The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - INSIDE - Sue

I’m de­lighted to see so many let­ters this week from new con­trib­u­tors but am bemused that it is the opin­ions of oth­ers and not one of our sto­ries that prompted the in­flux (page 4).

Sadly, letter writ­ing is be­com­ing a lost art with fewer and fewer peo­ple pre­pared to put their name to an opin­ion. Per­haps it’s be­cause it is so easy to of­fer anony­mous com­ment in the world of so­cial me­dia, where vex­a­tious, defam­a­tory and mean words fill vast voids. It is cer­tainly eas­ier to ex­press a view when you don’t need to own it. Putting your name in print takes courage and con­vic­tion.

We value our letter writ­ers and the time they take to put pen to pa­per (yes, some still do – and they pay for a stamp and post them to us). We’ll al­ways en­deav­our to pro­vide a broad range of views on our let­ters page and hope more read­ers will take up the chal­lenge to con­trib­ute. But we’ll also con­tinue to pub­lish those writ­ers who never miss a week. If noth­ing else, it as­sures us they are alive and well.

Be­ing alive and well is cer­tainly some­thing worth writ­ing about when you have faced as much trauma as young mum Jonty Bush. I was work­ing on the Sunshine Coast when Jonty’s 19-year-old sis­ter Jac­inta was stabbed to death by her boyfriend on that ter­ri­ble day in July 2000. It was a hideous crime but the death of their fa­ther Robert, only four months later, seemed a cruel and un­bear­able epilogue. How Jonty and her brother Ja­son sur­vived those dual tragedies is im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine, so it was won­der­ful to read Leisa Scott’s story about Jonty’s new life (page 10).

Our ex­pe­ri­ences cer­tainly help de­fine us, and while Jonty’s re­la­tion­ship with her mother was less than per­fect, it is clear from Leanne Ed­mi­s­tone’s story (page 14) what a vi­tal role mums play in the men­tal and phys­i­cal health of young girls. To be im­per­fect is to be hu­man and per­haps if we were more ac­cept­ing of our dif­fer­ences, there would be less tur­moil in our world.

But 100 years af­ter the Bat­tle of the Somme, one of the blood­i­est con­flicts in his­tory, it is clear that tur­moil and war is some­thing the hu­man race can­not (or will not) erad­i­cate from our planet. Kylie Lang vis­ited France ear­lier this year and was deeply moved by the me­mo­ri­als (page 17). With ma­jor com­mem­o­ra­tions planned for next month, we can only hope such hor­rific loss of life is not re­peated this cen­tury (or next).

And fi­nally, in only one week, we will have the chance to in­flu­ence the des­tiny of our coun­try – with­out the blood­shed of a war. It is trite but true that mil­lions of peo­ple have died so we can elect a demo­cratic gov­ern­ment – so it is im­por­tant we don’t waste our vote. Last week we got an in­sight into Lib­eral MP and Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton, and to­day we get a be­hind-the-scenes look at his ALP op­po­nent, Linda Lavarch (page 22). Whether you vote Lib­eral, La­bor, Greens or In­de­pen­dent, it is al­ways in­ter­est­ing to meet the peo­ple be­hind the pol­i­tics.

Good read­ing

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