Multiculturalism

The doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country
Source: www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/multiculturalism.htm

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"We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams." Jimmy Carter


Australia has promoted a variety of different policies in regard to immigration. These include the policy assimilation adopted in the 1940’s, multiculturalism in the 70's and the current policy of integration. Although the policies have changed it is clear that in today’s society the influences of a variety of ethnic groups can be seen.


The policy of Multiculturalism is one which has had the greatest impact on society. It is an idealistic approach which encourages tolerance and diversity. It promotes the rights of people to live according to their own culture. It aims to support their rights by providing services that will help strengthen ethnic communities, which is done by funding, education.





From Assimilation to Multiculturalism



Assimilation was a strategy adopted in the 1940’s and lasted up until the 1980’s. This strategy encouraged the new migrants to adopt some or all aspects of Australian culture. During this period migrants suffered from lack of rights including the ability practice their own clutural and religious beliefs. They were forced into the white Australian communites in hope that they would adapt. This was called the ‘sink- or – swim’ approach. During the 1970s when it was clear that the assimilation strategy was not a success, the policy of multiculturalism was bought in and developed, this strategy emphasised diversity. It was a policy which encouraged Australian citizens to accept new cultures and promote tolerance. During the shift from assimilation funding programs were put into place to address the disadvantages suffered by migrants and the acceptance of cultural diversity was promoted




From Multiculturalism to Integration



Prime Minister John Howard has shifted away from the idea of multiculturalism as an approach to immigration, multiculturalism was the strategy that allowed individual cultures to flourish beside one another rather than forcing conformity to accept the norm (seen in the process of assimilation). A shift towards integration emphasises unity. The Howard Government encouraged migrants to become a part of a new society that respects their differences. This also resulted in the change of the department name.


Reasons for the shift of multiculturalism to integration include:



  • Change of government aims (unity not diversity
  • Cronulla riots highlighted issues with multiculturalism
  • Camden Islamic school not being able to be in operation
  • Review of 50's and 60's assimilation (do not want that)
  • September 11, war in Iraq and Bali bombings are acts of poor assimilation and acceptance internationally.



Multiculturalism within Australia

Australia is a multicultural nation as it is home to people of all different cultures, ethnic background and religion. Most overseas migration occured during the period after World War, where they needed to boost the population size because they did not have enough man power for services ect. During this time the impact of multiculturalism can be seen in all aspects of life including architecture, food, art, literature and much more. There have been significant changes to Australian culture. Architecture form different countries has taken shape within Australia. there are many religious temples, churches and mosques around the country as well as "asian inspired" homes. Australia also has the pleasure in experiencing the different foods that each country has to offer. Australians do not stick to your "meat and vege" anymore. Because Australia has developed into a multicultural country it is now more easier to get foods from other countries. Another aspect that Multiculturalism is art and literature. Both these is a skill that people find interesting. The majority of Australians are eager to learn and view arts of other cultures which shows that Australians accept cultural diversity.

Australia adopted an egalitarian approach to immigration. An egalitarian society means to be equal. Australia is was known for their egalitarian society, which was what made it appealing to migrants in the 1900's. Migrants felt that they were welcome into this country and were not ruled by a particular group of people and that they could have more right and input in how they were treated. Australia is implementing strategies to minimise discrimination and conflicts between cultures. The government's aim is to do this by placing legislation which stops discrimination against other.

The graph below illustrates the annual population growth in Australia and the different sources of this growth.
Supportive of multiculturalism through the development of such organisations as The Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, The office of Multicultural Affairs and the Bearau of Immigration

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Source: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/02key.gif

Key points of the graph
  • Australias population is constantly growing
  • In the last three years there has been a constant increase of overseas migration
  • In 2001 there was a sudden boost







Top Ten Ancestry responses for the 2006 and 2001 Censuses
Accessed: http://www.abs.gov.au

Ancestry
2006
2001
Australian
7 371 823
6 739 594
English
6 283 647
6 358 880
Irish
1 803 736
1 919 727
Scottish
1 501 200
504 046
Italian
852 421
800 256
German
811 543
742 212
Chinese
669 901
556 554
Greek
365 150
375 703
Dutch
310 082
268 754
Indian
234 720
156 581
It is clear from the following table that the composition of the demographics of Australia is quite diverse. This table shows the follwing trends..
  • An overall increase in the population
  • The composition of Australia's population is predominantly of English, Scottish and Australian decent (Western nations)
  • In the recent years the amount of people of Indian decent has almost doubled
  • The amount of people of Scottish decent has trippled in the last 5 years



