An open postcard from our annual family summer holiday to PM – Scott Morrison

Welcome to 2020. A time to celebrate and rejoice in a new decade: new beginnings. Australia a great place to bring up children you say, when on New Years Day, the air quality in our capital city is 20 times hazardous levels.

Your message as PM to our country;

“We have faced these disasters before and we have prevailed, we have overcome. That is the spirit of Australians, that is the spirit that is on display, that is a spirit that we can celebrate as Australians.”

Aww Scott, are you suffering smoke inhalation and lack of oxygen to the brain?

Our sunburnt country is choking, we are choking. We need you to panic! What will it take?

Our koalas, a national symbol native only to Australia are endangered, our people and our children are endangered.

Who are you trying to ‘bloody hell’ fool with your patriotic New Year’s speech.

We hear you, and are left to wonder if you are really that naive or genuinely taking advantage and the piss of the “Aussie spirit”. ‘Aussies will suck it up and work harder.’ That is your message. It seems the Aussie spirit is convenient excuse to deny all culpability. I forgot to count how many Australian flags you had in the background at the time when you played the Aussie Card. Unfortunately, pulling together to survive is not an appropriate message for a leader of the nation.

These fires are unprecedented, there is nothing like them etched in our history. We know we must change our ways, but why won’t you join us? OK Boomer, yes you Scott. Where’s your Australian spirit?

39 years on this sunburnt country, someplace between a generation X and a millennial living and hearing the yarns through two of the worst bushfires: Ash Wednesday (1983) and Black Saturday (2009). This is that on steroids and can’t be put down to some cyclical weather pattern. Yeah sure I was skeptical on climate change as we headed into welcome 2000, of course the oceans are rising. What happens when you get in a bath, I convinced myself.

Never have I heard yarns or seen darkness at 11.00am like I did on New Years Eve 2019, where the NSW fires were joined by Victorian. The sky apocalyptic red, on the NSW south coast was this real life or was I infact holiday-ing on Mars?

Where had we taken our beloved wildlings? A small country beach side town holiday to support a community and family business or Hell? Was this the end?

11.30am our middle sized wildling aged 6, questioned why we hadn’t served dinner and prepared to put on his Pjs. Confused, he set foot outside and looked up to the sky and put his arms out to catch the burnt gum leaves, falling like rain.

Everyone had packed up. Most had left even though the advice was to stay put. All roads to major cities closed.

Hours of darkness passed, Our two year old awoke from his midday sleep and wanted breakfast, he thought it was sunrise.

They were scared, the hair on their arms stood on end. On some primordial level everyone was beyond anxious: fearful. The smoke was stifling oppressive.

5 million hectares of burnt land, apocalyptic red skies, thousands of family homes, live stock and native animals lost. At the only open shop in the area, I heard the farmer in front grabbing supplies and preparing himself to kill all his livestock. The shop owner just nodded silently.

Seventeen people dead since October, A wife of a volunteer firefighter has to bring their first and only child into this world alone.

As we flee for home, our family car covered in black soot and ash, there’s a six year old boy, sitting in the back with his two brothers who just wrote a letter to his dog and grandparents praying they have blue skies where they are, for he can’t remember when his sky above was last blue.

Reluctant to acknowledge mistakes, stubborn is Australian made. It’s okay to change your stance that’s how we grow. This is beyond being a political issue when it is a matter of survival. Useless talk of carbon credits and future targets cannot begin to solve the mess we are in. It’s no wonder the fire warning signs that line the freeway now go up to ‘catastrophic‘.

Sincerely

Mumma of three wildlings

– The next generation who inherit the mess to clean up

P.S When we stopped by your place, that middle wildling he noticed you were missing two flags. Now I know you just spent a few million on your plane so understand that you might be feeling a tad short after Christmas. I heard your local MP can provide you with both an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flag. But yeah, I guess if you don’t have time, it was only a 6 year old that noticed…

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DEVOI – Natural and Considerate Feminine Wear.

DEVOI is an independent slow-fashion house, designed in Melbourne, Australia. Getting rave reviews, challenging fast fashion with their limited and sustainable timeless classic pieces.

By Rhianne and Cheryl

The pair met through a mutual friend at Siglo, a classy rooftop terrace bar establishment in the heart of Melbourne. On this particular faithful night Rhianne indulged in an elegant St Germain Spiritz in hand while Cheryl was on the Evian. This once upon time wasn’t a publication made over .05, it was written from their hearts. A story and dream that had been running through their veins awaiting the universe to align.

Rhianne originally from the UK, is a trained fashion designer. In the height of the glory of achievements she worked in London with some major fashion houses (Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Qasimi), but something still yearned in her heart. Like any girl with an ambitious soul, she dreamed of one day releasing her own designs.

Cheryl is a lawyer, a dreamer of colour and aspired to creating colourful patterns.

Together DEVOI was born.

The duo, empowered women with a soul to envy. DEVOI captivates conscious and considerate fashion. The slow fashion motto where the values reach for the stars. They are committed to countering the damaging effects of mass-consumption that results from the world of fast fashion.

At every stage of development and production, DEVOI aims to improve both ethical and environmental outcomes. Their timeless and sophisticated pieces proudly assert a zero fabric waste policy.

The Dorothy from the ‘Moon Garden’ collection. The highest of quality, the stunning linen midi dress features a classic crew neck, gathered waist seams. And you guessed it, the dream dress has pockets. The bodice modestly lined with cotton.

The print ‘Scalavendar’ a warm mustard back with alluring scattered lavender. Hand painted in-house and digitally printed using high quality, sustainably considered inks and dyes. Dorothy’s classic sophistication will take you through all the seasons; from the corporate world of meetings, a dinner date, to the alleys of an inner city hipster bar crawl of gigs over beers with friends and then all the way to the back beaches in summer barefoot, wild and free. She’s a multitasker the unexpected forever staple dress.

DEVOI advocates a vision of femininity that is distinctive and effortlessly striking. The DEVOI signature style is based upon original prints featured in flattering silhouettes and made from natural fibres. The fusion of these elements creates beyond-trend pieces that appeal to the woman who dresses to be remembered. – DEVOI

https://www.devoishop.com

Follow this creative duo https://instagram.com/devoiclothing?igshid=7bmrtdn7xq52 on Instagram

Accessories:

Fishnets – Alannah Hill

Studded belt – Ivy Wilde

The Campaign, cap – Fallen Broken Street

Black Swan leather jacket – Tulle & Batiste

 

This little label really resonated with the core of my heart.

Much love, hope and madness

Tink xxx

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NAIDOC week – Lesson of Respect. Please don’t climb Uluru

Keeping it raw, I promised to be authentic on this journey, with the initial point of delving into this world of blogging to be brave and have tough, yet important conversations, that nobody wants to talk about. So, sometimes that means I get a little preachy, I’ll own that. So be it. Because there’s this thing that I’ve become increasingly aware of; ignorance is bliss. Like a buffer, it has the danger of encircling (and sometimes encapsulating) our ego. As we grow we ought to learn more and become better at being human. But mostly there’s this ego blocking any new learnings. Also known wisely as the era of entitlement.

