Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Blog Content for Sale!

Why would anyone want to buy this site's content?

It's a simple question with a simple answer: Traffic!

If you're starting up a new blog, it takes a while to develop an imprint on the net. By buying content, you can improve your footprint on the web and consequently, gain traffic which leads to either interest or sales if yours is a sales-focused site.

How you get the content

I will backup (download) every post that has ever been made on this site (almost 400) as one .xml file of around 4 mb. I will then email you the file which you import to your blog. 

After that, you can change any of the links in the posts, do whatever you like with the content to suit yourself.

When you confirm you have uploaded the .xml file, I will permanently delete this blog.

Why am I selling?

I've retired from the workplace and have moved onto other interests.

The Price?

$475 USD payable through Paypal or direct EFT transfer to my bank account. Please email me for details.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

An exceptional career in policing - Ray Whitrod

During our lifetimes we meet thousands of people and while most have some influence on us, occasionally we meet a person whose influence is both powerful and lasts forever.

When I joined the Queensland Police Force in 1974, I became greatly impressed with Commissioner Ray Whitrod. At my swearing in as a Constable, I gave my oath and received a copy of the Holy Bible personally signed by the Commissioner.

At the time, I thought little of it, he was just the Commissioner doing his job. Within months of being sworn in, I realised that the Queensland Police Force was in need of vast modernisation and that's exactly what Commissioner Whitrod was trying to do.

Unbeknown to me at the time, there had been a review of the Police Force that concluded that there was an unacceptable level of corruption and inefficiency and the Force was in urgent need of renewal. Whitrod had been specifically employed by the then Queensland Government to implement the recommendations of the review.

He came with an extensive track record of integrity, honesty and capacity and was highly regarded in Australian policing, intelligence and academia.

To the "old brigade" of the police force, comfortably ensconced in their various roles and said to be picking up payments from criminals on the side, Whitrod was an unpopular person because he was appointed from interstate, hadn't come from the ranks, and was ruffling feathers by implementing inconvenient changes to the status quo. Changes like getting rid of the anachronistic promotion by seniority system and replacing it with promotion on merit (he never actually succeeded with this change despite several attempts to do so).

During my years in the Force, I only got to talk with the Commissioner on two or three occasions, just to pass niceties and the time of day, although I often saw him walking around our headquarters in Brisbane. I also saw first-hand, some of the improvements he had made in processes that increased efficiency and provided a better service to our public.

Our old, Army style khaki uniform had been replaced by a navy and blue uniform. It included a white cap with chequered navy and white reflective banding around it. We looked more professional and less like a squad of commandos ready to carry out an assault. It was a comfortable, easily maintained uniform in keeping with those worn by most other Australian police forces. The trousers even had a second "pocket" on the right-hand side in which we could slide our rubber batons rather than having them hanging off a belt loop.

One of Whitrod's innovations changed my life. In an effort to improve the educational standard of officers, he introduced incentives for officers who had not matriculated to gain faster promotion to senior constable if they would either matriculate or complete a certificate course in Police Arts and Science (essentially criminology).

Normal promotion to senior constable was at 10 years, but seven if you completed either of the above courses. The pay increase from constable first Class (five years service) to senior constable was significant, especially when aggregated with overtime and penalty rate payments.

I took to the idea like a duck to water as I had two children under five years and because our son was hearing impaired from birth, we had decided that my wife would cease her work as a registered nurse/midwife, to look after him. We lived from fortnight to fortnight for quite a few years, scraping by without a lot of spare cash.

I completed my matriculation over two years of night school attendance, earned my early promotion and then began university study the following year. Later, I resigned from the police force to take up a teaching position with the Queensland Technical and Further Education Department.

By 2001 I was a staff development and training manager with an Australian Government agency when, while cruising a bookshop I saw a book Before I Sleep: Memoirs of a Modern Police Commissioner by then retired ex-Commissioner, Ray Whitrod. I had to buy a copy.

After I read it, I wrote to Whitrod to tell him how very much I had enjoyed working for him and the part he had played in motivating me to improve myself. A friend replied on his behalf thanking me and explaining that Whitrod was now very ill and had good and bad days; my letter had led to a good day.

Ray Whitrod died in July 2013.

Just last week (October, 2018) I pulled the book off my bookshelf and re-read it. Much of which Whitrod said was familiar because I knew the people, politics, and events of the era about which he wrote. I felt like part of the story. Two things occurred to me after re-reading the book.

As Whitrod sat within an aged care facility with his wife who was by then blinded by tumors,  had advanced dementia and was a hop-step-and-jump from taking her final journey, he spoke of how we become obsolete.

I've retired from the workforce after 51 years of work and while I have never felt obsolescent, I understand exactly what Whitrod meant. We struggle through life acquiring a range of qualifications and skills to help us earn money so we can live decent lives. Then, suddenly, we're at the end of the journey and all the effort we made seems pointless. We go from someone who contributes to someone who consumes. Work was something we did at the time to survive and ensure a reasonable retirement.

It also occurred to me that when he had taken up the Commissioner's role in the Queensland Police Force, almost nothing was made public about his extensive history of achievement and service to Australia. He had been a police officer in the South Australia Police, he served with distinction as a navigator with our RAAF in WWII, transitioned our Commonwealth Investigative Service to the Australian Security Intelligence Agency and much more. He was an habitual and invariable high achiever.

I wondered how differently the rank and file members of the Queensland Police Force and the public of Queensland might have treated Ray Whitrod if they had known what a high achiever he was in shaping the face of Australian policing, intelligence, and criminology. Sadly, it was a story few knew before he wrote his memoirs, by then too late.

You can read more about Ray Whitrod here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Whitrod or buy his book through numerous sources (do a search). It's well worth a read if you are interested in police history.


Acknolwedgement: The Police Badge shown above was captured from the official site of the Queensland Police Service.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Looking after your most valued assets

Recently I underwent two lots of cataract surgery - one in each eye several months apart.

Cataract surgery involves removing the eye lenses and replacing them with artificial lenses. It's a simple, but remarkable surgery carried out by very skilled opthalmologists and results in better eyesight for those of us who need it.

Cataracts are essentially an older person's ailment caused by such things that include: "overexposure to sunlight, obesity, diabetes, smoking, aging, previous eye disorders or surgeries, high blood pressure, alcoholism, and prolonged use of corticosteroid medications." (HREF 1)

In my case, having lived in hot, dry climates for most of my adult life, exposure to sunshine probably played a large part in developing cataracts since I have never smoked and none of the other causes except aging, relate to me.

After I finished my second surgery, I asked the opthalmologist about sunglasses. He told me that everyone should begin wearing sunglasses at an early age and continue wearing them while outdoors.

I asked him which sunglasses were best and he said that you must have as a minimum, Category 3 sunglasses and all sunglasses must comply with Australian and New Zealand Standards. He said he wears Oakley brand sunglasses as he does a lot of bicycle riding and finds they don't slide down his nose.

I did some research with a number of sunglass manufacturers, several of which gave interesting technical details of their glasses and how they benefit you when wearing them.  Among them were Revo (HREF2) that has a comprehensive page full of information and Australian brand Mako (HREF3) that is popular with fishers because the polarisation enables easier sighting of fish in water.

I settled for a pair of Mako sunglasses seen in the photograph above and have been wearing them now for several weeks, including a 1,500 km (932 mile) trip to Central Australia. Mine are grey lenses (for golf, driving and cycling) and I love them.

Look after your eyes, you only have two of them and they are precious.