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Your views: On the King of Topham Mall

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on our special report on Gavin Friday, the ‘King of Topham Mall’, more responses to Ali Clarke’s column about a foster mother, and a thoughtful note about one of our InReview book reviews.

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Commenting on the story: The ‘King of Topham Mall’ and the kindness of strangers

What a beautiful story! It made me cry. It shows that there are still some lovely people out there who care. – Pamela French

Thank you Jemma Chapman. What a genuinely lovely, gentle and generous story about a lovely, gentle man and his generous friends. – Gary Shaw

Thank you for the beautiful article about Gavin. I also got to know Gavin over the period of a few years while working in the CBD. During one of our many chats, he told me that the reason he changed his name to Gavin Friday was because Friday was his favourite day of the week. – Eliza Schioldann

Commenting on the story: A foster mother left bereft by the system
Reading this broke my heart. I worked in child protection from the 1980s to 2016 and this travesty happened around me all the time.  I had hoped things would have changed by now but it seems to have grown worse. Sure it is really difficult work. Sure the department is always under-resourced. But this is yet another example of lazy bad practice which, contrary to what (Department for Child Protection acting chief executive) Fiona Ward claims, is counter to the legislation and practice guidelines. And it ruins children’s lives.

Siblings should never be split up. Carers should never be given a duty of care in the absence of prior registration and training. It is past time that the bureaucracy held bad, dangerous practices to account and started to manage and lead. – Dianne Maguire

Disturbing piece but not surprising in my experience. Onya Ali – and I hope it yields some movement from the system. – Samela Harris

Commenting on the book review: Geoff Goodfellow’s Blight Street

Ben Adam’s fine book review of Blight Street, Geoff Goodfellow’s new verse novella, strikes home undeniably with the writer “making poetry matter”.

Not only does Goodfellow’s past career highlight a practical and meaningful engagement with our society’s marginalised but so does this work’s courageous and evocative stance on portraying the resounding “narrative voices” of the three characters. Yet in spite of their harsh and unyielding realities, these are balanced with “hope and lightness” as Carl, girlfriend Larissa and Carl’s father, Sean, challenge their current and inherited tough times.

In addition, the co-authored study guide is an educator’s delight enabling both teachers and students to navigate, explore and face head-on these compelling generational struggles in today’s classrooms. – Judith Thomas

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