How would you best portray your town or city in pictures?

Up close and personal

Join me on my 'image hunting' trip. I knocked on the door of people I knew, personally or just from the press and asked: "What image would you choose to represent our city?"
Join me on my 'image hunting' trip. I knocked on the door of people I knew, personally or just from the press and asked: "What image would you choose to represent our city?"
"The picture of my 1925 homestead I was looking forward to spend my retirement and I loose soon," said an old farmer, sitting on his porch overlooking the new mine built in his neighbourhood.
"The picture of my 1925 homestead I was looking forward to spend my retirement and I loose soon," said an old farmer, sitting on his porch overlooking the new mine built in his neighbourhood.
It was one of those open-cut mines, slow-moving omnivorers eating their way through the landscape and back-filling with clay-and-earth overfull as they inch forward.
It was one of those open-cut mines, slow-moving omnivorers eating their way through the landscape and back-filling with clay-and-earth overfull as they inch forward.
The industrial din of the mine, the dull rumble of trucks, the boom of giant rocks slamming into haulers, the primordial groan of steel excavation bucket dragging through upturned earth...
The industrial din of the mine, the dull rumble of trucks, the boom of giant rocks slamming into haulers, the primordial groan of steel excavation bucket dragging through upturned earth...
traveled so clearly across the flat plain at night that most residents slept with windows closed and air-conditioners blasting. The old farmer long ago resorted to nightly sleeping pills.
traveled so clearly across the flat plain at night that most residents slept with windows closed and air-conditioners blasting. The old farmer long ago resorted to nightly sleeping pills.
He was informed, he was among those forced to stay on or sell up at a massive loss. But he was not going down without fight: "The mining company wants to make this land uninhabitable...
He was informed, he was among those forced to stay on or sell up at a massive loss. But he was not going down without fight: "The mining company wants to make this land uninhabitable...
they want to make it as comfortable as they can so that people will sell out and they can drill right through here to the national park, I think they would like this special place to disappear off the map."
they want to make it as comfortable as they can so that people will sell out and they can drill right through here to the national park, I think they would like this special place to disappear off the map."
2011 Physics Nobel Prize winner from Australia, who found out that our universe is expanding came to have a talk in our city hall...
2011 Physics Nobel Prize winner from Australia, who found out that our universe is expanding came to have a talk in our city hall...
He marvelled at our ever changing and beautifully coloured sky that he thinks is the most spectacular in Australia.
He marvelled at our ever changing and beautifully coloured sky that he thinks is the most spectacular in Australia.
"I love to cross the heart of Australia to visit you," he said in introduction," because it is the journey, rather than the destination that counts."
"I love to cross the heart of Australia to visit you," he said in introduction," because it is the journey, rather than the destination that counts."
"Your laid back city always teaches me, that leisure/work balance is the key. Because I am fearing that my constant quest for answers to cosmic mysteries may soon consume me."
"Your laid back city always teaches me, that leisure/work balance is the key. Because I am fearing that my constant quest for answers to cosmic mysteries may soon consume me."
At Challenge stadium on a Saturday our young athletic star won her race before a supportive crowd. She is in her peak, ahead of any hurdler in Australia but down to earth and very pleasant to talk to.
At Challenge stadium on a Saturday our young athletic star won her race before a supportive crowd. She is in her peak, ahead of any hurdler in Australia but down to earth and very pleasant to talk to.
She was furious when 400 m runner appeared to put his fellow competitiors down after he won a race earlier this year here: "You can be pumped up but you don't have to do this, it is un-Australian."
She was furious when 400 m runner appeared to put his fellow competitiors down after he won a race earlier this year here: "You can be pumped up but you don't have to do this, it is un-Australian."
After the race we sat in her favourite beach cafe and talked about her foundation: 'The Kids Who Chase Their Dreams', to help those from broken families, just like hers once was.
After the race we sat in her favourite beach cafe and talked about her foundation: 'The Kids Who Chase Their Dreams', to help those from broken families, just like hers once was.
"I don't feel sorry for myself, when I grew up I was abused and bullied, but I survived and did whatever I had to get where I am now, and I want to help other kids to get there too." She smiled sipping her latte.
"I don't feel sorry for myself, when I grew up I was abused and bullied, but I survived and did whatever I had to get where I am now, and I want to help other kids to get there too." She smiled sipping her latte.
"I was very independent from very young age and I realized that things can quickly turn around in sport as well as in life. But when you perserve and keep going, you eventually succeed."
"I was very independent from very young age and I realized that things can quickly turn around in sport as well as in life. But when you perserve and keep going, you eventually succeed."
