Struggle Street suburbs have been around for ever but tarring all ‘housos’ with the same brush is just boring

OPINION

What came through when I watched Struggle Street? Love. Sure it may have been slightly unconventional, but it’s love nonetheless.

To see the unpredictable Corey — who even scares his mum — continue to come in and out of his parents’ lives high on ice and be accepted back into the family says something of the love they have for each other. We should all be so lucky.

So why am I sticking my beak into the controversial debate surrounding the SBS doco?

Because I, like many, many others, grew up in government housing.

My hardworking mum and dad were never in the position to buy a house. Circumstances just didn’t go their way. Simple as that.

But we never grew up wanting for anything.

My mother has such strength, backbone, love, integrity and class and it shows in every part of how she kept her family and our home.

We may have been ‘housos’ but we didn’t become drug addicts. Or unemployed or preggers or criminals. We were kept busy living a normal life.

Sure, Mum has seen drug deals take place in her area. But hey, so have I in my current inner-city area where I have lived since I left home at 20.

My mother and late dad took total pride in our family home, making it as lovely, homey and perfect as they could. We lived in that same home for years, the same home that only recently was taken away from my mum, not long after dad died as it was deemed ‘too big’ for her to live in on her own. (Too big? You should have seen the size of it!)

According to reports, the family featured in the first episode are preparing to sue over their portrayal in the SBS three-part doco, because it has “ripped them apart”.

But many who watched it just saw Struggle Street as an accurate portrayal of a resilient family doing it very tough in western Sydney, much like many I knew back when I lived in housing commission.

I know what I got out of it wasn’t a ‘poor them’ mentality. Far from it. I thought, ‘this IS reality’. The reality of real life.

In my ‘city’ home life, I sometimes see more unhappy and sad people, even if they are surrounded by million-dollar houses, designer labels, fast cars, smarty pants parties and exotic trips away.

No matter how ‘messed up’ some of these Mt Druitt houses were and how basic the surrounds looked to some viewers. I couldn’t help but detect a genuine, unconventional type of love throughout the whole doco.

You’d never see the Real Housewives of wherever take one of their pals to school in the hope of getting them an education. Or rub the back of their husband who has so many health ailments he can barely get out of bed. Or welcome their ice-addicted son back into the family home.

It’s all too easy for some people to say ‘get off your arse’, ‘move into the city’ and ‘get a job’.

And that seems to have been the reaction of many viewers. But for many, it’s not that easy.

When I saved enough bucks, I made that move from the ‘burbs into the city.

I moved into the ‘city’ with two other girlfriends where we shared an apartment which cost $140 a week to rent.

I took a day at a time, lost some old school friends along the way, but moving from the ‘burbs did nothing but make me work harder for everything I have achieved and that makes me feel pretty OK about myself.

There were times when I was slightly embarrassed to say where I hailed from. But those days are gone.

What breaks my heart is that now my mum feels like all ‘housos’ have now been tarred with the SBS ‘Struggle Street’ brush.

‘Housos’ shouldn’t been condemned or demonised. And we shouldn’t tar every ‘houso’ with the same brush.

My mum and late dad were one of the classiest acts I have ever known. And while we may have grown up with some government housing support, it’s made me the person I am today which I’m forever grateful for.

This article was originally posted on news.com.au


It may not be Budget 2015 but private jets, limos & Dom Perignon won’t stop tonight’s VIP set

JUST as our Budget 2015 prepares to give us more to smile about* … a group of self-anointed VIP-lovers have unveiled a biz for those with no such budgetary concerns.

The VIP is an elite level lifestyle services provider planning on delivering a range of six-star lifestyle services and tailored package experiences, for individuals, groups and companies.

“We have aligned ourselves with the very best professionals in their industry, including Australia’s leading cosmetic surgeon, celebrity personal stylists and Hollywood’s preferred cosmetic dental surgeon, Dr. David Carr,” says VIP founder Karim Gharbi.

“Other services include personal trainers, VIP hosts, masseurs, personal security, supercar hire and chauffeur-driven luxury vehicles.”