How entitled are you? Now that is a pretty difficult thing to measure. Sure, do you let go of those insignificances? Do you roll your eyes and laugh at your own ‘first world problems’? But there’s a flip here? Not knowing is one thing. But knowing and not using your voice measures equally as ignorant. Like the old adage, if you’re not part of the solution…

Open your heart, eyes and soul and you may just learn a thing or two in this marvel of a world, which will have you at your knees.

It just happens to be NAIDOC week and I just happen to be dropping my first born (my second heart beat) in Central Australia for an outback adventure made of dreams. In awe, while our boots stand covered in the magnificent red dirt at the base still kilometres away of her majesty Uluru. In the season of Wari – to us humble white folk that’s the cold season of winter. Even during the cold season the temperature hits 27 degrees on our magical acquaintance. The sunshine: epic. Yet here I was again, all starry-eyed, not a cloud in sight, amongst the blue skies. At this point, I’d only just arrived at the Sunrise and Sunset Carpark.

This year’s NAIDOC week theme: Voice. Treaty. Truth. The key elements of the Uluru statement from the heart. The statement yearns to see the voice of Aboriginal and Indigenous Australians recognised in the nation’s constitution and paths the way to a Makarrata Commission.

Uluru is sacred to the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the land.

She is in every Visit Australia campaign and whilst the tourist flock to see her, many seem to want to tick it off as one, of many rocks to climb. They simply can not respect ‘she’ is a living cultural landscape that of which is considered sacred to the owners of the land. Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjar people tell us spirits of the ancestral beings continue to reside in Uluru making the land a deeply important part of their rich Aboriginal cultural identity.

I was raised from a family of great story tellers with Pinocchio noses, where exaggeration is all part of the family traits handed down. Sometimes in an extended family yarn it’s the only way to get attention and to be heard it would seem. But this time I don’t know what exaggeration I could possibly add to make you listen; The Anangu people are said to be the oldest culture known. That’s 60,000 years old according to science. Their majesty if you may, more than a temple, ULURU was formed by different ancestral spirits and is comparable to- let’s say, any other sacred site in the world. (She’s kind of a really big deal, forget anything god or human made). And unlike entering a pyramid, for instance, you are not setting foot on a artefact of a culture that no longer exists.

After the announcement that the Uluru climb would be closed for good this coming October, a massive surge in the number of tourist have arrived like seagulls rampaging their garbage throughout the land and are climbing her, with absolutely no respect to the local laws of the Anangu. The race was on. However, on arrival, I was taken aback by the desperate array of very clear and endless signage throughout the park and pleas written on every tourist document of the area from both the traditional owners the Anangu people and National Parks that are blantantly ignored. There isn’t a sign or piece of documentation anywhere near Uluru that would give you the impression that it’s actually okay to climb. In fact unless you knew otherwise you just wouldn’t dare.

As we continued on our journey and approached her majesty Uluru at a closer scale, I was utterly gob-smacked by the number of tourist climbers ignoring all the plastered warnings and pleas not to climb. I’m not speaking your regular sprinkles, this was Uluru jam topped with hundreds and thousands.

To highlight the injury of insensitive amongst white Australians I note more than a handful of assumptions I’ve had in passing conversations about our trip? Are you headed into Uluru before the ban?

Tjukurpa is the foundation of Anangu a somewhat complex to comprehend culture which refers to the creation time when ancestoral beings created the world as we know.

There’s a legend, if you disrespect her or disturb her – she carries a curse. The era of the ignorant and entitled. The bucket list of accomplishments during a lifetime. You climb her, you can probably tick off a few other things in the process, none of them I’d want to be remembered for.

I read the National Park pamphlet out aloud to my six-times-around-the-sun, wise, second heart beat, ‘Payla – welcome to Anangu land. This land was created by the creation ancestors.’ He listens Intriguingly as I continue on… Please don’t climb Uluru. That’s a really sacred thing your climbing.

He gasps, ‘Those people are all disrespectful inappropriatators!!! Why are they breaking aboriginal law?’

‘I don’t know, Sweetheart. Some people don’t have kind hearts. Something terrible must have happened to them.’

‘But why?’ he continues… He’s always trying to work out in his little mind the wrongs and rights in the world.

It is at this point, that I offer, ‘I wasn’t always aware.’ Something happened in my very white Australian upbringing. A decade ago, I was blessed with a step son who identifies as Aboriginal. I’ve had to challenge and unpack all those stereotypes and work out why Australians can’t get reconciliation right for him. Also, I wasn’t brought up with a religious influence of any kind, yet I’d still never see it fit to be disrespectful in a church. See where I’m headed? This is about cultural respect and challenging your own damn sense of entitlement.

Sure, the ban will come into effect in the next few months, so that may be a forgone conclusion. And, in some ways, this ban may have been a factor to understand the increase in numbers wanting to stand at the top of a big rock, take a selfie and to have bragging rights, ‘I got up there while you still could.’ But maybe there is hope for the future. Even though the traditional owners want to take away the climb, they do not wish to ban visitors from this sacred place. Without the superficial climb, hopefully people who come to this place will be able to explore the culture and significance.

Certainly, with fascination, I circumnavigated her. This I feel is the best opportunity to connect to Uluru and the surrounding land. The walk is not merely a wander around a big rock. Like a magnet, drawn. We explored the many fascist of her; from the caves, the art and the stories around them. Passed boulders, enchanted, towering white gum, waterways to waterholes. It’s hard to describe the changing colours as I went on my journey and the breathtaking sunset where the colour encapsulated you, assaulting your senses. It truly is a sacred place, like no other, that I will not forget visiting. I will come again in the future.

In the meantime, as my wise, six-times-around-the-sun, heart beat offers, I ask that you stop in your tracks and reconsider becoming an unknowing ‘Disrespectful Inappropriatator‘.

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Rosettes by Tulle and Batiste –

I’ve been somewhat quiet, and withdrawn. Is it winter or something brewing deep inside? Winter winds keep me harboured inside. So here I haven, in uggies and filled with ennui. Rosette’s seems to be helping me along.

All the while, another retrograde is storming towards us and all those ambitious, big emotions are bubbling to the surface. Just what I needed. Rosette’s passionate, bold and empowering spirit is running deep through my veins and warming that icy winter heart. Like an old friend turning up on your doorstep, demanding to take you out for a catch up, it’s just what you need. She’s bold, bright. Some may say, on the edge of a born leader. She is all the wilder, louder, wiser, braver and more intense then any wild cat ever before her. Whilst on the verge of a better and greater existence, Rosettes encourages the flame of a lustfully wild and enchanted heart to continue on their journey.

Tulle and Batiste, the glowing flame, burning in vehement passion and gratitude of a balanced, conscientious life, well lived. There’s a beautifully etched, heartfelt message of the importance of a Sacred Sisterhood coming out of this thoughtful, slow-fashion brand. It’s connecting and liberating women in all circles of life. The rise of the feminine within our circle aiming to heal our world and deliver our most empowering message: All are welcome.

Once again, the incredibly talented designer of Tulle and Batiste; Miftahul Jannah and her dream team have created a storm of obsessive, wild love in all our bohemian hearts, with this collection. This is Rosettes; the first winter collection. From the bold and striking turquoise waters of Blue Moon to the deep moody purple hazes of Purple Potion and the more neutral, warm hues of the vintage browns of Pecan, it brings these elements together with effortless style and grace.

