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Year End 2005   
F E A T U R E S

Interview: Back to the Future
James Gallaway collars Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, on threats, challenges and opportunities.

Unions: A Real Page Turner
Jim Marr glances through Workers Online’s 2005 news stories and finds there is more one way to skin a Rat

Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
Rachael Osman-Chin profiles a white collar union that is having some almighty blues.

International: Around The World In 365 Days
It was a year of online activism, as LabourStart's Eric Lee reports

Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Jim Marr tackles a champion.

Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
The Your Rights At Work campaign has been a big part of this year and, as Phil Doyle reports, it is making a difference.

Politics: The Year That Was
Frank Stillwell looks at year that saw the politics of fear; and finds many reasons to be very afraid.

Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Evan Jones asks if the Neo Liberals are taking us back to the future

Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Nathan Brown ignores Oasis and decides to look back in anger after all

Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Nathan Brown digs through his voluminous dirt files and comes up with the top 10 grubs of the year.

Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
James Gallaway on the Way, the Truth and life according to Brian.

C O L U M N S

Predictions
The Crystal Ball
Workers Online consults a raft of leading psychics to find out what readers can look forward to in 2006.

The Soapbox
The Things People Say
It was a year of quotable quotes, reports Phil Doyle.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Ian West checks the rear vision mirror on 2005, and plants his foot down

The Locker Room
The 2005 Workers Online Sports Awards
After years of being overlooked by selectors at club, representative and national levels, Phil Doyle and Jim Marr, agreed to hand out our 2005 sports gongs.

Postcard
Postcard from East Timor
In East Timor entertainment also spreads an important message into the community

E D I T O R I A L

Waves of Destruction
2005 was the year book-ended by two waves of destruction - the first causing untold suffering across the Indian Ocean; the second reawakening our darker angels on beaches closer to home.

N E W S

 Melbourne Burns AWAs

 Corporates Defend Costello

 Speaker Won't Talk

 Bank Pays on Dodgy Contracts

 Plan to Save Jobs

 Harper's Bizarre Excuse for Failure

 It's Not Fair: Business

 Workers Walk As Warnings Wiped

 Teenager Hit With Shrapnel

 Pay Day “Unlawful”

 Tassie Rail Win

 Professionals Fear for Their Kids

 Boss Pings Rorters Charter

 New Ways to Take a Share

 An Hour of Need

 Boeing Steals Christmas

 Trouble at the Mill

 Activists What's On

L E T T E R S
 Pension Pinching
 Free to Rat
 Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
 Proportion, Not Distortion
 Corp That!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Postcard

Postcard from East Timor


In East Timor entertainment also spreads an important message into the community

The eager audience waits patiently in the Maubara marketplace for the performance to start. The marketplace, with its simple thatched roof over a raised patch of stony ground, has turned into a theatre tonight. East Timorese of all ages, numbering close to 600 take up their seats. The children prop themselves up the front, as close to the action as possible. It is dark and young actors scrounge for masks, props, make-up and costumes backstage. The portable generator kicks into action and the performance begins.

The audience breaks into fits of laughter every time the actor who plays the prostitute character comes onto the stage. During other scenes the children lean forward and listen intently to the dialogue and at one stage when a fight scene is acted out behind a white curtain, the children run around the back to make sure it is not real.

The performance tonight will not only entertain, but will also address issues relating to community development. Important health and social messages are conveyed through drama, combining information with entertainment. Community theatre is a very effective communication tool in a country with high illiteracy rates. Young actors are organising theatre performances like this in different parts of East Timor in venues such as schools, transport terminals and in church grounds.

Tonight's performance is proving to be a great hit with the audience. What is most encouraging is that this was made possible through the support of Australian workers who contribute their hard earned dollars to development projects managed by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA. This performance is the result of a partnership between APHEDA and a committee of local theatre workers called the Expressional Arts Project (EAP). The success of this scheme has led other international donors to also use community theatre to educate the local people on such issues as domestic violence, child abuse, workers rights, etc in East Timor.

In August, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA organised a weeklong retreat called 'Opening the Curtains to Theatre in East Timor' (Loke Kurtina ba Teatru Iha Timor Leste). Fifty five East Timorese theatre artistes, aged sixteen to twenty-five, gathered with five professional Australian theatre artistes and other local theatre tutors for an intensive week of reviewing past performances. They also shared skills and developed strategies for the future.

As the night falls and the performance comes to an end, the young actors are given rapturous applause. The audience has been thoroughly entertained and in between the belly laughs, the important messages have been imparted. The people in Maubara will be talking about this event for some time to come.


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