‘I felt the valley lifting’

With the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 gaining a foothold across Greater Sydney, Marjorie had to rapidly pump out public health messages for clients during lockdown, including one non-profit whose work centres in several of Sydney’s 12 LGAs of concern.


Getting messages out in a variety of community languages was vital to ensure people were getting tested, isolating, following stay-at-home orders and getting vaccinated. At times she felt like Rosie the Riveter doing her bit for the war effort!


Marjorie fell in love with I Felt the Valley Lifting, the third solo release from singer-songwriter Toby Martin and snared him to play at the South Sydney Herald annual fundraising concert on December 11. Very exciting.


She also ran a writing workshop called ‘What’s Your Story?’ to help settlement, community services and aged care staff find confidence and clarity in telling the story of the important work they do in supporting migrants, refugees and other CALD clients.


She worked with the same non-profit team to promote the success of a parenting program. Feedback included: “This is wonderful! I have sent it on to Elly who is so incredibly happy with the write up. Amazing work.” – Lisa Stephenson, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District


Stephen sunk his teeth into writing "Sydney’s broad highway out of lockdown must carry us all", which detailed the social, mental and economic anguish of western Sydney communities that were forced to endure the harshest lockdown restrictions. It also argued that public responses to the pandemic must be informed by diverse perspectives, in particular those communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.


While Stephen’s focus in recent months has shifted from external to internal comms at Settlement Services International, he was out and about to support some important public activities, including the launch of the Welcome Project with Afghan evacuees at Bankstown Cricket Club, collecting Hampers of Hope from Addi Road and delivering them to refugee families, and a Welcome Project trip to Bondi Beach, with support from Waverley Council and Uniting.


His interest in (shooting) birds continues … some targets here.