A Sibyl Watches Over the Myanmar Elections 2015

by Sue Lees

Myanmar election quote

Myanmar Historic General Election November 8 2105

Travels with a Sybil: We don’t stay home and knit when we retire!!!

Democracy is such an ordinary concept to us. We argue about how well it functions in aspects of our politics but ultimately we expect a democratic society to operate. Myanmar (Burma) has had no such belief. Democracy in Myanmar has been a cherished but fragile idea.


I was privileged to have the opportunity to be in Myanmar for the November 8 2015 election as an accredited international election observer under the auspices of APHEDA (Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad also called Union Aid Abroad, which is the overseas aid agency of the ACTU) and under the leadership of Professor Damien Kingsbury, Deakin University.

Our purpose was to observe the election process – pre-polling, Election Day, counting and report any inconsistencies and problems. Particularly any opportunities that became apparent for influencing the voting. As observers we were to be highly visible, non-partisan and not allowed to interfere.


The most positive outcome available from the electoral process that had been instigated would be (and now is) ‘Guided Democracy’ with the military constitutionally maintaining 25% of parliament and three key ministries – interior, defence and border security. The NLD must now govern with some of the military influence intact, but in can be argued that, at this stage, a full democracy with a party that has no governing experience could be unwise.


I say that I was privileged because I had the opportunity not only to participate in the election process but also to meet and hear the Burmese. To find out what was important to them:

“Our vote is our chance to fight back”.


Voiceless politically for so long, they were determined to be heard.


Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, Venice, 2014

Sue Lees, 56, is a retired teacher and apprentice Sibyl. Despite traveling from Australia to work as a volunteer in schols in Nepal and Timor and now observing electiona in Myanmar, she says she is quiet and quite insignificant!



Beyond Gen Y Fads Cool & Classy

by Kerry Cue

Womad 2015 Festival vibe

You can find more information about Her Magnificence (above) here along with more fab fashion at WOMAD, Adelaide, here and our very special Chemo Fashionista, Jules, here. Meanwhile, here are some more Cool & Classy fashionistas at WOMAD.

Mother and Daughter with the WOW Factor.

Mother and Daughter with the WOW Factor.

Dazzling African Print

Dazzling African Print

Spot on class.

Spot on style.

The Fabulous Hazel

The Fabulous Hazel

Officialish FAB

Officialish & Classy too

Chemo Fashionista

by Kerry Cue

Womad 2015 Festival vibe

The Truly Fabulous Jules

This is the Funky and Fabulous Jules at WOMAD 2015. She caught my attention because she radiated such a positive vibe. But she had a story to tell. Jules started a Chemo regime of treatment every two weeks – 6 months ago. She was heading back into ‘the chair’ the day after this photograph was taken. She is an example to us all. Grab life now. Celebrate now. Non of us know the future.

We, The Sibyls, thank Jules for sharing her positively contagious spirit and wish her a speedy recovery.


Beyond Y Gen Fads: Funky & Fabulous

by Kerry Cue

Womad 2015 Festival vibe

WOMADelaide 2015I’ve just been to WOMAD 2015 in Adelaide. The spanish pair, Osadia (Left in action) enthralled the crowd with their hair art. One could only pay homage to the Her Magnificence (Pictured above), sporting one of Osadia’s many magisterial creations at the Festival. Osadia made me think that we are all rather dull with our own creative coiffures. Meanwhile, I wandered around the crowd asking fellow festival goers if I could take their photos for a Festival Vibe post on Sibylesque. Here is the first (There will be two more in posts) of some of the Funky & Fab festival goers:

pic 1a

pic 2aa





PIC 11

NO WIFI: What can we do grandma?

 by The SibylsSibylesque   Having Fun Quote

Two thoughts for the New Year:

1. You can never have too much fun.

2. Life was funny, so funny, before wifi,

but you had to be there.

Sibylesque No Wifi Quote