Original music from Australian Composer, Rosie Williams

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Those Who Can

I look at the role of gender and class in the events that shaped my early life.

Pedagogy 30th Dec 2021

Since I started back in music just over a year ago I have been avoiding the story of how I came to stop doing music as a teenager. Now I finally fill in those blanks.

People who follow my political Twitter account may have seen me agonising over whether to write an autobiography. I did seriously consider devoting time in 2022 to such a project but ultimately changed my mind and that Twitter thread helped make that decision.

I felt so anxious after I had posted and realised that if I published my story in its entirety that anxiety of how people might respond to me from that point forward would never abate. That story would always be there for people to discover and react to. I would never be free of my past.

The reason I hit on the idea of an autobiography in the first place is that I wanted to explain not only what happend to me but the cost of that over my entire life- the costs I am still paying as you sit and read this today.

I didn't see how I could do that without explaining the consequences that economic disenfranchisement had on me as a child or a single parent- and that story takes some telling!

But the Twitter thread and the constant anxiety I was feeling over one risk or another, made me reconsider. I realised that I am actually in a good place (emotionally if not financially), now I am able to express my musical skills again. I wondered if focusing on the past would only drag me backwards?

I ultimately decided to leave the past where it belongs. But I did decide to tell one story, to fill in the blanks in my history with music and how it led to me into advocacy for the most vulnerable among us.

Education does not exist in a bubble, it either presents or denies people opportunity. People don't just lose a competition or place in a course, they lose the safety, status and respect that a profession affords.

I lived my life as a child always on the brink of falling through the cracks. The last thing I needed was to be faced with a teacher determined to break my belief in the one skill that gave me the self resepct to find my place in the world.

Yesterday I finally sat down to write about my childhood expecting to write a blog post. Three hours later I had written 5000 words and have barely changed any of it. It was both the hardest and easiest thing I have ever written. Due to the number of words I have formatted it into an e-book, not because I see it as the book I wanted to write, but simply for easier handling for anyone who might read it.

So much of what I've written in the past few years has been intended to spark debate, to be shared widely, to be used to score political points yet this is not. This is just my story and I've written it with only the intention of filling in the blanks for people who are curious about who I am.

For those prepared to find out, hit the link below and read on!

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