Advice to the Australian PM for his next term – from eight of us, courtesy of ABC Radio National

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As Malcolm Turnbull prepares to return to Canberra to take the reins of government again, ABC Radio National has compiled eight pieces of advice on how he should approach his next term. The advice comes from: Ian Thorpe, Ursula Yovich, Yanis Varoufakis, Bill Crews, Toni Powell, Guy Warren, Karl Kruszelnicki and Inga Simpson

Ian Thorpe has won Olympic gold five times. Recently he’s beenmentoring Australia’s swimmers in the lead-up to the Rio Games.

‘If I went on recent history, I’d say: watch your back.’Please stabilise the country. Listen to what the electorate is saying. The electorate actually has most of the answers.’

Ursula Yovich is an actor, singer and playwright. She’s working on a play that explores Indigenous funeral ceremonies and her own Indigenous identity.

‘My advice would be, when you go into any kind of community, to really connect with community, not just do lip service. Don’t just go in one day.

‘It’s coming back, it’s revisiting communities, and talking to communities about what they feel would be right for their people. I’m not just talking about Aboriginal people. It’s all communities.’

Yanis Varoufakis spent the 1990s in Australia, teaching economics at the University of Sydney. More recently, he was Greece’s finance minister.

‘Overcome the fixation with public debt. Concentrate on the real issue: private debt that has gone beyond the pale, and which is maintaining a bubble and the deception and the illusion of the lucky country. Concentrate on how to start making things again instead of shuffling things around while private debt is exploding.

‘If I may add, Australia in the ’90s led the world into misanthropy regarding refugees. The “Australian solution” has now been transplanted to my neck of the woods in Europe. Maybe Australia could start a renaissance in this realm by altering its attitude to refugees. I’m hoping the tail will wag the dog once more, but this time in a beneficial manner.’

Reverend Bill Crews is the chief executive of The Exodus Foundation,a charity that helps homeless and needy people in Sydney.

‘A measure of how strong you are and how great you can be is to look after the poorest of the poor in the community first.

‘If you look after them and then move up the chain, I think that’s a symbol of greatness—not from the rich end of town down, you do it from the poor end up.’

Toni Powell is an author, speaker and consultant who believes that gratitude is a wonder drug.

‘Dear Prime Minister, what I really wish you would do is make decisions based on the idea that people are precious.’

Guy Warren turned 95 this year, making him one of Australia’s oldest working and exhibiting visual artists.

‘Without hesitation, I’d ask whoever the new prime minster is to start thinking about the arts. It’s a huge business and it employs hundreds of thousands of people and it tends to be forgotten.’

Karl Kruszelnicki talks science on ABC radio stations across Australia, including as host of Great Moments In Science.

‘Number one, please do things not just for me but for my children and their children.

‘Number two, education is not an intolerable burden upon a society but rather an investment in the future.’

Inga Simpson is a novelist and specialist in nature writing. Her latest book is Where the Trees Were.

‘Dear Prime Minister, please don’t devalue our creative industries by removing our copyright protections. We’re a major contributor to the Australian economy and Australia’s cultural wealth.’

 

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