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Disadvantaged from birth

Words by Jahin, 20 NSW From the moment I was born,They cut my umbilical cord,And attached a stigma instead,A warm welcome to the epicentre of excellence,At least that is what I was told. When I gaped at the feet that were to walk,An anchor dragged me along from my very first crawl,The dark hues on…

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A Teacher’s Concern

Words by S.H., 24 VIC This piece was a runner-up of the ‘Get Comfortable Online’ Creative Competition 2021. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or…

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I’m one in four: the education system.

Words by Kirsten, 28 QLD I count to four as I breathe in and out. I have learnt, the caring sector is not for the faint-hearted.  As a year nine student wheels himself onto the veranda on the chair he’s just stolen from behind my desk, it’s not the chin wobbles I’m worried about, but…

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Hands holding a gaming controller

I love video games – but they don’t always love me back.

Words by Jess, 25 VIC This piece was a runner-up of the ‘Get Comfortable Online’ Creative Competition 2021. Some of my most treasured childhood memories all began on one day, when my family brought home a magical yellow box containing a PlayStation 2. I sunk hours upon hours into vast video game worlds full of…

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Shy: an acceptable personality trait.

Words by Briana, 21 VIC People describe me as shy. It is neither said in a positive or negative light. Just an observation that people say to explain why I am the way I am. Just shy.  It’s a quiet word. The first letters are pronounced with a soft shhhh, like when you shush someone…

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Identity crisis

Words by Jahin, 20 NSW There was a period in my life,during high school,when a sense of belonging,equated to liquid gold. Sitting side by side,uniformed in similarity,Feeling whole and cherished,Being a ripple in the sea of voices. That was what my heart longed for. But after years of trying to mould myself for others,I realised…

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Late Night Scrolling.

Words by Steph, 25 VIC You can read more work from Steph on her website. This piece was the Winner of the Get Comfortable Online Creative Competition 2021. Tap, Tap, Tap—but not the dreaded double tap from way back.Keyboard warriors and hashtag heroes.Unsung poets and “Hey” in my DMs.A bustling bus of screen-lit faces.Blurring pictures…

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I am not your daughter.

Words by Jessica, 23 NSW She was found alone,Strewn in bushes much like the rest.She looked like she had put up a fight,But she did not pass the test. Her eyes will never open again.Her friends will never hear her laugh.Her family is left confused and wondering,Why couldn’t he just leave her be?Why couldn’t he…

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What happens after losing 3 Comedy Festival shows to COVID? The pursuit of ‘normal-ish’.

Words by Sweeney, 23 VIC There are some moments when you just don’t know how to feel or what to think. On March 13, 2020 I was at uni in Carlton. I’d just eaten an early dinner at my favourite spot near campus (shoutout to Mantra on Grattan Street, best vegan butter chicken for miles)….

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To the angry girl on WhyNot, I’m angry too.

Words by Ella, 23 VIC To the angry girl on Whynot.I am angry too.I am angry that he doesn’t get it.I am angry that he wants me to stay silent, palatable.Doesn’t want me to voice my opinions,Not ones that could cause discomfort.Women are to be seen, not to be heard.To be heard only when we’re…

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To be feminine or to be feminist: body hair reflections

Words by Alexandra, 23 VIC When I entered the world of puberty, it felt absolutely essential that I shave my underarms and legs. I have a distinct memory of tying my hair into a ponytail when my cousin noticed hair under my arms. “You have more hair there than I do!”, he laughed. Of course…

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The economy was failing young Australians long before COVID-19

Words by Lachlan, 21 VIC I am one of the lucky ones. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic I have had stable employment and the resources to continue university study. Yet other young Australians have not been as fortunate, with the pandemic forcing almost one in three workers aged 18-24 into unemployment. These people are not just…

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Hope from a golden moment

Words by Anjelica, 20 NSW This article contains themes of anxiety, depression and mental health which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. 1800RESPECT – 1800…

