Welcome all to the first instalment of the long-awaited Y Factor blog! (Well, we’d like to think it’s been long awaited.)

Image by publik16

Image by publik16

What will follow (inshaAllah) is a series of serious, silly, wacky, informative and thought-provoking articles written by a variety of people on a variety of topics. If there’s anything you’d like to see covered please hit us up; even better, send us a pitch if you’re interested in writing something for our blog.

This has certainly been an eventful week. As much as I’d love to, I can’t avoid mentioning the release of Schapelle Corby after nine years of incarceration in a Balinese prison for the alleged importation of cannabis. Frankly, I’m finding the media circus around her release irritating to say the least. This isn’t the long-awaited return of some wronged hero; Corby is a convicted criminal.

Corby continually argued over the years that the drugs in the bag weren’t hers, but this argument didn’t stick. If it does emerge someday that Corby was wrongly convicted then I’ll feel sorry for her then. In the meantime, please spare me the schlocky faux-news pieces on her first ‘proper’ post-prison meal and the interviews with her parents’ neighbours’ uncle’s dog.

On a related note, Simon Gittany was sentenced this week to up to 26 years in prison for the alleged murder of his partner, Lisa Harnum. It felt like the whole of Australia tagged along for this did-he-or-didn’t-he tale, so this was a rather satisfying end for many. (The fact that the courtroom erupted in cheers when the judgment was handed down only confirms this.)

For me, the most fascinating part of the story was the part played by Gittany’s current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise. At every point in this tale of love gone sour, the heavily made-up, outspoken Rachelle Louise seemed to be by Gittany’s side as if to suggest that any man with a girlfriend this loyal couldn’t possibly have murdered anyone. It didn’t work, as the guilty verdict and sentence clearly demonstrate. But despite vowing to stand by her man ‘until justice is served’ Rachelle Louise is sitting pretty for now, having pocketed a cool $150,000 for a two-part interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night. Please excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth.

The final story to capture my attention this week was the tragic rape of a 14-year-old girl in the Western Sydney suburb of Doonside. Community leaders have warned of escalating racial tensions in the area, given the Pacific Islander background of the victim and the ‘African’ background of her attackers. The victim’s sister has called for calm, and Father Chris Riley of Youth Off the Streets is planning to send outreach workers to the area in the coming weeks in an attempt to quell tensions.

When I read about this I couldn’t help but recall the Skaf rape case of over a decade ago and the way in which the attacks were racialised both by the attackers and mainstream media. The Skaf case has cast long shadows; just last week it was making headlines again with the impending release of “Offender H” after a lengthy prison sentence. It’s important to note that tension between different migrant groups tends to be cast in a rather different light to those between ‘white’ Australians and others for reasons too complex for me to do justice to right now. Suffice to say I’ll be watching this space.

That’s it for now so please feel free to share your thoughts (i.e. we’d really love it if you did) on any of the above stories or whatever is bothering/inspiring/boring you right now.

Over and out!


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