I am retagging today writing “Mt Druitt”, The Area, It’s Residence” The Real Story” Not Struggle Street & Not the Ghetto.
Read Part #1 of “Elvis Presley – “In The Ghetto” Here
To recap.. Elvis Presley’s Song “In the Ghetto was a song that was originally titled “The Vicious Circle” when it was written by Mac Davis in 1969.
The song “In the Ghetto” that was made famous by Elvis Presley has a special place in my heart.
As a young adult coming through my year I wondered for many year what I would be like as a parent, would I be a person that my children liked, would I be a parent who rules with an iron fist or would I play fare but have a strong hold on the guiding rope that I held within my grip? so many questioned loomed in my mind when I found myself growing a little person inside me… I like most parents had many questions and many more trepidations – there was so much about my future back then that brought the very meaning of trepidation to the very forefront of days every moment. The meaning of trepidation is a person who has a nervous or fearful feeling of uncertain agitation.. well back in 1997 with my arms full of my babysitting and childcare experience thought that I had Motherhood in the bag….
Well “Wakey-wakey!” Mumma bear…! this mumma stuff I would soon learn wasn’t all shits and giggles – it was long hours and many unconfessed moments of oh my this is truly learning on the job.
What some don’t know about me is this (and for those who do know me personally, you will know that my childhood postcode is not the who and or what of the very things that defined me as a person).. I know oh to well where I came from.. I know that my childhood home town is now known and immortalised on tv as “Struggle Street” (ps. I don’t think that struggle street could ever go down in history as a place that has gained everlasting fame dur to the t show “Struggle Street” – if anything I don’t think that “Struggle Street” has helped the image or preconceptions that others have of “Struggle Street – Community members in Mount Druitt, in Western Sydney, say they only agreed to take part in the SBS documentary because they believed it would be about the issues facing the area. Community. “).
Struggle Street – My Childhood Home – the half told story can be view here – Reference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kopA7V1LmVI&list=PLUeQbxrqtbjH7e6_aN8rIgPT7IheeO4Jm
I that the story of “Struggle Street, My Childhood Home & The Town Of Mt Druitt is a Story Half Told because, what sbs’s betrayal of “Struggle Street & Mt Druitt” didn’t show was the hard working & tax paying citizens that have worked for many many years, some for all their lives – bringing up their families to be responsible and community minded citizens.
Call me biased, but I do have an insight to what it was like growing up in “The Druitt” as struggle street is better known as. I have seen the poverty and I have seen the drug related social and economic battles that these concerns have had on the community and its members… but I have also seen the people who have put blood sweat and tears into the property’s that they rent from the government “those run down housing estate and housing commissioned houses are not the profile or the existence of every person living in the “Druitt” area…. many of my childhood family’s and neighbours both still living in the area and long since moved have owned their own home and for those who rent the government based housing commissioned house they are not all run down squat holes like they have been shown to be by the SBS’s tv show titled “Struggle Street.”
There are indeed many family’s living on the poverty line in Mt Druitt and there are many of the towns citizens living off welfare checks and living hand to mouth… both with and without alcohol & drug dependencies.
I know that there is a lot of truth in the series production of “struggle street” but why oh why did the SBS have to only show one side of the already well publicised “Druitt” – “The Hole” – “The Wrong Side Of Town” – “The Houso Estate” – “The Drug Capital Of Sydney” – “The Drop Off Place For Low Income & Under Privileged Families With No Hopes For A Future, the doomed town with no likely hood of growth past being labelled the nicknames and the reputations that it is know because of. There are indeed many names that “struggle Street & The Town Of Mt Druitt are known by…. but what the people viewers of struggle street were denied in their viewing of struggle street was the hard working and life long members of the Mt Druitt community that come together to support each, to lend a hand when they are needed… the true Aussie spirit of Australia and the mateship that Australia is known for certainly lives in the people of “Struggle Street & Mt Druitt.”
Mt Druitt has many people striving to pull themselves off the poverty line and into jobs and education based training programs…. some of the citizens of the Druitt are Nurses, Counsellors, Forklift / Warehouse Operators, others are Doctors, Lawyers, Care Takers, Machine Operators, Childcare Teachers… I even know one of “Struggle Streets Ex-Community Members who busts her ass off each day and has done everyday to process the milk and other products that the snotty finger pointers need for their very existence…there is also a well know ww1 veteran who has received little recognition for his service over the years and has lived in homeless state in the Druitt are for many many years.
