Hannah’s weekly message


Who likes the smell of freshly baked bread first thing in the morning?

This week we welcome back John Emmett who will be sharing in our 830 and 1030 services on the theme of “bread” and seeing “beyond the bread”. I hope it will feed you all. Continue reading

Posted in News

Hannah’s weekly message

Jane Keogh

This Sunday – we are blessed to have Sister Jane Keogh and Ingrid Hatfield with us to talk on the theme of “taking risks”. They will each share about experiences that have invited them to step out in faith. Come and hear from these inspiring women of faith! Continue reading

Posted in Events, News

Next Garage Sale – Sat 27 June!

Garage Sale

It’s now less than three weeks until our next garage sale!  If you’re after a simple way to help out, you could put a copy of the attached poster up in your neighbourhood or at work to help spread the word.

Click here to download: A3 flyer Kippax Garage Sale June 2015

If you’re interested in volunteering at the sale but are not sure what it’s all about you may be interested in an optional orientation session we’re holding for new volunteers.  The session will be in the Kippax Uniting Church auditorium at 3pm on Saturday 20 June and will go for no more than an hour.

The Garage sale will be held on Saturday 27 June from 8am – 1pm.

For more information see our Garage Sale page.

Posted in Events

Gordon’s weekly message

Man cries as he walks on the street while passing through a damaged statue of Lord Buddha a day after an earthquake in Bhaktapur


This weekend we are continuing our times of considering how we are writing our “next chapters” in the post-Easter story. So many thanks to Bec and to Beattie who shared part of their ‘chapters’ with us last Sunday. Continue reading

Posted in News

Hannah’s weekly message


This week has been a bit wet and wild, hasn’t it!

As the autumn leaves fall (in some areas, the trees fall!) and Canberra gets colder, we look forward to gathering together again to hear the stories of people in our community. Continue reading

Posted in Events, News

Gordon’s weekly message


Some of you may have heard the ABC666 Drive program yesterday around 5pm when there was an interview with Zoe Marshall. You may have also heard part of Zoe’s story in the media a couple of weeks back. Continue reading

Posted in News

Kippax Submission to the ACT Concessions Review

The ACT Government has been conducting a consultation into its Concessions Program (see http://www.timetotalk.act.gov.au/consultations/?engagement=public-consultation-on-the-expenditure-review-of-the-act-concessions-program)

As part of our ongoing advocacy and support for people who are at risk in our community, we have made a submission to this process.  Our submission can be found at Kippax- Concessions submission [1]

We look forward to continuing to work with the ACT Government to ensure that all people in the community have the chance to live a decent life

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Gordon and Hannah’s weekly message


Easter is always a very special time at Kippax. Our services work across the depths of the experience of our human condition and the story that lies at the heart of the Christian faith.

This weekend is involving a great many people at Kippax. Thank you (in advance) to all the people who have been or will be involved in the planning and the leading of the services. Continue reading

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Easter Services 2015



Easter is always a very special time at Kippax.
Our services work across the depths of the experience of our human condition and the story that lies at the heart of the Christian faith.

Continue reading

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Gordon’s weekly message



We have journeyed through our time of Lent, and in our small groups we have been experiencing a range of experiences of prayer. It has been deliberately to help focus our attention on the next week, as we recall and remember the last few days of Jesus life – and then his death and resurrection. Continue reading

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Gordon’s weekly message

rally for refugees


Lent is racing on. Only a couple of weeks away from Easter and so our services are very much focussed on the later part of the journey.

Last week we were reminded of the identity of God and of the purpose of Jesus’s life – Love. God loved SO MUCH. Continue reading

Posted in News

Lent begins


Today marks the beginning of our Lenten journey. There will be an Ash Wednesday service at Kippax tonight at 8pm. This will be a contemplative service where you will be invited to walk the prayer labyrinth and enter into the story of Jesus. We will walk the journey through the season of “inward searching” that is Lent. Continue reading

Posted in Events

Hannah’s weekly message

This weekend (Feb 15) we celebrate Transfiguration Sunday, remembering the mountaintop moment when Jesus “changed” and the disciples experienced God’s presence in an amazing way! When have you had a “mountain top moment” like this? Continue reading

Posted in News

Gordon’s weekly message


This coming Sunday we are really in for a special treat.

