WORDLY Magazine 'Prelude' Edition 2016

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Welcome to WORDLY! Every stage of life comes with some variety of lead-up. I used to think that the graduation ceremony at the end of my undergraduate degree would be the prelude to entering the big wide world beyond university and studying. I didn’t know at the start of my undergrad that I’d end up enrolled in an Honours degree and choosing to graduate in absentia (though the latter choice was due to not want to pay for two graduations rather than not wanting to attend them both), and that the undergraduate degree itself was actually a prelude to further studies. I guess stories don’t always go the way you think they will when you first start reading them, but it’s nice to have a surprise like that every now and then. In this edition of WORDLY, you can read about how another student’s education deviated from its expected course, as well as the recounting of memories from O’weeks past. Discover the importance of getting involved at uni and taking risks by trying new things, whether you’re a first year or you’ve been at Deakin since Einstein’s was the place where the cool kids hung out. I know you’re at university, but have you really considered how profitable the knowledge you’re gaining is going to be? Maybe you’re wondering what it’s like to publish a book, or you’re having trouble keeping up with what’s canon in your favourite fictional world. Find out how a Deakin student is helping change cultural attitudes by giving out sweets and take the time to read fantastic fiction and poetry from voices both old and new to our pages. O’week is the prelude to the 2016 studies of many university students, and we hope it leaves you enthralled and eager for Week 1 and everything else the future holds. How will your story unfold? - Bonnee, on behalf of the WORDLY team. I know. This is a weird place to have an editorial. But we’re in university, and every TV show I’ve ever seen has a comment along the lines of university being the place to experiment, so here we are. I bet my parents are glad this is the only kind of experimenting I’m doing! - The Designer According to The Macquarie Dictionary: prelude noun 1. a preliminary to an action, event, condition, or work of broader scope and higher importance. –verb (preluded, preluding) 2. preliminary action, remarks, etc. [French, from Medieval Latin praelūdium, from Latin praelūdere play beforehand]

WORDLY Magazine, Issue 1 of 2016 ‘Prelude’






Whether you are joining Deakin for the first time, or back for another year, welcome to 2016 at Deakin. You are part of a dynamic and contemporary university: a university with a reputation for being innovative, nimble, friendly and, of course, Worldly!

and the skills you learn outside the classroom—the friends you make, the jobs you do to earn money and the networks you develop—have tangible benefits that go far beyond dollars. I do hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunities Deakin and DUSA Most of you reading this already know that your offer you—opportunities like studying overseas, work Deakin degree is a critical ingredient for the jobs experience programs, opportunities to work with and skills of your future, and that it will be one of high profile researchers, joining a club or sporting the most valuable tickets in your life journey. As team—and of course, magazines like Wordly. Deakin’s reputation grows, so does the value of Wordly is a great read, with interesting and your degree and you’ll be pleased to note that insightful pieces which explore life, culture, and the Deakin was ranked 36 in the 2015 ranking of the wicked problems of our world. It is also a superb world’s universities under 50 years. If you include training ground for the writers of tomorrow to hone the Oxfords and Harvards, Deakin ranks in the top 3 their skills. I encourage you to read it, engage with percent of the world’s universities in each of the three it and even to write for it—be brave, say what you major international rankings. think about the world around you. Most importantly, Deakin graduates have ranked I wish you and Wordly all the very best for 2016 and I us first in Victoria for graduate satisfaction for the hope that you will look back on your time at Deakin sixth consecutive year. Your university continues to as amongst the happiest and most fulfilling of your apply digital innovation to education with flair, and life. Happy writing and reading. this year, Deakin was awarded the gold global prize for its work with IBM Watson at the QS Wharton World Jane den Hollander Education Awards. Vice-Chancellor A university education is much more than a degree,

© 2016 Deakin University Student Association Inc Reg. No. A0040625Y


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.

Opinions expressed in this publication belong to their respective authors, and it may not be the opinions of WORDLY or DUSA. Unattributed images sourced from unsplash.com and Adobe Creative Cloud Assets. Want to advertise? Contact deakinwriters@gmail.com for more information.

Some of you are worried that you’ve made a terrible veterans returning from your breaks, welcome back! mistake. We hope you are all enjoying the O’week festivities. You’ve read the Buzzfeed articles and you’ve seen If you haven’t already, my advice to you is simple: get the Nine News bulletins: University life is expensive, involved! Grab your DUSA membership, run around tedious and hard work, with only a fancy hat and a the clubs stall and sign up to as many clubs as you can. glossy sheet of paper to show at the end of it. It can be both exciting and daunting coming to Good news, folks—it is so much better than that.

A Deakin degree is not some scrap of toilet paper from a lesser university—it is prestigious qualification, which will open doors for you all over the world. And DUSA is an important part of the experience. DUSA is here to make your next few years memorable, enjoyable and hopefully life changing. Run by students, for students, we’re here to lessen the pain and effort of university study by providing you with unbeatable opportunities to meet people, take part in new activities and gain extra qualifications. It’s our job to help students to be successful, whether that is academically, socially or on the sporting field.

University as a first year student, especially because there are so many people you don’t know. Be brave. Speak to that cool, funny person, or perhaps the quiet, shy nerdy cat lover sitting next to you in your lecture. Ask that interesting person if they’d like to grab lunch or coffee.

So if you’re worried—don’t be. The DUSA university experience is about creating opportunities for you, it’s about becoming the person you’ve always dreamed of—the CEO, the marketing manager, the lawyer, the artist, the physio or nurse. Just as importantly, it’s about making the friends that you’ll keep for life.

