Things I Love About Autumn

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  • The scent of autumn leaves.

  • The sunset colour of the leaves from the browns through to the yellows and reds and claret.

  • The scent of woodsmoke fires at dusk.

  • The crisp morning air, where you can pull the covers up under your chin.

  • Warm sunshine with a cool breeze.

  • The budding Daphne and Camellia plants.

  • Figs emerging on the trees for a June harvest.

  • Autumn root vegetables for slow cooking.

  • Knitwear!

  • Boots!

  • Warm and colourful scarves.

  • Hot coffee with friends while sitting in the fresh air at a cafe.

  • Slower days and slow cooking.

  • Red wine and crosswords.

  • Fluffy socks and slippers.

  • Entire weekends watching TV while wrapped in a blanket, because there is a cold spell.

  • Drives to country markets and antique stores.

  • Football.

  • My birthday!

  • Enjoying apple season by making an apple pie.

  • Making pumpkin soup (this is my fave recipe for it.)

  • Picking chestnuts, roasting chestnuts, eating chestnuts.

  • Making a fire pit or buy a fire dish and toast marshmallows outside.

  • Hanging fairy lights in your house to create some sparkle during the dull nights.

  • Having a movie night with your beloveds, eat popcorn, watch a new movie and an old fave.

  • Planting bulbs for a colourful display in Spring.

  • Playing board games with family or friends.

  • Making a dessert with a crumble topping, add ice cream.

  • Putting flannel sheets on your bed.

  • Learning to knit or crochet.

  • Taking long walks in the park or on the beach.

  • Reading in bed with a cup of tea.

  • Slowing down and taking stock of life.

  • Starting a new book to read.

  • Bringing out blankets and throw rugs for the sofas and bed.

  • Lighting candles that smell like spices.

  • Jumping into a pile of leaves, or watch dogs and kids do this.

  • Baking bread and give it to friends and family.

  • Taking walks at dusk and smell other people’s dinners.

  • Putting cloves into the knitwear drawers.

  • Having a weekend away in the country and walking and eating and napping and reading.

  • Visiting art galleries and wandering while the rain falls outside.

  • Sunday lunches with friends and family.

Happy Autumn to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

xx

Farah's Story

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*Trigger warning - violence and racism

Today’s story is from Farah, who experienced extreme racial violence with her friend, when she was walking through the streets of Australia with her friend. They both ended up in hospital. They were 14 and 15 at the time in 2018 when it happened.

I am deeply sorry and ashamed this happened to you Farah, and I hope we will do better and stand up to these bullies and racists every time we see it happen.


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Stories From Young Refugees in Melbourne

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Last year I judged a Youth Literacy Competition for schooled aged refugee children in Dandenong, Melbourne, Victoria as a part of the STAR Club (Students Taking on Active Role) at the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre. The STAR club provides support to students with literacy, numeracy and study skills, help build confidence, self-esteem and feelings of connection to school and the wider community and they provide a safe place to study. They can also assist families to gain greater knowledge of the education system and provide opportunities for families to explore practical strategies to support their children’s learning at home.

The City of Greater Dandenong has the largest numbers of people seeking asylum in the country. The area has a population of approximately 152,000 people, more than 60% of whom were born overseas, with 64.% of households speaking a language other than English. 

The students are from Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.

I would like to share with you some stories that myself and author Fleur Ferris judged from these wonderful children, and who, despite the intention and behaviour of others, will prevail and become the voices of the next generation.

Today is a story about what it is like to be a refugee from a young girl called Nazdana. Thank you for reading. and if you would like to donate to the STAR Club and the Refugee Program in Dandenong, please click here.

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