Opinion

OPINION: It's time we replace the B word with the F word

I WANT to tell you about some of the kind things my friends have done. 

Why? Because it's not often enough that we talk about these things, and talk about the kindness that lives right here in our community. 

I'm hoping it might inspire others to share their tales, too. 

Just last week my friends and I were having getting set for a barbecue at the beach. I realised I'd left my bank card home when we got to the check-out. 

Without a single second of hesitation, my friend pulled some money out of his wallet, looked at me and said "don't worry, I've got this".

Sometimes, my friends have cooked me dinner and made me special treats just to surprise me. 

I have a couple of friends who call me every few days just to check how my day has been, just to make sure I am well and chat about life. 

Last summer, I was a mess after my beautiful dog died after 13 years.

A friend of mine heard this and told me not to worry, he'd be over to dig the grave so that I didn't have to, and that it didn't matter if the ground was rock hard, he'd get it done for me so I could grieve.

Then he told me he wanted to be there for my little dog's burial, and he offered me a shoulder to lean on when I felt sad. 

My friends know I love dogs, and that's why one of my friends - who is quite the artist - drew me a beautiful picture of my other little dog. 

I helped one friend out with a few things and in gratitude, his sister bought me some beautiful gifts because she was so thankful. 

Recently I had to undergo surgery, and again, my friends were there for me when I couldn't drive and when I needed cheering up. 

Now what if I were to say these friends all had one thing in common? That's right - they're backpackers. 

These are the same people who tell me they face mockery, abuse and regularly being pelted with eggs from moving cars in our city. 

This makes me sad. 

Many people complain that backpackers are taking jobs or just plain want to pick on them because they're ignorant and don't understand that other cultures are not all that different to ours at the end of the day. 

Perhaps some think it's easy to get away with mistreating them or laughing about them because they're from a far away place. 

I've been in contact with a lot of backpackers over the last few years through helping them to learn English and I'm so glad for the chance to meet some amazing people.

I'm grateful for the fun moments, the kindness, the chats and the ways in which I've been able to travel the entire world right here in our city. 

We should never think badly of the fact we have a strong backpacker population, because they are just as much a part of us as we are of them. 

They are an asset. They are some of the threads in the fabric of who we are. 

If they are here for three months, 12 months or two years, they are part of our community for that time.

They're not outsiders - they are part of Bundaberg and they are part of our culture with so much to share. 

When we use the word "backpacker", we turn foreign workers into the "other". 

We become the norm because we're making something else abnormal. 

Perhaps the word "backpackers" is out of date, perhaps it's time for a new word. 

Friends, perhaps?

Topics:  backpackers, bundaberg, opinion




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Fight between housemates ends in court

Bundaberg court housePhoto: Zach Hogg / NewsMail

31-year-old handed suspended sentence

Power prices a barrier to biofuel boom: canegrowers

OPPORTUNITY: Meadowvale farmer and Canegrowers director Tony Castro.

Plans for Australia’s first “biorefinery” in Gladstone

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Latest deals and offers

Star Time Lapse

NIGHT SKY: The stars over the Kolan River on the 25th June 2016. Photo: contributed

A short video of the stars over the Kolan river in time lapse on the 25th June...

Travis Mittelheuser Tae Kwondo

HIGH KICK: Travis Mittelheuser and Coach Ian Fauth practice some moves at Improvements Gym, Bundaberg. Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

A short video about Travis Mittelheuser talking about his trip overseas to...

Tax scam call

Message left for a Bundaberg lady trying to scam her out of money.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%