Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Australia Day 2012 (With Photos From Mapleton Visit in January)

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HERE ARE VERY LIBERAL - AND PRETTY CHEEKY FOR SOMEONE THEY HAVEN'T EVEN OFFICIALLY LET IN YET!  THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF ANYONE ELSE IN THESE PHOTOS EXCEPT FOR ME.  I just wanted to get in some shots of Aunt Merle and Uncle Don and Sol and our visit to Damon's family in Mapleton so that his family in the USA could see them and forward them on to Nana and Granddad.

I'm a little ashamed.  Not of the pictures of my son in drag that I am going to post tomorrow, but of the frivolous nature of most of my recent posts in general. 

Happy with Merle and Don in Mapleton.
You see, I love it here.  And I am trying to amuse you.  Not proselytize (and not only because I can't spell it!) and certainly not be a drag.

I want you all to like me. 

And so I plan to write about learning to serve that cuppa properly and how to bake scones and meat pies.

Because I want to be like you.  Because I love it here.

Aunt Merle and Uncle Don
And then, in the days before Australia Day, I hear that I may have to leave the country.  That there are no exceptions to the rules and that not having the cash to leave and return - a condition for a 309 visa being that you have to be out of the country to receive it - does not qualify as a hardship.

I cry because I realise that I don't have a right to celebrate Australia Day. 

Because I find I've been kidding myself.

It is a privilege to be here, one I might not be entitled to.

It breaks my heart, not only for me but for the four children I have promised can be Aussies and stay here forever.

The boys with cousin Sol
My husband talks to the consulate in Berlin, he calls Sydney, we go to Brisbane.  And everyone is friendly and wants to help but doesn't know what to do.  Then I go online and find a website, one that directs me to a set of rules that might just get us out of this, a set of rules that SHOULD allow us to get permanent visas without having to fork over thousands of dollars for a forced flight to New Zealand.  We SHOULD be able to qualify for a 100 permanent spousal visa.

And, again, I am reminded of how lucky I am.  (Although, in the end, I will be flying to NZ for two days in March with five children, we will get those permanent visas after all.)

I am a migrant, but I am not a refuge. 

I am desperate to call Australia home and to give my children the privilege of being citizens of the luckiest country in the world.

Uncle Don letting the boys take a breather on the trail!

But not as desperate as those who risk their lives, and their children's lives on it.

Not as desperate as those whose lives would be put in danger just by returning to their former countries.

Really puts those rainy German summers in perspective, doesn't it?

On Australia Day, be proud.  Be proud because you are part of the greatest country in the world.  But be proud too that it IS a nation of migrants, a nation still struggling with the aftereffects of colonialisation on its indigenous people, a nation born of many nations, European, Asian, African, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist. 

Sol, ever the gentleman, escorting Ryan and Aunt Merle

On Australia Day, be aware of how lucky you are if you have been born here.  And realise that all most migrants want is to have the privilege to be like you. 

The first people to Australia came on boats tens of thousands of years ago. 

A second, invading, wave, came on boats a mere two hundred odd years ago.

And more arrive today.
Our tickets to stay!

Let Australia as a nation be strong enough to accept our diverse histories to build a common future.

Let us recognise that who we are, as a people and as a nation, lies not in where we come from but in where we go from here.


  1. Yes, I believe you most certainly should qualify for a PR visa straight away!

    You can apply on-shore for and 801 - check this out

    LOVE this article, by the way! Great stuff!

  2. Did you get my email or my comment? Blogger didn't seem to like my ID

  3. THANKS - put the link here in case others find their way here and need it. And thanks too, for reading the blog...mostly just a way to get the thoughts out for now but I love seeing yours and seeing how a blog can help others as well. I'll be checking in for sure!