Saturday 9th of December 2023

Surreal Dog on Tuckerbox Flys Past at 110km/hr ()

Earlier today, while listening to retro 80's hits on a Wagga Wagga radio station, I sped by the Dog on the Tuckerbox just outside Gundagai. It even has its own exit on the Hume Freeway. I always thought the Dog was in the town. Neither the Dog nor the town alone were sufficient enough to attract me. Had they both been in exactly the same place, I would have stopped. I'm in Albury tonight, en-route to Melbourne. My journey today started in safe Liberal territory on Sydney's North Shore. Before long, I was in the less safe Prime Ministerial seat of Bennelong. Later I was in Latham's Liverpool. All very exciting but the undoubted highlight of the trip thus far has been at least sighting the Dog on the Tuckerbox exit (if not the Dog itself).

The Dog on the Tuckerbox is safely located in Riverina, one of the coalition's safest seats. On the other side of the ACT though is the classic bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro. It's held by the Liberal Party with a margin of just 1.7%. I wonder about a seat like Eden-Monaro. People always focus on the marginal seats in Western Sydney. I also find these incredibly diverse regional areas to be fascinating. That's one of the reasons I like to travel overland when ever I can. You don't get in touch with the real Australia via the network of Qantas lounges at major airports.

I was thinking today how much I love Australia and it goes way beyond the things that make me smile like the Dog on the Tuckerbox. I've been living in middle Europe for nearly five years and really enjoying it but there is something special about being home. It's not just one thing like the wide open spaces or the sense of freedom. It's really everything. I think whatever we do in our lives, the country we were born in always holds a special place. I've met lots of people in NHJ who care passionately about the future of this country. We hear over and over again from concerned Australians, 'but what can I do'?. There are many answers to that and you will see many ideas on this site, in Margo's book and elsewhere. Often you'd think a small contribution doesn't make much of a difference. I'm reminded of what Robert Kennedy said. In 1966 he said 'few will have the greatness to bend history: but each of us can work to change a small portion of events and in the total of all these acts will be written the history of this generation'.

We're at a crossroads in Australia and that's why lots of people are working for change. Not the kind of change that just switches one politician for another, but a grander change that secures our democracy for future generations. Come join the fun!