Lockdown: The Real Story

South West Sydney


Renewed approach: Centre for Western Sydney is relaunched

"The days of us trying to guess what matters to western Sydney are over; we're now all about listening."

They are the words of incoming director of Western Sydney University's Centre for Western Sydney Dr Andy Marks. Dr Marks was speaking at the relaunch of the innovative research, policy and advocacy hub at the Liverpool Campus on Thursday.

The new Centre for Western Sydney in partnership with community, industry and government, will address the pressing issues of the region including climate change, employment, education and infrastructure.

Centre for Western Sydney relaunch panellists: (L-R) Dr Andy Marks, Director, Centre for Western Sydney; Associate Professor Shanthi Robertson, Institute for Culture and Society; Melanie Withnall, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Dr Sarah Hill, Western Parkland City Authority.

Youth Unemployment

The social impacts of Covid-19 have been felt by all Australians. Increased isolation due to social distancing restrictions has had negative impacts on people’s ability to maintain relationships, positive mental health and their personal wellbeing. Despite economic stresses also being widespread across the nation, the level of disadvantage is not equally experienced.

Lesson that COVID-19 taught me

Our jobs are important but not everything.

I enjoy being busy, I really struggle when I have nothing to do, over the last  8 years I have studied two degrees while juggling 2-3 casual jobs. My inability to relax means I am constantly on the move (or could this be due to the crushing anxiety of capitalism – who knows?). 

Connectedness in COVID-19

We are living through one of the weirdest times in history. If you wanted to, you could interact with strangers from around the world just as easily your next-door neighbours. Thank you, digital technology. No thank you, social distancing. The year 2020 will be remembered as a year of transformation; facing droughts, bushfires, floods and COVID-19.

In some way, these events have touched the lives of every Sydneysider. When social distancing was introduced, we were expected to adapt to a new way of life virtually overnight. This change was abrupt, inequitable and challenging, especially for those who experienced pre-pandemic marginalisation. 

World War Covid

Waking up to the sound of sirens in the background,
Anonymous faces, pairs of eyes walking around,
Sanity and freedom lost and may never be found,

Forests are on fire, cities are drowning,
People are stocking, the doors are locking,
The virus is spreading, is the world ending?

What We'd Forgotten

The lucky irony of our being locked down, locked in, is that we have re-discovered our open spaces.International borders are not open, and they won’t be open for quite a while. The Delta surge - with all its rapid transmissibility- and our low vaccination rates, may just see us slipping in and out of lockdown for the foreseeable future.