New Survey Shows Migrants Optimistic about Australia

October 18, 2013

New Survey Shows Migrants Optimistic about Australia

Australia is welcoming but not always open to true friendship is a feeling shared by new and middle migrants accordingly to a recent Mind and Mood survey. The study finds immigrants share a sense of optimism about Australia's future, although, the level at which they hold this perception differ. On the key issue of racism, the study finds that migrants do not face any form of "entrenched racism" within Australian society.

The study, quoted in The Australia, has brought to light some interesting perspective about migrant attitudes towards Australia and their perception about the potential the country offers. The report is based on an extensive survey done by researchers among Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and Somali migrants living in Australia.

Australia is a lucky country, feel new migrants

New migrants consider Australia as a “lucky country” but middle migrants do not necessarily share the same perception. The survey, however, finds that both migrant sections share the same optimism about what Australia has to offer.

Interestingly this positive perception, about Australia's future which migrants, both new and old have, is not shared by local middle-class population in the country. All section, however, share the same concerns about life in general particularly cost of living.

Influence of ‘mother country’ experience

Accordingly to the report, new immigrants appreciate Australia for its peaceful and non-corrupt environment. This positive perception about Australia is primarily due to the “mother country” experience which continues to be fresh in the minds of this new migrant class.

"Migrants see Australia as a place of social mobility, freedom, accountability, a place that is friendly, safe and free from corruption," says Rebecca Huntley, quoted in The Australian. Ms Huntley is director of research at Ipsos Mackay which conducted the survey. 

Different perception among old migrants

Interestingly this feeling of "lucky country" is only held by new migrants. People who settled in Australia earlier as migrants have a complete different perception, says the report.

"Those migrants among us that have been here for a few generations complain endlessly about a growing class divide, increased government regulation over behaviour, lack of accountability, deteriorating social standards, lack of respect and civility, growing levels of crime and violence and the avarice and laziness of politicians," The Australian quotes Ms Huntley as saying.

Grievances vary on migrants status scale

Most grievances come from migrants who are either at the “bottom” or at the "top" of the "migrant ladder," accordingly to the report.

For instance, the study finds that Somali refugee migrants feel most excluded whereas international students from China and India said they felt "ripped off" by the education system in Australia.

Racism not entrenched

On the key question of racism, an issue that threatens to mar Australia’s relations with India, the survey does not find migrants facing any form of "entrenched racism" in Australian society.  However, the report clarifies that there is evidence of racism particularly among economically and socially isolated groups such as the Vietnamese women working in low-level service jobs, refugees and international students.


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