Multiculturalism in Australia

by Ryoko Yorifuji

Australia is what is called immigrants’ country. But, is Australia really multicultural state? I think about the problem.

First, White from the UK or Irish immigrated to Australia in 1780s. At the same time they removed Aborigines. Since White continued to treat cruelly to Aborigines. Moreover White came out with White Australia Policy, and they tried to exclude colored. These days, many Chinese workers immigrated to Australia. They worked low wages, so employers used them. Then White workers lost their works because their wages were higher than Chineses’. So White’s antipathy to them got higher and exploded. As a result, the policy was realized. But, the policy was withdrawn and many colored immigrated to Australia. Finally, Australia advanced toward multiculturalism.

Second, indeed, many immigrants live in Australia. But, I think Australia is not multiculturalism. A definition of multiculturalism is “Various ethnics, races and levels save their originality, and each positively approve and coexist.” But in Australia, people mainly make group each race in school or region. White are always with White, Asian are always with Asian. Moreover, sometimes such a thing is heard “Why don’t immigrants speak English? They live in Australia, not their hometown.” This is not coexistence, much less respect for each other. But if not White people completely speak English, play Australian sports and master Australian traditional, they are not admitted to be Australian. Immigrants are immigrants forever, even if Australia is multicultural state.

That was why, many immigrants exist in there but they are not equal. Recently many riots occur in Australia. The riots are happened by White or immigrants. I think these facts are a symbol of discrimination: a part of White or White immigrants’ truly feel. Why do they happen to such a thing? To tell the truth, most participants of riots are young men. They vent their anger by violence or their worry about unemployment turns on others. In 2009, many Indian students in Australia were attacked by Australian. The cause is that many Indian lived in Sydney or Melbourne, and they occupied job in there. So, Australian felt hostile toward Indian, a part of the young happened to riots. This retribution was occurred by Indian.

From this riot, the realization of multiculturalism is difficult. And Australia is not truly multicultural state. But, even if we say “Let’s respect for each other”, we mentally put off. But such a case will be happen around the world. So, we should think how do multiculturalism realize in order to our future.

Reference

Australian multiculturalism www.clair.or.jp/j/forum/c_report/pdf/358.pdf

Globalization and multiculturalism www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/re/k-rsc/lcs/…/RitsIILCS_18.3pp.3-5Nishikawa.pdf

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One thought on “Multiculturalism in Australia

  1. Ryoko, I live in Australia and love your article. Your second paragraph completely encapsulates for me the problems of multiculturalism in Australia. I grew up in Malaysia which is officially an Islamic country. Yet, we had public holidays for every religion (Christmas, Buddha’s Day, Deepavali, Chinese New Year). To me that’s a symbol of true multiculturalism. Here in Australia, although there are lots of different cultures living here, there is not much national sense of multi-culturalism. Australians think that eating Indian food or Thai food for dinner is an example of multi-culturalism! Their culture still revolves around old Anglo traditions such as football and Christmas. By the way, I have previously lived in Japan too (for 4 years) so I am familiar with your culture as well …

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