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Dear Future Employer

Words by Briana, 20 VIC Dear future employer, What is the answer? How do we break the cycle? The cycle where we study. We attain a casual job. We graduate. We have graduated but are still at our casual job that we can’t survive on, with no apparent experience and a debt to pay. We have…

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I Can’t Breathe

Words by Fibha, 22 NSW “I can’t breathe”; You hear us repeat! Yet, there’s no action, Just an attraction, For a fraction of bystanders. As we’re put down to the ground; With cuffs on our hands, And knees on our necks, Is this not a symbolic degradation? Chaotic & demonic! Is this not a show…

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The Scary Man in the Dark

Words by Ella, 23 VIC   You never believed the scary man in the dark story. You never believed, until the scary man in the dark was real. Until the scary man in the dark was at the base of your bed. The scary man wouldn’t listen. The scary man was still, whist you screamed…

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Elusive Employment in Unprecedented Times

Words by Kai, 25 The year 2020 brought a whirlwind of change. At least that was what it looked like when Jane*, an old friend, shared a picture from her office farewell dinner. Her company fired her without warning for “underperformance”, Jane told me. “But they wanted me to still work with them and move…

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What You Can Offer a Board — and What it Can Offer You.

Words by Sanaya, 29 VIC Why is it important to have young people on boards?Why is it important to have women in the workplace?Why is it important for First Nations People to have the right to vote or the right to self-determination on their own lands and waters?The same basic question has been asked so…

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The Darkness Behind the Black Mirror

Words by Erin, 27 NSW From the addictive hit of heady dopamine we get from Facebook ‘likes’ to using our screens to escape dealing with our problems – the things we enjoy about our smartphones can be what hurts us the most. There is so much to be thankful for when it comes to technology…

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To Sex or Not to Sex

Words by Ella, 23 VIC Recently I have found myself in a pattern. Bored, lonely, need some drama? Casually hook up with someone on a night out. Hate it, profess a self-inflicted ban on all men ever.  Wait a couple of weeks. Feel bored, lonely and in need of some drama.  Hook up with a…

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The Give and Take Read Article

The Give & Take

Words by Susie, 23 QLD Humans are naturally social creatures, so making connections with others is incredibly important. But there comes a point where we can give more than we get, and it is necessary for our own wellbeing to realise which relationships are bleeding us dry and which are worth keeping. I started to…

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hot commodity - Read Article

Hot Commodity

Words by Sachini, 22 ACT “Jamie said you were a Brownie,” said my friend Katie. I remember looking down at my arms, feeling a stab of defensiveness shoot through my stomach. “I don’t care,” I had said. In that moment, 8-years-old, with my pink Big-W backpack – I really didn’t care. I was hurt because…

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pink hair girls article

Pink-Haired Girls in the Night

Words by Kyara, 22 VIC I’m eight hours away from home at a festival celebrating the city of Adelaide’s 60th birthday. Crowds mill about, taking in the art displays and the food vans in the street. It’s easy to lose yourself in a crowd like this, and I love it. I don’t have to be…

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Motivation that Sticks

Words by Nicolas, 24 QLD Saying yes. Out loud, on paper or just in your head. It’s a simple motto to live by, it reinforces positivity, and generally the “yes” ethos can do wonderful things for you. When you feel a bit bummed about things not going right, you remember to “keep your nose to…

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Living a Double Life – 10 Questions for Shulah

Words by Georgie, 28 VIC Sit down with your beverage of choice, put your phone on flight mode and read this inspiring story. Lauren from the WhyNot team sat down with Shulah – a young transgender woman from Melbourne to talk all things diversity and inclusion, safe spaces and finding the courage to be vulnerable….