If you’d like to know about more about what DUSA We’re also here to look after you if things go wrong. offers at Deakin, head to the DUSA website at If you’re struggling with your course progression or www.dusa.org.au or follow us on Facebook­at Deakin get into trouble with the university—come and see us. University Student Association, on Twitter @yourdusa We’ve got your back. We also offer free legal advice or Instagram @yourdusa. on a wide range of matters from immigration law to tenancy issues and public transport fines. Matthew McDonald To all the new students commencing their time with us at Deakin this year, welcome, and to all you university

EDITORS-IN-COOL Bonnee Crawford Jessica Harvie EDITORS Aiden Finlayson Cassie Axon Claudia Sensi Contugi Justine Stella Luke Peverelle

Natalie Corrigan Sos Gill COVER ART BY Robbie Haddad CONTRIBUTORS Aiden Finlayson Alison Evans Avrille Bylok-Collard

DUSA President

Bonnee Crawford Charlie Osborne Crystle Lee Eugene Samolin James Gardiner Justine Stella Luke Peverelle Matthew McDonald Paddy Amarant Prof Jane den Hollander

Riley Sadlier Robbie Haddad Rowan Girdler Tessa Rose SPECIAL THANKS TO Jessica’s dog, Darcie; the patient partners of the Editors’; the waiter at the restaurant where we took over two tables doing layouts. Thanks y’all.


CLB101: Joining Clubs Written by content first-year survivor: Charlie Osborne

When I stepped into Deakin University for O’week in 2015, I didn’t know what to expect. I went on my own (I still can’t decide whether this was a good idea or a bad one), with the intention of making new friends, a new life, and a place I felt comfortable; because it was very clear to me that high school was not a fun place to be. I only had two goals walking into that first week: 1. Do as many things as I possibly could. 2. Join at least two clubs: Deakin Writers Club and the Deakin Pride Queer Society. I am pretty proud to say that I accomplished both those goals. I had joined both those clubs within the first two days of O’week! The Deakin Writers Club was warm, welcoming and really supportive of my ambitions to be a writer, despite the fact that I was a scared eighteen-year-old, with barely any life experience. And the Deakin Pride Queer Society became my second family; the wonderful people I met throughout becoming some of the best people I have ever known. I even managed to become the Events Coordinator for the Pride Society for 2016. The first goal, do as many things as possible, was a little bit trickier. I picked up a second job during Trimester 1, making it difficult to find the time to do everything I wanted. Even though at the beginning of the year I had said to myself, ‘You know what, you are going to attempt to go to every single event that these clubs hold for the rest of the year’, I realised after a while, doing everything wasn’t possible. Get some sleep, and maybe read that book I needed to have read for class two weeks ago? That was okay by me. Setting the initial goal gave me a chance to make some friends, and when I started taking some time to actually rest my poor tired body, I knew I had people who were not only understanding, but would make time to hang out with me. Honestly, having these two goals as a starting point for my first year at uni was the best decision I could have made. I would not have made any of the friends I have made if I hadn’t joined the clubs, and done as much as I could. So although my year didn’t go anywhere near the way I had thought it would, I wouldn’t change anything. I went into O’week 2015 one person, and came out at the end of Trimester 2 another person. Seriously, I discovered so many new things, changed so many things about the way I present myself, the way I live my life, and experienced it all with curiosity and open eyes. I grew a lot during my first year at Deakin. If you told high school me that this was the way my life would be now, I wouldn’t have believed for a second that it could get better. I wouldn’t wish for it to have gone any differently than it did, not in a million years. So my advice to any new students who want to have a bit of fun, want something to do, or even are just feeling anxious about their first year at Deakin, is: join some clubs, go to events, and make some friends. I know I wouldn’t be anywhere without the group of friends I have made, and I know I won’t go anywhere without them now. Want more information on DUSA Clubs and Societies? Check out dusa.org.au/Clubs-Sport/Clubs


My desk is small. It’s a compact laminated white table that creativity based students versus STEM students—‘Why are I constructed from ambiguous IKEA instructions for my you learning that? It’s going to get you nowhere.’ Though twenty-second birthday. It has a hole in the top right hand these scoffs can be reversed, they’re often hurtful and, corner for my laptop and lamp cords, and a large consequentially, malignant. drawer that I compartmentalised with spare These remarks often don’t criticise the pens, rulers, glue sticks, whiteboard markers, knowledge itself, rather, they criticise the bulldog clips and other stationery. There’s individuals themselves. They mock a person even a colour wheel hidden underneath for investing energy into something that Faber Castell markers in case I ever want they, the insulter, don’t consider worthwhile. to experiment with a tetrad, triad or split By Avrille It’s policing knowledge and frankly, that’s contemporary. Though this colour deviancy intrinsically wrong. Bylok-Collard occurs rarely, it never hurts to be prepared. These comments are discouraging and My desk is my favourite piece of furniture (sorry sometimes alienating, and, with accumulation, bed, I still love you too) because it’s where the best these remarks can deter people from learning through magic of my life happens—the magic of learning. feelings of humiliation, frustration and inferiority. Recently, after six months away from university, I This is problematic because there is nothing wrong with rediscovered my love of learning and now voluntary study learning. has become somewhat of a daily ritual. It consists of a beginning, a middle and an end, but the prelude is always Knowledge allows people to grow. It equips people with new skill sets, whether that is being the same. able to safely ignite fireworks, fix their A to-do list is triaged, my desk is malfunctioning lawnmower, identify cleaned of all objects and replaced the tawny frogmouth rummaging with items conducive for learning. through their compost heap, or simply Notebooks, textbooks and display folders knowing how to get away with murder. are piled neatly in the top left hand corner Knowledge also has the power to overcome barriers. and my water bottle is placed on a floral Consider why you are studying further after high school: coaster near the top right. My pencil case, a is it to secure a stable career? Is it for personal development? small grey one with threaded black hatching, is Is it to accelerate your position within your current job? laid parallel to the right desk edge and my iPad For many people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, a adopts centre stage, bright with whatever thorough education allows them to ascend into positions knowledge I’ll absorb that day. more financially stable than their parents. Which, in turn, I really love learning. I love the challenge opens opportunities to access better healthcare and gain of dissecting, analysing and condensing more cultural capital, information into formats I can understand. because they have more What I enjoy more than that is the pleasure expendable money. of passing that knowledge on and inspiring Knowledge also allows others to self-learn. That latter desire can people to form closer be (ignorantly) blamed upon genetics; relationships. Knowing approximately 35.7% of my family members my best friends’ are in teaching professions (yes, I did do the interests and tastes has maths). allowed me to gift them This is why I think it’s important to impart this: respect more thoughtful presents, support them during difficult those who learn. times, as well as prevent killing one who’s very allergic to Something I commonly hear are people criticising others’ peanuts. Having alive friends is very conducive to forming knowledge because they don’t value the knowledge that closer friendships. person holds. As if a knowledge’s worth is metered by Knowledge isn’t just limited to academia, it’s fundamental arbitrary value units. to being human. So, the next time you hear someone A common denigration comes from those who mock disparaging those who learn, ask them: ‘Why?’ It may force academic people because their interests may lack praxis. them to reconsider their comment and realise, that learning Another ubiquitous one is the ridiculing of Arts or isn’t so bad. It’s pretty great.