Bishop Ian Lambert – the Anglican Bishop in Defence – will be speaking at both our 830 and 1030 services. Continue reading

Posted in News

February at Kippax

One of the commitments that we make as a congregation to those starting Year 11, is that we will support them through their schooling in ways that are most helpful and practical. This includes tutoring or study assistance. We are a very fortunate and gifted congregation here, and can cover just about everything that people are studying. In the past this has proved extremely helpful for a number of our young students. So … please help!!

Are you willing to be available if needed to help our young people through times in Year 11 & 12? It is a great way to establish relationships and meet some really interesting young people!! Can you help with any subject if called on? Maths? Physics? Legal Studies? English? Drama? Languages? Anything?? Continue reading

Posted in News

Celebrating Indigenous Spirituality – concert

Johnny Huckle

Join us for an Evening of Song and Reflection with Johnny Huckle and Friends
Kippax Uniting Church, Luke Street, Holt
Saturday 21 February 2015 at 7.30 pm Continue reading

Posted in Events

Dying to know: “Death Cafe”

Coming up – Death Café, Sunday February 15, 5-7pm at KUCC. The death café is a small, friendly and informal gathering in a relaxed café environment to discuss death in order to lead a fuller life. What are you dying to know? Continue reading

Video | Posted on by

Transitions Sunday – celebrating start of school year 1 February 2015


Continue reading

Posted in News

Kippax is now on Twitter


Follow us now on Twitter: @kippaxUC

You can also follow Gordon Ramsay: @Gordon_R_Ramsay

Posted in Miscellaneous

At home Advent responses Week 4

Lego Love banner

Week 4 – Love in the midst of rejection

Mary proclaimed: “God’s mercy is from generation to generation.  He has lifted up the lowly”. There is no reality of rejection by God. But instead, God’s love knows no bounds, no ends, no limits.

Whatever we face in life, God’s steadfast love surrounds us. Continue reading

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Gordon’s weekly message

This Sunday we start our single, combined worship services – 930am eachSunday through to (& including) 18 January.

This week our theme is “Love in the midst of Rejection”

Our times over Christmas mean that there are a range of opportunities for coming together to celebrate: Continue reading

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At home Advent responses Week 3

Joy Advent candle

Week 3 – Joy in the midst of despair – may you feel a sense of transforming joy

When all is empty and all semblance of life is gone, God is not yet finished.  The story is not yet complete.  There is still space for joy. We celebrate the One who has come, is coming and will come again. Continue reading

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Gordon’s weekly message

I hope you have been finding the Advent responses on our website each week – and finding them helpful

This week is the 3rd week of Advent and we are continuing in our season of contrasts. This week’s theme is “Joy in the midst of Despair”
It has been, as always, an absolute privilege to be part of the Kippax Christmas Appeal, and see some of the ways that joy has been brought into people’s lives over the past few days. Thank you for everyone’s involvement – no matter what form it has taken this year. Continue reading

Posted in News

At home Advent responses Week 2

Peace Advent candle 2

Week 2 – Peace in the midst of conflict
May you feel the sense of unexpected peace

The prophet wrote
“Comfort, comfort my people. Speak tenderly to them
 and let them know that they have served their term”.

Even while conflict continues around us, God offers a different way. God calls us to breathe in the holy breath of peace. Continue reading

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Gordon’s weekly message

Street view Kippax

As the season of Advent contrast continues, we are getting ready for what is to come.

Did you check out the Kippax website this week?

Advent reflections will be posted on the Kippax website www.kippax.org.au. Each of the reflections will have two contrasting responses. These reflections aim to give an opportunity for response no matter where you are in life at this time of year. This week’s reflections reflect on hope in hopelessness.

How are you feeling as we approach Christmas? Continue reading

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At-home Advent responses – Week 1

Advent 2014 candles

Advent 2014  – A Season of Contrasts

Advent is a time of preparation, of getting ready, of counting down to Christmas! It can be exciting and life giving, or overwhelming and distressing. 

