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Showing posts from January, 2009


Jerry and The Flying Hanky

Congratulations Jerry! My friend Jerry Farsoun is back, or least back from his trip around Australia in his ‘Flying Hanky’ – a motorised parachute –it looks for all the world like a flying lawnmower – raising funds and raising awareness about Suicide and Depression. He arrived in Melbourne on Monday the 15 th of Dec 2008 at 7:35am, after flying 12,127 kilometres “ the first person in international aviation history to successfully complete such a feat! ” You can see the clip on his or my Facebook page. A bit over a year ago Jerry was himself in the pit of despair and contemplating suicide but was helped by a counsellor at Beyond Blue. Since then he has fallen out of the sky periodically, had all kinds of mechanical problems and been grounded by bad weather, but has met fantastic people and seen some amazing scenery along the way. He has however, also seen much tragedy, especially in rural Australia where both isolation and the macho culture conspire

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Reflections on a Reunion I went to a school reunion recently. How strange it was to be revisiting people, places and times that I hadn’t thought about in four decades or so. Since we were a very mixed bunch, drawn from all over the world, I thought it would be interesting to do a little survey to see what had become of us in the meantime. My special interest was in those who had emigrated here from other countries as we had. What was their experience like? How did they cope with being uprooted and coming to a strange country? What did they achieve and what was the impact on local populations and the broader society? Not many people responded, but those who did, reported how surprisingly emotional they felt when recalling those times and their subsequent experiences. Like me they had not thought about this era in a very long time. Here then, is an informal summary of what I learned both at the reunion and from the survey, not definitive or conclusive by any means, but a little