Australia, fair

I've arrived this morning in Melbourne, a very pleasant city in which I haven't allocated enough time, as per usual. Lots of interesting food, seems very livable with great transit, pleasant spaces and parks and architecture. And also surveillance cameras, everywhere. And warnings about stopping terrorism even though there hasn't really been much here.

Once again I wish there were simple agencies to rent you all your tourist things so you didn't have to pack them or worry about them. As I wished for before, there was a Vodaphone store in the airport arrivals lounge that sold me a SIM card for $30, though to get a really good deal you have to buy another $50 (AUS, 37.5 USD) of airtime.

My tour will take me now to Adelaide briefly, then up to Darwin to stay in Kakadu national park, then to Cairns (reef, of course) and finally ending in Sydney on the 17th, including speaking at the AUUG open source and unix conference on the 19th. Should be a great trip, and I'll try to blog other observations about Australia.

Some immediate ones: Most people have told me they felt australians were great friendly people. My cab driver (black) said he loved Australia except the people were the most unfriendly in the world... Race may have something to do with this, I fear. I'm told my (barely) Canadian accent will sound sexy here.


Hmmm...pity you aren't speaking in Melbourne. Good to see you are having a look around.

The Australian telco Telstra is being sold off by the government and has a Universal Service Fund issue similar to your last post. Australia is a very large country with a relatively small population and therefore has telco service level problems, especially when considering fixed line.

Have fun up north - Darwin is a very different place to Melbourne. Friends of mine are holidaying on the Coburg Peninsula right now, amazing place.

Australians can be unfriendly - as a remote island and part of the old Empire, we are very monolingual and can be distrusting and xenophobic. Especially when you are fed a diet of fear-of-terrorism. However, like all countries, your mileage may vary.

Hope you have a good time. Looking forward to your observations.

Yeah, dark skins by and large don't see the nice side of Australia. There's a long and rich tradition of quite savage racism. Remember, this is a country that only accepted in 1968 that the aborigines were human beings, and still (officially) doesn't think it has anything to apologise for.

Wait until you get to Darwin... not only are there more aborigines, they're generally treated worse. I think Darwin still has a curfew on blacks, for instance.

But the landscape is bloody nice.

I have always thought of Australia as one of the most accepting places in the world (except New Zealand, who I freely admit has us well-and-truly beaten). I'll admit there are strong prejudices against aborigines in same places, particularly where there are many who are unemployed and troublemakers. Not their fault, not at all, but unfortunately they do have a tendency to stick out because they are not white. It's sad, really.

That said, I went to school with an Aboriginal girl, and I never saw her picked on. Not once. So we're really not that bad over here. We try, we really do.

As for the not apologising, I believe that's because the government doesn't want to be sued! What a sad world we live in where we can't say sorry for fear of legal action.

The taxi driver was not an australian aboriginal. He was from a Pacific Island, and was perhaps an islander or an immigrant African. I didn't ask.

I think Australian's have a reputation as being friendly, layed-back etc, and to a point I'm sure we are, but like any culture we are made up of a lot of individuals. There is definitely a number of strains of racism that exist here- racism toward our indigenous aboriginals- this is made worse by our prime minister being unwilling to aplogise for all the atrocities that happened during colonisation, and also I racism driven by the terrorist “fear campaign” and fear of the “other” is quite strong too.

We are also a very diverse group of people and there ARE, I hope, a majority that are friendly and accepting. And yes- Canadian accents rock! I friend of mine from Canada back in uni days used to get jobs in hospitality just because of his accent alone =)

Hope you had a good trip – wish the weather turned it on more for you.

When I first moved to the US, I was shocked that I couldn't even get away with telling racist jokes. I was afraid of black people and espically Mexicans (never seen many before). And overall I'm impressed with the many laws trying to protect minorities here. When I go back to Australia, I'm now amazed that even my family will happily make jokes about Asians or any other nationality, although they mean nothing bad by them. Just strange.

are you stupid or something? why do you want to tell racially insensitive jokes? I wish I had met you when you were visiting here so I would have the pleasure of knocking you out. it's people like you make the world a horrible place to live for others. frickin pathetic if you ask me. how sad your life must be.

