15 February 2023, Cr Anna De Villiers- Carisbrook Mercury


I had the privilege of attending a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) conference on Friday. It was for Councillors only. It was such a good opportunity to mix and talk to Councillors from other Shires, reflecting on two years into this term.

The topic of the conference was The Legacy of Leadership. All the presenters were excellent, informative and highly entertaining. If you think about it, what could be entertaining talking about democracy and leadership and governance. Well, somehow these presenters managed to do just that.

A fair bit of time was spent around the concept of Democracy. We live in a democracy, but do we ever give it really good thought as to what it means.

One of the statistics quoted was, that only 6% of the world's population live in a democracy, of which Australia is one.

A concern raised was, that democracy is in trouble. If we look at what is happening in America at the moment, the people taking to the streets in Paris, France, the demise of democracy in Russia over the past 15 years, to name but a few examples.

It was also stated that research has shown that Australia is the most desirable country in the world to live in. How lucky are we?

There was also a discussion about change. Since the development of the Gutenberg printing press around 1440, it took almost 200 years for every household to have a Bible.

Then you look at change today. The internet is only 40 years old, Google is 24 years old, 40 years since the development of mobile phones.

At an interview that took place in the 1970's, a Chinese historian and philosopher was asked his opinion about the impact of the French Revolution (1798 – 1799) on the world history, and his response was: "Too soon to tell."

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