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同路人語 580 成為真正的澳洲人 周偉文







Becoming a genuine Australian       Raymond Chow

Since the influx of Chinese to Australia at the gold rush time, in a matter of decades Chinese represented 11% of the national population. Because they used to work at low pay level and spend the minimal, to the mainstream society this influx was a threat to their interest. Rising nationalism urged for counteracting policy at the federal level. In 1901 the new federal government kicked start the ‘White Australia’ policy requiring all new comers to know English. By the 70’s and 80’s Chinese population dropped to just 1%. Those were the bad days for the Chinese.

‘White Australia’ policy was racism; but we can’t deny most Chinese’s reluctance to integrate themselves into the mainstream society has been part of the cause. Many of these Chinese are just here earning money to take home; local Australians did not see them as genuine Australians but as ‘Yellow Peril’. The same will happen in any other country; say if an influx of Japanese came to take possession in China such as in the Sino-Japanese war, all Chinese will come up to fight against them.

To date Australia embraces multiculturalism and again accepts immigrates from all around the world to settle in this beautiful place for their future.The annual Australian Day on 26th January reminds us of our obligation to blend into the society, not just for our daily living but also for our better future. Becoming a genuine Australian is a prerequisite for us to be totally accepted.

To date many Chinese elsewhere are bringing in with them their wealth, expertise, skill and experience to this lucky country. To build up from scratch here is no easy job and to integrate into the mainstream society needs effort. Some people will see China’s economical leap can offer Australian Chinese much room and opportunity. Yet amid this we must remember unless we don’t take this country as our home but just for passing by, otherwise becoming a genuine Australian and taking this country’s interest as our priority to contribute would be our best deal to make our future generations nice and comfortable living here.


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