American sensitivity on race is almost as funny as their national pride. By a strange coincide American race relations is among the lowest in the world and they spend more time in wars outside their borders than everyone else put together.

So once again its ok for Chris Rock (a black man) to make racist jokes about white people, but its not ok for white people to make fun of black people?

People like you are such morons, the reason racism still exists is because people like you can't laugh at yourself.

Ive never heard Chris Rock make a joke about whites. Even if he had, it somehow doesnt balance out with the disgusting antu black racism of southern american whites and american ethnic cleansing of native americans.

People like you are the reason racist exists. You take people who victimize and try to make them the victim. Tell your story to those southern anti-obamist.

I think ur point was misunderstood. All u were saying is that in ur country people view blacks & hispanics differently. It isnt ur fault. When u came here the views were different and u were not use to it because the way ur were brought up and the country.

That is how people learn about others is by going into their world and learning. Your family doesnt understand because they are not from a Country that is rich in mulitcultural learnings. I think people tried to tag u as a big racist. Everyone has racist views about something but the goal is to realize our ignorance and change.

California girl

its a pity we have people like Daniel and his family in this country . why tell racist jokes ? does that make you feel better about yourself ? when i was in Australia i was shocked to hear the jokes about the indiginous population its like most "aussies" know them ..
Of course you would be scared in the US (thats great)its a little to multicultural for rednecks like you . Go to new york i got got family in Flat bush Brooklyn and tell the NON WHITE people your jokes and see what happens . Dont be scared you get what you deserve :)

After travelling the world pretty extensivly, i find that canada is definately the most similar place to australia i have ever been, having lived in vancouver and calgary, and now living in london uk for over a year, i think we are hardly like england at all. There are parts of sydney and melbourne i have to look twice at to make sure i havnt fallen asleep and found myself back in the great white north.

The thing that definately sets Australia appart from london is most definately the food, i have always heard that england has a bed reputation for food, and it has.
Sydney kills london in the eats department, london has a lot of nice high end places to eat, then so does sydney, then so does any of the worlds big cities. But i know that within 3 minute walk in sydney you can stumble on about 5 different nationalities cuisine, all tasting great and affordable, but in london unless your in the city, good luck. Its a pub, a fish and chip shop or a curry. A lot of the times nothing at all.

'Sydney kills London on food' Just where did you live in London? Sydney may well be multi cultural, but it isn't nearly the melting pot that London is and if you'd travelled around the city to the many, many ethic areas that exist you would find an abundance of food around the world. I live between Streatham and Brixton, and within a 5 min walk I have Jamaican, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Portuguese, Columbian, Ghanaian, Anatolian and Italian. I could go on....I would love to know where you're living and if you're still there, maybe I could give you some recs...let me know.

I don't know about coloureds, but the racism toward the English is the one thing that no one ever comments on (presumably because it isn't politically incorrect enough). The English are "poms" and stupid and not to be trusted, let alone spoken to or befriended. The colonial chip they have on their shoulder toward the English is gobsmacking, and the constant casual racism is finally driving me to drink (and a one-way ticket out of this racist berg).

Racism toward the English is also alive and well here in New Zealand and appears to be the accepted 'norm'. I take great offence to being called a 'pom'and will not accept anyone calling me it in any form. If one were ever to make a comment about Maoris, Asians, or Indians etc. in the same manner there would be a riot on your hands of the biggest proportion - why is it so acceptable toward the English? The strangest thing about it is that the English admire the Aussies and Kiwis and are nothing but friendly and accomodating to them on their O/E's - it's a shame they cannot extend the same courtesy.

Look, basically anywhere you go you're going to encounter racism, maybe you should start to accept that it's human nature for some to descriminate against those who are different from them, and poms (if i may be so bold, i hope not to offend anyone by the horrid discriminatory nature of the word, THE HORROR!) are not exempt from this, far from it. Maybe before pinning things like the genocide of Tasmania on australia, you should understand that was done by English soldiers who henceforth returned to England, or you should take into account that Australia's indigenous mess was kickstarted by the English. Although it's been along time since federation, strong preconceptions are hard to break, no matter what race is concerned.

