Backpacker speaks on concerns over Wallaville church
HELLO, my name is A., 30 years of age, female, from Germany.
I followed the discussion about the church getting converted into a backpacker's hostel in Wallaville in the past and finally i find that I have to say something. So here's the third point of view:
I am travelling since 16 months through Australia on a work and travel visa, so i am a so called "backpacker".
Though i travel in a car.
A car that I bought from the money I earned here working on farms, doing hard work for almost six months.
Work that most of the Australian people wouldn't do as it is the same thing in all countries, Germany included:
The German people complain the same about young people coming over from Poland and other eastern countries to harvest asparagus, work that no German person would do cause its physical hard work for little money. Same in Australia.
Travelling through Australia, spending the hard earned money on nice fresh local food, same as I do back home, supporting locals rather than buying stuff from Asia.
Buying my laptop here in Australia, my camera, my smart phone, my Wifi device.
And then, getting offended and lumped together with all the other 20-year-old backpacker that of course party, drink, smoke.
But not all.
There are many like me, not post school but post university, who have a different way of life, people who have a good job back home but just decide to have a break in between, still get offended as the bad "backpacker".
Before coming over to Australia I had my own business as a physiotherapist, working hard in a six to seven days shift for the last couple of years, being a stable and respected community-member.
Saving money to buy a house and start a family but still having the dream to go overseas, go to Australia.
So I put the money I saved for buying the house to the side, not touching it for the journey. Just bought my ticket and something for the first weeks and came here to start from almost zero, to experience what Australia is really about and not from the point of view as a rich tourist.
And I experience a beautiful country with wonderful people but just as long as I don't mention that i'm a backpacker.
Sometimes I say i'm a car-packer, cause I travel with a car.
Cause I have a box with pans and pots to cook and a box with food and spices cause I'm not a backpacker who survives on McDonalds or toast bread with barbecue sauce.
I have a healthy diet with fresh local meat and salad, free range eggs.
And I ask myself: so many Australian people come to Germany, freak out on the streets till early morning because they can't handle that alcohol is so cheap over there and we have to put up with them and we do cause some of us are happy that people have the possibility to experience freedom.
Because we are not that far away from countries that don't have personal freedom, that are supressed by the government, we know countries where young people don't even get a visa to leave the country!
But you sit here in Australia, closing your eyes to what's going on out there! You have really no idea!
And then you write things in the newspaper like: " These backpackers wander around quite scantily dressed and hold parties."
Or Mrs Dowle fears the school building could be vandalised?
I will just tell you - the kids in Europe have shorts on that don't show half of their backside (or bottom) like here in
Sometimes I see here young kids in primary school age and I get shocked because parents in Germany would never allow their kids running around in this revealing style!
And please tell me who would rather vandalise a building: the one who gets up at half four in the morning to go to work and comes back at 4pm, gets a shower, gets a rest, cooks his dinner, maybe some washing or shopping and goes to bed at 8 or 9pm because he's tired from a hard day working in the sun on a field or in the orchard -
or the one who is just bored, hanging around, being ignored by the community?
I mean, you have a pub for the people to go there after work, what do you offer your kids in this village?
And if you say the backpackers are just making party, drinking, smoking, what kind of example are you for your kids?
Your kids grow up here with the sense that going to work and having a beer or three after work is the only sin here in Wallaville?
My parents back at home never went to a pub, neither other members of my family! And they didn't had a job in an office!
Now tell me how many members on the side against the new hostel are real locals and how many just moved here in the last couple of years?
How many of them are just on their pension, with a lot of spare time and how much of this time did they spend
in the last year i.e. as a volunteer for the kids (if they care really so much about them) to organise a summer festival or any sport tournament in Wallaville?
The only thing what they are interested in is not getting disturbed in their pension life.
Which I could actually understand if all backpackers were rude, noisy, scantily dressed and party hard. But we are not.
Being already 30 years old and a settled person I can't understand that people in the age of the protesting residents can be so unreasonable to lump everybody together.
Would you wish that the people who travel here in Australia go back to their countries and say: "Oh, all Australians are alcoholics and every farmer grows his own marijuana,"?
So stop yourself judging cause i'm really tired of that!
Being 30 years of age I don't need any onsite supervision like Ms Offord was complaining.
And if you just make a survey through the neighbourhood you'll see that not even half the town is opposed to the plan converting the church into a backpackers.