Fishing for Culture transcript

[Vision:  Kayak in water at sunrise Victoria, Australia - scenes of bay and boats - fisherman - rods - cargo ship - boat being launched - fisherman on wharf - rowing scull - fishing rods - train - fishermen]

Vu Do

[Vision:  Vu fishing with children]

When I was in my village, me and my siblings used to go fishing in the summer season.  The whole village went fishing.  We enjoyed that very much. 

[Vision:  Fish - people fishing from pier - people walking on pier]

Ahmet Cebi

Every Saturday I just, you know, I just go out there and do fishing.  Even if I can't catch I'll keep going because it's where I feel relaxed, you know.

[Vision:  Ahmet off rocks - fishing on pier - people walking on pier]

Hiska Bukorpioper

I like fishing here because I'm not young, I'm getting old.

[Vision:  Hiska walking on pier to fish]

I'm happy because fishing is also an exercise for me and I've been doing it since I was a kid. 

[Vision:  Hiska fishing from pier]

It's like sport.  Even though I don't catch many fish, I still love fishing.  So going home empty handed does not disappoint me. 

[Vision:   View of coastline from moving car - adults and children fishing from wharf]

[Vision:  People fishing from wharf]

We have been working all week so it's the best time to be fishing, relaxed and stretch. 

[Vision:  Vu fishing with girls]

The kids have fun, run around, you know, like a lot of relaxing and enjoy and a lot of fun.  That's why we like this, you know.

[Vision:  View of river - park with people relaxing - People in car]


It think the fishing program would be - it's about five or six years old.  Yeah.

[Vision:  Men walking with fishing rods - fishermen on boat]

Fishing is a very calming and if they catch a fish they feel like a million dollars and you'll hear the story for the next year or two.

[Vision:  People walking on pier and beach - fishermen on pier]

[Vision:  Fishing for Culture]

[Vision:  People walking along river bank]

[Vision:  Vu and girls walking along river bank]

The kids can't wait to get here.  You know, it take time to get here.  And in the car they keep asking when we, you know, when we get there?

[Vision:  Vu and kids getting rods out of car]

They go out.  They learn a lot of things like natural things, you know.

[Vision:  Kids looking at map]

Like, they learn how, you know, what the weather like and river like.

[Vision:  Vu and children walking]

The fish and the, you know, it's a lot of thing that they learn.

[Vision:  Vu and children looking at bait]

Like with the city they never see it and they don't have a chance to learn, things like that.  That's why I think it's good for the kids to be, you know, fishing.

[Vision:  Vu and children fishing]

Amy - Vu's Niece

We're going fishing with my uncle and my cousin.  And I kind of like fishing a lot.

[Vision:  Amy fishing]


 Look that little one.

Ve - Vu's Daughter

When you catch a fish and you get a fish and it's too small you get to kiss and then you set it free, so it's fun to me.

[Vision:  Ve kissing fish]


How was it?  Good?




I'll free it.


It's pointing now.  No.





[Vision:  Vu and girls fishing - rods]

Lah Shwe

My favourite place for fishing is Geelong because fish are on the bite there.  My name is Lah Shwe.  I came from Burma.  I am a Karen national. 

[Vision:  Lah and child fishing]

My village, Htee Pah Doh Hta has jungles, farms, lakes and rivers.  When I was in my village, I went fishing with my mum and siblings.

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

When we came back, we didn't get many fish but for each family we got about 10kgs.

[Vision:  Lah fishing]

We ate them in a few days and finished them within a week.  So, we used to go fishing once a week.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing from pier]

I was taught by my parents, and I was trained and now I can fish from the coast to the deep sea.  We used a big canoe - a 'Johnson' canoe.  We often caught many fish and took them to the market. 

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

My name is Hiska; my husband's family name is Bukorpioper.

[Vision:  Hiska and husband on lounge]

We've got seven children and 30 grandchildren still alive until now.

[Vision:  Family tree]

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

I am originally a West Papuan woman.

[Vision:  Hiska with friend looking at fishing equipment]

The region I come from is Biak.