Australians can be racist, then so can the English, or any other socio-cultural group (Hence why the world is such a violent place), stop being pathetic, if you don't like NZ or Australia, don't come back, i doubt anyone really cares either way.

A very good summary indeed. Nicely put :)

I am an African-American grad journalism student from America. I was thinking about doing a study abroad in Australia but I got really scared when I studied a little about the history of the Aboriginal people. To think they weren't considered humans until 1968? Does anyone know if it is a good idea for black people not from Australia to visit the country?

Iam a African-American woman who has been to Australia twice since June this year.
I loved it and found the people female and male to be nothing but
friendly and helpful. Also they were very interested in me. Be
open and friendly. There about how service works in the country
so that you have no misunderstandings. They do have a very
laid back air and it is very refreshing. I would say this is
one of the places in the world were being A.A. works for you.
It worked for me so well I am marring an "Aussie".
The world is a big place go live it.

Well, you are likely to cop some abuse, but don't take it personally because Australians are a primitive and savage people. It is not a first world country although they like to think it is.

Yes, definitely. Your accent will definitely tear you apart from the Aboriginals from here.
I'm sure you LOOK African-American so you won't be discriminated against...
Chances are people will be quite fond of you and treat you like a rich tourist. Believe me there's a lot of people in Australia that want to meet an African-American. I know I do. Curtis Jackson just isn't enough for me.

I know a little bit about the riots in aus.. I'm a British Asian Indian... doing Medicine in Oxford... and I can tell there's quite a bit of racism to both of my nationalities over in Aussieland :(. I love that place on Neighbours, but suddenly when u look behind the facade you see the racist side of Australia and its really sad... I thought Australia was such a friendly place.

Anywhoo... I have about 4 months when I can go work in a hospital in a foriegn country... and i didnt want to go america or anywhere that doesn't speak the language i speak. No offence. I just want to work thats all and i thought Asutalia would be just fab..

You think I should be scared if i decided to go there... or would they really judge me because i was born in a particular place and by the amount of melanin in my skin?!

Really hope not... please reply need some answers soon! :)

love to all, Tav. Xxx

I was just asking a few friends about moving to Austrailia from the US. I'm trying to gather all of the facts before even applying for residency. I've read some of the comments in this blog, but doesn't sound like Austrailia is very inviting, but I don't want to just hear it from someone who just speculates. Is their anyone out there who has worked temporarily over there or lived for a short time? I'd be glad to hear your comments and or recieve your email.


You're seeing the edges in some comments here. It looked pretty inviting to me, and I know many who have gone there to live and enjoyed it, though a few who haven't (more because of sexism than racism.)

I am graduating from undergrad in the States in April. I spent 2 months in Australia this summer and it was amazing!! I am an African American female and I felt by-far more comfortable, accepted and welcomed in Australia than in the U.S.! I plan/hope to return to Sydney to study toward my masters and even Ph.D. and I can't wait!!!

I'd actually like to marry an African American woman... so you've given me ideas. =P
More seriously though - education isn't entirely Australia's biggest point. But if what you're doing is covered properly here, it can't hurt to try.


If you don't mind me asking: What university did you study at in Australia? I'm looking at The University at the Sunshine Coast and James Cook University. I'm really happy to hear that you had such a wonderful experience, because I a so nervous about going, but SO very excited!!! I just hope that Australia is just as excited to meet me as I am about meeting her :-)

Australia is alright for a peaceful life, but to be honest, I don't get the bad attitude towards the English, after all they are English! So wtf get on your kangaroo skipper.

So I am also planning on studying abroad in the spring but I am of mixed race of white and black. I do not know to much about the aborigines but I am afraid I will be mistaken for them. I have never encountered much racism in the US and prefer to avoid it. What do you think?