Each of the reflections will have 2 suggestions for response that are pastoral (internally focussed reflections) or missional (outwardly focussed actions). These Advent reflections aim to give an opportunity for response no matter where you are in life at this time of year.

As you journey through Advent, may you experience a sense of defiant Hope, unexpected Peace, transforming Joy, and the warmth of Love that Christ brings.  Continue reading

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Where you can drop off toy donations

toys at christmas

Toys can be dropped off to the following locations:

Autoco Phillip Mechanical and Smash Repairs: 5 Rickerby St Phillip ACT 2606

BSelect Phillip: 4/74-80  Parramatta St Phillip ACT 2606

Pedders Phillip: 5-19 Salamander Crt Phillip ACT 2606

Autoco Belconnen: 86 Nettlefold St Belconnen ACT 2617 Continue reading

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Beyond the bread


John Emmett – 26 July 2015

John 6:1-21

Ephesians 3:1-21

There is this thing about fresh bread…

the look of a freshly baked, glistening golden brown crust,

inviting warmth of a spongy interior,

smell of the baked flour and egg wash,

sound of gently cracking seeds,

promise of a soft, cloud like texture.

My favorite bread memory

is of first right to the kissing crust.

That’s the freshly exposed soft inner ends

That occurs when a loaf is broken in the middle.

Cut a thick slice.

Lightly toast

Add fresh strawberry jam…

And always, beyond the immediate sensation

Of that taste bomb,

the promise of hunger well satisfied.


So ordinary, we take it for granted.

So basic, we eagerly add tasty butter and jam.


Easy to overlook in favour of more tasty, filling or exotic food.


No.. look beyond

for something more satisfying…


Mark’s symbol to represent the good news for Israel

Indicated by the feeding 5000. and all other nations

indicated by feeding 4000.

John loads his bread symbolism even further.

Where Mark uses bread as a symbol of God’s ‘good news,’

John identifies Jesus himself as the bread of life.

He makes Jesus the embodiment of God’s good news

Where Mark applies his symbol of bread to Israel and all other nations…

John applies his bread metaphor to Jesus’ impact universally on all creation.

Both Mark and John adopt bread as a symbol because they want to point those who hear or read their stories beyond the symbol used.

Beyond the bread… For Mark it’s about seeing Good news contrasted to Caesar’s propaganda of the benefits of life under an occupation force.

Mark’s bread invokes images of God’s daily supply

of manna for dessert journeying Hebrews.

Jesus is portrayed as a Shepherd King,

bringing desert military discipline to social organization, providing abundant food, and attending to the leftovers.

Beyond the bread for John

is about seeing who Jesus really is – more than a prophet, such as Elisha;

more than a King, such as David.

John’s challenge is to see beyond bread

to recognize Jesus as God’s Word,

God’s Wisdom,

And today, John continues to challenge us to see beyond stories, symbols, strange ancient words to see beyond the mythology, beyond propaganda of every age…

To see beyond the feast,

beyond the bread,

to behold the Holy One.

To enter into the truth

that God, in Christ changes lives.

That God, through Jesus,

accomplishes reconciliation, restoration and renewal

in the lives of those who see beyond and allow themselves to be re-born.

The journey of a disciple begins in such a rebirth!

Mark’s Jesus shows us how to live

how to establish ourselves,

unconstrained by expectations,

alive and responsive to our calling to God’s mission.

John’s Jesus invites us to embrace a spirituality

beyond the limitations of human existence,

immersing us into the very life of God.

Mark – how to live an authentic life.

John –journey into the source of life.

So, what does seeing beyond the bread

look like in everyday life?

If we listen carefully,

We might hear John saying something such as:

“signs are easy to see,

but seeing beyond the sign to the which the sign points

is much harder”.

Those who participated in the bread story would have found it difficult to see beyond the meal they ate.

That’s why they began to talk about

Grabbing Jesus and crowning him King.

RS Thomas’ poem The Bright Field would remind them, and us that

‘Life is not hurrying into a receding future

nor hankering after an imagined past.

It is the turning aside like Moses

to the miracle of the lit bush.

We are disciples of Christ.

Our disposition as disciples

is critical to seeing beyond the bread.

To see beyond takes disciplines, requires practice.