The Profitability of Knowledge


A ChaNge oF CoURse

James Gardiner discusses his course change.

One of the worst things about deciding to do a new undergraduate course when you’ve just finished one is having to explain yourself. People, like the extended family you see only at Christmas, will demand you tell them in minute detail why you would choose to waste another few years of your life, as though they’ve taken personal offence to your decision. You could point to the moment you decided enough was enough. During a class in my final trimester of Professional and Creative Writing, I messaged my partner that I had made the worst decision of my adult life. It was meant as a statement about choosing prose over script writing, but I quickly realised I was talking about my course path. There was nothing particularly difficult about the class, but the hardships of being a writer had been drummed into our heads from day one and it got to me that day. I realised that this wasn’t what I wanted. I realised that deep down, I was a film student. I’m a lazy reader, but watch far too much film and television. In 2015, I read six books (four of which were for classes), whereas I viewed a film a day. I’d completed some film units as electives, and my marks in these subjects were much higher than the scores for my writing units. So, I decided that I should consider changing my plans for the future. I quickly discovered that Deakin offers a Film and


Television course. If I applied for Credit for Prior Learning, the course would be fast-tracked, taking me only two years to complete. I realised that this was what I wanted to do. However, if I were to tell my nosy aunt, she would ask why I hadn’t done film in the first place. It wasn’t like I was more of a reader when I started university anyway, so why

‘I’ve been obsessed with writing ever since I imagined that our elderly neighbour was secretly a superhero.’ did I choose the writer’s path? I’ve been obsessed with writing ever since I imagined that our elderly neighbour was secretly a superhero. Throughout high school, I invented stories to keep my depressed, anxiety-ridden brain calm. However, even at this early stage, it was clear that my interests were twofold. The major story that I’ve been working on since 2009 takes the form of serialised seasons with 13 novels, which I referred to as episodes and ended on cliffhangers. When I became obsessed with Doctor Who, I wrote two editions of a 64-page fanzine filled with articles and reviews. Writing seemed the most natural path. But as I started the course, things fell apart,

climaxing in a horrible second year experience which saw an excerpt of my major story graded at 60% and labelled near incomprehensible. It was the start of a downward spiral of my faith in my writing. I believe that I’m a bad writer, despite most of my other writing marks suggesting otherwise. So I’m trying something else. However, I’m not giving up on being a writer. I’m convinced that, eventually, my story will see the light of day, whether as a series of novels or as a broadcast on HBO. I’ve used the skills I learnt to further my abilities, practicing by writing weekly

‘I realised that this wasn’t what I wanted. I realised that deep down, I was a film student.’ reviews and effectively combining my two major interests. The Film and Television course will continue to broaden these horizons and I will hopefully find a future that combines these areas into one satisfying career. Of course, I can’t tell the relative this: such a transient, hopeful goal as it is. They’ll just ask, what are the job opportunities like? To which I’ll give them a simple, uncomplicated answer—oh, probably a director or something— like I’d previously told them I was going to be a

journalist. Of course, they don’t ask what the truly difficult part is about doing a new course. I always thought my tenure at university would be defined by the friends I made. They mean everything to me and it seems odd that in a few years, they will simply be part of the canvas of my university experience. We’ll keep in contact, but that meaning will be lost. The idea of my friends finishing university while I continue studies alone is the one thing that held me back from applying for this new course. Naturally, though, when they found out I was debating it, they helped me decide what I really wanted to do. If my relatives asked if I regretted doing the Professional and Creative Writing course, I’d say, never, because without it I wouldn’t have met my friends and realised that my life was bigger than one area of interest. Human beings are far more complicated than that. We do not fit into boxes and we are able to make choices and changes until we, not annoying relatives, are happy with our lives.



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The Sparrow Flies By Eugene Samolin I finally entered the front gate, home’s shady relief beckoning from summer’s furnace. An infant sparrow stood in the middle of the path. It glanced up and greeted me with a wink. I stooped and reached out as if to pick it up, but it either couldn’t move or saw my ruse and called the bluff, feet remaining firmly planted on the ground. It cocked its head. Something about this ravine’s ambivalence was amiss. I imagined the experience of mental terror preceding gruesome horror awaiting it when one of the cats came out. It looked up at me unruffled, unstressed, and without pain, apparently lacking an appropriate fear of death. It made me sad. I knocked on the door. Pete answered. I alerted him to the situation, and bade him to come and share in my pity. ‘What’s the humane thing to do?’ I asked. It’s a living soul, a life, equal to yours and mine. ‘We could call the RSPCA?’ ‘Yeah, it’s only a little ...’ Pete trailed off. ‘Yeah, I know, but ...’ I echoed. We sighed at our apathy and trudged back inside, where I made a refreshing glass of icylemonade and watched the news. Pete went out at one point. Maybe he’s taken the sparrow to the vet. I went out later and the sparrow was still there, minus its head. Its carcass still greets me when I come home. I wonder how much longer it will greet me. I wonder: did it ever learn to be afraid?