There is just as many people busting their asses off in the streets of “Struggle Street” as there are in any other part of the world. “Struggle Street” – “The Druitt” all of those names are labels given to a community of people or to the town itself by people who think that they know the streets of Mt Druitt… the tv told them and showed them all about “Struggle Street and it’s people… so that’s it “Struggle Street” the defamed and misrepresented town with a name that has many people cringing when they are told there is housing available for them in this area.
I myself left “Struggle Street” when it was still known as Mt Druitt & not as the defamed name “Struggle Street.”
The prejudice that I have received when I tell people of where I grew up is all giggles to them until I tell them that I am not ashamed of the hard work and the manicured gardens that my parents have put into their home… that I am not ashamed of the hours that they worked to put the food in our tummy’s and the shoes & clothing on our backs…. & I am certainly not ashamed to admit that I have seen both the good and bad parts of Mt Druitt and the people that live within its corridor’s. My bring up in the Druitt are doesn’t define who I am, but it certainly has made me value how it was that I was raised and it has a huge barring on how I treat people in my now adult years.
I moved out of “The Druitt” in 1994/1995 but I still have Family & Friends in the area… My Family home is still my Family’s home and we often meet as a group to shoot the breeze and enjoy gathering that go on for hours… My families homes are not squalors & the children with these homes are happy & busy being education both within the community and in schools surrounding the area.
I personally went to a selected High School and have attended private tuition and gamed secondary studies as a counsellor, my Mother is a Registered Nurse & My Father A fitter & Turner by Trade… I have an Uncle who owns his own Lawn Mowing business – he has been able to afford himself many homes both in the Druitt are and in surrounding areas over the years… I have another Uncle who has just socked up 40 years of service in the State Emergency Service, He himself worked for the City Of Blacktown and served his local community until his retirement, he to own his own home. I have friends who have put themselves through school and become teachers and social workers & have other friends who have pulled themselves off the poverty line and taken themselves back to school to prove that in diversity there is a way out of living day to day – hand to mouth.
“Struggle Street” community members are not represented very well in the SBS series “Struggle Street… the people are not spoken for, “Struggle Street” blanketed the whole town of Mt Druitt with a tared brush and made many of its residence either targets of its bad publicity or tagged citizens who are know for being good for nothing citizens that no one cares for. “Struggle Street” isn’t me or the people that I know and love and “Struggle Street” isn’t the people that are finding themselves through the truth of what has been shown to the world… “Struggle Street is a name, a hash tag… a description that isn’t at all accurate to the struggles that many people have had to face to be recognised for the hard work that they have endured.
“Struggle Street” is everywhere… It isn’t just Mt Druitt….!! & many people throughout the world are just one pay check away from getting first hand knowledge and experience of what a the tag of a socioeconomic, unemployed, government sucking homeless person would go through to survive each and every day.
Elvis Presley’s Song – “In The Ghetto”
As the snow flies On a cold and gray Chicago mornin’ A poor little baby child is born In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
And his mama cries ‘Cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need It’s another hungry mouth to feed In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
People, don’t you understand The child needs a helping hand Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day? Take a look at you and me Are we too blind to see Do we simply turn our heads, and look the other way?
Well, the world turns And a hungry little boy with a runny nose Plays in the street as the cold wind blows In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
And his hunger burns So he starts to roam the streets at night And he learns how to steal, and he learns how to fight In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
Then one night in desperation A young man breaks away He buys a gun, steals a car Tries to run, but he don’t get far And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers ’round an angry young man Face down on the street with a gun in his hand In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
And as her young man dies On a cold and gray Chicago mornin’ Another little baby child is born In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
And his mama cries (in the ghetto) (In the ghetto) (Aah-aah)
Oh the words of “In The Ghetto” sing to me….
All my life I have been aware of where I come from and I have heard the stories that have been whispered both through the media and from the mouths of those who feel that they have the hole story of a town that has been blanketed by the many for the socioeconomic, unemployment, government sucking homeless people and stories that have forever been told.
