Nearly half of the number of those who can call themselves Australians are actually born overseas or at least have parents that have both been born overseas. These new Australians however, in-spite of the great contribution they have been giving to their adopted home, still face the very hard task of being taken in by our society.
For most of the history of this country since the great settlement from Europe, migrants from Europe and especially the United Kingdom have been the most dominant in making the big move to Australia.
This trend went on well into the mid-late twentieth century.
However, according to a report made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection entitled ”The Place of Migrants in Contemporary Asia”, in the more recent decades, the main source region for migrants to Australia has now become Asia, particularly from countries in Southern Asia like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, to name a few), and Chinese Asia such as China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Taiwan)
The report states that in terms of the migrants’ contribution, they, together with their children, are giving a significant deal to the Australian economy. The data shows that the migrants’ children get high level qualifications compared to the general population, and there are a lot of migrants who have high education and employment rates as well as very strong English language skills.
In terms of attitudes however, it is stated in the report that the surveys have found that even if Australians are accepting and welcoming of other cultures in general, there are certain members of the population for which there is less tolerance that exists and in which there are real problems.
It is also shown in the report that surveys show while almost eighty seven per cent of people interviewed seem like they support and find valuable the concept of multiculturalism, more than forty per cent of the interviewees indicated there is an intolerance of other cultural customs that are being practices in the country and more than twelve per cent identify themselves as being prejudiced against cultures that are different from theirs.
And because of this, those who are still new to Australia do feel there is racism. It is stated in the report that when it comes to the issue of experiencing racism, the results of the survey show that in excess of twenty seven per cent of Australians shared having been discriminated against largely because of their ethnic origins, such as having been called names or being insulted because of their ethnicity. Some have also felt that they have been treated with disrespect or have been given the feeling they are not worthy of being trusted on.
It is concluded in the report that findings such as these will be able to shed light to these kinds of issues, and that even if there is wide acceptance and recognition of migrants, and the diversity that is associated with them, in the contemporary society of Australia, there are still challenges that are in great need of continuous attention.