As the global economy continues its state of free fall, it’s been hard to let go and accept what is has brought. It has been a somewhat grim week ending with disrupted Anzac Day celebrations where our thoughts have been with those who fought for us in the past and those fighting for us now – all frontline workers including the four police officers so tragically killed on the Eastern freeway. There is a local fundraising event Run Rosanna for Vic Police on Saturday 2 May if you are in a position to give.
Speaking of which, I have gone cap in hand this week personally asking a number of alumni to donate to the La Trobe Student Crisis Appeal which ends on 30 April – I am hopeful of reaching our $550k target given there’s less than $30k to go. While I generally work in the volunteering space asking alumni to only give back their time and talent, this week I have asked for treasure in the form of money and have had success, so maybe yet I will make a fundraiser.
More seriously, depending on what happens with the higher education sector and any kind of government support (none of which looks forthcoming at this stage) – stand downs and redundancies may be on their way and it has given me pause for thought regarding what next if need be – potentially a return to study if Mr Rosanna can hold on to his job. While I have previously seen my long term future in this sector (and in Alumni Relations and Advancement), Covid-19 has completely turned many of us on our heads as the jobs and security we knew and took for granted are carried away into the ether. Unfortunately, more pain lies ahead but it has given me a chance to practise equanimity and live in the present, which I get to unwrap each day and enjoy with grace and good humour.
Despite the physical restrictions of now, there is freedom of thought and no-one can take away your values or dignity in the words of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre CEO and La Trobe alumnus Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM – who made such a powerful speech and impression on me at one of last year’s graduations ceremonies. We have all been forced to pivot and innovate and perhaps be re-born on the other side of this pandemic. The planet and wildlife – our creatures in the sea and sky and on the earth – are being given a chance to re-generate and renew and my hope is we move to a more sustainable existence as restrictions slowly end in time. We are still in such a position of great privilege compared with many of our overseas counterparts and I think this time of living a simple life in this make or break year has made many of us question – how much is enough and how much do we really need in order to be happy?
Like my current Director, I am a fan of many sporting analogies including quotes sprouted by past AFL football coaches along the lines of no matter where the game is – just do something, do anything but continue to play on and worry about the inputs not the outcomes, which will take care of themselves. I hope like me, no matter what your current circumstances are, you will continue to play on in the game of life and be happy now.