New Song Out This Thursday

I’ve been working on a bunch of new music this year with the help of Michael Marmion at Zun Studios, who very generously sponsored this record.

Not My Job To Make You Happy features Melbourne’s finest soul singer, Candice Monique. It’s a jazzy, soul record about how I moved on from the unhealthy need to try and please everyone by just swaying to other people’s needs. Which is kind of tiring =. As Finch explains:

“We all curate our lives to some extent. And for people-pleasers, the ways in which we do that “curating” piece often stems from a place of fear … To avoid conflict, negative emotions, … will go out of their way to mirror someone’s opinions and appease them in order to deescalate situations or potential issues.”


Not My Job To Make You Happy is out on all streaming platforms this Thursday. You can save the pre-release here if you’d like to be notified of the exact release. Otherwise you can follow me on Spotify, Apple and all the other platforms.

PS. Saving the pre-release is very helpful for me as it makes Spotify’s and Apple’s algorithms more favorable to the release 🙂


UNICEF-supported Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP)

Education for Refugees

DEWA-UNICEF Accelerated Learning Programme 

UNICEF supported us through the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) to provide further eduction for our students. Through this programme, which is being funded by the Government of the Netherlands, nearly 11,000 children between the ages of 9 to 13 years have been enrolled in schools. These are children who had either dropped out or were never enrolled in a school ever before.

“Mathematics is my favourite subject,” says Amanullah (10), a student at one of the UNICEF-supported ALP centres in village Killi Nasirabad. “When the teacher comes to our classroom, we say Good Morning Teacher; and when we need to drink water, we ask for it in English. This is what I like the most as very few people in our community can speak English. I can!”

© UNICEF/Pakistan/2015/Asad Zaidi
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Karin Hulshof observes children learning in a classroom at one of…

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Episode 4: refugee rights protection in the Asia-Pacific, with Trish Cameron

In this episode Kate interviewed Trish Cameron, Legal Aid Coordinator at Suaka, an Indonesia-based network that works for refugee rights protection in the country. While global focus has been on th…

Source: Episode 4: refugee rights protection in the Asia-Pacific, with Trish Cameron

Episode 3 of the Sub Rpsa Podcast: understanding terrorism in Indonesia, with Noor Huda Ismail

For this episode, Andrew spoke to Noor Huda Ismail, an Indonesian author, film-maker, activist, and PhD candidate. Huda set up several non-government rehabilitation programs for terrorists released…

Source: Episode 3: understanding terrorism in Indonesia, with Noor Huda Ismail

Grealy & Sinaga Collaboration Project

When I was living in Jogjakarta, Indonesia in 2013 I worked on some collaborations with beat-maker, producer and rapper Alex Sinaga.

Here’s one of the songs we worked on during this time. More to come soon 🙂

Back in the studio

Back in the studio this morning putting the final touches on my first single due for release in November. Got a pretty folky vibe, and was inspired by the character from one of my favourite books, Darkness at Noon.

The single will be released in Indonesia and then in Australia once I return later this year.

Send me an email if you’d like to keep up to date with release info kategrealy99 [at]

Have a great weekend 🙂

Drug offenses expose Indonesia’s problems

Drug use in Indonesia: a cultural-political perspective

Laine Berman

Drug offenses expose Indonesia’s problems

(printed in Inside Indonesia but I don’t know when….. google gagal!)
by Laine Berman
For the past few years a great many articles have appeared on Indonesia’s drug ‘culture’ and the disastrous impact it has on youth. Blame is thrown about at all sides but little has yet appeared to link drug use among teens to the police, the court system, and families themselves. Youths caught in this system of denial, corruption and abuse are more likely than not to return to drugs and crime because it provides no ‘healing’ – only abuse, resentment, and intense hatred toward that system. I argue that families of drug users themselves have a major responsibility in perpetuating this cycle of drug abuse.
On an afternoon in June 2005 in Yogyakarta, four young men that I knew well were arrested for drug offenses. One was a small time dealer…

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How effective are strategies to counter violent extremism?

Here’s something I wrote for today’s Lowy Interpreter

The Australian Government has just announced that more than $22 million will be spent on battling the radicalisation of young Muslims in Australia. But just how effective are these counter-terrorism programs?

Critics of the Federal Government’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy have highlighted problems that have emerged after nine years of CVE community engagement and intervention. One concern is that CVE policies have the potential to divide Muslim communities because they embrace questionable notions of what it means to be ‘moderate’ or a ‘radical’, preferencing and seeking to ‘deputise‘ the former in order to keep the latter in check.

