTS Church, “Joseph. Do not confuse comfort and goodness.”
And it’s so true. We’ve never been through pain and discomfort that whenever we go through it, we whine and fuss and buzz and whatnot. I believe very much that God allows us to go through many things and He knows what’s best for us. If you (speaking in general) were to deny that He knows best, I suppose you know better? I suppose you want run your own life, bump into the things you want to bump into and go through things you want to go through? Sure life will be “fantastic” for you if you were the author of it all but ever heard of the butterfly effect? If you change one thing, it’s gonna lead to a thousand things. Just like how the flapping of a single butterfly’s wings is an effect of a deadly tornado.
So, hang in there! =) It is an honour that God allows us to go through things we go through. (it’s how you go through it that makes a difference) Because the only reason why it is even happening to you is because He KNOWS you can take it. Because He‘s ever ready to equip you.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
A quote from Brandon Vetter’s blog. Do google him up because he’s a good read.
Athletes understand this. We do not become physically fit through exercises that do not have us sweating and pushing us beyond our limits. We do not lose weight by doing the same things we’ve always done. It involves a lot of sweat, lifestyle changes, endurance and discipline. We are designed to grow through struggle and challenge and our faith is no different.
God‘s only a call away.