SBS recently showed a documentary outlining our Australian immigration story called, Immigration Nation.
The biggest learning (and shocking) point for me?
The fact that it literally has only been the last 30 years that race has not been a big issue in regards to immigration. Our White Australia Policy was (in name) dismissed by the Whitlam government, but it wasn't till Fraser's term that 14,000 Vietnamese refugees were allowed entrance to Australia. The first time we let 'non-whites' en mass to enter Australia.
We like to consider ourselves as a non-racist country, however for some, these messages have been ingrained into so many. We're frightened by the media and our government into thinking that non-whites = terrorists. That 'others' will take our jobs, our kids placements into schools, that they will 'take over' or people wont conform to 'our way of living' etc. It is no wonder that we still face issues, especially in regards to those who arrive by boat.
Immigration is one thing, accepting Refugees, although linked should be looked at differently. (but that's another story)
As I like to share my opinions, this is what I wrote on the SBS comments page about the documentary.
We learn some in school, but no way near as much. This is a MUST for the Dept. of Education to include in their curriculum.
It is such a shame that it is only within the last 30 years that the White Australia Policy has been put to rest. (Just within my lifetime). I felt sad as an Australian that we used to treat people like that.
However, feel very humbled in regards to how far we have come and know that we as a nation will take strides in ensuring our neighbours and others in need are looked after with our arms outreached, those who arrive via plane and boat.""
I can't think of anywhere else in the world I can get authentic Chinese, Turkish, Thai, Italian, Greek, Indian and other tasty cuisines in the one country!