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I recognised the characteristics of the three youth manifested within in my friends at the time: their restlessness; their desire and only ambition to be married with children; their loathing of school that forced them to leave so young – earning money was all that mattered – and were prepared to do the most tedious jobs to fulfil their desire; their smoking which seem to stem from age 12 or 13 onwards, and drinking not much later, some may have even delved into the occasional joint or tablets. Most had boyfriends by 13, some were even having sexual relationships with their boyfriends at this extraordinary early age. Surprisingly, some of these relationships would last a couple of years.
Yes, I knew many Dianne's, Kerry's and Josie's – rebelling against their parents old values, rebelling about society values and also rebelling against their own turbulent upbringing - which happened to be mild in comparison to what challenges kids from deprived backgrounds face now. Yes the hanging out at shopping centres, down the beach, at service stations with guys with fast cars, and sneaking into nightclubs lying about your age, but it didn't matter because no hotelier would ask for proof of age, and drink driving was never an issue. Most of these youth were what I call quite smart in an odd type of streetwise way, you wonder what their lives would have been like had they been born much later. Not many of their parents seem to care; they accepted the mutinous behaviour as part of being a teenager. But even though my life didn't exactly mirror the 3 ladies, I knew plenty of friends that did, and I always felt that these friends could have achieved more in their lives, had they been encouraged and supported more to pursue the academic path. But the schools were like factories, overcrowded and teachers labelled you early as either an academic or a drop out. Unfortunately only around 10% of kids ended up completing 12 year in my old school. Pity really, as most of these students were more intelligent than I was, and I ended up obtaining a degree. I 'm sure given the chance and the encouragement they could have too. Maybe some did later on pursue academic pursuits. But when expectations are against you - what hope do you have?
I have to say I really admired Kerry she seemed to the more stable one of the 3 ladies (I can't remember what her background was like) but looking at her husband ( I can see she got lucky choosing him), he appears to have had a somewhat stabling influence on her. The others 2 ladies were restless and seemed to be yearning for something more in life, they probably made poor partner choices based on lust and not love. Dianne - well she is still making poor choices, but even so she still seems content, so maybe that's the only thing that matters. But you have to feel sorry for poor Keith, who appears to be quite a decent man - perhaps that is why Dianne just found him to be boring. Maybe they are just too different from each other. Mind you, who doesn't find their partner boring after a while, that is what happens in most relationships. I have to say, those few that are still as passionately in love as they originally were, are in the minority, and should count their blessings, particularly given the current high divorce rate. Maybe Keith's caring nature is the reason why Amy (not sure about the other 2 girls) chooses a more positive life direction than her mother. And Josie, well she's a real battler but you feel her warmth, humour and general good nature come out in the film and you probably can understand that those 3 traits have provided her with the strength to endure. I love her work ethic – I doubt I could wake up so early in early each morning driving buses! We worry about Dianne – her pokie addiction does not provide much hope, and feel that she should be looking after her health more – give up the smokes Dianne, and for that matter Keith as well – come on you'll kill yourself if you continue to smoke. Even though Dianne makes some poor choices, you still feel her wisdom and inner strength come through. She a tough, hard, vulnerable, restless but fair lady and she certainly says things as they are! There's no pretence about her! And Kerry I love how you've transformed you life, your family appears to be very close knit unit, and I think your husband has a great sense of humour and a real tender and kind-hearted soul. He's the type of guy anyone could be married to forever! The scene in the film when Neil and Kerry are watching their daughter so proudly sing at the concert – I must confess to shedding some tears of joy! You can see Kerry has finally found her inner self. Their kids on the whole have not turned out too bad; Amy knows what she wants in life and has got a good head about her. Beau is very articulate, and is in tune with himself and hopefully sets out to fulfil his education dreams – he sounds rather bright. Maybe he can fulfil what I believe his mothers generation were very capable of perusing, but at the time just weren't encouraged – that of a quality education, which could have made a real difference to their lives.
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