Living In Australia

 

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Paul Chong                                                                   Thursday, 14 December 2017

 

In a word, living in Australia is great . . . “a lucky country” in the downunder world, geographically speaking that is. Everything else is top of the world . . . rich in natural resources, largest continental island in the world, beautiful weather with sun, surf & sand for fun lovers, good first class education, opportunities for one & all in a truly cosmopolitan nation. Most importantly, fairness is practised in true meritocratic way.

I am a Chinese by descent . . . an Australian by consent. My family & I have been in Perth, Western Australia since 1982, that is more than quarter of my life. It is indeed a fortunate life with my three offsprings all acquiring tertiary education from a PhD holder, a specialist medical doctor to a civil engineer.

Though born & bred in Malaysia, I could never consider myself a Malaysian because of the non meritocratic system of extreme corrupt government since independence from British colonial rule. Every non Malay race is marginalised in all aspects of human endeavour & life. Needless for me to go into any detail of the ongoing unfairness & injustice upon looking back & looking in from outside. There’s no meritocracy but sheer  “democrazy”. Brain drain from the country is no surprise. What’s Malaysia’s loss is gain to countries like Singapore, Australia, US, UK & Canada.

Everyone wants & deserves a good life, but not to expect & demand on hand-outs, for that would be tantamounting to living on your knees rather than dying on your feet. You’ve got to work, not only working hard but working smart as well. Work is God’s design for our natural living.

In Australia the aged are well taken of. Medical care can be said to be par excellence. All possible help are extended to make life of the aged comfortable & safe. Under the scheme known as Home & Community Care (HACC), there are organisations offering facilities to take good care of you, especially as the song goes “When you grow too old to dream, you’d have them to remember”.

Really, old people can keep on living in their own home, best place to be, rather than to scale down moving to units or aged homes, unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are living alone, Red Cross provides visitor service whereby a visitor would come by on a regular basis to keep you company, have a chat with you, have tea or a game of card, or take you out shopping or medical appointments. Other organisations also provide such a service & other home services as well like domestic cleaning, minor home maintenance, gardening.

There’s that Triple A Care (Australian Asian Aged Care Program) with multiple home & community care services. Charges for the services are subsidised & all that is required is $8 per hour.

TADWA’s (Technology Assisting Disability WA) purpose is to improve the quality & enjoyment of life for people with disabilities, older people & those caring for them through the application of technology & the skills of volunteers & staff. For our home, they came & installed safety railings for our steep driveway, front & back garden steps. All we need pay pay is for the materials.

In the case of Chorus (its old name Volunteer Task Force) apart from providing gardening service & other domestic services, organises outings to places of interest & lunches. I am particularly impressed by their friendliness,helpfulness with extreme care & attention.`The staff & the team of volunteers are about the nicest people you will ever meet. A stranger is but a friend you have not met. You can have hundreds of friends`but none near you or ever in sight, you might just as well be by yourself.

Old habits die hard. Nothing like living the life you are so accustomed to`. . . free & easy to be living in your own home.`A man’s home is his castle, however modest or otherwise.`

In the final analysis, I wish the best for all Malaysians. I would further add by quoting what the DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said: ” If we love Malaysia, we must unite as Malaysian patriots to save Malaysia from corruption, kleptocracy, injustices, exploitation and the fate of a third-world nation”.““““`“““““““““

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No Half Measures . . .

Shire of Kalamunda
Shire of Kalamunda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Haynes St. Kalamunda. Looking down from Hans Cafe

The Shire of Kalamunda, in line with other Shires & City Councils,

has a scheme to aid pensioners & people with physical disabilities to live independent lives by providing them with gardening assistance, meals-on-wheels, home-care etc.

My wife & I have lived in Kalamunda Shire since 1988, and there is no other place in Perth that we rather be than right here in Perth Hills, where the air is fresh & the scenery more beautiful each day.

This is our home. There is no place like home.

Our Modest Home in Perth Hills

Of course, there is no free lunch in this whole wide world. There is always a price to be paid. But in this case, through the passion & compassion of the Shire, payment is subsidised. For instance, in the matter of gardening service as provided through Home and Community Care (HACC), the subsidised rate is only $8.00 per hour.

