Essay: ‘A home among the peach trees’

I recently wrote an essay, ‘A home among the peach trees’ about refugee settlement in regional Australia and I wrote it for two reasons. One was because while I care and am vocal about the cruelty with which Australia treats refugees, especially those in offshore detention, I also believe not enough time is spent discussing solutions. The other reason was because I genuinely believe that refugees and regional Australia can help each other to have a brighter future.

I am fortunate that today Right Now Magazine, the ‘independent, volunteer-run, not-for-profit media organisation focused on human rights issues in Australia’ has published my essay. While I am of course happy to have my words sitting alongside great writers, experts and thinkers, I am mostly pleased that one idea for a solution and way forward can be shared around a little more.

Below is the opening, and you can read the full essay on the Right Now Magazine website.

If driving into the regional Victorian city of Shepparton from the east, it is difficult to find a route that doesn’t take you through a corridor of fruit orchards. Resembling a low-rise forest, the fruit trees stand in perfect rows, their branches reaching out into the country air, changing as they adapt to the seasons. Woody and skeletal in winter, wearing glamorous coats of blossom in spring, and shading the ground below with large emerald-green leaves in summer before shedding these in the autumn. Apple trees, pear trees, apricot trees and peach trees. While the exact origin of these plants has been debated in the past, they aren’t native to Australia. They aren’t from here.

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Right Now Magazine is run on a very lean budget and it welcomes tax deductible donations. If you like what you see on their site, and are in a position to, consider donating to them.

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4 responses to “Essay: ‘A home among the peach trees’

  1. What an inspiring, thought provoking read Amy. That is easy for me to say as I live in this wonderful diverse community that has only grown culturally richer by the arrival and inclusion of so many different groups from around our shrinking globe. Mind you, for all the richness newly arrived immigrants bring to our community, theirs would difficult stories as I cannot imagine the difficult circumstances some would have faced about leaving their countries of birth.
    This is a sobering thought for many I have had discussions with over the Australia’s contentious issue of immigration.
    Congratulations Amy.

    • Thank you Geoff! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I agree, too often the pain of people leaving countries they would prefer to stay in if there were not e.g. ongoing war, isn’t thought about. We need to hear, learn and understand more about that.

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