Aug 11

Sometime ago I was standing in the kitchen, getting ready to go out for my birthday dinner.  I was listening to the radio as the vote on changing the marriage act to include “between a man and a woman” was finishing up.

I felt devastated.

Sometime ago I watched the live vote on TV on a marriage equality bill and saw Prime Minister Gillard cross the floor and vote with the Liberal party to maintain the marriage act as is.

I felt devastated.

Sometime tonight I watched as the now Prime Minister said that the marriage act was not going to change and he hinted that he would hold a referendum to protect the current act.

I feel devastated.

It’s my birthday this week.

All I want is to be allowed to be married to the love of my life.  The man who I share my life with.

Instead I get rejection.

I’m devastated.

I need your help.



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Aug 11

We’re a couple of lucky uncles!

In Abbey’s last letter to Tony Abbott she makes her final plea to please change the law!

What an amazing young woman she is.  At the age of 8 she seems to have a better grasp of the world and what needs to change than our own leaders do.

What’s really good to know is that the subject of marriage equality is a topic of conversation in her house.    That’s what we need.  People prepared to have the conversation and then to act and do something.

Have you done that?  Made your thoughts known?  Where does your elected representative stand?  Visit the Australian Marriage Equality website and find out, send your own letter today!

If she should ever hear from the PM, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Can’t wait to see what the next move is!

Thanks Abbey for your great efforts!

To Tony Abbott

This is my last letter

I’ve loved writing to you

Gay marriage is what my uncles should have

the right to do 🙂

Please, please change the law 🙂

from Abbey 🙂




Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4  Letter 5 Letter 6

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Aug 10

Abbey knows that she’s just about at the end of her week-long letter writing campaign to the Prime Minister.  She restates just what it is that she’s looking for.

To Tony Abbott

I only have one more letter to you.

I would absolutely love it if you would

change the law about gay marriage.

from Abbey.



Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4  Letter 5 Letter 7

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Aug 10

Up to day 5 and Abbey makes it plain that even at 8 she understands that some people may be afraid of change.

To Tony Abbott

Change is normally for the best.

It’s okay to make a change to laws

and the way you think.

from Abbey

Letter5Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4  Letter 6 Letter 7


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Aug 09

Abbey’s letter writing campaign arrives at day 4.  She reminds the PM that while she understands he may be busy running the country, it’s polite to respond to your correspondence in a timely fashion.

Her question is unchanged.  Will he allow Michael and me, and all others who chose to, to get married in Australia?


To Tony Abbott

this is the 4th letter I am

writing to you about gay


I haven’t had a reply from

you yet so when you have time

Please write back.

I know it’s hard running a


Will you change your mind

about gay marriage?



Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 5 Letter 6 Letter 7

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Aug 08

Abbey is determined to make her point to the PM.  She reminds him today that she will write to him for a week.

Letter 3

To Tony Abbot

I’m just reminding you that

I’m writing to you once a day for a

week because I would like the law

changed.  So that gay people can get


Abbey age 8

Letter3Here is Letter 1 and Letter 2  Letter 4 Letter 5 Letter 6 Letter 7



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Aug 06

Yesterday Abbey wrote her first letter to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and true to her word, my 8-year-old niece has written her second letter.

To Tony Abbott

I would like my uncles to be able to get

married in Australia.

Gay marriage is no different to

any other marriage because its only

about love and nothing else.

I would like the law changed



Age 8

Thanks Abbey.  It is people like you who help change the world!

20140806 Abbey's second letter to Tony Abbott (edited+reduced)
Letter 3 is here Letter 4 Letter 5 Letter 6 Letter 7

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Aug 05

In my large family I have a lot of nephews and nieces.  Some are into their forties and the youngest is 8 years old.

I love spending time with Abbey and with her sister.  They’re great fun to be around.  We play together and explore the world from an 8 year old’s perspective.  We have lots of room for moose and treat them nicely.  They are always appearing and quickly disappearing.

She’s home sick today, and after coming to Michael and my wedding in New Zealand earlier in the year, she’s been wondering why we can’t get married in Australia.  I’m reliably informed that she has some questions for me and that she is learning how changes are made.

How awesome is it that a child can understand the inequality in our society and also work out how change can be started.  From her heart comes her plea and her question to the Prime Minister of Australia.

My niece is awesome!  Thanks Abbey.

Here’s her letter to the PM.

To Tony Abbott
my name is Abbey and I am 8 years old.
My unkls are gaye and we had to go to
New Zeland to have ther wedding it is going
To be on TV it’s called Living with the Enemy they
wont to get marred in Astralea but thats eligle
I will write to you once a day for a week.
P.S. I wold like the law changed.

20140805 Abbey's Letter
Read her 2nd letter and her 3rd letter.  Letter 4 Letter 5 Letter 6 Letter 7

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Aug 31

I would consider myself to be sort of left-wing in my politics. A liberal but also a little conservative in some ways I guess.

ballotI thought Julia Gillard was a pretty good idea after she won the last election. I’m pretty impressed that she was able to lead a minority government and get so much done. Tony Abbott on the other hand isn’t such a good idea. His politics seem to me to be so negative and his incessant calls for an election was just maddening, considering that if he had won the support of the independents he would have also gone the full term.

