By Genevieve Waldie
This week Australia Post has launched the campaign “Dear Australia“, encouraging all Australians to share handwritten letters with the nation about their COVID-19 experience.
Like baking bread, and playing cards, the art of letter-writing is enjoying a nostalgic revival during the worldwide COVID-19 lockdown, and Australia Post is keen to keep a formal record of letters of reflection and human connection.
While social restrictions remain in place, people can make connections, share stories and travel to other perspectives through sending and receiving letters.
Letter writing had boomed again in the last two months as one of the few available forms of social support in these isolated times and also provides a snapshot of these strange events – which may all be forgotten when the world resumes again.
Australia Post Executive General Manager, Nicole Sheffield, said the challenges of COVID-19 had highlighted the importance of genuine connection
“Writing a letter is a very human way to connect with people, which is why we’re inviting individuals, schools, communities, and organisations to write a letter to the nation about their experiences during the pandemic. Today, the more opportunities we have to connect and feel what it means to be human, the better.”
Selected letters and artworks will be shared on the “Dear Australia” website (auspost.com.au/dearaustralia)
Whatever your COVID-19 experience has been, this project offers all a chance to share their story with the rest of Australia and preserve it for future generations.
A selection of letters will be permanently archived at The National Archives of Australia in Canberra, where National Archives Director-General David Fricker said the letters will be a valuable resource, providing first-hand accounts of Australian life in the pandemic.
“The National Archives connects Australians with the nation’s memory, identity and history. We are proud to be working with Australia Post to ensure these letters will be safely kept and made accessible into the future.”
To take part, send your stamped letters by August 18 to Dear Australia, Locked Bag, Australia 9999
For further information, including handy tips on letter writing, visit www.auspost.com.au/dearaustralia
And share on social media with #dearaustralia