As one born in the (Chinese) Year of the Dragon, my life is symbolically signified by the flight of dragons.
“They soar into the sky of solitude, and simultaneously sink into the sea of humanity, as they sing the songs of significance about their true home, that ocean of consciousness which unites all existence and non-existence.”
From the closing paragraph of my book ‘The Dance of Destiny.’ This book is a memoir covering my life under the British, then the Japanese military, and finally, my exposure to the White Australia.
Initially I experienced the prejudice and overt discrimination reflecting that heinous policy, but was unscratched. In the mid-1950s I was described as ‘too black’ to be a psychologist – I am a qualified research psychologist.
A couple of years later, I was not accepted as an executive in the private sector because ‘the Australian worker is not yet ready to accept a foreign executive, especially a coloured one’ – although I am a qualified economist.
Both rejections were confirmed by independent witnesses, especially the head of the Graduate Employment Unit of the University of Melbourne.
Joining the federal public service, I had a rapid career. For 14 years (out of 31), my work involved dealing with the private sector (where I was accepted fully) – until I sought to join the Senior Executive Service permanently (having acted as a Branch Head in 2 agencies for nearly a year each.
I retired at age 60 because I experienced tribal discrimination (‘not one of us’) during the previous 5 years. Ironically, by being pushed around, I became very knowledgeable about all of Australia’s migrant settlement policies. That allowed me to write my first memoir ‘Destiny Will Out.’ The response from senior academics was fabulous.
That led to my other books (refer amazon kindle’s ebooks), each endorsed by senior academics pre-publication, and favourably reviewed post-publication. 4 of my 5 non-fiction books were recommended by the US Review of Books. This dragon was soaring!
I have also dipped into the sea of humanity, reaching leadership positions, while contributing substantially in each of my endeavours. The Meritorious Service Award from my trade union capped my involvement in civil society. As a communitarian small-l liberaI, I may have been a little unorthodox. But, am I not a ‘dragon’?