Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters?

What Matters?

James de Kock

Year 9, Shore

Cancer. An overwhelming and consuming dark shade of coldness that engulfs everyone who dares challenge it. The flush of dread and paleness through your face whilst liquids race through your veins. The piercing needles and the ever-restricting casts. The plastic tubes and the insidious chemo. The extraction of childhood innocence and placement of pain. The sharp and dull, the aching and stinging, that seems never ending. A sea of confusion, dizziness, tiredness flowing in and out and the worst case of sickness enveloping you, fueled by an infestation of a condensed ball of hell.  Then the hands, the holy hands that lift you out of the hole. The visits from closest friends. The perseverance of a hugging family. The everlasting stream of doctors and nurses dedicated to make you laugh. The physios that encourage perseverance. Propped up. Encouraged. Stabilized. Supported.

Support. The bottom of the iceberg. The unseen force we don't recognize. The most necessary element for success, a good sense of community and personal development. The unseen force that holds us up to the highest of highs and lets us recover from the lowest of lows. Simple gestures, a few words that form relationships and communities all through encouragement and assistance to persevere and to be the best version that you can be.

The stereotypical thank you speech that says;

I'd like to thank my parents and friends who supported me throughout this journey. I wouldn't be here without them,

It acknowledges the support, acknowledges the backing and acknowledges the importance of those words, those small actions.

Yet support is simply-complicated. It is challenging for us to provide the bottom of the iceberg, to solve all the world's problems, recover from times of hardship and thrive, even though it is such a simple concept. To lift others up, encourage them and provide that force that keeps them going. The act of love, community, relationship and having your back covered.

Support is like water and sun to a blossoming flower, needed to flourish. Ted Noff is the water to many young Australians providing the ever-needed life skills, homes and friend groups. Using all his power to construct framing for their lives, to make sure they have a plan B, a fallback option. Making sure that those that are disadvantaged become advantaged.

Individuals worldwide construct this framework, millions, a working force, an underestimated dwarf army, flying around their caverns, buildings homes and creating a fortress. A protective place that supports the mountain above, the wilderness around and allows those above ground to flourish. In fact these supports have been welded with the strongest iron, with the contribution of team work and the $286.65 billion that have been donated historically by individuals. The army of working men and women to support the fragile and the disadvantaged all operate with support. These metal beams aren't anything special, just a few positive words, a smile, but yet this builds the strong fortress of a community that we thrive in today.

Support is taking the hit for others, being injured when others are injured, not isolating those facing trauma, being that strong community.

Support is what matters, it matters to those facing challenges, facing cancer, facing life.