An Ode to the Talking Stage

Words by: Chanttel Forbes 

Now how many times have you been telling your friend about a new guy, and it goes something like this? 

Example A: omg he’s so amazing he says good morning to me

Example B: omg he checks up on me throughout the day

To which she replies: I can literally do that for you, that is the bare minimum.

That was the wake-up call I needed to realise I was accepting far too little, forcing me to take a deep dive into why that is and just how influential seeing positive relationships around you can be. 

An Ode to the Talking Stage

Humans of My Life

Photo essay by: Lauren Gallina

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible women. When I need to turn to someone in my life for much-needed advice, a warm embrace, a hearty giggle, a night of drinking and dancing, or an emotional cry, I turn to one of these confidants. 

Humans of My Life

The Fear and Freedom of Leaving Home

Words by: Angel Tully
Art by: Brooke Stevens

Flashback to February 2021: I have just finished the best summer of my life. Year 12 is over, lockdown is over, all my friends have just turned 18 — we are thriving. After riding this high, and discovering all the joys of being independent and venturing into adult life, I knew I wanted a change; a big one at that! I could have gotten a funky new haircut, or maybe reinvented my wardrobe, but no, I decided at the ripe age of 18 that I wanted to move out, all on my own. 

The Fear and Freedom of Leaving Home

The Real Face of Self-Care

Words by: Elodie Ricaud
Art by: Naiyanat Sauratanahai

Post-lockdown, everyone is still fixated on the importance of mastering the art of self-care. And rightly so. While in certain contexts, this word has been rendered a cliché with its focus on beauty and wellness consumption, its introduction also serves a deeper purpose. It reminds us to invest in ourselves and prioritise our needs in this fast-paced, chaotic and unpredictable life. 

The Real Face of Self-Care

Currents and Their Callings

Words and art by: Madeleine Galea

I used to think I was my interests, 

favourite things, 

books, quotes, colours, foods,

the idiosyncrasies that others could see, 

the things that had come naturally, 

the things I had done,

now, I’m not sure.


I feel like a grain of sand

washing around in the ocean,

trying to gain traction,

to form an island all of my own,

Instead, I’m blown from coast to coast. 

never quite mine, 

roving right into rivers of righteous irritation,

trying to find myself among cohorts of  lost souls,

trying to build my home in a hurricane. 

Instead of me are the fragments of what people have left behind,

those I admired,  

people I have loved, 

the way I cook my eggs and order my coffee,

my own reflection, 

and maybe it’s not such a curse,

to find yourself lost

Party of One

Words by: Kiera Eardley
Art by: Natalie Tran

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” 

Michel de Montaigne might have written these words in the 16th century, but it’s still a sentiment that would resonate with introverts everywhere. In a world that places a lot of importance on life-long partners, and at an age when popular culture is screaming from all angles that you should have a huge, boisterous friendship group that does everything together and goes out every night, it’s an easy one to forget. Society is built for extroversion in many ways, and there’s a lot of good that comes from that — but at the end of the day, all you really have is yourself. And that deserves to be celebrated. 

Party of One

Mum Wang’s Private Kitchen

Words by: Kate Zhang

When I walked into the Chinese restaurant opposite Coles in Caulfield Plaza, its owner June Wang greeted me with enthusiasm and asked me what I would like to order.

“Which one do your customers like the most?” I asked Mum Wang, flipping through the menu.

“It’s a difficult question,” she replied. “Everything on my menu is created by my customers. They said to me: ‘I want to have eggplant pot.’ And then I tried to cook some for them to taste. They told me: ‘Oh, it’s delicious!’ Then I add it to the menu. Every dish was created in this way. So, my menu is filled with what my customers like.”

Mum Wang’s Private Kitchen

I Don’t Want Kids

Words by: Tess Kent
Art by: Jessica La

TW: Infertility

As if it were the most casual of conversations, my gynaecologist handed me my prescription and let slip, “when you start thinking about wanting kids, come see me 12 months earlier to begin fertility treatments”. 

I’d just come in for a check-up as my period erred on the side of few and far between. Instead, I found out that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and potentially endometriosis, and had just been slapped with the fact that I don’t ovulate properly. Suddenly, I was very aware that having children would need to be an incredibly conscious decision for me. I would have to try very hard to conceive, and even then, it would most likely be a rigorous process of testing and heartbreak. 

I Don’t Want Kids