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JOURNAL

Journal is an online space for creative non-fiction. Featuring writing from a wide variety of people, we explore what it means to be alive today. Loss, love, labour, relationships, belonging, identity and place are themes that occur and recur as readers are taken on a journey about what makes us human.

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THIS WEEK

Illustration of a Hong Kong ferry

HONG KONG/BETWEEN HOMES by Siobhan Hodge

‘I say moved, but we never really ‘left’ Hong Kong. My father still works there. My mother and brother live there as well. My sisters and I all have permanent residency. Before COVID-19, I could still safely say that I returned at least three times every year.’

ARCHIVE

Illustration of a person with black hair painting on a giant canvas

RECOLLECTIONS by Yoshika Kon

‘I painted my portrait. It didn’t look like me. Closer to the assignment’s deadline, I realised that the colour of the paint I was using for my skin wasn’t quite right. The more I worked on my self-portrait, the more unrecognisable I became.’

Illustration of trees in a forest with small mushrooms at the base.

WHAT LIES BENEATH by Bindy Pritchard

‘But lockdown has caused nature to encroach upon my ordered world. Tendrils have creeped into the cracks. I crave daily walks with the family along the Djarlgarra river and at Piney Lakes Reserve.’

Illustration of a fortune cookie

BUS #242 by Barnali Ray Shukla

‘The driver still furious, was chasing the Audi. I was still clutching onto the steel rod which had helped me unlike my fellow beings. A soundtrack of a war movie was playing in my head.’

Illustration of some papers, a cup of coffee, a pen, and a pencil

THE QUIETNESS OF GIVING UP WRITING by Ben Walter

‘Writing is something we’ve spent years learning and refining, something that has formed our identities and how we understand ourselves; in giving up, we’re quitting before having the kind of success we might feel is warranted.’

Illustration of a female figure sitting at a dressing table in front of a mirror

FACE FORWARD by Emily Paull

‘When we spend too much time looking at ourselves in the mirror, women are labelled vain, conceited, self-obsessed, and yet so many of us, if asked, I am sure would say that we don’t like what we see.’

Illustration of a person holding a puzzle piece in each hand

SQUARE PEG, ROUND HOLE by Daley Rangi

‘I spent a lot of my childhood in my own head, desperately protecting my squareness with aggression and confusion, ensuring depression as the world demanded more from me with each passing year.’

Illustration of tents in outback Australia

UNDER KIMBERLEY SKIES by Nandi Chinna

‘As we have been taught to do by our Nyoongar friends, we pick up a handful of sand and introduce ourselves to the original owners and their ancestors and thank them for having us on the country.’

Illustration of supermarket shelves with few items left on them

PLAYING WITH BULLETS by Randa Khamis

‘I grew up hearing what we endured. Stories of a time that now seems oddly familiar with its parallels. Like being confined to your home, fear of the outside world, a threat lurking in the streets.’

Illustration of a person running through a park at night

I RAN (DRUNK, AT NIGHT) by Andrew Roff

‘I’m in a nice, safe part of town, and anyway I’m a young man and my prefrontal cortex hasn’t quite finished developing, and I’m fast, so I have absolutely no fear of being assaulted.’

Illustration of a person with grey hair hugging a person with long black hair

SHARE, HOLD, KNOW by Kirli Saunders

‘I’ll share the Dreaming, as it was told to me, so that our babies can be true to Mother, themselves and Community, so that their hearts can be full.’

Illustration of a black snake

CANDY, AN EXCERPT by Esther Vincent Xueming

‘After moving out, I experienced a sensation of fragmentation that I never felt before. An unreal sense of existing in two separate places, of belonging and not belonging wholly to each space.’

Illustration of a lounge room with a television, couch and lamp

LANGUAGE BARRIER by Raf Gonzalez

‘Being raised bilingual, language was one of the main ways I expressed my comedic self; but as I lost my fluency in Spanish, my vibrancy regressed and I became isolated.’

Illustration of two babushka dolls

THE NESTING DOLLS by Luisa Mitchell

‘The stories were passed down from one woman to another, and through them, you could still feel the embrace of someone who came before you; from here, from within yourself, the Mother said.’

Graphic illustration of a person sitting with their back to a mirror

FRACTURE by Alexander Te Pohe

‘in the sleepless hours i look out my window, wishing on a star nestled between tree branches. i ask the star to heal me. in reply, it blinks out.’

graphic illustration of a person holding a CV

QORBAN’S STORY by Phil Sparrow

‘They had some skills, but mostly they had a good attitude: learners, not experts. Poor rural people do not want city boofheads coming to tell them how to fix their lives up.’

Graphic illustration of cardboard boxes with household items in and around

SHIFT by Alyssa Shapland

‘It was always jarring to come back; the hand-drawn ‘I Can Do It’ poster on the ceiling above the bed betraying the anxieties of the insecure teenage girl that I was claiming not to be anymore.’

Illustration of birds flying above rooftops

RADICAL LOCAL by Karen Lee

‘Of course there were hills and valleys, I think I knew, but as I go slower, go over old ground, unexpected views emerge around corners in un-walked lanes, as I ascend slopes barely noticed before.’

Graphic Illustration of some flowers in a vase

THAT DAY by Sarabjeet Garcha

‘But her passing was so sudden that she couldn’t glimpse her ‘flag of sky’ one last time. When eyes close without warning, who can tell what moment of beauty they freeze on?’

Graphic illustration of a person pressing record on a mobile phone

SOUND TRAVELS by Franchesca Walker

‘The problem came at night, usually after I’d spent hours watching or reading the news. In that space – after dark but before bed – silence became a vacuum that worries rushed to fill.’

Graphic illustration of three people sitting around many giant books

HOPE AND MOTIVATION WHILE WRITING by Jasmin McGaughey

‘I want to write my own love letter to my heritage, to show that First Nations girls, Torres Strait Islander girls and African Australian girls, can be in fiction and have adventures and be very important to Australian literature on a whole.’

Graphic illustration of two children drawing a picture

DEAR BARCELONA by Emily Siggs

‘I learnt how to be lonely again, and how to be good company to myself; how to notice, how to try and enjoy every moment of solitude and bustling city noise.’

Graphic illustration of a city scape

THE WORKSHOP by Boey Kim Cheng

‘How to invite the moment into the span of the sentence, let the light of memory wash over the paper and the elliptical light print its shadow words on the page.’

Graphic illustration of a person driving a car with a large dog in the backseat

SISTERS by Jay Anderson

‘And every time I saw her, her arms parted for an embrace and the corners of her mouth stretched to call me sister.’

Graphic illustration of a group of people sitting around a round table

MYTHS, DEMONS AND HEALING by Inez Tan

‘I think becoming a writer means asking yourself again and again why you write, how to keep coming up with new ideas, how to trust yourself more, and how to keep falling in love with writing.’

Graphic illustration of a street intersection

1.8KM FROM TARGET by Frances An

‘My Vietnamese-speaking capacities recalibrate after a few lines but if she hears my messed-up accent, she’ll assume I’m a whitewashed Asian who doesn’t care about our culture.’

Graphic illustration of two people who look exactly the same doing tug-of-war with a piece of rope

WRITING IN BLACK by Jannali Jones

‘I set about writing what I thought people wanted to read about; a certain ‘Aboriginal’ experience that was expected from an Indigenous author.’

THE UNANTICIPATED LIFE by Tinashe Jakwa

‘Looking forward to the future can be a worthwhile endeavour. But, I have found that it can turn into an all-consuming practice that can have a debilitating impact.’

Journal is made possible with funding from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Copyright Agency, and our Founders Circle.

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