Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Migration Submission No. 3
MULTICULTURALISM AND THE BENEFITS OF MIGRATION IN AUSTRALIA
Committee Secretary, Joint Standing Committee on Migration House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
28 February, 2011
The beginnings of white migration and multiculturalism in Australia saw our British forefathers arriving in boats on the shores of the “land down under”. Boat loads of prisoners – reluctant migrants - from an overflowing British penal system were brought to Australia to be used for punishment and labour, and settlements were established in and around places and rivers that had been home to the original aboriginal inhabitants for 40,000 – 60,000 years as bases to search for land-holdings. The new arrivals had no comprehension of the original inhabitants’ deep spiritual connection with the land around them, or of their prodigious knowledge of climatology, botany, astronomy, hydrology, ecology, zoology, mythology, ornithology, to name a very few. Without this knowledge of the complexity of aboriginal kinship structures, strict laws, the dreaming and the differences between the hundreds of societies on the mainland and in Tasmania, the aboriginals’ ancient customs and knowledge were not acknowledged and certainly not respected or seen as a possible source of learning for the newcomers. The land, to which those remaining are joined and of which they are a part, was taken by force for settlement and the establishment of commerce, in a push towards a different way of being – the mercantile system. The newcomers’ attempted solution to the “native problem” was to try to force the aboriginal people to either disappear entirely, or to become like, live like, and think like the newcomers. Labour, a source of profit, was hard to come by in the rural areas and some aboriginals did manage to stay on their own land by working for pastoralists in following years, until mechanization and equal wages legislation arrived in the mid-1960s. The 1850s gold rushes attracted ex-convicts and migrants, including British, Irish, Continental Europeans, North Americans, Chinese, and Afghanis who ferried supplies by camel to central Australia around this time. Other multicultural groups, such as Greek and Italian migrants, established thriving communities, although there are no communities of Afghani people descended from the cameleers remaining today. Immigration was one of the first national policies to be formally signed off in colonial Australia - always prominent in the Australian psyche. In 1988, the State premiers met in Sydney to finalize uniform
legislation against non-white immigrants, and the White Australia Policy came into being. Despite this official policy, Australia was to become and remain, one of the most multiethnic/multicultural nations in the world. Now in 2011, 123 years later, a recent United Nations meeting on human rights in Geneva has recommended that Australia needs to address its racism, indigenous rights, lack of a Human Rights Act, its controversial mandatory detention of asylum seekers and its lack of a strong multicultural policy. There were 145 recommendations in all from the international community, but we won’t be reading much about it in the media, or about the fact that Australia rejected the main recommendation - the pressing need for a federal human rights charter. There have always been contradictions and emotion around the policy of multiculturalism in Australia. Its direction is often inconsistent and influenced by the government of the day, and by public opinion which is shaped by the corporate media. Underlying these factors is the dominant Anglo culture, and now there is also a mind-set wherein terrorists are everywhere just waiting for their chance, and dissent is not dissent but a prelude to treason. Although the acceptance of multiculturalism and the elimination of race in immigration selection...
...Multicultural Australia: Australia’s Immigration History and Current Political Debate
Word Count: 1,491
People have always come to Australia through immigration. Whether it be 45,000 years ago via nomadic boats (Broome, 1994) or through the efforts of the British Empire to expand their Anglican empire (Ferguson, 2003). As a result modern Australia is a composite of many varying cultures and ethnicities. It is often said that Australia is a multicultural society (Peake, 2012) but what exactly does this mean, and how true of a statement is it?
In the literal sense the term multicultural refers to a society relating to or containing several cultural or ethnic groups (Oxford Dictionary Online, 2013). In the context of Australia it is seen as being a term that describes the diverse cultural and ethnic makeup of contemporary Australia (Dept. Immigration and Citizenship, 2013). For the purpose of this paper we will adopt Bowen’s definition (2011) that multiculturalism embraces our shared values and cultural traditions within Australia’s established society, while protecting the rights of Australians to practice their cultural and ethnic traditions and heritage. But that hasn’t always been the way in Australia.
WHITE AUSTRALIA AND ASSIMILATION
The first significant cultural...
...II because their culture has directly influenced the main stream of Australia’s culture.
“The term ‘multiculturalism has served the Australian community well and best describes our positive acceptance of the reality and significance of our cultural diversity and the proactive approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities arising from it.” (National Multicultural Advisory Council, 1999) Multiculturalism is a term that was introduced into the political bureaucratic language decades ago, and it has since become synonymous with diversity and tolerance in Australia. As well as this, it is important to acknowledge that Australia has not always been tolerant of ethnic or linguistic diversity in the past. Australia is and will remain a multicultural society. From 1945 to 1949, Australia established the Federal Department of Immigration and thereby launched a large scale immigration program. Australia was in urgent need of a larger population for the purposes of defence and development. It is hypothesised that migrant cultures have significantly contributed to Australian society since World War II because their culture has directly influenced the main stream of Australia’s culture. Social order, economy, culture, economics and prosperity have considerably contributed and shaped Australian society in the modern day and throughout the years. “While Australian...
...Italians followed relatives that were already established in Australia, many Italians had tried to make a living to be able to send money back to their relatives in Italy that were suffering from severe poverty in post war Italy, or simply just wanted to have a better future for themselves and their families. A lot of Italian migrants travelled to Australia with little to no money, a suitcase and the clothes that they were wearing. Many Italians had been called to work as soon as they had disembarked from the ships they had arrived on. Italians migrated primarily in a search for a better income, but ultimately wanted to establish themselves back in their homeland.