Rosettes is where the entrenched lovers and the deeply wild hearted feminist leopard print advocates come to meet the free spirited, floral dreamers. The energy is raw, in sync, intuited- divine.

It’s very fitting to my mood- or moods, as the case may be. A hybrid of the bold, sassy, feminist rocker, animal prints, when the storm within means business to the softer floral dream of a calm, gentle, retro, ‘make love, not war’ spirit, who needs to passively negotiate. Rosettes has the unique ability to be both, aiding the inner (and outer) balance.

The styles are thoughtful, whilst embracing the finer detail. Lace panels and trimming, tassels with tinker, gypsy bells. Multi-wear pieces; dresses that unbutton to be worn as a over jacket or duster, sleeves that roll up from long sleeves to shirt. The avid pocket groupies will praise that pockets are not a fantasy dream.

Maya Cape Maxi Dress – Blue moon
Dreamy maxi style dress details a flutter bib, elastic waist for shape and ultimate multi-wear function of unbuttoning to a duster or short sleeve over trench.
Marinus Shirt – Rosettes in Blue moon
Everyday Men’s style casual or party shirt styled with a chest pocket.

Gazelle Shirt Dress – Purple potion
Sassy shirt style dress details tie waist belt, hip pockets, billowing style 3/4 sleeves, ohh you wanted an actual shirt dress, no worries these babes are designed to unbutton and roll up to show us what your guns are made of. Gazelle unbuttons all the way down the front to a short kimono or duster jacket like robe if desired..
Maya Maxi Skirt – Pecan
Eat all the damn cake, elastic waist with waist tie, The Maya maxi skirt details those cute tinker-bells on the tassel ends of the waist tie so your children won’t lose you, she gracefully buttons down the front centre while falling ever so elegantly and bam! yes more hip pockets…

Layla Playdress – Blue Moon
The perfect casual dress, bib boho
insert panel detail, elastic waist for shape and more of the most wanted: hip pockets teamed with fluted 3/4 sleeves which also magically fold up to cap sleeve length with hidden inside tabs. Ohh I nearly forgot wait for it.. Layla unbuttons all the way down the front and there you have it friends, Layla is your next outer wear piece.
Leather Frill Jacket – Black Swan collection
Every self-confessed bourgeois bohemian needs one, staple, leather jacket of greatness. The tassel fringing edges rock and roll and that bold sass every Black Swan holds within. Soft Buttery Leather, an iconic piece your hearts been yearning for since that first festival you attended in your teens. Details biker style zips, buckles and pockets.

Khaya Wrap Frill Dress Pecan
The gracious and wildly romantic show stopper of Rosettes. Wrap style maxi dress with long slightly billowed sleeves and elastic cuffs. Khaya details feminine lace trimmings, pockets for the advocates. The tiered skirt cascades with elegance and will take you barefoot in awe of beach sunsets to the cocktail bar.
Long Sleeve Terra Cardigan – Taupe
The dreamy all round boho throw on long length cardi. The cotton and rayon blend oozes cozy winter comfort, buttons down the front with a waist tie belt, all a while you realise how hell bent we are on pockets.
Eagle Boots – Antique Brown
Vintage inspired woodstock meets biker style ankle boots, quality leather the Eagle details a cuban style wooden stacked block heel, every 70’s babe dream. The brass buckles and studs edge on a ride down the highway.

Shop Rosettes directly - Free International Shipping
 www.tulleandbatiste.com

Share your dream styling of the Rosette’s collection on Instagram and don’t forget to tag @tulleandbatiste or hashtag #tulleandbatitse Jannah and her devoted team adorn seeing their devoted customers swoon from daylight to moonlight.

Much love

Tink xx

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You Can Sit with Me – by Rocco and Mia

The delightful Mariella from Rocco and Mia is an everyday mum between sitting down to do dance hair buns and stage makeup, to Kinder and School drop offs, just doing her thing. The queen of unisex children’s t-shirts. There’s never an ego. She’s gracious, never pushy and has a heart of gold. A gentle soul, making t-shirts on the side, whilst nourishing her three young children.

Her latest campaign is something else.

Something that sits well with many of us. Although many shirts out there have a meme, this one holds a message:

YOU CAN SIT WITH ME by Rocco and Mia

Kader – Instagram @just.the3of.us

In a self-oriented, fast paced world that waits for nobody, egocentricity isn’t just a childhood phase anymore. It’s tendrils grow. Fuelled in adolescence by selfies, questions of self-worth and the search for self-fulfilment. We find ourselves breaking free of this past the salad days of our 20’s, and flourishing. Then, before we know it, we are extending t’wards our 40s. Somehow still, believing we cannot be- enough. And so we are left wanting more. We are facing generations of entitlement.

Amongst all the madness in the world, we have an epidemic of mental illness. Even mental illness in children. It just doesn’t sit well with me. Children facing bullies and trolls and the overall feeling of just never being enough, even as children. The pressures of modern life and always having to fit inside a box.

Kindness. Most will say they see it as a given. The only path to tread. Yet,when in need of empathy and kindness while shuffling on in a state of despair, you may feel that it is a road, so rarely travelled. It’s heartening to know that there are many out there, empowering their children to tag along and understand it is certainly worth a hitchhike down that road. Invariably, to also understand how Kindness, Empathy and Gratitude are learnt and developed.

At my son’s school, they have the Friendship Seat; a place where people can go if they are in need of- well, kindness. So, what an ingenious idea; flip it around. I hope that my child is one of those ready to be there for those in need. But he’s only six. He doesn’t always have the awareness to find those in need while he’s catapulting himself down the hill for giggles. But when he does stop and has a spare moment, wouldn’t it be great for him to be ready to help others? He’s got a kind little heart, sure, but how will they know to find him? We unpacked with him though, what this shirt was saying and what it means. He felt proud to have a shirt that said, ‘Hey, I’m here to help. If you need someone, call on me.’ Although I’m sure you couldn’t fit all THAT on a t-shirt. Five simple words say plenty.

When everyone around me seems unhinged, these famous words always seem to pop up somewhere,  “Everyone you meet is a fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always” – Ian McLaren

YOU CAN SIT WITH ME; Is an empowering, inclusive and kind campaign. Such a simple gesture and life-changing message. Imagine a world where everyone was welcome and there were no biases. Children are like sponges absorbing their sense of right and wrong, watching and listening to everything said. They need to hear positive affirmations, they need to hear and see and experience true kindness and empathy to practice it.

So many lessons and conversation here:

⁃ Gender equality

⁃ Cultural prejudice

⁃ Anti-bullying

⁃ Gratitude

Kennedy – Instagram @our.longman.life

Iggy – Instagram @3_little_gentlemen

Elijah – Instagram @elijah_and_mummys_life

Lets work together and empower our children to learn how to practice kindness. Let’s instil positive affirmations and start conversations with our children today.

Rocco and Mia was formerly known as the ‘A-Team’. The brand took on a new name to honour the children of Mariella’s heart. Mariella has branded her little tee business around the concept of community. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to grow a dream and sometimes that dream is being a mum present for her loves. And whilst it may just be a small little business from home, it’s filling big hearts.