I remember the day that I moved out of Mt Druitt and was Tried and Convicted by the finger pointers that I chose to land in… who knew that I would be seen as a person from the wrong side of the tracks by my new community and as a person who sold out and game up by a handful of people in my old neighbourhood. Being told that you are a person of no worth or as a snot who is trying to be better that they actually are by both their old and new communities makes the struggle to become a person who has strived to work hard for all they have and are given well worth the energy & perseverance in being better than the tag lines that have fallen into my descriptive personal references.
I never cried so hard until the day that I found out that I was bringing my first child into this world… was my label of being brought up in Mt Druitt truly the thing that was going to define me and my abilities as a Mother?
My children are hard working and educate people who have had to work hard to earn everything that they have, if being brought up on “struggle Street” has taught me one thing it would be the value in hard work and pushing oneself to work hard and play hard for who they are and what it is that they want.
My children may never know what it is like to grow up on the streets and in the community arms of “Struggle Street” but I carry with me the lessons that I was taught in being respectful for what I have, being appreciative of what I am give… and work ever so bloody hard to get what I want and where it is that I want to go.
I live each day praying and hoping that my children will return to my fold after they leave the safety of their home for an education and a pay check that will take them from what I hope is my home – the home that I built with and for my fairly – in hopes of having a better tomorrow… As a parent the best that I can hope for us a better future for my children, hoping that they learn and gain enough knowledge to better themselves…. with enough self motivation to take themselves to a better tomorrow…
Maybe our now home will be someday known as tomorrows ghetto…. no matter what the future of any living arrangement or community housing area… I assure you “A Mumma Will Cry For Her Family, For Her Children, For A Better Tomorrow no matter where they find roots in their life’s geo-location.
I don’t live on the streets of “Struggle Street” and I am not that label that its members have been tagged with… “I have Climbed The Hill Of Mt Druiit & Struggle Street” and I am here to tell its story… “Struggle Street” isn’t who I once was and it certainly isn’t who it is that I am… but the ingredients that made me who I am wee forged in the community of struggle street & for that I say struggle street is and will forever be the place that I know as home.
The only thing bad about living in the “The Vicious Circle – The Ghetto” is the negative vibes and ignorance’s that other people so easily spew out.
& Ummm let me state the obvious…
there is crime, poverty, low income family’s, drug & alcohol as well as substance abuse everywhere… Mt Druitt is just the name of a suburb located in Western Sydney…
No Town, place, country or suburbs is free from the ugliness of addiction.
I survived growing up in Mt Druitt…
I have an education, a Higher School Certificate (I went to a selected High School)… A Diploma In Counselling as well as various other awarded studied areas… I am a web designer, a writer and a blogger, a mom of 3 and I have been married for nearly 19 years… Mt Druitt & it’s residents are not all walking & talking drug and alcohol addicted people… There is a whole new side to “Mt Druitt & Struggle Street.”
Mt Druitt was a different place when I was growing up there… things have changed and so have the people…. but I do believe that a home is what you make of it and for myself and others I know… Mt Druitt was home and I am no way embarrassed to say that is where I grew up… My childhood home & some of my family still live in the area like I sad in my writing above… Many Mt Druitt peeps are proud people who work hard & play harder… they raise their families against the diversity that the name “Mt Druitt” has given them… someday I hope “Struggle Street” has the other side of its story told.
” In The Ghetto ” resinates with me
because Mt Druitt is know as the Ghetto Of Western Sydney, but it should be known for the hard working & educated people that have proved that home is where you are raised and it is the journey of our lives that makes us who we are… where we come from is only part of our story…. My advice is “Don’t believe everything that you hear about Mt Druitt… whilst some of it’s true… there is some gemstones in the roughage of Mt Druitt.
Elvis Presley’s Song “In The Ghetto” is every towns, every suburbs, every Mumma teary story… “Then one night in desperation A young man breaks away He buys a gun, steals a car Tries to run, but he don’t get far And his mama cries”… crime happens every where and there are many Mumma’s around the world loosing sleep and worrying about what it is that their children are getting themselves into. Children need a hand no matter who theyt are and no matter what walk of life they live and walk in.
Author. Tanya Kelly