At the age of eleven, Aisha was already challenging the meaning of religion and eventually found her own truth as a Muslim woman. Although she is proud of her faith, after verbal abuse from strangers following the events of 9/11, she made the difficult choice to remove her face veil.
Craig Hollywood is the founder of Short Back and Sidewalks, a charity that gives haircuts to homeless and disadvantaged people. His first customer travelled 35 kilometres to get his hair cut. Here, Craig speaks about how a simple haircut can be the catalyst for change, and how the effect and simplicity of having a normal conversation can transform a person.
After 21 days on a boat, Kaliyugan Pathmanathan finally saw landmass before he was put away in immigration detention for 17 months. He reflects on the isolation he felt in the detention centres, including time on Christmas Island, and what it was like to finally have his freedom back.
At a young age, Evelyn Rivera was exposed to the horrors of the El Salvador civil war. She reflects on what it was like growing up in an environment where she would climb trees and see people being killed across the road, and what it was like adapting to her new home in Australia.
When Sean Blocksidge isn't busy running tours of Margaret River, he spends his time battling bushfires. In this story, Sean discusses the risk of fires in the Australian bush and his devotion to protecting his community.
Uncle Ben, a Noongar elder, battled alcoholism for many years before addressing the issue head-on. A recipient of the Order of Australia for his reconciliation work, Uncle Ben believes that he must stay upright to give his people hope.
Imagine you're holidaying in Paris and you get a phone call: your daughter has been murdered. This is exactly what Karen Lang experienced. Karen works through her grief by meeting the woman who took her daughter's life. She reflects on her journey of understanding, empathy and, finally, forgiveness.
Simone McMahon, the Founder and Executive Director of Organ Donation and Transport Foundation of WA, had a kidney transplant when she was a child which completely changed her life for the better. She has since devoted her life to helping people to better their lives in the same way.
After growing up on a farm, witnessing his brother being gored by a wild pig and working relentlessly in the WA mines, Adrian gives his all to take a group of paragliders to Kilimanjaro.
Saige used to work as a sex worker, though she preferred the term “sexual healer.” She believes that at the core, everybody just wants to feel loved and cared for, and being able to provide her clients with that is what was truly rewarding.
Skye is travelling around Australia in a campervan with her husband and four young daughters. A few years ago, she found out that her father had been having an affair for 17 years. This discovery forever changed her life and the way she viewed the world, including teaching her that nothing is ever black and white. "It has affected how I see things, I was always quite black and white. But I think now I wait for the full story... I'm not as quick to judge."
When you have just ten hours with your child, you can’t put the feeling into words. Carly has done something truly beautiful, offering over 24,000 tributes to children who never got to grow up.
Simon has devoted his life to environmental activism, but the journey has not been without its challenges. He says that being an activist has meant having to make huge personal sacrifices, including losing the custody of his children.
Living in Port Hedland and working as a nurse, she fostered a young Aboriginal girl who temporarily entered into a grief-driven, coma-like state following the death of her father, where she was able to connect with Aboriginal spirits on what Joan describes as a “soul journey”.
A letter writing night on the first Monday of each month brought to you by PEN Perth. Book Online