With many in their teens, 20s and 30s, Making the Rent are often single and still living at home or in a sharehouse, or recently married and expecting a first or second child. Most were born outside Australia, with many from India and Asia, the Middle East and non-English-speaking Europe. Youth, pregnancy and stay-at-home parenting mean Making the Rent have the lowest mean personal income in the community—even among full-time workers, few earn over $60Kpa. Often undereducated, many Making the Rent are finding it hard to find adequately paid work, and quite a few have given up trying. Nevertheless they have quite high levels of consumer confidence and put what income they have toward sustaining independent and busy social lifestyles.
Walk with Me
I played basketball all through high school and would have played at uni too, but I didn’t good marks. There’s no famous Vietnamese players yet except Larry Tieu and he’s American anyway, and nowhere near as good as Yao Ming or Wang Zhizhi. I used to play tennis too and we still watch it on TV. We have a table tennis table in the garage but I always get in trouble for leaving it out when mum comes home in the car.
My parents came to Australia when I was a baby and I don’t remember anything of Vietnam. They wanted me to do year 12 again but I said no way. I said, I’ll make my money and do it before all those suckers at university. I’m good at heaps of things, especially on computers but mum and dad just think I’m playing games all the time.
I still live with them, but I have my own life and bedroom. They just want me to get a girlfriend and a job but I don’t have time. Mum got a job as soon as we got to Australia but it took dad ages to find anything. He was a teacher in Vietnam but couldn’t get a job here because he couldn’t speak English, which is dumb because how else do you learn if you don’t hang out with Aussies? When mum had Stephen she had to stay home and he had to get a night job in a warehouse and still didn’t learn much English.
It’s embarrassing that they’re always cutting out coupons and sending me out so I have to carry big boxes of like paper towels or something home on the tram.