Home' Scoop : Scoop 55 Autumn 2011 Contents 34 SCOOP Autumn 2011
FORUM state of play
Calling a taxi isn’t
what it used to be
We revisit some inspirational
West Australians profiled in
Scoop over the past decade
David Dicks | David catapulted to national fame
after his record-breaking round-the-world solo
sailing adventure at the age of 17. He was feted as
a national hero and awarded a Medal of the Order
of Australia. When we spoke to him in 2002, he
displayed a shyness and self-effacing quality that
set him apart from the usual celebrity sportsperson.
Fifteen years after he set it, David still
holds the record for the youngest solo non-stop
circumnavigation, and remains a reluctant celebrity.
He and his wife Genevieve are proud parents to a
two-year old daughter, and continue to live by their
beloved Perth coastline. David lectures in marine
studies at the maritime college in Fremantle and
dabbles in high-adrenaline sports such as skydiving.
Sailing is strictly for fun these days. When you’ve
done the world, there’s nothing left to conquer.
Patrick Dodson | Six years after we profiled
Aboriginal leader Professor Patrick Dodson –
known as the “father of reconciliation” – the
government led the country in a national day of
apology in 2008. That same year Professor Dodson
became one of only three Australians to win the
international Sydney Peace Prize for his leadership
and courageous advocacy of indigenous people –
both in Australia and overseas.
The Yawur u man from Broome, known for
his trademark Akubra hat and flowing beard,
has travelled to South Africa, Ireland and South
America to meet with people involved in the
peace and democratic processes.
He now works for the Kimberley Institute
think tank, the Lingiari Foundation, and is director
of the Indigenous Policy, Dialogue and Research
Unit at the University of New South Wales. Last
year he was appointed co-chair with Mark Leibler
to the Gillard Government’s Expert Panel on
Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Louise Sauvage | Louise Sauvage was thinking of
retirement when we last spoke to her in 2002. She
competed in one last Paralympic Games (Athens
in 2004), finally bringing down the curtain on an
extraordinary career as a wheelchair racer.
Louise, who appeared as the Perth Telethon
ambassador in 1976 as a three-year-old, now coaches
elite and up-and-coming athletes with disabilities.
What’s less widely known is that she is also
a world-class wheelchair basketball player. She
would have competed at Paralympic level if not
for her athletics commitments, which won her nine
Paralympic and two Olympic gold medals. Her
name now graces a Sydney Harbour ferry, a street in
Melbourne and a pathway at Sydney Olympic Park.
Nothing in Perth, though.
the business of culture
When Rio Tinto iron ore chief Sam Walsh talks
about the stars aligning and the timing being
right, he’s not talking astrology or a new mineral
deposit. He’s talking about the big end of town
throwing its weight behind WA’s cultural scene.
Sam is a founding member of Western Australia’s
new Chamber of Arts and Culture – an Australian
first – created last October. It’s a hands-on,
independent body designed to give all WA arts
bodies access to business acumen, networks
and the funds to grow.
“Without the arts, a society is a pretty dull place,”
says the affable mining executive, whose involvement
began with an epiphany.
As a board member of the Black Swan State
Theatre, he realised that arts companies not only
“r un on the smell of an oily rag” but that the
industry often lacks cohesion.
He believes that the business
community’s commercial nous and
access to funds can help inject energ y
and action into the arts world.
He says it’s time to throw
a concerted effort at the
arts in WA, given that it’s
currently home to some
of the world’s largest
resources projects and a
As a miner, he’ll be
accustomed to the old
“dig and reap” negative
rap the industry attracts.
But if the same vigour is
applied to the growth of
the arts sector, we mar vel
at what might be achieved.
“We’re trying to achieve a vibrant
community,” he says. “We’re trying to
create a community where our young
people want to stay and live.”
Visit cacwa.or g .au.
Perth cabs are not best known for their reliability, so we were sceptical about Swan Taxis’ new iPhone app. It
promises a streamlined cab encounter, letting you book, estimate the fare and track the whereabouts of your
cab – all from the palm of your hand. Could this be the end of curse-free cabbing?
We booked a cab an hour in advance, then consulted the GPS tracker on our (free to download) app. It told
us our cab was already around the corner. When we checked half an hour later, the little blue marker was still in
the same spot on the map. This didn’t bode well for a hitch-free experience.
When the cab was 250 metres away the phone ‘honked’ as promised, signalling our chariot’s approach. The
cab was at the verge before we had a chance to use the novelty cab whistler (just shake the phone). The cabbie
apologised for being a bit early. Apparently he’d been parked around the corner for the past hour, eating a
sandwich. We had to swallow our told-you-so tirade. And the fare came in at 38 cents shy of the estimate.
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