New Migrants Reveal Settlement Issues - Report
25 March 2014 at 7:53 am
More than half of new migrants to Australia say that the Government provides adequate services to assist them to settle, with some saying it is too generous, a new report has revealed.
The findings came out of two Mapping of Social Cohesion Surveys by Monash University, in partnership with the Scanlon Foundation and the Australian Multicultural Foundation as part of a continuing Social Cohesion Research program.
The research monitors how Australia can maintain its “immigration with social cohesion success story of the last five decades”.
“When asked, in an open ended question, if the government provides adequate services to assist immigrants to settle, the most common response (51%) was that it does, or is too generous,” the 2013 Recent Arrivals Report said.
“The most recent arrivals (2000-10) who specified a need for services indicated greater assistance to find jobs appropriate to skills and qualifications (12%). As in the previous analysis of financial circumstances, only a small minority of recent arrivals indicated dissatisfaction: 11% indicated that they were unhappy over the last year (similar to the level in national surveying), a lower 5% that they were dissatisfied with life in Australia.”
The report also revealed that the highest proportion of new arrivals were respondents born in India or Sri Lanka. These new arrivals also ranked racism and discrimination against immigrants first in what they least liked about Australia.
“With the three choices [cost of living, high taxation, and racism and discrimination against immigrants] aggregated, racism and discrimination was chosen by 52% of respondents born in Indonesia and Malaysia, 50% New Zealand, and 48% India and Sri Lanka,” the report said.
“The lowest proportions selecting racism and discrimination were respondents born in ‘other Europe’.”
The report also found that:
Close to 60 per cent are satisfied with their present financial status, with a higher level of endorsement of the proposition that in Australia hard work will be rewarded.
Almost two out of three (64 per cent) recent arrivals indicated that they were ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’, one in four (24 per cent) that they were ‘neither happy nor unhappy’, and one in ten (11 per cent) that they were ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’.
In the first choice of what respondents most like about Australia, only three attributes were chosen by more than 10 per cent of respondents who arrived 2000-10: lifestyle/ way or life (24 per cent); standard of living (18 per cent); and human rights, freedom, peace, democracy (12 per cent).
Access to Australian media is also indicated at a high level. Close to three out of four 76 per cent) of those who arrived in the 1990s indicate that they watch Australian news or current affairs programs on television ‘every day’ or ‘several times a week’, and 72 per cent of arrivals 2000-10.
The 2013 Recent Arrivals Report was based on a survey completed by 2324 respondents, two-thirds of whom arrived between 2000 and 2010.
The second report, 2013 Local Areas, was based on a minimum of 500 interview conducted in each of the five target localities – Mirrabooka (Perth, Western Australia), Logan (Brisbane, Queensland), Murray Bridge (South Australia), Shepparton (Victoria) and Atherton Tablelands (Queensland).
According to the report, there had been no recent social cohesion surveys conducted in other capital and regional areas to provide understanding of attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity.
“Of the five 2013 local area surveys, two were conducted in capital cities in areas of high immigrant concentration, one in Brisbane, one in Perth,” the Local Areas report said.
According to the report’s author Professor Andrew Markus the findings highlight the need for Government to tailor-make immigration programs to the specific needs of different areas of Australia, both urban and regional, to get the maximum benefits.
“We need to be tailoring reports to real needs opposed to aggregate,” Prof Markus said.
To view the reports, click here.