Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Sixteen and Conclusion) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Tom Paxton – Whose Garden Was This? (Live 1971)
“It won’t just be the Australian government and businesses that will be watching this conference but also many governments around the globe,” Aurora is saying from the front passenger seat to Rita and Zsofia.
“Do you know Professors Bappy and Jules?” Rita asks.
“Don’t tell me those two blokes are involved,” Oliver says in a voice full of disgust. “Whatever you do don’t agree to meet either of them for drinks. Whatever they offer you whether food or drink-wise it’s probably spiked with Ecstasy.”
“They are most certainly are going to be there,” Rita replies with a frustrated sigh.
At the entrance to the University both Aurora and Oliver hug Rita and Zsofia. “Let us know when you’re done,” Aurora says before she and Oliver drive away.
“I feel like we’re going into a dream or battle,” Zsofia says with her game face on.
“Just a conference,” Rita says in a shaky voice.
Inside they meet Merindah. Like them she’s dressed professionally. Rita notices that Merindah’s clothes are the colours of the University. A red blouse and blue pants with gold stripes. “Ready?” Merindah asks.
“No,” Rita and Zsofia say at the same time then laugh.
Together they walk down the long hallway with the ceiling so high Rita still thinks it’s meant for giants; if not from the past then perhaps the future.
The conference room is modern with a round table at the centre. Rita sees a number of women and men already seated with folded name cards facing out. They all have intent stares and wear business suits. Rita gives a sigh of relief; Iluka is among them. Directly across from where she and Zsofia are to sit are Professors Bappy and Jules.
“We owe Aurora for the blouses and slacks we’re wearing,” Zsofia whispers to her.
“We owe both her and Oliver a great deal of gratitude,” Rita whispers back. “And if this works so does the rest of the planet.” Rita’s blouse is semi-translucent white on purpose. She wants to make sure the two rainbow snakes are at least partially visible.
“You’re by the globe maker,” Merindah tells them.
“Let us get started,” Professor Bappy says. “Unlike my cohort Professor Jules I do think we need to be concerned about the environment.” Rita is intrigued at how smooth Bappy speaks. “However, I fear the financial cost is too great.”
“That’s why we need governments and businesses to work together,” Rita says.
“Each country should deal with its own problems,” Professor Jules says with a grumble as he sits with his arms crossed over his chest.
“On March 11, 2011 an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan causing a tsunami and affecting around 805 km of its coastline,” Zsofia says. “Up to eighteen million tonnes of debri from that earthquake was estimated to land on Canada’s west coast by 2014.”
“What does that have to do with today’s meeting? And remember I’m very educated in environmental issues,” Professor Bappy throws in.
Rita smiles as Zsofia leans forward and says, “That means, what happens in one place effects another place on Earth. Australia’s use of coal is affecting air, ground and water causing illness and death.”
“Now you’re attacking Australia! This is nonsense,” Professor Jules shouts out as he stands up and slaps his hands onto the table.
Zsofia leans farther forward. “We’re in Australia so we should include it,” she replies.
“Plastic is another concern,” Rita says, intentionally changing the subject.
“Are we here to talk about plastic?” Professor Bappy asks sarcastically.
“We’re here to discuss the environment,” Rita replies with a soothing voice. “Almost all countries are polluting the environment with plastic waste. Too much of it is entering the ocean creating plastic islands. Renewable, recyclable, environmental friendly energy and products are needed.”
“Businesses will shut down if governments enforce these changes,” Professor Bappy says in a very paternal voice.
“People will be out of work,” Professor Jules shouts out.
“Absolutely not,” Zsofia says. “Governments and businesses can work with universities and colleges to make changes smooth and efficient.”
“And cost tax payers an exorbitant amount of money to make these changes,” Professor Jules says with a guffaw.
“The idea of collaborating,” Rita says with more calm than she feels, “is that the transition to environmentally friendly energy and products becomes an easy transition. Jobs aren’t lost their replaced and healthy individuals think clearer. Less toxins in the air, ground, and water means less stress on the health system. For the companies that need assistance for the changeover taxpayers, and such the government, can afford to financially assist.”
“And for businesses that refuse to change?” Professor Jules says with a snarl.
“There will be penalties, perhaps even shut downs,” Zsofia says. “But the majority of businesses are willing to make changes to make an environmentally friendly Earth.”
“What’s to stop businesses from buying environmentally friendly technology or companies that create the technology and shutting them down?” It’s the first time Iluka has spoken up.
“Laws need to be implemented to make such happenings illegal,” Zsofia replies. “Normally a project is non-disclosure until a paper is written. A special government department should be created, if it hasn’t already, to over-ride non-disclosure deals and stop the destruction of knowledge.”
Rita stands up and turns on the light sabre like device. A globe of the Earth appears. She expands it with her hands. “When it comes to developing environmentally safe energy and products we need to collaborate as a planet, not just individual countries. We need to share ideas and technologies. Each environment has its own solutions. A country’s natural resources should be used to replace coal and plastics and other environmentally damaging products. In other words there isn’t a single answer but many.”
Back in her room at the University, Rita gathers up the few items that are hers. Zsofia has gone with Merindah to clean out her room. Later Zsofia will head back to Canada while she’ll meet up with Marlo. Her door opens and Professor Bappy and Jules enter.
“No one will heed what you said today Sheila,” Professor Bappy says.
“They will,” she replies. She knows that you have to believe in something to make it happen.
“Those symbols on your chest and on your belly won’t save you,” Professor Jules says. “We’ve corrupted the Dreamtime so it Dilga’s powers will arrive too late.”
Rita sees a familiar tall female figure walk by her open door but the professors don’t seem to notice. “Shall I call you Bamapana and Julana?” she asks.
“Whatever you want lover,” Julana says with a sneer as he steps closer.
“Do you know what I am?” Rita asks as the colour of her pupils start to change.
Julana takes a step back and bumps into the tall form of Bamapana.
Bamapana starts to open the door wider to escape when he trips over something.
A giant snake the colour of the rainbow slithers over him.
Rita places her hands overhead and presses her palms together. “Back to the Dreamtime for you,” she says as her body changes.
Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt