Saturday, 16 February 2013

A BRUSH WITH DEATH By Andrew Evans Senior Campus

I was fifteen when I had my brush with death. It was a little weird but for some reason I was not scared. I know I should have been but something told me that I should stay calm. I would never have imagined that something so small could remain in my mind for so long.
It was February 19th, my birthday, my family and I were having a party. My dad let me drink because it was a special occasion; we all had one hell of a night and we knew the next night would be even better, or so we thought. 
The next day came and we were all getting ready for the party. That night me, my sister and her boyfriend went out, we were walking through the shopping centre car park and I noticed all these people standing around the car park, but I just kept walking with my sister and her boyfriend. We walked across the road and got to the other side where we were almost at the entrance to Seven Eleven when I heard someone call out “Hey!” I looked behind me and saw a guy walking up towards me. I answered back with “Yeah mate?” 
“Do you want to get stabbed?” he asked. 
At first I thought I had misheard what he had said, but then he said it again. At this time I was questioning as to what he was going to stab me with. Then he pulled out this knife from the shadows of a tree that was drooping over us. I stepped back to try and draw him into the light of the street lamps.
He moved out of the shadows slowly and bit by bit revealed his concealed weaponry. I saw the knife. It was a relatively new knife but it was about fifteen centimetres long with a diameter of about an inch and a half. Soon after he pulled it out people started to cross the road to come over to where we were. Soon we were surrounded by about thirty or more people. I didn’t have time to count them all. All I knew was that I was in deep shit and I had to think of a way out.
The guy with the knife asked me to give him my phone, but I had left it at home due to my battery dying on me.  “Sorry, but I don’t have it on me”,  I said, then he asked me for my wallet and I told him I didn’t have that on me either, when really I did but he believed me so it worked out well, until he started getting aggravated and laughed at me with the knife in his hand.  Lucky for me his friends pulled him back.
 I don’t know how or why but it all worked out. They all apologised and said it was just a case of mistaken identity. They took off in a taxi and we all went home.                               

A portrait of me By Lachlan Moloney West Campus

Dying young scares me. Everybody dies eventually but I want to be able to live my life to the fullest before that happens. Failing in life is a big worry as well. I want to make sure I have a great job in the future and be very successful as an electrician and DJ.

I am a resident DJ for ZOO Underage at Chasers Nightclub. I have been DJing for about a year and a half now. I started off just playing on a computer program, and then I saved enough money to get myself equipment. Many of my friends thought I was very talented with DJing, so I decided to take it to the next level. I wanted to become a part of the music industry. There are parties called Underages that my friends and I go to. It’s a safe party for young teens and includes popular DJs that are known by young people, dancers, light shows and many other great things. I started selling tickets for one of the Underages, Zoo Underage. I met the event planner for Zoo and he found out I wanted to get into DJing and gave me a spot to DJ at the next event. 

On the 21st of December 2011, I DJ’d for the first time at Chasers on Chapel Street. Chasers is a huge club, it has two floors, 3 side rooms and a massive main stage. ZOO Underage is a special party organized for people 13-17 years old. It has security, and no alcohol, no smoking and no drugs. It is designed to be a place for kids to enjoy themselves and have a great time. I got given the opportunity to DJ in one of the side rooms on the second floor. I was extremely nervous about doing it. I was worried I would stuff up and make a fool of myself. I was the opening DJ for that room and as I started playing my music, people started flooding the room! There were so many people there dancing and listening to my music. I was really pleased with how the night turned out.  After doing three events at Zoo, I am now their newest resident DJ.

I have had many pets in the past. One that I remember was my frog. My frog’s name was Google because he had googly eyes. Google was green and always slimy. When I first got Google, he was a little tadpole. I watched him slowly form into a frog, beginning with his legs, then his arms, then finally his tail disappearing. He then jumped out the water and became a frog. But sadly, Google died one extremely hot day when most of his water evaporated. 
I now own a dog named Jasper. He is a golden cocker spaniel. He is a crazy dog and always jumps around like a lunatic. We have had him since he was a  puppy. He is about two years old this year.

In 2009, my mum, sister, and I went for a trip to Queensland! We did so much stuff there. We went to every single theme park: Movie World, Dream World, Wet And Wild, Sea World, White Water World and more! I went on so many rides. It was great fun. We stayed at three different places, Couran Cove, Mantra Hotel and the Sea World Resort. It was a great holiday.

One of the teachers I will remember most was my grade 4 teacher, Mr. Thompson. He was really funny and he gave us a lot of free time! He would tell funny jokes, make us laugh and have fun with us. We would play computer games, bring in our model cars and look at our tadpole enclosure. It was great fun being in his class.

I have many great friends; some of them that are from school like Paige, Vladimir, Raela, Serkan, Ismail, Steven, Ali, Peter, Abdel, Taylor, Jess and more. Some friends I work with are, Nathan, Chris, Tollunay, Aiden, Adrian, Rojdar and more.

I really love making my friends laugh. It makes me feel good that I’m making them happy and putting a smile on their faces. I love music also. I enjoy listening to music and showing my friends all the new songs I find. I love going to parties with my friends, it gives us a chance to catch up and have a good time.

Caught in the Christchurch earthquake By Sean Prakash Senior Campus

Nine years ago in 2003 mum and dad said to my sister and I that we were going to move to New Zealand. I was surprised and excited and so was my sister. My dad’s family was living in New Zealand that’s why we were planning to move. After all the applications for the passports was finished, we left our small country Fiji for good in 2004.

Half way across the ocean I started to cry because I started to miss my hometown and all my friends. I realised that I wasn’t going to see Fiji for a very long time.

We arrived in New Zealand in the evening and it was beautiful. After about six months living with my aunty we settled down near a beach and my dad started his own small business, a fish ‘n’ chips shop. My sister and I were going to school and my mum was working part time and helping my dad around the shop. Later, in 2009, we finally got our New Zealand citizenship.

Life there was great, even better as the years went by. I started to play basketball for a team, go surfing a lot, and my dad joined up at a gym. I was living my life very happily. But then lots of things changed on 4th of September 2010. At 4:00 am in the morning a 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch where we were living. Luckily, no one in the family died, but from that day life in Christchurch wasn’t the same. Every day there were aftershocks followed by aftershocks. 
As the days went by we began to cope with the aftershocks and months later Christchurch was getting back to the way it used to be. On 22nd February 2011 I took a day off school and was in my dad’s shop eating ice cream. My dad had gone off to buy something and my mum was watching TV in the shop. And then this big roaring sound came at first and then a split second later this massive shake happened, a 6.3 earthquake. My ice cream was flung out of my hand and my mum and I ran as fast as we could and got outside. Everything was shaking and wobbling. We saw many people running, screaming, and crying. My whole body was shaking. 

My dad also ran to us and he too was very scared. About 10 minutes later we went to my uncle’s house. As we drove there we saw that the road was cracked and water was spurting out of the ground from broken water pipes. Small shakes continued while dad was driving and It took about an hour to get there, usually it takes about 10 minutes to get to my uncle’s.

My sister texted my mum’s phone and said she was all right and her friend’s dad dropped her at my uncle’s house about 4 hours later. On the road sand was everywhere and lots of places were flooded. The tap was not working and the electricity was not working either. Then it started raining so we collected a lot of water. And we made food by using the gas stove. 

That was the scariest moment of my life. For days my family and I couldn’t go to sleep properly, or eat. This time more than 100 people died and were injured. Thankfully my family was all right.

Mum and my sister were very scared and my mum didn’t want to live in New Zealand anymore. Days after the earthquake electricity started to be reconnected but water was not drinkable from the tap. Our house was so badly damaged that we couldn’t live there anymore. About a month later mum and dad booked tickets to Australia. We packed all our stuff and left New Zealand for good. 

So we started a new life hear in Melbourne. So far everything is good. My sister and I started going to the same school, dad got a good job and mum is working part time and doing a Level 3 Aged Care course. But sometimes when a small shake happens anywhere -  like when a bus stops or someone is coming up the stairs -  it reminds me of the Christchurch earthquake. The experience of the earthquake is the worst experience I have ever had - but in some ways it was awesome.

Train Tragedy By Ashley Wilson North Campus

I sat at the Laverton station watching how happy my little brother and sister looked. I smelt how fresh the air was and I noticed how happy my mum looked. Nothing seemed like to could go wrong. But within a blink of an eye that all changed. 

As the train sounded its horn I turned for only a second but within that second my mum let out a terrifying scream. I raised my head to look at my mum. Her expression was indescribable. I turned to look towards the rails and that moment a woman plunged to her death. Time sped up and the train seemed to be going even faster. At that moment I felt helpless. 

As her body disappeared beneath the train, her pink top and brown curly hair were imprinted upon my mind. My heart began to race, my breathing sped up, my body was paralysed and my brain was overloaded with thoughts. Why did she do it? She seemed to be in her thirties – she still had so much to look forward to. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. It still sits in my mind to this day. 

Kids Helpline     1800 555 1800
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School in Burma By Joe Ingme North Campus

In Burma schools are very different compared to Australian schools.  The schools don’t have many subjects and you graduate after you finish Year 10 and you either get a job like being a doctor or other jobs. It depends on how good your grades are. 
You go to school for five days and get a day off on Saturday and Sunday. In Burma we get holidays once a year. 
Life can sometimes be hard at school if homework doesn’t get done. Teachers aren’t that strict if you do all your homework, but if you don’t do your homework the teacher hits you with a stick.
Students catch the bus to school and some walk or ride their bikes if their house is close to the school. 

Swimming By Khadija Acone Ardeer Campus

My favourite hobby is swimming although I didn’t really like it at the start. All toddlers do, but I didn’t. Now I truly love it and I love and treasure hot summer days during the holidays with family and friends. 

As most families do we went to the beach during summer and this day was like that. It was very crowded when we arrived but we finally found a spot. My older family friends were the first to dive into the cool water. As crazy teenagers they decided to start jumping off the pier. As a little nine year old I followed them.  

We began to dive and then swim further and further out from the pier. I was very confident with myself but finally we reached the edge and passed the floating yellow flag. There were some fishermen here and there. I then started to doubt myself. 

All my family and friends jumped and then waited for me in the water. My heart stopped when they jumped and I heard the sound like a slap as they hit the water and disappeared. Just seeing each of their heads pop out was a big relief. 

Finally it was my turn. ‘One…two…three!’ My family friends cheered me on. My pulse was drumming in my ears like big bangs. Finally I took a deep breath and jumped. I opened my eyes as I sank. Darker and darker it got as I sunk deeper and deeper and I saw my cousins’ legs slowly kicking above me. I looked down into the dark blue water. I saw light and shadows, flashing silver and stared into a bed of floating seaweed arms. It was scary! Then I could feel seaweed arms grabbing at my legs. I struggled to untangle myself and got a bad shock. I calmed down and tried to just hang in the cold water. It felt like I had escaped from the world; it was silent and dark. It was calming. I slowly floated up and it got lighter and lighter. As I reached the surface I took a gasp of air and a rush of sound came to my ears. Seeing my friends made me happy. 

I climbed back up the ladder and onto the pier. I could feel the wood which was warmed under my feet as I walked to a nearby chair. I sat down to catch my breath. 

‘Are you okay?’ a person asked as he walked by. 

I looked up and smiled. ‘I’m great.’

The Most Significant Person in My Life By Jenny Le North Campus

Throughout my life I have met many wonderful people who are lovely, helpful and supportive and also have been a part of making me into the person I am today – like most of my family and friends. 

But besides those people there is one other person who no one can replace and who I would describe as my world.

She is a person I very much love from the bottom of my heart and has been a part of my life ever since I was born. That person is my mum. Without her I wouldn’t be here in this world today. She has taught, loved and cared for me ever since I came into this world. She has worked very hard to provide for us and give us – her six children – a good life. And she has done this by herself. 

Although her English is not very good, she will still sit beside me when I am doing my homework and encourage me. She makes sure all her children are neatly dressed and tidy and have done their homework before we leave for school. She has always been polite to everyone, especially teachers and she teaches us to have respect for older people. 

All through my life journey so far she has been beside me to encourage, help and support me and I know that whatever happens next she will always be there for me. My mum has not just been beside me but she has also done absolutely everything she could to provide a good life for me. My mum is not just my mum, but she is also my best friend, my teacher and a person I call a hero. 

For many of us, our worst enemy is the mirror By Guy McLaughlin North Campus

There are so many people out there who are constantly under pressure and are suffering because of the way they and others relate to their personal self image. These people can barely look in the mirror, let alone go outside in a public place.

In some cases it can get as bad as people suffering mental illnesses such as anorexia and depression as well as constant stress which is also bad for your mental health. This is because of people feeling afraid of being laughed at and being judged because of the way they look, and not the person they really are. 

Someone I personally know suffered from depression because she was being bullied because she was overweight and people usually reminded her of that every day. She was usually a happy girl who could take a joke but over time it got too much for her to handle and she had to undergo constant counselling and even had to leave school because of it. I myself was one of the people putting her down for no reason at all. I have recently apologised for my actions and have changed my whole attitude towards my way of life.

There are numerous people who suffer from idiotic humans saying and doing things that they have no right to. Just because a person is overweight, looks a bit different, is from a poorer background or has different opinions in their way of life. They don’t deserve to be treated any differently because of it. Everyone is human.

So please, think about what you say and do before you do it, it could have dramatic effects on an individual. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and respect their right to feel good about themselves. After all, everyone deserves the right to be happy don’t they? 

The Media is the Enemy! By Rachael Carter North Campus

Have you ever seen the front of the newspaper and what you see is athletes getting backlash? Whether it’s a footballer having a night out drinking and having pictures taken or an Olympian having a photo taken which makes them not look as good as they should be. All this comes from one thing and one thing only, the media! 

We’ve probably all seen at least one player from the football team we follow get into the media, right? There are times when people make stupid mistakes. But apparently if you’re a footballer you’re not allowed to make mistakes or have a private life -  like partying a little too hard, or doing something they now probably regret. But how are footballers so different from us? We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Footballers get special attention just because they wear a coloured jersey on the weekends. I believe there are a lot of things about footballers that have been blown out of proportion because the media got involved in their private life. Even if they play a high-grade of football they still deserve to have a private life. 