Christian practices addressing

and nourishing our disposition

are well known – prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Ephesians 3:1-21 helps us to see something of these practices through a prayer of tumbling phrases and petitions

that ends in an exclamation of God’s glory.

It is a pattern prayer for us today.

Observe it’s petitions:

God’s life overflowing through you,

receiving ‘new steel’ into every fibre of your being,

grounded firmly in Christ life and love,

recognizing the universe of God’s mysteries

intimately acquainted with the love of Christ,

and pumped full with the rich, vibrant life of God

Christian practices of prayer, mediation and contemplation

help us to attend to God and notice our context in ways that everyday activities do not.

These practices help us to see what is not yet real as if it is real. and to live into that different reality.

Or as Hebrews states:

Now faith is the assurance

that what we hope for will come about

and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

Prayer is that ‘seeing beyond’ practice

whereby we seek to faithfully align

our minds with the heart and mind of God…

Ephesians 3:19ff reminds us the result of prayer is not information or knowledge, but love,

And love which flows from God through Christ.

Prayer is the practice through which we get to know God.

And ultimately, we praise the God we get know.

God, who is community,

Listens as we speak…

Speaks and invites our listening.

God, who is mission,

receives our deepest imploring,

calling and sending us to be God’s agents of change.

Contemplation enables us to imagine beyond our context, culture and circumstances.

It’s a form of ‘mental prayer’.

Seeing beyond with God.

Referring to the ‘riches of his glory’,

Ephesians 3:16 notes that it is our inner self, our inner life that is connected and communicating with God.

This is what contemplation is about.

The discipline is to remain with images other than words.

Contemplation is about gazing with your inner eye and is often called the prayer of the heart; prayer that comes before church and action.

When yearning for social change,

contemplation takes us ‘beyond the bread’.

Informed by the gospel, and aware of God’s love, explore with your imagination, scenes that reveal the reality of the changes you and others yearn for…

As each scene comes to mind, and you are lifted up into the reality of it notice who is included, what is happening, the quality of relationships and where you are in this scene, what you are doing…

Be aware of your emotions.

Be aware of the presence of God.

Coming away from the contemplation, hold onto the scene, God’s presence and your part in it.

Ask your self: What is God saying to me? How then will I act?

Meditation enables us to focus our thoughts on the love of God, revealed in creation and supremely in Jesus.

In Meditation we explore the meaning of this love for the whole creation

in our everyday existence.

In meditation we use words, ideas and associations of both

as they are brought to mind

to know God in everyday experience.


Ephesians 3:14-21 has reminded us that God has a way of exercising authority

Different to and even very much at odds with the powers of our times.

In meditation, our goal is through God’s grace,

to experience ever deeper union with Jesus,

the incarnate Word of God,

wisdom’s source.


Ephesians 3:16-17 suggests that we know God’s presence, influencing and impacting people

As the Spirit,

Christ amongst us,

In, but also beyond the bread.

God is present

With us.
Coming away from meditation,

Be aware of being repositioned by the practice. Attend to the differences you now notice and are called into for the sake of God’s mission in the world.

And that mission is the beyond to which God calls and sends us…

So, now to a little heart warming

Beyond the bread…


Posted in Sermons

Families of origin – reaching through time

We recorded this week’s message as an mp3
Here it is, if you prefer to listen to it rather than read it 


Or here is the text – they are probably almost the same …

A couple of years back I was invited to be the guest speaker
at the church camp for another UCA congregation.

The theme was about working in a missional way with the local community.
The congregation was very warm and encouraging during the weekend
and they kept saying all very positive things about what was going on.
But there was someone who was clearly a little bit out of sorts.
It was the congregation’s Minister

I sat with him at one meal time and he sighed with a sense of frustration
saying “I’ve been saying these things for the past couple of years,
but you come and they react as if they’ve never heard it before”

It’s called visiting speaker syndrome.

I’ve noticed it sometimes here –
we arrange guest a speaker and I think they say what I’ve been saying –
and people react as if it is brand new and wonderful.

