Wednesday, 03 December 2014 15:03

A response to Joe Aston’s ‘Wasting Art on Westies’

Media release, December 3, 2014


Western Sydney Councils have invited Australian Financial Review columnist Joe Aston to be courageous, leave his secure office in Pyrmont and travel past Annandale to see what the rest of the world actually looks like.

President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said it was clear that Mr Aston had no idea what he was talking about when he used the privilege of his column to claim Western Sydney did not deserve any arts facilities.

“Ok, we get it was probably a slow news day and he was short on things to write,” Cllr Hadchiti said.

“But it is a poor reflection on the editorial management of the Australian Financial Review, which is normally a highly respected and influential newspaper, when they allow their staff to make fun of half the residents of Sydney, based on some outdated and highly prejudiced assumption that they are too uneducated to read the financial media and wouldn’t notice.”

“Mr Aston no doubt thinks he’s being funny, but really, the whole Westy thing went out in the 70s.” Cllr Hadchiti said. “Sadly for him all it does is show his ignorance and expose the AFR as being desperately out of touch with all of Sydney’s population - let’s face it, no-one in the North, East, South or inner west, with or without foie gras, find the old Westy jokes funny anymore.

“If you talk to anyone in Sydney’s business community, they will tell you that the Western Sydney regional economy is worth $95 billion a year, making it the third largest in Australia. And they are all trying to work out how to get a piece of the action. Major national and international corporations are actively moving their offices to the region to take advantage of the highly skilled and educated workforce.

“The arts community know that this is the prime area for audience development and is a richly untapped resource of new and emerging talent - just ask Toni Collette, Bryan Brown, Anh Do, Shaun Gladwell or any of the many other successful artists who call Western Sydney home, whether the West is devoid of artistic talent.

“And the eminent international human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson may have something to say about the home-grown intellect of Western Sydney as well.

“Clearly, all this has passed Mr Aston by. However, because in the West we are not closed-minded, judgmental or insecure, we would like to invite him, and any other journalist who has never made it past Strathfield, to come out to Western Sydney and share in the amazing wealth of experiences – artistic, culinary, recreational, heritage and others - that our region offers.

“And one more thing that Mr Aston might want to note – these days the only people getting drunk and tattooed in Bali are the schoolies of the affluent North and East.”



Last modified on Thursday, 04 December 2014 16:42

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