Author: Lyn Bender

  • ENVIRONMENT

    The boat people from paradise lost

    • Lyn Bender
    • 23 April 2016
    7 Comments

    Ursula Rakova told how the sea that had been the friend of her people, was turning against them. It had crashed through and divided her island in two. Coconut palms were collapsing at the new shoreline. Food gardens were lost, as the soil was increasingly rendered infertile by salty tides that washed over them. The land that had been handed from grandmother to daughter, would bequeath no legacy to the granddaughters. The homeland of generations was disappearing before their eyes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    New radicalisation on display at fundraiser protest

    • Lyn Bender
    • 13 April 2016
    27 Comments

    The chants were thunderous and sustained, as the suited and elegantly coiffed guests began to arrive for the Liberal Party fundraiser at Docklands. Initially there did not seem to be a significant police presence, as if the need for security was not considered high. As the chanting rose to a crescendo, chaos ensued. The mounted police arrived; but there seemed no plan of crowd control. It was a small protest but it was locked into a contained area with only one entrance. Then the wounded started to emerge.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Hope lies beyond latest climate shock therapy

    • Lyn Bender
    • 09 February 2016
    11 Comments

    News about climate change can be depressing. But it was downright shocking to learn that budget cuts to CSIRO have led to the decimation of the agency's climate science. Australia is one of the worst global emitters, yet Australian citizens have outsourced responsibility for climate protection, as they have for refugees. The ease of bipartisan agreement on such crucial dilemmas confirms the point. A dormant electorate creates a negligent, sleeping, self-satisfied and corrupt government.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are shaped by how we choose to view violent crimes

    • Lyn Bender
    • 18 January 2016
    18 Comments

    In the early hours of a brand new year, two small boys had their lives extinguished by a purportedly depressed father. For me this event brought to mind two cases from a past life, when I was the manager of Melbourne Lifeline. One was a woman who disclosed that she had killed her two small children a decade earlier. In a second case, a belligerent suicidal man expressed rage towards his former partner, who was about to remarry. I asked pertinent questions. Would he harm his children? 'Yes.'

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    I am Gaza, I am bleeding

    • Lyn Bender
    • 15 August 2014
    9 Comments

    In the last month, an estimated 2000 Palestinians including 400 children have been killed and 10,000 injured.  Much of Gaza is reduced to rubble and rendered uninhabitable. It was a 30 degree day in Gaza as our small band of around 20 kept vigil in the cold night rain at Melbourne’s Federation Square. A Muslim girl recited a poem, ‘I am Gaza I have a dagger in my heart. I am bleeding’.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's asylum seeker holocaust

    • Lyn Bender
    • 18 March 2014
    37 Comments

    The BBC's John Humphrys admonished Julie Bishop over the Coalition Government's off-shore processing centres, which he said 'have been described as 'breeding grounds for rape, riots, malaria and mental illness, that bear the look of concentration camps'. Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest survivor of the Holocaust, died recently in London. Her story contains salient lessons for Australia's border protection regime.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    How to cope with climate change grief

    • Lyn Bender
    • 03 March 2014
    24 Comments

    I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust and have spent years in therapy coming to terms with the murder of my relatives and the destruction my parents' world. I now find myself confronting a future potential holocaust of gigantic proportions. Al Gore has warned us of the danger of moving from denial to despair, while omitting hopeful or determined action. Our only hope is to face the reality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Crying chairs' cold comfort for refugees

    • Lyn Bender
    • 24 July 2013
    5 Comments

    I watched the 'crying chairs' from my psychology clinic disappear into the truck. Many people over the years had nestled in one of those voluminous chairs and wept, whispered, or shouted their rage, sorrow and despair. Now it was time to leave my counselling office so I surrendered my sturdy armchairs for a greater good.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Roman Polanski and the chain of abuse

    • Lyn Bender
    • 12 March 2013
    15 Comments

    In 2009 I wrote an article examining the suffering of Polanski, the acclaimed filmmaker who was wanted on a rape charge he'd pled guilty to 30 years ago. I soon discovered how cruel an online lynch mob can be. Some commentators wished rape upon me, so that I might know how bad it was. The truth is I was already 'in the club'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2012: My brush with Israeli militarism

    • Lyn Bender
    • 11 January 2013
    5 Comments

    Aged 18, during a period of great personal confusion, I considered volunteering for the Israeli Army. I had been indoctrinated within a community of holocaust survivors who had latched onto militant Zionism as a means to reclaim Jewish pride and safety. In the early adulthood when the brain is not fully matured, youth is particularly vulnerable to being captivated by idealism. Monday 10 December 

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Practical solutions to climate despair

    • Lyn Bender
    • 13 December 2012
    21 Comments

    The Doha climate talks have come and gone, and it is all business as usual. Actually, it is full steam ahead with coal, despite dire warnings from the World Bank that if we don't turn down the heat we face clear threats to our great god, The Economy. While denial and despair are tempting options at this point, there are healthier ways to respond.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My brush with Israeli militarism

    • Lyn Bender
    • 10 December 2012
    14 Comments

    Aged 18, during a period of great personal confusion, I considered volunteering for the Israeli Army. I had been indoctrinated within a community of holocaust survivors who had latched onto militant Zionism as a means to reclaim Jewish pride and safety. In the early adulthood when the brain is not fully matured, youth is particularly vulnerable to being captivated by idealism.

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