Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Advance Australia

Last night I went to see an art exhibition curated by a friend of mine called "The Australia Project". Many artists were invited to respond to questions about the Australian identity and I was overwhelmed by the diversity of the artwork. People from across Australia are now invited to answer the question, "what makes you Australian?" and send in their postcards. You can download your postcards or order some here:

Some of these postcards were hung up around the gallery last night. One 12 year old student had answered:

"What makes me Australian is cultural diversity...My mum's parents moved to Australia in the early 60s, to have a better future and quality of life than they would've in Southern Greece....My dad moved here (from France) in 1970 when he was 22. My friend came up with the term "Freek" (half French, half Greek) for me, and I'm Australian too, so for fun I'm a Freekalian. So watching Japanese TV, and American Movies, while eating Indian takeaway is why I'm proud to be 100% Aussie."

another 11 year old student wrote:

"To live in Australia means a lot to me because it is a kind of country that doesn't kick out people from other countries and cultures. I am thankful for that because my family comes from a different country and I have a different culture." 

Contrast these hopeful messages with Pauline Hanson's comments yesterday, saying she would not sell her house to Muslims because they are "not compatible with our culture". Click here to put in $100 to collectively buy Pauline's house for a group of Muslim refugees. Let's embrace diversity and be the Australia that the school children believe we are.