Rumi Commons

I wore the purple scarf and the square academic cap on May 11, 2007, after six years at La Trobe Law, while working as a teacher and ‘raising’ two primary school children and a husband. I was a younger woman with white hair (from studying).

I used to think of Aussies as a pack of ‘whatevers’ yelling at football matches, but this view changed dramatically when I met intelligent and genuinely caring young (and not so young) students at La Trobe. I enjoyed the enchanting study groups and also appreciated the personal attention from the staff and Law ESL.

My law reform recommendations were published in the ‘Progress Report’ of Discrimination in the Law, Inquiry under 207 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1995, acknowledged in the ‘Final Report’. Two others and I wrote ‘The Crimes (Family Violence) Act 1987 – A Review of Intervention Orders’ and the West Heidelberg Community Legal Service published it.

Notwithstanding my less than impressive marks, I was determined to become a lawyer. I worked as a legal assistant, then as a legal coder in the city, completing the required experiences. Several years later however, I concede that I am too creative to be a lawyer. My hair should have turned back to black by now, but this hasn’t occurred, so I dye it blond to have more fun. My husband has retired, learned to count to ten in Japanese, and our two now adult children (living at home) are bilingual.

Nowadays I call myself a bilingual creative writer. Under my pen name Komonz, I was published bilingually in Victoria University’s ‘Offset’. I have compiled and edited an intercultural anthology featuring haiku poems in several community languages; my novel written in Japanese was published as the winner at Gifu Literature Festival in Japan; been published highly recommended in ‘Port Phillip Writes’; been short-listed in the Deborah Cass, and coordinated several intercultural literature festivals for the Japanese group. I am a director of the Association of New Elderly Inc. – an intercultural Japanese-Korean NPO, and the founder of AtPort Writers Group.