Matiu Bush, Assistant Director of the Health Transformation Lab at RMIT, and a member of Flemington Kensington Rotary are exploring a project on resilience. Only a few months ago, we could not have imagined COVID; a virus that has changed the way we live, work and connect. It is a time where our personal and community resilience is being tested; here the choices we make can save lives. While it’s a time of great concern and sadness, as a community we have united in our care for one another. We have surprised governments and ourselves by what we have been able to achieve. Letter to my pre-COVID self is about capturing and sharing what this experience has been like for individuals personally. It is also a chance to reflect on the ways you have grown and adapted in these changing times.

The questions were developed in conjunction with a psychologist with expertise in positive psychology.
Three questions were developed to elicit positive reflections from community members.

#Letter to My Pre-COVID self aims to:

∞ Give people the opportunity to reframe what might otherwise be a negative perspective, into a story of personal growth and resilience.
∞ Create a repository of how people have grown, changed and adapted during the COVID experience.
∞ Gain a better understanding of the experiences of resilience and growth through COVID, which may also help to inform future research and work.
∞ Curate #isoportraitsand #lettertoprecovidself to form an exhibition after social distancing is over.

While Matiu is using photographs of people at their homes with their reflections, which will form a photo exhibition later on this year, Flemington Kensington Rotary is developing a Story Tree based on Matiu's sentence starters. Working with elderly, isolated and multicultural residents as well as children from the local childcare centre, they will create a Story Tree which will be displayed at a central location and form a focus for their Arts Festival in 2021. Photocopied leaf shapes will be distributed with coloured pencils and texta' s to encourage contributions.

1. Over the past few months I’ve missed not being able to……
2. A good thing I discovered about myself during COVID pandemic is……
3. If I was to give advice to my pre-COVID self, I would tell them…..

What would your responses be to these questions?

For more information or to be a part of this project in your community, contact:Anne McMahon at Flemington Kensington Rotary on Matiu Bush at

Or contribute your own responses at:

Lesley McCarthy
Rotary Club of Flemington Kensington