Mia, Rocco and Joey – Instagram @roccoandmia

http://www.shoproccoandmia.com

Rocco and Mia are currently on the search for a new rep team. Are you an avid small business supporter? Do you thrive on empowering others? Have a tee fetish? Always wanted to be a part of a sisterhood? Love taking pics of your little beloved? Head over to @roccoandmia on Instagram and apply on the current post.

Much love and always madness

Tink xxx

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Arcadia the Label ⁃ A Vision of Unspoiled Wilderness

Ahh, unspoiled wilderness. Imagine… the empaths and mindful collective who respect Mother Earth and know the magic of her powers, disconnecting from the chaos we’ve been told is a life well lived to delve into the realms of nature. Living by the beach our Shinrin-yoku takes in the rugged coastline. The whistling of the wind, crashing waves on the shoreline and the crunching of the bush under your feet as you wander within. It takes away all of life’s worries and nothing else matters whilst your within her care.

But not everyone is enlightened, and most are yet to truly embark and process where we are headed. If we don’t start shifting our perceptions of a life well-lived, the chaos and greed will destroy her… To those with vested interests in keeping the status quo, environmental impacts are not so much denied however when challenged, answers talk with seemingly benign discussion of offsetting targets and economic growth. Many are grieving the latest shock; the expectation that government would move in a proactive direction. We may not have a sustainable government in power pushing the agenda, but there’s a flickering light of hope in the distance.

The best we can hope is to do our part; to reflect on what we do and make a change, hoping that others will do the same in whatever scope they find. While individuals act thoughtfully, all too often, businesses are run with a different set of values. Arcadia is different. Arcadia shows that we can still run a business aligned with the values of its creator and customers too. Part of the new movement of radical micro influencers. Empowered women, taking sustainability into their own hands.

This brand is close to my heart, it’s the vision of a kindered soul from the sisterhood, a muse I’ve followed, adored and embraced a friendship with. Two peas in a pod.

The sustainability advocate behind Arcadia; Bronte a child of the earth, gentle and an always thoughtful, people connector. Bronte has instilled so much ethical merit into her brand from day one. This is clothing with a purpose.

Even the labels and tags through to their jewellery bags and parcel post bags, Arcadia has been made eco-friendly or from recycled materials where possible. Bronte has thoughtfully planned all the way to the end of the products journey. Products that if you so well choose can go straight into your compost! Yes including the garments! Refreshing huh?

The vision; Taking one for Mother Earth. Sharing lessons on sustainability. Arcadia is open to finding better ways. Bronte openly acknowledges Arcadia has a lot more to learn.

Organic and sustainable fabrics accompanied by buttons of wood, coconut or shell. This is true slow fashion, what fashion should be. Very small quantities of these garments are made, and all designed with Bronte’s utter most care and love.

And the quality? Sophisticated luxe linen.

I could not fault the quality if I tried.

I had a spin in The Hera Gown, on a beautiful late autumn Sunday along the back beaches of Rye. The gown is simply heavenly and made from a romantic yet organic luxe linen, fully lined in the bodice and skirt. Every girl’s favourite dress has pockets, Yup- you heard me right. Lastly, the gown’s wooden buttons have been carefully designed to button down. The gown opens up to be worn as a duster. Multi wear purpose.

Tink wears:

Arcadia the label: Hera Gown

In a size small. The dress fits effortlessly true to size and details:

100% Linen | 100% cotton lining | wooden buttons | side pockets | ethically produced overseas | compostable

Accessories:

Tulle & Batiste: ‘The Black Swan Tassel Jacket’ from the ‘Black Swan Collection’.

Dr Martens: ‘Jadon Platform boots’ from the ‘Vegan Collection’.

Witchery: Sunglasses

Ivy Wilde: Vintage studded belt

Ivy Wilde: Wild ones hoop earrings

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Black Swan | Limited Edition by Tulle & Batiste

Tulle and Batiste promotes slow-fashion ethics through it’s vintage-inspired collections of women’s clothing. All personally designed by the talented Miftahul Jannah and her team. The collections yearn deep from her bohemian heart for love and kindness. As a conscious consumer, I find I’m often challenged; succumbing to the hype of some of my favourite brands and trying to keep up with the ever increasing rapid release of collections. I try to navigate through the environmental impacts of my fashion-drenched soul, an art that I admire. Tulle & Batiste collections only launch every six months, with the odd small limited edition collection in between. There’s never a hard push to sell or the pressures of hunger marketing tactics. Something every bohemian soul can admire.

When I heared Jannah, the creative director and head designer of Tulle & Batiste speak of ‘Black Swan’ in its early production stages, I imagined Black Swan as Natalie Portman portrayed in the movie by the same name. A story about a committed dancer struggling to maintain her sanity as she fiercely holds onto grace to navigate Tchaikovsky’s Black Swan from Swan Lake. With that in mind, I pictured vintage-inspired, black silhouettes with panels of tulle, embroidered lace that moved with elegance yet makes a statement. Whereas I’m empowered to have a voice. Unlike the White Swan who is purity and innocence, withholding deeper yearnings and intentions, the Black Swan has an edge, and a fearless sensuality that can’t be taken for granted.

As an ex-dancer (one who admitted to self destruction at some point in my mid 20’s), I could make some kind of connection at least. Although I must admit after a fractured femur in my early twenties, I love to hate dance now. What it could have been and what it was never to be. An evil taste of bitterness and never quite being enough. I relate to the White Swan’s purity and calmness but like every modern feminist woman in a fast paced world, I yearn to see global changes in our perceptions of how we think and live. Like the goddesses of rock and roll, who start conversations, The Black Swan often misunderstood and a little rebellious, pushing political agendas for a better world with a sophisticated yet unconventional grace.

I, aka Tink wears:

The Black Swan skirt: The midi length tulle skirt falls just below the knees, the lining delicately falls above the knee to showcase the tulle scalloped embroidery hem. The outer tulle skirt details heavy embroidery lined with a Tulle petticoat and another light viscose skirt. Pockets, every girls dream. Pockets can make or break a skirt right? Elastic waist and drawstring for eating all the damn cake if your heart so desires.

The Black Swan top: The sheer tulle embroidered back is the show stopper. I wore a black bra under considering it was a family affair. The touch of skin is the essence of the Black Swan and the sensuality it adorns with grace but without ever edging on the point of cheap despair. The front tulle embroidery panel is lined modestly.

Leather Frill Jacket: Now we are talking! Every self-confessed bourgeois bohemian needs one, staple, leather jacket of greatness. The tassel fringing edges rock and roll and that bold sass every Black Swan holds within. Soft buttery leather, an iconic piece your hearts been yearning for since that first festival you attended in your teens. A piece in true bohemian spirit to hand down to your daughters, nieces or grand-daughters.

Tulle & Batiste are designed and manufactured in Bali, Jannah and her dear husband, Jeroen operated her successful garment factory in Bali producing the collections of some major Australian fashion labels since 2007. Think early quality Spell Designs with their famous original styles, My Hippy Heart and Auguste the label. Renowned in the once bohemian, now edging on bourgeoisie fashionista circles for high quality garments that last, Jannah decided to launch her own label, Tulle and Batiste in the Autumn of 2015. And there’s been no looking back.

With an extensive knowledge in pattern making, print, dyeing, design and illustration, quality and control and packing for export, the Tulle and Batiste collections are all made in-house in Jannah’s garment factory located on the island of Bali.

