When I first arrived in Australia (from the UK) it was not love at first sight. Australia has a unique culture and it took me a while to adapt. But over the years I have felt increasingly lucky to be part of the Australian dream. It is truly a great country and a place where my children have room to grow. One of Australia's strengths is its multicultural diversity and with the exception of a few isolated incidents and the tragic story of the Aboriginal people,  the different cultures live side by side in close to perfect harmony. 

A Harbour View

As I stared out across the harbour,
And watched the sun rise,
I looked upon Australia,
Through different sets of eyes;
I was the Aborigine,
who watched as their sails unfurled,
and I had an uneasy feeling,
as they discovered their brave new world.
I was chained in that ship,
a convict not set free,
by the sight of this land,
and the thought of eternity.
I was the pompous captain,
who as the cannons roared,
justified the killing,
in the name of Christ our Lord.
I was a teenage digger,
on some distant foreign shore,
muddy, bloodstained and fighting,
someone else's bloody war.
I was one of the boat people,
starved and half alive,
I'd risked everything we'd owned,
in order to survive.
I was the puzzled native,
somewhere way out the back,
I just couldn't figure out why,
it was different because I was black.
I was the station farmer,
in a stinking sweat stained shirt,
desperate to grow a crop,
out of a dry and dusty dirt.
I was the pearl hunter,
in a boat that was way past West,
I had to keep diving fathoms,
no breaks and never a rest.
I was that rising baker,
far too early out of bed,
struggling to make a quid,
making other people's bread.
I was the shiny business suit,
with a Nikon in my hand,
taking a dozen photos,
as I bought up half the land.
I was just another tourist,
Who wanted crocodile,
"Dundee, go and catch me one",
the waiter said with a smile.
I was the overweight pollie,
plying for everybody's tick,
making plenty of promises,
knowing some could never stick.
I was a sun bleached surfer,
and cherished my Malibu,
I looked for nothing finer than
a tube to glide straight through.
I was an Aussie number six,
dashing in my gold & green,
and hitting the finest century,
the MCG had ever seen.
Now, I ask all of the people,
who are in this melting pot,
to take this slice of heaven,
and be grateful for their lot.
For when I leave this earth,
and I get to paradise,
I hope it is like Australia,
and maybe half as nice.
Because when I look out at that harbour,
I no longer wish to roam,
because I am very, very happy,
to call this Australia Home.


Copyright Allen Jesson 1998


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