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Read The ATAR benefits no-one: reflections of a “high achiever” Blog Article

The ATAR Benefits No-One: Reflections of a ‘High-Achiever’

Words by Mark, 21 VIC, You can read more work from Mark on his blog – www.pocpathways.com Four years ago, I completed the VCE. I spent Year 12 taking the right subjects – maths, chemistry and high-scaling foreign languages – and making all the right sacrifices to get the highest possible score. A second language…

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Read Eating Disorders: The Personal is Political blog article

Eating Disorders: The Personal is Political

This article contains themes of mental health and eating disorders which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. Lifeline – 13 11 14 Words by Melis,…

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I am angry

I Am Angry

This article contains themes about sexual assault mentions, rape mention, casual racism, which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732Lifeline –…

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Mountainous Barriers WhyNot

Mountainous Barriers

Words by Markos, 28 VIC Artist statement: – This is a simple but honest piece that illustrates the challenges of getting a job when you have mental health issues. While it’s difficult to climb those hills and mountains, it’s not impossible. Doubt and stress can be overcome by talking to someone or getting professional help. Just doing…

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Sisyphean Again

Words by Lydia, 18 VIC I have a newfound sympathy for Sisyphus.Every time I near the top of homemade mountains,within grasping distance of gold-star successes,the boulder of my progress slips from my grip,rolls over my foot and races back down to where I started. Everything is mountains and valleys now, peaks and troughs.The numbers rise…

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Homophobia is still an issue… What can we do? | WhyNot

Homophobia is Still an Issue… What Can We Do?

Words by Laneikka, 19 NSW I didn’t come from a homophobic household. And yet I remember crying at Jamberoo because my sister groped a mermaid statute’s boobs with her hands. There was something about same sex couples that left me fearful. I had this undeniable anxiety that even existing near LGBTIQ+ people would ‘turn’ me…

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Good Little Girl

Words by Ella, 22 VIC Be a good little girl, he said. Wear nice clothes for me. Speak up, but don’t be louder than me. Smile, but stop being so nice. People will think you are fake, he said. Be a good little girl, he said.   Eat your food you are too skinny. I…

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Beauty Synonyms Blog Article - my size

Beauty Synonyms

Words by Kyara, 22 VIC “We have other sizes in the back,” the shop assistants say when they see me looking through the racks. I smile and say thanks. Slim young women and athletic young men inhabit the beaches and the bars and the streets. For both locals and foreigners, Bali feels like the place…

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home stigma

The Stigma of Staying After High School

Words by Sol, 19 WA With a population of just under 2 million people, Perth lags behind other Australian cities such as Sydney (5.23 million) and Melbourne (4.94 million). Still, Perth has all the landmarks of a capital city, from a bustling CBD to diverse communities and even an international airport. Yet I never thought…

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Are you okay in a speech bubble

R U OK MY FRIEND?

Words by Praise, 25 NSW The moment you realise you have at least one person who is genuinely interested and wants to listen to your authentic desires, dreams, and stories – mark it as a blessing.  Perhaps, not everyone around you will be able to do this. ”Listening is the most important thing you can…

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2020 as a Sweaty Astronaut LEGO Worker

Words by Steph, 28 VIC I’m supposed to help people. I’m supposed to help fix problems. That’s my job. And this, I absolutely cannot fix. Depending on the day, or moment my thoughts around the pandemic change. I work in a mental health hospital. On any given day, I come across a variety of people…

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Instagram screen shots of barriers to employment

What a Time to be Alive

Digital artwork by Julianna, 26 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. I  like to use Instagram. I discovered the abilities of sharing quick Instagram stories which act for me like ‘time capsule memories.’ The phone screen becomes like a digital art canvas for my musings, quotes and photography….

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Lady Talking with speech bubble of a cross and exclamation mark about employment

The Top Ten Lies your Careers Counsellor Told You

Words by Brianna, 21 QLD This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. 1. You have three pathways after leaving high school. The first is to go to university.   A degree in anything will earn you millions of dollars. (Please note: this option is only available to students with an ATAR…

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Side Effects May include - Artist Submission

Side Effects May Include

Submission by Julia. 24 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. Artist Statement: – ‘I created this piece to highlight the impact that mental health can have on maintaining meaningful employment. As a young person who suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain, I have a…

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A Young Australian’s Voice

Recording & Words by Imogen, 21 VIC This piece was a finalist of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. In this audio piece, Imogen responds to the numerous employment barriers young people face today, including what it feels like to be part of the first graduating class to be entering the Australian workforce during a…

