Unaccompanied minor

Growing up in between

Featured in

  • Published 20211102
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-65-8
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE FIRST TIME I fly to Melbourne to see my father alone I am four years old, and I’m so little that Qantas won’t take me unaccompanied. My father pays an air hostess to sit beside me the entire flight down.

For the rest of my life growing up between two cities, the starting point would be Sydney, but the first time it’s Canberra. My mother and I are on holiday with friends in Jindabyne for the Easter long weekend. Canberra is the closest airport. On the drive there, my mother is so petrified about what she is about to do that she has to pull over on the side of the highway and vomit in the dry, yellow grass. At Canberra Airport, we do the thing we will learn to do in the years to come. The rest of the passengers board the plane – the adults, and other children accompanied by parents. I wait until everyone is in, comfortably seated, reading their magazines. Then the designated air hostess approaches and takes me by the hand. I walk down the gangway and turn to look back at my mother, who stands at the soon-to-close door, smiling and waving at me, always smiling until I’ve stopped looking.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

Afraid of waking it

FictionHE SET THE camera up by the wall in the space he used as his studio. It was one of the many rooms in...

More from this edition

Americano Sal

FictionIt was always busy there in Palermo. During a snow shower I’d sit in the cafés, small corner net connections. Sometimes the weather was a little heavy – I’d kick my boots clean of ice at the entrance, umbrella heavy with sleet. The man you paid to use the internet would be singing in Farsi; a woman would speak in hushed tones in the cubicle. Sometimes not so hushed. Talking to her family on the other side of the world. Where maybe it was snowing, too. And together they could listen to each other. Together in the snow they could talk.


FictionMOST OF THE time, I know I’m human. There’s a buttoned flap to fuss with when it’s time to eat, and another for toilet. Every...

In America 1979

PoetryIn America, I was no longer who I thought I was; one time in America, I was a white person helping an elderly black...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.