We live in our region and our family life is simple.

Our food is from gardening and seafood products like fish.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing]

And fishing is very important because we are coastal people.  There is no day without fish.

[Vision:  People walking on pier]

Every day we have fish on the table.  Every day.

[Vision:  People in park relaxing - barbecuing

Bo Barney - Drug & Alcohol Outreach Worker - Koori Men's Recreational Group

They're about with alcohol and other drugs, substance abuse and I do Outreach.

[Vision:  People barbecuing]

So that means I work virtually with any organisation that has an interest in anybody that has those issues.

[Vision:  Lady walking with plate of food - Bo speaking]

The problems that people have aren't just if - if they're critical they could have substance problems, but with that they'll usually have financial problems as well, or they'll have a combination of problems.

[Vision:  People in shelter talking]

Some people directly talk to me because we're both indigenous so, you know, they prefer to talk to me about certain things and I'll be an advocate or a mediator.

[Vision:  Aboriginal artwork - fishermen fishing from boat - people talking on boat]

The fishing program is a part of the home ground outreach.

[Vision:  Bo speaking - fishermen walking]

Home ground's another very vital organisation that supports homelessness.

[Vision:  Men getting into car]


I'll catch, might be a piece of flake or it'll be a fish.


Or flathead, whatever we catch but I chuck them back.  I love fishing I don't like eating fish.

Why do you like fishing?


Pass the time away, because it relaxes me it does, because I've got a lot of pressure on my shoulders.

[Vision:  Norman's tattoos]

And really I love going on a boat, out on the boat.


It's all about luck in this world of ours.


But he always catch the first fish he does, Victor, always gets the first fish.


Luck.  It's luck.  Maybe you'll catch 10 today and I'll catch nothing, see.  Such is life.

[Vision:  Views from car - Ahmet fishing - Ahmet talking]

My name is Ahmet.  I come from Turkey.

[Vision:  Ahmet relaxing on rocks]

And I do work as a language teacher here in Melbourne.

[Vision:  Ahmet talking - Ahmet relaxing on rocks - views of Turkey coastline - photo of Ahmet in Turkey]

My hometown is in the north of the country along the coast of Black Sea, which is the sea between Russia and Turkey.

[Vision:  Turkey coastline and Ahmet - valley]And my hometown is called Trabzon.

It's a nice, beautiful, green city with lots of mountains unlike Melbourne.

[Vision:  Ahmet driving - views from car - Ahmet speaking - Ahmet driving]

And when I was a kid I actually had a couple of fishing experiences but it wasn't as often as I do right now here in Melbourne.

[Vision:  Ahmet's friend - Ahmet speaking - Ahmet getting fishing tackle ready]

Before I came here I had - I had a chance to see a few, like, media footage and a few photos that my sister had brought when she came to Turkey for holidays and things like that.

She has been living in Australia for about 25 years so she came a long time ago.

[Vision:  Ahmet casting - Ahmet speaking]

And I said, well, I can come down and do my Masters and, you know, a bit more studies.

[Vision:  Ahmet and sister at graduation]

And I ended up here in 2007.

[Vision:  Ahmet preparing bait]

Back in my country fish is an important part of our diet.

[Vision:  Plate of anchovies]

And that little fish, which is called anchovy, is a very common fish in my hometown and people love it.

[Vision:  Photo of Ahmet]

They make a number of different dishes with that fish.

[Vision:  Anchovy meal and people at table]

And indeed it's part of our culture and our people are associated with that fish.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking]

So when they say, like, which part of Turkey are you from, and when you say Black Sea, they call you - oh, are you anchovy?  Yeah.

[Vision:  Ahmet fishing - Vu and children looking at coastline]

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

My country is Vietnam.  And back to about 40 years ago, and we're such a poor country.

[Vision:  Vu and children walking down stairs to water - Vu speaking -Vu and children walking across rocks]

And when I was very young, and because my country is war situation, that's caused us don't have enough food to eat.

