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The taste of power

Being chief cook and presenter of meals, I wield a lot of power in the home. I influence the quality, the taste and the size of meal portions. Simply by initiating conversations about food, I can bring a pleasant anticipatory mood to an otherwise dull day in Lockdownville. Sometimes I express a whimsical mood in creative cooking with disastrous results, for which I am usually forgiven, these being rare occasions.

Sometimes power faces a bulwark, as parents find with children who have food allergies or who are chronic fussy eaters, perhaps due to disability. To sustain their health you take the advice of professionals employed within systems of support, dieticians, speech therapists, psychologists, and doctors. You may also rely on implementation of dietary programs by childcare educators, babysitters and others in the community that surrounds the child. Some may fail in their responsibility. Ultimately, it’s down to you, but that doesn’t rule out all your nurturing achievements.

On Saturday 26th of September, Jenny Mikakos , Minister for Health and the Coordination of Health and Human Services: COVID-19, resigned for her department’s failure to contain Covid-19 in hotel quarantine. She said she didn’t believe her actions were responsible for Victoria’s second wave of infection. However, what she has been held responsible for is her department's inaction.

Her resignation as Minister for Health should not take away from her being remembered for her work as Minister for Early Childhood Education, where she presided over a doubling in early childhood education and parenting investment, significant expansions of the Maternal and Child Health services and Supported Playgroups and set the groundwork for Labor’s commitment to implement universal three-year-old kindergarten from 2019. Parents have a lot to thank her for.

Any of us who have tasted power must sometimes admit to failure. It’s tough, but it’s only part of our story.

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