Dilemma of being a ‘Westie’

Yes, this is another article about ‘Western Sydney’.

Not your usual whiney – “I’m disadvantaged because I’m from the West” – type of article, though.

Quite the contrary.

Western Sydney is often portrayed as the scene where many a drop-out school kid is hanging out at the local train station. Where police have trouble controlling the crime rate. Where all dole scammers live.

Having grown up in Fairfield, I have walked past those noisy groups of young people at the train station, witnessed the impact of local crime and met the dole scammers.

However, this picture of ‘Western Sydney’ is what I describe as a semi-reality.

Why a semi-reality? Because behind the rough exterior lies some polished gems of young people from a diversity of backgrounds who are making their dreams come true.

However, the success stories get little attention.

And the belittling mentality towards ‘Western Sydney’ seems to be seeping into the minds of many young people living in the region. More often than not, I hear friends and peers from the West saying, ‘Oh I’m from the West, they won’t accept me’ or, ‘I’m a Westie, I won’t get that job’.

Indeed, many believe that they are at a disadvantage simply because of their postcode.

But what these young people need to do is to draw on the many success stories that are coming out of ‘Western Sydney’. For its part, the community needs to start publicising these stories because the area is not the deep dark hole that it’s made out to be.

While I understand where some of the frustration is coming from, being a ‘Westie’ (a label I wear proudly), should not be used an excuse not to get ahead in life.

Rather, it should be thought of as a motivator. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you don’t like your situation in life, try to do something about it.

Stop blaming ‘Western Sydney’ because it’s not where you come from that counts; it’s where you are going.

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~ by widyanalubudy on July 27, 2013.

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