And lucky we find, you know, a lot of fish in the field - in the river which we can eat them, sell them, exchange, because it's sort of like a little part-time job for me.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

In Vietnam the school used to be only half day.  Finished about 12:00.  So you have the rest of the time after 12:00.

Because, you know, a lot of people need time to go to find food.

[Vision:  Vu preparing fishing line]

Because if you go to school all day then you have nothing to eat; not enough food to eat.

[Vision:  Lah's house - gardening]

When I was in my village during my childhood we ran from the Burmese soldiers whenever they came to the village.  We always stayed away.

Sometimes, we stayed in the village but were very much afraid.

If they saw any men, they captured them and made them carry their things - made them porters.

[Vision:  Plants]

They came to my uncle's house and broke open my uncle's rice barn.

[Vision:  Lah gardening]

These Burmese soldiers shot and at the pigs, chickens and any animals.

At that time I fled to Thailand.

[Vision:  Lah speaking - child at door]

I was 12 years old and I went with my brother.

[Vision:  Lah gardening - plants]

We lived with the Karen Hill Tribes in the jungle and did small plantations.

We made our livelihood like that - from month to month and year to year.

[Vision:  Lah and family in lounge room looking at photos - views of various photos of when in camp]

When the refugee camps were establish, we went to live in a camp called Bang Mae Sariang.

We lived a hard life in the camp.

Sometimes we didn't eat well.

If we went out to the Thai town, we were afraid the Thai police would arrest us.

We didn't have much freedom.  We couldn't go in or out easily.

[Vision:  River - plant - fisherman]

While living in the camp, we went fishing.

But we didn't get fish every time.

And occasionally, we got Nya Htee (big eels).

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

We were very happy, they're very delicious those eels.

[Vision:  River and fishing]

I lived in the refugee camp for 18 years.

We came and lived here and we have much freedom here.

We can go anywhere freely now.

[Vision:  Duck]

We were not free when we lived in the refugee camp.

[Vision:  Hiska leaving house - walking through bush path]

My husband worked as a political activist and so his job took him away.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

He went away overseas almost every year.

[Vision:  Walk to water - water views]

And as a woman, I never complained because in our region it's not difficult to find food.  We can manage and as woman we're capable.

When I was little my parents taught me how to fish to provide food for our family if my husband is not present.

[Vision:  Water views - Hiska walking on path - Hiska speaking - Hiska walking over bridge]

We've got a Papuan women's organisation in West Biak called Solidarity of Papuan Women who Love Peace and Justice (SPPCKK).

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

Our role in the organisation was to provide spiritual counselling for women from remote areas with high levels of military abuse.

[Vision:  Hiska on bridge looking at fish in water - Hiska walking - Hiska speaking]

I received a letter from an Australian Pastor for the Chairperson of SPPCKK, that requested two women - two women to attend a women's conference.

[Vision:  Welcome to Frankston Pier]

So I was appointed by the church board to go and represent the organisation.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

[Vision:  Photo of conference]

I arrived in Melbourne on June 26th 2009.

I attended the conference with the Anglican Church Women.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking - Hiska in lounge room]

After that time I could not go back to Paua because of the tense situation.

There were shootings in Freeport Mine and one Australian was shot dead.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking - Hiska in lounge room]

And following that my husband, Terry's good friend in Serui, was bayoneted and his belly was ripped open by the military.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking - - flowers]

And I thought:  If I went back home, who is going to look after me?  My husband's not in Papua.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking - Hiska in lounge room]

I wanted to go back because I thought of my children but the situation didn't allow me to go back because they knew my husband's background as a political activist.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

I would not be safe because I have been terrorised before.

[Vision:  Hiska knitting]

I was thinking of meeting my husband but I would have to go to Vanuatu.

[Vision:  Hiska gardening - Hiska speaking]

If I went to Vanuatu and together with my husband went back to Papua in 2010 we would have been arrested on our way back.

[Vision:  Hiska walking on bridge.

They permitted me to stay here and study English while waiting for my husband to finish his work.

[Vision:  Photo of Hiska and husband - Hiska on pier]

Once I received my permanent residency I could sponsor him to come over here.

