Much debate is currently going on within Australian society about multi-culturism and whether or not it has worked. Before expressing my views and observations, let me explain where I am coming from.
As someone who conducts more real estate auctions than any other auctioneer in Sydney, Australia’s largest city (where some 33.6% of the population were born overseas and have emigrated here), literally on a daily basis I am dealing very personally with people from most nations on earth, and who are my vendors or buyers.
Through this experience, allied with the fact that I see right inside their personal lives through inspecting their homes, I feel I have a rather unique insight into Australian society.
And my conclusion?
That multi-culturism has, on the main, been a great success here in Australia.
That it has can, I think, be put down to Australia’s probably unique virtually classless society where all are treated as equals until shown otherwise (which is why the rat bag element, no matter what political angle they are coming from, are regarded as irrelevant) and that our tradition of “a fair go for all” is still pretty well intact although recent events may convey a different view.
Australia is still a country where someone can either arrive here, or be born here, with no material goods or possessions yet, through a combination of good luck and a solid work ethic (amazing how the luckiest in life always seem to be the hardest workers, eh?) can get a head in life a built a solid asset base for their family and themselves.
Add to that our wonderful climate and it is little wonder so many are looking at The Land Down Under with envy and here lies the coming problem.
Multi-culturism has worked here, where it hasn’t in other countries (France being a prime example), because peoples of the same nationality or background just moved to the same area and the problems they lefty behind manifest themselves again there in that country.
In Australia, up until now, immigrants were absorbed into the community as a whole so a street could have native non-Australians being neighbours with people from Greece, Italy, Vietnam, wherever. Through this process, both the newcomers and those already here came to learn of each other and understand not only the differences, but also what Australian life entailed and what “our” expectations of our citizens were.
Because of the innate Australian “larrikin” makeup, no doubt due to the laconic sense of humour that likely can be traced back to our convict ancestry, many people who “got above themselves” with inflated egos and ostentatious behaviour were rapidly put back in their place and likewise, those who went about their work and achievements in a modest way, were, and still are, lauded.
Regrettably, mainly I guess due to the influence of television, many of our youth who are short on self-esteem (parents, how about you start getting involved here?) are copying the gum-chewing, backwards-sitting baseball cap rap style and then wondering why they arer alienating themsleves further within Australian society.
I am of an age that I can remember when ”take away food” comprised fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and the arrival of the first hamburgers onto café menus.
If multi-culturism does not, or has not worked, how come then Australians ravish such feeds as kebabs, bok-choy, cappuccinos, sushi rolls, etc., etc?
Multi-culturism is giving, as it did America in its early days, the hybrid vigour to Australia to forge ahead and build a unique society. What we need is politicians to stop creating mayhem, let our larrikin mateship take hold in newcomers and as we say here in Australia, ”she’ll be right mate!”