More in Common Than You Would Believe
Over the Easter and Anzac break, I had time to relax, collect my thoughts and observe thousands of Sydney siders and visitors enjoying all the best our city has to offer. Even the weather was perfect.
A COMMON THREAD
The common thread in our newsletter has been to educate, entertain and provoke thought on a wide range of topics which directly or indirectly relate to community living and work. According to Wikipedia the English-language word “community” derives from the Old French comuneté, which comes from the Latin communitas “community“, “public spirit” (from Latin communis, “shared in common”). To my mind that is what strata is about.
Australian has a wonderful volunteer culture, a common thread that also runs through Strata and community living.
In Strata schemes and company title properties, residential or commercial, the backbone is a dedicated group of volunteers who provide their time out of work hours serving as committee and/or boards. The best run are schemes and corporations whose committee/board members have a combination of knowledge, experience, flexibility, a big dose of discipline, positive attitudes, optimism, and at times hide like leather.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT VOLUNTEERS ARE ON YOUR SIDE
From time to time, these volunteers may are confronted by vocal and opinionated individuals, small or minority groups who focus on their own agendas, disregarding the fact that they are dealing with volunteers and tending to treat those hard-working dedicated people as if they were their employees.
There seems to be common elements displayed people who behave unfairly, unreasonably, impatiently or get unnecessarily angry some of these include: –
- misdirected their anger;
- emotional problems;
- inherent personality issues;
- overly negative or suspicious attitudes toward others;
- mistakenly believing they are not being listened to;
- bullies, sexists, racists, homophobics ; bigots; and/or
- a combination of these.
When confronted with rude and aggressive people, your knowledge should kick in to assist you manage whatever is being put to you and help deflect unwelcome and unfair criticism allowing you to focus on providing a calm and objective response.
Volunteers are often taken for granted, and your work can go unappreciated. Some people either ignore, don’t understand or don’t care that your services are being provided voluntarily and volunteers sacrificing their free time to provide assistance.
IT IS NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM
Serving on a committee provides valuable experience akin to being, a board member of a company. With time, you will become more knowledgeable and, importantly, have control over one of your most valued assets: your home, office or commercial property.
On the other hand, even if you don’t serve, knowledge goes a long way. With knowledge of what should or should not be done, you will be able to understand if the scheme is being run efficiently or is dysfunctional.
Lot owners have in common the desire for their schemes to be preserved and conserved. Your property, including the common property, is a prized asset.
Whether you serve on a committee or not, spend time bringing yourself up to speed, at least on the laws relating to meeting procedures, which will also hold you in good stead.
In my experience, knowledge of procedures and the law reduces conflict.
BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE
The technological age provides us at the press of a button the tools to assist in self-education.
I read articles online and watch YouTube on various topics on strata and community management . NCAT also provides recently decided cases decided by the Tribunals.
TRICKS SEARCHING ONLINE
There are some tricks to searching online. Here is a helpful link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqxbZkBlhqo
I have had good results by searching such things as ‘Academic articles about strata title “by-laws” NSW’. When I typed in the key word “by-laws”, I also used ‘NSW’ to narrow the search, because NSW is the state I am interested in finding information.
When I entered the above area of search in Google, I found the following: –
- Strata by laws 2017
- Strata Title Exclusive Use Rights Common Property
- NSW Strata Laws Pets
- Strata Law NSW
- NSW Strata Laws Common Property
- Strata Parking Laws NSW
Another search I conducted, I used the words ‘Academic articles about “strata committee meetings”’ and the following results came up:
- Strata executive committee meeting notice
- Strata executive committee code of conduct
- Strata executive committee conflict of interests
- Negligence executive committee
- Strata committee bullying
- Strata AGM executive committee responsibilities
- Strata committee election
Another example, I typed “strata managers NSW” and the following appeared:
- Strata managers NSW
- Strata management act
- Strata management NSW governments
- Strata management NSW law
- Changing strata managers NSW
- Strata title managers NSW.
When you get the hang of searching, you will obtain most of the information you need, feel more empowered and in control and if you don’t serve on a committee, you will have more in common and more empathy toward your committee or strata manager.
DOES HISTORY TEACH US ANYTHING ABOUT COMMONALITY?
By now you would have guessed this article is about knowledge and commonality. Despite naysayer’s in politics and media, I believe we have more in common than we don’t.
Does history support my contention? In order to find an historical starting point, I Googled “do religions have anything in common?” After all, most religions go back thousands of years and have lots of history and at the time of writing it was Easter. What follows is what I discovered.
For Christians, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus in about 30 AD. A happy and hopeful event. For Jews, Passover (or Pesach as otherwise known) also occurs round Easter and commemorates the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt around 1300 BCE, when they were freed from slavery by the Pharaoh, and their journey through the desert to the land of Canaan (part of modern Israel). On the way, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. Both Christians and Jews believe in Exodus story. The some of those commandments Moses was delivered remain the basis of universal law no matter whether one is religious or not.
It crossed my mind, does Islam have anything in common with Judaism and Christianity. I discovered Islam was founded in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century, about 600 years after the founding of Christianity and thousands of years after Judaism.
Christianity and Islam have common roots going back to Judaism. Each faith has connections to the prophets Moses and Abraham.
Abraham had a son Isaac who is recognised as a patriarch, prophet and messenger of God by Muslims, Jews and Christians.
Muslims believe the Five Pillars of Islam must be followed by all Muslims. Those include the Shahadah (Declaration of faith); trusting and understanding the words of the Shahadah, which means that there is no other god except Allah (the belief in one God is a philosophy also held by Jews and Christians). Jews, Muslims and Christians at one time or another fast and commonly believe in the central values of family, charity, and respect for others.
When Jews, Christians and Muslims have so much in common why is there so much anger and mistrust? I don’t know but I am now fascinated to explore why.
On a lighter note things on in Sydney in May 2019 to enjoy and get together with your family and friends
Here is a great link of things to do in Sydney during the month of May.
Want a laugh? Why not attend the Sydney Comedy Festival on between 22 April to 19 May 2019. http://www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au/about-us
If you like a big feed and music try out Meatstock – The Music and Barbecue Festival 2019 at the Sydney Showground. https://www.sydneyshowground.com.au/events/meatstock-2019/
On Sunday 12 May there is the Mother’s Day Classic. You can do something for your mum AND raise funds for National Breast Cancer through its fun run (or walk), with lots food, coffee and jumping castles. https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/About/Notifications/Event-Mother-s-Day-Classic-Sunday-12-May-2019
One of my big favourites is the Sydney Writers Festival https://www.swf.org.au/about-us/