Dance in the Flames by riley sadlier I love you for convincing me to burn down my childhood home. You embrace me in the flames, we kiss as the heat begins to fray our cotton clothes. This is the closest I’ve ever felt with someone, I wish that the flames would somehow melt us together so that we’ll never be apart. It’s childish, but it’s all that I want. — You knew that I was broken. I was drunk when I told you everything; I don’t remember any of it. I’ve always wondered whether you got me drunk just so that I’d tell you my secrets, like my parents’ deaths. It came at an age when I was old enough to feel independent, but too young to see how wrong I was. No relative wanted me so I was placed into what passes as state care in this country. — As the walls of this room begin to crumble we move along to the next one. The flames are yet to touch this part of the house. You pull out your phone and play my favourite song. We start to dance. Slowly and out of time with the music, but I don’t care. — The first foster home I went to had a friendly couple who seemed to care for the five of us living there. They got us to deliver small bags of weed across town for pocket money. The little kids never raised suspicion. I didn’t last very long in that house. They were never as nice to me after I stopped being useful, I understood their frustration; a fourteen year old girl can’t pass around drugs without someone noticing. I don’t think the police were ever called to the house, though I definitely thought about being spiteful and handing them in, but they had made me happy for a year so I was grateful. I was fifteen by the time I left the house. I only had three years left in the system. —


You drag me outside and take me across the garden. We sit together on the stone seat, kissing with our eyes open so that we can watch the flames. You haven’t said anything yet; you know this is my time and anything you say will retract from the memory I’m making. I lightly push your face away so that we can watch everything crumple into itself. You can’t see that I’m crying. We focus on the chaos that we created. — I hated everything about my life: my teenage body was a mess, I had no home and no friends. There was nothing worth living for, but I powered through it. Eventually I got out of the system. I got a full-time job, found a house to move into and then I met you. You found my anger and together we traced that back to the source. — I can’t cry silently anymore; you try to press me against you, only now I can’t handle it. I’ve made a terrible mistake. I squirm out from under you and run back towards the house. The entrance falls down in front of me and I can’t get back inside. — I hated my parents for dying, they were responsible for every sad feeling and overwhelming insecurity. It’s stupid to hate the dead, but I did. You and I used to sit together late at night and we’d imagine the person that I would have been if they were still alive. You would indulge me in those fantasies, almost to the point where you seemed more involved than I was. It was your idea to burn down my house. I thought I had been strong enough to overcome my pain, but you worded it so simply that I couldn’t refuse. ‘Memory is generally associated with a place,’ you said, ‘destroy that place and you remove that heartache’. I hate you for convincing me to burn down my childhood home. We may run together as the flashing lights approach the house but I am done with you. All the emotional progress that I have made and you come along and torch it. You may hold my hand, now watch me run.

4 S U L P





PRE-WORLD GENERATING SUMMIT, UNKNOWN DATE The gods, lesser gods, and all venerated lords of religions yet-to-be-formed sit around a council table, dimly lit by an overhead lamp. A few polyhedral dice are scattered across the table, along with empty character sheets strewn across the procession’s meeting space. ‘God, you’re being an arsehole again.’ ‘By a bull’s testicles, will you stop being difficult?’ ‘See? He’s being an arsehole!’

like how the ants work together,’ across the table, Serapis echoed from the Egyptian side. —

‘Odin, can you please …?’ God implored, looking Lucifer cast his scheming, if not diabolical look towards Loki, who’d managed to befriend Dionysus quite weary. (who in turn had managed to sell dissociative drugs ‘LOKI,’ boomed Odin. to Ares). Lucifer rose from his quiet corner, and Loki cowered, just a little. The mischievous one moved into the Greek pantheon. shuffled around the grand assembly, moving in Beneath the bickering of the others still discussing amongst the procession of Greek and Roman gods— how to start a new world, Lucifer rested his eerily who all seemed to be getting along quite well. smooth hand against Loki’s shoulders. ‘Look, I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m telling ‘I don’t think you’re difficult,’ his voice was always you that we need to establish order with this new silken, like satin smoothing across skin, ‘I think campaign. If you start demanding silly ideas, such you’re on the right track. The Gods of Order should as “giving everyone crippling social phobias”, you’re consider your opinion.’ going to shoot the humans in the foot,’ God explained, earning a sharp nod from the other deities of order, Loki ripped his attention from the naked Dionysus, who was merrily smoking a dooby. Dionysus ran peace, and knowledge. his eyes over Lucifer in a lustful way, winking when ‘He’s right,’ boomed Zeus, voice striking as thunder their eyes caught on one another. does divide an ambient evening. ‘I’m tired of watching them all devolve into fighting. None of ‘I’m not sleeping with you,’ Loki directed to Lucifer. the play-throughs in the past few games have even ‘Ask Hera, she’s all about you broody types.’ reached Space Age. Can we try, for once, to get to ‘Oh, no. I’m not here for that.’ Lucifer was close, his Space Age?’ dulcet voice so warm. ‘I’m here to … propose a deal.’ ‘What let us down in the last campaign was giving them greed. I’m not saying we get rid of it, because it gives us back a few trait points,’ reasoned Athena quietly. ‘Athena’s right. Let’s try the ant colony strats. I always


Loki seemed confused. ‘I’m listening.’ ‘I think we should overthrow them. They always hold back on your ideas, as with the others. If we remove them from the equation, we have full control over the planning for the next game. That includes

the other gods you can get in on this.’

‘You crazy naked brat!’ boomed Zeus, throwing Loki looked back at Lucifer, whose expression was himself to tackle his drug-addled son. But Ares was constantly shifting. The deal was good. Too good to astonishingly heavy; too much to tackle out. Zeus let go. With a sharp nod, Loki allowed his eyes to was thrown to the floor, Ares laid into his father until he became unconscious. search the despots of the many pantheons. ‘Hey, Dion. You up for some fun?’

‘What is the meaning of this?’ Odin demanded.