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The Interview - WhyNot Blog Article

The Interview

Words by Hardeep, 28 NSW This piece was the Winner of the Youth Summit Creative Competition 2020. The tapping of the receptionist’s acrylic nails is making my nerves jump. I made it twenty minutes early and am now sitting on a navy sofa in my tight pencil skirt, watching people race back and forth like…

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Image of eye with tribal pattern surrounding

The Tattooed Face Woman. Are All Traditions Worth Preserving? Part 2

Words by Núria, 25 VIC Back in the village, Lin Shwe is the first tattooed woman I meet, and the one who makes the strongest impression on me. I don’t know if it’s because of her hypnotic deep voice or the way she smokes her pipe – slowly, without rush. It’s after meeting more Chin…

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The Tattooed Face Woman. Are All Traditions Worth Preserving? Part 1

Words by Núria, 25 VIC Lin Shwe Htang, from the Mun tribe, is at her home with some of her grandsons. It’s their day off school, so they all hang together while their parents are working in the fields. When heavy rain starts to pour, everyone goes inside. As her grandchildren sit down around her,…

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EC Unfiltered: What is your Pandemic World Like Right Now?

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Simmering Anxiety  My pandemic world – like many – is split between what I can see outside my window and what I hear from the other end of Zoom catch ups and house party nights. I feel a simmering anxiety when I head out of…

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Stealthing: The Silent Sexual Assault

Words by Laura, 25 NSW I want to talk about stealthing, and the fact that it triggers my spellcheck begins to demonstrate why. Stealthing is a type of sexual assault. It occurs when sex has been consented to on the condition that a condom is worn, but the person wearing it then covertly takes the…

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Meandering Mind | WhyNot?

Meandering Mind

Words by Joanita, 24 NSW I always thought I knew what I wanted – but the longer I spend searching the job market, the more I understand how options can be both liberating and confining.  I used to have no patience for ambivalent people. I tapped my foot when a person at the front of…

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Read Your ‘Pro-Choice’ Vaccination Stance Is Privileged Blog article

Your ‘Pro-Choice’ Vaccination Stance Is Privileged

Words by Erin, 24 NSW The anti-vaccination movement seems to be going through a re-launch. It’s thrown off its old connotations, embraced a friendlier message and is now purporting itself as a ‘pro-choice movement’, for those who want to ask critical questions of science or present a different opinion. This new language, while attempting to…

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Read The Pressure of Productivity Blog article

The Pressure of Productivity

Words by Imogen, 26 QLD If you had asked me at the beginning of March what my plans were in the upcoming month, I would have told you that I was gearing up to work at two Comic-Cons (London and Birmingham), possibly accepting a promotion at work and counting down the days until my Dad…

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Baby, It's Coaled Outside - Arts Funding | WhyNot?

Baby, it’s Coaled Outside – An open letter to the Prime Minister

Words by Tamara, 29 NSW Dear Mr. Morrison,  2020 will go down in history as the year of “essentials”. Essential workers, essential services, just the essentials at the supermarket. There’s nothing like a global pandemic to reveal what we really need to pull through. I would like to meet just one person who didn’t need the arts…

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Gender Myths Blog Article by Sachini

The Gender Myths of the Progressive Nation

Words by Sachini, 22 ACT “So, what do you think of Denmark?” I look over at Caroline, sipping my wine.  My boyfriend and his friends are engaged in easy conversation borne from growing up together in Denmark.  “It’s nice,” I say, and then because I can tell she wants more, “it’s beautiful. Everything is so…

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Sibling on the spectrum Blog Article

What it is Like Being the Sibling of Someone on the Spectrum

Words by Miriam, 19 NSW Siblings are the worst, aren’t they? Not my brother. He’s pretty great, but not everyone sees him that way, because he’s different. People don’t like different. Of course, there are times when I find my brother excessively, painstakingly irritating, however, I’ve learnt that when you’re the sibling of someone on…

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Racism is a White People Problem | WhyNot?

