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July 2006   

Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
When the mobs took over the streets of Dili it was the people of East Timor that bore the brunt. Elisabeth Lino de Araujo from Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was there to witness what happened.

Unions: Staying Mum
Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.

Economics: Precious Metals
There's a lot of spin around AWAs in the mining industry, but Tony Maher argues all that glitters is not gold.

Industrial: The Cold 100
The Iemma Government has come up with 100 reasons why WorkChoices is a dud, with 100 examples of ripped off workers

History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
This month's Blacktown Rally was not the first time workers had stood up for their rights in the region, writes Andrew Moore.

Legal: Free Agents
Is an independent contractor a small businessperson or a worker? The answer depends upon whether the contractor is genuinely �independent� or not, writes Even Jones.

Politics: Under The Influence
Bob Gould thinks Sonny Bill Williams is a hunk; he reveals all in a left wing view of The Bulletin�s 100 most influential Australians, questioning the relevance of some, and adding a few of his own.

International: How Swede It Was
Geoff Dow pays tribute to the passing of Rudolf Meidner, one of the architects of the Swedish model of capitalism.

Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
These punk rockers are out to KO WorkChoices. Nathan Brown joins the fray.


The Soapbox
Work Choice: US Military Style
John Howard has learnt a few lessons on workers rights from his Texan buddy, writes Rowan Cahill.

Westie Wing
As Pru Goward slams into the glass ceiling of the NSW Liberal Party, Ian West considers how women are faring under the Howard-Costello Government.

The Locker Room
A World Away
Phil Doyle is pleased that a display of subtle beauty and athletic grace has been overtaken by some good old-fashioned mindless violence


The Power of Ones
Lorissa Sevens is no shrinking violet; she had mown down attackers for her nation playing defence for the Matildas. But even this sort of toughness means nothing in the face of WorkChoices.


 Jihad Johnny Targets Perth

 Rio Sets Up Own Goal

 Telstra Fails to Snag Protest

 AWAs Bucket Queenslanders

 Kev Gives Aussies the Finger

 Movie Blue: Win-Win for Critics

 Wage Cut Scam Legal

 Hardie Boss Takes 60 Percent Rise

 The Stack Goes On

 Boss Opens Door For Thieves

 Hendy Banks on Mass Amnesia

 Eisteddfod Win: Your Rock At Work

 Airline Crashes Into Paypackets

 Canucks Can BHP

 Activist's What's On!

 Oz Hails Sun King
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Staying Mum

Penrith mums, Linda Everingham and Jo Jacobson, are at the heart of a grassroots campaign to boot Jackie Kelly, out of federal parliament. Jim Marr caught up with one half of the sister act.


Penrith is about footy, flannies and ugh boots - just ask anyone from the inner city.

Linda Everingham spent a decade fighting bogan branding. The last thing she expected when she returned home, was to hear it recycled, repeatedly, by her elected representative.

Everingham winced when MP, Jackie Kelly, presented the Prime Minister with a black t-shirt inscribed "Penriff".

"Pram city" was a Kellyism the single mother of two could live with but not her MP's assertion that Penrith people didn't give a rats about university education.

"It's my biggest regret, not going to uni," Everingham said. "If my son or daughter showed any interest, at all, I would do everything to get them there.'

It was those kids - soccer nut Jarrod, 6, and budding ballerina, Alana, 5, that transformed the local MP from a mild irritation to an inspiration.

And it was WorkChoices that did the trick.

The Nepean Hospital emergency department admin clerk, relies on penalty rates to keep her children fed and clothed.

"They cost big," she explained. "I have really struggled this year, especially with the price of petrol.

"If it wasn't for penalty rates I don't know if they could still play sport or do their dancing. Apparently, those things are luxuries for my kids."

Last year, when the ACTU organised a Sky Channel hook-up to protest the WorkChoices assault on living standards, Everingham rocked up to the Penrith RSL with her sister, Jo Jacobson.

She calls Jo her "rock", the steady one, the childcare worker, who is always there to fall back on.

Her kids, and Jo's two-year-old, Isabella, are growing up together.

The mums are so worried about the Kelly gang's recipe for their futures that they decided to do something about it.

Everingham and Jacobson joined the Lindsay Campaign Committee, dedicated to pushing their MP towards a new career.

In the space of seven months it has grown to around 60 active participants and spawned offshoots under Futures For Our Kids, Working Families and Retirees banners.

The Lindsay committee has grabbed headlines in the local press for efforts around WorkChoices, education and other local concerns.

It has put the acid on politicians, winning personal assurances from senior state government Minister John Della Bosca.

Members hoped to draw 500 people to a Union Picnic Day on Queens Birthday Weekend and were encouraged when more than 800 turned up.

They included Penrith halfback, Craig Gower - who talked about the need to support the campaign - and his wife, the Footy Show's Lady Luck.

Everingham has also been charged with getting up a sub-group at Nepean Hospital, the biggest workplace in the electorate, accounting for something like 3400 employees.

Over coffee, in Penrith's High Street, she confessed to some doubts.

"A lot of people still think they will be safe but, really, their protections are quite fragile and I don't know how to get that across," she said.

"The hospital is a good place to work, especially for parents. If there's something I need to go to at school, I can usually fit it in.

"But, if the Liberals win the next state election, they have already said they will hand control over to Canberra."

For the sisters, it's partly about reclaiming the Penrith they grew up in, or at least the values they learned there.

Linda and Jo spent their childhood in Gascoigne St before Glenmore Park, and its McMansions, were even a gleam in a developer's eye.

"It was a good place to grow up, a safe place and we felt we had a future," she said. "It's not the same now, there won't be any safety net for our kids.

"It's not just about IR, this is about what is happening to our society because these people are changing the whole basis of what it means to be Australian."

In her 20s, she and a girlfriend, spent three weeks driving across Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California.

She calls it her Thelma and Louise period.

"It was beautiful, great fun, but I don't want my kids growing up in an American-style society," Everingham says.

"Back then, I wasn't going to get married or have children but I met a local boy and had a couple of kids. When you have children you need your family around, so here we are.

"It's good to be back home but if we work together we can make it even better. That's what I learned growing up here."

Everingham came from a family that talked politics, Labour politics, as Penrith families traditionally did.

She remembers heartache and joy, at Gascoigne St, over events like The Dismissal and Bob Hawke's election.

But she has never joined a political party and doesn't intend to, which spikes speculation from some qaurters, that she might be the woman to go toe to toe with Queensland-raised solicitor, Kelly.

"Imagine going to Canberra," Everingham says, "I would never see my kids then. I will support the right person but it won't be me and that's for sure."


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