Gallipoli Mosque, Sydney. (Flickr/Asem.)

Community critics of the CVE strategy also emphasise that law enforcement leadership of CVE outreach programs is problematic, firstly because it indicates that the Government has ‘securitised’ the Muslim community, and secondly because such outreach strategies have the tendency to be experienced as an extra layer of unwanted scrutiny on a community of predominantly law-abiding citizens. These issues have the potential to erode trustbetween law enforcement and Muslim communities. Because positive relations between communities and law enforcement are so central public safety, the Government has an interest in carefully measuring the impact of its CVE activities on its target communities.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has been at the forefront of proactive community engagement responses to CVE since establishing its Islamic Liaison Team in 2007. The team also assisted in contributing to national policy initiatives as part of the Federal Government’s national CVE strategy. The philosophy behind the AFP’s initiative reflected CVE trends emerging at that time. The terrorist threat, it was argued, could be reduced by building‘positive, trusting and cohesive relationships with the community, (which) over time will help increase (the community’s) resilience to extremist behaviours by creating greater levels of social cohesion.’ Within this strategy, ‘at-risk’ groups could be targeted with engagement programs to ‘promote social inclusion.’

But some members of the community argue that this kind of policy has a tendency to reinforce the notion ‘that the entire Muslim community is to blame for its few bad apples.’ As a result, the current CVE model of engagement has begun to be viewed with suspicion by the community, with some leaders calling on the community to boycottparticipation in AFP initiatives such as the Iftar dinner and Eid festivals. But, in the words of one AFP officer, the AFP are ‘damned if they do, and damned if they don’t’ continue such programs. The AFP executive is convinced that community engagement is central to CVE, and parts of the Muslim community also expect that the Government will help them to provide ‘social support’ to their young people to prevent them from radicalising, despite others in the community criticising such programs.

Beside the potential to alienate the Muslim community, the effectiveness of CVE community engagement measures as a counter-terrorism (CT) strategy has not been properly measured. As Prof Basia Spalek points out, ‘there has been little empirical investigation of community-based approaches within a CT context…As a result, there is little empirical understanding of…whether (these types of policies) may clash and serve to undermine each other.’.

The perception from some in the Muslim community that the Government’s counter-terrorism approach treats Muslim communities not as partners but as ‘suspect’ presents significant challenges, especially because of the potential this uninvited scrutiny has to create another level of alienation in young people. The latest policy announcement, which devotes $22 million to the Muslim community’s presumed social disadvantage by helping new Muslim migrants find education and employment, also ignores the reality that the causal link between socio-economic troubles and radicalisation is tenuous.

There is much international literature detailing the importance of reducing risks of alienation and radicalisation through redressing policies seen as racially or religiously targeting one community. Studies have come from the US,UK as well as Australia. Yet the focus on the Muslim community by CVE strategies helps perpetuate ‘essentialist stereotypes of terrorists as religious Muslims,’ and leave the community feeling over-scrutinised.

The prime directive of CVE policy is ‘first, to do no harm’. To date, there is little evidence that Australian CVE policy has been informed by this directive. Nor is there an indication our policy-makers have assessed the effectiveness of the CVE programs that have been in operation for the past nine years. The Australian Government needs to take onlessons from US and the UK which show that, in order to reduce the terrorist threat, we need counter-terrorism policies that don’t alienate those most vulnerable to radicalisation.

The Interpreter is published by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, an independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Sydney, publishing daily commentary and analysis on international events.

The Rise of ‘Mama’

“Like most cultural shifts in language, the rise of white, upper-middle class women who call themselves ‘mama’ seemed to happen slowly, and then all at once.”


Elissa Strauss | Longreads | May 2015 | 15 minutes (4,006 words)

I first noticed “mama” while pregnant with my son in 2012. I was browsing on the internet—familiarizing myself the different types of mothers out there, trying to figure out what kind of mother I might become—when I noticed a number of alternative moms who referred to themselves as “mama.” This was the radical homemaking, attachment parenting, extended breastfeeding bunch, and “mama” was right at home with their folksy, back-to-the-earth approach to motherhood.

This use of mama can be traced back to women like Ariel Gore, who began publishing her alternative parenting magazine “Hip Mama” in 1993. Inspired by her experience as an urban single mom, the magazine became the source of parenting advice for riot grrrl types, tattooed and pierced women who wanted to find a way to embrace parenthood while simultaneously rejecting much of the bourgeois accouterment…

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