Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, fremantle, multicultural by freoview on January 22, 2017


The media reports that Reclaim Australia want to hold a rally in Fremantle on Australia Day, and as someone who migrated from Europe to Australia 35 years ago I have been wondering what Reclaim Australia actually want to reclaim and whom from.

Australia has become the great nation it is because of everyone who came here, including our first nation people, who also wandered into this part of the world some 50,000 years ago.

Why is there a fear of foreigners when foreigners have helped to make Australia great? Why is there a fear of non Christians when people of other religions have lived peacefully here for hundreds of years?

Muslims from Asia traded with Aborigines long before British settlement of this continent and Muslim Afghan cameleers came to Melbourne in 1890 and were reported to be in Western Australia even earlier.

Wander through Northbridge and witness the hive of activity and the enormous success of Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Japanese immigrants.

Visit Fremantle and see how this city prospered because of the Italians, Greeks and Croats. Our fishing industry would not exist without them.

Look at these statistics: Nearly 50 per cent of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas. Two hundred languages are spoken in Australia, including 48 indigenous one, so who are the real Australians according to those who want to reclaim Australia?

Less than 3 per cent of the Australian population is Muslim and of those people 99.9 per cent are peaceful, law-abiding citizens who positively contribute to our nation. I am lucky to have made many friends with Muslim market stall holders in Fremantle, all hard-working decent family people who don’t pose a threat to anyone.

Are ‘real Australians’ only white Christian Anglo-Saxons and where does that leave our Aboriginal people and all immigrants who have been here for many generations? Are children who are born here not considered to be ‘real Australians’ when they are not white and not Christian?

What about Australia the country of freedom, tolerance and fair go for all, why does that no longer apply to those from different cultures or religions. Surely the colour of one’s skin does not affect one’s ability to be a contributing member to our society, and neither does it matter what clothes people wear.

The City of Fremantle has not cancelled Australia Day, only the fireworks. There is a citizenship ceremony on the 26th where we welcome many new Australians from all over the world and from all different cultures and religions.

It is not political correctness gone mad by some left wing loonies that many of us want to debate if a different date for Australia Day would be more appropriate for all states and territories and more respectful to our indigenous history. January 26 has only historic significance for NSW where the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove on that day, but it means very little to other parts of the country.

Australia only became a nation on the day of federation which is January 1, so why not have a mature debate about the issue. It does not deny anyone to celebrate Australia and it is not disrespectful to any part of our history.

Moving forward and looking to the future does not mean we should belittle the wrongs of the past, but acknowledge that we can improve and become and even better society.

Freedom is all about tolerance, acceptance and the willingness to share with everyone on earth, so instead of judging and condemning difference we should embrace the diversity and multiculturalism and be grateful for the contribution immigrants have made to Australia.

Giving EVERYONE a Fair Go is what Australia Day should be all about!

Roel Loopers

4 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on January 23, 2017 at 12:56 am

    January 26 marks the date of the beginning of the colony of Australia. So long as we continue to celebrate our subservience to the British monarchy we will continue to be seen on the international stage as a pawn. If Australia wants to be a leading nation in the 21st century it needs to drop the Union Jack, drop the queen as head of state, and choose a date that reflects something more than the date the colony was founded. Australia Day is amateur at best.

  2. Lionel said, on January 22, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Agree with everything except “January 26 has only historic significance for NSW where the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove on that day, but it means very little to other parts of the country.”

    That is the same as saying “April 25 has only historic significance for Turkey where the ANZACs arrived at Gallipoli on that day, but it means very little to Australians”.

  3. freoishome said, on January 22, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Many of the things you raise I wholeheartedly support.
    However, 15 years ago, you could have repeated most of this, but what would be missing then, would have been reference to Muslims. Since then despite the low % of the population, they have had a profound impact not only on Australia but the whole world, and that influence, although not politically correct to say so, has in the main been bloody awful!
    Not a day goes by without media reference to the link between the actions or intent of muslims that have caused restraint on our freedom, our level of fear, our sorrow about the violence we now have become tolerant off.
    We are expected however, to only speak of the good of other muslims, what I characterize as the ‘Interfaith Approach’, highlighting only the potential good, the lovey-dovey, head in the sand approach, to real incongruities, real differences in values and attitudes.
    I feel anxious even expressing such thoughts!
    However, I also acknowledge the many aspects of tolerance to foreigners and first people, that you raise here and don’t in any way want my comments to diminish their importance.

  4. ptbright said, on January 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Couldn’t agree more mate. Great post.

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