I am more than well qualified for the HACC Scheme – a man with more than three score & ten years of age, severe backache, severe glaucoma, diabetes . . . what more do I need to say. Initially, I was given two hours of gardening service once every four weeks.

However, one fateful date, one nice old HACC lady came by to reassess my entitlement. I told her at my age I would be lucky to maintain my healthy status quo & not getting any better or worse. That was on 17 of November 2011.

After the assessment, I was taken off the scheme! No particular reason was given. For weeks I was left in the lurch without any help 0r assistance whatsoever.

I wrote in a couple of times with medical evidences but to no avail. The irony was they were not interested in my medical conditions, which means that nothing medical nor age was ever considered. I was made to feel that perhaps it was a case ofracial discrimination. Legitimately, I have every right to my entitlement. But why should I be DEPRIVED.

Now, they reinstalled the service since 6 weeks ago – but only it’s going to be ONCE EVERY SIX WEEKS FOR ONE HOUR ONLY. On Monday, 8 October 2012, Michael our new gardener called and did a wonderful job from 12.45 PM to 1.45 PM. He was specifically instructed to do only our front yard!

Neglected Backyard – Tall grass & weeds
Viewing from right – Neglected Backyard

But what about my backyard? Well, I guess the grass & weeds got to stay long & plentiful, certainly not good for health & summer bush fire!

Michael was telling my wife that he was finding it tough to do his work within the hour allotted. He concurred that more time should be given and MORE FREQUENCY e.g. at once every three to four weeks & two hours at a stretch.

More regular cutting makes life easier for the gardener.

When saving a man . . .

You don’t save him in half measure!

 

Turn Your Disability to Victory

Turn Your Disability to Victory

In golf there’s often that love hate relationship!

Do you look forward to your weekend round of golf, only to experience frustration, anger and disgust!

If so, the following story will fire you with inspiration and wild imagination!

The human body is a miraculous piece of biological mechanism capable of performing feats beyond your wildest imagination. Recently, I learnt from CBS of a young man by the name of Kyle, through the mishap of congenital birth was born without arms and legs, and yet is a champion wrestler. For the keen golfers, whether you are only a weekend player or playing more frequently, you might have heard of Dr David Gaudin, whose handicap, as low as 12, is now about 20.

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Such a handicap you might say is nothing worth emulating. However, David Gaudin was born without legs, and like Kyle, that hasn’t stopped him from playing the game he loves. Zeke Bratkowski, that old Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers quarterback, a 5-handicapper at age 73, who’s been to places and seen lots of things, has this to say: “Dr. David shows how magnificent a human being can be.”

The amazing thing is that he uses regulation clubs and hits full shots from his stool with a conventional grip. He pitches, chips and putts from the ground. His best drives are low-trajectory fades that go some 200 yards to his target. He makes an uncommon number of putts inside 10 feet. This is what he has to say: ”We all do the best we can with what we’ve got.”

David Gaudin is 57 years old and has played golf since his Baton Rouge High School days, when a school buddy said. “Let’s get a stool.” Initially, David was falling off the stool and repeatedly getting on and was soon loving it. At Louisiana State University, whenever he and his buddy Walter Smith III were short on grocery money, they would look for golf opponents, or rather golf pigeons, eager to take advantage of a handicapped player with no legs. Smith might have negotiated three shots a hole because of David’s physical handicap – no legs and how could he ever play golf? At day’s end, two shots a hole were more than enough to feed the hungry college students.

David was born with a condition known as femur-fibular-ulna, a good-looking guy and everybody’s friend. He wrestles, plays football. With a torso of a 200-pounder, he bench-pressed 450 pounds, but they wouldn’t let him wrestle heavyweights saying he might get hurt.

Together with his wife Beth, a nurse practitioner, and four partners, they have 25,000 patients. Now a husband and father of two sons and step-father of a daughter, Dr. Gaudin drives most every weekend from Louisiana to Florida, where he pilots his 65-foot yacht and plays golf with whatever pigeons flutter his way.

Paul Chong

An Avid Golfer