無可置疑, 澳洲是一個多元文化國家, 不過我們還沒有準備好使多元文化成為澳洲的優勢。這週, 澳洲統計局公佈了2021年人口普查的初步結果。
沒有令人感到意外的, 是澳洲人口比起2016年多了約2百萬人, 而父母在海外出生的澳洲人佔差不多了一半, 更有而超過1/4的澳洲人是在海外出生。可以說, 認為今天的澳洲是英國式的歐洲社會, 並不反映現實。
不錯,來自英國的殖民建立了澳洲的英式社會制度, 但過去二、三十年, 來自亞洲及其它地區的大量移民及他們的下一代, 已把澳洲變成全球獨有的多元文化國家。與新加坡一樣, 民主制度成為澳洲社會運作的基礎, 而不同的是澳洲人更嚮往自由與人權。正是民主、自由與重視人權的社會價值觀, 加上優質的生活, 吸引全球各地方的人來到澳洲定居。
澳洲政府要正視, 移民中有部份人並非以英語為母語或是在家中使用英語, 不能讓這些澳洲人因語言關係而無法融入社會, 因此要提供更多資源協助這些移民群體融入, 華人就是這些人中最多的一群。 澳洲政府不要把這情況視為負資產, 相反, 更要把它看成為優勢, 讓更多澳洲人有機會學習華語作為外語, 改善澳洲與成為世界第二大經濟體的中國的對接條件,提升澳洲人在全球的競爭力。
同時間, 澳洲政府亦要加快華人移民接納澳洲對民主、自由、人權等價值觀的認識和認同, 才能維持澳洲社會的凝聚力及穩定性。華人多來自亞洲不同國家, 本身已經具備多元性和對別的文化的包容, 應該能為豐富澳洲文化的多元性帶來更多的好處。 澳洲政府不應把多元的華人, 只看成為全都是來自與澳洲價值觀有相當衝突的共產中國。相反澳洲政府要支持及發揮華人的多元性, 來幫助來自極權專制地區的華人, 更多及更快地接納多元文化澳洲人所支持的價值觀。
讓自由而獨立的中文社區媒體, 更有效及深入地服務華人, 有助於讓華人擺脫其它國家通過社交媒體, 長期影響他們的思想及價值觀。我相信, 在澳中關係漸趨緊張時, 澳洲政府要更主動和積極地支持本地的獨立中文社區媒體。
To strengthen multiculturalism in Australia
Undoubtedly Australia is a multicultural nation, yet we are not ready to make this feature as our edge. The 2021 Natonal Census preliminary result just came out.
Unsurprisingly our national population has increased by two million since 2016, headcount with parents born overseas has almost doubles, and over a quarter of the population was born overseas. So, it is unrealistic to say Australia is still a British-type western country.
Truly social fabrics and systems in Australia were once built on British colonialism; but due to the influx of Asian and other immigrants with their next generation over the past 20-30 years, Australia has become a unique multicultural country. Like Singapore we work on a democratic social system, and on top we have freedom and human right that make here more appealing. The combination of these perfect social values with good living style has attracted settlers around the world.
The government has to acknowledge that some of these immigrants are non-English speaking thus they should not be left aside on their own. They need information resource to help them integrate into the community, Chinese forms the bulk of this group. The government should not see this as a burden but rather as an edge in a way that more Australians would pick up Chinese as a second language so that more connections and communications between Australians and Chinese be possible . This would definitely be able to enhance the competitiveness of Australians by making them more connections with the second largest economy power of the world.
At the same time the government must promote the awareness and acceptance of Chinese immigrants in the core values of democracy, freedom and human right, in order to maintain the coherence and stability of the society. People with Chinese ethnicity come from different Asian countries, they themselves are multicultural and can accommodate varieties, this would further enrich the multiculturalism of this country. Australia should not take all Chinese with cultural varieties as the stereotype of the Communist China whose values are in conflict with Australian’s. Instead, the government should support and develop Chinese multiculturism, so as to help Chinese coming out from totalitarian territory in embracing the values of multicultural Australia.
To allow an independent Chinese community media serving Chinese here more effectively can help them free from social media from another country making long term impact on their thinking and value. Amid a tense Australian-Chinese relationship, our government should actively support local independent Chinese community media.
Mr. Raymond Chow, Publisher