Although many Australians were welcoming to the new Italian immigrants, there were also quite a lot of Australians who were not so pleased with the Italians coming and taking the jobs. The view from some Australians towards Italians was that they were the enemy, and now that they were migrating to Australia and taking a lot of jobs from Australians, made many hate the Italians. With this hatred there was a fair amount of racism created mainly attacking the Italians.
A large amount of Italians were not very well educated as they had only completed up to the fifth grade, and a lot of Italians did not have a chance to undertake schooling, as they were most of the time straight into work. A typical Italian would have a strong connection and loyalty to their family,...
...was the mass migrations of many Vietnamese people to Australia. According to Ashley Carruthers (2008), the only Vietnamese to previously arrive in Australia were generally tertiary students, wives of Australian soldiers or orphans from the war. Following the 1975 surrender of South Vietnam however, the Vietnamese were forced to flee their homes in a desperate attempt to escape the newly-communist rule of the North. Due to the economic prosperity ofAustralia and the close ties it had with South Vietnam, many refugees migrated to the country, according to Jack & Templeton (1994). This led to what is now a thriving Vietnamese culture throughout Australia, although previously many Vietnamese had struggled to integrate into the Australian culture.
It will be argued that after fleeing the privation of their newly-communist homeland as a result of the war, the Vietnamese masses were welcomed onto Australian shores only to later endure the Australian Public’s racism. It will also be reasoned that this racism however, has dwindled over time due to the ever-growing multicultural attitude adopted by the nation.
The spread of communism was a constant threat during the Cold War and a major catalyst for the military conflict between the communist North Vietnam and the republic South. Nicolas Brasch (2008, p.28) indicates that the USA Government sent military forces to South Vietnam to protect it from falling...
...Multiculturalism in Australia
‘Assimilation’ was the official term used to describe government policy for migrants settling in Australia in the immediate postwar period. The basic idea was that, as soon as practicable, migrants should become part of the Australian way of life and be treated in the same way as other Australians. That would entail getting a job, finding a house, settling into the local community and eventually becoming Australian citizens. They mostly come from United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), South Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand. These kind of differences make Australia get into a multiculturalism society.
They come to Australian with their own cultural identity. Cultural identity is the sense of belonging and attachment to a particular way of living associated with the historical experience of a particular group of people. Multiculturalism exists where one society embraces groups of people with different cultural identities. Not only the diverse of language, but also social-economic background, religion, and habitual.
The multicultural nature of Australian society has implications for education that go far beyond the concept of child migrant education, which was concerned with education for a multicultural society apply to all children, not just children of non-English speaking background,...
...Should the UK Government control migration?
Some believe that it is necessary to control migration in the UK, as they believe that too many immigrants could lead to overpopulation, unemployment and housing shortages. It is commonly believed that migration should be controlled, as migrants ‘come over to our country and take our benefits’; however this is not necessarily factually correct. This essay aims to discuss thebenefits and problems of migration in the UK, and make a conclusion based on the evidence I have discussed, about whether migration should or should not be controlled by the UK Government.
The UK’s post-war immigrants came mainly from Colonies in the Caribbean, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. An act of parliament meant all Commonwealth citizens could get free entry into the UK, and the first immigrants brought into the UK docked at Tilbury in June 1948. It is estimated that during the 1950’s and 1960’s over a quarter of a million immigrants came from the Caribbean, and the same number from what had been the Indian Empire. By 1971, there were over 1 million immigrants from Commonwealth countries, and therefore by the 1970’s, the UK had more than enough labour, and controls were introduced to reduce the migrant arrivals. Since the 1970’s the immigration of New Commonwealth citizens has been subject by some form of government control. In the late 1990’s the...
Benefits and Drawbacks of MigrationMigration is one of the most liquid aspects of geography, as so much is happening (people are constantly shifting), that it makes it hard to keep track of all the movement. However, migration still is a foundational aspect of human society today as it is what causes the majority of the fluctuation in the country’s economic and cultural status.
This being said, the impacts thatmigration can have on both the source country and the destination country can be positive or negative, therefore it is important to create a balance between the immigration and emigration of the country.
One of the possible benefits that the destination country can reap from the influx of migrants is the huge workforce that is now suddenly available to the country. For example, in the early 20th Century, a large amount of Mexicans migrated north into the US, due to political unrest within Mexico itself. However, this was a lucky coincidence for the US government as they were suddenly supplied with a humungous workforce, who were willing to work long hours for little pay: the solution that the US government was looking for. With the large influx of Mexicans, the US government was able to fill up all the job vacancies within the country (especially those with lower pay), thus stabilizing its economy for the future.
However, this influx has also produced issues within America,...
...extent is economic migration a threat or a benefit to developed countries?
Migration is the movement of people from one place to another. Migration can be international (movement between different countries) or internal (movement within a country, often from rural to urban areas). In this article we consider the impacts of migration on the individual, the place left behind by the migrant and the place hosting the migrant. We also consider the push and pull factors of migration. More people are migrating today than at any other point in human history. Migrants travel in many different ways and for many different reasons. People move in order to improve their standard of living, to give their children better opportunities, or to escape from poverty, conflict and famine. Today, with modern transportation and communications, more people are motivated and able to move.
People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be economic, social, political or environmental. Social migration involves moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family and friends. Political migration involves moving to escape political, religious or ethnic persecution, or conflict. Environmental migration – causes of this type of migration include natural disasters such as flooding or drought. In this essay, I will refer only to...