Real Australians Say Welcome – true or false? 563



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It’s upsetting to think about but our multicultural society has been tainted in the last few years by some who attempt to run immigrants out of the country whether it’s because of their nationality or religious beliefs. And one Adelaide artist wants to change our perceptions – what happened to the Aussie way of being welcoming?

Adelaide visual artist Peter Drew has started the ‘Real Australians Say Welcome’ project and wants to put 1,000 posters up around Australia to reiterate our own national anthem. So far, the project has received $8,000 in crowdfunding.

Mr Drew told ABC that “The project was inspired by our national anthem and specifically the lines that are in the second verse”. The lyrics are: For those who’ve come across the seas / We’ve boundless plains to share / With courage let us all combine / To advance Australia fair.

The artist wants to challenge perceptions around asylum seekers and others who wish to live in Australia. “The asylum seekers I have met are terrific people and the thought that they are just being used as political expediency is really upsetting,” he said.

He hopes to reconnect people with the second verse and change thoughts of people-smuggling and terrorism to more of a conversation about what these people may be fleeing from, reports the ABC.

Mr Drew finished by saying, “It is a part of our national identity to have courage.

“What’s courage for – unless it is for that day-to-day interaction of seeing people who seem a little bit different and having the courage to welcome them?”

What do you think? Should there be 1,000 of these posters around Australia? Do you support Peter? Tell us below.

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  1. I agree whole heartedly as long as the new arrivals try to assimilate and don’t bring their grievances and political problems with them.We have to abide by another countries laws when we go to them so the same should apply in Australia.

  2. May I address the elephant in the room, if Australia and therefore Australians are so terrible; why come here?

    17 REPLY
    • Margaret Byrne, your comment is offensive. I am an Australian ‘POM’ who has been here since age 8, i am now 70. I love Australia, why do you think only Poms whinge? What about the Aussies when they lose the cricket, or don’t get many Olympic gold medals? Reassess your value judgement.

    • Exactly, they come here break our laws claim cultural differences and get away with their crimes!! send them home

    • Gee Peter R(whatever)..short memories? Sorry I dont remember 200 yrs ago and since you want to go on about it prehaps you should remember all the Chinese and whites that the black fellows ate and that was not 200yrs ago. Time to stop living in the past and get on with the future as one nation together.

    • Why come here? Why not? Everything provided – house, money to live on and no expectation of having to work.

    • OMG some people have no idea how offensive you sound…if I was a aboriginal person and read some of stuff you guys say about not being responsible is repulsive, heartless and outright disgusting, as for the asylum seeker negative comments, please do some research about why these people are fleeing persecution rather than be all high and almighty about it.

    • Oh, Australians, what have you to rejoice in when your hearts are so shrivelled and your compassion is dead?

    • I’m convinced …it is a generational thing being self righteous and offensive…please try and show some respect for the less fortunates of this world…

    • Janne Kelly, that is the most offensive statement – the Blacks ATE white men? What history books did you study? Since when has canabilism been a part of their culture? I see from your profile you are continually putting them down – shame! I wish you would remove that post!

    • Peter, I have read your comments as I have read all in this blog. I am replying to Pegi’s comment of ‘why here’ as I have actually asked immigrant friends who came seeking a better life albeit in a country foreign to their religious beliefs, no one has been able to answer with anything other than “why not”. Oh by the way, my best playmate in grade one/two was a full blooded aborigine, he was my first boyfriend, and we were going to have one white baby and one black baby. His family were well respected in our community, but moved away, and although I think of him often have been unable to trace him in later years. I wish Brian the best in life.

    • I think most Australians understand that this country was built on immigration, and are happy for less fortunate people to come & live here. What they are concerned about, however, is those few, the radical extremist religious nuts trying to force their views on the rest of us. It’s as simple as having a party in your home. You welcome your guests & want them to enjoy themselves, but if someone becomes abusive or generally behaves badly, then that person is no longer welcome.

      1 REPLY
      • Absolutely David, couldn’t agree more. Assimilate or don’t bother coming. Come in our front door and welcome … But leave your political and religious baggage on the boat.