When it comes time for the Olympics all the media seems to focus on is the bad things and mistakes our Olympians have done and made. For example last year in London, Libby Trickett got a lot of  backlash because a photo was taken of her that made her look a little out of shape but she wasn’t because she still did well winning at the Olympics. Another incident this year was the one with two male swimmers who had a photo taken holding guns and then were nearly kicked off the Olympic Swimming Team. In my opinion the media needs to stop focusing on the negatives and focus more on the positives when it comes to our athletes. And if they are caught it doesn’t need to be plastered all over newspapers, magazines and TV. It should be dealt with privately. 
I myself, a swimmer, know how enjoyable it is not just with the swimming but also the social side to it - meeting new people and making new friends. I know as a swimmer you often have wide shoulders and bigger legs because as a swimmer they are the muscles you use. The worst thing as a swimmer is to be told that you look out of shape. Trust me I know how it feels because its been said to me and is still being said but I don’t let it get to me. I just listen and then move on. 

I believe the media is the source of a lot of our sports people getting a bad reputation. We’ve all just got to remember that we are all human and we make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. 

Fairy tales Are Not Suitable for Young Children By Bill Luong West Campus

Fairy tales should not be available for young children because they are filled with crimes, violence, characters ignoring health and safety issues, and the ‘happily ever after’ ending that give children false hopes. Fairy tales should not be told to young children.
Firstly, there are many crimes that happen in these ‘innocent’ fairy tales. One example is ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. Goldilocks broke into the three bears’ house without their permission. That is trespassing and, breaking and entering. Goldilocks then proceeds to sit down on baby bear’s chair and breaks it, which is vandalism. In the end, she gets away with the crimes she committed. 

Another example is ‘The Three Little Pigs’. This big bad wolf blows down the two little pig’s houses, which is vandalism, then tries to eat them, which is attempted murder. The two little pigs then run to their older brother’s house to seek protection. The wolf then tries to blow down this house but it proved unsuccessful because the house is made out of bricks so he climbs down the chimney, which is trespassing, falls into a fire and is burnt in a fiery death (which is a charge of manslaughter for the pigs, or more accurately, wolf slaughter). This can influence children to commit crimes and provides bad examples for the children.

Secondly, fairy tales are filled with a lot of violence which is often horrific. In ‘Alice in Wonderland’, the Queen of Hearts chops off many heads, which in real life is a thing people would not want to see. Also, in ‘Hansel and Gretel’, there is a witch who cooks boys and girls by throwing them in an oven! In ‘The Little Red Riding Hood’, a grandmother gets eaten by a wolf! The list goes on and on. If the real world were like fairy tales, people would not even want to go outside of their homes!

Thirdly, there is the health and safety issue. In fairy tales, health and safety laws are ignored. In ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, Jack climbs a giant beanstalk with no safety gear! Parents would not want their children climbing giant beanstalks with no safety gear. It is very dangerous. Another example is ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The dwarfs work long hours in dangerous mines. Also, in ‘The Princess and the Frog’, a princess kisses a slimy frog. Yuck! How much bacteria can a frog have? This will desensitize children to the seriousness of viruses and bacteria as certain viruses and bacteria can be lethal. 

Lastly, fairy tales have a ‘happily ever after’ that never or rarely happens in the real world. ‘Happily ever after’ provides simple solutions that pull people out of complicated situations which rarely happens in real life. The ‘happily ever after’ will give children false hope. It will continually disappoint children if they are waiting for a ‘happily ever after’. Children need to understand that the real world is not like this and they cannot always hope a ‘happily ever after’ will solve their problems. Continual belief in this will lead to depression as their hope gets crushed again and again.

In conclusion, fairy tales contain many bad examples and influence for children and could lead to children taking risks with terrible consequences.

Girls By Anonymous West Campus

I’m a fifteen year old boy, yet like most other males I don’t understand what its like to be a girl. I understand that girls go through struggles that boys couldn’t even imagine. Girls have so much to worry about from the day they’re born until that very day they die; and yet the female is so under appreciated. I don’t understand why boys treat girls with so little respect sometimes, when a female is the reason he is alive at that very moment and is probably the reason he has food to eat.  From personal experiences it is my mother who’s always been there to cheer me up when I’m down or take me to the doctors when I’ve been ill. 

So why do boys cheat on girls?
So why do boys play girls?
So why do boys abuse girls?
So why do boys manipulate girls?
So why do boys use girls?

I’m not really sure. But what I do know is that if my partner carries our child within her body for nine whole months restricting her from flying in an aeroplane or consuming alcohol, she deserves to be treated like a queen. 