Karim has been involved in providing luxury services for his clients for the past 15 years and has managed many restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as hosting and organising film premieres, product launches, fashion shows and after parties.

During this time, he has worked closely for numerous national and international celebrities, including Giorgio Armani, Baz Luhrmann and Hugh Jackman.

Gharbi says The VIP will specialise in gaining clients exclusive entry into Sydney’s hottest fashion, sports and theatre events, as well as securing VIP bookings in Sydney’s finest restaurants, bars and clubs.

“The VIP Sydney shares its services with no strings attached,” adds Mr Gharbi, with no ongoing membership fee, or long-term commitment to access lifestyle luxuries.”

Mr Gharbi adds that all client requests are confidential and discretion is assured.

To mark the start of a luxe life known to a very small few, The VIP is hosting an event for guests in the penthouse apartment of ’The Top of the Town’ in Darlinghurst — on Budget night of all nights — where cocktails will be prepared by world-renowned ‘mixologist’, Grant Collins.

Guests planning to test out the trappings of The VIP world include Dr Chris Brown, Will Stewart & Steve Flood (the winners of My Kitchen Rules) John Ibrahim, Jason Dundas, Brent Wilson, designer Charlie Brown, Patrick Keating and Sharilea Hitchcock.

Guests are being ferried to the event in Rolls Royce’s, Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s.

Services include bars and dining, special event chauffeurs and supercars, private yachts, jets and helicopters, beauty and medical hosts and health and fitness packaged experiences.

Mmmm. Perhaps Mr Hockey’s budget will leave us with enough spare change so we can all indulge.

*OK, I’m dreamin’ …

This article was originally posted on news.com.au


Met Gala: Trashy or flashy - Why’s everyone getting naked?

LET’S just call it right now. Everyone seems to be getting naked.

Celebs are so intent on showcasing not just their boobs and their butts, but their entire bods.

As for wearing underwear, I mean, is that even a thing anymore?

If red carpets keep going the way they are, why, even Spanx may go out of business.

So, if more clothes are off than on why bother even spending tens of thousands of bucks on big-time designer dresses?

That was pretty much the consensus today as celeb after celeb, star after star and body after body appeared on the red carpet at the annual fashion frockfest: the Anna Wintour-led Met Gala, which happens each year in New York.

The top troika of star power – Beyonce wearing Givenchy, JLo in Versace and (the once fashion-derided) Kim Kardashian wrapped in Roberto Cavalli, all made their sheer, near-naked flash fest options felt.

Mmm, maybe a body swathed in cling wrap and the bedazzled with a few crystals, sequins and gems might just do the trick next time?

“They look pretty uncomfortable to sit on, to be honest,” said one critic when I posted the high-profile trio on Instagram.

“Revolting, going to a hooker’s wedding, not a ball,” said another; “Less is more and you don’t need it right in your face.”

“Way too much! They are all saying ‘look at me, look at me’, but I just want to look away,” said another.

While the majority of the invited A-team at the Met Gala looked simply sensational it was the transparency battle that usurped the gala’s bigger fashion picture.

While many thought there was too much skin, let’s face it, seeing this much isn’t anything new.

Celebs have been doing it for years, usually to be noticed and more often than not, to proudly show off their assets.

But there is a fine line between style and vulgar, between class and trash. And where that line is drawn is purely in the eye of the beholder.

The problem is we’re nearly all becoming immune to seeing so much skin. Now, if we see a celeb or star or a good old normal person in an elegant, chic and covered-up look, it just about makes you jump in the air and shout hallelujah!

Judging by the fashion floor show performed by some of the Met Gala guests, I just reckon it’s a shame they feel the need to share this much. Forget TMI, it’s more more like TMF(lesh).

Don’t get me wrong, I adore seeing a brilliant body more than anyone, especially when it is draped in one mighty killer of a creatively designed, sexy dress, but there is something to always keep in mind – think more class, not so much ass.

This article was originally posted on news.com.au