    • If anyone wonders about the few who want to inflict Sharia Law on the rest of us perhaps they should read the article about the Imam who was just fined $500 for “marrying” and 12yo girl to a 26 year old adult. Then tell me that’s acceptable in this country. The parents and “husband” of that child came here as refugees, so perhaps some sort of vetting might be appropriate.

  3. Once you say welcome be prepared to say millions of welcomes however do it the right way is ok as Caroline says I agree

  4. We say welcome but will not tolerate those that want to change our country into the one they have left. After all they come here for a better life .

    25 REPLY
    • I agree. The come here fir a better life and yet they don’t want to live our ways. I always say. “We open our doors to let them in we can quiet easily open them up to let them out”

    • Oh like the Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese and of course the British when they arrived in Australia and slaughtered the aborigines. I assume you are targeting the Muslim community ??

    • Are you just trying to stir trouble peter. The conversation covers any person who wants to make Australia their home regardless of race colour or creed.

    • Every Muslim person I have met has been lovely. Don t judge all Muslim people for what the raticals do. That s not fare.

    • Peter, my husband Peter immigrated here in the 60’s from Germany. He was never accepted as a fellow Aussie at his workplace, he came with a double degree in Architecture/ Engineering. This degree was never recognised here, he was paid the wage of a draftsman and it was a great struggle for us. He was never accepted into the boys club and remained on the outside even though he worked his way up to property manager. We never got any assistance for anything and never asked for anything. He is now 70 and retired but still gets called a bloody crout and other things from time to time. He has never been on centrelink and paid taxes all his working life. There has and always will be people who are racist all over the world. No matter who comes into this country they need to assimilate and accept Australia’s laws and be happy they have the opportunity to live such and wonderful life here. Your statement about Europeans slaughtering Aborigines is exactly the kind of statements that continues to flare up people’s emotions. Neither I or my husband had nothing to do with that and do not feel the need to apologise for something we were not responsible for.

    • I as a child migrant from 1951, came to this beautiful & peaceful country, my parents came here to give us a better life. We spent 2 years in a migrant camp where we learned English and we were looked after until my Father got a job. My parents inbraced the way of life in their new home called Australia. Yes it makes me sad to see many people now which don’t inbrace the way of life here and forget why they came to Australia in first place.

    • Peter power Lawrence. I am sick to death about how we came into this country and slaughtered everyone. If we hadn’t have come this country would not be what it is today.

    • It don’t see Peter stirring trouble at all,he is speaking as he sees it and I agree with him in what he says….also it is called freedom of speech! Some of my best friends are migrants,but they love Australia and our way of life….

    • Agree with you Wendy,that is history & we didn’t do anything it was before our time…I am sick of it too…

    • I do Peter, I have a great deal of empathy for them all so long as they except this wonderful country and obey its laws.

    • Peter has tried to turn this into a racial issue he perceives to be aimed at the people who believe in the muslim faith

    • No ‘we’ didnt Peter. We should not apologise for something we were not here for. Not even a twinkle in our mothers eye.

    • My problem is that when these people come they choose not to assimilate into our society, they choose to live in clusters in our suburbs and create a microcosm of the society they left behind, they came here for freedom of choice and freedom of speech yet by their actions, are bringing to our beautiful country the exact thing they ran away from. This world is becoming smaller by the day and the terror is spreading with 1/3 of the world at war and where is most of the turmoil? The Middle East! And spreading down to Africa. Man is his own worst enemy with his greed for power and wealth at any cost. We stand by shaking our heads at the slaughter of innocents, of rape of women and children, of barbaric tortures and killings and we sit here in our comfy homes and shake our heads and wonder why it’s spreading through out our own society! It’s because the Australian Gov is not a good strict enough on refugees and immigrants, they are allowing these people to propagate their idealisms into our way of life! I for one don’t want them here! They should all be deported if they refuse to obey our laws and live by our creed ensuring our freedom is protected from their obscene way of life!

    • Sorry Kathy but the story is based on asylum seekers, I’m only making valid points when people start talking about it’s their country or about faith…sorry but I am allowed an opinion that I research and is based on facts not ill-informed nonsense 🙂

  5. Genuine refugees have always been welcome through the correct channels. However, we have been inundated with those who are not prepared to fit in with our way of life. The changes they demand that we make for them will take away our freedoms. People who arrive here should have been thoroughly checked prior to their arrival. No identification, no entrance to our land.

