Over the past 10 months or so, I’ve made it clear that housing, in my opinion, is one of the most important factors of indigenous affairs right now. The state of the vast majority of dwellings in most aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and probably elsewhere is quite honestly despicable.

Despite this raw fact, and despite all relevant research pointing to poverty and poor housing as key risk factors for the neglect and abuse of children as well as a direct cause of most juvenile medical problems in indigenous children, the Howard/Brough intervention plan failed to address housing, and seemingly didn’t even consider it as an important issue. There was talk during the earlier days of the intervention that the military presence, under the banner of ‘Norforce’, would quickly build 500 or so dwellings in a blitz to address the problem of chronic overcrowding, which, by the way, sees up to 10 people sharing a single room in the worst cases, but this never seemed to eventuate.



This month in November, I hope everyone realises that. But besides being November, it’s also Movember (the colour scheme on that website is appalling, sorry about that).

Movember is when men raise money (ideally, you’ll see what I mean) for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, by gathering sponsorship and growing a moustache for the duration of the month.

While I knew about it, I missed out on the official start: October 31, when the entire facial region is to be free from growth, so I’m not able to participate. That’s also fine with me, because I’m not too good at asking people for money. Instead, I’m passively participating in a grassroots campaign to spread awareness of men’s health by sporting an ugly moustache that makes me look like I should be batting for Australia in the early 80s.

It’s quite a divergence from my all-too regular chin tickler, but I’ve grown a nice pair of handlebars. Ideally I’d wear a shirt that says “I know it’s ugly; it’s Movember. Ask me” but I just don’t have the resources. I’ll settle for looks of befuddlement.

For your information, here are the official rules:

  • On day “Mo-1” (October 31), the complete moustache region, including the entire upper lip and the handlebar zones, must be completely shaved.
  • For the entire duration of Movember (Movember 1 – 31 inclusive), no hair shall be allowed to grow in the goatee zone – being any facial area below the bottom lip.
  • There is to be no joining of the moustache to sideburns.
  • Failure to conform to all of these rules may, at the discretion of the official Movember Committee, result in instant blacklisting and may void invitation to the Mo Ball.
  • Movember Committee accepts no responsibility for lost jobs, rashes, food/beer encrustments or any other such mishaps caused to the wearer (or his partner) of a Movember Moustache. You grew it yourself.