THIS festive period, I’ve had a fantastic time combining plying my trade as a musician and visiting relatives.
I moved about freely between Tamworth, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle by car, aeroplane and various systems of public transport. Along the way I’ve enjoyed the fruits of our amazing multicultural society, eating a stunning array of foods from all corners of the globe.
In Melbourne notably, the successful melding of so many of the world’s people is heartening and inspiring.
As I’ve been doing this, so many other friends and acquaintances are also enjoying this abundant life afforded to us in Australia – not only in the cities, but in smaller pockets in regional areas, the richness is there for all to see and take advantage of.
It really is a privilege to be a citizen of this country. Despite all this, the media and society in general seems to enjoy a condemnation of our collective situation.
“Australia is going to hell in a hand-basket”. “The country is going to the dogs”. “Where has our Australia gone?” “Multiculturalism is a failure”. “We Aussies demand more!” “Our economy is a disaster!” – and so forth.
Well, I’m sorry, but I just can’t understand this. I suppose the richness that abounds has thrown the blinkers on Australian society.
How hard is it for us to understand that in various war-ravaged and obscenely corrupt nations across the globe that life is a waking nightmare?
That for generations, people of all persuasions have sought to better their lives by coming to places such as Australia, Canada, USA, Norway, Germany and many more? Also, that this has always happened throughout history and will continue to do so?
Having all the opportunity at hand for several decades now, have we really lost sight of the reality that others face? As the world’s population expands and the demand on resources increases, it is unrealistic to expect any of this to change overnight.
We can sit here and deny all comers as much as we like, but the net effect on the international tide will be nothing.
As we have reluctantly embraced change in the past, Australia has to just knuckle down and open up; not only with regards to our ever diversifying culture, but with regard to progressive ideas and agendas such as power generation and food production that leads to less decimation and plundering of our natural resources.
Less flagrant disregard for the amazing land we wrested from the indigenous people as boat people just over 200 years ago.
I know what some would say to me at this point – “If you don’t like it, then leave.” But clearly I do like it. I’m enormously proud of the way Australia has evolved, despite the odds.
I feel endlessly blessed. I do,
however, feel ashamed of the way our media portrays the “dog’s life” we supposedly lead here, not to mention the multitudes that give that idea credence, but I won’t be going anywhere.
Perhaps those who complain so bitterly, since things are so bad, should leave. After all, that trend of morphing cultures and peoples is what has made us the nation we are today.
There are no ifs or buts about that. The problem is, I don’t know where you would go. This is the Lucky Country, right? Everybody wants to be here. Xenophobia, bigotry and regressive thinking are deadly to any society.
To deny the way the world turns and believe everything will be the same as it ever was is beyond foolish. By looking forward and embracing change, the future will be yours for the taking. Who in their right mind doesn’t want that?