Oct 2023

ED’S LETTER

"There’s a lot of very real trauma happening in the world right now, and it can be hard to know how to respond. With love, I think, is the only possible answer, although it doesn’t seem like nearly enough."

I’m writing this note the day after the referendum. I can’t hide how devastated I am. I had so hoped that the country would lead with compassion, respect, generosity and empathy. Instead it seems that fear and misinformation won out. My heart goes out to the many Aboriginal people who had been desperately hoping for a different result. I think however you voted, it’s our job as a society to ensure that our First Nations people feel as safe and loved as they possibly can in the aftermath of such a moment. It’s an honour that we get to live in this country together with the oldest living civilisation on the planet, one with such rich cultural, spiritual and educational practices. I hope that despite this setback, we find other ways to champion their cause and change the status quo.

Between this and the horrors occurring in Israel and Gaza, I feel like I’ve spent this whole weekend checking in on my friends and acquaintances that are effected and letting them know that I’m here for them.

There’s a lot of very real trauma happening in the world right now, and it can be hard to know how to respond. With love, I think, is the only possible answer, although it doesn’t seem like nearly enough.

I did have a letter ready to go for this issue. It was my usual lighthearted ridiculousness, some safe nostalgic musings. And maybe lighthearted and nostalgic is exactly what’s needed right now. But I don’t feel much like musing about trivial matters when there’s so much pain around, so we’ll save it for another time.

For now, move forward gently, and be kind.

Love,
Justine

“My heart goes out to the many Aboriginal people who had been desperately hoping for a different referendum result. I think however you voted, it’s our job as a society to ensure that our First Nations people feel as safe and loved as they possibly can in the aftermath of such a moment.”

PS One way some people can feel less helpless in times like this is to donate money if they’re in a position to do so. If that’s you, here are some relevant organisations:


- The Aboriginal Legal Service provides legal support in criminal law, children’s care and protection law and family law, and fights for law reform in the areas working against Aboriginal communities.


- Pay The Rent uses donated restitutions paid to support the self-determination, economic independence and welfare of Aboriginal people.


- Change the Record is a First Nations-led coalition of legal, health and family violence prevention experts working to end the incarceration of and family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


- Doctors Without Borders provides independent, impartial medical humanitarian assistance to the people around the globe who need it most.


- World Central Kitchen is a non-governmental, non-political organisation providing critical meals and food kits to displaced families in Israel and Gaza


- UNICEF is currently delivering medical supplies, fuel, and mental health support to the Gaza Strip.

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