Happy Wear It Purple Day – Friday 26 August. This year’s theme is ‘Still me, still human’.
“The message being that people tend to focus on labels, the news story, the target or data and forget what we truly are – human.” The 2022 ‘Wear it Purple’ theme has a message of humanity, honesty, integrity and authenticity when discussing all diverse identities within the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are your hospitality workers, your retail staff, your lawyers, your financial advisors, your teachers, your librarians and, most importantly, your youth. We are human. It reassures us that the world is changing for the better to embrace a variety of diverse individuals and, over time, remove dehumanising stigmas surrounding LGBTQIA+ communities.”
We hope that in sharing these fascinating stories, we can help to reduce the stigma and taboo surrounding death & dying to assist our community in healing and preparing for one of life’s inevitable challenges. ‘Humans of Kings Funerals’ is a short series opening the door to locals who work in funeral services, their purpose, and their lives within our shared community.
The world of the mortuary technician can seem mysterious and is easily misunderstood. In the first of our new six-part series, which will air once a month, we meet Kim Lugg, Mortuary Assistant at Kings Funerals. We explore the various tasks and responsibilities a mortuary worker has to take on when preparing a deceased person for their final journey and how she came to be in this role.
“It’s a privilege to actually look after these people and make them beautiful again. People say, ‘Oh, you must be a special kind of person to be able to do that sort of thing.’ I just think that it’s something that I am honoured to do. I love what I do, to be told that at the end of the day, that someone’s loved one looks so much better than the last time they were seen – that to me is everything.” Kim Lugg, Geelong Local.
Stephen Parker’s love of rivers began as a child, when he discovered the joys of fishing on and exploring the Barwon River. “I was an adventurous kid, always wanting to see what is around the next bend in the river,” remembers Stephen.
“I’ve always had an attraction to rivers and river systems. They do feel like an unchartered pathway.”
That sense of adventure and exploration led Stephen to the world of canoe racing, and a longstanding membership of the Geelong Canoe Club.
Stephen took up canoeing in high school, and enjoyed it as a mindful activity, before embracing the competitive world of marathon canoeing. In one year Stephen won the Echuca marathon, Barwon mini-marathon, and the Murray marathon, which runs over a daunting 404 kilometres.
“My recent short horror film, ‘Do No Harm’ is my seventh film and the first to be sent out to film festivals around the world. I’m so proud it has been officially selected for six film festivals. Of that six, I have won awards in three festivals and came semi-finalist in another two. ‘Do No Harm’ was my Honours film that I wrote, produced and directed at Deakin University. It was shot entirely in Geelong.” We hear from talented filmmaker Mark P Sinozic.
“’Do No Harm’ deals with isolation and helplessness in the face of a dying sibling. Scarlett, a young woman who is looking after her sickly, bed-ridden sister, is soon faced with a terrible decision in order to save her sister’s life.
“I’m in the process of developing my first feature film, also set and to be shot in Geelong. This feature takes my short film and expands the story and themes, presenting an exciting story of dark supernatural forces in Geelong. I am self-funding this feature as well as running a gofundme campaign to raise further money. https://www.gofundme.com/manage/tyranny-of-darkness-feature-film
“I was born and raised in Geelong and have lived here most of my life. I’ve always had a strong interest in film and film making going back to childhood. It wasn’t until well after high school that I considered studying film at University.” We are so glad Mark followed his dream.
“I’m opening my new art studio in our old Shearing Shed, for the first time, for the Surf Coast Arts Trail, so we have been very busy getting it up to scratch. Our property is quite well known in the district as one of the original farms in Winchelsea, and I plan to host workshops and art groups from this space in future.” Local artist Sally Miller talks lovingly about her new gallery and workshop space. “It’s been used as a storage space for years and I’m very excited about its new identity.”
“Our property is the old Quambatook Shearing Shed at 135 Winchelsea Deans March Rd. The Surf Coast Arts Trail, is next weekend, 6th and 7th August from 10-4pm. Wear your gumboots or sensible walking shoes as a number of studios are in rural locations.
“We are hoping for good numbers for the 10th Surf Coast Arts Trail this year, after two years of cancellations. A number of new studios have been included in the trail. We have a strong arts group in my area, Winchelsea, called ‘River Lee’ and a few of these artists are showing their works in the arts trail too. Find out more and download the map here https://surfcoastartstrail.com.au/
“Paper Women takes women’s stories/experiences of abuse and uses them to create an artwork. Women can either write their story or indicate the types of abuse they have suffered through a checkbox survey. Their stories and experiences are then printed into the artwork – one paper woman per response, forming part of a chain of women,” explains Portarlington artist Amanda Firenze.
