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The Green Dress by Lella Cariddi
7 Nov 2014
Published To

1974, the Whitlam Government ushers in the introduction of: Medicare; the Royal Commission into Human Relationships; and in Footscray (for thousands of years the meeting place of the lands of the Yalukit-willan, the Marin-balluk and the Wurrundjeri  people) with the backing of federal and state money we see the establishment of the Western Region Health Centre, the Footscray historical Society, and the transformation of a derelict bluestone piggery into a creative space named, The Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC).   In 1974,  my husband, me and our four children still live in a pocket of the western suburbs (East Altona) where due to housing shortage, cow paddocks are turned into residential blocks with unsealed roads, no footpaths and no sewerage. There’s a 3 year wait for a kindergarten place, and the principal from the local high school laments: “not one of  my 1000 students has a professional parent”.  For me,  the Footscray Community Arts Centre -one of the many enduring legacies of the Whitlam Government- what represented then as today, is the possibility for a becoming rather than an end point.   Photo credit: Vincenza Fazzalori, 2013.

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