What is Hidden: The Hardships of Long Distance Commuting

David Xu, 18 is currently studying the first year of his Commerce & Law degree at the University of Sydney, despite living in Wollongong. He spends 12 hours commuting to and from Redfern each week, with each trip lasting roughly two hours.
The second person in this multimedia piece is Alex Chung, my father, who spent four days traveling from his part-time job at Sydney Airport Mcdonalds to Kingsford during his high school years.

The aim of this narrative was to explore the lives of students such as David, who travel incredibly long distances in the pursuit of education.
What is hidden in this piece are the silent hardships of students that we may never find out about.

For David, waking up at 6 AM in the morning, fighting with other passengers during peak times for spare seats, and coming back late at night is a way of life. While other local students at universities in Sydney have the privilege of short commute times, if not walking distance then a short bus ride away, David cannot take such time for granted.

Each hour of every day in every year adds up, and the time wasted commuting will continue to accumulate over his five year degree. And with the South Coast Line only arriving once every hour, issues such as missing a train or unexpected trackwork could easily lead to missed attendance and possibly further repercussions.

To encapsulate the idea of wasted time, I traveled up to Sydney three times in a week with David. I took photographs of Central, Redfern and Town Hall stations alongside local stations such as Wollongong and Dapto.

Coming from the Illawarra to the bustling metropolis of Sydney, it was a feeling I can only describe as being on borrowed time.
Each trip was traversing stairs and escalators, swiping Opal cards through ticket barriers and racing towards train stations, not daring to suffer another hour’s wait.
Being forced to take a 9 PM train back to Wollongong, arriving at 11 PM to a pitch-black station was in the back of both our minds.

So why would David waste so much time commuting to and from Sydney each week?
A single child from a small family, living in a tiny apartment complex it was not a choice he could make. While he can live comfortably in Wollongong, affording weekly rent of two hundred and upwards in Sydney for world-class education right now is next to impossible.

Storify tweets: https://storify.com/anexteriorview/jrnl102-tweets-for-what-s-hidden

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Twitter Report! For Jrnl102

So the first journalist I’m following is Jen Dudley-Nicholson the national technology editor for News corp.

Twitter is paramount for this journalist’s job. It will be always relevant as social media will be relevant for technology, much of Jen’s professional practice is researching technological advancements and ensuring only the most up-to-date newsworthy information is given to the masses. She doesn’t have a professional and personal account page on Facebook as it is not needed, as relevance is paramount to reporting about technology.

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Jrnl 102 – Week 3 – A Couple Of Adjustments

For this sound portrait I wanted to evoke the atmosphere of my father’s Thai restaurant. My aim was to present the contrast between the quiet, calm mood of the dining area led through to the heated, stressful vibe of the hustle and bustle within the kitchen through the footsteps and opening of the door.

The main problem with recording audio and photographing portraits within a restaurant is the confined space. The head chef all the way down to the kitchen hand all have their specific stations to prep and cook food within the kitchen, so it’s hard to capture good, or even decent audio during a busy night. Every employee had their specific job to do, everyone within the kitchen and work area was hired to be there, and I felt I was impeding and being disrupting moving around  past people actually working to record and taking photos.

I resolved this issue by completing the recordings over a course of two days, particularly during lunch hours where the rush wasn’t as overbearing, although this may have undermined the authenticity of the audio.