Experience and Representation: Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia

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By both major political parties had adopted a non-racial approach to immigration and public policy, supporting the Racial Discrimination Act that was drafted by the ALP in and passed by the incoming Coalition Government in However, the public expectation remained that new non-white immigrants would be, for the most part, educated, Westernised and culturally attuned to modern Australian life. It is at this point that non-white immigration from Africa begins, also reflecting the major political and social changes that transformed the continent in the last quarter of the 20 th century Australian Bureau of Statistics, The Australian Government sought to recognise and respond to these changes, firstly through the gradual opening of immigration opportunities and through the subsequent allocation of humanitarian places to internally displaced and refugee applicants in Africa.

There are also an increasing number of people in Australia of African descent, bringing with them potentially valuable cultural, social and economic ties to the region. The census reveals that there are more than , South African-born people in Australia, along with more than 20, Zimbabweans, 19, Sudanese, 18, from Mauritius and almost 10, Kenyans.

In permanent settler arrivals to Australia included 4, South Africans and 3, Sudanese, constituting the sixth and seventh largest sources of migrants respectively Based on the census, there are just under 3, medical doctors and over 4, nurses working in Australia who are African-born. This represents 5.

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Given that only 1. There are very different groups of African-born immigrants who have settled in Australia Table 2. Many of the professionals or managers, highly skilled and educated, have come from South Africa and Egypt; they are mostly European by descent and are part of a long history of immigration to Australia. While the majority of immigration from Africa is through skilled or family categories many of these are nominees of earlier humanitarian arrivals , a significant number of new arrivals to Australia include refugees or other humanitarian groups.

A refugee is someone who meets the definition set out in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. A Special Humanitarian Program entrant may experience similar threats and dangers as a refugee but is normally sponsored by an Australian resident or organisation. The Special Assistance category is used in defined situations; again the entrant would normally have pre-existing links to Australia.

The Women at Risk program assists women who do not have the protection of a male relative and are in danger of victimisation and serious abuse because of their gender. Australia introduced the Women at Risk visa class in in recognition of the priority given to the protection of refugee women in particularly vulnerable situations by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics cross tabulations made available to the author by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Note: Missing data covers those not in workforce female care givers, children and retirees or not given. These are current occupations and do not reflect occupations in country of origin. Immigration to Australia from Southern Africa accelerated in the s. There had been some immigration during the height of apartheid by opponents of the South African regime and Perth received a regular inflow of white Africans, especially from Rhodesia in the lead up to and following the end of white rule in There were clear signs at that time of links between extremist right wing Australian organisations and some white nationalist refugees from South Africa.

Compared to almost any other region, Africa has very few immigrants in Australia.

It is the second largest continent and has a population of million. Yet Africans make up only 0. There were 3, members of the African community in Australia [sic: refers to Census]. Of this number about two-thirds were from South Africa.

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Presumably most of the South Africans in Australia were white. One reason for the low representation of people from other parts of Africa is the almost complete absence of diplomatic and immigration posts. The author could well have made the same point about the exodus from Kenya and Zimbabwe, where it appears that immigration posts were established primarily to service the emigration of whites leaving after independence of those countries and the establishment of majority rule Brownell, Nairobi also later became the central point for processing refugees from Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

Since the s there has been a large influx of South Africans, a significant number of whom are Jewish and descendants of the s migration of Lithuanian Jewry to South Africa.

There was also an earlier immigration of Jewish Egyptians to Australia in the s and s, following the rise of nationalist regimes and the war between Egypt and Israel in and again in Religious identification provides another sense of the diversity of the African-born population in Australia.

South African born residents in comprised 15, Anglicans, 14, Catholics, 11, Jews, 7, Uniting Church, 3, Presbyterians, 3, Hindus and 2, Muslims the latter two groups descendants of earlier Indian immigrants Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census; figures provided by Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The Australian Government has tended to group the non-European Mediterranean littoral states into a single category, possibly because of their Ottoman Empire and Muslim histories. While it is possible to disaggregate them, the concept that appears to underpin this category still draws a potent dividing line in official documents.


This distinction may owe more to European history than to African history. The most significant source of migrants to Australia from the region has, of course, been Egypt, which encapsulates many of the general issues affecting immigration and settlement policies in relation to Africa. Egypt is a multicultural country bearing testimony to waves of imperial expansion. It is a majority Muslim country, with a strong Christian Coptic minority. It has been occupied, or at least administered, by the Ottomans, the French and the British. It was a vanguard in developing a secular, nationalist government, which had overthrown a royalist government and which confronted European power in the post-war decade.

