Tuesday Travels. . . A Canberra attraction that is often missed by tourists

Canberra, as our nation’s capital, has many attractions for the tourists but one which is perhaps not as well known as the others is the National Archives. . . . “We are the nation’s memory – a living collection of government records illuminating our history and identity.”

It is an unprepossessing building which in its former life housed government offices and was a post office. You can read its history on the red sign shown in the photo.

The Archives building is hidden away to the back and left of old Parliament House.  It is in the Parliamentary triangle so is within easy access of the Parliament buildings, the Art Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the High Court and Questacon – Science and Technology Centre. . . . . . .all worth a visit.

It had been a while since we had last been there so decided to pay a visit.  There was an excellent exhibition on the life of Gough Whitlam, one of our previous prime ministers.  The archives has much to commend it and I suggest you take a quick look at the National Archives of Australia website to get some idea of what to expect if you decide to visit.

I have used the online facility to research my family’s arrival in Australia.  You can get copies of documents and can make use of the reading room.  My younger daughter was able to get copies of the Defence service record of her grandpa who served on the Kokoda Track in World War 2.

 

 

The happiest refugee

I borrowed this book from the library.  I had read a great deal in the media about this book a few years ago but only now have I got round to borrowing it.

the happiest refugee

Australia, at the moment is going through a period where petty politics is playing a large part when it comes to people seeking asylum here. I wont get into the debate but I will say that Australia is a huge country and surely there is enough room and resources for those seeking asylum.  

Anh Do is an Australian comedian and started off by doing shows on what it was like to be an immigrant in an immigrant family in Australia.

His book tells of his life as he grew up in Australia as a poor, Vietnamese refugee.  He also tells how his family escaped Vietnam in a boat and the difficulties that entailed.

This is a very easy book to read as it is really just a collection of incidents in his life and he manages to find the humour in the most trying circumstances.

It’s a good book, full of humour. It shows how refugees work hard to make the most of the opportunity they have been given by being in a new country that is safe for them.  Now why don’t the politicians realise this?

Common people common dreams

2014-361--the-refugees-dilemma-AUSTRALIA-TORTURE-ASYLUM-SEEKER-POLICY-

(I realise it has the copyright mark on it but I have read the copyright on the website and the general public can use the cartoon image for free)

Moscow 1980 not 2013 can you remember anything significant happening?

I have just finished a book by Lisa Forrest called Boycott which tells of Australia’s controversial road to the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Certainly it was worth the read. I had only a vague idea of the politics behind the boycott but this book gives the background and the political manoeuvring that went on behind the scenes.

Boycott

From the book jacket:

In 1980, in response to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, the Fraser government asked the Australian Olympic Federation to Boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. The AOF refused. By the time the Austalian team marched in to the Opening Ceremony, the controversy had split Australia in two. The Olympic team had defied pressure from the highest levels – as well as unprecedented public criticism – and Australian sport would never be the same.

The tragedy of it all was the psychological damage the whole affair had on many of the possible participants in the Games. When you consider that Lisa herself was only sixteen years of age and was captain of the swimming team, having to cope with the assault by the public and the media must have had such an impact on her. Tracey Wickham was one of the main victims of the boycott and Michelle Ford was never really given the recognition for the gold medal she won.

I really can’t do justice to describing the book but you will have to read it if you are at all interested in the Australian Olympic Federation and the Olympic Games. The book also gives good background history on leading Australian officials in the Olympic movement.

Australia, other than Greece, is the only country to have participated in all the games of the modern Olympiad.