AM I REALLY STRUGGLING?
Everyone has seen the controversial and degrading ‘Struggle Street’ featured on SBS. Basically it ripping my community into reality TV shreds. Mount Druitt is always negatively portrayed, why isn’t there anything positive to say about our diverse community? I felt like i was being represented as a drug dealer, as a person who is looked down because of my postcode; 2770. The media always spins the news, and it is always out to make us seem less than human, the dole-bludgers of Sydney.
Are we really the face of ‘Struggle Street?’
In the heart of Western Sydney, 110, 269 people make up of the lovely suburb of ‘MOUNT DRUITT.’ Sure, you can look it like this; everyone in our community, like Mean Girls, has its own cliques: the bogans, the school kids, the mums, the teen mums, the homeless, the workers, everyone and then there is me. The one girl trying to figure out why Mount Druitt is seen as a disgrace to New South Wales.
When you hear “Mount Druitt” what do you think? You probably automatically think
Struggle Street painted a false picture of Mount Druitt. It depicted the ice addicts, the jobless the ‘lazy and forgotten’ people as a whole of Mount Druitt. It is literally a small percentage of the community who are like that. What is sad is that they used the most poverty stricken part of Mount Druitt for entertainment use. What effect will that eventually have? They are making money on lies.
But does it ever occur to you that maybe Mount Druitt is the heart of the most diverse community that exists in Sydney? This is probably due to the lack of representation for our diverse suburb. The postcode 2770 is affiliated with crime, drug addictions, the occasional drive-by shooting and the many fights that occur within and out of the shopping centre and streets of Mount Druitt, particularly Dawson Mall.
The media will portray what the media wants to portray, and yes facts are facts. It is a fact that we do not get enough funding from the government. We lack the proper funding for roads and for schools. Especially schools like Whalan Public School who do not have aircon in their classrooms. In saying that, the NSW Government Department of Housing have granted a the “Mount Druitt Bringing Stronger Communities,” Initiative. Which will help construct new housing for my community, to inevitably create stronger and supportive communities for people living in housing commission. I see this as a positive for us in 2770.
Dawson Mall, you could say is also heart of Mount Druitt, every person who lives there has walked through the infamous mall. You witness so much every afternoon, the man who sits in front of the take away shop every afternoon , singing to the locals who pass by. The Aboriginal lady who sits eloquently painting her rich history for people to see. The local school kids flocking to the library to do their homework or to be brutally honest, bringing in their food from the food court from the Westfield Shopping Center to the library and gather around the table and just catch up on their days at school. Sometimes, if you’re lucky you also see The Mount Druitt Hub, the local community centre for local kids who dance every Thursday and provide a free meal for everyone.
See? Why don’t the media share that? The one thing the media doesn’t tell you is that Mount Druitt thrives on multiculturalism, you literally can see an anyone from every ethnicity within this community. We actually thrive on community.
With over 100,000 signatures from the local community who petitioned together fighting for the Mount Druitt Pool to stay open, it was community spirit that made this petition work. The weeks of dedication the locals made for this to happen is astonishing and a result the pool was allowed to stay open.
With the several bad issues that go on in my area, the good outways it all. For example, the heart -breaking case of Kiesha Abrahams death. When the news broke out, a vigil began and ran for 7 days straight. Everyone from here was affected. Everyone gathered around her house, an overwhelming amount of toys, flowers, prayers and candles, an immense feeling of a community was felt.
From my perspective, yes there is bad reputation in my community. There is some poverty and major neglection and i do admit sometimes i don’t feel safe , but that is only when I'm out at night. (hardly ever) But let’s see the bigger picture, the people here are hard working, in fact Mount Druitt's Loyola Senior High School's highest ATAR around near 98. Western Sydney is the heart, this is the place where the hardest working people are found. The eager, the overlooked people are here. Give us a chance. Newer places are the target for theft, so why is it always mount druitt being associated with it?
“A lot of people have a sense of fear when they come to Mount Druitt, but they use it at a meeting place, it does not make sense.” — Nikki Sadsad
It is just like every other suburb within Sydney, so why don’t you give it a chance?
So, am i really struggling?