We're of many different cultures and descents, I live in Bankstown in Sydney's South West, one of the most culturally diverse suburbs and even places in Australia. We are not all "english" in descent, I have lived in Sydney my whole life, and it is sad to say that for the past four or so years SOME Australians induced a climate of racism spawned from our now ex-pm's conservative influence. Most of us living in the cities are just as tolerant, peacefull, educated, and aware as any American or English city. Personally I think it is a joke to have to defend ourselves as being MORE racist and LESS diverse than America or England. Please. I am of mixed descent and have not recieved and prejudice toward myself in a very long time. I'm proud of where I live, and I think Sydney is a fantastic city to explore, and yes, of course it has its bad points, like anywhere, speaking in general about the rest of Aus too. Feel assured, its just like any other western city... ;)

And our sense of humour can be defined as... wait for it.... "UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT", as in RELAX ITS A JOKE WE'RE NOT THAT STUPID.

I am amazed and shocked that there are some people, especially the dark skinned, that honestly are not sure if they want to come visit over here. Dont always go by what you read. The majority of people that post onlinr, are not what the majority of aussies are like.
Of course every country have there rude overegotistic racists. Find one country that doesnt have some that are like that... I assure you that you will come back with none.

All in all Australia is a beautiful laid back country, where most of us are very nice and welcoming.
No matter of the skin colour!!
Oh and dont forget that other part of Australia people :-) Perth is also a great place, with a wide range of races.

I met an australian couple on holiday in Rhodes who have invited me to visit them in perth, they are of greek and italian decent and i am black british, (my parents are from caribbean but i was born in the uk).

I was afraid to visit because of the potential racism but now ive read that perth is a multicultural city i feel more open to visiting. People will always have racist views no matter where you go, and i cant change that. but why should i miss out on experiencing wonderful things in life because of that. Britain can be just as racist as anywhere else!

I will definately be going to perth in 2010, i cant wait!

A few years ago I spent 9 months in Perth and Fremantle (over two visits) and I loved it. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

For what it's worth, I didn't ever experience any prejudice as a (white) Pom, and found people mostly pretty friendly, at least in comparison with here in the south of England, but that's perhaps not saying very much. ;-)

I'm an African American male who lives in a rural town in New South Wales. I'm totally accepted, and the locals are the nicest people I've ever seen. In fact, I'm married to one of them. I live a nice peaceful life, and I even got my Australian citizenship last year. Best decision of my life to move to my new home country. I truly love Australia and shall never leave her.

Ah seriously who fuckin cares I'm an Aussie and I pay out on every other race including other Aussie bogans id hate to live in a country where you can't say a joke or say how u feel. All u tight ass idiots need to get over yourselves and have a laugh lifes to short. Lisa x

Wow! Ignorance really isn't bliss...

I'm an African-American who lives in Washington, DC. Growing up here, I've met people from everywhere. I've met Australians at the World Bank I admire. Smart, well-read, funny, well-travelled folks. I also have friends who are African-American who have visited Australia and loved it. But one reason why some might think that Australia is racist is the Russell Crowe film, Romper Stomper. Another reason is the history of treatment of the aboriginal peoples. Yet another reason is because there are a lot of people from Hong Kong who have relatives in Australia routinely say Australia ia racist. I think the truth is probably that if you are looking for jerks, you'll find them all over the world, in any city, town, or nation you choose.

that Aussies are FAR racists than Americans. It's shocking! and almost laughable. why is it laughable? because there's nothing great about Aussies at all and yet they look down on other Greater Asian countries. Talk about Japan, Korea, China, Hongkong, ALL of them have FAR stronger economy and ranked higher in GDP than Aussies.

So it's like White beggers/hobos on the street making racist joke to Rich Asians. LMAO! I'd say being wealthy or rich on yourself should come before worrying about other people. fucking stupid aussies

I agree Bruce.

One way of denying our own racism (or any other undesirable aspect of human nature) is to accuse different cultures/groups/individuals of being so. We all have yukky stuff just waiting for time, place and power to surface. Accusations of racism so often come from the inner spin doctor.

I believe every human being is "racist" but most human beings don't consciously want to be. There are many other cheap ego trips; sexism, feminism, misogynism etc etc.

