We are thrilled to give you a glimpse into Letters of Love, a collection of words from the heart penned by prominent Australians. This excerpt is a letter written by Emily Bitto, award-winning Australian novelist who won the Stella Prize in 2015 for her breathtaking debut The Strays. She pens a wonderful and playful letter to all of the things she has left behind, including dreams of becoming a stunt waterskier, her first love, and her ‘crippling shyness’.
Letters of Love is a not-to-be-missed collection of inspiring words from the heart penned by prominent Australians.
Letter writing certainly feels like a bygone tradition, but in the spirit of Letters of Note, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation brings us a wonderful collection of letters that revolve around different experiences of love. There is something very special about writing letters to the people you love. Not only are they contemplative, heartfelt documents, but they are also incredibly personal and honest. Here we are given exclusive access into the personal lives of big personalities, as they courageously express sentiments of love, in whatever form it appears to them. It is the first time many of these significant Australians publicly open up about their feelings of love, and with contributions by Australians such as Jimmy Barnes, Greens politician Bob Brown, award-winning author Emily Bitto, and cartoonist First Dog on the Moon – there’s a letter for everyone inside this book.
The letters demonstrate how love can take shape in many ways. There are letters to grandparents, children, younger selves, to music, to a life that never was, to things left behind, partners, friends, future children, and so forth. Over 50 significant Australians have contributed to this collection, and all of them have something special to say.
First Dog on the Moon writes (and illustrates) a hilarious letter called ‘This is my love letter’, where he tries to write everything he loves about Australia only to lament that ‘there isn’t space here to list everything as Australia takes up a lot of space.’
There are so many more stories inside: from the wish to time-travel, to future children, a love letter to books, music, to reminding your 80 year old self to stay flexible, and all of them, in their own way, convey the spirit and wonder of being alive.
These are just some of the wonderful treats awaiting in Letters of Love. The book was compiled by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation with the hope of spreading love into the Australian community. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation was established in 1997 after the horrific Port Arthur Massacre in Tasmania. Since then, it has grown into a leading not-for-profit organisation that protects children from violence and bullying. Its founder Walter Mikac started the Foundation after the tragic death of his two young daughters, Alannah and Madeline, his wife Nanette, and 32 others during the massacre on 28 April 1996. Interesting fact: Walter was a primary figure advocating stricter gun laws in Australia, and it was his success lobbying for national gun law reform that brought about change under Prime Minister Howard.
The idea behind Letters of Love was inspired by letters written by Alannah, whose memory lives in through the joy and hope she expressed from such a young age. The ultimate message is that love triumphs over everything else. It’s a message Walter took to heart while overcoming his grief, by vowing to turn the catastrophe into a springboard for seeking the good in the world, not the bad. Letters of Love is a celebration of 20 years of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
All profits from Letters of Love support the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.
About the foundation
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is a leading national not-for-profit organisation protecting children from violence and bullying.
Since 1997, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has assisted two million children and their families.
The Foundation’s promise is to build a world which is safe for children.