Egypt was the birthplace of Muslim nationalism and the point of origination for the Muslim Brotherhood. It has a youthful, well-educated population but lacks sufficient occupational opportunities. At various stages political unrest, religious conflict and economic crises have driven people to emigrate. It is a well educated and professional community, although it has a high proportion of retirees; less than half are in the labour market. Further, the major factors behind emigration — political and ethno-religious conflict — mean that the Egyptian community in Australia has a very different profile to its country of origin.

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Sudan has become a controversial source of immigration from Africa, partly due to the rapid growth in the number of immigrants to Australia and partly because of comments made in by the then Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews alleging they had shown a poor history of integration. Sudan is located between Egypt and the Horn of Africa.

Physically the largest country on the continent, Sudan has a long history of struggle between Arab and indigenous African influences and varying reactions to colonial intrusions. Australian troops fought there in the s, supporting the British. Over the past two generations the country has been embroiled in wars and inter-ethnic conflicts, with Muslim militias attacking the Christians and Animists of the south.

A major location of this conflict is the south-western region of Darfur, where there have been regular reports of massacres in refugee camps and sustained attacks against civilians. In the Sudanese population in Australia was slightly less than 5,, most of whom were refugees.

By the number had grown to just under 20,, a rate of growth that put enormous pressures on the fragile community structures established by earlier arrivals. As a result, many newly arrived refugees and humanitarian entrants had only limited community support to ease them into their new environment. The peak year for immigration was , when just under 6, people arrived.

About three-quarters were sponsored to Australia under the Special Humanitarian Program and thus joined pre-existing communities. The largest settlement is in Melbourne, followed by Sydney, and there are smaller communities in the Darling Downs in southern Queensland and the Hunter region around Newcastle Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, e. The Horn of Africa encompasses a region of great diversity, environmental stress and political conflict.

Three countries stand out for the purposes of this paper — Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Ethno-national communities live within and across State borders and war and environmental stress may drive them further afield, as internally displaced persons or as refugees. Ethiopia has experienced over 30 years of disruption, with refugee communities scattered through Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.

It is the largest Horn of Africa country, with a population of 85 million. By Australia was home to 3, Ethiopians, with most settled in Victoria. In the period from to a further 3, people arrived from Ethiopia. The vast majority arrived under humanitarian schemes or family reunion, with a significant group of comprising Christian women with children at risk arriving in from the Abu Rakham camp in Sudan Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, c.

Eritreans form a smaller group and come from a society with at least nine ethno-linguistic groups.

Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia, 1st Edition

In there were about 1, Eritreans living in Australia — again, mostly in Victoria — with the number growing to about 2, by Eritrea has a complicated history in relation to Ethiopia, being amalgamated under the Italians in the s and then seeking independence in a series of wars through until the s. Almost all Eritreans in Australian are either humanitarian or family entrants; over half identify as Muslim, with a smaller number being Coptic and Eastern Orthodox Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, b.

Somalis were some of the first refugees from Africa to be accepted in Australia. Musicology, having been transmitted as a compilation of disparate events and disciplines, has long necessitated a 'magic bullet', a 'unified field theory' so to speak, that can interpret the steady metamorphosis of Western art music from late medieval modality to Using case studies drawn from Latin America, Africa, India and Eastern Europe, this volume examines the role of courts as a channel for social transformation for excluded sectors of society in contemporary democracies. With a focus on social rights litigation Decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment are contentious, and offer difficult moral dilemmas to Decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment are contentious, and offer difficult moral dilemmas to both medical practitioners and the judiciary.

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The aim of your poster or short video is to motivate young people to think about taking on this responsibility; its purpose is not to convey details of specific courses, venues or requirements.


Information about the training that is available from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia can be found at their website. But remember, the aim of your poster or video is to capture the attention of young Australians and inspire them to explore the opportunity of becoming a lifesaver. Lesson plan - Kofi's story. It has three activities: The power of symbols: in this activity students will explore some of the imagery within the text.

Refugees in Australia: this activity has two parts. Everyone can be a lifesaver: students create a visual text to communicate this message to the diverse Australian community. And nervous. Today is my first time on patrol. Kofi the lifesaver! Activity 1: The power of symbols Explore this extract from the text: Since I arrived in Australia four years ago, I have come to the beach whenever I can. Discuss the following questions: What is the main message conveyed in this paragraph? Kofi is making a powerful statement in an understated way.