The Australian soldiers in Afghanistan should withdraw from the battlefield By Selena Wang West Campus

The Australian soldiers in Afghanistan are fighting the Taliban and trying to protect the locals with their own lives.  They should be withdrawn from the war and out of danger.  The reason that they should come back is because of the fact the Aussie soldiers are not being appreciated by a large amount of the locals.  Also, the fact that there are young soldiers getting wounded every day and even killed.  The reason that the Australian soldiers are in Afghanistan is all the doing of the Americans. Australia followed America into the battlefield and the main question that we should ask ourselves is: ‘Why should we follow them?’

Despite the fact that the Aussie soldiers are not being acknowledged by the local Afghans, our soldiers are still fighting there.  A large percentage of the locals think that we should not interfere with their business.  There are also local civilians sending their children to war to join the Taliban, and hide ammunition for the Taliban in their houses.  Just recently, 5 young Australian soldiers got killed in one day. What’s outrageous is the fact that they were killed by an Afghan soldier!  The person who should help those soldiers and fight off the Taliban actually ‘back stabbed’ them. This shows how unreliable the Afghan soldiers are and how we should not help them.

One of the main reasons that the Aussie soldiers should retreat is that there are so many young lives taken by this cold-hearted war.  Almost every month, we hear the news that yet another Aussie solider has been killed in action. There are also people getting wounded in the war.  Some soldiers might come home with a missing leg or missing eye, this is so unfair for those people, not just them, their family as well.  Imagine one day you are talking to your solider son or daughter on the phone, the next day you receive a phone call saying he or she is dead.  This is something every mother or father would not want to hear. With soldiers dying, this great waste of potential is unbelievably upsetting to all Australians. 

One of the reasons that the Aussie soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan is because of the Americans.  The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, decided to follow the Americans into the war sending soldiers there.  What she doesn’t understand is the fact that we are being used by the Americans just like what happened in the Second World War.  Soldiers on the battlefield not even being appreciated by the locals and just staying there for the sake of the American soldiers. If a war actually breaks out, the chances that Americans will help us is undoubtedly low.  Why should we follow them? Would we get anything good out of it?  Soldiers are dying and injured for NO GOOD REASON. When those five soldiers died in one day, our Prime Minister said “This is not my fault.”  This shows how less she actually cares about the soldiers and how she tries to push her own fault on to someone else.  The New Zealand soldiers made a smart choice by sending their soldiers home earlier.  Why don’t the leaders of this country do the same thing so that fewer lives are lost?

Australian soldiers should come home from Afghanistan.  Not being appreciated by the Afghans and the loss of lives on the battlefield is truly upsetting.  The Australian government is doing a wrong thing by following the Americans.  Why don’t we do the right thing by bringing them back home?  With lives lost day by day, all this comes down to one question: “Are wars really necessary?”

For many of us, both males and females, our greatest enemy is the mirror By Cassey Cutmore North Campus

For many of us, both males and females, our greatest enemy is the mirror - sadly that’s true. So many people are unsatisfied with themselves. They take drastic measures to try and make themselves ‘perfect’. The thing is that they were already perfect and here are some reasons why.

I have seen this in my friends and family, they look at themselves in the mirror they look down at their bodies with disgust and disappointment. They always say “I’m not perfect” or “Why am I so fat?” I try and tell them they are not fat and they are perfect but they don’t listen to me. I have a friend who has been on a diet since she was ten.

So many people say that they want to look like models and celebrities. The truth is they are too thin. There have been cases of models and celebrities dying because they didn’t get the nutrients from food. What’s the use of trying to look like celebrities when they are no better than us.

This is an actual story. My friend was only about 30 kilos she was so thin for a 15 year old. She got bullied because she was so thin. She went to the doctors at the start of the year. The doctor said that if she didn’t put some weight on she would be sent to a rehabilitation centre. Now she is about 40 kilos and is going well. She is now happy with the way she is.

Thank-you for reading my writing and my friend’s story. Please remember that you are perfect no matter what. You are who you are, so don’t change that. Please stay the way you are. Perfect

Some people are treated more unfairly than others By Valarie Lam, North Campus


People in society treat others according to their differences. It can result in prejudice and being disrespectful towards people who are unfamiliar or different. It is judging those whom we generally do not appreciate because of their race, sex or religion - the list is endless. People make assumptions about each other and don’t take the time to understand different people around them.  We are all equal. As Martin Luther King, the influential American leader, once said: “…. men are created equal.” We tend to ask ourselves, ‘Why does this happen?’ but we are often the ones who are guilty of this shameful habit.

Racism is a big part of these acts of unfairness. Asians and other races are often stereotyped because of their background. For instance in 1939, World War II started. Germany’s leader, Hitler, persuaded most of his Nazis that Jews were the reason their nation was in such a bad way. For this reason the Nazi party decided to exterminate these ‘worthless’ Jews. They quarantined them at concentration camps and eventually marched them off to their deaths. 6 million Jews were killed by the time World War II ended; just another appalling example of prejudice and racism.

