DESPITE having been homeless, constantly in transit and almost dying from a head injury, Ella Munro (20) considers herself lucky.
The former Cyril Jackson student shared her story marking the launch of the 6PR and Community Newspaper Group annual Sox ‘n’ Jox collection.
Ms Munro has lived in countless different houses and locations but now calls Foyer Oxford in Leederville home and knows all too well the struggles of living without basic essentials.
Growing up with little money and having to live in a tent in Mt Helena as a teenager, Ms Munro said it was often difficult to get the basics.
“We didn’t have anything to cook food with or a fridge,” she said.
“I’d wake up at about 5am or I wouldn’t sleep at all and I’d walk half an hour, which was a lot of effort especially when there wasn’t enough food.
“I would get on the bus and I would make my way to Leederville TAFE.”
Ms Munro said it was tough living without food to fuel her brain and she would sometimes eat barely anything except instant noodles all day or not at all.
She called this her “homeless diet” and admitted she often fell back into the habit.
Ms Munro got a guitar on her sixth birthday and turned to music to express the struggles of homelessness, including the lack of food in her emotionally charged original track Bumpers and Goonbags.
The song is one of many she has written over the years and said one of her most recent tracks told the story of her life-threatening skateboard accident when she was 16.
Ms Munro said she skated down a massive hill near Great Eastern Highway and stacked it.
“I broke my collar bone, I have scars on my knuckles, I fractured both sides of my head and I had two haemorrhages,” she said.
“I was in an induced coma for two weeks and in hospital for a year and an in-patient for six months.
“All of a sudden my life was gone and I was trying to grasp at anything because I couldn’t remember things.”
Ms Munro said when her mum brought her guitar into the hospital, she felt whole.
“It was another piece of me that I could grasp,” she said.
“When I don’t play, my whole body shuts down, it’s something that keeps me alive.
“Like air to breathe and water to drink, music became something like that.”
Studying a Certificate IV in music and photography, Ms Munro is looking for a job before reaching her dream of becoming a paid musician and photographer.
– Purchase men’s, women’s or children’s underwear items.
– Deliver them to your local Community Newspaper Group branch.
– Log on to www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au or www.shelterwa.org.au for information.