Racism is a White People Problem

Words by Lachlan, 25 QLD Why was this the spark that lit the bonfire? Was it the fact that this murder was documented on camera? Was this the proof white people needed to believe what Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) have been saying for years?  The murder of unarmed George Floyd on 25…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Education & Employment Part 2

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Virtual hurdles To say my focus on my education has been a challenge is an understatement.  Like the majority of students, my studies have been completely shifted online. As I studied interstate at university, I came back to Sydney since the lockdown as my whole family resides…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Education & Employment Part 1

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee and friends Money makes me uncomfortable. My family didn’t casually talk about money – having it, needing it, spending it, thinking about spending it – around the dinner table or any other open space. As a kid, if I needed something that required money (so everything!), I…

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Freedom Once isn't Freedom Forever | WhyNot?

Freedom Once isn’t Freedom Forever

Words by Stephanie, 22 NSW COVID-19 is testing not only our health, but also our patience for freedom. History has taught us freedom comes at a great price.  As the COVID-19 pandemic lays waste to the global social and economic landscapes, 2020 is no ordinary time. Politics and human rights aren’t immune to infectious microbes,…

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Iso-Nation: Navigating the World of Isolation

Words by Nicole, 25 VIC Welcome to iso-nation, the adventures of an already-introverted 25-year-old in lockdown. Two and a half weeks into isolation, I began to feel the trepidations of being stuck between four white walls plastered with artsy posters from Frankie and prints from art markets.  The smell of freshly baked orange cake out…

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Travel in the Time of Corona

Words by Connor, 19 NSW I’m one of many young people who have had their travel plans cancelled or postponed by COVID-19. It’s a sad situation, but there will be a next time to travel, right? Sort of. A Reuters report suggests that it could take up to 10 months after the end of the…

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Thoughts During a Pandemic Part 2

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee Low-hanging fruit is the tastiest I’ll admit that I was kind of looking forward to lockdown. I thought I would have ample time to read the copy of Crime & Punishment that has sat beside my bed for nearly eight months; dinner each night would be whipped…

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Connecting From Afar

Words by James, 25 ACT It’s a tough time for a lot of us right now due to COVID-19. People have lost their jobs and others face an increased risk of transmission while we’re all adapting to a new life in social isolation. As young people, we’re more likely to face social or economic uncertainty….

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WhyNot EC Unfiltered: Thoughts During a Pandemic Part 1

Words by Members of the WhyNot Editorial Committee Domestic Everest failures I start the day with domestic aspirations that are basically the equivalent of summiting Everest. Re-pot all 47 plants in the yard (I’m the crazy pot lady), bake a sponge cake (nan’s recipe), a slow cooker casserole and use the last of those blackened…

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Need for Facts Arts | Cover Image

The Need for Facts

Words by Markos, 28 VIC I love facts. I grew up reading fact books, I tweet facts, I write fact-based articles and I’ve even worked in fact-checking. Therefore, it sickens me to see the epidemic of lies and propaganda that has gripped the world. Far too many people are shunning trustworthy information sources like reputable…

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Planet or People Part 2

Planet or People Part 2

Words by Angelica 22 QLD Do you really need that plastic straw in your drink? Think about the environment!” As Australia rolls out plastic straw bans across the country, very few people have stopped to consider the negative consequences of a plastic straw ban for people with disabilities. That’s what I’m here to do. This…

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Planet or People Part 1

Planet or People Part 1

Words by Angelica 22 QLD Do you really need that plastic straw in your drink? Think about the environment!” As Australia rolls out plastic straw bans across the country, very few people have stopped to consider the negative consequences of a plastic straw ban for people with disabilities. That’s what I’m here to do. This…

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Take a Breath

Take a breath (during the COVID-19 crisis)

Words by Georgie 28 VIC Never has there been a greater need for hugs, ironically in a time where no hugs are allowed! We have well and truly passed the point of: “shit- this is actually really bad”. ‘Uncertainty’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘panic’, ‘crisis’, ‘a crazy dream’ – are all things we’re reading on a daily basis…

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Redefining my Comfort Zone | WhyNot?

