Un-Australia Day

It’s Jan 26th, Australia day. The day many of us wave the flag, put lamb (or any other meat product) on the BBQ and drink a lot.

Unfortunately the Australian of the year this year is Rosie Batty. I wish to all that is powerful that she didn’t win. More specifically, that she did not have to go through the circumstances that put her in the position to win it. As a reminder, this is the woman whose estranged husband beat their son to death with a cricket bat while they were playing cricket at the nets.

The warnings to police, AVOs and “legal” solutions did little to assist her. She then started her campaign to inform us of why domestic violence is such a big issue in Australia and how it should not be tolerated. The statistics are scary. And it is not only women who are victims of domestic violence, men represent a greater proportion of victims than you may expect.

This is not the only, Un-Australian thing about Australia day. Our indigenous population commonly refer to today as “Invasion Day”. It is the day the White Man came – things pretty much went down hill for them from there. Our history of caring for aborigines is poor to say the least. In fact, it is not even referred to as “caring” but “treatment”.

The good thing is that as you get older your learn from your mistakes. Well, that’s the plan.

When should we talk about the “New Australians”? Is now a good time? For whatever reason, our government thinks boat people are bad and we should not take them in. We have spent billions of dollars NOT taking care of them and in fact, some commentators think it would be cheaper to settle them in Australia than keep them imprisoned in our “Processing Centres”.

It certainly is understandable that we don’t want certain types of people in our nation. People who have an evil intent or would not subscribe to the Australian way of life. Here is an example of the kind of person our government does NOT want in our country, Mr Homayon Hatami.

Mr Hatami is an asylum seeker on a bridging visa currently living in Geelong. His visa expires in April and he has been advised it will not be reviewed so he will need to leave the country.

Let me be up front and say that I do not know the details on his case and there may be more depth to his background. Here is what I do know:

  • Mr Hatami is a karate champion that the official selectors included in the team to represent Australia on several occasions (he could not represent us due to the conditions of his visa)
  • On 8th May 2013 Mr Hatami put his own life at risk to rescue a women who had jumped from a pier near Eastern Beach Geelong and then got into trouble.
  • For his action, Mr Hatami was awarded the Royal Humane Society of Australasia Silver Medal for bravery. With the authority of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second, Queen of Australia, Mr Hatami was also awarded the Commendation for Brave Conduct by The Governor General His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Not quite the spectre of evil our government should be sending back to wherever they came from. Certainly his actions have shown he is a fair and decent person. Some Australians have started a petition has been created to have Mr Hatami visa extended, if not granted asylum.  So it seems he has made a positive impact here. You can read more and sign the petition here.

What kind of Australia do we want for the future?

What kind of actions do we want to be seen as being “Australian”?

So much is happening in our name that DOES NOT represent the great nation that we are and can be. Whether it is action taken by our government, our sports stars, our businesses or general members of the community. Let’s make every day Australia day and celebrate it by being compassionate, understanding, big picture thinkers, community focussed, generous and sharing what we have with those who need it.

Let’s face it, everyone deserves a snag from the barbie!