By Taylor Navarro

    We are living in a technological age of unforeseen modernism built upon a past that would have never comprehended the lives we are living now. 

    Lives illuminated by blue light, accelerated mail— we call that messaging— and disconnect. 

    Yes, arguably you could say that COVID has forced us to connect and we became overly dependent on social media, obsessing over each other’s lives, posting, making new friends and losing others, engaging with the world through our phones while influencers, warring for popularity, rose to it, and lost it. Some of us lost loved ones, and those that survived we learned to love more.

    We are living in a future none of us expected and none of us can escape. We are living a future that is fast-paced and forgetful of the past. 

    It has been nearly 100 years since the last World War. Since the holocaust that killed more than six million Jews and five million others. Since Australia became a multicultural refuge. 

    A classmate of mine— Sabrina Chard, an aspiring filmmaker in Footscray – caught my attention when she was brought close to tears expressing how utterly sad it is that our brilliant future is the same thing consuming our past. I knew I just had to talk to her about it. 

    She told me that one day, she wants to capture these stories. Stories of veterans and refugees and holocaust survivors. I asked her why. She said ‘these stories are what I think make us human’. 

    ‘I know there’s introverts and extroverts, but we love communicating. We love talking, we love learning. That’s how we’re built. We’re built to learn, hear, then go out and create, and by hearing these stories, it gives you a deeper connection to the things you’re trying to learn, the people you’re trying to connect with.

    ‘I think everyone’s had an experience where they’ve sat down with a close friend or someone they’ve met and they feel so connected. Because they’re able to have a deep conversation about something they’ve both experienced or one of them’s experienced. And you won’t be able to feel that without the connection of another human.’

    ‘These stories .. they’re showing how humans want to survive, they want to push through … We’re very determined as a people, and I feel like learning about these stories, hearing them, shows that longing for preservation.’

    Sabrina is preparing for her Year 12 media film next year and has already contacted several organisations to get a head-start on what she wants to do most, portray humanity. We can only wish her good luck as she strives to achieve her dreams of preserving the stories of those around us. Our grandparents, family friends and the people we sometimes never look twice at. 

    In this fast-paced world she’s urging us to slow down. To connect. To remember what it is that represents being alive. 

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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