A dedication…

Apologies for the time between blogs.

Time has gotten away from me the past couple of weeks.
Unfortunately,  just yesterday I received some sad news.  My one time uni teacher Peter Oyston died yesterday at his home in Kangaroo Ground at 11am.
Peter was a very dear friend of mine who had been sick for some time.  However, his condition worsened over the past 2 months which was a major reason as to why I changed my flights from UK to arrive in Australia a month earlier than planned.
Even though I finished uni in 2007, Peter and I’s friendship grew from student/teacher to mentor to close friends.  He was a wonderful man that taught me how to dream big, to face fears with squared shoulders, dive head first, to have the highest expectations of myself and to realise that single people can really change the world.  He was warm, inspiring, honest, stubborn and a fighter for the arts industry – especially in Australia.  We would regularly speak on the phone while I was overseas about future projects together and I had the pleasure to work with him once again last summer in London when he was teaching the Shakespeare summer course at RADA.
Professionally Peter founded the Victorian College of the Arts, was a regular teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and founded at least 6 theatre companies here and abroad.  I know he has done so much more than that but I can’t really remember them right now so may be best to just google him 🙂
This man inspired so many people to go out and change the world with their bare hands.  Right now I can’t find the words to describe him.  Maybe I never will.
So in relation to this blog…
I am currently in Fiji on my way to Kiribati to help my Mum run for parliament.  I am also going to write on political situation at the moment and how climate change plays a role in the candidates campaign.  I am also going to get as much information to eventually make this documentary I’ve been banging on about for ages.  I am going to hang out with the relatives. As an islander I have a responsibility to show this country to the rest of the world.  Their voice is one of the smallest in the world so I have a responsibility to try and bring up the volume a little.  There are other islanders out there doing the same and I think it’s because we all feel it.  Kiribati needs the rest of the world to know that it is disappearing and it is up to all of us to do something.  A wonderful documentary has been made and was shown on SBS the other night.  It’s called the Hungry Tide and is a very important documentary.  Please look it up.
I spoke about my passion for the islands very often to Peter and only last month he encouraged me to go as soon as possible.  Peter very much taught me to throw caution to the wind and follow my instinct which is exactly what I’m doing right now.  I happened to get to his house yesterday just as he passed away surrounded by his family and loved ones.  I couldn’t change my flight nor would Peter have wanted me to so unfortunately I am missing the funeral.  Timing is never great but selfishly, I am very glad that I had a chance to say goodbye to him at home.  The sun streamed into the house, cockatoos flew around and at one point a most ferocious gust of wind blew through the gumtrees – very Peter Oyston.
Peter I always promised you I wouldn’t be lazy so here I go off into the Pacific determined to work as hard as ever.  I’m fighting for two Republics and I’m going to try bloody hard for them both.
A thousand thank yous.  I love you.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Caz says:

    Well written and with beautiful affection Marita. Saw the documentary last night on SBS. Go do great work and say high to your mum and grandma.xxxxx

  2. Daph says:

    That’s a brilliant dedication Ritz. Touching and inspiring at the same time. Good luck with your fight for Kiribati, you can do it, ‘you’re a cat’, as Peter very wisely observed 🙂

    I wish I had the chance to see him once more, but alas.

    Peter lives on, inside each and every sensation seeker he has inspired. xx

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