[Vision:  Vu fishing off rocks - Vu speaking]

My dad was a soldier for different side, for the US army side.

And my mum used to work for, you know, the different government.

But when the communists takeover so they put my dad in gaol, put my mum in the school that have to learn, you know.

And it affect my school because the kids that have father or mother work for the last government is affected with the school, you know, very hard.

They push and make it hard.

They never let - they never give chance to those people to be a good worker or work for government.

[Vision:  Vu fishing from rocks - Vu speaking]

Because you can't start then you end up carry gun to different country.

That time was a lot of men sent to Kampuchea, which is Cambodia, and a lot of people get killed.

[Vision:  Vu fishing]

I probably end up get killed in Cambodia.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

That make me feel - my parents feel that we are not free.

We live under pressure, you know.

That's why my parents say you'd better leave.

[Vision:  Coastline]

And that time I was about 15.

They believe in me so they let me go by myself.

[Vision:  Fishing rod and water - Vu speaking]

We paid the money to the people and hide to get out of the country by boat.

[Vision:  Water and waves]

Took me seven days, eight nights in the ocean.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

And we finished everything, you know, we starve, finish everything.

But luckily we saw a fire, big fire, and we just follow it.

[Vision:  Vu fishing]

The next day we get to the oil rig and we get saved by giving us food and petrol to go to the big camp.

[Vision:  Vu speaking - Vu fishing]

And then I stayed in the camp for 15 months in Indonesia which called Galang.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

I was a good young boy in the camp, because I used my - all my time to be a good person.

And luckily I got accepted by Australia.

[Vision:  Vu catching a fish]

[Vision:  Ahmet driving - water views]

The first time I went fishing in Australia was about five-six years ago when I came to Australia.

And at that time I wasn't kind of into fishing.

[Vision:  Ahmet's friend in car - getting rods out of car]

But a friend of mine was really interested in that activity so he said, you know, let's go fishing?

And I'd say, yeah, okay, that's all right, no worries.

[Vision:  Ahmet and friend walking from carpark - walking on pier]

And we went down to the pier, caught a few things.

And then, oh, I said okay, we caught some stuff, come again.

Come back again.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking]

And for the past six years I've been going almost every weekend.

It's like smoking but a good thing.

[Vision:  Ahmet and friend at water preparing to fish]

I mostly go to St Kilda.

Sometimes I go to Williamstown.

They're pretty close and most of the time you catch fish.

[Vision:  Ahmet catching fish]

Ahmet's friend

Good job mate, good job.

You never know what's going to happen.

[Vision:  Ahmet handling fish]

You might have another fisherman and you might have a bit of a conversation with that person.

Sometimes, you know, you might see little kids who are interested in fishing.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking with people]

So when you have something on the line you let them reel it in and they feel quite happy.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking - Ahmet fishing]

You know when you have a fish on the line, that feeling, and pulling it in, and not knowing exactly is on the line, I can't describe how it, you know, makes you feel.

But it's kind of the addiction part of the thing, that kind of feeling actually captures you.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking - Ahmet's friend catching fish - Ahmet handling fish and measuring it - view of ocean - Ahmet fishing]

It's a little bit cloudy but, you know, as you see the water is quite calm and good day for - good day for fishing.

[Vision:  Men getting fishing gear out of car - Bo speaking]

Initially people were, you know, like why do I want to do something like that, you know.

You know, I can play a video game or I can watch TV but you know, it's like the old saying, nothing like the real thing.

[Vision:  Men getting ready to fish - Victor speaking]

It's just a homemade rig of mine, it's not a rigor mortis it's a rig of mine.

[Vision:  Norman fishing - Victor speaking to man - Victor speaking]

This is what we do every fortnight or so, to get out of the concrete jungle I suppose and get a bit of fresh air or whatever it is.  Yeah.

[Vision:  Ship - Victor looking at water]

Because you're trying to gather your own thoughts and all that I suppose, yeah.

[Vision:  Man speaking - fishing]

I've always worked in the community.

An ex drug and alcohol user myself, you know, many years ago.

