rufus.

On this lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon, I’m finding myself obsessed! with Rufus’ new album ‘ATLAS’.

Their chilled electro vibe makes me dream of Mediterranean beach sunsets, or an island in Thailand, sipping a cocktail with my feet in warm, soft sand.

Rufus are btw full of Australian goodness, and based in Sydney. I think I love them!

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a place on the river

Recently, I spent a day in Footscray, a suburb in Melbourne’s inner west.

There is plenty to be excited about in Footscray. Firstly because the suburb is characterised by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular. Once a centre for Italian and former Yugoslavian migrants, it is now a hub for Vietnamese, and increasingly, East African immigrants in Melbourne.

Interestingly, Footscray is named after Foots Cray, on the River Cray in Kent, England (UK).  For over 40,000 year, Footscray was home to the Aboriginal Woimurrung and Boonwurrung tribes of the Kulin nation.  In 2011, Footscray’s 13,193 residents came from an impressive 135 countries. Needless to say, the restaurant scene is booming with different cuisines and there are currently about 30 Vietnamese restaurants, 20 Indian, 17 Chinese and several African, Australian, Indonesian, Italian, Thai, Turkish, Malaysian, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese restaurants.

Stats from 2006 show that less than half of Footscray’s population (41.1%) was born in Australia, and the main countries of overseas origin are Vietnam, China, India, United Kingdom and Italy. In the 21st Century, Maribyrnong municipality of which Footscray is a part of saw a major increase in residents from Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma, including a large proportion of refugees.

At a first glance, Footscray may seem like a dirty, neglected and perhaps dangerous place. If you take a closer look however, there is evidence of great social connectivity all around. This is particularly evident in the way many residents know each other’s first names, and the many people chatting with each other in the streets. A friend of mine rode his bike through Footscray and told me that when his bike suddenly broke down in the main mall, several individuals came to his rescue and in a joint effort they were able to fix his bike. When going to the Footscray market, a widely known institution, there are plenty of conversations to be had with the various fruit and vegetable merchants. It’s all about establishing a relationship with your butcher or fruit vendor. In the restaurants, the hospitality is warm, welcoming and down to earth. At the various bakeries and cake shops, whether it’s Italian or Vietnamese, there is a sense of pride related to the sharing of cultures and traditions. To me, Footscray is where postcolonial Australia really takes form and demonstrates what a multicultural society is all about. Footscray intrigues me so much that I have started photographing life in the suburb. I’ll share more as I go, but for now I have some photos from my initial visit. Please click on the photos to view them in a larger format.

IMG_6705 the station

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IMG_6703 donuts

IMG_6733 saigon

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IMG_6714 woman walking

 

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The last week has been a whirlwind of different activities, particularly now that I’m also in the market for a new job! Never a dull moment as they say. I still managed to fit in a cheeky morning tea at Hausfrau yesterday.

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Hausfrau is a bakey in Yarraville serving up great European delights, like Apfel Strudel and Danish pastries. I always come here for a treat and to catch up on my reading with the wide selection of magazines available.

On my way home, I caught a glimpse of a fabulous set of table & chairs outside ‘Sedonia’ in Seddon Village. Like any other breathing 30 year old female, I am a tiny bit obsessed with vintage. Sipping a cocktail in these chairs in the backyard on a balmy summer night? Don’t mind if I do!

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I’ve been mildly obsessed with coffee as well lately, so no wonder I had to laugh when I noticed this little quote on a wall in Yarraville village.

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Now, if only I could add ‘young, feisty and with sex appeal’ to that, both the leader of the opposition AND me might actually get somewhere! For the rest of you, ask yourselves what you’ve done wrong to potentially get that guy as your next prime minister.  It must have been something really….bad.

Thank you, Julia.

As the week is coming to an end, it felt like it was time to acknowledge the sad week we’ve witnessed in Australian politics. In a shock twist, Julia Gillard was forced to let go of the prime ministership on Wednesday night, after Julia herself had called a ballot the same day. Of course we all understand that the pressures internally in the Labor party to conduct such a ballot at this point in time would have been strong. So about as sudden as she had risen to power, she was gone again, and Kevin 07 wasn’t slow to make himself comfortable in the power chair.

While countless articles and opinion pieces have been written on the things Julia did wrong as the prime minister well as the things she did right, I’d like to pay tribute to her for the extraordinary resilience, strength and professionalism she portrayed while she was time and time again subjected to extreme bullying and vicious harassment by her peers, the media as well as the people of this country, primarily because of the fact that she was a woman. Australia might like to look at itself as a progressive, forward thinking and highly developed country, however when faced with a woman as the prime minister the real issues around misogyny and inequality suddenly revealed its ugly head. The sort of descriptions that emerged in the public debate made you wonder if people would ever call their mothers or daughters similar things, and if the answer was no, why on earth the prime minister of the nation should the target of such cruel abuse?! The lowest of the low occurred a few weeks back when radio host Howard Sattler suggested on national radio that Julia’s partner of many years, Tim Mathieson, must be gay. Even when she politely answered that of course he’s not, Mr Sattler kept at it and wouldn’t let it go. It was only due to Julia’s extreme resilience and professionalism that she didn’t just walk out of the studio right there and then. What Mr Sattler was essentially insinuating was that it was hard to believe that any man could be in a sexual relationship with Ms Gillard. Why? Because what kind of man could be attracted to such a strong, independent and unbreakable woman? What kind of man wants to lie down next to a woman who doesn’t cry, who isn’t a mother and who never shows any signs of weakness? Only a gay man, of course.

Julia Gillard, you will be remembered for your courage and guts, and most importantly for your commitment to making life better for all Australians.

Like she said in her final speech, let’s just hope “it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that….”

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