Redefining My Comfort Zone

Words by Kelsey, 20 NSW The girl I was a year ago wouldn’t recognise the girl I am now.  The past year has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve lived in two countries, visited three more, made friends from around the globe, and stepped so far out of my comfort zone I had to redefine it. …

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Driving Through Fear | WhyNot?

Driving through Fear

Words by Anonymous When I heard the words ‘eating disorder’ it felt like a slap in the face.  ‘If you don’t start eating more you will end up in hospital.’ Processing these words shook me to my core.  According to the Butterfly Foundation, 9% of the Australian population will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime,…

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Inner infant

Inner Infant

Illustration by Josh 26 VIC You can find more of his work on Instagram @joshchodziesner I generally use this cone-headed dude – Denk – to outwardly express the things that I need to regularly remind myself. This piece in particular is in response to that insidious voice in your head that tells you “You’re an adult now,…

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Is Finding Your Passion Enough | WhyNot?

Is Finding Your Passion Enough?

Words by Hayley 24 QLD On paper, I had it all.  A high paying job straight out of university with great development opportunities. I was 23 and had achieved all that I thought I was meant to do.  So why did I feel miserable?  — “What do you want to be when you grow up?” …

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Why We Will Always Need Pride | WhyNot?

Why We Will Always Need Pride

Words by Natalie 20 VIC This article mentions historical events and references homophobia, which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services. 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732Lifeline…

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Bushfires My Country is burning and I feel Hopeless | WhyNot?

My Country is Burning and I Feel Hopeless

Words by Jahin, 19 NSW “I don’t feel safe leaving my children to this world” Those were the words uttered by my 75-year-old neighbour on the eve of the new year. A time of elation was met with tears streaming down his face, his shaking hand resting in mine on our front porch.  Words don’t…

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Australian Bushfires | WhyNot?

Answer the World’s Smoke Signal

Words by Aileen, 28 VIC Illustration by Aileen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc Answer the World’s Smoke Signal/Together We Are illustrations show the impact of the Australian Bushfires across the world. From smoke impacted areas to people/animals who have lost everything – these fires are truly devastating, and it would be irresponsible…

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Quiet in Canberra Tile

Quiet in Canberra

Words by Sarah, 29 VIC Clouds call the dust by name, grass, what’s left of it begging for relief from the dry. We heard it coming, freight train of heat and embers, ready to clear its path, lay the world down. Licked the cattle on the legs, told us to choose it was the house…

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Eco-Anxiety | WhyNot?

Busting Eco-Anxiety – We Can Only Try Our Best

Words by Beth 21 VIC Thoughts of inevitable doom aren’t exactly what should appear in my head when I think of the future. Especially as a student teacher, who is training to be a role model and leader for future generations. Emails titled “TIME TO PANIC” and “THE WORLD IS BURNING” began sinking me to…

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Herpes? Welcome to the Club! | Feature Image

Herpes? Welcome to the Club!

Words by Alysha, 24 QLD Hey, so, you’ve just been diagnosed with herpes. Welcome to the club! Firstly, it isn’t the end of the world, or your sex life, even though I know it feels that way. In Australia alone, 1 in 8 people are living with herpes. This makes it one of the most…

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I Never Knew How Bad the Droughts Were Until I Moved to the Country | WhyNot?

I Never Knew How Bad the Droughts Were Until I Moved to the Country

Words by Madeleine, 20 ACT I grew up with a very sheltered lifestyle in Canberra and have very limited memories of ever witnessing a serious drought. However, in the past year I’ve come to realise just how badly impacted Australia is by the current droughts, and how those living in rural areas are the worst…

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The F Word | YMCA WA

The ‘F’ Word

Words by Jess, 22 NSW When you look in the mirror, I wonder what you see. Why do you breathe in so hard, grab your skin and look displeased? I hear you joke about wanting to be smaller, and that you need to ‘quit the cake’. But it doesn’t seem that funny, to project on…

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Gifted, but Quirky

Gifted, But Quirky

Words by Jess, 23 VIC For me, being diagnosed with autism changed my life in an enormous way. I finally had an answer for all my life’s questions, and the more I looked into the female presentation of autism, the more of my existence made sense. I spent so many years feeling like I was…

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Why it's important to talk about mental health | WhyNot?

