Short Story: A Different Imagination

For as long as I can remember, there have always been two frames of photographs in our living room. The large one contains many different photos of many different relatives at many different times. (My parents believed that I should know the names and faces of my relatives, even though it is unlikely that I will ever meet most of them; as a little girl, held in my mother’s arms so that I could see the photographs, I could name the relatives pictured, while my father recorded the scene on a rented video camera.) The smaller frame contains a photograph of my mother’s grandmother. It hangs below the larger frame, as Belarusian superstition dictates that photographs of deceased individuals should be placed lowest. The palm-sized square photograph has flown with us across the oceans and the deserts to Australia. Every morning when I walk into the living room, it is there on the mantle piece, reminding me that somewhere, in a land I can only imagine, there lived a woman, whom I would have liked to have met before she passed away. Continue reading “Short Story: A Different Imagination”


A Concise Summary Of The Political Situation In Ukraine

The following is a speech about the Crimean Crisis that was originally written in March 2014 for a VCE English Unit 1 Assessment Task. 

I have a question to you: how would you feel if the US troops arrived in Tasmania to claim the land as their own?

I don’t think you would feel very comfortable with that.

Yet, this is what seems to have happened in Crimea and as we talk is happening in many eastern regions of Ukraine.

Crimea is a small peninsula, but strategically very important, that is joined to the mainland Ukraine by a small strip of land and is easily accessible from Russia by ferry.

The Crimean Crisis of 2014 began with protests in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, in late November 2013. The people of Ukraine were protesting against the government’s decision not to go ahead with the Association Agreement with the European Union. To the people, the Agreement meant less corruption, better economic opportunities and, really, the kind of life we are used to in Australia and other developed countries.

The government attempted to violently suppress the protests, but this only made the protesters more determined. After more than two months of political turmoil, in late February 2014, the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, fled the country without resigning from his position. The parliament, where the opposition by then held a majority, installed an acting president and scheduled presidential elections for the 25th of May 2014. However, Russia does not recognize the current government of Ukraine. Consequently, it deployed its troops to the Crimean peninsula where it was renting a military base. A referendum was held and Crimea was proclaimed a part of Russia. Today I am going to explain to you why there is no justification Russia’s actions. Continue reading “A Concise Summary Of The Political Situation In Ukraine”

A Reflection on “The Hill of Crosses”

I wrote the following last year for Year 12 English (VCE EAL Units 3/4), while studying the “Imaginative Landscape” context.

One of the most interesting and significant journeys that I undertook in my eighteen years of life was a trip with my family to Europe in June and July 2013. As we travelled through Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Central Europe, I not only discovered some of the most pristine nature, visited a theme park where the characters from the books I devoured as a little girl came to life, and met extended family whom I hadn’t seen for several years, I also developed a stronger sense of my identity.
Continue reading “A Reflection on “The Hill of Crosses””