My observation and conclusion is that few, if any, Australians believe in their heart that, as a human being, they are any better than anyone else. Nobody that I know of would consider a human being from another country to be of a ‘different species’. Those who do would be quickly silenced by the majority and unable to express their feelings for fear of being branded a ‘racist’, told to “pull their head in” and shunned.
Australians are probably the least racist people on earth. Ask any Japanese what he/she thinks of Koreans. Ask any Englishman if he thinks he’s better than a Pakistani. Ask any American if he/she thinks they are the only worthy country on earth. Ask any Canadian if he’s a yank. I’m going to cop flak for all of these remarks. I know that I’m generalising.
Colonisation was the first sweep of immigration. Modern Australia came into being at a time in world history when plundering other countries and calling them your own was commonplace. The Spanish and the Portuguese did it on South America, the Dutch did it in Indo-China, the English did it in North America, India and Australia and Germany tried to do it but WWII stopped them and put an end to the practice of colonialism and to closed borders. In reality all Australians are immigrants, the English who came here 200 years ago and even the traditional occupants were immigrated 60,000 years ago; all immigrants or descendants of immigrants.
Australia is probably the only country where all races live together side-by-side in relative peace and harmony. The “Aussie” is becoming more and more difficult to spot. The look, the accent, the vocabulary are all morphing over time. New immigrants often stick to their own communities forming enclaves within the community until they learn the language, get their bearings and realise that it is safe to venture out.
Australians are more ‘territorial’ than ‘racist’.
Australians hear of the poverty, unrest, mass murder, war, lawlessness, corruption, unfair government, radical religious beliefs. persecution and irksome customs of other countries. They don’t want it coming here. Australians are renowned around the world for their “She’ll be right, mate.” attitude to life which is what makes the Australian culture so great. We are also acutely aware that this is a free democratic country and demand that it remain so. Australia has never known civil war and the peace-breakers are the only real enemy of the state regardless of whether they are home-grown or imported. If Australia is cornered it will come out fighting and it will win. The only threat to democracy is democracy itself. If enough immigrants from Mars came to Australia and voted against democracy there would be no democracy and we would find ourselves governed by Marian law.
People hear that Australia is the “Lucky country”. If doing without while you build a nation is lucky then we’re lucky. In reality Australia’s early economy boomed because an Italian immigrant (the Marino) made it so.
Australia has had a second chance at being a lucky country through its mineral deposits which contributes mainly to the government through taxation. The wealth below the ground that once belonged to the nation is being ripped out by multi-national mining companies employing big machines and relatively few workers. Apart from welfare recipients few Australians actually share directly in that wealth.
Australia will need to find a third way of remaining the lucky country when China stops buying iron ore and the population ages. I don’t believe this will be in electronic devices but in basic commodities for living; energy, food and water; all the more reason not to ‘sell the farm’.
People hear that Australians have the highest personal wealth per capita in the world. It’s a fact but they fail to realise that this wealth is tied up in compulsory and risky superannuation at the mercy of the stock exchange together with artificially inflated real estate values. In reality we are asset-rich on paper only and relatively cash-poor. Many Aussies live well but many more live well below the poverty line and many of those are immigrants. Many live on the streets. Many have a family sharing a room but they’re still better off than they were in their old country
People look at a map of Australia and see a huge land mass the size of the whole of Europe but they fail to realise that most of it is desert or uninhabitable rain forest. Only the areas within say 300 kms of 30% of the coastline offers comfortable habitation and even that is still subjected to water restrictions, bushfires, drought and floods. MOST OF AUSTRALIA HAS NO WATER for most of the year. Moving to these areas would be like trying to inhabit the surface of the moon. If you polled the immigrants to Australia who have really looked around this vast country many would say there is no option but to limit further immigration.
People come here for work but fail to realise that the work they come here for is being outsourced by global corporations through global recruitment agencies to the lowest bidder offshore, probably in the country you are planning to leave. You don’t have to come here for work; the work is coming to you. Job opportunities in most administrative roles hardly exist at all locally.
While Australia still has problems to sort out such as drugs and ruthless criminal syndicates; Australians are acutely aware that Australia is a safer and richer country than most. Australians are sick and tired of people coming here and expecting Australia to adopt the characteristics of the country others are fleeing from e.g the Burkha, female circumcision, stoning adulterers. We tolerate many things that would be a death sentence is some countries but a line has to be drawn. We cannot be expected to embrace all foreign laws and customs without compromising our own integrity, morals and standards.
A good immigrant is one who is tolerant to Australians and Australian customs who wants to contribute to rather than take from the country.
If anything the average Australian is probably too tolerant for his own good.