[Vision:  Norman fishing - Norman speaking]

I used to shoot up when I was younger then suddenly I just gave it up.

But I was brought up in a boys home and I was brought in Pentridge too when I was 16 years old, that's how I lost my fingers.

[Vision:  Norman fishing]

But them days are gone now.

I'll take one day at a time.

[Vision:  Norman speaking]

But I'm just a black fella that's all, I'm Koori.

[Vision:  Norman's tattoo]

My first tattoo, I love my Koori flag.

[Vision:  Norman fishing - man speaking - fishing]

Fishing is a direct link to people's culture, you know, because all our stories all come from creation, from the land and the water, you know.

And that's all - any time you do anything that involves, you know, getting tucker for yourself, that's the first thing anybody does, you know.

[Vision:  Norman fishing - man speaking - Victor looking at water - man fishing]

And fishing is always connected with nice things because everybody that's doing it is doing it for themselves and so they're not bothering each other about jealousy, or money, or being hungry, and you know, all those things.

[Vision:  Man speaking]

It's a very rewarding experience anyway.

[Vision:  Victor and Norman looking at ducks - Norman speaking - view of water]

First time I went fishing was over there, in that channel over there.

And I caught a fish.

[Vision:  Norman]

Went there again, nothing.

We tried there, I caught like five fish over there.

And the rest of us caught nothing.

[Vision:  Norman speaking]

Eat my bait, can't grab the hook can you?

And I can smell the salt air, no smoky stuff like that.

I'm tense at home.

I'm always tense.

[Vision:  Water view]

And I come out and I can relax.

[Vision:  Man speaking]

But I said to them, you heard me, grab squid, but no.

[Vision:  Men fishing - man speaking - man fishing]

If the bait had have stayed on longer see - - -

Relax mate.

- - - this is it.  This is it.  There's plenty of luck here, it's all skill, luck's over there.

I know where he is now.

I've got his address and I'm sending him a letter.

He was about that big, might have been.

Nothing down here.

[Vision:  Victor speaking]

Just all a matter of hitting them on the head.

[Vision:  Norman and man on pier fishing]

[Vision:  Lah packing fishing gear at home - walking to water - fishing]

Since I've arrived in Australia, I've been fishing in Melton but I've caught few fish.

In Geelong when I go fishing sometimes I get up to 20kg of fish.

But sometimes I get two to three fish only.  Not many.

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

So Geelong is my favourite place for fishing because sometimes I get big fish there.

When I catch big fish, I like reeling them in - it's fun.

[Vision:  Lah and boy fishing]

Fishing here and fishing when I was young in my village is different.

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

Back there, we used long fishing sticks made of bamboo and other things.

[Vision:  Lah fishing]

Over here we use fishing rods that we cast.

[Vision:  Boy catching fish]

Every week when I go fishing my children are happy because they like fishing.

[Vision:  Boy with rod - fishing]

When we go fishing even my youngest child want to go fishing too.

All my children like fishing.

We remember our village when we go fishing.

That what we remember.

[Vision:  Hiska in fishing shop looking at rods and fishing gear]

Despite of my husband's stroke, I'm happy and thankful to be accepted to live here.

And we are both safe here.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

But because of my husband's illness I had to leave the English course.

[Vision:  Hiska in fishing shop - bait]

Even though I dropped the course I'm still keen on learning.

Hence, whenever I'm asked to participate in outdoor activities I'm happy.

With my involvement in these outdoor activities maybe I can listen, learn and understand.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking - Hiska fishing - Hiska's husband]

So if there are outdoor activities like fishing I'm very happy to be involved because I see that my husband is getting better.

Even though he still has trouble speaking, his condition is improving, so I'm happy.

[Vision:  Hiska casting - Hiska speaking]

It's not about throwing the line straight or not, you can still catch fish because there are fish out there.

I feel that I haven't fished in a long time.

So when I threw the line it didn't go straight.

When I was still in the village with my dad, I caught a big fish.  I was a teenager that time.

