Tag Archives: australia

The First Australians.

A must watch: First Australians (really!! a must must must. amazing series.)

A must read:

A must-listen-to:

Must visit: Koori Voices – Melb Museum (free for students!!)

worth attending:

or even better…Garma Festival.

I have so much to learn.

If I lived in Zimbabwe instead of Australia…

…or, Guatemala…?

how bout the US?

If it were my home.com.

Games in Delhi – Clash of civilisations?

I, like many, am wondering if the Commonwealth Games will turn into an absolute disaster. Poor India.

I have found it fascinating to see the clash of the global north and south. In a way, to me it has simply highlighted the trivialities of our western culture – the amazing lengths we go to, in order to just to play games.

We are complaining because the athletes villages are dirty and unsanitary. We are concerned about dengue fever and safety issues.

And this is all completely understandable, as these athletes rely on their health for their careers and any risk needs to be carefully evaluated by the individual.

But. How many Indians, or people in the majority world, live daily in worse unsanitary conditions? How many live constantly at risk of dengue fever and other serious illnesses with no access to sufficient health care? How many live constantly with the threat of terror attacks and bandits?

The fact is the majority of the world’s population live in these kinds of circumstances, while we who live in the ‘nice clean safe world’ are in the minority. And yet, when we enter their world, we expect them to meet our standards.

It is fair to expect that your building won’t collapse on you while you are competing in it and I think its poor taste for people to be defecating in the athlete’s village where they shouldn’t be. But something isn’t quite resonating properly in me when we sit around complaining that the conditions aren’t good enough for us, when they are better conditions than many Indians will ever live in during their whole lives.

This just seems to highlight the vast inequalities in the world. Are we just a bunch of snobs who value a few games over the lives of millions of people living in squalor?

Just sayin’.

PS. apparently we, in our first world glory, can’t even manage the sewerage system at the MCG. Hmm.

More on “boat people”.

More recent headlines:
“Asylum issue looms again for Gillard”
“Two new boatloads of asylum seekers prompt fresh attacks on Julia Gillard”
“Boat rush blamed on election fears”
“Refugee debate takes us back to Howard era”

“I didn’t want to be a refugee. I didn’t want to come to your country. I didn’t want to leave my family. I didn’t want to lose my house. I didn’t want to have to start again.

I am not here to get rich. I am not here to receive charity. I am not here to steal your job. I am not here to cheat the system. I am not here by choice.

I am here because otherwise I would be dead. I am here because the militia threatened to kill me and my family. I am here because I was shot. I am here because my house was burned down. I am here because I have nowhere else to go…

…I am an asylum seeker, every asylum seeker, and this is my story. I am not a ‘queue jumper’. I am not an ‘illegal arrival’. I am not a ‘political issue’.

I am a human being. Please treat me like one.” Read more at Eureka Street

  • “95% of asylum seekers arriving by boat are found to be genuine refugees.
  • Just 3441 asylum seekers were given refugee status in Australia last year, roughly 1% of the total migration program for that year.
  • In comparison, around 50,000 people over-stayed their visa last year alone – mostly people with business, student or holiday visas
  • Australia only accepts 1% of the worlds’ refugees
  • At the current rate of refugee arrivals, it would take 20 years to fill the MCG
  • It is not illegal to arrive in Australia seeking asylum.”
  • Read more…

It really is time to put things into perspective. Whatever happened to a “fair go” and decent journalism. Come on, Australia.

Boat people….why all the anxiety?

I get frustrated with the huge amount of hype surrounding the arrival of boat people.

I realise I lack a thorough understanding of all issues involved, but I know enough to realise it is a hugely complex situation.

I realise that people arriving by boats represent a tiny tiny proportion of asylum seekers coming to Australia.

I also think they are some of the only ones that arrive completely honest about their intentions (as opposed to people who lie on their visa application and apply for protection visas once they’re here).

I hate the idea that Australia is potentially breaching international law by not allowing people to reach our shore to seek asylum (although realise the complications regarding this when people have travelled past other countries in which they could have applied before reaching australia).

And I also understand that we do not want to encourage illegal immigrants to arrive by boat simply because it is such a dangerous way for people to travel and it will mostly be the people smugglers who benefit.

So…complex, yes. But worth all this hype? With so little compassion?

No one chooses exile. No one would choose to live outside their language and culture unless they had to. If you are confronted with persecution, discrimination, constant threat, injury and even death, taking your chances on a rickety boat heading for a distant country may well be your best choice – or indeed your only choice.

…What then are we anxious about? Why is Australia, a country that has opened its doors to so many different people in times past, suddenly ignoring the human plight of people who are suffering now? Australians are known for their tendency to side with the underdog; why then are we not siding with these desperate people, human beings just like our own ancestors, people who are just like us?

Australia = Largest Houses in the World…

check out my more detailed blog about this over on squidoo.

It’s official, we have the biggest houses in the world.

According to Commsec, our new homes averaged a whopping 214.6m2 in the last financial year (the US average is 201.5, the UK is 76.0).

But for 1 in 6 people in the world, their houses look something more like this:

(And according to UN-habitat, in 20 years 1 in 3people could be living in urban slums).

And then there’s the 42 million (twice Australia’s population!) who are refugees/internally displaced people who’s ‘homes’ look something like this:

Gets you thinking hey.

I’m not suggesting burning our houses down and moving into cardboard boxes just to even things out a bit.

But I do think one of the worst things we can do is to just, take it all for granted.

And I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tone things down just a bit where we can.

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:17-18