2019: A Year for Building Community

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If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that I always choose a word to guide me through the year. Previous picks include Learning, Courage, and Focus… but after a few weeks of reflection my choice for 2019 is Community.

In late January we lived that word to its absolute fullest by taking part in a citizenship ceremony and becoming official members of the Australian community.

Our ceremony took place at the Sandy Bay Regatta – in the very park where almost six years ago I decided to give this whole Tassie thing a go – and I think we were all surprised by how emotional the occasion was. It started with a beautiful Welcome to Country from Aunty Brenda Hodge (who I loved all the more when she asked for the support of new citizens in changing the date of Australia Day, leaving Senator Eric Abetz looking like he’d chewed on a fly…) We received warm hugs from a couple of Green pollies who had helped us with earlier visa applications; DorkySon’s best friend was in the audience, watching his Grandpa receive an award; and we sat in the same row as a man from Uganda who had been here ten years, and a man from Edinburgh who had been here 65. Rosellas, cockatoos and lorikeets made a joyous racket in the surrounding gum trees as 80 people, from 29 different countries, became citizens on that day.

It felt like a fitting way to end what has been a lovely summer. Continue reading

South

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Even after more than two years here there are times when my internal compass spins automatically north – times when I try and do things the way they’ve always been done.

I had imagined that January would be productive. New month, new year, new start – the perfect opportunity to get my head together and work on some priorities for 2016. I was going to declutter the house. I was going to detox – alcohol, carbs, social media. I was going to set up my new computer so I could email editors and write something brilliant.

But of course January is still the middle of school summer holidays here, and none of that happened. Instead it was a month of ice cream and beach time, lazy Bruny days, boat trips and books. We had visitors from Scotland, cuddles with kangaroos, and soft, warm evenings in the Adirondack chairs. There were all sorts of loveliness. Continue reading