For example. I have no doubt that, if we Australians made mass weapons of destruction, then we too would not understand why people in other cultures don't consider it a privilege to have their bodies and homes shredded by them.

This is how I came to self-identify myself (N2). All total, I can attest to more than ten-plus AUS encounters and about six NZ otherwise. I am older and of Free Black descent, with an Irish patriarch like many "Down Under".

Here goes. Before these direct meetings, I had an interest in the marsupials, (Uluru) Ayers Rock, etc. In fact, Thomas Keneally is one the greatest authors (fiction and non-fiction) of all time! In college, a peer noted that a Black lady from his hometown moved to AUS and returned to the USA due to racism.

The very first Australian I recall meeting was a former German Nazi army conscript visiting the cemetery in Ohio where some of his late comrades were buried. I believe he was sincere about his draft status back then and that he did not hate minorities, just Jews. After being asked for directions, I asked why he did not move to South Africa after WWII. My father and uncles on both sides were WWII and military veterans also. This man pointed out that he would be unwelcome there due to the Jews who fled Hitler. Yes, a number did succeed there and supported apartheid I know firsthand. Similarly, so have some other non-Black "Coloureds" who wanted to fit in. There are good and bad people everywhere you go. Being aware of Jewish slaveholders in the USA, along with Christian ones and Muslin ones abriad reitierates that no one people should be perceived as all good or bad. NEUTRAL

Moving right along, my next AUS/NZ encounter was with an ancient bitch who was apparently the wife of a WWII Yabk thatbrought her stateside. I was on a Continental flight and this couple and a young white girl had sat down without checking seats, thus displacing me temporarily. I was polite, yet her husband was stunned when I announced that I was assigned to the row. The bitch was annoyed that I spole up, and other travelers began to heckle me for saying anything, since a little white girl (about ten) was alone. By then, pregnant me, had had enough of these bigots going from New Orleans to Houston and some to St. Louis. so I had to school all of them on several facts. 1) I paid for the seat. 2) However they were used tio treating Blacks in TX, MO or AUS/NZ would not work with me. 3) I insisted that the flight crew enforce the seat assignments. When I disembarked, I was looked at with fear by the few Blacks that boarded during the exchange, although no rage or profanity occurred. One bigot chimed with others that they hoped I had a good trip and went to church to which I responded that I would more than they ever could, since none bought one thing I had in life! In other words, I waas ready to become "Bitch Ryan" instead of Mary Williams (a pregnant Black woman brutally lynched with erh fetus in Valdosta, GA around 1919). NEGATIVE

When living in New Orleans years before Katrina, I had to moonlight after my marriage ended, since academic there are paid near the pits of all U.S. places. A friendly NZ tourist came to the shop and offered that he had a Maori wife who would have like to meet me. He shared an e-mail which I lost. POSITIVE

A Maori dance troupe came to New Orleans for cultural venues, and I was the unanimous selection to emcee the show at the accelerated school I worked at as librarian. Of the tattoos the office staff saw, they were reluctant to connect with them otherwise. These were mostly minority staff in a location near St. Charles Avenue in a faux voodoo and crime site! The show was a hit. POSITIVE

I have been invited by Child Migrants Trust clients to Australia. Their first international conference was in New Orleans (2001), America's largest seaport. I was the lone Catholic layperson who attended, since I am a pro-active Catholic appalled at their treatment which paralleled the Stolen Generations timewise and with deceitful and evil means of taking children from their families. Their revelations were awful. POSITIVE

At my daughter's Ivy League alma mater, one of her best classmates was a student from Perth. Her sweetheart was an athlete that visited AUS with her and relocated there after school. He is American and Black. POSITIVE

Because Americans have received some bad reviews as exchange students hosts, I tried as a mother and friend of two white sisters to make their charges welcome, along with my daughter. They were friendly, yet lacking in common courtesy, such as "Thank You", and I felt as if they were of the ilk that either never has connected with Aboriginals or Blacks from anywhere. I got the feeling that they were surprised to encounter educated Blacks that did not live the negative stereotypes in the media worldwide. I would not interact with them again for these reasons. As teens, age will prove their ultimate characters, yet I believe that by 1st grade, most of us have evolved. Cultural values can last. No, I would not like for my child to ever have white friends like them - neither here nor there. NEGATIVE

