I applaud Channel Nine for launching a number of new locally produced television shows for 2012. It’s good for the Australian industry, the local economy, and good for viewers. One of them is a series called, Tricky Business.
I don’t really know much about it so far, expect the Channel Nine website, describes it like this: Warm, funny and moving, Tricky Business looks at the lengths people go to get themselves out of trouble – financial trouble, emotional trouble, growing up trouble, relationship trouble… things we all have to deal with at some time or other.
It got my attention when I was watching the final episode of The Celebrity Apprentice. During its 2012 promo in the commercial break, it showed a very quick, I’m talking 2 second, cast shot standing in front of a familiar setting, Belmore Basin. It’s in my hometown of Wollongong. I must say, I was pretty chuffed to see a national TV show, to be set, and shot in a place, I spent 21 years of my life, and regularly visit to see the family.
Now Wollongong is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse cities. Migrants were attracted to the area thanks to the Port Kembla steelworks in the post-war period. Many settled in the surrounding suburbs of Cringila, Coniston and Warrawong. 60 per cent of the steelworks population in 1966 were born overseas. The area saw an influx of more migrants with the end of the White Australia policy, and today, the University of Wollongong has around 5,000 overseas students.
The latest stats from the bureau shows that around 36 per cent of the population was born overseas, higher than the national average of around 29 per cent. Now factor in all the children that were born to migrant families years ago, and the proportion of those with an ethnic heritage would most likely be higher than the numbers actually suggest.
Anecdotally, I was exposed to every nationality you can think of growing up, so different faces, races, religions and customs were the norm, and probably more so because I grew up in the working class suburb of Warrawong.
Given the limited information I have about Tricky Business, I must say, the cast shot was a disappointing:
Like I said, this is just an assumption I’ve made based on the cast shot, and of the actors (Their bios can been seen on the Channel Nine website).
I’m not saying there needs to be a representation of every multicultural aspect of Wollongong, but this could have been a network’s chance to break the same old “traditional Australian” we’ve seen on local mainstream television for years.
But, I’ll probably still watch to see my little old Wollongong on the silver screen.