Go Forth And Collaborate!


Tom Long is a stage and screen actor and an activist, a husband and a father. He played Angus the court clerk in the ABC’s Seachange from 1998 to 2000, Detective Senior Constable Guy ‘Guido’ Martin in the police drama Young Lions in 2002, and Vance in East of Everything from 2008 to 2009. He is now working on a number of short films; in one of these, he plays Abraham, father of all the Abrahamic religions. The Masters degree that he’s undertaking in Integral and Transformative Studies might be helping him understand the role. He also works at Melbourne’s FareShare, an organisation which collects near out-of-date food from supermarkets, cooks it up and sends it on to charities.

1. What’s the headline you’d most like to see on the front page of a daily newspaper?
Australia’s first Aboriginal Prime Minister elected by a landslide!

2. If you could oblige everyone in Australia to click through to one webpage, which one would it be?
Urgent Evoke, for a pretty impressive crash course in changing the world. And then for what might be possible, More Perfect.

3. What is one thing you’ve always wondered about economics but were too afraid to ask?
What the hell are derivatives and why do we need them if we can hardly explain them?

4. When did you last eat a meat pie?
At a servo. But is gristle really meat?

5. What’s the oldest thing in your fridge?
It used to have a name but it has transformed beyond recognition. Fluffy is quite a nice name though.

6. Has anyone got a climate change policy you agree with? Who?
Yes. Beyond Zero Emissions.

7. When was the first time you changed your mind on something important?
Every time I learn something new. It’s why education is so important. Shine the light on ignorance — starting with your own.

8. What’s the household chore you relish the most?
Cooking. I like chopping vegetables.

9. What sort of shoes do you wear to work?
Old man shoes from Savers.

10. What campaigning tactic do you most want to see in this year’s federal election?
Doubt. I would like to see a party say, look we’ve got a really talented team but we need all the help we can get. Then I’d like to see them start a wiki-based collaborative government.

11. Nominate a new public holiday.
Eradicate Irrational Fear Day. Everyone writes down a prejudice they hold on a piece of paper and then all together we make them into one big origami detention centre and burn it.

12. If you could go tomorrow anywhere in Australia for a holiday, where would you go?
Camping and walking in the Flinders Ranges.

13. What’s your favourite YouTube video?
The Chooky Dancers doing Zorba.

14. If you were given $5 million, what would you spend it on?
I would say I would give it away but I know I probably would find some lame-arsed excuse to hang onto most of it. Then I’d feel guilty and spend a lot on therapy. Forecasting that, I would like to see educational camps run by Aboriginal Elders for the rest of us to learn how to really care for this land and to learn the old ways so as to try and weave that way of seeing into the fabric of Australian identity.

15. Who would you most like to sit next to on a long haul flight?
An old Italian lady returning to Italy for the first time in 50 years to reunite with her long lost lover.

16. What trivia question/topic will you beat everyone else in the pub to the buzzer on?
Tools. I love tools.

17. Complete this sentence. I’d like to hear Kevin Rudd say "…"
"Curtin detention centre is no longer. The facilities have now become a centre for tree propagation."

18. Name someone in Australian public life who deserves a promotion.
Bob Brown at the next election.

19. In 10 words or less, summarise your food philosophy.
Did it actually live? Are you sure? Would Granny eat this?

20. What question should we ask our next interviewee?
Can you write something about yourself with all the meanings of the word ‘blue’ in it?

BONUS QUESTION from last week’s interviewee:
What will make us take the action needed to prevent environmental disaster?
Collaboration, co-operation, mutual aid and working for the greater good. I see two things running alongside each other: limited resources/economies and climate change. Working together is our one hope. We are fighting over the food on a sinking ship when we need to focus on why the ship is sinking. Hopefully new interactive mass collaborative technologies will help us reach agreement. I am sure the focus will shift — but will it be too late? Go forth and collaborate!

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.