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Brisbane-based poet spreading message of hope

With strict lockdowns and increasing periods of social isolation, some fear the long-term impacts of COVID-19 could be more deadly than the virus itself. Despite this, 2019 Australasian mediator of the year, Tom Stodulka, says, ‘Life has always had its challenges and heartache. It is, how we face these challenges which can make a huge difference.’

With more than 40 years’ experience in the legal and mediation professions, from both military and civilian backgrounds, Tom has had a long life working with people who are often at low points in their lives. And, after growing up in a refugee family in the 50s, Tom is no stranger to some of life’s hardships.

‘Sometimes it is easy to forget that as a nation, we’ve survived wars, conflicts, depressions, and economic uncertainty all before COVID-19,’ Tom said. ‘Through determination, compassion, and support for each other, we’ve survived any adversity thrown at us.’

Tom went on to say that whilst we are living in unprecedented times, ‘We should remember that life is about enjoying what we can in every single moment. Enjoy the world around you, because happiness is found in every single one of those moments, especially when you’re being active and creative.’

After selling out of all copies of his debut poetry compilation, Storm Clouds and Silver Linings: My Journey, Tom aims to spread the message of hope amidst COVID-19 with his second book, Life is a Dance. Reminding all Australians, that how we face life’s challenges is all about staying positive, and enjoying every moment.

Of Tom’s new book, a Brisbane school principal wrote: ‘In this challenging year, your poetry is a gentle reminder to pause, reflect and appreciate the special moments in life’. With the sales of his new book, Tom has chosen two charities engaged in supporting homeless and disadvantaged people nationally and internationally. This is in addition to his previous support for fire and flood relief during 2018 and 2019.

‘Life is a Dance’
Life is an act, now that is a fact.
And we mere mortals are mere players.
Mostly stayers in life’s diverse and thorny stage.
As we count the cost in our age.
You are invited to the dance. 
In life's magic game of chance.