Newcomers Network – Worldwide ‘Moving’ Survey
Thursday, 28th October 2004 at 1:10 pm
More than 500 people from around the world have completed the ‘Moving in the 21st Century’ online survey – a not for profit initiative of Newcomers Network, Australia’s first network for newcomers based in Melbourne.
The findings from the survey suggest that our global society is more mobile than ever. 86% believe that you are a newcomer for up to three years from when you arrive in a new location.
58% of respondents have moved between six and 20 times from one home to another since they were born (more than 10 kilometres or six miles apart).
15% have lived in four or more countries for more than three months, 31% in two or more countries, 37% in one other country and only 16% have lived in the same country all their life. 69% of respondents had lived in their current location for less than three years.
When looking for information in a new location, 34% like asking people.
23% like searching the Internet using key words in a search engine. But 43% like tailored local information – 23% via a website with local information and a further 20% like looking in a printed local community directory. If a location wishes to attract new residents, then it makes sense to have this information accessible online so people can find it before they move and when they arrive.
36% want to be able to find information easily when they arrive, 34% want someone to be able to help them and a further 24% want to be well prepared.
The survey says a healthy community that welcomes newcomers will find pro-active independent people who are keen to network – because 40% say that their most helpful strategy is developing new social, professional and personal development networks.
It found that 25% arrive with the expectation that it will be challenging, 17% have started or continued a hobby/sport/interest/course but only 15% have learnt more about the local culture and participated in local community activities.
Newcomers Network says the most significant statistic relates to the question on ‘Which people have been most helpful to you when you have moved to a new location?’
39% People that have lived there a long time
25% People that have moved many times before
6% People that are trained to help newcomers
23% People that have the same cultural background
They say while we may think that matching a newcomer with their ‘previous location’, ‘ethnic’ or ‘religious’ background is the best way to help them settle in a new location – most people would like to mix with people who have lived there a long time!
The survey says newcomers need the opportunity to network within their new local community. Survey respondents also mentioned the importance of being able to use the main language of a new location – with 47% saying that newcomers should learn to read, write and speak the local language and 49% saying that newcomers should learn basic local language skills.
So how can you tell whether or not a move has been successful? The following statements ‘best describe a successful move to a new location:
35% When I can say that my new location is ‘home’
27% When I have good friends in my new location
31% When I know that my partner and/or children and I are all happy in the new location
6% When I feel as though I am a valuable member or the local community
Interestingly, men wanted their family happy (37% compared to women at 28%) but women wanted good friends (30% compared to 19%).
Has moving been successful? Well 80% say very successful or successful, but 20% say partly or not successful. The survey says this very high proportion of unhappy people has rates that are almost identical between the rest of the world and Australia.
Newcomers Network is an information, referral and advocacy (for better systems and processes) service for people who have moved – and a ‘virtual ambassador’ for Australia.
Newcomers Network was created by Sue Vitnell because she found the transition from Adelaide to Melbourne difficult, so she completed research so as not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and is providing a service that does not appear to have been provided in the past – after the removal truck has left!
Vitnell says English speaking newcomers (Australians, expatriates, repatriates, migrants) often miss the opportunity to ‘connect’ with what they need and people with a Non English Speaking Background usually connect through their English language training provider.
Te Newcomers Network has produced a “Newcomers Kit” based on the finding of this online survey. If you would like a copy just send us an email with the words Newcomers Kit on the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.