/ 3 min read

Rest in peace

Rest in peace
My dad, Rob McDonald, on Stradbroke Island in the 1950s.
On this page
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
Share this post

This is a fortnightly newsletter from Galah's editor Annabelle Hickson, made for our Galah paid subscribers. You keep the lights on. Thank you.

When people talk or write about the importance of rest to avoid burnout, I want to roll my eyes.

Of course rest is important and burnout is bad, I say to myself, but if you’ve got responsibilities – family stuff, a business to run, bills to pay – you can’t just stop it all for several months to recover from burnout. You’ve got things to do.

And then three weeks ago, my father died and I dropped everything.

We were in the busiest part of the publishing cycle for Galah, getting issue 10 ready to send to the printers. I also had newsletters to write, a book to promote, cashflows to manage, but instead of doing any of these things I went AWOL. 

While Dad’s partner, my sister and I were grappling with words like repatriation and embalming, the most miraculous thing happened over at Galah. Apart from some postponed book events, all the balls stayed in the air.

Newsletters were sent, cashflows were managed, the magazine production remained on schedule.

Helen Anderson, our magazine editor, wrote a beautiful letter from the editor for the front of the magazine. For the last nine issues, I've been in charge of that introductory letter. It's something I'm very particular about. So many letters from the editor are, in my view, just waffle, and I wanted Galah's to immediately show it was a different type of magazine. I thought it was something that I had to do. But now, having seen how fabulous Helen’s letter is, I think she should write them all. She's brilliant.

When I started Galah, it was just me and designer Giota Letsios. Anything that wasn’t about design was up to me. I felt a lot of responsibility and that’s because I had a lot of responsibility.

But now Galah is so much more than me. It’s a team that can publish magazines and newsletters, handle the tech backend, run email campaigns, manage cashflows and communicate with each other, without me.

Galah has grown its own wings.

Dad’s death has left a cut in my world; a rip in the fabric. Out of that rip is pouring a firehose of gratitude for him and his love. And also for Team Galah – for Giota, Helen, Lyndsie, Anna and Katie (my sister who also lost her father and is somehow still answering customer emails and making sure subscribers have the right addresses in the system. Katie I am IN AWE OF YOU).

Three weeks ago I thought I was too busy for rest. Now I know that’s not true.

Love Annabelle

Issue 10 update from Team Galah: it's looking fabulous

Issue 10 will land in your letterboxes mid July and we’ve just chosen a waratah artwork by legendary fashion designer and artist Jenny Kee for the cover. Next step is to send all the files to our printers in Sydney and to have a celebratory glass of champagne.

Issue 10 is a big 178 pages. Focused on the theme of 'Invention', it includes tales of Australian ingenuity and community spirit. Here are some of the articles team Galah has put together: 

  • What zero-waste activist Joost Bakker did next
  • Australia’s mad inventions and eureka moments
  • The unerring eye of photographer Olive Cotton
  • Why the Franklin Frosties freeze every morning
  • Rodeos, races and other outback parties
  • Art and the reinvention of Hill End
  • How millions of breadtags ended up in Cowra
  • Follow an insider’s travel guide to Gippsland
  • Putting Australian tuna in supermarkets
  • Jenny Kee’s lifelong obsession with waratahs
  • The quest to distil the scents of a garden
  • Light the fire, warm the hearth for a long lunch
  • Is nuclear power the answer to our energy crisis?

Please note, when subscribing, if you select the "it's a gift" option, the subscription will not auto-renew. It will just be for one year. And also, if you want to start the subscription with issue 10, the one with Jenny Kee's waratahs on the cover, choose the option to "start with next issue".

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email Katie at info@galahpress.com. She's at the Galah desk Mondays–Wednesdays.