‘We don’t want to sit here, and be forced to go along with your stupid plan. None of this, “Let’s Loki glanced between the hedonistic god’s legs, and make everyone ants”, or “Waah! Waah! Space Age!” agreed that he was indeed up. nonsense. You’re gonna listen to us now,’ Loki smiled, ‘Right. I need you to get Ares as high as a kite. Just finding Lucifer’s hand on his shoulder. keep feeding him drugs,’ Loki requested, looking In a turn, Lucifer spoke up, ‘I ask that all of the the barrel-chested God of War over. Ares was far patrons who support us stand up on the table now. I too busy admiring some of the female patrons in his know some of you are smiling, I can feel it.’ mildly drug-addled state to notice the comment. There was both awe and unease in the crowd. A few ‘I’ll work some of the other gods over. You’ll know upset, followed by angered cries resonated from when it’s the time to strike,’ Lucifer whispered, each pantheon, as their respective gods for chaos, sinking back into the throng of other gods. Loki debauchery, and all manners of intrigue began puffed out his chest, and began marching around to clambering up. recruit other revolutionists. Soon enough, Lucifer, Loki, and Dionysus were ­— joined by Apophis from the Egyptian pantheon, ‘Alright. We’ve got a good ruleset here,’ rumbled along with the wolf Fenrir (muttering something Odin, looking around the grand procession. ‘We’re about ‘Ragnarök’), and Mixcoatl from the more gonna try the ant system, remove individuality from reserved Aztec band. Many more approach the table’s the humans. They’ll all work better if they don’t edge, but didn’t scale it, yet. argue.’ ‘We’re doing this by our rules. You’re all in, or you’re ‘The rest of us approve,’ the other gods spoke, on out,’ Loki boomed to the crowd, hands sweeping out. behalf of their groups. A few begrudging nods were ‘What’re ye’ plannin’ ta do?’ a voice from the Celtic exhibited in the crowds. corner chimed out. ‘Not so fast, fuckers!’ bellowed Loki, climbing on ‘We’re gonna get more involved with the humans. top of the grand table. Dionysus flaunted his stuff as There’s an idea you all seem to shit your pants over. he climbed up beside him, followed by the brooding Let’s help them run their governments!’ Lucifer. The crowd erupted into argument, but they were ‘Ares! Do your thing!’ all brought to a swift silence by Ares screaming Ares snarled across the room, in a most primal something incoherent. fashion. The God of War made to charge, a makeshift ‘We’ll try it!’ suggested Loki. club—which he’d fashioned from the leg of a chair— ‘And if it doesn’t work, then we’ll go back to your in hand. other plans,’ Lucifer cooed into the air, the corners of ‘What in the name of f—’ God bellowed, only to be his lips reeling in a deceitful smirk. cut off by the assault. The hit from the club threw ‘But enough bickering. The time for change is now,’ God to the floor, out for the count. Loki added. ‘Ares?!’ Zeus thundered. Everyone turned in fright, only to catch the spectacle of Ares advancing on his ‘Let’s make the humans great again.’ father. To be continued … ‘I’m always up. And up for fun.’



‘Wolf Cry’ by Tessa Rose

Safe Harbour

by Alison Evans

My second book is being published at the end of this March and I have reached the point in the publishing cycle where I never want it to be released, ever. There are no reviews anywhere yet. The only feedback I have got is from a) my publisher, whose job it is to tell me they like the book and actually want to publish it, b) my editor, whose job it is to show me where the potential is, and c) my friends. They have said good things and I trust them utterly. But still, what if somehow they are wrong? This is something I try not to do: doubt them. I trust them, but still the fear is there. And I think maybe that is it, this fear could be irrational. But still, what if it’s not? Once the book is out, it’s not mine anymore. I can’t keep it hidden in my computer and between a few carefully selected people. Anyone with access to a computer can buy it. And this one is going to be a paperback too, so anyone can order it in their local bookshop. Anything could happen to it out there. I know most readers don’t care about the author and I as a person wouldn’t cross their minds. If they don’t like the book, they’re probably just going to stop reading. They won’t contact me. I won’t know that they started and stopped. I won’t know if it was the worst thing they’ve read or even the best. And I don’t know why I care so much. But what if it is problematic? What if somehow I’ve fucked up immensely? What if it’s a bad book? what if it is utterly forgettable? And why is this so different to having my first book come out when that one was so much more personal? Maybe with the first book there was more excitement because it was the first one. Everything was fresh and new and glittering. There were bad reviews, but there were more good reviews for the first book. The editing this time around was so much easier. The other difference is that this one is going to be a paperback and people seem to see this as more of a ‘real ABOVE: Alison’s most recent book; it can be book’. I posted about the first one on Facebook and some pre-ordered at alisonwritesthings.com/books people were interested and a few even told me they’d read it. When I posted about this one on Facebook, there was so much more interest, maybe because they can hold it in their hands. Maybe because the cover is more attractive, I don’t know. I don’t know what is more terrifying, people I don’t know reading it, or people I know very well reading it. Both options are very different intimacies, both are very close to me as a person although I know most readers won’t know just how present I am in this book. At the time of writing this article (mid-January), I have just over eight weeks in this safe harbour where the book is still mine. I feel very safe as it just sits here in various drafts on my hard drive, on my publishers’ computers, in mine and their emails. It is slow, almost static right now. The only thing left to do on my end is a final proofread in a couple of weeks. And it is nice here, peaceful, but that is not what this book is for. This book is for other people.


‘Elliptical’ by Luke Peverelle I find myself gently bewildered by all the old places looked upon by the newly arrived as the gleaming and constant Now whereas I look at them with jaundiced eye and see memories stitched around a heart of cold metal and sterile plastic what was once here and what was taken away and now we are left here, those who remember to speak quietly about the days gone past not too loudly, else we seem foolish surrounded by a relentless churning engine of places and people and names that care nothing for nostalgia and I wonder, is this fair? That they should have it all and we be left with so little? Their beginning, our end was it always going to be written thus? Then I remember, as others have done we are not the main characters in this story our own little worlds, they survive within us but this one, the mother of us all plays no favourites and draws no lines these barriers, we make them ourselves dividing the old and the new separating ourselves in a gulf of sentimentality and should we cross it, should we dare ourselves we will find the serpent’s tail we will find a new beginning from the ashes of our end.