More than once I have had people comment to me
as they leave Kippax after a guest speaker
“Gordon – thanks for inviting NNNN here.
That’s the best sermon I’ve heard in ages’

In reality, I must admit I’m rather relaxed about it – I’ve learnt it happens.
And in passing, I must admit that I also note that after guest speakers
I will get an email or a conversation that says
“Why was NN here – I thought that’s what we pay you for, Gordon”.
Ah, such is life.

There also a similar thing that goes on when either Hannah or I
are working with a couple who are preparing to be married.
We spend some time talking about their background
and how that has helped shape the way that they think about things.
It’s called exploring your “family of origin”

The passage today suggests that,
rather than the nice picture we get around the Easter and post Easter stories
when Jesus’ mother was there at the cross,
and Jesus’ brother become one of the key leaders of the early church,
Jesus had some issues around his family of origin.
And it seems as if there were people who struggled with him
because of his background.

But over the past few weeks, I’ve been hoping that we can see in Mark’s gospel
Jesus as a model for our own living, rather than someone hugely special & different.
There is a real sense that Jesus deliberately – even though it was painful –
established himself rather than allowed himself to be constrained by expectations.

Sometimes those expectations are put upon us by others –
by our family, or by people who knew us in our original family settings.
I can remember when …
And one of the acts of maturity is to be able to take steps
to create our own space and our own identity.
To make decisions about our own lives.

Sometimes, however, those expectations are put upon us by ourselves.
We get formed in our ways of thinking and viewing the world often quite early
And we come back again and again to those deeply instilled things.

My experience is that when we are asked to do creative thinking and planning
the most likely thing we will do
is be creative by going back to something that worked long ago for us –
or at least something we might think worked for us.

When we try to imagine what the church of the present or future could be
we tend to find ourselves captured by our family of origin, or early formation.

I remember early on in my time at Kippax – after around 12 months –
one of the leaders of the congregation came to me
and pointed out some troubles she was having with my themes in worship.
Her comment was  – “You preach too much grace, Gordon.”

(To be honest, I would be very happy with the epitaph on my tombstone:
“He preached too much grace”)

A little scratch below the surface
revealed that her ‘family or origin’ was pretty rule bound and pretty performance driven
and that there was a sense of drivenness to achieve.

That’s where their family often found or expressed personal worth.
The constant theme of grace – or acceptance without prerequisite – was difficult

When we plan children’s ministry –
how much do we hearken back to a Sunday School
(with huge Sunday School anniversaries)
because we think that that was something that worked in the past.

When we think about planning youth ministry –
how many times do we hear the request to establish a big regional Easter camp
And gather all our teens and young adults together.
Because that was something that was important to a particular cohort in the church today
when they were of that age.

Rocking Bambi was formed at a time there was some not so subtle pressure
for us to get a dancing group going here – why?
Because Kippax had been famous for its Sonseekers dance group.
that was our origin.

The stories of our family or community of origin
can reach through time and grab us and hold us
and draw us back to some world that is no longer.

The spirit of God leads us in our identity not to create what has been, but what can be.
Too often in the church we ask questions about what people would like.
And when we do, we encourage people to create the pain of the first part of Mark 6.

William Willimon once said
our primary metaphor ought to be formation.
We ought to spend our energy worrying about how the church
could form its community and its members as
“concrete embodiments of the gospel such that it,
and they continue to offer a profound, perhaps even radical,
alternative to the dominate structures and institutions of the day”

We are to be encouraged to break free from the dominance of our family of origin
To have the strength to step free of that which others put upon us
and to be more aware of the weights and expectations
that we are putting on ourselves and others.

We are not defined by where we have come from.
We can not define others by where they have come from.

We are to be mature adults.
Stepping free into what lies next.   Not what lay before.

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Worn soles – Sarah Depta

 Good morning, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sarah and I go to Radford College.

I’ve just finished a 2 week unit of work called “worn souls” which focuses on empathy, particularly for refuges and how everyone has their own story.  As part of this we had the opportunity to go on a refugee overnight experience.

This is what I will talking to you about today.

But before I talk about the overnight experience, your’e probably wondering about the title: “worn soles”.

The name “worn soles” has 2 parts to it:

  • The first relates to soles on your shoes which are worn because you have walked a long way;
  • And the second relates to your spiritual soul which is worn due to harsh experiences in life.

