Term 1 Inquiry
I have reflected on my learning and what I know about cultural Australia and has made a Prezi to show my understanding of the unit. I answered these questions in my prezi:
- How and why are Australian identities changing?
- What are features and symbols that have been recognised both nationally and internationally to represent cultural Australia?
- What characteristics of various cultural groups are significant in representing a changed Australia?
Multiculturalism in Australia has a special cultural status.
Many similar policies were put in place, for example the formation of the Special Broadcasting Service. While the White Australia Policy was quietly dismantled after World War II by various changes to immigration policy, the full political introduction of official policies of multiculturalism was not until 1972.
The top ten religions in Australia account for less than 63% of the population.
According to the census more than one fifth of the population were born overseas. Furthermore, almost 50% of the population were either:
• born overseas; or
• had one or both parents born overseas.
In terms of net migration per capita, Australia is ranked 18th (2008 Data) ahead of Canada, the USA and most of Europe.
Social importance of immigration
The overall level of immigration to Australia has grown during the last decades. Net overseas immagrants increased from 30,000 in 1993 to 118,000 in 2003-04. During the 2004-05, total 123,424 people immigrated to Australia.
Of them, 17,736 were from Africa, 54,804 from Asia, 21,131 from Oceania, 18,220 from United Kingdom, 1,506 from South America, and 2,369 from Eastern Europe. 131,000 people migrated to Australia in 2005-06 and migration target for 2006-07 was 144,000.
In 2008-09 about 300,000 new migrants are expected to arrive in Australia, the highest number since World War II.
National Multicultural Festival
The national Capital city, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, has developed a tradition of the National Multicultural Festival, held over a week in February. Additionally, Canberra has numerous other inter-cultural events, such as the Thai Food Festival held at Wat Dhammadharo, Canberra’s Thai temple, on 2009-04-19.
Cultural identity of migrants
The meaning of multiculturalism has changed enormously since its formal introduction to Australia. Originally it was understood by the mainstream population as a need for acceptance that many members of the Australian community originally came from different cultures and still had ties to it. However, it came to mean the rights of migrants within mainstream Australia to express their cultural identity. It is now often used to refer to the fact that very many people in Australia have, and recognize, multiple cultural or ethnic backgrounds. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Australia estimated that, in 2005, 25% of the Australian workforce was born outside of Australia and 40% had at least one parent born outside of Australia.
Following the initial moves of the Whitlam Labor government in 1973, further official national multicultural policies were implemented by Malcom Fraser’s Liberal Government in 1978. The Labor Government of Bob Hawke continued with these policies during the 1980s and early 1990s, and were further supported by Paul Keating up to his electoral defeat 1996. CALD (or Culturally and linguistically Diverse) policies continue to be implemented at all levels of government and public service, such as medical support systems which cater specifically to non-English speaking residents.