If you’re anything like me, you think we’ve got it pretty bloody good, here in Australia. We aren’t perfect but we are a work in progress. In my lifetime so far, I’ve seen our society become more accepting, more open-minded and more inclusive than ever before. I hope to see those attitudes reflected in law before too long. But that’s not what this is about. This is about just some of the small but noisy groups that oppose that progress.

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The Ibis.

The native ibis, with it’s handsome black and white ensemble and long beak, is the picture of grace when in flight. The fly in formation, just like in a movie. Gorgeous things. Are you shaking your head yet? Perhaps picturing the much-maligned “bin chicken” rooting through the rubbish bins in a city lane way? Maybe remembering the time a “tip turkey” nicked off with your sandwich? Here’s the thing, though. The ibis seems to be the latest thing we love to hate, judging by all the memes and songs, but actually, they’re kind of amazing. They’re so much more than the “picnic-wrecking fuck” that this song describes them as.

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Stumbling on Sally Hepworth

Quite by accident, I found a book called The Secrets of Midwives earlier this year. It was one of a handful of Australian novels offered at a discount on iTunes when I was looking for something to read on the train.  I liked the sound of it; a story of 3 generations of women, all midwives. The characters had present-day problems that could only really be solved by reliving aspects of the past. I couldn’t put it down.

Sally Hepworth headshot- a seated white female wearing a patterned shirt. She has blonde hair and is smiling broadly and looking to the right.

Sally Hepworth.

I later learned that it was actually the debut novel of Sally Hepworth, an author from Melbourne. Naturally, I sought out her other books and read them both in quick succession. Because I enjoyed them so much, I got in touch with Sally for a chat.

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