We are one, but we are many…

OPINION

By P. Ayyagari
7 August 2018

In response to Andrew Bolt’s inflammatory article in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday 2nd August 2018 titled “Foreign Invasion”, I would like to make a few comments to dispel some of the distorted and biased opinions.

First some statistics as per 2016 Census data:
  • Ancestry: Australian (23.3%), English (25.0%), Irish (7.6%), Scottish (6.4%) and German (3.1%). Aboriginal ancestry makes up 3% and the rest 32% are of other ancestry.
  • Country of birth: Australia (66.7%), England (3.9%), New Zealand (2.2%), China (2.2%) India (1.9%), Germany (0.4%) and Philippines (1.0%).  Note:  There are as many New Zealanders here as there are Chinese.  
  • Religious affiliations: Catholic (22.6%), Anglican (13.3%), Uniting Church (3.7%), No Religion (29.6%) and Not stated (9.6%).  This leaves only 21% of population from other religious backgrounds such as Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Muslim
  • Language spoken at home:
    • English - 72.2% of residents of Australia speak English at home
    • 22.2% speak Non-English language at home
Yes, Australia is diverse and very multicultural.  However, the above statistics do not support the headlines “Foreign Invasion” of Mr Bolt’s article.
  • Mr Bolt claims that Christianity is losing its hold as the Country’s faith and yet only 22% of the population is from other religious backgrounds.
  • How can a country be colonised if 72% of its residents speak the national language – English?
  • How can the term ‘Foreign invasion’ justifiable when almost 70% of Australians ancestry is that of Anglo Saxon background?
  • Are the remaining 30% of various ancestral background residents of Australia that big a threat to the country?
Mr Bolt has conveniently ignored to mention the myriad of benefits that migrants bring to the country, particularly to Regional Australia.
  • Migrants that have settled in Rural and Regional Australia;
    • Work as GPs, Psychiatrists, Dentists, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists, Public Servants, Process Workers, Carers, Business Owners, Teachers –
      • Average waiting times to see a GP used to be at least 4 to 6 weeks, now we can walk into any medical practice and see a GP
    • Build their own homes thus benefitting the building and construction industry
    • Start own businesses from restaurants, take-away shops, grocery stores to motels, petrol stations and taxis – the tourism industry as well as local communities are benefitting from these businesses. 
    • Pay TAFE colleges to get qualified to willingly work in the Carer industry.
      • The entire carer industry is sustainable today, particularly in Regional and Rural Australia, because of the willingness of migrants to work as Aged Care, Disability Care and Child Care workers.
    • Undertake organic vegetable gardening which is beneficial to the Australian soil.
    • Bring their cultural festivals and celebrations into the wider community
    • Contribute and raise funds for local charities.
    • And the list can go on….
Statistics can be skewed to either raise fears or show the benefits.  Mr Bolt has used the statistics to bring divisions where there are none.

Mr Bolt’s article may attract the attention of a minority of readers, including some older Australians, but I can confidently say younger Aussies reject these views – because they are growing up alongside with a diverse range of children and their lunch boxes. Mr Bolt talks about Australian Values; one of them is “a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play, compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good” (www.homeaffairs.gov.au). I challenge which one of those values is Mr Bolt’s article promoting? In contrast, Migrants bring ALL those values into play daily and are resoundingly contributing for the public good. 

I say – “We are One, but we are Many… I Am, You Are, We Are Australian”

With Love and Respect.



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