In February 2003 I was in Canberra as a Heywire winner with a whole lot of young people from regional Australia. We talked a lot about the issues that affect young people in regional Aus.
As a 20 year old I can remember being in tears while I talked about the genuine fear I had of national conscription being reintroduced by Howard. Gulf war II had just kicked off in earnest after 9/11 and Howard and Bush were both well over excited about getting out their boys toys and making a big mess in the Middle East.
While I sit here in Fiji 13 years later I feel pretty safe in this largely weaponless society. All around me in other parts of the world though I see people in gun battles with cops, politicians being shot for their opinions, people being shot for their sexuality or religious beliefs and Airports being blown up.
People are angry with the state of the world, angry at misinformation, bigotry sexism, domestic violence and alike. So they should be, shits gotta change yo.
I’ve been thinking since I got to Fiji, if I have the money, maybe I’ll go travelling when I finish here, I’m not so sure anymore. Honestly I’m hesitant about the idea of even returning to Australia. No ones going to attack Fiji, these guys are innocent bystanders. Australia has chosen to have their nose in other people’s business for a very long time. It really is only a matter of time until someone decides to bring this battle to Australia. When they do, we can’t act all shocked and horrified, we’re not innocent, we chose to send our people into this battle, it was only a matter of time until it came back to us.
Let’s be clear on one thing here. This is not a battle of religion, it’s not a battle of race, this is a battle of privilege, this is a battle of survival. While we have people trying to escape genocide, trying to escape starvation, trying to escape persecution and people in my industry (media) are calling them cockroaches or leaches you can’t expect any better. The general public are being given the impression that People of colour, women, people of non Christian faiths, people of the LGBTI community are other, are different. Whilst we continue to separate society like that, honestly, nothing is going to change.