I almost gave in and didn’t publish my memoir.
It was all too hard, the thought of self publishing, promoting, selling and advertising was all too much. I almost gave in. I didn’t though. I pushed on and I succeeded.
At this moment I feel elated. I am on a roll, I won’t stop, I can’t stop.
In fact my friend Bill my who is a New Yorker (I am sure he thinks I am a little funny going on and on about my fascination for all things New York, New York… including the Hearst Tower where the Oprah Magazine is located) and now lives in Ubud made me laugh recently when he said,
“You’re on a roll, you might as well add a bagel”
The best part of becoming a published author and blogger is the fascinating new friends I have made.
I feel as though I have found my place, how perfect that I ended up in Ubud, a Balinese vortex, where misfits seem to congregate.
My friends know what I mean, I use the word misfits as a compliment.
Artistic souls with a craving, an aura of magic, their minds are in a dream state of creativity.
This world of eccentricity suits me. I have found my place in the world.
I self published my memoir last year in my other home Melbourne, Australia.
Publishing Scarlett Voices In The Shadows was a big project to tackle.
I not only set up Valda Press in memory of my Mum, I also needed to find somewhere to live.
I stayed in 7 different locations during my two months in Melbourne, which included house sitting and looking after an old beagle named Buster.
The exciting day finally arrived, I hired a car to collect my precious books from the printer, it was like a dream, I had actually done it. The next step was distribution.
At one point I was walking along Lygon Street in Melbourne with a huge box of books when I fell over.
I wanted to cry.
I was thinking, what that hell am I doing here? It was then, that I heard Donna Summer’s 1983 disco song go off in my head,
“She works hard for the money, so hard for the money”.
I laughed out loud, the homeless guy on the pavement looked at me with an astonishing gaze.
I am sure he was thinking a Community Service worker would be arriving soon to take me away.
I must admit at that point I was thinking the same, had I finally tipped over the edge into a hysterical delusion, what the hell was I doing anyway?
It was only a few years previous that I was in Melbourne campaigning with the ASU, Australian Services Union, Victorian and Tasmania Authorities and Services Branch on the steps of Parliament House, dancing with a group of Union Comrades to that same tune.
We were protesting for equal pay for women, it was so much fun sneaking into Parliament House and doing a flash dance.
We were quickly ushered outside and continued our dance on the steps of the magnificent Melbourne Parliament House.
I still remember the Police Officers trying not to laugh, I wonder if we tried that now what would happen?
What a bizarre life I have led.
I started this blog with the intention of having a rant.
I wanted to set the record straight after being challenged over a Facebook post. I was challenged about the intention of my post when I reposted a thread congratulating the ASU at a National Conference for being the first in the world to instigate the groundbreaking Family Violence Clause.
The intention of my post was to highlight the success and how far it has come.
It was also my intention to shed a light on the facts. To set the record straight about my involvement, namely it was me who was the first person to pick it up.
The true news about how the phenomena started.
In retrospect Facebook certainly isn’t the forum to have my voice heard.
I was astounded when a friend said that she believed I was shaming the ASU, this kind of confrontation shocked me and ultimately led me to writing this blog.
I don’t need to justify myself. I will do so though because I have nothing to hide.
This is not fake news. This is the truth. I would love someone to check my facts, like an old fashioned Journalist investigating an interesting story.
How exciting would that be? … okay, okay back to the point.
I am grateful for the training and awards I received from the ASU.
I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to speak at Union events about the benefits of the Family Violence Clause I instigated at the Surf Coast Shire in 2010.
I am grateful and proud that I launched my memoir at the ASU State Delegates Conference in October, 2016 in Melbourne to a crowd of over 300 delegates. I have written the truth in my memoir.
Now is the right time for the Australian National Press to acknowledge that it was me who instigated the world changing initiative.
It was me who made the call.
I changed the wording to the Surf Coast Shire in the original document that was written by Ludo McFerran from the University of New South Wales.
It was my idea with the backing of ASU Official Barry Miller to convince my fellow unpaid workplace delegates that we should push hard to have the Family Violence Clause included into our workplace agreement at the Surf Coast Shire.
Let me tell you now, it wasn’t an easy task. However, I was on a mission, I felt as though I would achieve Justice if I succeeded after being assaulted; it became my obsession.
If you listen to my speech at the ASU conference, you will understand the passion behind my conviction in succeeding to get it over the line.
I was thrilled when the Surf Coast Times interviewed me in March this year after meeting with Rosie Batty at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne.
I was also delighted to be mentioned in the Mayors Column in the Surf Coast Times on 6 April, 2017 and being called a Trailblazer.
Strangely enough that same day Keith Baillie, CEO of the Surf Coast Shire mentioned me on the front page of the Newspaper as a woman (but didn’t name me) who wasn’t treated very well at the time, however I brought the Family Violence Clause to the attention of Council and the rest is history.
Just last week I was featured in a comprehensive and accurate article as a “Person” by the respected National newspaper the Jakarta Post. The article was titled;
Sharon Karyasa, Trailblazer. Sharon Karyasa’s Memoir is one of empowerment and it’s the entire package that will give women hope.
I was excited when freelance Journalist Bill Dalton told me he was hoping the Jakarta Post would accept his submission.
He further explained that he was impressed with my writing and the content of my blog, particularly my work on the Family Violence Clause and an article I had written titled, Shy Girls End Last.
In my Facebook post I suggested that it would be the appropriate time for the Australian National Press to acknowledge my work before I am known in the USA.
I have already met with advisors of Mayor Eric Garcetti from LA City Hall in Los Angeles, California to discuss the phenomenal success of the movement over the last seven years.
My point is that I don’t want to become just another Aussie, who get’s overlooked due to the tall poppy syndrome.
A Journalist by the name of Jenna Price from The Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about be on the 27 October, 2014 titled
ACTU breaks ground on domestic violence with Fair Work Commission claim.
Jenna called me the unnamed woman who changed the lives of 2 million workers.
Although I was thrilled with the recognition many of the details of the article where incorrect.
I didn’t leave Australia to escape the attention, in fact both the ASU and my workplace insisted I shouldn’t speak to the press.
They warned that if I spoke to the press I could loose my job at the Surf Coast Shire, due to a confidentiality agreement whilst I was working for Council.
This is the only photograph taken of me in 2010 with staff from the Surf Coast Shire (Sharon Rowlands was my Maiden name, I use to be blonde). My name was not mentioned in the article written by the Surf Coast Times. I am holding a life time membership award which was presented to me by the ASU.
I emailed Jenna in March this year after I met with Rosie Batty to ask her to interview me so I could set the record straight, Jenna did reply that she would get back to me, but didn’t.
Politics doesn’t interest me much these days, I prefer to think of myself as a Humanist. I am bored with the same old, same old rhetoric that goes back and forth.
I would much prefer to imagine a world without Politics, without borders and without rhetoric.
Maybe it’s my creative mind going into overdrive, or living in an idyllic Village Compound where everyone gets on with it.
I’ll sign off for now, I wonder what will happen next?
Have a great week,
Sharon Karyasa © 2017
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