Elaine Forrestal

After the Long Dark Night of covid-19

After months of lockdown-type restrictions, the presentation of prizes, last Friday evening, to winners of the 2020 West Australian  Premier’s  Awards, was a rare chance for the writing and Illustrating community to finally come together, face to face, and celebrate with friends, colleagues and supporters. The State Library hummed with voices and lit up with smiles. The atmosphere was electric as old friends renewed contact and new acquaintances made real connections that may very well last a lifetime. Something we haven’t been able to do for so long and have missed so much.

Even with all the social distancing rules in place – chairs 1.5 metres apart, reduced overall numbers, hand sanitisers strategical placed, no one could have missed the welcome sense of relief and the almost palpable reinforcement of just what it means to be human. It is no accident that solitary confinement is the most horrendous punishment that can be inflicted on prisoners in times of war or peace. Just as ‘the rain rains on the just and the unjust alike’, covid-19 isolates the healthy as well as the sick, indiscriminately. But on Friday night, at the Premier’s Awards function, the overwhelming emotions in the room were joy and hope.

Thank you to the organisers of the WA Premier’s Awards for giving us a glimpse of daylight after such a long dark night of uncertainty.

Lesley Reece, Director of The Literature Centre and Henry Boston linking Arts and Business