Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta Episode 3–SBS last night

I did watch it, despite the many alternative offerings last night – and I found it informative and ultimately inspiring. The web discussion covers everything from the cretinous upwards – more upwards, thank God. I’m afraid I get increasingly impatient with Hansonite whingers however:

This show could have been great but it was let down by the programmers’ relentless blame directed at people in government often referred to as "the authorities". At the same time, the people who were selling heroin to make easy money, instead of going to school or working, were mostly portrayed as victims. The whole show was one sided – quite ironic when sbs is supposed to promote ALL cultures not make Australians the bad guys.

That’s not racist; it’s merely stupid. Yes, “the authorities” comprehensively fucked up – as even Tim Priest has been saying for years – and no-one can accuse Priest of being a chardonnay socialist or a hippy multiculti.  On the other hand, thanks to the likes of Thang Ngo and Ross Treyvaud (at one time a Liberal candidate for Cabra) the end of the story really is uplifting – and the ‘authorities’ finally began to get it right. No way is this a case of the Australians being the bad guys, partly because, my Hansonite zombie friend —




Sad how something so bleeding obvious as that constantly escapes what passes for consciousness in some of my fellow citizens, especially at this time of year.

As Andrew Jakubowitz noted in one of many insights through the series, in the end the system actually worked as people realised that the essence of Australian multiculturalism is that ALL Australians are entitled to a say and a voice.

Kudos too to Helen Sham Ho.

I was in the ESL/Multicultural Education sector from 1996 through to 2005. I was aware of some of the Cabramatta issues, indeed now and again some of them even impinged on SBHS, but mainly through the sources available to us all and the distortions of the politicians on the one hand, the former police commissioner included it appears, and the sensationalising tabloid media on the other. It has been very valuable to have this overview. Thanks, SBS.

The first episode attracted 626,000 viewers, coming in 9th for the night and 2nd in its timeslot.