"I love to live near the beach," she added dreamily and pointed towards the ocean: "This is where I run every morning."
"I love to live near the beach," she added dreamily and pointed towards the ocean: "This is where I run every morning."
I stood next to the 46-year-old man in the wheelchair on the top of a steep cliff, when he said: "Loosing my legs was one of the best things that ever happened to me."
I stood next to the 46-year-old man in the wheelchair on the top of a steep cliff, when he said: "Loosing my legs was one of the best things that ever happened to me."
I looked at him in surprise and he nodded in understanding: "I didn't feel that straight away after my accident, but it's amazing what you can do in a situation that looks like 'game over'."
I looked at him in surprise and he nodded in understanding: "I didn't feel that straight away after my accident, but it's amazing what you can do in a situation that looks like 'game over'."
He pointed at the steep rocky wall: "I even absailed this one without legs, after I figured out how to get in and out of this wheelchair, I learned to swim again and to walk on prosthetic legs."
He pointed at the steep rocky wall: "I even absailed this one without legs, after I figured out how to get in and out of this wheelchair, I learned to swim again and to walk on prosthetic legs."
I visited my friend, the 30-year-old high school teacher, who camped in the treetop for five months to highlight the imminent lodging of our supposed protected old-growth-forest.
I visited my friend, the 30-year-old high school teacher, who camped in the treetop for five months to highlight the imminent lodging of our supposed protected old-growth-forest.
"Our noble jarrah trees are the unluckiest trees alive," she sighed opening the door: "Jarrah thrives in soils rich in bauxite and mining companies knock them down and sell wood for good money, then dig out all that bauxite underneath."
"Our noble jarrah trees are the unluckiest trees alive," she sighed opening the door: "Jarrah thrives in soils rich in bauxite and mining companies knock them down and sell wood for good money, then dig out all that bauxite underneath."
"Mining and forestry indurstry destroy everything here in the end," she shook her head in disbelief: "When I went up that tree I knew I might be arrested, but I did it anyway."
"Mining and forestry indurstry destroy everything here in the end," she shook her head in disbelief: "When I went up that tree I knew I might be arrested, but I did it anyway."
Our young stand up comic, who is recently a big star in London talked about his 'Antipodean childhood' on TV. He used two words to describe it: bluntness and practicality.
Our young stand up comic, who is recently a big star in London talked about his 'Antipodean childhood' on TV. He used two words to describe it: bluntness and practicality.
"Mum always told me to just pick myself up and get on with it, don't muck about, just do it and Dad told me to get out there and make something of myself with hard yakka and a smile on my face...
"Mum always told me to just pick myself up and get on with it, don't muck about, just do it and Dad told me to get out there and make something of myself with hard yakka and a smile on my face...
so I ran away to England and work hard to make people laugh." He bent down in a manner of respect and the audience responded with a great applause.
so I ran away to England and work hard to make people laugh." He bent down in a manner of respect and the audience responded with a great applause.
Then he continued: " My city was built on iron ore but it's greatest natural resource is their youth dreaming big because no one told them they can't, never been clamped down...
Then he continued: " My city was built on iron ore but it's greatest natural resource is their youth dreaming big because no one told them they can't, never been clamped down...
by a suffocating sense of class or hierarchy. Overseas they feel bolder and braver than they'd ever been back home, they bring to their new lands a restless, cheeky, larriking energy...
by a suffocating sense of class or hierarchy. Overseas they feel bolder and braver than they'd ever been back home, they bring to their new lands a restless, cheeky, larriking energy...
a feeling they could be anything there." I turned my TV off and watched my two sons having an argument when my youngest shouted: "Who says I can't do it, if it doesn't work out, I can always try something else..."
a feeling they could be anything there." I turned my TV off and watched my two sons having an argument when my youngest shouted: "Who says I can't do it, if it doesn't work out, I can always try something else..."
I am excited to be raising my kids here, in our city because of where it may lead them as adults. And I will never stifle the sense of yearning that may bloom in them - to be someone else, somewhere else.
I am excited to be raising my kids here, in our city because of where it may lead them as adults. And I will never stifle the sense of yearning that may bloom in them - to be someone else, somewhere else.
Agonizing as that is for a mum to acknowledge. But necessary. As Ben Okri once said: "Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you...
Agonizing as that is for a mum to acknowledge. But necessary. As Ben Okri once said: "Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you...
and which limit your secret and undiscovered road."  I discovered my road at the end of which lies my city....
and which limit your secret and undiscovered road." I discovered my road at the end of which lies my city....