I don't know what you call it in English, but we call it "Tenggiri" (Mackerel).

I used to catch that fish.

And also Kingfish - big ones.

[Vision:  Coastline and fishermen - Vu fishing]

We are in Lorne now, right, and this is the best spot in Lorne.

Sometimes we catch whiting and [0:31:10], sometimes trevally, salmon, mullets.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

It's the best feeling you know, because the feet's moving, running, you know, it's a very good experience this.

[Vision:  Vu fishing]

That's not - we don't get - usually get in life.

A lot of small fish down there.

See how small the fish is.

[Vision:  Vu catching fish]

This is sort of like a bird fish.

That's not a bream fish.

It's not it's - - -

It's a bird fish.

[Vision:  Fish]

I forget the name but in our language we used to call it Ca Chim, it's like bird fish. 

It's a little bird you know.

[Vision:  Vu fishing - Vu speaking]

When I was in the camp in Indonesia I fished too.  I fish a lot too.

You know, and then when I come to Australia I fish too, because fishing is just part of my life.

It's always with me.

[Vision:  Children  - Ve speaking - Vu fishing]

I normally go fishing with my dad and my sisters and sometimes my cousins.

[Vision:  Children playing]

When they heard I say go fishing this weekend they love it. 

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

That's the only time that we're together because they live with their mum.

[Vision:  Vu and children having lunch]

I live by myself and we don't see each other much.

It's only fishing that's exciting them to go with me, otherwise they get bored with me, you know.

Apart from swimming, but fishing they love it.

[Vision:  Ve catching fish - Vu taking fish off hook]

So you caught two?


[Vision:  Vu fishing off rocks - Vu speaking]


You have to kiss it now.


No.  I'm eating.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

That's the only chance that I get close to my daughters.

[Vision:  Vu fishing with children]

[Vision:  Men waiting for boat - Bo speaking - men chatting - fishing boat]

Fishing is such a calming thing and when they go out in the boat that's - it's so far away from the problems that - if they're waking up and we're there picking them up, taking them down to the pier and chucking them on a boat.

[Vision:  Men chatting]

And there's all their mates, and everybody that's there they know is tight and they're together.

Boat captain

Re you all pumped up ready to go?

Ready to go for sure.

Hopefully catch something.


Yeah, big fish only.

Yeah.  Hopefully we catch a big fish, yeah, a nice big snapper or something.

Yeah.  I mean I don't want to catch a catfish or something; I want to catch something we can eat.  Yeah.

[Vision:  Men boarding boat]


[Vision:  Men on boat]

The forecast for today guys, it's supposed to be 10 to 15 knots know, as you can tell we've got about nothing.

Once those ropes are off the back of the boat guys there are no refunds.

If anybody does get seasick and they want to come back in, unfortunately while we're out of the channel we can't do that it's too far.

Okay guys, make yourself at home and we'll get out of here and try and catch the fish.

[Vision:  Fishing rods on boat]

Man with black beanie

We're off Frankston Pier in Port Phillip Bay somewhere.

[Vision:  Men on boat talking - fishing]

If they want to have a quiet word they can just sit there and throw their line in the water, the other - the worker can sit there, throw their line next to them, and then it'll be a conversation that starts.

They can talk to us about the things that they want to do, any sort of issues or problems.


Onto another one.

This one feels a bit nicer than the last one.

[Vision:  Man catching fish]


My mum's from Eildon and she - as a kid she grew up fishing and whatever and just, yeah.

My dad was a keen fisherman.

I've been fishing since I was about that big.

That's a keeper, yeah?


I have to check its size.



It's just so tranquil and so peaceful just to get away from everything, zone out and just watch the tip of the fishing rod.

[Vision:  Fishing - Paul speaking]

I use it as a - just leave everything at home and just go out with a clean slate and just, yeah, tend not to worry about what's going on in my life.

[Vision:  Men on boat]


It's lovely out here.

[Vision:  Men on boat]

And I suppose this fellow here I was just talking to, he really loves coming out fishing.

It's so different from what he normally does and all the rest of it.

