This is a touchy topic. I expect some will disagree, that’s fine to do, but please keep your comments civil or they will simply not be approved.
Yesterday, myself and Felix’s father went to view the block of land we would potentially build our house on. Now, we are on a low budget, and it’s a small block on a “Sardine estate” as I like to call them. Even for this tiny block, the closest to the city we can afford is a town 40 mins away, at the very end of the train line. Basically, there’s little to no choice if we want to get anything at all.
So here we are, brum brumming down in our car, full of optimism. Yes, it’s small, but we were assured by Homestart that it was a nice new suburb close to amenities and a primary school – sounds good enough for us! As we draw closer, we drive through Armadale, a town notorious for outbreaks of violence, petty crime and a high population of Aboriginal people. Sure enough, we drive through graffitied houses, bus stations buried with litter, and large groups of Aboriginals gathered outside of shops and parks drinking from paper bags.
Myself, Felix’s father, and of course Felix, are incredibly white. Me and Felix are both natural blondes, his father is a chestnut-brown, and we are all very pale skinned.We look to many as your stereotypical white Australian family, in a work car which is a Triton (A ute with a cab on it).
We felt uneasy driving through these sorts of scenes, with many of the Aboriginal groups making unfriendly gestures; be it flipping the bird, spitting on the path, or simply snarling. So we look for an alternative route to our new suburb, however unless we want to add another 20 mins to the drive and come from the south, there isn’t one. We pass a small piece of bushland and a railway line, and on the other side is our suburb, just as we expected it to look – Small, new, quiet. We hadn’t anticipated it being quite so close to Armadale. We drive around it a little, and yes, there is a little shop close by, a primary school, and some farm houses on the outskirts. Its all rather nice.
However, on our way back home (The same route we would have to drive every time we entered or exited our home) we again pass these collections of Aboriginal people, and again feel a little threatened and uneasy by the unwanted attention. And we begin thinking, do we really want this every day? Do we want to have this hostility at the local shop, do we want our son to eventually go to a school with this sort of locale? And the answer is simply no. I have no problem with races, but the atmosphere created by the sheer number of Aboriginals in this area who are generally very poor, compared to the white folk who are not so poor, just makes the place very unappealing. As such, we are looking to build in another area.
This raises some questions for me… How does this sort of attitude begin? And how can it stop? The reason the house prices are so cheap in that area is more than likely because many people don’t wan’t to buy there with it being so hostile, and that just leads to a bigger and bigger gap between the percentage of black/white, which I assume simply amplifies the attitude over time. However, many people who are looking for cheap houses are those like us who are starting families, they won’t want their children growing up next to a rough neighbourhood.
It’s all a bit of a pickle, isn’t it?