Far and away

the most remote big city

on earth

behind it

miles and miles

of inert red emptiness,

before it

tracherous Indian ocean

full of sharks,

lures you to its shore

in Perfect weather

blue sheen of a mirror

more luminous

than glass.


MY FIRST IMPRESSION;

THE IMAGE IN MY MIND

IMPRINTED THERE

FROM THE FIRST SIGHT

OF MY FUTURE HOME

UP FROM THE AIR...


Watching blood-red sun

spreading golden rays

on the ocean horizon

in approaching night,

you dream to cross it

with a pirate flag

flapping high

proudly

freely

in the bitter wind,

all the way to Africa.


Each night you play

'dare me if you can'

games in your head,

planning travelling trips

to every part of the world,

to wake up again

bathing in morning sunshine,

feeling good,

you walk out of the door,

green streets

of your large,

modern

and clean

city

embrace you

and you know

you stay

in this most lonely place

that few pop in to visit

and not many

are aware

of its existence....


THE SECOND IMAGE

IN MY MIND

OF THE FIRST FEW WEEKS

OF SETTLING IN....


A lonely outpost

down under

with its sharp and radiant light

and yet

you wil never see

the bluer city sky.


Walking above

the azure basin

of the Swan River,

in one of the largest

and finest parks

in the world

located on a bluff

you marvel on the beauty below

the panaromatic view

of tall skyscrapers

pure golden sunlight

bouncing off their steel and glass.


THE THIRD IMAGE IN MY MIND

OF INTRODUCING

MY NEW HOME CITY

TO MY FAMILY

VISITING ME

FROM EUROPE...


Lost among

the endless lawns

and flower beds

you find a long,

lovely avenue

of tall white gum trees.

Planted long time ago

to commemorate the fallen

who went to fight foreign wars.

Farmers, shearers and wanderers

full of mischief and mistrust

of an authority

ready for adventure

and loose their lives

if necessary

among the foreigners.


No other nations,

as a proportion of population,

lost more men.

With passing years

their memory is more alive

than ever before.

Australians are immensely proud,

not of the heroes

who fought

and won the foreign wars,

but those 'unlucky buggers',

who died for no reason at all

and became a legend

of 'mateship and fair go'.


THE FOURTH IMAGE

IN MY MIND

THE DAY OF MY CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY

THE DAY I BECOME AUSTRALIAN....


The perfume and bright foliage

envelopes you

in the botanical garden

with 25,000 species of plants

you have never seen before,

a third of them never been named

or studied,

surviving fire and prolonged drought,

thriving in the very poor soil

and isolation

just like its own inhabitants.


Isolation is the golden card

for the country

that seems on the outside

hostile to the life.

For 50 millions of years

invisible island

without name and place on the map

sheltered indigenous life forms,

eucalypts in the plant world,

marsupials in the animal world,

to prosper

without any competition

or outside danger to its shores...


Isolated within and out,

scattered pockets of life

separated by great zones

of harshness

and inhospitabilty.

Just down,

below my city,

in the South-West

where city folks

buy their weekend homes

and cottages,

the abundance of plant species

is unimaginable,

no less than 12,000 of them

grow nowhere else in the world.


THE FIFTH IMAGE

IN MY MIND

THE DAY I BECOME A TEACHER;

A SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT TEACHER

IN MY NEW HOMELAND....


If the South is the holiday Playground

for residents of my city,

the harsh North is where they find their work.

A rancher in 1952,

while piloting a light aircraft

over the trackless emptiness

of the Hamersley Range

near the North coast

lost his bearings in a sudden storm

and made a forced landing

in a zone of flat rock

known to geology as the Western Shield.


He was standing on an almost solid iron

and owned a 100-km-long block of it.

By the end of 1960

he controlled the iron ore reserves

greater than those of USA and Canada

combined.

His daughter who inherited it all,

is the richest person in Australia

and among the ten richest people in the world.


It was the beginning

of the greatest mineral booms

in modern history,

mineral deposits

were found

suddenly

all over

the inhospitable North.

Bauxite, nickel, uranium,

copper lead,

diamonds, tin, zinc,

magnesium and lots of gold...