The ousting of Rudd was bad enough, but for the same thing to happen to Gillard is just beyond the scope of all reason. It seems to me that Rudd was always working towards getting back into the PM’s job.  Rudd’s fellow MP’s ditched him for good reason.  They didn’t like him.  Am I to now accept that somehow he’s changed and that he will be better behaved this time?

I don’t like how it happened, I certainly don’t like how he then wanted the parliament to be a kinder and fairer place after his actions.  I’m not at all impressed by the actions of Rudd or the actions of those in the Labor Party.  This isn’t about anything other than them trying to retain power, it seems to me to be an unprincipled tactic and has ensured that it will be a very long time before I vote for Labor again.

That sort of leaves me in a bit of a quandary as it’s election time.  In the electorate of Higgins there are seven candidates.

1 O’DWYER, Kelly Liberal

2 BALDWIN, Jamie Family First Party

3 CHAU, Wesa Australian Labor Party

4 PRICE, Leanne Rise Up Australia Party

5 DALL, Phillip Leslie Palmer United Party

6 HARRISON, James The Greens

7 WEBER, Graeme B Independent

Voting time for me comes early as I’m in Bali on holiday.  I want to participate and have my say and I want my vote to actually mean something.

Michael and I visited the Australian Consulate in Denpasar to lodge our postal vote, that in itself was an interesting and eye-opening experience.  As I stood with my House of Representative ballot paper I still hadn’t decided who would get my 1st preference.

I’d met with Kelly O’Dwyer earlier in the year and that was sort of ok.  She changed her mind on marriage equality and that is important to me.  I’d also had the chance to interact with James Harrison from the Greens, he seems ok to me, but really didn’t greatly impress me.  Wesa Chau from the Labor party seems like an interesting woman based on her social media presence.  I didn’t get a chance to chat with her before we left for Bali.

It dawned on me as I stood there with the ballot.  I need to number them starting from my least preferred candidate.


7 PRICE, Leanne Rise Up Australia Party (I loved putting that 7 next to these religious homophobes)

6 BALDWIN, Jamie Family First Party (More religious nutters)

5 DALL, Phillip Leslie Palmer United Party (A party named after a man who thinks he’d be a great PM – too big an ego)

4 WEBER, Graeme B Independent (Single issue candidate, wants to introduce nuclear power, I don’t think so!)

3 O’DWYER, Kelly Liberal (One word, Abbott!)

2 CHAU, Wesa Australian Labor Party (Not after the way Rudd has behaved)

1 HARRISON, James The Greens

And there you have it, voting by numbering in reverse ordered based on who I would least want to represent me.

I also voted below the line on the Senate paper.  For Victoria that’s numbering from 1 to 97.  I don’t want some party hack deciding how my preferences should be used.  And besides, I wanted to take great delight in putting Danny Nalliah from the Rise Up Australia Party down as number 97.  His running mate was 96.  It was like saving the last bit of tasty food on your plate for last.  It made the whole numbering below the line worth the effort.  It was the best formed 97 I’ve ever written, so neat and tidy.

At the top I placed the Greens and then the Secular Party.  I really want the Greens to have the balance of power, because no matter whether we have a Labor or Liberal party in office we need to keep them in check.  Any political party that has control of both houses is a bad thing for the country!









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Jul 26

I just can’t believe that my government lead by Kevin Rudd and the opposition leader, Tony Abbott are so tied up in knots about asylum seekers.

aia_refugee_fbprofileIt seems to be crazy and I want them to know how bad I think their decisions are.  On one hand we have Rudd wanting to send them all to PNG and on the other we have Abbott claiming we have an emergency on our hands and that somehow our borders need protecting from unarmed people in leaky boats.

The real issue is people smugglers.  I don’t have the right answers, but I do know that treating asylum seekers as if they are a threat is simply inhumane and ridiculous.

There are plenty of ways to express the way I feel, and I’m starting with an email that I’ve sent to my local member.  Kelly O’Dwyer.

I know that Kelly is switched on to the rights of people after her recent support of marriage equality.  I’m hoping that she will have the courage to use that same sense of fair play when it comes to the rights of asylum seekers.

Here’s the letter, feel free to cut and paste and send off to your local member.  Remember, we need to let them know how we feel.

Hi Kelly,

I’ve been following the issue of asylum seekers as I’m keen to make sure that those fleeing danger in their often war-torn countries are able to to find somewhere in the world that will help them.

I’m rather dismayed at the Labor party policy to move these refugees to PNG.

I’m really very horrified by the Liberal Party policy called Operation Sovereign Borders.

I struggle with the notion that somehow unarmed people in leaky boats warrants such a heavy-handed response and I don’t think we have a national emergency either. It’s not like the 48,000 people who have arrived have posed a threat to Australian society by wanting to over throw the government or do anything other than have a better life.

If it’s people smugglers that are the real culprits here, then that should be our target, not punitive measure that seem designed to make life even harder for legitimate asylum seekers.

I hope that you will take a sensible approach and that you would encourage your party to be more compassionate towards those that are fleeing terror so that they aren’t coming to a greater terror of being completely dispossessed through no fault of their own.

I always sign letters to MPs with my full name, my address and mobile phone number.  I also CC’d Tony Abbott in.

Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party policy

Kevin Rudd on the Labor Party policy

Visit Amnesty International for some ideas on how to help.


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