Posts Tagged ‘port melbourne’

USS McCain at Station Pier

The USS John S McCain (naval destroyer) has arrived at Station Pier in Port Melbourne with around 300 naval crew. I read in the papers they will be staying in Melbourne for the coming week, enjoying the sights and leisure activities around town. Some of the crew will be staying in the hotels just so they can enjoy the comfort of a proper bed and a decent shower. Imagine the tight conditions that they live and work in, I suppose some would enjoy some privacy as well.

I read as well, that a hundred years ago, when the US Great White Fleet arrived in Port Melbourne, they had 14000 sailors. Around 300 of them enjoyed Melbourne so much that they ended up staying permanently. If around the same number decided to stay in Melbourne, there might not be enough crew member left to take the destroyer back home!

Links
USS John S McCain website.
Herald Sun’s “USS John S McCain …”
ABC Melbourne’s “USS John McCain in Melbourne
The Age “…Great White Fleet comes calling “

Melbourne – racist?

Quite literal, actually.Riding past a park in the trashier side of Port Melbourne this weekend with a friend, we pass a group of kids playing with some adults. A kid around five yells out, ‘Hello, hobboe!’

The adults just stare. They do not look too apologetic, which hints that they are part of the problem here – probably thinking, ‘More foreigners… they’ll go by; who cares?’ (Very mildly – I give them much benefit of the doubt here.) Unfortunately, this one happens to be a Metblogs author about to publicly disgrace you.

I do not think racism is a major issue in Melbourne. The Indian community seem to disagree, of course.

Recent communication with the media from the community describe Australia as a generally racist country. The Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) made a statement earlier this month expressing their concern that ‘racist attacks were increasing’.

The Indian press now even places particular focus on Melbourne’s racist attitude, suggesting Melbourne to be the epicentre of Australia’s racism and warning students that it is no longer safe.

Gautum Gupta, from FISA, also offered a more rational analysis to The Age, and described the recent development of racism the result of the discomfort with an influx of Indians into the country, shifting the gaze away from the Chinese and on to the Indians.

Not everyone agrees that the recent incidences are racial, however, and the recent attacks involving Indian students can also be accounted to being race-neutral. The Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS), for example, accounts the attacks to bad timing and advises international students to take stronger safety precautions. Students are encouraged to seek AFIS for help shall they face difficulties during their stay in Australia.

AFIS is also organising a free event titled, ‘m²s² – Money, Migration, Safety, Study‘ on June 1st 2008, to address the most pressing issues facing current and fresh international students. The event will feature seminars from the Victorian Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Victorian Tenancy Union amongst other presenters, and is heavily supported by the City of Melbourne.

A great effort has been committed to recognise Melbourne’s increasing professional immigrant workforce and international student market.

No, I personally believe that Melbourne is not entirely racist. Tiny pockets of unfriendly people do exist (eg. trashy Port Melbourne family), but as a whole, we are generally doing very well – albeit milking our foreign students for all their worth.

To that particular family, I say: Up yours, bogans.

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