Everybody has been judgemental in their lifetime; it is very easy to do. There are some people who take it to extremes and flaunt this in front of people they think are unworthy. This is revealed in the movie ‘Freedom Writers’  where a well known school had been recently integrated. The principal of this high school was ashamed of this change and thought poorly of her multicultural students with the exception of her ‘beloved’ white students. There is a scene in which she doesn’t permit the new English teacher of a multicultural class to allow her students to use their books because she is afraid the students will ‘destroy’ them. It is truly shameful to see someone like a principal behaving so badly.

Bullying has occurred in all times and eras. It is a never ending issue. Everyone has probably experienced it -  either as a victim or the person victimising others, in my case I was the victim. I would get teased because I was different to most of the people in my school. It is a horrible. We see many times on the news the consequences of bullying. Please consider the effect of bullying; the blood might be on your hands. 

Some people are treated more unfairly than others, it is human nature. This still isn’t an excuse and hopefully one day everybody will be treated with matching respect. Everybody needs to take into consideration the feelings of others, because at the end of the day, you are hurting the innocent.

A Taste Of Death By Emily Ardeer Campus

I looked at my phone. 2:00 am. I slipped it back in my pocket. I breathed out nervously. I looked around the alley, my eyes darting, looking for some kind of movement. Suddenly I heard footsteps approaching. I backed myself against the wall. Now my breathing was getting faster. The footsteps were getting closer and closer. I quickly slipped around the corner and into the darkness. I waited to see two figures. Women. I breathed out in relief. Hmmm nice legs. I began to walk when I heard a gun cock behind me. I swiftly spun around. I knew this was coming.


I looked at the clock beside my bed. 10:57 pm.

2 minutes.

Nearly time. I gulped. I looked over at Stacey. My girlfriend. She was sleeping so peacefully. I quickly checked my clock again. 10:59 pm.

1 more minute.

I cuddled Stacey. Her hair smelt so sweet. I looked at the clock once more. 11:00 pm.


My shoes pressed against the floor boards. A shiver went down my spine. I walked over to my draw and searched desperately. Knife, gun, bullets, water bottle. I chucked them all in my bag. I walked over to Stacey who was still sleeping, and gave her a kiss on her forehead. Then I walked out into the night.


“You got me.” I said with a smirk.
“Indeed I did. You have what I want, boy?” the man said.
“Yeah of course. It’s in my bag let me get it,” I said as I slipped my hand through. I grabbed the knife instead. Suddenly I jabbed it into his leg. He started to scream and blood spurted everywhere. I smiled then began to run. Then I felt something hit me. I dropped to the ground. Blood covered my chest. I began to breathe rapidly. The man limped towards me.
“Not today kid. No running. No hiding,” he said as he stepped on my fingers. I could hear them crunch underneath his shoes. He began to walk off with my bag. I failed the task. The excruciating pain hit my chest. More blood. I felt cold inside. I began to cough up blood. The thick rusty taste of blood filled my mouth. The alley began to fade. I closed my eyes.
I woke up. I was in a bed. I looked around. I was in a hospital. The pain in my chest started to throb. I licked my lips. The taste of dry blood tingled my taste buds. Suddenly a nurse came in. She smiled.
“Wow, you’re awake James. Lucky. You had a brush with death.” She said smiling warmly.
I smiled back. I was alive for now, but I failed my task, so it won’t be long until I actually meet death.

Unexpected Flashback By Yasmyn Rickard West Campus

I was sitting in my room listening to music when something hit my window. I thought nothing of it at first but when it didn't stop I got up and looked out my window. I saw it was my best friend ever, Grace Heart. Grace was your average teenager. She wore a bit of mascara and eye shadow, was average height and she wasn’t afraid to be herself. Grace was throwing stones at my window to get my attention. I quickly ran down the stairs, two at a time so I could get to the door quicker. As soon as I opened the door Grace tackled me to the ground. When she got off me we burst out laughing.  


See Grace and I had been best friends longer than I can remember. We have been through everything together; break-ups, her mum passing away, my parents splitting up and a lot more. No matter what, we were always there for each other. But that was all until last week. She died from cancer. She didn't want to tell me because she didn't want me to worry about her. I knew something was wrong before she passed away but I didn't think much about it. I thought she was just sick, but I was way off.

All I do now is sit in my room depressed. I was looking through our old photos that we took when we were mucking around and remembering all the tough times we helped each other through. Who was going to do that for me now? No one was able to cheer me up over the past week. All I did was cry. I wouldn’t even come out to eat so I was getting very sick myself.

A few days later I finally came out of my room. I really needed to get out of the house. It was too depressing. I went down to the park a couple of blocks from my house. When I got there, I sat under my and Grace’s tree. When we were younger we had carved our names into the tree. I was going through our photos again and saw one of us two with her twin brother at the beach last month. As soon as I saw that photo I broke down crying.