Having shared all of this, the opposition to National Sorry Day and the belief by some Australians that Aboriginals are either the lowest people on earth or less than human (blogs and YouTube comments) is disgusting. Jimmy Governour was wrong to murder. I have awareness of the African diaspora presence in AUS since the First Fleet to the early 1900's up to now, from the first "bushranger" to activists concerned about the indigenous man, yet how can I abide bigotry elsewhere when U.S. racism still exists here so much? All who desire to go "Down Under", do so. My jury is still out for all of these reasons. I wonder if the same Australians who marry Blacks here, like the husband of Leslie Uggams and the father of Soledad O'Brien and those who love Tina Turner are oppressors of Aborigines there. Perhaps not, I hope. When I was younger, they were classified in anthropology as Caucausoid. Now, these human beings are classified as a separate race, Australoid, with the least intellect and like Neanderthals. Why?

Good night, and G'day!

Alright here goes. I myself am a white Australian women whom is married to an amazing black American man and yes we live in Australia. Now, you can listen to me jabber on about how we haven't come into much racism from the outside community just general curiosity as to why he is living here and for obvious reasons that would be for me. Now, Australia is a prodominant white country yes and don't get the chance to generally have a lot of contact with black people whether african, american, french whatever... I will say however the African community in Australia is getting larger by the second due to them immigrating here. You will find racism where ever you go. I know when we lived in America there were a few looks and words spoken but it happens here. Mainly people here in South Australia give looks of curiosity and sometimes questions of curiosity mainly because it's not something they see everyday. Generally friendly so long as you are friendly also. You cant come over here thinking all the people are going to drop to their knees and bow down to you thinking you are all that because you will get kicked in the head. lol... Be polite, take all comments with a pinch of salt and remember to laugh at yourselves and others. Aussie are good at laughing at themselves and definately others. Our humour is quite strange and at times can be looked at as racism but for years people have been calling us skips and you dont see us crying!! Now, I understand all to well that it isnt a nice feeling having racial slurs but please understand that though it is not right in the eye of the visitor may only be seen as fun and jokingly to the locals for example if someone says g'day yank how are ya? Now don't take offence if you are american it has been a term used since early war days when americans were based at a naval sea port in perth and probably before then. It's an acknowledgment of yes you are american and I do understand calling you a yank back in america means you are from new york with its much other reasons. No offence intended. Enjoy yourself here in Australia there is so much beautiful stuff to see here, dont let some ignorant retards ruin your hopes and aspirations and believe like a lot of us that Australia is gradually learning that not everyone gets our humour and to some it isnt humourous. We are still a very young country and we will grow over time. I myself feel that my husband and I are contributing to Australians growing and understanding that people of all colours, shapes and sizes are just as equal as the next. As for the aboriginals, yes there is a lot of ongoing racism around this it is deeply routed and you do need to understand it wasnt that long ago that the aboriginal people became the lost generation so please bare with us all and do your part to help us extend on our understandings and appreciations for others. We generally are caring and respectful, outgoing people but like all countries we have the retards giving us a bad name also.

Thank you from a proud interracial couple living in Australia!!

Hello all! Over the years I've heard a mix of opinions concerning Aussie attitudes as relates to Americans of African descent. I too am American of African heritage, having grown up in the US deep-south during the 60's, 70's and early 80's. I'll try not to bore you or go into great detail, just to say that I was bought up by a God-fearing Christan mother who taught us kids early on that you simply treat people with the same care and respect your're expecting to receive. Growing up in the turbulant 60's and 70's, this sometimes was not an easy teaching to live up to. While it is well-known the historical racist hardships of African-Americans and the Aborigines of Australia, we can't undue the past, but we, as caring, God-loving people can do much to foster better relations simply by doing unto others...Ok, ok, I'm not gonna preach at ya, just wanted to share a few thoughts. There's a lot of pain already in the world, we don't need adding to it with negitave racist attitudes. I, myself have been fortunate to have had a chance to travel the world at bit, living in Japan the past few years. Now, it appears I have a chance with my present employer to work/live in Western Australia for a while, and looking forward to it. Life is way too short and precious for wasting it on hate...

