Review Blog

May 17 2010

Future justice edited by Helen Sykes

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Future Leaders 2010 ISBN 9780980332049.
(Age 15+) Recommended. Every year, Dr Helen Sykes, founder of the 'Future leader' program, chooses a theme to be considered by expert commentators and younger writers. This year's theme is future justice - the possibility of creating a more just world for future generations.
Janna Thompson defines intergenerational justice, Ian McDonald questions society's preoccupation with economic growth and Michael Kirby promotes equity regardless of sexual orientation. The Australian Constitution is examined by Cheryl Saunders and George Williams explains the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. Spencer Zifcak offers solutions for the problems of the United Nations while Jennifer Robinson compares the fates of West Papua and East Timor to highlight the value of self-determination. Paula Gerber argues the case for human rights education.
The moral dilemmas created by climate change are a recurring theme. Peter Doherty considers the science, Julian Burnside discusses Australia's obligations to environmental refugees and Larissa Behrendt reminds us of that we hold the land 'on trust'.
Ten award-winning contributions by younger writers have a broader theme - the human condition. Their subjects range from fictional treatments of emotional issues, such as Alzheimers, to a wry recount of a year spent running a school Environment Club.
The adult contributors have credentials in science, law, economics and medicine, a passion for their subjects and experience as effective communicators. Even when swayed by personal experience, their articles are considered, balanced, concise, well organised and easy to read. Technical terms are explained in the body of the text. The younger writers demonstrate a desire for a fairer society and a growing awareness of the power of the written word. br> Future justice is a thought-provoking and rewarding book. A free copy can be obtained from the Future leaders website.
Elizabeth Bor

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