Chocolate Chips FOR ALL THE SHY COOKIES By Justine Stella

2015 seems to be one of those years that got its nails dug deep into everyone, tearing into our skin and leaving enough marks that we’ll never be able to forget it. At least, that’s how it was for me, particularly because it became a year of firsts.

place for me to be as there are so many like-minded and passionate people here; I pulled through my disease; I risked voicing my opinions and was respected for it; I was loved.

I had to go through a little extra to reach all of these Maybe you’re a bit of a tough cookie and trying new chocolate chips. But they were worth that extra effort. things doesn’t make you bite your lip. Or maybe you’re Some were tiny, some were huge, some were chunky, like me, more of a shy cookie, and facing new things leaves you with marks: teeth marks in your lower lip, ‘Being a shy cookie doesn’t mean you’re nail marks in your palms, and bruises on your knees not tough, it just means you have to go from bumping into those walls that just shouldn’t be there when you’re panicky. Being a shy cookie doesn’t through a little extra.’ mean you’re not tough, it just means you have to go through a little extra. some were smooth; they were all worth it. They were worth the panic attacks, the chewed lips, the nail marks, And last year I learnt that little extra is worth it. the bumps and the bruises. I left home. I broke up with my high school sweetheart. I scored an incredible internship in my career industry. I So while I love those soft years that just sail by and barely nearly lost my sister. I was an editor for Deakin’s art and lit leave a trace, 2015 certainly wasn’t one of them. It was a journal. I got a scary diagnosis. I judged a writing comp. clunky one, leaving lots of memories behind. I reached inside and told my darkest secrets to someone. 2015 was my prelude to 2016. I feel a little more prepared These were all firsts and, like the shy cookie I am, I if this one is another full of firsts, or even seconds. And struggled with them all. For too many of them I didn’t I know that being prepared won’t stop the shaking and stand tall, I didn’t face them head on. Nearly all involved the doubt that’ll take hold in those scary moments. But tears and palpitations. I was convinced I wasn’t good it does mean I now know that it’s worth it, because those chocolate chips will be there at the end. with change, couldn’t handle new things. So maybe you’re like me and this year there’ll be a whole bunch of shy cookies out there collecting chocolate Until I discovered that a chocolate chip was nestled chips. To all you shy cookies out there, good luck, but I inside each of my firsts: I found the people I belong know you’ll be just fine. Here’s to a year of collecting all with; I realised I don’t need a boy; I confirmed that the the chocolate chips that we can! editing industry was for me; I learned that my family is phenomenally strong; I discovered that Deakin is the For a while it seemed that I was right.


L o o s e Canon In early 2014 Disney announced that they were removing almost all of the expanded universe material from the Star Wars canon; leaving only the six released movies and the Clone Wars TV series. Disney intended to tell new stories within that mythology and in the thirty odd years since Return of the Jedi, continuity had become unwelcome to a new audience and also didn’t leave much in the way of opportunities for a new film series.

each attempting to remove the other from history; eventually, one terrible day the Doctor was forced to destroy both his people and their enemy, leaving him the last of his kind. The exact details, however, were tweaked and didn’t entirely correspond with the events of the novels. Instead, it was a different war, a different enemy, another terrible day.

Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky... but no: it’s only a bird, only a plane — Superman died ten years ago. This is an imaginary story... aren’t they all?

final one was a fictional story, truthfully nothing was ever resolved. However as both tales, one where the lovers, Cecilia and Robbie, reconcile and another where they die apart, are both equally fictional we can choose to accept either as the reality, ‘But what really happened? The answer is simple: the lovers survive and flourish.’

It’s distressing isn’t it? The idea that the stories that we love can so easily be taken away from us. That This is hardly the first time a franchise has been forced somewhere in a boardroom far away a group of to reinvent the lore in order to remain relevant. In people can decide to tell us that these stories never 1986 DC Comics made the decision to reboot their happened. Though truthfully, none of it happened. entire catalogue so as to introduce a strict continuity As Moore said, all stories are imaginary stories. and gain new readers. Alan Moore was commissioned I have never seen this concept lain so bare before to write a Superman story that would act as a finale outside of Ian McEwen’s novel, Atonement. Here to his character-arc. However, DC intended to make McEwen tells us an entire story, the story of two clear to the readers that this was only an imaginary lovers, Cecilia and Robbie, pulled apart by a terrible story, that no incarnation of Superman was ending misunderstanding and leading us through an entire his adventures. In a short prelude to the main comic, dramatic arc through to a resolution. Only then to Moore wrote: turn to us and tells us that every chapter before the

Between 1989 when the TV series went on hiatus and 2005 when it returned to the screens, new Doctor Who adventures were released in the form of novels. The new televised series has apparently made the decision not to consider these stories as canon, adapting some of the expanded universe novels into episodes of the revival and at other times outright contradicting them. Nonetheless, the effects of these stories can still be felt today. The new TV series incorporated the general backstory of the novels. Two races who mastered time travel almost destroyed the universe by battling a war across time and space,


When given enough credence an unofficial work can reinvent and improve a story. L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz uses the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as archetypes to analyse what is kindness, intelligence and bravery; are they simply personality traits or are they actually how we choose to act and treat people? The 1939 film adaptation is hardly the strongest regarding plot or characterisation. The film never once explains why its interpretation of the Wicked Witch of the West is ‘wicked’. Baum’s original had enslaved the Winkies,

Paddy Amarant discusses the bizarre notion that some kinds of fiction are realer than others.

but in the film, her wickedness amounts to repeatedly character was later fleshed out in a series scribed by asking Dorothy to return her late sister’s shoes. Mike Carey that told the story of Lucifer creating and Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked managed to overseeing a universe running directly in competition return the Oz stories back to their roots. Maguire’s with God’s own. The television series instead features Wicked Witch of the West takes cues from the film Lucifer in Los Angeles helping the police put away adaptation in that she has green skin and is the sister criminals for kicks. Carey didn’t mind, as he had of the Wicked Witch of the East, but her story-arc is been allowed to take Gaiman’s character and given a response to the adaptation’s inability to articulate free rein to do with him as he saw fit. Gaiman, in her wickedness and does so in the style of Baum’s turn, acknowledged that his initial interpretation of storytelling. Whereas Baum discussed intelligence, the character was largely borrowed from the Lucifer kindness and bravery; Maguire dissects the concept of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Gaiman and Carey agreed that ‘We leave our toys in the sandbox for other kids to play with’.

