Recently, on August 27, I participated in a translation/interpreting workshop in Canberra, the Australian capital, which houses the headquarters of the main official agency regulating our profession. We had a fruitful discussion.
There are no direct flights between Cairns and Canberra, so I flew there via Sydney, where I stayed for a couple of days in transit, and back – via Melbourne, where I spent less than one day.
The flight from Sydney to Canberra was delayed for technical reasons and I arrived on the 26th late at night. In the morning, I had little time – only for the Internet, e-mails and breakfast. So I did not explore Canberra this time: my experience was limited to a taxi, a hotel and the office where the workshop was held. It’s OK, I’d been to Canberra there many times, and I know it quite well. The main thing was a successful workshop.
It’s interesting to note that I came there after Australia had just changed leaders.
On the day of my departure from Cairns, August 24, as a result of internal squabble within the ruling coalition, Scott Morrison became the new prime minister of Australia, after Malcolm Turnbull, the previous prime minister, was removed from power by inner-party voting (almost like a coup).
Turnbull belongs to the left wing of the Liberal Party, and Morrison belongs to the right wing. Turnbull was for the equality of gays, and under his government a law on same-sex marriage was adopted, whereas Morrison is a homophobe. They have different positions on other issues too.
The new political mess did not please the Australian people. Instability, inner-party fighting both within the coalition (consisting of the Liberal and National parties), and inside the Labour Party, impressed nobody. Over the past five years we have had five prime ministers! As if it were a banana republic. Power greedy politicians are making an indecent circus, and the latest change of leader may have become the last straw, and next year, when the federal elections are held, the coalition is likely to lose, along with Morrison. The homophobe will be ruling no more, and a progressive Labour government will come to power. The Labour have been demonstrating stability for the last five years in the opposition and seem to have learned from their turbulent past. In addition, they are for LGBT friendly, and are promising to help our community further.
In Sydney, I had the opportunity to walk around the city, visit various interesting places, and meet a number of gays. You will see today my photos of Sydney, and I hope they reflect the good time I had there.
Soon I’ll also place a few photos of Canberra, separately – there are not many of them, and two of them were taken from the air. As I said, I did not have the opportunity to wander around our capital this time.
In the near future, I will also place a selection of pictures of Melbourne, where I managed to walk in the evening and in the morning. This selection will be accompanied by a small report about Melbourne.
Here in Cairns, we are preparing for the Tropical Pride, which will take place on October 12-14. A number of LGBT activities will be held. This is a local long-standing tradition.
Our everyday gay life is not stagnant either, but the Pride stands out for its intensity and enthusiasm. It really brings the whole LGBT community together. Only a short time to go before it happens.