Black Swan limited edition pieces:

Sophia Lace Gown

Sophia Lace Midi

Black Swan Skirt

Black Swan Top

Amy Slip Dress

Leather Frill Jacket

Black Swan is effortlessly chic, passionate and wildly melodramatic. Timeless pieces for every ethical and environmental conscious bohemian or those edging on the bourgeois bohemian cusp who are beginning to develop more conscious thoughts in their purchases, looking for pieces to last through the seasons of time.

Tink’s accessories: vintage sunglasses by Ted Lapidus |vintage squash blossom from Ivy Wilde |turquoise rings by Ivy Wilde | vintage cowboy boots | Baker Boy cap by The Rad Folk

Cactus Country 4986 Murray Valley Highway, Srathmerton VIC

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Suede Daze: Good Vibes – a way of life…

Suede Daze is an Australian lifestyle brand captivated by Michelle who yearns to express her deep seated love of those 70’s vibes. Idyllic sun soaked surf, skate and beach culture. Sound familiar? Sound like a family you may know?

This one’s a bit special, I stumble on the word special, because it’s a ‘Dante’ type of special so it’s probably in fact more like magnificently remarkable in his world: He’s travelled six times around the sun this life time, but we are sure, as sure can be that he has been here at least once before. Wise beyond his years and determined to question every contradiction he meets. He has a love for being barefoot, someplace near where the ocean roars and the wind blows his blonde curly hair. He’s our social pioneer in those awkward situations. He’s the kid coming up to you asking, ‘Excuse me, why are you..?” He makes us new friends on every adventure. He’s the type of boy who is curious about everyone and truly interested in your passions. He is his own wild and free spirit and a little time ago decided he would in fact dress himself. I had to learn to let that one go. Sometimes (just sometimes) he lets me give him some styling advice and sometimes he will play along. But one thing is for sure, if it’s got anything to do with Suede Daze he’s on board, riding the wave back into an era of his grandparents. It fills his soul with his desire to be him. Sun, beach, skate repeat.

I crossed the path of Suede Daze through iconic retro 60’s and 70’s inspired graphic design artist, Jasmin Meier, known as @harleyandj on Instagram. Our home is filled with thrifty Scandinavian teak furniture from the Eames era, Egg and Swan chairs, flokati rugs and retro coloured glass genie bottles in every corner. An era I was drawn too, that I had missed being born in the 80’s. Jasmin’s art has wowed me for some time, it fitted with my spirit. So it was natural I’d fall for Suede Daze which at the time was mostly children’s unisex tees and perfect for my three gentlemen. There’s always been a hole in the market for boys clothing, especially tees. The brand has grown and now covers children’s and adult tees. They stock some pretty cool Australian accessories. So here we all are, some may say obsessed.

Suede Daze reflects the endless summer we all search for and gives us all that nostalgic feeling of the warm sun on our skin on the cloudiest of days.

Your search for the best vintage inspired tee, ends here. Suede Daze is the essence, as Michelle describes, of ‘old skool art’. Your freedom to relive the 1970’s, the inner Sun child, your past life all the while, following the sun and searching for that Pura Vida.

From cult 70’s slogans ‘Pura Vida’ which came from the simple life of Costa Rica meaning “pure life” in Spanish. Is really an expression of hope, better things to come, and that motto that Suede Dazes instils in us, is being lived with love through this brand all the way down to the Mornington Peninsula;

Suede Daze, good vibes – a way of life.

Tink wears:

Suede Daze: ‘Good Vibes’ tee in blush. custom art by @harleyandj |100% combed cotton tee |Relaxed fit, crew neck, light weight |Wide neck ribbing and preshrunk to minimise shrinkage |Screenprinted in Australia |Ethically produced overseas

Spell Designs: ‘The Luna dress’ from seasons past: Rosa Collection.

Ted Lapidus: True 70’s vintage sunglasses. Found in an op shop a decade ago.

 

Hussy wears:

Suede Daze: ‘Pura Vida’ vintage faded black tee | Relaxed fit, crew neck |100% combed cotton | Preshrunk to minimalise shrinkage |Screenprinted in Australia |Ethically made overseas

 

Iggy wears:

Suede Daze: ‘Good Vibes’ tank in slate. custom art by @harleyandj |95% combed cotton & 5% elastase tank |Screenprinted in Australia |Ethically produced

Rock your baby: skinny jeans from seasons past.

 

Dante wears:

Suede Daze: ‘Pura Vida’ tee in tan (Sold Out) | 100% cotton tee |Featuring graphic by @harleyandj |Screenprinted in Australia |Ethically produced

Rock your baby: skinny jeans from seasons past.

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Addicted to Fashion – Subconsciously Challenged by Environmental and Ethical Costs.

Sustainable Fashion: is there really such a thing?

Like the scent from a cologne, the offensively malodorous desperation of never being enough needs to stop. Our future generations need some serious, radical influencers here pushing the sustainability agenda. Bewildered- yes. That is us the consumer. The thing here is, nobody is funding the true effects of fast fashion and wiring our brains on the devastating truths of the industry. All we see is pretty dresses in dreamy locations and we are taken away from reality. There will come a day in history, when the governments can no longer ignore environmental impacts. Looking into the crystal ball there’s no doubt in my mind we will be heavily taxed on anything that’s not sustainable. From fashion, packaging to food. For now, our world is driven by mercenary, cold, hard cash. Consequences briefly skimmed over by charity groups attempting to create awareness. Yes, we’re baffled perhaps, even a little shocked, in what seems like to-big-a-problem to tackle. So we turn a blind eye and convince ourselves it’s okay to treat ourselves. Sadly we are the generation of hunger marketing tactics some of us are aware yet our awareness out weighs any common sense we are absorbing, we are never enough.

There was a moment. Twenty years ago, Naomi Klein published No Logo and things started to get momentum. We started to look outside our bubble. That was when people stopped wearing Nike and Adidas. People started popping tags at thrift shops. Not to be hipsters, but out of rebellion against a market out of control. What happened? Sadly, 9/11 meant that we, in Western society stopped caring about workers in Mogadishu. Fast forward to the future and things have changed, sure. Social media has exploded. Most wouldn’t be caught dead in the same dress, more than twice on Instagram. This has ensured that some of the global problems continue and continue to exacerbate.

Always looking for the next bleak satisfaction, we are so much more powerful then we give yourselves due credit. After all, it is our hard-earned coin making these brands. Because of us, the only thing that is sustainable in fashion is their vast earnings. It’s time we stopped in our self obsessed worlds of entitlement and actually practised what we preach. Stop buying and supporting fast fashion. You know what would be as cool as Kate Moss and Erin Wasson? If that next big thing in fashion was repurposed fashion and instead of buying new collections, we started paying artisans and designers to repurpose and reinvent what the earth is already suffocating in, over dressed landfill. Dresses we can only be photographed once- maybe twice in.

Imagine if repurposing, repairing or recycling was the next iconic fashion movement. And our favourite brands were all on board. John Lennon so wise, you may say I’m a dreamer….

Sassy and fashion savvy, stand by me as we together are deep in the realms of being consumed by consumerism. Ready to accept it or still in denial, we are one huge part of the problem. I’m all for empowering women in small business. But does that empowerment support one and leave other less fortunate women surviving by a thread in absolute poverty?

