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Strength in diversity

Whilst there are many aspects that Australia shares with the rest of the world, the combination here is unique and offers one of the best places in the world to live.

Our geography is advantageous in so many ways. Our isolation offers natural protection from disease and border disputes. We have plenty of space and natural resources and a thriving agricultural sector. We have wind and sun in abundance so are well placed for the energy revolution.

We are a wealthy nation with universal healthcare and public education, compulsory superannuation and a welfare safety net. Our hospitals and universities are world class.

As home to the oldest civilisation on the planet, we have a rich Indigenous cultural history mixed with a social experiment built on immigrants, the first of whom were sent here as punishment. Others came for work, hoping for an opportunity to succeed. Some came fleeing war and oppression, seeking a safe and peaceful place to raise their families.

There are many things we must improve but this social experiment is, by and large, working.

In Australia, we are one tribe.

We have many faces and many voices but none of them point to where, in this country, we come from. Our diversity is what unifies us.

Some would seek to divide us in the selfish belief that their interests are more important than others’. Some do it for money, some for power, and many through fear spread by ignorant people.

But it shouldn’t be this way. We are not like the rest of the world.

You do not have to be indigenous to have a connection to country. You don’t even have to be born here. We all have a vested interest in maintaining and improving the most successful multicultural society on the planet and in protecting our unique habitat.

Unfortunately, there are a few extremists among us who are feeling empowered to try and spread their hatred because of things that are happening half a world away.

A handful of young Muslims have been duped into becoming cannon fodder for whatever agenda the men behind IS are pursuing. Why they think killing people will make the world a better place is beyond me but the threat to Australia is minimal as shown by the police announcement that “Twelve men and boys living within the Australian community are capable of committing an act of terror such as killing a random member of the public.”

To put that in context, in 2014, 95 people were murdered by their partner or a family member. This does not include the thousands of sexual assaults and the tens of thousands of violent assaults reported to police or the many cases that go unreported.

It is a statistical fact that women in Australia are far more likely to be assaulted or murdered by their partner than by a terrorist act.

I wonder how many members of the United Patriots Front and their cronies have assault charges or AVOs somewhere in their past. Or how many of those mums and dads at Reclaim Australia rallies think it’s OK to give their kid a slap.

The problems we face in Australian society will not be solved by following the path of others. Their situation is different to ours. Those who would seek to take away our choices and to impose their way of life on others, whether they be IS sympathisers or Reclaim Australia or the United Patriots Front, must be resisted. Their hatred and violence shows weakness. Tolerance and diversity are the strength of this nation and must be protected so we can all live in peace, respecting and celebrating our differences.

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  1. Sen Nearly Ile

    Great sentiments, Kaye, in an interesting article.
    However, in the AIM context it is difficult to be apolitical.
    What a great picture, showing the cultural costumes for children.
    It accurately shows Australia with no Aborigine, or even a child of Aboriginal appearance, under a banner ‘Strength in diversity’.
    Sadly one little girl has no choice as she is from a culture that accepts women’s hair is sexy and must be covered.

  2. Kaye Lee

    I have struggled with hair covering too so I listened to some women who explained their choice. I would strongly object to a woman being forced to wear a veil but I will equally strongly support their choice to do so.

  3. bobrafto

    Sadly one little girl has no choice as she is from a culture that accepts women’s hair is sexy and must be covered.

    Sadly one tries to impose one’s cultural norms onto someone else’s cultural norms and that’s when the trouble starts.

    And I understand your sentiment Sen N ile

    Great story, Kaye.

  4. mark delmege

    With respect Kaye this smacks of the usual ‘we are better’ nationalist shite that is peddled in our media most days. And the ‘We are not like the rest of the world’ is a perfect example.

  5. Kaye Lee

    I stand by my assertion that this is a great place to live for the reasons I stated and many others. There are places that match or exceed us in certain aspects but I can think of nowhere that has the same combination or potential. I would be interested to hear where else in the world you think would be a better place to live and why. It is not just the society and economy but, as mentioned, the geography, that gives us advantages. I wouldn’t call us ‘better’ so much as luckier.

  6. paul walter

    The idea that Australia represents cornucopia has been a strange one to me, for two reasons.. we have little idea of who and what we are and what we actually have and are too lazy to find out and secondly the resulting cluelessness follows as to ecology and how to structure economies and societies.