After a while I felt someone hug me from behind. It was Jason, Grace’s twin. The three of us were really close, so close that over the years I had developed a huge crush on Jason but had learnt to hide it. Only Grace knew that I did. She kept telling me that he liked me also but I never believed her. After a nice silence, Jason turned me around and said: “Before Grace died she told me something very interesting.”

“Wh....” before I could finish speaking he kissed me.

Over the first few weeks of dating I started eating again, and smiling but deep down inside I was still depressed about Grace passing away. I had gotten help from my mum and Jason. Somehow Grace and I were that close we were like twins. It was emotional pain for me and Jason. Jason was doing a little better than me but not by much. Well at least that’s what he was telling me. I still don’t believe him.
About 6 years later we  are still together. We are both 23. We have our share of fights and ups and downs but we are still there for each other. We helped each other accept that Grace was gone and wanted us to be happy and live our lives with her in our hearts. For the first time in a while I thought ‘I love my life.’

“Mummy, mummy!”

 “Yes Luna”

“Who’s this?” she asked shyly pointing to the photo of myself. Grace and Jason at the beach. See Luna is our 4 year old daughter. Her full name is Luna Grace Heart.

“That is your aunty Grace. When we were your age we were best friends and still were until she went to the place in the sky. She is probably watching you right now.”

“Hi aunty Grace” Luna said looking up at the roof. I pulled Luna into a hug and Jason then hugged me.

“I love and miss you Grace. I hope you are happy where you are.”

THE WEATHER By Sarah Britton North Campus

It's springtime in Melbourne. When I look outside I can see the sun shining through the window making everything look so sparkly. I get up from my desk and walk down the steps outside. I can feel the sun warming up my back and the birds are singing. All of the sudden the birds stop singing, I look up and see dark clouds are coming around and a cool, sharp breeze is blowing. I hear thunder then lightning. Two seconds later the lightning hit me and I was never seen again.

* * *

As soon as I get home I turn off the heater, "Who would want the heater on when it's only 2 degrees outside?" I say to myself. I just love the cold weather -  suddenly feeling really warm. I quickly run outside to get some fresh air. When I get outside I can see the sun shining as brightly as ever. "Why can’t the weather just stay cold.." were the last words I said before the sun fried me into a crisp. 

* * *

It's autumn in Melbourne. When I look outside I can see the leaves turning from green to yellow, to brown. "I just love autumn," I say, "because it's never too hot nor too cold." I walk outside and sniff the air, "What a great day tod.." I don't even have a chance to finish my sentence because a tornado is forming. I try to run back inside but, it's too late. I was thrown up into the air and never seen again. 


