Author: Jen Vuk

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The joys and terrors of a mum left home alone

    • Jen Vuk
    • 10 October 2017
    2 Comments

    On the day of their departure I covered their faces with kisses. A dark cloud seemed to settle. For the last ten years I'd been a mother. What was I without them? My first impulse was to get busy filling my social calendar. But something stopped me. Somehow I knew I was just trying to stave off the inevitable: having to spend time with myself.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When parents play favourites

    • Jen Vuk
    • 22 April 2016
    5 Comments

    As a parent you learn to shore yourself against those uncomfortable questions from your offspring, but not all uncomfortable questions are created equally, and right up there with 'Mummy, where did I come from?' is the question: 'Am I your favourite?' Last week, US research published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that 70 per cent of mothers admitted to favouring one child over another. Whatever my usual protestations, do I do this too? Unfortunately, sometimes, I think I do.

    READ MORE
  • MEDIA

    The Kanye West konundrum

    • Jen Vuk
    • 26 February 2016
    4 Comments

    It seems not a week goes by that Kanye West isn't in the news. Over the past few weeks alone, West has among other things disparaged Taylor Swift, announced that 'white publications' had no right to write about black music, and tweeted in support of alleged serial rapist Bill Cosby. Depending on your perspective, West is either the gift that just keeps giving or the twit who just keeps tweeting. How has someone like him managed to flourish in a time in which online shaming has become the norm?

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Working mum contemplates balance amid chaos

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 November 2015
    1 Comment

    The tweet I sent that afternoon pretty much summed things up: 'Running late for work-life balance seminar. Why? Life, of course.' The irony was not lost on me. While officially I work part-time, I also freelance as a writer, volunteer regularly at my kids' primary school, have increasingly frail elderly parents who I feel terribly responsible for, and try to keep fit and maintain some semblance of a social life. On the day of the seminar on work-life balance, I'd managed to fill my schedule to breaking point.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Brown ban helps parents talk about domestic violence

    • Jen Vuk
    • 02 October 2015
    6 Comments

    Fairfax columnist Clem Bastow has raised concerns about the campaign to ban US rapper and convicted woman basher Chris Brown from touring here: 'The use of immigration law to "send a message" is something any feminist should be profoundly uncomfortable with,' she wrote. Well, as a feminist and a mother of two young boys, I welcome the ban. I've come to realise that in the dialogue I have with my sons about violence against women, rhetoric, posturing, and even hypocrisy have their uses.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    What might have been for the toddler in the suitcase

    • Jen Vuk
    • 07 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Behind scrub on a nondescript South Australian highway lay a battered suitcase. It had been abandoned and largely forgotten, yet its presence was incongruous in this vast, unforgiving landscape. Last month, one passer-by was so disturbed by what he found after peering inside that he contacted police. Just off the Karoonda Highway in Wynarka, in South Australia's Murray Mallee region, a terrible secret had lain in wait.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Do working mums raise better boys?

    • Jen Vuk
    • 12 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Not only are we working mothers providing a leg up for our daughters, helping shape a new, improved, domestic male, and paving the way for stronger, adaptable, more spiritually-attuned human beings, but perhaps we're also part of a new thinking that's redefining and reassessing what success will look like in the future. Having a mother who not only goes to work, but works from home, I hope my sons grow into men who will have insightful and supportive relationships with the women in their lives.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    The ignorant courage of the anti-vaxxers

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 April 2015
    22 Comments

    When my friend Lena told me she wouldn’t be vaccinating her newborn son Sammy, I admit I was fascinated but not surprised. Lena was always going to do motherhood her way. There are many like her who decided with a clear vision and level-head. But I can no longer accept these decisions. Since having my own precious boys, my world view has shifted and I am less ignorant.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God's bikie trashes New Age feelgoodism

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 March 2015
    5 Comments

    A new book by counter-cultural warrior and Christian God Squad motorbike club founder Rev John Smith says that feeling good about yourself may not actually be that good for you in the long run. It's not that he wants you to be depressed, but rather let your discomfort prompt self-reflection.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Helen Garner's 'Best Essays' triumph

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 February 2015

    The Best Australian Essays 2014 finely illustrates the unnervingly unclear line between essay and short story, but no-one plays with form quite like the indomitable Helen Garner. She offers such a brooding, aching ode to her mother. Proof again that good writing is an inexorable, spiritual exercise that seers itself into the reader's memory. How does she do it?

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Paul Collins illuminates sectarian divide in Australian history

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 19 December 2014
    4 Comments

    The chasm between Catholics and Protestants is thankfully unknown to my children. Paul Collins' new book A Very Contrary Irishman - The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O'Flynn is a labour of love that presents a very driven man of the colonial era whose actions - and attributed actions - changed lives and helped shape our culture.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Richard Flanagan sorts suffering from virtue

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 21 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Winning the prestigious Man Booker prize has given Richard Flanagan's 2013 novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North precious new shelf life. I've long considered Flanagan an alchemist - giving everyday words an unmistakable verve and turning a phrase until it takes flight. But he's also a proud Tasmanian storyteller who now has the world's ear. 

    READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review