這些日子, 發現了澳洲社會的一些問題。原來沒有多少個成年後移民到澳洲的人, 當選成為議員。正因為如此, 澳洲聯邦或州政府, 極少會訂定有效能協助移民定居澳洲的政策。不是沒有人提出這要求, 只是訂定政策者, 沒有多少人是經歷過這些困難, 而在議會中更沒有多少議員有這種體會, 結果是大多幫助移民定居的訴求, 都被政府忽略了。
我曾認為移民第二代進入了各級議會, 或許能在議會中, 反映出父母輩的需要。明顯地我是錯了。 在這裏長大的第二代, 在他們長大時, 很多人已建立對主流社會的認識及聯繫。他們不用面對如成年移民者一樣的失去大部份過去的成就、文化、關係割離及需要重新開始, 而且他們容易給主流社會接納, 並不需要遭遇更大的適應困難。議會中有幾位這樣的議員, 實質上並沒有為新移民作出了甚麼幫助?甚至他們也很少有人會想過, 到底澳洲要如何建立一個怎樣的多元文化的社會。
由於澳洲在過往三、四十年吸納了大量移民, 現時成年後移民者佔人口接近1/3。可以說, 澳洲社會若不公平地對待這群人, 就很難讓他們移民後繼續發揮所長, 把才能、經驗、及資源, 更全面及有效地促進澳洲社會的發展。我相信有效的移民政策, 並不止停留在選擇合適澳洲社會, 對這個國家發展有裨益的移民, 更大程度是要讓這些人來到澳洲後, 有更多的發揮。
成功的移民政策, 不止是吸引精英來澳洲定居, 而是讓他們在這一個國家, 成就他們的夢想, 令整個社會得到好處。移民大多能在商業、專業及社區等領域發展, 卻鮮有能在政治舞台上扮演著重要角色。很多時候, 是新移民選擇不願意從政, 因為他們往往要花上大量的時, 去認識一個全新的社會及建立極多的關係及網絡, 給人的感覺是投入多, 回報極少。
我相信, 政府要鼓勵更多成年移民從政, 而政黨更要為他開放提供更多機會, 才能吸納這些在原居地已證明是精英的一群, 投入在各級政府協助澳洲社會的發展, 貢獻自己的經驗和能力。
Encourage first generation immigrants to join politics
My experience as an election candidate was so memorable and precious amid its hectic process.
I also uncovered some issues of the Australian society over this period. It’s really hard for mature people who migrated here could win an election. So, both the state and federal governments are not effective in policies addressing the needs of mature migrants. Not that nobody raised their concerns but just that people in the parliaments have never been in their shoes hence nobody cared their needs.
I once thought that if the second generation could have been in the parliaments, they could represent the earlier generation. That’s not working as they were grown up in the mainstream society with the different background and connection. They don’t need to face the dilemma of the former generation in adjusting themselves in newly found commitment, culture and relation, while they can receive better acceptance from the mainstream society. There are a few of these members in the parliaments who have not done anything for immigrants and even they are not concerned about how to build a multicultural society in Australia.
The influx of immigrants over the past 30-40 years has resulted in 1/3 of the immigrated population being adults. If the government is not treating these people fairly, their talent, skill, experience and resource could not be fully utilised for the development of the society. I believe a good immigration policy is not just about taking on board good immigrants but also on how to take the most out of those who are already here.
Successful immigration policy is not just about attracting the elites, we must make them to have their dreams come true whilst in the interest of the country. Most immigrants can perform well in commerce, professions and community but rarely they are involved in politics. Many immigrants find politics not appealing as they feel its return so ineffective given that they need so much time and effort in knowing and building relational networks in the society.
I think the government should encourage more adult immigrants in joining politics, with the political parties offering them more opportunities. Then this batch of proven elites in their own homeland could contribute their best experience and ability at various tiers of the government for the benefit of the nation.
Mr. Raymond Chow, Publisher