I had the following response to my article on “The Spirit of Christmas;”

“What is the purpose of this article? Why should we think that your opinion of Christmas counts for anything?

Especially when you confuse race with religion – they are different things.

People of all kinds live in home units. Some of them are white christians who dislike the commercial nature of Christmas and the artificial nature of a lot of what passes for Christmas celebration. They may also prefer peace and quiet and may well object to Christmas music being piped around the building.

Whether or not the owner’s corporation chooses to allow Christmas decorations or other signs of Christmas is purely a decision for the committee in consultation with the owners. Your opinion carries no weight at all.”

We also received a comment supporting our views:

Interesting comments about Xmas trees, music, decorations etc on common property…and obviously an emotional issue for some people. Especially relevant at the moment with the current national debate about protecting peoples’ respective religious rights, beliefs etc eg my right not to bake you a cake because I don’t like your choice of life-partner.

This article is a worthy contribution to a strata-specific website which inherently covers a community of people all living together, each with their own views, prejudices, etc. What weight we attach to it is a matter of personal choice, but it is relevant. What is also important is that we communicate our views etc to each other in a civil and caring way.

Obviously, my opinion does count!  Well, at least it counts for those who agree with me. Like my critic, I live in a society where the only opinion that counts is my own and those who agree with me. To my critic, his opinion is important to himself and those who agree with him.

The conversation is what is important. As is the necessity of communicating in a civil way.

My critic is, unfortunately, wrong regarding my confusion about race and religion. The Race Discrimination Act 1995 considers that discrimination on the basis of religion forms part of racial discrimination. This is the same in any state legislation across Australia.

I often ask my classes, “What is the first thing that comes into your head about ‘Strata?’” I hear responses like, “buildings”, “whingers”, “arrogance” and “disputes”.

One in four Australians live in strata or community title. It is the fastest growing form of living within our country and it is also the fastest growing business for solicitors handling disputes for people who cannot learn to get on.

What has never been understood is that, strata schemes are a place where people live and do their business. It is their home and they live in this complex, not because they want to but because there are reasons that they must. It is like a beehive with no hierarchy and no queen bee to sort out the drones. It is a number of monocultures placed in the one cosmos hoping that people will get along.

Regrettably, strata living as a form of good living is not working. And whilst my critic criticizes my opinion, it demonstrates why strata schemes are so problematic. Those with strong opinions win and those who have a different opinion are attacked.

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email info@leveragegroup.com.au or call 1300 438 538