We need to somehow get our heads out of the clouds of uneducated ignorance and denial and put our feet on the ground. The fashion industry has a lot to answer for. The consumer has become somewhat aware of the truths of the industry and here we are slowly begining to question our own purchases. But are some of our favourite brands using the sustainability stance as another marketing ploy? Falsely manipulating us? So we believe they are tackling the issues?

I’m not going to pretend like I’m some kind of sustainable fashion goddess or that I actually know much of anything. My passion lie in pretty dresses. I love textiles. I’m inspired by print and design and when I get dressed, my outfit portrays my mood. Sometimes my next blog post. I kid myself that it’s an art form of Self-expression.

I’m honestly aware that I’m a walking contradiction. Whilst I’m eating my weight in plants on a vegan diet. Talking about empowering women. I own more dresses then I could ever possibly wear enough to be calling myself a sustainable fashion queen. Sure I on-sell sometimes. But half the time I can’t because clothes just aren’t made to last anymore. They are made and intended for one season. Our lives are so busy and complex, most of us probably don’t have time to repair clothing or even know how to use a sewing machine.

Who really makes our clothes? As you swoon and swish around in that skirt with glee… stop in your tracks and think what life must be like; earning not even one dollar an hour. Do you still feel content? And how is this okay?

And then not far from the edge of despair, you can hear Mother Nature choking… what is that amazing piece actually made from? And at what impact on our choking Mother Nature?

Fast fashion. A term used to describe cheaply produced clothing that comes in and out as fast as it takes to walk down the catwalk. Then what? I’ve recently noticed a trend calling pieces of clothing that are from two years ago #vintage. Who are we kidding here? Are we actually believing that rubbish? Clothing that is 20 years old is vintage, not two years.

Should we not be encouraging slow fashion? Classic and timeless pieces that we wear and hand down. Fashion that pays the women and men who make our clothes a decent and liveable wage. Some of my favourite designers are dropping new pieces every two weeks. It’s like trying to keep up with Joneses. It’s a self-confessed addiction that we joke about within our circles. What ever happened to a Summer and Fall collection? When did we become so self-centred and manipulated that treating ourselves so often was okay?

The Rana Plaza factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh collapsed April 24th 2013. I was a besotted new mum, my firstborn a month-old in my arms as I watched on in horror. 1100 people, mostly young women: lives were taken as the building crumbled and a further more 2000 injured. I had never seen anything like it. It was the first time I had really stopped to think about where my clothes come from and who was sending a message to that this is actually okay. It should never have happened. It was one of my first awakenings that I really know nothing much about anything in this world. It was reported the workers in that factory were paid $68 a month at the time of the tragedy.

A very strong (and I hope guilty) reminder of the human cost of negligence in the clothes we wear. The clothes we take for granted. The clothes we replace with next weeks or month’s collection. We’ve developed an overwhelming sense of entitlement (unknowingly) and we are compromising basic human rights. We believe what we are fed. The human mind so easily manipulated. We make selfish choices, because we are more consumed by consumerism then empathy. A mentality of consistently searching for higher ground. Businesses pushing their hunger marketing tactics on us like never before and they are becoming more clever in their tactics. VIP programs with the driving force; become one of elite, the more you spend, the more chance you’ll have of us noticing you and the flying points we can use to visit those dreamy locations. Entitlement seems to live within all of us, and that fear of missing out is driving it.

I don’t have the answers, I don’t even know how to stop myself. Somewhat comparable to a long term herion addiction, with the rush of collections dropping we plan on nabbing our dream pieces in an euphoric state. Although we don’t need to deal with dealers if we don’t have the money. We have Afterpay; hire purchase for clothes. The anticipation of delivery and that packaging… wait a moment, I’m just taking another swing at an already choking Mother Nature. I’ve worn her once or prehaps she’s still hanging in the wardrobe. 160 herion hits later, waiting for that special occasion that I promised would come around. As I’m burdened with withdrawal symptoms looking for the next hit she’s with, you know her other friends all brand new- with tags.

So, for that next event… I dare you to wear the oldest dress hanging in your wardrobe. I dare you to rent a dress… I dare you to make a day of op shopping and not buying a damn thing new for 90 days. I dare you to repurpose something old.

And for the really brave and bold I dare you to jump over to @onegreendress and take on the challenge; one dress worn 30 times.

Join the revolution…

We want to see and read the stories behind your oldest outfits hanging in your wardrobe. Be as mad as The Hatter and bold as The Queen of Hearts recreate them, style them like you never have before… tag me on Instagram @tink.gypsy.queen and hashtag #thisoldthinggoodforthesoul to be featured in my stories and upcoming blog.

I promise I’m not the anti-Christ of fashion. I’ve just moved from unknowing victim, then to ironic hypocrite- now to another person trying to walk the talk. Just learning to be better version of myself. I’m not going to stop supporting my tribe of sisters in business but I am very concerned and conscious.

Love Tink xxx

The Mornington Peninsula was showing us winter was approaching, so here we are in some random suburban street in Mornington between errands. We liked the cactus.

Tink wears all originals from her own timeless collection: ‘Summer Nights soft Leopard Blazer’, by – Spell Designs circa 2013 • ‘Misfit mustard cords’, by – Sass Bide circa 2005 • ‘Ruffle blouse’, by – Sportsgirl circa 2001 • ‘Cuzza lace booties’, by – Nine West circa mid 2000’s

Iggy wears: • ‘Amber necklace’, by – Amber Secrets • ‘Charcoal Trackies’, by – Our Folk • ‘Vegan revolution’ tee, by – Rocco and Mia • ‘Chandler bunny’, by – Jelly Cats

Dante wears: ‘Cool to be kind’ tee, by – Nu Natives • ‘ribbed knitted khaki cardi’ , by – Rock your baby • ‘Stone Chinos’ by – Industrie Kids • ‘boots’ by – Dr Martens circa found in an op shop by my mum.

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“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan Sand Sculpture Exhibition.

Sand Sculpting Australia presents Peter Pan at their new home at Boneo Maze and Mini Golf, located on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.

3,500 tonnes of brickies loam sand have been artistically crafted into incredible sculptures by some of the the world’s best artists.

You know that place between sleeping and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting – Peter Pan.

This year’s theme just so happens to be one of my all time favourite childhood stories. When adulting takes its toll, I always find inspiration in quotes from Pan’s refusal to grow up. A magical story of escape,  lingering in that blissful grey area; where you’re no longer a child, but not quite an adult. I never made the transition. I openly admit I prefer dogs and children to adults. Step back into the magic of childhood. Take a break from the everyday grind, and get in touch with your inner child. ‘Come with me, where dreams are born and time is never planned, just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings.‘ Time to fly into the world of J.M Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan. You seem like good people, so I’ll share a pixie secret with you, to help find Peter Pan the boy who never grew up. His friends; the lost boys and fairy Tinkerbell. They live in Neverland. Neverland is a small Island reached only by flight. Your guide is, ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning’.

But remember; When you grow up you can come back. Growing up is a trap.

