No More Lives Lost campaign photo. Credit: Becky Bligh Photography
LAST January was a dark month for the southeast Queensland city of Logan, as neighbourhood feuds sparked violent outbreaks only weeks after the tragic death of young local Jackson Doolan.
Kaylah Tyson, 25, who lived in the Logan West suburb of Browns Plains for almost 20 years, watched the evening news in horror and sadness as images of familiar faces filled the screen.
“I thought, by the time I wake up tomorrow I’m going to hear that someone I know is dead, or they’re in jail, or they’re hurt,” Tyson said.
“It was in that moment I realised that we’ve become so accustomed to all of this [violence]. It had just become normal to us.”
In the past 12 years, Tyson said she had been to almost 40 funerals, most as a result of “suicides, killings and preventable health issues”.
According to a report by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, Logan City had the third highest number and rate of suicides in Queensland cities between 2004 – 2007, at 25.6 per 100,000.
It was frustration at such statistics that Tyson said was the inspiration for No More Lives Lost, a campaign to foster awareness and promote positivity amongst Logan’s youth.
“When a lot of the media coverage was happening at the start of this year, a lot of us felt like it was wrongly labeling everybody from Logan to be like that, when we all know that’s not true,” Tyson said.
“I wanted to show to the wider community that we do have some really great positive people who may not necessarily be famous, but we’re all pushing for something, or chasing a dream.”
The first event to come from the campaign was A Logan State of Mind, an exhibition which wrapped up at the State Library of Queensland on June 2.
The event featured musical performances, photography, film, art, sculpture and community discussion, all facilitated by local Logan people.
“This was just the first project where we’re creating a platform for everyday young people who may not necessarily believe that they’re artists, but we’ve seen some of their work and it’s actually really good,” Tyson said.
The exhibition came just a week after the brutal murder of 27-year-old Logan Central resident Joan Ryther, who was attacked on her walk to work on the night of May 21.
Tyson said her campaign was an important way to for people to discover local positive role models and hear the many success stories that come from her hometown.
“We want to pass onto the kids that are younger than us, that yes we all grew up with fighting and whatever else went on, but you don’t have to keep following that path,” Tyson said.
“You can dream up whatever you want to do.”
More information about No More Lives Lost can be found here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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