Good now at least I know… still new to this whole Blog concept… still trying to figure out what it is I might possibly do that could come close to interesting you all (he assumes, believing that of course, there are MULTITUDES of you out there reading all this blurb!).
Meekatharra, Western Australia is were I am right now. A gold mining town that has some interesting aspects to it. I work with a mob called Yulella Aboriginal Corporation, and they run what’s known as a Community Development Employment Project, although this mob also run four of their own businesses in and around town.
It’s pretty full on though… it’s hard to maintain a professional business air with people who have not had the chances to develop business and work skills like most mainstream Aussies. Hence, we often operate in a ‘hiccup’ zone, where things come together after only experiencing a series of smally to large, unplanned for ‘hiccups’. Understand one thing though; considering the ‘hiccups’ this mob had to come across to get here, some 14 years later they are operating four businesses that are now working for them instead of against them. There’s not to many successful businesses that can say that, certainly not if the playing fields were ‘leveled’ to one such as that Yulella’s had to play off over the years. All in all it’s a great achievement, regardless of the nay-sayers and ‘rock throwers’. It’s a hard place Meekatharra… it’s got ‘layers’ see, and for all the gloss you see on the surface it – like many places – has a past that wasn’t all that pretty. People still struggle to get along together here in Meeka, not necessarily all people… just some… but it has it’s problems and due to it’s remoteness (over 850kms north of Perth) it gets passed over quite a bit.
Despite this though, I like Meekatharra. People still ask me why. I think it’s because it’s surrounded by my favourite type of country, except some silly bugger went and put it on the edge of the desert, away from the sea. Meeka is full of people who do amazing things, they get on with the job, and get along. Relatively! Meeka struggles in its community harmony at times, experiencing some pretty unsocialble behaviour, but for all that – there’s amazing people here who refuse to let it run them down. They keep on doing what they do well and they do their best to keep their head above water – not allowing the ‘bulldust’ generated at times – to get on top of them. that takes a special type of person in my book, so I tip my hat to them. It isn’t easy being a local in Meeka, not matter what side of the road / fence you live on.
It’s pretty much a divided community for all sorts of bloody ridiculous reasons… I don’t pretend to understand all of them, but basically – most times – i find that once the bulldust is pushed aside most people just want to live together in a safe and welcoming community where they’re valued to some degree for their most basic contribution – themselves! It’s not a simple thing, certainly not something to undervalue, but it’s what a community consists of and this makes it strong. A community has nothing if it doesn’t have members, and members are nothing but individuals if they’re not involved in a community.
Two cultures clash here, and it’s an old story in Oz. Aboriginal peoples and Non Aboriginal peoples really struggle to understand one another, and they often get caught up in the associated bulldust that follows these types of dissagreements around. Despite that, there are good people here, a little misinformed perhaps (on both sides of the fence), a bit predjudiced in their opinions (again – both black AND white), but they try… even in the worst of times they try… and that’s more then some aorund this fair country of ours. I think this is what I like about Meeka – the good people who try and who give a stuff.
I like Meeka’s pubs – where it’s still a REAL pub and you feel like your in one. Not one of those dressed up fancy pants pubs in Perth – tripping over manicured persons of dubious personalities. I know what people do here in Meeka, I know people by name – where they work, what they like and don’t like, who they REALLY dislike… what makes ’em tick… if I chosse too I can stop and watch – and hear life ‘tick’ as it passes me by. I can’t bloody do that in the city… it slides by so fast, you’ve got to watch out you don’t get caught in its slipstream. Life isn’t pretty and false – like much of what presents itself in our flashier pubs and cocktail lounges in Perth… it’s jagged and sharp, it bites, it smells, it’s infectious and it doesn’t always have to like you… but it’s real!
I kind of like that about life, and I find it readily enough here – in Meeka.
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