Monday, December 12, 2016

Meanwhile in Australia.....


"These people are here and need to be given a fair go." - Suhan Dane

As an agricultural contractor in Australia, pruning production fruit trees, I and my workmates work in hot and arduous conditions. Our summertime temperatures can reach a height of 120°F, in the shade. Thus, it is essential that all in the work gang look out for their mates. If a person is showing signs of heat stress, someone will sit them down and keep an eye on their condition to decide whether they need to be taken home or if they need to be given medical attention. We rely on each other; everyone, the employer, the supervisors, the contractors, and the laborers, for each other's well being. It forms a tight knit group.

A great many of these people are our new immigrants, refugees, mainly Afghani and Iraqi, and I am thoroughly sick of these people being demonized. I find them to be hard working, good mates on the job site. We often stay in work camps due to the remoteness of our job sites and, when I visit their camps, I find them to be hospitable generous hosts. They are just trying to get ahead in a new country and provide for their families. What is not admirable about that?

I don't want to argue Australian immigration/refugee policy here, except to say that I think we need to take a good hard look at ourselves, but these people are here and need to be given a fair go. They are decent, respectful people. At the very least, we could show them the same consideration that we would expect to get ourselves. I would rather have these people covering my back in a tight spot than many of the bigoted, nasty people who demonize them.

We are meant to be the land of "the fair go." How about it Australia?

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