    11 REPLY
    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the government provide facilities where refugees get to learn how to assimilate, and I KNOW they give them free English lessons as I used to teach asylum seekers etc…and their stories are harrowing, believe me. All they want is to be not scared of the knock n their door.

    • I remember when the Vietnamese people came to Australia many years ago, they went about their business working hard and trying to become Australians, they didn’t trey to make Australia fit into their life they made their life fit the Australian way

    • Like the Greeks, Italians and Vietnamese…they changed the White Austral culture with their yummy tucker…oh and don’t forget the British when they invaded Australia and slaughtered the aborigines….talk about changing a culture…introduced diseases etc…I could go on but it will be on deaf ears…

    • Many people have no access to legal documents. Persecuted people are not going to front up to the government to ask for a passport. Many people never have birth certificates. Let them rot?

    • Peter R Power-Lawrence read the truth about the Aborigine wars and its not the crap you are mouthing on about

    • I have friends from other lands, who love it here & fit into this way of freedom & happy life. but I don’t trust those who destroy their ID.

  6. Those days are dead and buried.Its time to ensure that our heritage and country,gratitude for those who died in war to give us our beautiful country remain outs and our children’s forever.Stuff these people who want to come here and take over,put up the barriers and stop it completely.Other countries have and they can sleep safely every night.Toighen up you overpaid Pollies and do the job you are paid to do on the limited time you have left .Look forward to joining your new friends on the dole que where you belong.

    2 REPLY
  7. I think our attitudes to refugees is awful, think how bad life must be for them to take terrifying journeys to escape. I work with many asylum seekers and they would add so much to our country they volunteer in many areas, are hard working, love this country and just want to be safe.

    7 REPLY
    • No we are not awful, we do and have welcomed many of many different races and religions over the years. But when certain races believe we are infidels, we should embraces their religion, their believes then I along with others that came before them will ARC up. The wording is “combine” not take over. We have given happily the freedom of our country, we give them money to assimulate, we give them housing, work and welfare and they treat us with disrespect.

  8. I don’t mind who come to Australia as long as the don’t bludge on our system and they don’t bring any diseases with them. They should come through legal ways

    12 REPLY
    • Its not illegal to seek asylum, the illegals enter through the airports on visa’s…they are the illegals when they over stay their visa’s not refugees…show compassion please…

    • If they are refugees. Where do they get the money to pay the Pirates who provide the boats they come in

    • You can still have money and be a refugee. They are fleeing for many reasons, and if things ever became so bad in this country, that we felt the need to flee, then perhaps you might understand.

    • Have you been a refugee. If not I don’t understand how you know what they are going through and why do they send the kids here.

    • Well if it’s so bad why don’t the other family members leave as well? You made the point of other family members paying for them, so in essence it’s not that bad where they came from, if the others stay behind.

    • I think everyone is forgetting why there is a refugee convention!! Australia, along with other signatories, was the first to sign up for this, we vowed we would never sit back and watch anyone else treated like the Jews were during the 2nd world war. Australia was supposed to be a safe haven, now we treat asylum seekers like criminals, to our eternal shame. Mary McIntosh, could it be that parents pay for their children, but can’t afford to pay for themselves? What would you do if you thought your children were in danger of being bombed, slaughtered? Pop down to the local Embassy and ask for a passport/Visa (if it hasn’t been bombed!)?

    • If they’ve got that much money, for such poor people they can afford to pay for themselves as well as the others they pay for. The children you are referring to are in the main, adults, who if they had any decency would stay and help the much older family members. Or is it okay in you’re books Kathy Cochran that they stay and sacrifice themselves?

    • What about 80 thousand children from Syria in refugees camps ? Why so much cry about being detained? No documents,cross the border to ASK for asylum not request one. Their live there only for few years,Syrians maybe even decades! Every country,who let in asylum seekers, detain them. That’s law. Australia isn’t better or worse than UK,France,Germany or Italy!

    • Peter,you said you are asylum seekers advocate. Then you must be honest with yourself, not be blinded by hate to everyone who not agree with you.Everyone have right to express their opinion,fact, but not repeat a few sentences over and over…it isn’t democratic,it’s autocratic…

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