    That doesn’t mean to say we should look at a map of Europe superimposed and immediately think we can handle Europe level population, because most of Australia is arid.

    We could stop taking the place for granted and work out some thing a bit less childish than what exists just now as to constructive use of resources, but I doubt whether that will happen. People don’t miss essential things till they’re gone.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    I can still remember as a child not being able or game to enter a church unless I covered my hair. For the same reason given by Muslims today. Women’s sexuality had to be covered in all areas. Even the arms.

  8. bobrafto

    recently their was a pic on facebook that depicted on the top half of the pic, 6 Muslim women wearing the head covering with only the eyes showing and on the bottom were 6 six attractive bikini girls with the caption which do you prefer.

    I responded with “It depends on what’s underneath” (the Muslim garment).

    And really when you see pictures of folks especially the ones taken in Walmart this full Muslim garment should be made compulsory for those folks.

  9. JeffJL

    And so far this year we have had 143 deaths on the road.

  10. jim

    And Australia has the third highest suicide rate in the world in 2001 there were 2,454 suicide deaths which was higher than the 2001 road toll of 1,736 deaths. Australias depression rate is twice that of the UK, Australia’s youth fear the adults and fear the public health system, lucky country ? only for some I’d say.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I take your point jim. We indeed still have much to work on.

  12. mmc1949

    Today I finished reading “Headscarves and hymens” by Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian Muslim feminist woman. More than interesting. What really shocked and surprised me was her claim that very many Egyptian women, fully covered, have been sexually assaulted while walking down a street, even when in the company of male “guardians”. Groping is that common.

  13. Sen Nearly Ile

    mmc, it is sad that a country, once liberal towards women, has descended into accepting rape as a consequence for women leaving the home.
    Indeed it seems usual practice to put fruit into underpants to rub up against women in public.
    Diab’s film Cairo 678 describes one, pretty dangerous for women, reaction. Turkey seems the last Muslim country where women have ‘free hair’ but that is tenuous,

  14. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, your story is correct however in recent times we have seen the Martin Place siege, a policeman murdered and a police employee murdered, which has changed our nation because we don’t know who is next. If it were your relatives or mine I’m sure we would have a different outlook on things.

  15. Friday

    Bobrafto that is the point these men flee a country with cultural norms and then impose those cultural norms on women in a country whose people, as Florence says, that once was a religious/cultural norm of Christians. We might ask the question ‘ how did it change’? Perhaps, bobrafto, you might reflect on culture hiding behind religion? ps wow reflect on your ‘underneath’!!!

  16. Tirrel

    Seriously puerile assessment denoting intellectual age of around 6 years, leftist beta female mindset

  17. Miriam Possitani

    Following up on Victorias article , an open letter to Reclaim Australia , I assume you don’t mean that
    “Strength in diversity” extends to diversity in thought view and opinion ?

  18. RosemaryJ36

    bobrafto: I think you are really talking about aesthetics here! I also belief some portions of some people’s anatomies are not really a sight for sore eyes but, perhaps sadly, in our culture they are entitled to display their bodies as they choose, warts and muffin-tops and all!
    We should perhaps rejoice that they have the right but look the other way!
    Seriously, though, for many women, the modesty required by their religious dictates is both a protection and and an indictment of the lack of self-control of the males who insist on those standards. Those males are basically saying that you must cover up because I am ruled by my hormones and am not guilty of a crime if I rape you because you provoked it. And then the religious leaders step in and say the woman is guilty of a crime because she had a forbidden sexual relationship so she must be stoned to death.
    How can a woman, who may be the mother of a son, be so belittled by that son?

  19. Sen Nearly Ile

    sorry kaye, she told you it is her choice? why is it a choice? What options are offered?
    To me a wearer said that it is not compulsory but shows women commit to god.
    Being a slime I asked is god only outside the home.
    She declined to hear the question but such clothes are invariably cultural.
    Where men have long forgotten ‘thobes; and headresses settling into western clothes(ch10s ali) will women be offered the same option?
    Certainly not in cultures where women have no choice or suffer beatings, rape and murder.
    (the entry in the koran says cover to avoid being molested. In Australia is that a worry????)

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