Wednesday, 6 April 2016

How are you doing?

Came to Australia fifty years ago
Despite having a good job in England
But my wife and I were adventurous
And as sponsored migrants we had it good
Cheap fares for all at ten quid an adult
Kids travelled free on the three week cruise
Across the world just like a holiday
An adventure for my young family
While the children were still young
I found a job quickly, bought a house
Made very welcome given the vote
This country really needed us and more
Produced a little Australian of our own
Became a citizen after a few years
Had new friends from all over the world
The country wanted workers in those days
It had all its own industries
We made our own vehicles and toys
Our white goods and furniture too
Produced most of our own food as well
Made our own clothing and footwear
Ate fruit and vegetables in season
With great variety exported our surplus
It cost little to fill up the gas tank
Best place to live on Earth...sadly
We even trusted our politicians
It all changed, all for the better they said
But it wasn't, fruit didn't taste the same
New country of origin labels lied
Pristine environment was raped
Mining in every state making a waste land
Holes in the ground holes in our hearts
Seas and rivers were polluted and dry
Rare species of fauna were dying out
And now it is getting even hotter
New immigrants don't want to fit in
Politicians represent themselves
Stashing ill gotten money abroad
Multinationals now own everything
Even new shirts my size don't fit
As manufacturers abroad skimp
Yet no-one bears responsibility
This was the lucky country but no more
Well my fellow citizens of the world
Just how are you doing where you are?

Postcard image of 1960's migrant passenger liner sailing from UK to Australia


  1. Wow. Only 50 years showed such change! The shirt not-fitting is quite an image of how greed and miserliness replace the good of the whole. A master work of a poem, a chronicle of our time. So sad. And, in hindsight, was it ever preventable?

  2. That's quite a journey..for you and then for your country. Very interesting poem.

  3. Rob I think you have painted the backdrop of today's stage well. Where is honesty valued? Where are people willing to work for their upkeep?
    Where do politicians give rather than take from their constituents?

  4. About as well as you I'm guessing..mile by mile it costs more to travel the few hundred miles of this tiny island than to reach the other side of the banks..disability cuts..a government issue habitat size - isn't it a pity there isn't a £10 ship to deport arseholes.. sigh

  5. love the peaceful, pristine world that embraced you...sad to think what's left behind...almost the same story everywhere...

  6. Quite a remarkable response to the prompt..!

  7. We love Texas and most everything about living here. Our town is a tourist attraction, so we are busy on weekends. We can stay home, or attend one of many wineries with music. The US on the other hand is really in a funk at the moment in my opinion. The election coming up is a travesty.

  8. We have screwed it up royally the last 50 years........the way it was back then - local, sustainable - made total sense. We need to get back to that if we can loosen the multinationals' death grip on the planet.

  9. Robin, that definitely is quite a story. Really sad how things have changed in 50 years, but it sounds like for you at least you had the immigrants' dream. I wonder if it is true that today's immigrants don't want to fit in. I'd like to think that immigrants, for the most part, do wish to make a contribution to their new country. I also find myself wondering if countries are as welcoming today as they were 50 years ago. Somehow I don't think so.

  10. Fantastic story, the amount of change in such a short time. And while manuacturing has left and mining is damaging, it seems another industry is heading your way courtesy of the Tiger and Flies campaign in China, Gambling. It seems many of the big gamblers here in Macau are increasingly going to Australia to gamble. Could be another chapter, to volitile but fascinating story.

  11. I know everything changes, but this change you describe is more than sad. Where is this world going?

  12. Change is inevitable. Too bad it can't always be for the better!

  13. Your words resonate with me, Robin, as we share some common memories and experiences!