Close to Heart, Miles Apart

Amelia Strazdins


There is no doubt that over the past twelve months the whole world has been trialled and tested. It has been through family and support systems that we have been able to make these uncertain times a little easier to cope with. During this time, we have seen the importance of family, those formed because of blood and circumstance. International family day brings attention to the importance of these people within our lives and the roles they play in supporting us. Unfortunately, this year, the 15th of May will bring with it a solum reminder of the impacts the pandemic has had on our loved ones. Across the globe there are thousands of families separate by boarders, lockdowns and quarantine. Living in Australia we remain extremely lucky with eased restrictions and the ability to travel inter-state. However, there are still many Aussies stuck overseas desperately missing their families and unable to get home. For many of us, it seems as if the worst of the pandemic is over, but we forget the pain caused to many by long distance separation. Although many have been able to keep in touch, this luxury has worn thin as timelines remain unclear and international travel is still placed firmly off the cards. For those of us who are able to hug those important to us, this day serves as a reminder to appreciate the freedom we are currently experiencing in our country. It seems much like everything else, celebrating family will look a little different this year. Zoom calls alongside family Skype sessions are the go-to of choice to reconnect with those separated across the world. And although many are still unable to reunite, families in Australia and New Zealand are some of the lucky few who have been able to travel home to see loved ones. April 19th was perhaps one of the most significant days in a long time. The 19th marked the opening of the Trans-Tasman bubble, allowing travel between Australia and New Zealand. Media outlets were flooded with videos and stories of tear-jerking reunions and heartfelt hugs. Although it may not be a day that many usually recognise let alone celebrate it allows us the time to give thanks and properly appreciate our families, near or far. Within Australia we are so incredibly fortunate that we are not in lockdown but also are able to gather in larger congregations. Recognising family does not only mean close family but also extended. With the freedoms that we are afford currently living in Australia we must take the opportunity to celebrate family to fullest extent. Whether that be a Sunday barbeque, a walk along the beach or something special to you family some time with your loved ones. For those unable to travel home to see their families, spread across the globe, we send you support and hope for a joyous reunion in the near future.

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