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This is a matter of choice

A study in contrasts
Helen Coonan, the former chairman of Crown, represented the company in two royal commissions and a commission of inquiry. All these endeavours found Crown failed the metrics of risk, governance, responsible gaming, culture and disclosure (“Crown’s termination gravy train needs to be derailed”, Business, 10/9). For these achievements Coonan receives $1.3 million severance pay.

Meanwhile, life with COVID-19 continues, and lives are saved by nurses who work extended shifts in stifling personal protective equipment and daily risking infection. None of them is likely to receive either a meaningful pay rise or a Helen Coonan-style severance handshake.
Simon Gardiner, Camberwell

Avoiding accountability
As NSW reports Australia’s highest ever daily COVID infections and numbers of hospitalised and severely ill people in ICU, Premier Gladys Berejiklian stops daily live reporting and accounting for the situation and her decisions.

In lieu, a video message from the Health Department and no Q&A from the government, ministers or Premier is provided. Concurrently, Ms Berejiklian is preparing to open her state, allowing more mixing of her citizens with the obvious associated risks of coronavirus spread and its impacts in NSW and the rest of Australia.

She is shutting down her accountability and avoiding responsibility. Presumably she does not “hold” the ventilators.
Anne Hartley, Balwyn

Unavailable options
Ben Crowe’s focus on self-worth and self-actualisation rather than achievement includes many helpful pointers, but it is advice for the fortunate or privileged and falls short of helping the increasing number of people who, through no fault of their own or lack of effort, are trapped or pushed lower down on various hierarchies of need (“Setting your life on a path to self-worth”, The Sunday Age, 5/9).

These people are preoccupied with finding food, shelter, safety and security before concerns about achievement, self-worth, self-actualisation and self-transcendence and what is within or without their control can begin to surface.

The need for survival cannot be met by a change of attitude or shift of focus of course, although some people conveniently choose to interpret such advice in that way.

Of note, too, is that the more people are stripped of security, as is common today instead of more ethical and supportive practices, the more their survival is threatened, causing us as a society to regress to one driven by primal needs rather than those loftier ideals espoused by Crowe that become conceptually inaccessible.
Emma Borghesi, Rye

Some welcome news
It was with great relief and joy that I read your article “Restaurants feeding back into community” (The Age, 11/9).

Too often we are bombarded with stories about people protesting (especially in social media) about the impact of the pandemic on them and the infringement of their rights.

Stories focusing on community and acts of kindness are few and far between. Acts of kindness are happening everywhere and they need to be celebrated.
Enisa Birdahic, Reservoir

We achieved a lot
Your correspondent (“Take a broader view of our wars and losses”, Letters, 11/9) writes about “the loss of Australian lives in Korea, which ended in a stalemate and achieved nothing”.

I disagree. The combined United Nations force of 21 nations saved South Korea from becoming a pariah dictatorship like the north, with starvation among the people and total loss of human rights.
John Chapman, Korean veteran, Prahran

The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.

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