“So far 54 responses have been received. The artwork has been exhibited at the Geelong Library and the Vines Road Community Centre. It is currently on display at the Rosewall Community Centre. Check out my website to see where it is going next. The paper women are also displayed online, with permission. All printed stories are anonymous to protect women’s identities and can also be submitted anonymously. My website and information on where you can submit is listed below.
“I do not understand the human race, has so little love for creatures with a different face. Treating animals like people is no madness or disgrace.” Dr Dolittle. When you first meet Dr Barbara Baird you are reminded of this quote from Dr Dolittle. Barbara is a lively, intelligent woman with a myriad of talents and interests, not least of all ‘her’ native Australian animals, which she regards as family.
After working one-hundred-hour weeks, as a specialist anaesthetist, Barbara gifted herself early retirement in 1983. ‘Retirement’ obviously has a different definition in Barbara’s language. It appears synonymous with a change of direction rather than actually slowing down. One would suspect that she still commits to one-hundred-hour weeks with her involvement in ABC Friends Victoria, Australian Conservation Foundation, rescuing and nursing back to health injured Australian fauna and restoring, since 1983 a 64.75 hectares property, which had been completely decimated by cattle and soil erosion.
When Barbara happened across the deserted property, with a forlorn “For Sale” sign hanging haphazardly from a rusted gate, she fell in love and relished the challenge it presented. Living with no electricity for many years, Barbara has only in the past few years installed solar panels and remains off grid. The land responded to Barbara’s love and innovative ideas. Now nurtured back to full health it is a safe haven and habitat to a dynamic ecosystem. Holding court is an ancient Eucalyptus tree that Barbara fondly named her Thinking Tree. In 1983 the tree was one of the few signs of hope on the abandoned property. Over the years Barbara has sat in its bough, sharing every emotion and dream with this steadfast tree friend.
“When I was 14, my family moved overseas. I vividly remember a friend turning to me and saying, ‘You can be anyone you want now. You can totally reinvent yourself’. I think that’s so relatable, this dream of starting over. Of being someone brand new and better, like some kind of magic trick. It’s something so many of us try to do every New Year’s or even every Monday! A few years ago, I realised it would make a great opening for a novel.”
We interviewed award-winning writer @Miranda Luby Writer about writing and publishing her debut young adult novel, Sadie Starr’s Guide to Starting Over, out on August 2nd.
“After starting out at the @Geelong Advertiser and @GT Magazine, I’ve been a freelance journalist and copywriter for most of my career. I’ve written for publications like BBC Travel, National Geographic, and the New York Post.”
“My whole life I’d dreamed of writing a novel, but my perfectionism and fear of failure always got in the way. I’d write pages of notes, maybe even a few chapters, but give up when I was worried it wasn’t good enough. Finally, I decided to lean into those fears and write them into the novel in the hope that it might help someone else struggling with the same things.”
“I entered the novel in the Text Prizeand a few months later I received a call from @Text Publishing saying they wanted to publish it. It was an absolute dream come true and I have no doubt that it happened because I decided to write from the heart, which is the best advice I can give any aspiring writer.”
“Sadie Starr’s Guide to Starting Over is about a 16-year-old girl whose family moves interstate when she’s in year 11 and she uses it as a chance to reinvent herself. But when things get very complicated with a girl gang at her new school, she realises she can’t really leave her past self behind. The book is about all the ways black-and-white thinking can be harmful to us both personally and in our society: disordered eating, perfectionism, social media activism, cancel culture. I hope it helps people, especially teens, see the world and others with a little more nuance.”
“And a bonus for locals: there’s a scene set on the Surf Coast! Can you guess which lookout it is?”
Miranda will be signing personalised copies of her book at @Torquay Books on Saturday, August 6th from 11am – 1pm.
My name is Prashanth Ramesh (@biriyaniprabhu) from India. I’m a graduate of Deakin University with a master’s degree in Electrical and Renewable Energy Engineering.
I came to Australia in November 2019, with no expectations to be a part of this beautiful community. The welcoming culture and diversified society here made me feel more comfortable and allowed me to be myself most of the time. The people, the weather, the culture and the food have made me feel at home, and today, Geelong is my home away from home.
My passion led me to make some amazing connections on the Instagram platform which I will cherish for a long time. Out of all the foods I have had and loved, Biriyani is something which is an emotion to me and hence the love of Biriyani made me name my page “Biriyani Prabhu” which means “Lord/ King of Biriyani”.
I have continued my exploration here in Australia by visiting some eateries that stand out and have their uniqueness of their own, having said that, I’m still yet to visit places and know more and taste more.
My basic rule in blogging would be that “Content is the King”. If the content is good, the audience will automatically like/follow, rather than focussing on the quantity, focusing on quality is what I keep in my mind and suggest to bloggers and friends even in their lives.
There are so many things that I learned and adapted in my life from my blogging, every day is a learning opportunity, and every day is a day to make different from yesterday and plan for a better tomorrow.