Burn Bright fan fiction – Joel’s Story By Natasha Brough West Campus

I take a breath and run away from Grave, from all that I’ve ever known. As I reach the spot where a boat is supposed to be, I see it, my chance to escape. With a giant leap of courage, I jump onto the boat which is supposed to take me to my destination, my freedom, Ixion.
My mind is racing at a thousand miles per minute. I think of my little sister, Retra, I feel bad for leaving her, but I have to, I can’t take it anymore. I look up to find a man standing in front of me, a Riper! His skin is white as snow from Grave, his hair, blacker than the night sky as it falls past his shoulders. His eyes study me; it feels like he is looking into my soul. “Welcome aboard to Ixion: Island of ever night, ever youth and never sleep! Burn Bright!” he says smiling and walks away.
I stand up and walk towards a door. I see light and hear laughter as I near it. When I reach the door, there are stairs. I walk up them and end up in a room that seems very warm and bright. I see many other people my age, looking for freedom. I see a girl next me, eyes filled with fright. “Hi, my name is Joel,” I say to her, hoping to bring comfort. She looks at me. “ name is…Rin,” she replies, barely audible.
I smile at her and she looks away. I walk deeper into the room and see food. FOOD! Slowly, I walk towards the table filled with food I can’t even name them. Grave never had these types of food; all the food was bad, bland and disgusting. I take some type of pastry and a piece of cake, walking away to the edge of the room.
I take a bite of the cake and see a girl across the room; she has long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Confident, I walk over to her. “Hi, my name is Joel,” I say proudly. She smiles and examines me. “Well, Joel, you have brown hair and brown eyes; you have a strong build and you are very handsome; if you are looking for a partner in crime, I’m happy to oblige,” she replies.
 I smile and reply, “Well, that would be nice if I knew your name?” 
“Oh, my name is Perrie,” she replies smiling.
We start chatting and getting to know each other better, apparently she is from Grave as well, but from a different part. I was in the middle of asking her if she had any brothers or sisters, when I was interrupted by loud drumming by another Riper. More Ripers descended from stairs. ”Sit down, we are passing the Spiral no. You will be safe from hyper-reaction as long as you are seated,” one says. I lean down and sit as Perrie does the same.
“Once through the Spiral, you’ll leave the barge and pass into the register. There you’ll be fitted with your badge. After that your life – your pleasure – is your own. BURN BRIGHT!” he says as if he has repeated it many times before. “BURN BRIGHT!” the crowd repeats.
A slight hum starts, and then the lights go out. Then rocking comes, gently at first, but then violently, making me slide across the floor. The air gets heavy and thick and the light we see from the rising sun, through the window, goes black.
It got harder to breathe and I felt a heavy weight dropping on me. There are screams, meaning I wasn’t the only one to feel it. It gets harder to think and I start to hear music, not like any other I have heard. I try to drown out the music by covering my ears, but it doesn’t help. Then it stops, the air clears, the music stops, my mind became clearer and the heaviness lifts. “Welcome to Ixion,” one of the Ripers say, clearly amused by our reactions.
Ixion is dark, very dark. I see lights along mountainsides; it looks like lights from clubs or paths. I got separated from Perrie when we left the barge and now I’m walking by myself, looking around, curious. So I don’t notice where I am going, and then I bump into a girl. Her hair is brown, falling just past her shoulders; her eyes, brown just like her hair. She is very tall, almost taller than me and yet she looks much younger than me.
“Oh, I’m very sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going,” I start. 
“Oh no, it is my fault, I’m very scared, but I should not have stop suddenly,” she says. 
“I’m Joel, from Grave,” I introduce myself, smiling. 
She giggles and replies, “I’m Charlonge” 
“Well, Charlonge, would you care to walk with me as we are both by ourselves,” I ask, being polite. 
She giggles again and replies, “Sure.”
We start walking down the long path, together, talking. We reach the register and go in together. After the register we followed the crowd into a kar, which is a form of transport here in Ixion.
The first stop is a platform, where stairs disappear into darkness. “Critical Zone, babies. I dare you,” I hear a female voice say from behind me. A girl from beside me steps forward and onto the platform. 
“She’s so stupid, she won’t be able to go anywhere else and cannot go to any churches to rest,” I hear someone behind me say. The lady steps off the kar and onto the platform as the kar moves to its next destination.
I turn to Charlonge, “The lights are very beautiful,” I say, trying to make conversation.
  “Yeah, they remind me of the neighbour’s house during New Year,” she replies. I smile and look out to watch the lights.
The rest of the ride is spent chatting about what Ixion might be like, our fears and our family. I didn’t tell her about Retra, she might think I am a mean brother, who never loved her, but this is not the case, I love Retra, it killed me to leave, but what’s done is done. 
The kar stopped at another platform. It was very crowded and everyone tried to get off at once. The force of the crowd was so great I was pushed out, without Charlonge. The crowd continues down a long staircase, until they reach an area that is lit by fire jets that are shooting into the sky. It reveals a single stage in the middle of the area.
He spots Charlonge from a distance and makes his way towards her. “Hey, sorry about leaving you,” he says when he reaches her. 
“Oh, hey, that’s ok,” she replies.
They look to the stage and Joel sees six figures standing there. 
“Silence,” one of them says. The crowd quietens down, listening to them.
“I am Lenoir, leader of the Guardians. This may be the only time we will meet, so  listen 
well. What you fail to hear becomes your lot to bear.” He paused, letting it sink in. “I – we…” he motions to the others, standing next to him, “own you now. This is our place.”
The crowd remains silent, fearful. “Fear not. All we want…is for you to find pleasure,” he said. In 
Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are 
absolute. Your endocrine systems have been altered by changes to your hypothalamus. You no
longer need to sleep or see sunlight.”
For some reason, everyone cheered, but the sound scared me. “Still, you will need to rest for a short period every twelve-cycles; how long will vary for each of you. When that time is upon you, the badge you have administered at the Register will glow,” he said. For the first time I looked at my hand and saw black marking printed on it.
I looked back up as he continued. “We call this petite nuit – little night. You body needs this rest and yet your mind will remain conscious. That is the time for you to be in your beds, little ones. If you ignore this, it is at your own risk,” he finished and people cheered.
A woman stepped forward and began talking. “My name is Test, baby bats. Listen well…” this continued, each person standing up in front introducing themselves and saying a little bit about Ixion. I remember Lenoir talking about how there are six churches, five in which we use: Vank, Illi, Agios, Goa and Los Fien, and one which was out of bounds: Danskoi.
Test finally spoke again, “Now only the cleansing ceremony remains before you can begin again. Drink Lava from the dispensing stations then remove your clothes and bring them to the pyres,” She said this while motioning towards a place which I could not see through the crowds.
Everyone started doing this and was leaving. This was it, this was the start of my new life, a new beginning.