When i first arrived in Perth, I made my intentions clear. In my own mind first and then in a piece for The West. I would not become a whingeing Pom. By putting it in print it was licence for friends and family to pull me up should I start to opine negatively on aspects of Perth life. I stray from time to time but pull myself back into line and give myself a mental slap. A hard one.
I’m keeping up my attempt at positive over negative, celebrating the great rather than skewering the poor and inept. It lacks a cynical edge that i feel lurks in every Brit but so far, so good; I think. There is of course a difference between a whinge and genuine criticism and I reserve the right of fair and balanced critique, as opposed to a soul sucking whingey tirade. I do find that far from the whingeing Pom, there’s a dissatisfaction amongst the Aussies I know about aspects of Perth life. Whether that’s prices, service, politics, development, you name it. The expats and even eastern state incomers I meet are upbeat and see the positives of life here. We came here by concious choice of course.
Perhaps those raised in Perth see that something has been lost? That expansion and wealth has changed aspects of the City and the State? That Perth will be indistinguisahable from other cities? That parts of what they love will be lost to change – be that good or bad.
I don’t know – maybe you can tell me?
So my point? I think that Perth is a city coming into its own. Changed since I first visited not too many years ago. The hospitality scene grows, imitates and now innovates. There’s a growing confidence that I think will only lead to great things. Speaking to Mechanics Institute bar manager and champion bartender, Ben Tua, the other day it’s clear we are on the cusp. He heads off to Amsterdam as Bols Champion Bartender for Australia and New Zealand. In the last rounds of that comp, 4 contenders were from Perth. He’s up against global competition to bring home the title of Bols World Champ – who knows he may get a statue in Northbridge if he does. He pointed out that Perth 4 years ago was unloved by parts of the drinks industry. Now: “they wouldn’t think of not coming to Perth”. The mushroom cloud that is the small bar scene has doubtless been a main feature of this change. It’s one example repeated. The success of events like the Hawkers Night Market and the Gourmet Escape being others at different levels – feel free to fill the gaps in the comments. So, we should challenge and champion, banish the whinger in us all and see where this take us.