Celebrating the global schmalz-pop phenomenon that is the Eurovision song contest might seem a million miles away from the day-to-day activities of your average local council – but at Brisbane’s Logan City it’s just become the red carpet event of the year for civic staff after local Dami Im repaid critics of Australia’s inclusion in the event by claiming second prize.
Having just received the kind of worldwide positive publicity that money just and government tourism ads just can’t buy, Logan’s local government is wasting no time shouting the success of one of its own from its town hall rooftops as vindication of the many good things the area has to offer.
“The whole city is still buzzing with excitement – we’re incredibly proud of Dami’s achievement on the world stage yesterday,” said City of Logan Mayor, Councillor Luke Smith.
According to the clearly ecstatic Mayor, planning is already well under way for “the biggest welcome home party Logan has seen” for songstress Dami who was narrowly beaten by the Ukranian favourite at the event.
It’s not hard to see why either. With Eurovision estimated to capture a global viewing audience of 200 million, the post-event media feeding frenzy for place getters is certain to focus on the humble origins of a girl whose talent propelled her from everyday life in the multicultural suburbs to what will now be a musical career on the world stage.
Im wasted no time in acknowledging both her multicultural origins – her family migrated from Korea in 1988 – and how acceptance of recent immigrants into the wider community is something Australia should celebrate and be proud of.
“I am just grateful that Australia was happy to send me as their representative,” Im told SBS. “I want to shed light on Australia as a multicultural place, accepting of immigrants like me.”
“I hope it created a good image of Australia” Im said. “I miss Australia. I miss my friends back home”.
Those words are certain to lift the spirits of the workforce and elected representatives at Logan City Council, which provides services to a population where more than a quarter of residents were born overseas and comprises of 217 ethnicities, with Samoan, Mandarin and Hindi being the top three languages spoken other than English.
They’re also certain to validate contribution of the broad spectrum of community arts and cultural projects that are too often construed as tangential to council service staple like rates roads and rubbish.
And with a population of 305,000 residents – that’s almost size of Canberra – the Logan’s Mayor probably isn’t exaggerating when he says it will be the biggest civic welcome home his city has ever seen, with discussions already underway with Dami’s management.
And in case you missed it, here’s the song that all the fuss is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ymFX91HwM0
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