Sunday, April 22, 2012

My vision of the future for Broome .. by Billie McInerney (16 years old)

Recently, Hands Off Country conducted a children’s writing and drawing competition based on their visions for the future of Broome, following is one of the many entries received. Old times. I’d left to Perth; I was studying in uni down there. Working to live .. with no beautiful beach to slug on and no warm clear waters to indulge in, I was surely losing my mind. Every day was a haze of stress and people, unfamiliar people. The air was crowded with things that did not belong, dangerous things. People’s faces were crippled with the weight of sky scrapers and endless stacks of paperwork. Happiness was a foreign term, and relaxation was even more foreign. For these reasons I needed to escape. I needed freedom. I needed life. So I came back to Broome. I remembered Broome as a place where life wasn’t a race. Life was clean air, white beach strips, and mountainous sand dunes, red dirt that forced you to wear daggy clothes or the howling waves that drove you to shore. It was fishing for blue bone and wearing pearls, not knowing what time or even what day of the week it was, it was bushland that never ended, cuckoo birds. Broome was culture and community. Broome was freedom. Broome was my home. Although when I returned I wasn’t in Broome anymore. The air smelt familiar. Like the air in the city. Unfamiliar faces travelled by me. Familiar faces were worried and bleached. White construction cars flooded the streets. Houses and high buildings rose from what was endless bushland. Was I home? I decided to travel outwards, in the hope to find something familiar. An old camping spot perhaps. I found something. Something beyond what I knew. Trucks the size of houses. Machinery, pipes, scrap-metal. Smoke swallowed the sky while rubble choked the earth. Remnants of pindan cliffs lay flat, centuries old rock now demolished. Once white and red sand, now tons of concrete. Aqua blue water now grey with life perishing beneath its surface. The smell was chemicals, Sour and suffocating. The loud noise from machinery and trucks was deafening. A jetty stretched beyond the horizon devouring the ocean. It seemed a distortion of reality. It was a corruption, a thief. Country was no longer country, no longer wild and thriving, it was barren. Lost. Broome had been my place. A place to come back to and forget the stresses of my life. Broome was innocent and beautiful. Now it was Karratha.

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