Wednesday, 14 May 2014

How to STICK IT TO THE MAN with your friends

Just yesterday the Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered a federal budget that has made many of us very angry. It is a budget that negatively impacts the most vulnerable people in our community while mining companies, defence and big business are benefiting from massive funding injections.

The abc shared this handy graphic to help us navigate the budget. 
Click here to see it. It's really worth a look.

Anyway... This whole thing has got me thinking about how I can respond to this in a way that is actually effective. Sure, I can be a click-tivist and sign every petition that pops up in my Facebook feed. I can write to the government to express my rage- a good thing to do- I'm sure they take a little bit of notice of these things.

I've decided on a different approach though... I've decided to try and identify areas where people might struggle and address them creatively... so without further ado, here are my handy hints on:


1. Go out and meet your neighbours 
You never know, they might need something you have and vice-versa, therefore helping you to rely on each other rather than a system that will no longer give you a hand-up

Sharing dinner with our beautiful neighbour Mayra

2. Join or start a local food co-op 
This is a great way to meet people, get away from the supermarkets and to stop relying on "the man" for your basic needs

Or go "food rescuing"!
Or even better - GROW YOUR OWN!! 

3. Raise some chooks 
Another way of bypassing a nasty system, plus they are just delightful to have in your life. Did you know that chooks have personalities? One of ours is super adventurous and we re-named her Harriet Houdini because she could escape from any enclosure. 

4. Donate your cash to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 
Nothing sticks it to a xenophobic government like loving those problematic "boat people"

At Light the Dark silent vigil for slain asylum seeker Reza Berati

5. Find entertainment that is FREE
Join the local library; visit your community neighbourhood house and see what they have to offer; go jogging, cycling, roller skating, climb a tree; start a book club; eat IN with your pals; hang out with some ducks!

6. Start a 'resource-share' among your friends
Why would we buy six lawn mowers when we could just share ONE?! Do you have a food dehydrator? How often do you use it really?? You're lying! Now go lend it to you pal. 

You can borrow my Vietnamese coffee filter if you like! 

Do you have a useful skill? Are you a hairdresser? Well you might need an accountant! Hey... that accountant's hair is looking a little muffin-ish... see where I'm going with this?? (side note.. MY hair is getting a little muffin-ish and I have a LOT of skills I could offer you so please get in touch if you wanna make this thing happen!)

8. Look out for the little guy
If you are a person of means who might not be affected so much by the budget cuts please don't do the whole selfish "I'm OK Jack" thing. Have a look around you. Is there a person who has lost their job due to funding cuts? (that happened to me a few years back and it hurts), is there a family that is struggling to make the $7 medical co-payment? Please stop saying "$7 isn't much!"... It's a lot when you've got nothing. If you can afford to give to a charity that helps people who are struggling please do it. Or support people directly. Offer the hand-up that the Government will no longer give vulnerable people. And please, just think before you open your mouth because the things you say can be very hurtful, disempowering and belittling. Ok? Good.

9. Have a cup of tea and relax
It will be ok folks. If we support each other we will all be fine. Individualism is lonely and SO 1990! We are in this together. 

Do you have any other tips to help us to stick it to the man?? I'd love to hear about it! 


  1. I try not to think about politix to much as really..what the hell is the point. I can start stressing about how this and that will effect us or those around us and end up feeling scared and negative. Im over those feelings. But i am all for doing more as a community, less money exchanging and living more creatively! So let me know how I can help you and you me!

  2. I really like to try and understand the way politics happens and the reasons why the leaders of our country make the decisions that they do. I think by keeping things practical and trying to find ways to respond with kindness and non-freakouted-ness I can cope with it better. I do think there is a point in engaging in politics if it is what you want to do because after all, the government is made up of a bunch of people... and I just happen to be a person who could change something. xx

  3. Such a good post Ashley. I saw a facebook post today that said. Don't let your health suffer, if you don't have $7 to go to the doctor then come and see me and I will give it to you. How cool would it be to start a type of suspended coffee movement but for people who can't afford a doctors visit.

  4. This is great, Ash! I just feel helpless a lot of the time, but you've come up with some simple and really practical ideas to help the folks who really need it.

  5. Fantastic idea Michelle. I've already spoken to a GP friend of mine to see if we can get the ball rolling.

  6. Thanks Kerryn! I'm a practical gal. I blame my mum!!

  7. Michelle Collins15 May 2014 at 06:16

    Good on you Ashleigh for thinking outside the square and sharing you ideas. The world would be a better place if did this all the time and not just when times are tough.

  8. What a wonderful post Ashley!

    I have been growing my own veggies for years - always so much better than what you buy at the shop! :) I want chooks but the other two not so keen!!! Also if I ever run out of a herb I only need to pop outside. :)

    I believe in minimising wastage, sharing and recycling - and also sticking it to the man :P

    Thank-you for sharing your lovely tips as always!

  9. Yes! Do these things anyway! It definitely makes life far richer! Thanks for your comment. :)

  10. Great tips.. Yes! Recycle where you can and reduce the need to go to the shops. Thanks for taking the time to comment. It means a lot.

  11. May 2014 at 18:46

    Grow less Lawn and grow more veges use council lawn strips and then trade with your neighbours Avoid supermarkets buy organic online if your local organic shop cannot supply
    Don't eat anything with fur or feathers Be kind ! Share ! Smile !

  12. Gosh. I love love love your blog, you clever thing! You are an inspiration!


Thank you for your comment! Your comment will be visible after approval from Ashley.