I’ve been asked a handful of times if I would consider nominating for local government or Parliament. Like many British born emigrants it never occurs to you are not an Australian…especially if you were a child when you left your country of birth.
The assumption of many Brits(10pound poms) like my parents-in-law was Australia is not truly Sovereign; the umbilical chord is still attached. The Queen is Head of State and the taxpayers continues to pay the tab for the Royals to come and visit the old colony.
I was spoon-fed a deep connection to Australia via my mother’s memories when she was transported to New South Wales, as a child migrant from the overwhelmed Orphanages in 1950. MUM’S HERSTORY LINKED – WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY – CHILD MIGRATION
I spent a lot of my childhood digging in the back-yard to reach the land down-under!
My allegiance to this country of Australia when I arrived as a teenager was absolute. I was glad to cut my ties because I had been going through a tough adolescence with my peers and I saw NO FUTURE for me.
It didn’t take much observation and reading the Daily Mirror to feel a sense of unpatriotic feeling with Enoch Powell, a Conservative M.P. stirring up hatred and fear with his racist speech against the kids I went to school with.
I sympathised with the IRA especially when the BBC reported they couldn’t show the Republican spokesman due to Government Censorship. Somehow in the daily diet of bombings, the Protestant Reverend Ian Paisley and security checks at the Children’s library I yearned for a new environment with kangaroos in the backyard!
When I was 18, living on my own with a bean bag, I confess to thinking I would go back to the Mother Country if there was a Revolution against Margaret Thatcher’s regime!
My husband said the same thought had occurred to him!
Then a funny thing happened entering Bali in 1984. Fatefully a Denpasar Airport officer said we didn’t have a re-entry Visa so wouldn’t be able to get back into Australia! But we live there!
This was confusing and worrying as I was 5months pregnant.
Roy’s parents in Highett would have a heart attack! So would our sisters in Frankston. Have you ever had a souffle sinking feeling?
The advice was to go to the Australian Embassy as soon as we settled into our hotel. A kindly official informed us she would issue a temporary visa but we would be need an Australian passport with Australian Citizenship even if we had emigrated in 1964 and 1978 on a family passport.
Nobody had told us we could be deported. Nobody told us we’d be put in a detention centre and sent back to that cramped, grey Thatcherite society. It was before Paul Keating had become P.M. and changed to oath to only have to swear allegiance to the country.
To be frank, I put my hand up to God and the Queen only to be pragmatic.
Currently the Australian M.P.s are still being bowled over by officially finding out they are dual citizens and not eligible to sit in Parliament. I bet there are millions of Australians reflecting on their geneology, and migration stories against the backdrop of the Australian Constitution section 44.
I’m HEADING TOWARDS THE BIG 4O YEARS since I arrived in Australia. It was Friday 13th January 1978 when we landed at Melbourne Airport. I had waited patiently for two years of paper shuffling before our family could emigrate away from the ‘hole-in-the middle’ of Birmingham.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
Like the Sex Pistols – I CARED FOR NEITHER OF THEM.
We were fortunate our step-father was a Master cold-screw setter from the Industrial West Midlands (the Black Country). He recognised the name of a former Manager who had moved to Melbourne and placed an Ad in the Birmingham Mail for a skilled worker who would train others.
In the ‘Lucky Country’ 6 months free rent and the best wages my parents ever had in their lives, but they were not the prudent type.
IN MY DREAM LAST NIGHT I spoke to chief political journalist for the Guardian,
Catherine Murphy. She looks like she might have dual nationality, very Irish looking like my mum. Is our Federal Government imploding? What is the answer to all this mess? Sharman like I would consult with my ancestor Catherine Murphy:
THE ANSWER IS AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC – A NEW ANTHEM, NEW FLAG. I see it blowing in the wind… Turn a new leaf on the recycled paper to compliment the Commonwealth with a Bill of Rights.
Make the young people proud like they are in the Irish Republic, guiding the Australian tourists with Irish roots around the old Oppressor’s administration, Dublin Castle; and this is a portrait of our elected President….
That’s all we need to rescue our social democracy for our grandchildren’s fulfilment of their dreams.
.A decent income for your labours in a dream home with a pool in a sunny climate, and enough spare to use your 6 weeks long service leave to visit family and friends in the Mother Country. As you would.
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