[Vision:  Detroy speaking]

Yeah, well you know, being indigenous and it's connecting back with the land and with the water, the sea, so it's sort of like healing the soul as well, you know, with - no-one's perfect.

[Vision:  Men fishing from boat]

Life takes mysterious turns but if you live and learn by your mistakes things can come good.


Yeah, I'm Sammy.  I'm a Gippsland boy.  Born and bred in Traralgon.  I'm Gunai Kurnai, proud Aboriginal man.

[Vision:  Sammy fishing - Sammy speaking - men fishing]

I used to fish down Lakes Entrance all the time on the beach, so if I can get a chance to - the one day I'll get a chance to go fishing on a boat, so now is my chance.

So I didn't knock it back I thought I'd come and have a bit of fun.

I hope I catch something today.

[Vision:  Sammy speaking]

I just caught a little flathead, littler banger.

I'll just chuck it back in, yeah, that was grouse.


You're getting bites again.




That's strike into it, don't want to.  Okay, that one's a bit bigger, put your left hand up there.  And that's it, yeah, keep going there.



Oh, did you catch the same one?


That's because I had to stand beside him.

[Vision:  Men fishing]

Drop that down, I'll get another bit.

[Vision:  Detroy speaking]

Hopefully this does something.

You look pretty confident with it.


[Vision:  Sammy speaking]

That's what they're using at the back of the boat.


Yeah, nice.

[Vision:  Detroy speaking]

I've caught something, a bit of squid eh?

I've had an awesome day.

Best day in a long time.

Better than being walking on the streets.

You know, I don't want to go back at the moment you know, but there's another time.  I'll be back.

[Vision:  Fish - Sammy speaking]

Yeah.  I caught 19 flatheads and, yeah, grouse.

I figured I'd keep about four, yeah.

At least I had fun, that's the main thing, and had a good time, yeah.

[Vision:  Fishing rod - Lah walking back from fishing]

I like fishing because when we get fish we take them home, cook and eat them.

[Vision:  Lah cleaning fish - cooking - children]

After I bring the fish home I process them myself, and sometimes with the help of children.

I cut them, cook and eat some of them.

I then dry some of them and I fry some of them.

[Vision:   Lah at table]

For my future, I think I will try to finish my English Studies at the community centre.

[Vision:  Lah in shed fixing bike]

After the 800 hour course I think I will look for a job like a cleaning job at the meat factory, or in a mushroom farm, something like that.

[Vision:  Bo speaking]

We've had people, you know, come good through the fishing program.

[Vision:  Men on boat - bow of boat]

They've been able to get themselves thinking about what things are causing the problems with their lifestyle, and start addressing any issues they've not changed in, you know.

[Vision:  Men fishing]

Fishing gives them that time to just sit

And it's a peaceful time

[Vision:  Norman fishing - attaching hook to line]

They can know that whatever it is that they're doing at that immediate time, whether it's putting bait on the hook, or choosing the right hook, line, sinker or whatever, that can be solved.

[Vision:  Fishermen - men on boat]

And it's the little things that help people learn about, you know, positive thinking because they're world is full of so many negative things, we can be there for an opportunity to help them realise that there are other ways to do things with their life.

[Vision:  Lady presenting award]

I do have an award for champion of the day, and today it's going to go to the most fish caught which was 19, so congratulations.

All right guys.  All your fish was up on the board there.

I don't know how you guys want to divide that up.

[Vision:  Sammy speaking]

Can I take half?  No.

[Vision:  All men on boat posing for picture - Ahmet driving]

There is a flag of my country on my car along with a sentence.

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking]

So the sentence is Bize her yer Trabzon. 

[Vision:  Rear of Ahmet's car]

So Trabzon is my hometown.  That's the name of my hometown. 

[Vision:  Ahmet walking with esky]

And when we translate the sentence Bize means for us.  Her yer means everywhere.  Trabzon. 

[Vision:  Ahmet speaking]

So for us everywhere is Trabzon.  Everywhere is our hometown.

[Vision:  Ahmet and friend fishing]

So that's how we feel when we go to different places.

