I remember, 23 years ago, an ignorant letter writer sending a disparaging letter to the Sunday Mail asking how Year Twelve students could possibly be stressed when they are only young and they could have 60 or 70 years of life ahead of them. That statement was almost like a kid I knew who said, wait for it, that Year Six was the most important year of your primary school education, and Year Seven (then the final year of primary school) was just revision. Well, how wrong could he be? …


Imagine this. You have been raised in a loving home and you’ve reached middle age. One of your parents has died and the other is dying. You sit holding your dying parent’s hand as they slip away. After you’ve had a cry and the staff at the hospital tidy up your parent and take them to the mortuary, you are presented with an envelope, amongst that parent’s things. You open it and discover that you were adopted. …


For American readers, I will differentiate that I mean the Australian Broadcasting Corporation not the American Broadcasting Corporation.

I had cause recently to block someone on this platform who is a right-wing who referred to “Our ABC” as “Their ABC” after they shared with me an IPA memorandum about the ABC. For those who don’t know, the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) is a right-wing policy institute (I won’t say think-tank) that claims to be the “party of freedom”. But freedom for whom?

We’ve all heard the saying, “The past is a different country” and while a country may not…


It was two months short of Melody’s 50th Birthday as she stood, her honey blonde hair flecked with grey, not that that worried her, neatly arranged in a bun with a flower in it, wearing a blue dress that accentuated her slim figure, and red high heeled shoes, beside her was her son, whose dark brown hair was combed back from his face, rimless spectacles in front of his brown eyes, wearing a white, open necked shirt and black trousers.

“You ready, Mum?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Her son led her along on his arm as the gravel voice of Joe…


One of my friends said that the mental health system needed crazy people. While it’s true that every time there’s a shooting, a siege or whatever, there’s always the recriminations of “Why wasn’t that person being monitored?” and the answers to that question are twofold. One, the mental health system is woefully underfunded and under-resourced, and two, SOME, and I emphasise the word SOME, people are not known to mental health services, and some of them can hide their symptoms, and they don’t seek help.

It takes a great deal of courage to take the first step in seeking help…


Good evening. Six years ago, I had to get a new car, because my old one had come to the end of its life. A man who I was friendly with said, “I like that car. It’s more you. Your old car, it wasn’t you.” I wondered what he meant, “Was it the fact that it had more bland styling? A more bland colour?”

In my first year at high school, I was given some unwanted and unsolicited advice from a bully that if I wanted to be more popular I should let my hair grow long at the back…


I knew a man who was a Beaufort Bomber pilot in the Second World War. He was all right, he’d had a few Japanese cars and he found Haiku poetry beautiful. So as to know which boundaries I shouldn’t cross, I said to him, “So, you’re not anti-Japanese, then?” (His wife of over 60 years father had been an agent for a Japanese insurance company in Australia prior to the war and the family had had Japanese guests come and stay with them, when she was a girl) His response was, “Not like that, I’m not,” but he didn’t want…


If I needed another reason to dislike the Coalition, I saw it, today. One of its senators, who has an autistic son, used a term that many of us find offensive and attacked us for being critical of ABA.

The term she used was Asperger’s Syndrome. She said that many of us autistic self-advocates would have been referred to as having Asperger’s under the old criteria. She made no attempt to explain why we found Asperger’s Syndrome offensive and nor did she say that she understood it. …


I remember, when I was doing my Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, in History, I had to write on the topic that the wars that have fascinated Australia so much have touched it only marginally and that you cannot look across Australia and say, “This is the mark of war.”

Apart from the bombing raids on Darwin, Wyndham, Broome and a few bombs on Townsville, and the midget submarines entering Sydney Harbour, Australian cities have not be razed, like say, London, Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo, Nanjing or other such cities, so physically, that’s true, but emotionally, it is not.

Almost every war…


I remember a man who used to do the gardens at a place where I lived who told me that he used to have a Chinese girlfriend who was a doctor back in China. His mother, who was very racist, told him, “Don’t bring her here! Your father fought those people!” To which his father replied, “What are you talking about?! I didn’t fight the Chinese, I fought the Japanese!”

“They’re all the same!”

“No, they’re not! And anyway, under different circumstances, I’d have probably had a beer with them.”

My own mother is the same as his mother, in…

Peter Wynn

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store