It’s been a huge summer for Australia.
We have some exciting news this edition, as Revive magazine recently won an Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) Award!
We won a Gold Award for the ‘Best Social Justice Article’, Rethinking plastic: Local action on a global issue,’ published in our June 2018 edition.
The award ceremony and conference was held in Christchurch, New Zealand, in September. I wasn’t able to attend, however, Maggie Johns, Media and Communications Manager for the Uniting Church WA, attended and accepted the award. With this being only our second edition in our new format after taking a short hiatus earlier this year, I’m stoked for the magazine to be appreciated in this way.
After a short hiatus, Revive magazine is back in print with a brand new look. We’ve made a few changes to the structure and layout of the magazine, as well as the distribution; we’ll now be printing four times a year, instead of six.
One of my favourite additions to Revive is the recipe section on page 25. Not because I love cooking (actually, I hate it!), but because I love church morning teas. My brother, Phil, often jokes that being at a church event is the only time we ever get to eat curried egg sandwiches anymore. And I think he’s probably right.
As some of our readers may already know, there have been many changes in staffing at the Uniting Church Centre over the last few months, with a number of redundancies.
The Media and Communications Team will, sadly, farewell Andy Reavell as our Production Officer at the end of April. Andy has been working at the Uniting Church WA for more than ten years and has been instrumental in the production of Revive, as well as loads of other Uniting Church WA publications and design work.
Good Samaritan Industries (GSI) is one of my favourite parts of the Uniting Church.
I’ve grown up shopping at Good Sammy stores, not only for the bargain but because my mum always taught us to be thoughtful about what we were buying, and that re-using second-hand clothes was better than piling them up in landfill.
As I write this, my 16-year-old nephew is on the trip of his lifetime (so far) on a school exchange in Japan. It was just over a year ago that my family and I were also holidaying in Japan, having an awesome time.
Japan is truly an amazing place. We went during cherry blossom season and there were trees blooming everywhere. We rode bikes through Kyoto, sang karaoke in Osaka and played video games all day in Tokyo.
We also visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima. It was there that I was reminded of the story of Sadako Sasaki, the 12-year-old girl who made over 1 000 origami cranes from her hospital bed. Those cranes are now recognised as an international symbol of peace.
With the 15th Triennial Assembly Meeting of the Uniting Church recently held in Melbourne, this edition is jam-packed with news from the event. I didn’t attend myself, but as I watched along from home here in Perth I could see there was plenty of passion for the church in that meeting room.
Big news coming from the meeting which has gained a lot of attention is that Uniting Church ministers will be able to marry couples of the same gender if they wish to. Whatever your opinion on the issue, I think we can all agree that the Uniting Church has made history in Australia.
One of the best things about my job as a writer is that I learn so much about all sorts of topics just by doing research for an article. The beginning of this process is often quite daunting, as sometimes I know literally nothing about a topic before diving in.
But, often I learn things that I know will stay with me. This edition is one of those times.
This month, I learnt a lot about the harms of single use plastic on our world. I mean, I knew it was bad, but did you know that plastic is being found in even the most remote, untouched parts of our beautiful planet? Microbeads and microfibres are something I had never even considered as an issue before. Our ecosystems are full of plastic, so much so that it can be detected in our own bodies!
When my grandmother passed away just over a year ago, one of the things that gave me peace was seeing the love and care she received in her final days, from both family and staff at her residential aged care facility.
Unfortunately, not everyone is shown this kind of dignity and respect as they age.
While interviewing people for research for this edition’s feature article on elder abuse (page 9), a common theme which came up was our problem of ageism in Australia. The 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission Report, Elder Abuse: a national legal response, also names it as a problem. According to the report, Australia’s population is ageing, as we are living longer and having fewer children. In 2014–2015, 15% of our population was aged 65 or over and this is expected to rise to 23% by 2055.
By now you’ve probably heard all about the #metoo movement, sparked by the outing of American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women, over decades in the industry. Since then, numerous allegations have been made against others, some who had claimed to be supporters of the movement. Some whose work I have really loved in the past.
It’s fairly obvious that the entertainment industry has a problem with misogyny; it’s in so many of the shows and movies we watch, but many of us have learned to just accept that’s the way it is. We’ve all seen the jokes and comments about female actresses not getting anywhere in their career unless they perform sexual acts with the men above them.
As workplaces have progressed in the way women are treated (though there is still a way to go in many) it seems Hollywood has managed to retain its misogyny all in the name of entertainment. In some ways, I think some of these men have been given so much freedom and power that they were bound to abuse it. Obviously, that doesn’t make it right.