Letter in the Australian

Yesterday, I sent letters to The Australian, the West Australian and the Age, and I know that it got published in The Australian (I don’t receive the West or The Age at home – if anyone can fill me in on whether it got published or not, I would be most appreciative.

Here’s the letter that I sent in:

Who can remember who held the world record for the 100m before Usain Bolt? What was their time?
Who was the guy that took 7 gold medals in the Olympics? Does it matter any more now that Phelps has 8?
Sports records tumble all the time, and we only remember who has the fastest time, the most medals. We don’t remember who came second. We don’t care. Yet despite the temporary nature of sporting success, Australia is willing to pour $168 million dollars into the AIS, where as the longer term investments in our nations culture, that of music, is cut from a paltry $2.5 million to 0.
Music and the Arts is what makes up Australia’s culture. Even in sports! Imagine if there was no music. We wouldn’t be able to proudly sing “Girt by sea” – even if we could remember the rest of the words. We wouldn’t be proudly singing our footy team’s club song. We wouldn’t have Kylie, or Barnsey. Without music, I’m sure Peter Garrett wouldn’t have had an opportunity to get into Parliament. Peter, please reconsider your decision, and prove to us that you don’t hate the Arts.

And the Aus’ edited version:

Who can remember who held the world record for the 100m before Usain Bold? What was his time?
Who was the guy that took seven gold medals in the Olympics? Does it matter any more now that Michael Phelps has eight?
Despite the temporary nature of sporting success, Australia is willing to pour $168 million into the Australian Institute of Sport, where as the longer term investement in our nation’s culture, through funding for music education is cut from $2.6 million to zero.
Music and the arts is what makes up Australia’s culture, even in sports.
Imagine if there was no music. We wouldn’t be able to proudly sing “Girt by sea” – even if we could remember the rest of the words.
Without music, I’m sure Peter Garrett wouldn’t have had an opportunity to get into parliament.
Peter please reconsider your decision, and prove to us that you don’t hate the arts.

I Also got a cartoon, with an athlete holding his olympic gold medal, and an orchestral violinist holding a symphony orchestra cd, the violinist saying “Mine’s bigger than yours.” Did very well to pick up that I’m a violinist. Perhaps he googled me and found my website?

Remember to sign the petition, and write to Peter Garrett, and keep the letters coming into the Aus, and other newspapers. We need this to not disappear from the public eye. Let’s make Peter Garrett come out and say something, as opposed to hiding in his office.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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