‘It’s distressing isn’t it? The idea that the stories that we love can so easily be taken away from us. That somewhere in a boardroom far away a group of people can decide to tell us that these stories never happened.’

of wickedness; is anyone truly good or evil? Does performing perhaps necessary evil deeds for good reasons mean that we are evil people or is it perhaps a bit more complicated than that? Wicked cannot be considered ‘canon’ to Baum’s work; indeed, it was only publishable because Baum’s work had long since fallen into the public domain. Neither does it entirely correspond with the 1939 film, but it has had an enormous impact on future Oz works by other creators; most of which feature an increased and sympathetic focus on the Wicked Witch of the West. CW’s new television series, Lucifer, an adaptation of a character introduced by Neil Gaiman in his The Sandman comics; there protrayed as a fallen angel that never particularly enjoyed torturing sinners. The

Perhaps we should stop focusing on strict continuities and start considering an overall idea of mythologies, like the iconic stories of ancient gods and heroes where there can be multiple true interpretations of a single character and stories don’t have to line up neatly against one another. Lucifer can get bored of Hell and create a new universe, but he can also be known to ensure that violent criminals meet justine. The Wicked Witch of the West can at any time be a tyrannical ruler as well as a misunderstood woman who was forced to do terrible things for a perceived greater good. Cecilia and Robbie reconciled, but they also died apart. We can acknowledge that the Doctor destroyed Gallifrey to end a war that never truly began but also, many years later, destroyed Gallifrey to end a different war. Superman died a long time ago, but he is also still out there today fighting that same rogues gallery. We can understand that Luke Skywalker rebuilt the Jedi Order but also know that his efforts ended in failure. There’s some pretty terrible official stories out there and some pretty good unofficial stories too. More importantly, canon changes. At the end of the day, everything is canon, and none of it is. It just depends on where you’re standing.


Daffodils are sown With eager smiles and bored yawns, The invasion starts.

‘Daffodils’ by Crystle Lee

Become a member of Deakin Writers... If you like to read other people’s words If you want people to read your words If you want to workshop those words If you want to talk to other people that also like words If you want to get word-ly. Sign up at the DUSA office on your campus. Any questions? Email: deakinwriters@gmail.com



That night in Hawthorn

by Rowan Girdler

Greetings, first years. Welcome to O’week!

We all left together and spent the evening trading Are you ready to immerse yourself in Deakin’s compliments. We made plans to meet up again at a jazz bar she knew of and had always wanted to unique culture? try out. When she finally went home, Jono and I Have you signed up to some of our awesome clubs? flopped down into a bus stop seat and exchanged a look. We’d been friends for years so no words were Have you met some amazing new people? Are you prepared for an experience you will never needed. We were both thinking the same question: did that really happen? It did, and ever since then forget? Jono and I have referred to those events as ‘that My first O’week was in 2013. I was just another night in Hawthorn’. new student, winding my way through the crowds, filling my backpack with free stuff and trying to I couldn’t believe my luck. One week into university, figure it all out. I knew next to nobody at Deakin, I classes had not yet even started, and already I had had no idea what my course would be like and all I plans with my best friend and the most glamorous had to go on was the advertising material. Everyone girl we had ever met. It didn’t matter that I preferred else seemed to be signing up for big parties in the pretentious functions for mature-age students over city, but that wasn’t my style. Instead, my friend wild parties; my O’week had lived up to all the Jono and I decided to go the last event of the week, expectations. one that was aimed at mature-age students instead After that night, we never saw the girl from the bar of fresh high school graduates: a wine and cheese again. night at a bar in Hawthorn. That’s the thing about life. It doesn’t live up to your It was hot that night, too hot for suits really, but that expectations. But the fliers do have one thing right: wasn’t going to stop me and Jono. The venue was if you go to university, you will meet amazing a function room above a bar that was stuffy even people and have experiences you’ll never forget. with the windows open and fans going. We stood The expectations created that night in Hawthorn around making awkward small talk with strangers were never realised, but in the three years since then for as long as we could take before deciding to ditch I have met so many other amazing people, people and head downstairs to get some food. And there who have come to be my best friends, and together it was that we met Her. She and her friends were we have had many unforgettable experiences. Deakin students too, and we couldn’t imagine how O’week is fun, but it’s not university in miniature. we’d missed seeing her upstairs. She was glamorous It’s just the start, just the prelude to the story of the and well-dressed, dripping with class and beauty. best years of your life. We struck up a conversation and before long we So greetings, first years. Welcome to Deakin. Sign were swapping phone numbers. The next thing I up to some clubs. Meet some amazing people. Have knew she was asking Jono to choose her drinks. experiences you will never forget.


Des(s)erting Old Traditions Interview by Bonnee Crawford

On International Women’s Day (8 March 2016), a group of volunteers will be going on a hospital visit to give out little pink sweets called ladoos to new mothers of South Asian descent.

