Or, why I'm starting this blog.

Autumn leaves on grass with the sun shining on them

Some of you may know that, in my previous working life, much of my work was informed by the literacy levels in our community. Sadly, here in Australia, these levels are incredibly low for a first-world nation that has so much potential to educate its people. Previously, my drive was to help government, businesses and community organisations connect with more people by making their communication simpler. This is an effective strategy, something that I wholeheartedly endorse.

When I was at the Information Access Group, one of the principles that we held dear was the idea that, by making communication simpler, a person with low levels of literacy would be able to understand more of what is happening in the world around them and therefore have more opportunity to take part in the national conversation. The ‘around the watercooler’ chat so to speak.

Words on the page – or the screen – help us connect.

In big ways, in small ways.

As the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation says, being able to read and write is the key to accessing education and employment, and to participating fully in society.

This idea remains central to what I want to explore in this blog.

But from here, I am taking a different glimpse of the world, through the lens of joy and creativity.

Literacy really matters. And what I am interested in is the imaginative spark that takes off in all of our minds as we learn to read, as we continue to read throughout our lives, as we step over the threshold of ourselves and into the collective unconscious.

Let’s celebrate that spark.

Let’s celebrate connection.

Let’s share our love of reading.

Let’s inspire others with our words.

Let’s trust in our own voices – the voices of people who have something good to say, and who want to contribute to the collective conversation.

This will be a good place.

The politics won’t matter. But there will be an underlying commitment to the arts, to reading, to literature and to the idea of freedom. Freedom of expression and freedom of choice.

Disparate voices do matter. I want to include a range of voices in the conversation and to make sure that this is a safe, respectful and inclusive place.

Starting out on a blog is a new step for me. I’m not used to sharing my whole voice, my whole heart, in a public way. In the past, I gave my heart and soul to the Information Access Group, where I worked tirelessly for better communications in our world. Now that I’ve stepped aside, I am planning to use my blog as a way to explore other parts of myself and other parts of life. Most definitely, I am seeking a reconnection to my creative self.

I’ve been giving myself the new job title of ‘Joy Prospector’ – a person who seeks joy, who is looking deeper into their creative self in order to bring that joy to the world. Hopefully on this blog we can share our joys and small pieces of our creativity.

So please join me on some new adventures in reading and writing.

I do not know where it will take us. But let the journey begin.