Perhaps a good place to start a blog is to describe the lenses through which I see the world. Anything I write that you read from here on in, you can be clear of where I'm coming from. I'm 5th generation white New Zealander, with English and Scottish heritage; female; 47 years old; raised working class but to be identified as such when younger was a source of shame...so not from your 'working class and proud of it' mob; an eldest child of four; heterosexual; married to a funny, spunky, extremely quick-witted white, 'working class and proud of it' guy; with an amazing 12 year old daughter, raised mainly using the principles of 'Hand In Hand Parenting', who has just started school by choice after leading a free range life. This has involved a recent move from a small coastal fishing village in northern New South Wales to Melbourne...yes, a 'smog-change', in order that she attend a democratically run school with a good sense of humour.
I've been a 'Top End Junior Citizen of the Year', a holder of a bachelor's degree in international relations , award-winning film maker, Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awardee, Co-Convenor of the National Youth Council of Australia, environment centre business and shop manager and research assistant to two sitting members of parliament.
I've also worn the labels of 'disintegrated personality', 'agoraphobic', 'highly sensitive', 'clinically depressed', and am living with 'complex post traumatic stress'. I'm a survivor of both childhood sexual assault and of the mental health system, where I've stood on the outside of society and had a good look in. The things I've mentioned here inform everything I say. I've been both a high achiever and an abject failure (according to the dominant culture I live in). My life is a rollercoaster of intense emotions.
So if you are feeling up to the challenge, buckle up and get ready for a ride through my world.