Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  General

You Gotta Laugh, Mate


31 July 2012 at 10:49 am
Staff Reporter
What does homelessness, ageing, cultural differences and laughter have in common? Comedian, Uma Thacker looks at highlighting social justice issues through humour.

Staff Reporter | 31 July 2012 at 10:49 am


0 Comments


 Print
You Gotta Laugh, Mate
31 July 2012 at 10:49 am

What does homelessness, ageing, cultural differences and laughter have in common? Comedian, Uma Thacker looks at highlighting social justice issues through humour.

This month I held a comedy and laughter event for a group in Camberwell, Melbourne. For several of them, English is a second language and laughter served as a common language that bridges cultures and creates harmony. The participation was enthusiastic and the feedback was positive.

One of the participants, Seema, has been coming to the group for three years.

“This is one of the best things that has happened to me,” she said.

When I started doing comedy and running laughter groups, the reaction was a bit bemused.

“An Indian woman doing comedy and laughter groups?” said one audience member to me. “That’s amazing.”

A few months ago, a comedian called Mikey Dynon approached me.

“I’m organizing an event called ‘Laugh to stop homelessness,’ he said. ‘The idea is to focus attention on the plight of the homeless. I’d like you to take part.”

I didn’t hesitate for a moment.

“Of course, Mikey,” I said, “the plight of the homeless has always been a cause close to my heart. Whenever I get into my warm house and bed, I remember those who are spending cold winter nights on our streets.”

Laugh to stop homelessness is a charity event with several comedians taking part, at Trades Hall on October 27th this year.

Last year I performed for the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation during their forum to highlight the problems of ageing in our society.

Stories of my spunky Grandma Gina were a hit at the forum. With Michael Schumacher as her role model, Grandma Gina drives Mumbai style on Melbourne roads, believes in growing old disgracefully and is the antithesis of the traditional older Indian woman.

I have brought comedy and laughter to the public during several occasions such as Harmony Day, Australia Day and International Women’s Day. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the subject matter was domestic abuse of women. It was a somber topic and I was a little hesitant when I was invited to lighten the occasion with humour. I was pleasantly surprised to find that tasteful humour is never out of place on any occasion and was well received by the audience.

When I arrived in Australia from India some years ago, I loved the Aussie outlook on life, of laughing at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously.

The catchphrase “You gotta laugh, mate” became my own motto and helped me bridge cultures and bring people together.

You can contact Uma here



PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Meet Pro Bono News’ first editorial advisory board

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 16th April 2020 at 8:02 am

Filling the Service Gaps That People Keep Falling Through

Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine

Tuesday, 5th September 2017 at 8:41 am

Survey Reveals Australian Attitudes to Torture in Conflict

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 6th December 2016 at 3:05 pm

Indigenous Advocate Named 2016 Telstra Business Woman of the Year

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 at 12:30 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×