All posts filed under: Tasmania

A psalm a day keeps…

We were like marbles rolling around in a bowl. All around us, 360-degrees, mountains loomed in colours rich, dark and earthy. As the sun rose above the horizon’s lip, shadows began pouring like ink into the crevasses. Hubby Phill and I were at Lees Paddocks in Tassie’s highlands, having hiked in the afternoon before and set up our squeezy two-man tent beside the rickety old hut there. Why didn’t we stay in the hut, you ask? Spiders. Rats. Enough said. The syrupy sun thawed the valley quickly and we pulled on the same clothes, the same boots, cramming unwashed hair beneath hats, ready for some exploration. And the mountains. As we trudged over tussocks, scrambling over fallen trees and lively streams, the shadows changed the mountains’ appearance. The inky black penned in new crags and cliffs; this rock more pronounced, that ledge fading, this ridge slanting at a different angle. Every time I lifted my chin to appreciate the purple-grey-blue-green of the heights, a new vista. Same mountain, new perspective. This year I am reading …

What Does Inclusive Mean?

What does INCLUSIVE mean? Yes, I just asked you a really simple question that isn’t the least bit simple to answer. It seems we do all these well-meaning things to be a more inclusive society, but are they working? Last week there was yet another call to remove The Lord’s Prayer from Tasmanian parliament so that it’s a more “inclusive” space. It’s an interesting thought – excluding something that is meaningful to a part of the population to keep the rest happy. Exclusion to maintain inclusion? Elsewhere, we’re busy adding to the Australian cultural space to become more inclusive. Adding prayer rooms for Muslims, adding acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, adding the Safe Schools program to the curriculum for greater understanding of LGBTI people. We’re adding this and subtracting that, all to achieve the holy grail of inclusivity. My son has an allergy to dairy foods. Often he will go to parties and not be able to eat a lot of the food. He’s cool with it – he understands that dairy products …

Why Young People are Playing the Drug Game

People were leaving the room. They left in groups and pairs, digesting the information in a noise of conversation, shuffling feet and doors swinging open to the bright day outside. One young man held back, waiting. He finally approached the speaker when the room had cleared, tears falling, broken. Tanya Cavanagh and the Teen Challenge team had just delivered the Not Even Once project to a Tasmanian high school, giving information, empowerment and hope to young people faced with the option of substance abuse. She said her heart broke when she met this guy. He opened up to her, explaining his extreme emotional pain and the fear that he would fall into substance abuse to cope. He had no sense of self worth; he felt useless and hated himself. “It was an honour to sit with this brave young man and talk with him about the enormous step he just took to come and speak with us; to show him the gifting he has and that there is a brighter future than the darkness and …

Silenced for the Offence of Offending

My boy starts school next year and we’re sending him to a local Catholic school. The decision-making process on this one was heavy. Considerations ranged from educational to social to cultural to financial to geographical to spiritual. Not to mention whether the uniform colours suited his complexion! Joke. I was just joking. Yes, all these things (except the uniform bit) were vigorously discussed as we novice parents weighed up what was best for our first-born and our family unit. For a whole fleet of reasons, we chose the local Catholic school. The decision didn’t come without implications, without some level of compromise. You see, we are not Catholics. There are parts of the Catholic tradition and liturgy that we don’t adhere to. Yet, in signing those enrolment forms we entered into the construct of a long-established way and we don’t for a moment expect it to change because one little kindergarten kid’s parents don’t do infant baptism or say the Hail Mary. There’s so much about this school that we love – like the way that …