From a sleepy and good-natured

producer of wool,

Western Australia became a mining colossus,

the world's biggest exporter of minerals,

and much of the wealth

settled in its capital.


THE SIXTH IMAGE IN MY MIND;

THE IMAGE OF SPLIT UP FAMILIES

HUSBANDS LIVE AND WORK UP NORTH

FLY IN AND FLY OUT

OF THEIR HOMES.

THEIR WIFES ACCUSTOMED TO LIVE ALONE

AND THEIR KIDS USE NET

TO GET GLIMPSE OF THEIR MISSING FATHERS....


Before my relatives flew out,

back to their home,

the taxi driver drove them proudly

through sprawling residential zones

of startling

showing wealth,

Nedland, Dalkeith, Peppermint Grove,

where palatial houses

basked in the penetrating sunshine

for miles

day in and day out.

Trophy homes

with big gates

and garages

for fleets of cars,

broad patios

and ugly Grecian urns

on ornate plinths

unfitted for this unique landscape.


They looked at the driver

in a sheer wonderment:

"Why did you drive us here?"

And he just laughed,

goodheartedly:

"I don't live here and bugger you if I will,

I have lovely small cottage up the hill."

They nodded their heads

and suddenly they could understand,

why Aussies resent so much

'tall poppies',

those vain and spoilt people

who like to show off their wealth,

and no one is better for it.


On the way to airport,

he winked at them and added:

"See you next time guys,

my parents come from Europe as well,

never been there,

but apparently,

you built your houses with more taste."


They thanked him,

adding

that not the buildings

but open space and people

make this place

worth of visit and they will back.


He waved his hand

and shouted from his window:

"Our Western suburbs

are just 'snobs' paradise'

and a 'pain in my ass."


He speeded off

chuckling to himself,

they never saw him again,

and yet,

this cheeky larrikin

represents our city for them

his image

pops up in our telephone conversation

now and then...

IN MY LAST IMAGE

THERE IS JUST A QUESTION

TO BE ASKED:

"Do you wonder,

why 1.3 millions of people

of a free society

would choose to live here?"




More by this Author


Comments 41 comments

landscapeartist profile image

landscapeartist 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Beautifully written and even more beautiful pictures. I look forward to reading more of your hubs. Thank you for reading my Hubs.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you for stopping by, my fellow artist and happy you liked it...thanks for not being scared to be first:)


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Interesting and informative, voted up. Not having gone through the business of emigrating to a far-away continent and taken its nationality, it must be a strange sensation. I went away and lived in Vienna for a few years, but didn't think of taking up their nationality. Small country, small-minded. I was back in England less than three years after leaving. But that wasn't even outside Europe (although it seemed further away, with the number of Turks and Balkan citizens everywhere - usually in low-paying jobs like mine was). I've thought of visiting Oz. The wife and kids did one year, to NSW and Canberra, but I didn't have the cash or the time off at the right time. Next time, maybe...


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

As always, a good article. I see you've added a new dimension to your communicating, three or four times over, even, I couldn't tell for sure. Your method of writing was already intriguing, and now is more so. Well done.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Europe, especially Eastern Europe is still locked 'behind the close door of limited point of view', no wonder being cut off from outside world for so long. I was born close to Vienna border, so before the border patrol took their place to check the unlawful entry with rifles ready, my family used to spend Sundays there...listening to classical music with Vienna coffee and a famous strudle in hand:) But you are right, Europe is patchwork of small countries, each lost in their small affairs...so I think that is part of their small-mindedness:) I took new nationality, Alan, because Australia allows you to keep your nationality as well, so now I have two nationalities and feel richer for it...I can say for sure, new country opened my mind to new horizon and new possibilities...

Thank you, Alan and Jim for stopping by and leaving so great comment for me, thanks for nice hub conversation with you guys and all the best in hubbing and writing and especially commenting:)


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland

So many beautiful pictures! It was an interesting read. I can understand why people want to live there. Voted up!


hirundine profile image

hirundine 4 years ago from Nelson, B.C. Canada

Yikes! A vivid collection of memories and illustration of your adopted land. Stranger in a strange land? I for one, can grok it?

As an immigrant, from europe. To a place of comparative wilderness. It is stunning. Still the idea of "ownership" about land. A land that has been there for a billion years and someone coming by and saying, "It's mine". Runs contrary to my thinking?. How can we lay claim to the dirt on this planet? Is beyond me? I thought each being has a right to share in the environment? Apparently? I'm wrong! The billions the iron lady and her father have exploited from our planet should be for all. But apparently? That does not work? Ho hum ....