Why It’s Important to Talk About Mental Health

Words by Carly, 24 QLD   When I was growing up, my parents were sad. And I was sad too. As I got older, I believed more and more that being unhappy was normal. If my parents experienced life in that way, surely it was the same for everyone else, right? They never told me…

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Same Same but Different | WhyNot?

Same Same but Different

Words by Evelyn, 27 VIC I was so excited by the prospect of my impending hysterectomy that a week out from the surgery I threw a “Farewell-Uterus” Party. I spent a day making a giant papier-mâché uterus piñata, covered it in pink and white frilled tissue paper, and filled it with red lollies: jaffas, raspberries,…

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Right Side of History | WhyNot

Right Side of History

Words by Lydia, 24 VIC “We live in a strange world, where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future” Greta Thunberg, 2019 Many will have heard by now of the 16-year-old Swedish girl changing the world to save it. Every day she is attacked or slandered…

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I Won't Forget | YMCA Global Study | Blog Article

I Won’t Forget

Words by Rachel, 22 QLD 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The amount of women suffering in silence is unbearable to think about. In 2017 I suffered a loss. I was pregnant. My anxiety was high, hormones flooded my body. It was perfect… until it wasn’t.   We had gone to many ultrasounds. Our…

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The Sliding Scale of Mental Health

The Sliding Scale of Mental Health

Words by Ari, 27 VIC Mental wellness exists on a spectrum, not an all-or-nothing dichotomy of ‘ill’ or ‘healthy’. At the moment I’m floating somewhere in the middle, and that’s my normal. I have anxiety. Using the word ‘have’ is an interesting experience for me, after recently coming to terms with the reality that despite…

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Alabama | WhyNot

Alabama

Words by Nicole, 25 VIC My poem ‘Alabama’ was inspired by the strict abortion laws that have recently been passed in a number of states in the US.  I wrote this poem as a conversational piece for people in the community to reflect on and discuss the current state of pro-choice and gender equality in our…

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(h)e..quality equality

(h)e..quality

Words by Jessica 21, NSW The vicious witches are at it again, Smearing our gender and hating on our Name. And I want to make it clear that ‘I didn’t do it’,   ‘I feel attacked’, ‘And her short skirt was probably to Blame’. Didn’t she know that women can’t walk at night in a park?…

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Mediocrity

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Mediocrity

Words by Anika 25, NSW When I was nine, my primary school careers counsellor told me the world was my oyster. I could read at a high-school level, I was precocious, and adults loved me. “What am I gonna do?!” I asked (demanded), pushing my stringy hair back at the roots, thrilled to discover I…

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Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is Slowly Destroying Our Environment and People’s Lives

Words by Hayley 24, QLD Fast fashion has granted young people greater opportunities to express themselves through their clothing choices. However, this freedom of choice comes with a hidden responsibility. We not only wear the clothes but also the story behind them. We wear the pollution of the Citarum River in Indonesia where over 1,000…

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The Ramsay Centre is infiltrating tertiary education

The Ramsay Centre is Infiltrating Tertiary Education, and that is a Problem for First Nations Australia

Words by Jack 23, NSW The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation has a mission. That mission is to inculcate tertiary study of the humanities with a socially conservative worldview. It wants to do so through its proposed ‘Western Civilisation’ degree. This is a worry on many fronts, perhaps no more so than on the frontier…

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This was fun image

This Was Fun

Words by Sarah, 29 VIC, You can find more of her poetry on Instagram @sharperpoetry One minute, I’m laughing over breakfast, the next, the floor is swallowing me whole. There’s a ringing in my ears that starts as a whisper, calling me somewhere I’ve been before; somewhere that grabs hold of my limbs and doesn’t…

