I’ve been working with Forgotten Australians – those who suffered institutional and/or out of home care as children – for several years here in Brisbane. But earlier this year, before COVID kept us all inside, I toured around my home state of QLD with program manager, Katie McGuire, facilitating workshops in regional centres.
As with all of my work with these extraordinary survivors, I was blown away by their stories and their resilience and willingness to try everything I threw at them.
We called our workshops The Healing Power of Story and part way through our travels were interviewed by local ABC media.
It is a great privilege to be able to contribute even a little towards helping these incredible people heal the pain of their traumatic pasts. As I say in the interview, once I met them, there was no way I could ever leave them.
People like the Forgotten Australians exist in every community. Here in Australia they have been recognised and services like Lotus Place are now available to them, but in many countries this is not yet the case.
Being with them has taught me to never, ever, walk past a homeless person without a smile and a hello. To never judge a book by its cover and to always listen and wait for a story to unfold. You never know what hell a person has been through.
And yet they’ve managed to come through with wide open hearts and great kindness of spirit.
What fun!! We made chocolate chia pudding and a coconut blueberry chia pudding, as well as talking about lots of different aspects of the writing life. We had a great time making (and eating) the puddings and we cover lots of different hints and tips for people pursuing a career as a writer.
As every creative artist trying to make a living knows – you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. In this episode I talk about all the different ways I generate an income from writing and writing related activities.
Over the past few months I’ve been travelling to regional centres across my home state of Queensland running creative writing workshops for Forgotten Australians – people who suffered abuse in institutions and out of home care in their childhoods. I talk with Joanne about why and how this came about and my firm belief in the transformative power of getting your stories out of your head and onto the page – and changing them!