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

The panaromatic views are fantastic and so beautiful. It reminds me of Florida with all the palm trees and ocean water. It is no wonder those millions choose to live there.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your appreciative comments, it is beautiful place to live in, but just like 'hirundine', few claims riches of the land that should belong to everyone especially to the native inhabitants who are at the worst end:)


annart profile image

annart 4 years ago from SW England

Voted up, interesting and beautiful. I love your city; it's the best I've ever been to and the park is the best too! I've spent 2 Christmases there and could never tire of the city itself (I'm not a city person) nor the countryside around it, the wilds of Ongerup and the Tingle trees on the south coast! Wonderful!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber for your beautiful answer and I am very happy that 'our city fullfilled your expectation':)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What an amazing hub on so many levels. Your words speak volumes! Really enjoy your photography as well. The concurrent storylines make such an interesting presentation. Up votes and SHARED. Thanks!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What an awesome hub about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of your stunningly beautiful town and Australia.

I love the way you wove everything together with poetry, prose, quotes of locals and gorgeous photography.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, my fellow hubbers for your beautiful and encouraging comments...there is no doubt that every silver lining has it's dark and ugly side...it often depends who you ask and what you prefer to see...


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

What a colorful mural of your city! You have done a fine job of portraying it in this poems, and the pictures, too.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, Levertis, happy you liked it:)


bushraismail profile image

bushraismail 4 years ago from ASIA

Very beautiful. I always wanted to write about my country I have some pictures and my unpublished incomplete hub is still in draft.

Awesome pictures.


naimishika profile image

naimishika 4 years ago from India

How nice of you. You did well. Photos are good, so article. I did it with my blog www.my-mobile-photography.blogspot.in


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

Beata, your intermittant selected bold letters throughout your tale caused me to go back and write each one down. Is it my imagination, or have you identified Perth throughout this hub?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Yes, I did 'bravewarrior', as I didn't mention the name, I thought I have to include it in some way, but also I like the idea to write about my city as a city in general...I have this feeling that we are so globalized nowadays that my city could be any city locked between desert and ocean with mineral deposits that dates millions years back....and now is the time to rip them out of earth....

Thank you, naimishika, will stop by at your blogspot:)

Thank you, bushraismail, and hopefully my little hub will encourage you to finish your 'masterpiece':)


Beth J profile image

Beth J 4 years ago from India

Hi Beata Stasak

Absolutely brilliant pics...so serene and beautiful. Just looking at them makes me feel peaceful. Wonder what is like to actually live in these places:)

Beth


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Dear Beth, I wonder the same about your beautiful place, recently I have been watching many documentaries about India and found the place fascinating and inspiring:)

Through hubpages we can share our feelings about different places...happy that my pics made you feel peaceful, I think that is what is special about Australia: it is vast and it is empy so human touch is not so visible...what you experience is the nature in its best:)


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

So beautiful...

It's on my wishlist now to visit once.

AWESOME.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I am sure, Ashi, your dream will come true, you are not so far away. I dream to visit India once too:)


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Of course...

And whenever you do, make it a point to visit Rishikesh too...I can show you around it you'd like.

It's a beautiful place too. I'm sure you'd like it.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you Ashi, maybe once I will:)


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

you're really welcome.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

You are very kind, Ashi but so far I have to work on my health so it will not be very soon:)


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Of course...


montecristo profile image

montecristo 4 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

I always wanted to visit Australia. Thanks for sharing your pictures.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

I am sure you will once:) All the best and thanks for your visit:)


Shri Mc profile image

Shri Mc 4 years ago

Love the photos. Home is always home no matter how far we go right?


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Right, Shri, thanks for stopping by and happy my photos cheered you up:)


marked4destiny 4 years ago

Beautiful photos – nice job on the hub!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you my fellow hubber for stopping by and also for your kind comment. All tbe best from Beata


Denmarkguy profile image

Denmarkguy 3 years ago from Port Townsend

Nice job! I really enjoyed this journey.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my fellow hubber, happy you joined me on my journey:)


Debra 24 months ago

That's really thiinnkg of the highest order


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 24 months ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Debra:)


Kumi 24 months ago

Hi ..I have recently satetrd a blog, the info you offer on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand. by Leonardo DaVinci .


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 24 months ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Kumi very wise, yes praise is always better than censoring, smile, thank you for yours and good luck with your writing endeavour:)

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