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The Cost | WhyNot

The Cost

Words by Chelsea, 23 VIC He slapped my arse With a cardboard box He thought it was a joke, Of course. Brown cardboard, White skin, My privilege didn’t stop him. Laughing,  Walking across an invisible line                                                            Time stood still. ‘Breathe’… You’re fine.  For the shock of an action Made in a place; No vibration to…

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Why the Industry of Sending Expats Overseas Makes Me Mad | WhyNot

Why the Industry of Sending Expats Overseas Makes Me Mad

Words by Steph, 25 VIC After graduation, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I considered going somewhere in Asia to teach English to speakers of other languages as I was intrigued by photos I saw of happy volunteers posing with their class. I considered going somewhere in Africa, volunteering…

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The Queer Rubik’s Cube | WhyNot

The Queer Rubiks Cube

Words by Zali, 21 NSW Being queer is an endurance test you can’t quit. When I was sixteen, I came out as bisexual for the first time. Over the past five years, I’ve come out what feels like a thousand times. Almost every time, I’ve had to explain/defend (usually defend) my sexuality, so now I…

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Imagined Real Anxiety | WhyNot

Imagined, Real

Words by Lydia, VIC I wrote Imagined, Real during the week before exams to show how my anxiety manifests itself. I wanted to describe the physical symptoms and suffocating feelings it brings and how helpless it can make me feel. It’s so hard to explain to people what it’s like to be anxious and how…

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What it's Really Like Being a Female Medical Student in Australia | WhyNot

What it’s Really Like Being a Female Medical Student in Australia

Words by Madeline, 25 VIC It’s no secret that sexism in medicine is rampant across the globe. Tokyo Medical University recently admitted to manipulating test scores to limit the number of women accepted into medical training. Female doctors in the UK are still paid 23 per cent less than men despite far more women being…

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The Generation Conflict Behind the Election | WhyNot

The Generation Conflict Behind the Election

Words by Connor, 18 NSW The recent election sparked an interesting debate with my grandfather over Australian politics, and in particular around the management of our economy and the best party for that job. I argued that Labor were the better economic managers; he staunchly supported the Coalition. In the eyes of my grandparents, Labor…

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Why you shouldn't do an internship | WhyNot?

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad Turning Down an Internship

Words by Sophie, 22 WA You can find more of her work o You can read more work from Sophie on her website or on Uni Junkee There comes a time when you’ve passed the point of working for free and only getting a letter of recommendation for six months’ hard work. Yes, work experience is valuable, but here’s why…

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Young People are not the problem | WhyNot?

Young People are Not the Problem… We’re the Solution

Words by Luka, 18 NSW While on the campaign trail for the upcoming federal election, Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of The Nationals, said that young people are a “problem” because we don’t know “how good we’ve got it”. But do we really have it that good? As our economy slips into its…

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We won’t stop striking until our climate is protected

We Won’t Stop Striking Until Our Climate is Protected

Words by Sarah, 19 VIC I am one of the students striking from school in order to protest the government inaction on climate change. Our aims are to stop the Adani Carmichael mine, to phase out fossil fuels and to move to 100% renewables by 2030. We’ve learned about global warming in school and the…

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Reflections Next Victim | WhyNot

Reflections Next Victim

Words by Rebecca, 18 VIC I wrote this poem two years ago during my teenage years, before recently coming across it again and refining it. The piece explores my personal feelings towards the world and myself and how I struggled with finding my own identity in a world of stereotypes and prejudices as a 16…

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Identity Identification

Identity Identification

Words and imagery by Jack, 19 VIC I am an outsider. I am a man. I am young. I am an autistic person. It’s important to define what you are. Not in words, or for anyone else to hear. But it’s important to know who you are, where your strengths lie, and most importantly, where…

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The upcoming election’s focus on climate change gives me hope | WhyNot

The Upcoming Election’s Focus on Climate Change gives me Hope

Words by Shannon, 29 VIC Scott Morrison has called the election and it is set for May 18th. And for me, a 29-year-old with crippling eco-anxiety, it gives me hope. Hope not just for a delicious democracy sausage, but for change. Because this election is being dubbed ‘the climate election.’ And finally, the future of…

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