I had an interesting time at Melbourne’s #MyHack last night, pioneered by the indefatigable Anne Azza-Aly. I witnessed pitches developed by local youth, including young Muslims concerned about CVE. In just three days, three groups conceived, planned and presented their tech solutions to countering extremism to funding bodies. The winning pitch awarded with $10K to commence rolling out their idea, dealt with the necessity to engage reformed extremists in a meaningful way by understanding the allure of radicalisation and moreover, how it could be overcome.
Then I thought, it’s ludicrous that under current Federal government legislation, Australians attempting to return to Australia from designated ‘hotspots’ would be denied entry. They may have their citizenship revoked if possessing dual nationality, else face certain imprisonment on charges so secretive and dubious in substance that even security agencies and Ministers cannot agree on their scope. This policy overwhelming impacting Australian Muslims, would render subject matter for this particular tech solution, unattainable; how do you procure role models that can’t be accessed? How do you progress a winning idea, partially funded by the same government responsible for creating laws that would thwart its efficacy ?
Then I watched as a Federal MP congratulated the winning team, commenting on the logic of their incisive idea. Seriously.
Then I had chat with John Saffran about irony.
Then I sighed a heavy sigh, left and bought a molten hot chocolate. This beverage was the only logical truth I encountered all evening.
Then I went home. #ironyatitsfinest #facepalm #waronstupid #makeanoise