I hail from the USA, but realised early on that I needed to see the world and work out my place within it. I worked most of the 1990’s in Antarctica, as well as a good part of the noughties, and had been seeing the world looking for a place to settle down. In 1996, my ship came in as they say, both literally and figuratively, to Tasmania. Hobart felt like home the minute I arrived, it was only a short time later that I realised I had arrived at a time of great social change which culminated in the 1998 Gay Law Reform. This coupled with ongoing environmental activism in Tasmania meant I could think of few other places where people were so engaged in debates/discussions about the direction of their community on such a basic level. How stimulating to be a part of this period of self-reflection and change!
To effect change in society, the cause and people involved must be visible in order to humanise the issue – ‘we are you’ approach.
Everything from subtle comments to outright public taunts, including verbal and physical intimidation and violence.
Recognition of our common and shared humanity will lead to a more interesting, diverse, resilient, and compassionate community – one in which I will be more happy and proud to be a member of.
It has taken years of campaigning by so many in so many different ways as well as living our lives ‘out loud’ to accomplish these changes by shifting people’s perceptions – this should be recognised and celebrated.
Australia must be an international leader on creating inclusive and compassionate communities and this is one way in which we as a country can realise our better selves.
Fantastic idea to recognise all these different ways that legislation affects our lives. As a migrant and relatively recent citizen, I understand the ways in which legislation impacts on the ability to “call Australia home”.