Well, I think there is a lot of racism simmering under the surface of Australian society, and it's because many in Australia (predominantly white men, since they have that 'colonial mentality') are still in denial that this was a predominantly black country for over 30,000 years, and that the black population is now about 1%. In other words, picture White Apartheid South Africa, if the Dutch had massacred 99% of the black population, and shipped in predominantly white Dutch people. That's how Australia is - predominatly white people of British descent. But the irony is, as much as white Australian men are so racist, at the end of the day, they couldn't really bring back the White Australia Policy, because so many of them are in relationships with Asian women! And not usually Asian women that are born here, but Asian women that they've found in Thailand, the Philippines or Indonesia, and brought them back here! Half of the couples you see are Australian men with Asian women. And that's not counting the famous men like Jimmy Barnes, Michael Klim, Bob Carr and Rupert Murdoch. What would Australian men do without Asian women? They'd be alone! lol. BTW, a lot of Australian women have crushes on black American men, but usually they don't go to America on a mad man-hunt and bring them down here! lol.

Actually I've lived in Darwin since I was born for about 18 years (I changed location about two years ago) and have had classes with friends who are Aboriginal. What is happening in Darwin is an issue essentially a lot more complex than it appears to be. Especially young people aren't racist. For example) when sharing opinions out of a SOSE class of more than thirty teenagers there was one girl who was racist to Aboriginal people. The rest of the class heatedly disagreed with her. Somehow she'd never been in a class in school with an Aboriginal person in her whole life and she said that her Dad, not from Darwin, is very racist towards Aboriginal people. So, I think that's where the attitude had come from...

Firstly, please don't base any views of Darwin from the Movie 'Australia'. The movie is interesting, but also is an incredibly historically inaccurate representation of Darwin!
There has always been a huge Aboriginal population living in Darwin. In fact, there was a huge Chinese Australian population and some Japanese Australian people actually lived there over 110 years ago. Apparently, the climate is so unbearably hot and humid that (contrary to belief) Australian people from cold European climates had a difficult time adjusting to the climate there. The landscape is very beautiful, particularly during the wet season, when it's very green and the thunderstorms and sunsets can be incredible. The beaches are beautiful even if you can't swim in them most of the year and the markets are awesome. The markets actually originated from the fruit and veggie markets from the huge Chinese Australian population and there's a dragon display every year for Chinese New Year.

Now, to the more complex issue.
What has been happening recently is that alcohol has been banned from Aboriginal Communities nearby Darwin which has forced a lot of drunks to come to Darwin and live on the streets. As a young woman living there it's actually become pretty scary. There's broken glass on the pavements, in the evening people would argue and there was domestic abuse on the road outside my house. I've received harassment from Middle Aged Aboriginal men nearby bus stations, drunken people will follow you in groups when you're alone and yell out abuse, a drunk Aboriginal guy attacked my boss in her workplace (an elderly woman at a cash register because she couldn't serve an item without the money for the item). That's just a preview of the situation. People my age also now drink until they pass out, the crime rate has risen heavily. Older people are moving away from the city to retire because the climate's too hot. Compared to other Capital Cities in Australia, Darwin is unusual because the average age of a person there is so young, the male population is much greater than the female population and the crime rate is so high.

I've found that Darwin is now becoming well known as a 'Party Town'. The Party scene is very vibrant and enjoyable, and if you're an attractive young woman then you can get very spoilt but it wasn't something that used to be normal. However, I think the local people until recently are very nice. The shopkeepers or market people used to give free lollies to children and tourists and it used to be so safe that it was possible to leave the car or house unlocked and not be robbed. I can remember the time when everyone became so excited over a Maccas being opened there lol. Notice that when you ride the public transport there will always be some people speaking a language other than English. There are plenty of not drunk, polite and friendly Aboriginal people there as well. But some people come from different states and countries and form their own superficial opinion not representative of the locals!?

