On Australia Day, I was asked by a passerby if I was a refugee. I was bemused and responded, "No but are you a refugee?". The burly elderly white man with a white beard and a walking stick chortled a firm "no!". Yet, he persisted with me. "Where are you from?" he asked. I perked my chin up and proudly announced, "Mornington Peninsula". He shook his head, frustrated as if I was speaking on a different frequency; he insisted, "where are you really from!!?"
I do accept that I am relatively new to the country, but when will I be accepted as a welcome citizen or, better still, a Mornington Peninsula artist? If you are coloured or of non-European descent, it is generally accepted that you are "not from here" in Australia.
I do wonder when will I be accepted as a Mornington Peninsula artist? Will it be in ten years, twenty years or never? I am a coloured "foreigner", and yes, I see that I am not like the others who have been settler artists here for at least the last 100 years or more. Yes, indeed, I hope that I will have the honour of being accepted as a bona fide Mornington Peninsula Artist one day.