We happened to return to Neverland on a not so cheery day. On our anniversary weekend with our two youngest children. It was overcast with patches of drizzle and also humid (typical Melbourne weather). I’m one of those souls that have the ability to find the beauty in the less desired. Even though it wasn’t the greatest pick of days weather wise for sunshiny photos, it was our wedding anniversary after all. A wedding that just happened to quote Peter Pan at every opportunity, without it turning into a sponsored advertisement for Disney. Although we are suckers for Disney stuff, we liked that the sculptures were created by artists around the world that didn’t necessarily stick to making Disney copies. Captain Hook looked like a pirate and the backgrounds had such great detail.

The new location for the exhibition had so many other benefits to the previous location. Although Frankston is closer to the city, previously once you finished looking at the sculptures, kids would say, ‘Now what?’ And we said, ‘Let’s take another lap to look at the sculptures again!’ Whereas now, it feels so much more relaxed. You can appreciated the true art in these amazing sculptures, whilst being surrounded by nature. The sand sculptures are spread around and along the water’s edge. The perfect setting allows you to step subconsciously into the story. Boneo Maze & Mini Golf is situated on 27 acres of wetlands, hedge mazes and gardens. It’s such a beautiful location to get lost and disconnect in and you can make a day of it.

After your adventure to Neverland admiring the sculptures, you can also have a go at using the special brickie sand and create your own sculpture in the sand play area. If you thought, like we did, ‘How do they manage these creations when all we can hope for is to put some shells on a bucket shape?’ it’s because 1. no one is jumping on top of theirs and 2. brickie sand. Our boys loved this experience. The sand is so different to beach sand it almost feels like sticky coarse kinetic sand. And if you’ve ever played with kinetic sand, you know how easy it is to get lost in the sensory experience, to the point you don’t actually know how to stop. It was funny seeing parents lose themselves creating their own stuff. Some kids were trying drag their mum away from meticulously crafting her turtle sculpture. Once you’re done being inspired by soul nourishing sculptures, you can take a walk through the boardwalks, or as our six year old did, run out of sight to the bird hides and get lost in another world known as the ‘Kids Zone’. This one resembles my other favourite childhood story classic, Alice in Wonderland, with three different mazes and giant board games in the garden. Think Connect Four, Draughts, Jenga, Snakes and Ladders and Chess made for the BFG. The perfect opportunity to get competitive with your children in these timeless classics. And no family board game is complete without tears. Well, not in our house anyhow. After I won three consecutive games, Dante lost his marbles at me for acting like the Queen of Hearts and stormed off saying, ‘I’m gonna play with Daddy, he let’s me win!’ Anyone would think I painted the roses red. Or perhaps I did? He gets that competitive streak from somewhere… This is all included in your ticket price.

Tickets are priced:

Children under three are free

Children $10.00

Seniors $12.00

Adults $15.00

With many of other extras you can add on for a full day outing.

Unlimited rides? For $15.00 you can purchase a wristband. This includes unlimited park rides. The rides include harness trampoline, rock climbing wall and the kiddy stuff also; miniature train, miniature carousel and the jumping castle is free anyway.

A Pedal boat adventure $8.00

Sand art activities $8.00

Mini Golf $15.00 for one game or 2 games $20.00

We bought a wristband for the six year old. Our youngest was happy with one $3 ride of the miniature train with the fabulous conductor, Nicky navigating the boys into happiness. Nothing makes my heart sing more then fabulous employees making a good day, great. Iggy got a bounce on the jumping castle whilst his brother used the trampoline and rock climbing wall. And lastly, one pedal boat got us all a ride with the boys sitting on our laps. Although this was quite awkward.

For the budget and money savvy family and visitors, pack a picnic! This is welcomed at the location and there’s plenty of great spots to unwind. Not that organised? Grab something from the café whilst sipping on a local wine. Or head up the road for a two minute drive for a late lunch at St. Andrews Brewery. I won’t lie- this is our favourite place on the Peninsula to unwind socially. And they have Vegan friendly options on the menu for all our like-minded friends.

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.’ – Peter Pan

Overall it was a lovely relaxed afternoon, Perfect weekend escape drive with the family or Easter School Holiday outing.

Boneo Maze & Mini Golf is located:

695 Limestone Road, Fingal Victoria 3939

Exhibition closes 26th May 2019

Open 10am to 5pm daily

Tink wears: Queen of Hearts velvet jacket, by – Chasing Unicorns • Sunglasses by – Witchery • Maggie embroidered midi dress, by – Spell Designs

Iggy wears: • Amber necklace, by – Amber Secrets • ‘Little Tiger’ leggings, by – Spell Little Gypsies • ‘don’t worry bout a thing’ tee, by – Nu natives • ‘Peter Pan’, by – Disneyland resorts

Dante wears: ‘Roll with it’ tee, by – Nu Natives • ‘ribbed cotton shorts, by – Seed • ‘The Slipway’ cap, by – Fallen Broken Street • cardigan, by – Rock your baby

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Empowering Women and Raising Feminist Gentlemen for Equal Human Rights.

Is there such a thing? Or is that a contradiction?

International Women’s Day.

Plastered everywhere I see, ‘The Future is Female’.

Meanwhile, I’m over here; a collective sister empowering other women in small business. Raising my own kind of hell. Fighting for my rights as a working mumma or should I be saying equal parent and a place in the workforce that doesn’t cause anymore harm to my children’s or my own well-being … I’m very consciously nourishing three sons.

And they sure are little feminists, my three little gentlemen. In a world of consumer-based, gender stereotypes, I’ve challenged every notion from action figures (for God sake, let’s just call them dolls), to empowering him, ‘It’s okay if he wants to wear a damn tutu and carry around a Tinkerbell doll. His favourite colour was pink until the day he started childcare. Yup, it was bullied out of him. Yes- even at the mere old age of two! However, I have ensured they are always respectful to girls and that they have the attitude that girls can do anything too. I embrace my boys’ tears. I never tell them to stop crying and I encourage them to share emotion and emphasise the emotions of others, we actively practice gratitude. Our  six year old is most certainly an empath.

It’s clear my morals stem from a world of feminism. It’s true those young gentlemen are overwhelmingly fed and nourished with my own beliefs. It’s human nature. It’s my natural mumma instinct. Was I born a feminist? Hell no. I’ve been surrounded by boys my entire life and always told I’m not quite good enough because I am a girl. But was it to hurt me? Or denounce me because I was female? No and yes. I know right- how contradictive. It was the culture of the time I was raised in. The generation of being consumed by consumerism, simply to sell more gender-stereotype based products. Believing everything you read and see, to some degree. This little girl fighting to be something whilst mocked endlessly spent her teens in the 90’s an avid angry Grunger with a side of hip hop and dance. You can’t be both? Well I was.

I was told by society what was female and what was male. We all were. There’s obvious physical differences. But what really makes us different?

Honestly, in this day and age, why do we still have a boy toy sections and a girls toy section? Why are we still marketing everything based on gender? And don’t get me started on beauty products. Why is hair gel in the men’s section and not in the hair section? I’ve been using the same hair gel for over a decade, then bam it just disappeared from the shelves. To my unknowing it had been moved from the hair section to the men’s toiletries section. Do women not use hair gel? Are men limited to gel and wax? Is hairspray frowned upon? Which brings me to the decade mid nighties to mid naughties of the metrosexual. The man who was proclaimed as no longer being a man and being a bit feminine. The man who groomed himself and shopped for styled clothes and man bags. Whilst at the peak of the metrosexual notion, I always assumed it was a title given by boisterous boys to denote men who were ‘full of themselves’. Or prehaps it was a notion created by consumerism. Now, another decade on, I see the positive impacts the metrosexual notion had. We are heading in the right direction but where just not quite there.

