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Rusted off : why country Australia is fed up

Chan, Gabrielle2018
A big story from a small town. Telling the story of Australia as it is today, Gabrielle Chan has gone hyper-local. In Rusted Off, she looks to her own rural community's main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? Why are formerly rusted-on country voters deserting major parties in greater numbers than their city cousins? Can ordinary people teach us more about the way forward for government? In 1996 - the same year as Pauline Hanson entered parliament - Gabrielle, the city-born daughter of a Chinese migrant, moved to a sheep and wheat farm in country New South Wales. She provides a window into her community where she raised her children and reflects on its lessons for the Australian political story. It is a fresh take on the old rural narrative, informed by class and culture, belonging and broadband, committees and cake stalls, rural recession and reconciliation. Along the way, Gabrielle recounts conversations with her fellow residents, people who have no lobby group in Canberra, so we can better understand lives rarely seen in political reporting. She describes communities that are forsaking the political process to move ahead of government. Though sometimes facing polar opposite political views to her own, Gabrielle learns the power of having a shared community at stake and in doing so, finds an alternative for modern political tribal warriors.
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North Sydney, NSW : Vintage, Penguin Random House Australia Pty Ltd, 2018.
335 pages ; 24 cm.
A Vintage Australia book.Includes bibliographic references.
Part 1: Shedding my city skin -- Lesson 1. WTF? There are people west of the divide -- Lesson 2: Place is everything -- Lesson 3: Diversity is waiting to be found -- Lesson 4: Social divisions are highly visible in small towns -- Lesson 5: There is an education divide -- Lesson 6: White girl rural culture hits the city -- Lesson 7: Not all kids want to go to uni -- Lesson 8: You can lead a small town (or country) up or down -- Lesson 9: Small town life is not all sad songs -- Part 2: The politics of country -- Lesson 10: The gulf between the main street and Parliament -- Lesson 11: Rural politics is stuck in an old model -- Lesson 12: Country MPs are not all Country Party -- Lesson 13: Farming dominates rural politics but stuff still gets ignored -- Lesson 14: There is a neglected class and they are swinging -- Lesson 15: The economics of a small town are tricky -- Lesson 16: You can't make assumptions about small towns and race -- Lesson 17: Cultural tolerance is possible anywhere but it needs work -- Lesson 18: Het, rat racers, over here! -- Lesson 19: let's celebrate the whole country.
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