In June, as restrictions began easing and the ACT slowly started to re-open, we learnt more about the long-term effects of the pandemic and the world was gripped by Black Lives Matter protests both overseas in the US and here at home.
Research from the ANU showed young Australians’ mental health took a turn for the worst as the pandemic unfolded, with those under 35 experiencing a spike in severe psychological distress. The ANU’s Associate Professor Ben Edwards said young Australians were “significantly” worse off than older Australians, due to reductions in employment opportunities and the lack of the “financial buffer” older generations have had time to establish.
Many Canberrans joined a global movement in early June, when they marched in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protest on 5 June. Protestors marched from Garema Place in the City to the lawns of Parliament House, organised by some in the local Aboriginal community to draw attention to the high numbers of Indigenous lives lost in police custody and institutionalised racism in Australia.
After a three-year trial, it was announced in June that home birthing would become a permanent part of Canberra’s maternity options. The ACT Government agreed or agreed in principle to all recommendations of a report that evaluated the trial, which included the program being incorporated as an additional birthing option for eligible women.
Photo: Lachlan Harmer.
The pandemic forced many businesses to adapt to stay afloat. We found out that some local venues were using the COVID-19 crisis as a time to reflect and introduce some new, more permanent changes.
Canberra went a little bit old-school in June with the opening of two, pop-up drive-in cinemas this year. Park-In Pictures held movie sessions on weekends for Canberrans to enjoy a socially-distanced night at the movies at Majura Park, while Mov’in Car held their movie sessions in the Questacon carpark.