The refugee overnight experience was designed to put us in the shoes of a refugee who just arrived in a foreign country.

It started early in the morning when we were put on a bus and driven to an unknown location where, as refugees, we would be processed. The only things we were allowed to bring were some clothes, tootpaste and toothbrush in a couple of garbage bags.

After we arrived at the transit area we were marched in single file to the processing centre carrying our two garbage bags containing all of our possessions.

After waiting for a long time some people started to ask questions about what we were doing next, or how long we would be there, or what the time was (we were not allowed watches).  These questions were not answered.

Soon after that we were handed arrival forms for us to fill out. These forms were written in gibberish, like for example “name” was spelt N MM E (and this was the easiest one to figure out).

On the form we also had to state our reason for wanting to enter the camp and the foreign country.  Mine was that my safety at Radford College was being compromised by a growing number of rouge teachers.

After we finished struggling with filling out these forms we were lined up and our forms were checked.

As a result of this checking some people were let through (like me) and others sent to the back of the line, the reason for this was unknown to everyone and seemed unfair.

When we all eventually got through this checking we were then body searched for any contraband (such as deodorant, food, plastic containers, phones and watches) and the contents of our garbage bags were tipped out onto the dirt and also searched.

After we completed all of these checks we were put into a family group. I managed to get through the whole process without any trouble, unlike one of my friends who was sent back three times.

  • The first time was because she was laughing and talking to me when she was got through the first checkpoint;
  • The second time was because she had a watch; and
  • The third time was because there was a mix‑up with her forms.

I think her experience was a good reflection of what a real refugee would be going through, because she was sent back so many times and her access was denied so many times for no apparent or justified reason.

After everyone was eventually sorted into family groups we were then taken to our camp sites where our guide explained were the boundaries were and how to use the toilet.

We were then left the build our own bivvies which proved to be more of a challenge then first anticipated because we were not told how to do this, but just left with some of the equipment we would need (ie a couple of tarps, some string and few camping pegs).

So as you can see my bivvy at first glance looked pretty good, well we thought so, until it started to rain (then it wasn’t so good).  You remember the heavy downpour a couple of weeks ago.  I was outside in that.

When it rained the top section of the bivvy filled with water, which resulted in our feet and shoes being in the rain all night.  At the time we didn’t realise this until we “woke up” from a sleepless night to find our shoes and socks soaked.

Before we went to bed though we had to have dinner but we were not given any food. To get food we had to sew together small scrapes of fabric to make a blanket that we would trade at the night markets for food.

Our group did pretty well in the trading and we managed to get enough couscous and vegetables to feed all of us.  Cooking was a challenge, however, as we were not told how to build a fire (in the rain) or cook the food and it seemed to take around 3 hrs to do (though in reality it was probably only an hour or so).  The food in any other circumstance probably would have tasted horrible, but as we were so hungry it tasted soooo good.

This defiantly affected the mood of the group, I found myself talking to people that I otherwise would have not have talked to, I think this is because in bad situations people put aside their differences to bond together and get though the problem.

The next morning we were moved to another place to eat breakfast and to do an activity that involved looking at pictures of refugees and reflecting on how they look and why the photos are powerful and meaningful.

Next we visited the SIEVX memorial which I thought the most powerful part of the experience for me. For those of you who don’t know what the SIEVX memorial is, it is a memorial for a boat that sunk just of the coast of Indonesia, it held 400 asylum seekers, 353 died.

SIEV stands for Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel and the X stands for the number of the vessel (for example SEIV 34). The dimensions of the boat were roughly 19.5 by 4 meters and, as I have mentioned it was carrying round about 400 people.

As you can see by the pictures the SIVEX memorial consists of many white poles each with their own artwork around the top. Each pole represents someone who died, the small ones for children and the tall ones for adults, (there were lots of small ones).

This made me think about all the mothers that had made the decision to put their life and the lives of their children in danger to seek refuge from danger in hope of them having a better life somewhere else.

I can’t image what it would be like to make a decision like this: to stay in my home country where me or my family may be persecuted or killed; or flee and take a dangerous voyage to a foreign country where I may not be welcome.

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