‘The ladoos are usually only given out when boys are born […]. When baby girls are born people often don’t celebrate and in my family, I asked my mum, “What did you do when we were The little pink sweets are a colourful twist on the born?” And she said, “Well, you were expected traditionally orange or yellow ladoo, which are to be a boy. Some relatives and family were quite commonly given as gifts at times of celebration disappointed that you weren’t a boy”.’ in India. The reason behind the unconventional Daizy recounted how her mother had grown up colouring is the promotion of gender equality in a family with three daughters, and one son. in line with the Pink Ladoo Campaign. The When Daizy’s mother and aunts were entering campaign was started in London in October 2015 adulthood, their father encouraged them to by Raj Khaira on the International Day of the Girl continue their education, while their mother Child and aims to reshape the tradition of Indian considered it ‘wasted money’. and other South Asian cultures which celebrate ‘My Nan would say “Why are you educating when a baby boy is born, but do not celebrate the girls? They’re of age to be married off. Find the birth of baby girls, creating a male preference them a husband, you know they’re 18-20, get culture that devalues women. them married”.’ Daizy Maan (Boroondara Young Citizen of the Year 2015) is one of the volunteers of the campaign. Daizy’s parents were born in Punjab, India, before moving to Australia, and she has two older sisters and an older brother.

This comes from a culture where dowries are paid to the family of a woman’s husband for marrying her, wives are expected to move into the family home of their husbands, and inheritance of wealth and assets belongs to the male role.

‘Male preference is deeply ingrained in many cultures across India and in other parts of South Asia, and the continual lack of celebration at the birth of a baby girl is a tradition that families have continued to practice, even after they migrate to other parts of the world.’

‘There are too many traditions that propel a male preference culture, that’s why I got on board this campaign. It really struck a chord with me,’ Daizy said.

Male preference is deeply ingrained in many cultures across India and in other parts of South Asia, and the continual lack of celebration at the birth of a baby girl is a tradition that families have continued to practice, even after they migrate to other parts of the world. But Daizy and the Pink Ladoo campaign hope to change these traditional ‘My mum distributed sweets and ladoos when attitudes: one pink sweet at a time. my first sister was born and our in-laws and our ‘I was on Facebook and [the campaign] popped distant relatives were like, “What are you doing? up on my newsfeed […] immediately I thought Why the hell are you celebrating? Don’t do that, of ladoo and I thought of pink and I thought you’ll have more girls” … In a way you’d be cursed of equality, and I said brilliant because I knew to have more girls.’ straight away what it meant.’ Although Daizy’s mother celebrated the birth of Within a month of the campaign’s launch, the all her children, it wasn’t until Daizy’s brother was power of social media had allowed founder Raj born that the rest of the family celebrated too. Khaira’s voice to reach across the world. Daizy


quickly found all of the campaign’s social media channels and sent Raj an email to see how she could become involved. Before long, their emails became a Skype session, and Daizy told Raj how much she would love to bring the campaign to Australia. Since then, Daizy has been working hard to get the word out about the Pink Ladoo by getting it into local media and helping with the campaign’s social media strategy.

is #mypinkladoostory, to encourage everyone who is sending their stories […] share your story publicly and we’ll feature some of those on our Facebook page, they could be stories of celebrating newborn girls or anything you feel connects with the purpose of this campaign.’ Daizy highlighted the importance of the campaign focusing on the positivity of change and creating new traditions.

‘I’m passionate about using technology, and ‘The idea around the campaign is such a beautiful digital marketing […] I’m trying to see how I simple thing; let’s celebrate the birth of girls, and can use the skills I have to amplify this campaign boys alike.’ because it’s so meaningful.’ ‘We’ll be giving pink ladoos out to [the mothers of] ‘What we need is for more people to engage in the boys and girls of South Asian descent in the hospital.’ conversation, change their Facebook cover, do it through social media, start talking about it, start ‘It gives those women a reason to celebrate. It researching it, start knowing about it. A lot of might well be that someone there thought they people don’t know it’s even happening. You need were going to have a boy, because their in-laws the people who don’t think it exists to find out have been telling them […] and then that way that it exists, and find out what they can do, and they can say, “no, screw you, I had a girl and I’m going to celebrate my girl”.’ they can make some noise about it.’ While the lack of celebration for baby girls is Daizy encourages anyone who’s interested in better known for its prevalence in South Asia, it supporting the campaign to follow the Pink Ladoo is still happening in families that have migrated on social media, talk to people they know about or are of South Asian descent. However, there are the issue, and get in touch with the campaign if those who simply aren’t aware of the situation at they want to get involved. Equality is sweet, and all. But the amount of support the campaign has so is this campaign. received from the community of people who can relate to it goes to show that there is no denying the issue here. ‘I’ve helped [Raj] create the new hashtag, which www.pinkladoo.org • facebook.com/Pink-Ladoo-772932799495377/?fref=ts Twitter: @PinkLadoo #pinkladoo #mypinkladoostory • Instagram: /pinkladoo





Submit to ISSUE 2: GENRE What tropes are done to death? Which GENRE science fiction texts are now reality? Which version of the soundtrack of The Sound Of Music should we listen to? The Broadway version or the Julie Andrews version? Is Young Adult fiction a GENRE or a style? What’s with all the hatred towards GENRE fiction? Is there such a thing as a cookbook GENRE? Should GENRE be spelt with a J? What plot hole really just irks you? When I say ‘Salsa’, do I mean the GENRE of dance or the food? What is a dance GENRE? Should fan-fiction be considered a GENRE? Are fruits and vegetables just different GENRES of plants? Is ‘identity GENRE’ a thing? Do you have an answer to any of the above questions? Do you have something else you would like to say? Submit your words, art, journalism, photography and poems to our pages. Unsolicited material 100% welcome. Or pitch us your ideas! We’re cool with that too. We’re cool people.

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Aiden Finlayson Alison Evans Avrille Bylok-Collard Bonnee Crawford Charlie Osborne Crystle Lee Eugene Samolin James Gardiner Justine Stella Luke Peverelle Matthew McDonald Paddy Amarant Prof Jane den Hollander Riley Sadlier Robbie Haddad Rowan Girdler Tessa Rose