I don't think you've been in Darwin long enough to understand what's going on...

I am a woman of Croatian descent who lived in Australia for the first 19 years of my life. Growing up in Australia (and we moved constantly) I encountered alot of prejudices towards myself (as many Anglo people don't consider nonp-British people 'real whites' they label us 'Ethnic'). As someone who is HEAVILY into old-school funk/R&B/soul/Hip-Hop I was also frustrated by the fact that Australian 'entertainment' doesn't cater for the most part to my interests. So, once I hit 19 I took off on a one-way ticket to North America.

After 6 weeks traipsing along America's west coast, I headed North and spent my first 3 years in Vancouver, Canada and I must say, they were some of the greatest years of my life. Gorgeous city, great restaurants, VERY stylish, the people were soooo soulful and though the live music scene wasn't as bumpin' as I hoped it would be there were millions of records to dig for. I met some of the greatest people in my life.

After 3 years my brother convinced me to give Australia another shot. So, I boarded a plane by way of Honolulu. Had a BLAST in Hawaii and arrived in Sydney in the morning of January 2nd, 2003. The sky was ashy due to the severe fires raging at the time. The Olympics and the subsequent gentrification that ensued really drained Sydney city of any personality. Music was 4 times more expensive, and the people were amongst the most judgemental, unfriendly I ever met. A year later I met an American man and when he invited me to head off to North America I JUMPED at the chance.

7 years in North America. Hawaii (visiting Oahu once is more than enough), Vancouver (the city had changed ALOT in 18 months though the people and food and shopping and nature were still fabulous), Toronto (GREAT city! Great diverse populace, VERY attractive, FANTASTIC in every regard exempt weather), Atlanta (strange, first time I ever experienced being viewed as 'white' plus I was living amongst Black Nationalists so I spent alot of time debating politics with Nation of Islam, Hebrew Israelites, Garveyites, 5%ers), Miami (I only encountered the 'hood in Miami, so limited experience), Seattle (great food, boring uptight Caucasians - sorry), 'Nawlins (FANTASTIC!!! LOVE this city!! Food, culture, music, style, architecture = HEAVEN for me!) and finally, where we settled Los Angeles. Great groceries, TONNES to do, GREAT shopping. Than someone from my past in Australia tracked me down on FB and convinced me Australia had changed. "Okay, ONE more time" I'll give it a try.

So, we arrived February '10. I'm bored out of my MIND. Granted, now I have a 6 year old with Auspergers Autism but still in Los Angeles there were things to do. Soooo over-priced. People are very localized and unfriendly and...niave. Still don't find the men very appealing. People are either overtly prejudiced or idealize someone because of their skin color (the folks with 'fetishes' for exampple the Anglo boys with women of Asian descent and the 'white' girls who drool over ANY African-American brotha but who would NEVER date an African or Indigenous brotha). KICKING myself I came back to this island in the middle of nowhere with no soul, no personality, no vibe and nothing to DO. So, my focus is to finish my degree, save some pennies and move my ayss to Miami where I'm but a mere couple of hours flight to NYC, the Caribbean Islands, 'Nawlins and the Yucatan and this time NO-ONE will deter me from EVER returning to Oz.

P.S. I've made plans that God forbid if I pass away to take my remains to North America...I would hate to 'rest' in Australia for eternity :(

I am an African-American male living in Los Angeles, Ca. I was 30 yrs old in 1983 when I met a wonderful gorgeous Australian (White) woman at a club. We hit it off and dated for about a year. She was always around my friends, who were mostly Afr-Amer, and she loved them and they loved her.

One day she was telling me how many Aussie women would be chasing me if we were in Australia and about how few Black men were there. I said that I thought that there were plenty of Aboriginal men there, who of course are Black. She laughed hysterically, telling me that they were not Black, and that they were not even people. This woman was otherwise intelligent and rational but could not be moved on this point.

I think I could have married that girl; but the relationship was never the same after that conversation.

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