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

Drop-in centre could help troubled youth

ENOUGH: Trevor and Kerry Wone would like to see the community working together to overcome the problem youth violence on the streets of Bundaberg.

"We want to get these kids off the streets”.

End of an era for Eidsvold Station

MOVING ON: Sally and Anthony Coates saying goodbye to Eidsvold Station, the property they've lived at for decades.

Anthony and Sally Coates set to leave Eidsvold Station.

Aussies carve watermelons as Halloween becomes 'Aussie'

It is no longer something that Americans do. It is here to stay

Local Partners

Drop-in centre could help troubled youth

A COUPLE desperate to solve the problem of youth violence are starting up a not-for-profit organisation to push for a drop-in centre in the Bundaberg CBD.

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Queensland's oldest pipe band needs your support

ALL THINGS CELTIC: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band is coming to the Moncrieff.

"Keep Bundaberg's Scottish band entertaining for many more years”

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Drop in rental vacancies for Bundaberg

ALL OVER: The decline was across the state.

Encouraging signs for market

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available