Gender roles in our house are generally equal. I say that because I took all the parental leave with our children: We both work, we both cook, we both clean, we share the parenting responsibility. Our nearly two year old son often plays out the role putting on his makeup and comes out and says, ‘Look- pretty.’ I think to myself, ‘You can be anything darling… anything you want.’ He loves vacuuming but also likes playing with hammers and rocks. Our six year old is fascinated by the rough and tumble boy always drawn to a side of males not seen in our house. But when no boys are around, he’s happy to play dress ups with girls and watch Tinkerbell.

What if women’s rights and equality stemmed from a notion of equal parenting? Gasp. Our cultural conditioning is that us women have been oppressed and that men are the oppressors (stay with me a moment and let me unpack). Is it true? Yes it is, it’s still a very much male dominated workplace within the power roles.

But wait, whilst we are drawing nearer to the foundations of supporting women with paid parental leave schemes, we still haven’t covered the grounds on missing superannuation. Females are still dominantly seen as the leading primary care giver of children. That hasn’t changed. Yes there’s more men then ever staying at home but they are a vast minority.

Let’s talk my favourite quote that I’ve been throwing my weight around with shares on social media since my part time return from parental leave; I wish I knew who to credit,

“We expect Women to work like (they) don’t have children, and raise children like they don’t work”.

How many women can relate to this?

How many women stay at home or work part time to raise their children? How many women feel rearing the children is their responsibility?

Why are there so many men in the power house jobs? Is it because there’s no interruptions to their work life?

Why do men ACTUALLY get paid more? Is it because they don’t have a break in work life? It is illegal in this country to pay one gender more than the other for the same role? So is it a banding and experience-based issue? Or an industry/profession entrenchment issue? Are women just attracted to lower paying careers because there is less impact on their home life? And why aren’t these important industries paid higher? Health Care and Education- don’t get me started! The absolute foundations of our society.

How many of those, that have won the right to paid parental leave schemes, actually favour women or encourage them to be stay at home mums? How many men have an employer paid parental leave scheme that encourages them to take on the role of primary caregiver at some point?!

What if there was such thing as a co-parenting parental leave scheme.

I’m half expecting to be gut punched by my own sex for suggesting it. And before you ask: yes I breast feed our children, yes I realise men don’t have breasts. And yes I also support the notion that women need down time to recover from a pregnancy.

What if equal parental leave schemes had men the Fathers of our children spend time at home co-raising our broods. Who would fill those CEO positions whilst Men were co-parenting. See where I’m headed? And what if that was the roots of the divide.

Stay with me. I’m not completely mad. It’s a concept that has toyed with me since my husband’s custody battle a decade ago. Why aren’t fathers automatically handed half custody rights? Why aren’t a child’s living costs shared 50/50 it would save the world so much heartbreak and grace. We’ve all heard the notion dead-beat dad. But what if we didn’t let them get away with it? What if men were expected to play a 50% parenting role in their children. Would everything change? Would we see the changes we’ve been fighting so hard for?

Would the respect not rewrite itself? I know I refer endlessly to Scandinavian nations models on health care and education. They also lead the world on parental leave schemes. The Swedish models offers sixteen months leave at 80% of wages and it forces both parents to share the leave.

If my husband had a paid parental leave arrangement, we would have gone halves. We toyed around with the concept of me taking the first 6 months and him taking the next 6. In the end it came down to us being more financially secure, with myself taking the leave. My workplace had a paid scheme, his did not. Don’t get me wrong, I cherished every moment I had with our boys. Don’t children need both parents equally?

Then there’s the struggles of returning to work after a period of extended parental leave. My personal experience was completely unsupported, I had ultimately lost my place and identity, my absence had created a, ‘Who is she?’ mentality. And if I’m completely honest, my years of expertise forgotten, erased and dismissed the oversight echoed into a court of being micro managed. There had been a turnover of management who were anxious to set their own stamp on things. They watched every move with an attitude of, ‘Your doing it wrong’. So what, I was doing it wrong for fifteen years and nobody thought to stop and tell me? It seemed to work. Was it actually wrong or discrimination?

Yes, you do have a right to return to your role, and that I did. But it was the title of the role I returned to not the role I had previously played. I had been silenced whether deliberate or unintentional, it occurred. It wasn’t a great experience for my mental health. I spent half a year trying to work out if it was me, them or the system?

The other side of it is, for every newborn dad, excited to spend the precious early moments with his new addition, there will be others, ready to say, ‘Why would you bloody want to go and do that?’ We need to work this out. It makes me feel sick to the core that my gentlemen only hear men labelled as horrible things. If your told something often enough your sure to eventually believe it. It’s not a world I want to live in. Our six year old is already questioning, but why?

It’s just too complicated to explain coherently to a nearly six year old.

Because it’s true; not ALL men use dominance over women, not ALL men abuse women and NOT all men are insensitive and hide emotions: Yes 69 murdered women is 69 too many. Yes #metoo has an important place in our modern society and the stories of injustice are all very valid. Violence against women needs to stop. That’s a given.

Are we fighting on deaf ears? Because the majority of men can’t relate?

I stand a proud woman. But I believe the change we demand needs to be lived throughout the world; a world that includes both women and men.

Are we beginning to contradict ourselves?

I toast the strong girls and women that share their voice, start conversations, no matter how daunting and the brave who accept that on this journey difference in opinion is okay. Let’s raise strong kind and empathic humans. Where genders respect each other. #balanceforbetter

Imagine.

And as the sunsets on another’s International Women’s Day, I leave you my influential women’s list;

Stevie Nicks, Audrey Hepburn, Camilla Franks, Patti Smith, Michelle Pfeiffer, PJ Harvey, Deborah Harry, Tyra Banks, Coco Chanel, Missy Elliot, Edie Sedgwick, Asher Keddie, Donita Sparks, Adalita Srsen, Sarah Humphries, Kat Bjelland, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Kim Gordon, Frida Khalo, Julia Gillard, Erin Wasson, Kathleen Hanna, Roisin Murphy, Tori Amos, Sandra Denton, Cheryl James.

It’s cool to be kind. Pura Vida – Simple Life.

Tink wears: The iconic ‘sisterhood collective, empowered women make waves’ tee, by – Poppy Biarritz • Sunglasses by – Witchery • ‘Make love not war’ sweater, by – Poppy Biarritz • ‘Lover should have come over’ leather cap, by – Ivy Wilde • Vintage belt, by – Ivy Wilde

Iggy wears: ‘PURA Vida’ tee, by – Suede Daze • ‘Honolulu’ shorts, by – Mrs Millah • Amber necklace, by – Amber Secrets • ‘Dune dweller’ in aquamarine boardshorts, by – Chasing Rivers • ‘Chandler’ bunny, by – Jelly Cat

Dante wears: ‘Cool to be Kind’ ribbed tee, by – Nu Natives • ‘Finny’ ribbed cotton shorts, by Nu Natives • ‘Dune dweller’ in aquamarine boardshorts, by – Chasing Rivers

 

 

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