[Vision:  Ahmet fishing]

And when I look into my mirror I'll see that sentence and the flag, and that reminds me where I come from.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing and cooking]

Since I arrived here I have been active in the Free West Papua campaign.

[Vision:  Hiska serving men food]

And in West Papua community I help with cooking during community events.

[Vision:  Hiska knitting - knitted hat]

And at home I'm knitting Papuan Flag hats as part of my daily routine.

[Vision: Men eating - ship tattoo]

As a Papuan we don't let our young people work alone, we always support them.

[Vision:  Hiska on beach]

I can't really say in words how amazing Australia is.  I'm very happy.

Being here for four years, I've learned step by step.

[Vision:  Water]

I've learned independently by myself.

[Vision:  Hiska cooking - Hiska speaking]

I'm getting old but that doesn't mean I just sit and relax.

I'm just thinking of people - family back home - they're not as fortunate as I am.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing - Vu fishing - Vu fishing - children playing]

Without Australia I don't know when I end up, you know, my life.

[Vision:  Vu speaking

To be accepted to this country I don't think that it's easy, because you have to prove yourself to be Australian.

You know, to be a member of this country and slowly move up to your citizen.

[Vision:  Vu fishing]

It's sort of pushing you to become better and better.

Australia help me a lot with my life.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

I'm happy and proud to be Australian.

[Vision:  Vu fishing - vu speaking]

Sometimes, you know, when you fish you think of the past, you know, and you think fishing is great.

It's helped, you know, people in the way, like in my country it help us with life about food.

[Vision:  Vu fishing]

But here it help us with different way, with life, you know, like let stress off, we relax, we enjoy outdoor.

You know, it's just a healthy sport.

[Vision:  Vu speaking]

It's a healthy thing to do, it's so good fishing.

I will fish until I die.

[Vision:  Vu fishing - Hiska fishing - Hiska speaking]

The feeling and joy of fishing is still the same - no difference.

I'm so happy.  I'm not hoping to catch fish now.

Holding this line reminds me of Papua.

And the beauty of this place amazes me.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing]

So I'm going to bring my husband here for a swim one day.

[Vision:  Hiska speaking]

We could come for a swim.  My husband is sick and he needs to swim in the sea.

[Vision:  Hiska fishing]

From when we're young our parents lived a simple life.

We lived by the sea and our parents were fishermen.

So our parents trained us from when we were little so we now know and are confident to fish ourselves.

Up until we are old it's part of our daily life.

[Vision:  Man fishing on pier - Hiska speaking]

This is good.  This is our tradition.

We are coastal people.

[Vision:  Ahmet fishing]

Fishing is not just going there and sitting all day long and not thinking about anything.

You think about a lot of things but with a fresh mind.

I actually plan my future, you know, the steps I'm going to take within the next few years.

[Vision:  Boats]

You know, I kind of make decisions when I'm out there doing fishing.

[Vision:  Ahmet fishing]

And I also think about, you know, things that are happening in my life.

[Vision:  Water lapping at rocks]

You know, if there is like a problem, the best way to find a solution is to have a relaxed mind.

[Vision:  Ahmet and friend fishing]

You sit there for six or eight hours and there might be nothing but you still do it.

I still do it again and again even if I can't catch anything.

[Vision:  Lah fishing]

For me, when I am fishing I feel like I am a Karen.

From my parents and grandparents time we've been fishing that way.

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

Fishing like that brings us joy.

[Vision:  Lah fishing with boy - rod]

In my life I think when we go fishing every week, if I get one or two fish, I will keep on fishing regularly for a bit of food.

[Vision:  Lah speaking]

I think it will always be my passion until I die.

[Vision:  Rock fishermen - time lapse of people on pier - Vu and children in shop - Ahmet and friend feeding seagulls, boats, fishermen - men chatting in park - fishermen - Hiska and family playing cricket - Lagoon at beach - Lah and boy walking - fisherman on rocks - Ahmet and friend fishing - Lah fishing - Hiska fishing at sunset - leaving pier to walk home]