Multiculturalism within Sydney

Different cultures in sydney is accepted by society. this is evident through the high number of events and festivals that sydney hosts inorder to acknowledge and embrace these cultures. Although it is evident that australia-sydney-opera-house.jpgthere is a huge influence on western culture within these events. events such as; chinese new year scottish heritage week middle eastern dance festival week Ausrtalian refugee film festival 09 many events in darling harbour concerning many different cultures. Local councils also play a significant role in embracing multiculturalism, the following local councils have employed bands (such as viva bands duo) to provide multicultural presentation at their events; Warringah Council, citizenship ceremonies, Australia day ceremonies and events Manly Council, International jazz festivals, food and wine festivals and promotions Sydney City Council, events and festivals Canada Bay Council, Ferragosta Festivals and multicultural events Canterbury Council Campsie, multicultural food Festival Liverpool Council, Cultural infusion Kogarah City Council, Australia day event Penrith City Council, music festival street event Mosman City Council, French themed event Gosford City Council, presentation at Arts Centre Newcastle City Council, Darby Street event Maitland City Council, Steamfest Hervey Bay Council, Festival.
Multiculturalism is also portrayed through religion. Within NSW there are many Mosques, where many Islamic poeple go and pray and carryout their traditions and beliefs. Most Austrlians accept the diversity of religions practised in Australia, this is shown through the high numbers of churches, temples and mosques in the area. Churches are found in most surburbs, they are very common in NSW there to get to someone's nearest church, there is a maximum trasvelling distance of 15 min

The following link provides a list is mosques in NSW- http://muslimvillage.com/directory.php?dircat=2
The following link provides a list of NSW and Australian templesis -http://www.hindunet.com.au/australian_temples.html





The audio-visual YouTube attatchment below was created by Jules, Bronte and Lillie... This video depicts the different influences that multiculturalism has had on Australian society. It shows this through images of food, music festivals.





SEGMENT OF SYDNEY SUBURB
The below pie chart provides insight into the cultural demographic of a key Sydney suburb, Summer Hill. It illustrates the fact that Sydney is comprised of a variety of ethnicities and this is the case for a vast majority of Syndey and even Australia.


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Ancestry as determined by birthplace of parents, NSW, Australia


Source: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/98/Ancestry_as_determined_by_birthplace_of_parents_for_Summer_Hill,_NSW,_Australia.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ancestry_as_determined_by_birthplace_of_parents_for_Summer_Hill,_NSW,_Australia.png&usg=__IlJi-Vj643-VJFMq33ev_BffeYM=&h=536&w=822&sz=18&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=i-ZHjOluXWF5ZM:&tbnh=94&tbnw=144&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dancestry%2Baustralia%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-au%26um%3D1


logo.JPG Government Policies and Multiculturalism

Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs Amendment Act 1985- To promote a just and equitable socitey that excepts people irrespective of their particular ethinic or cultural background

Immigration Restriction Act 1901 - This act defines who would be considered a “prohibited immigrant” to Australia.

Migration Act 1958, The Schedule, Section 3 - This shows the developments and changes that the act has been through to improve the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. These improvments effect how Australia deals with immigration.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 - This act deals with discrimination issues which effect every day lives of migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers including those relating to employment, housing, and the provision of goods and services. It protects their rights of thier culture and religous belifs

http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/library/select/Documents/by/Category/under/Legislation

Organisations

The Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs- One of Australia's leading sources of quality educational resources on multiculturalism. It provides teaching resources and strategies to understand cultural diversity and tolerance. The website also provides more than 3500 pages of articles, research, teacher guides, lesson plans, audio interviews, video clips, Australian multicultural artworks.
Website: http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au
The images below are examples of some of the artwork provided on the site

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Children from a variety of cultures in Sydney's Surry Hills in the early 1970s
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Cartoon: Bruce Petty
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Piebald Possibilities - a little Australian Christmas family party of the future". Cartoon: Livingstone Hopkins, The Bulletin, 13 December 1902




The Office of Multicultural Affairs- Helps provide strategic advice to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs on issues affecting people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The aim of this advice is to promote multiculturalism in the ACT - multiculturalism is the right of all Canberra’s population to express and share their cultural heritage within the Territory's legal and social frameworks and to contribute to, and participate in, all levels of public life without prejudice or discrimination.
Website: http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au

Australian Migration Bureau - One of the largest and longest-established, private immigration consulting groups. They are officially recognised specialists in obtaining skills, business, and family permanent residence visas.
Website: http://www.migrationbureau.com


Issues with Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is an idealistic policy which encourages tolerance and diversity. In theory this policy is an extremly effective way of dealing with immigration, however in practice it is clear that issues of racism and violence result from the interaction between cultures. Examples of issues reguarding multiculturalism are as follows...
Source:http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/86257.html

2005 Cronulla Riots
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2005 Cronulla Riots

The Cronulla riots of 2005 were a series of racially motivated violent attacks which occured around the popular beachfront Sysney suburb of Cronulla. The original riot sparked further ethnically motivated violent attacks in many other Sydney suburbs. Police were forced to interfere after the attacks severly esculated and an unprecedented police lock-down of Sydney beaches and surrounding areas, between Wollongong and Newcastle.
The riots were clearly a case of racial vilification as Magistrate Falzon in court stated, "The facts in this case, if founded, fit squarely in the racial vilification category by the query "what nationality are you?" In my opinion it appears to be violence fuelled by racists' ideation". These attcaks were targeted against Middle Eastern youths
The crowd initially assembled without incident, but violence broke out after a large segment of the mostly whitecrowd chased a man of Middle Eastern appearance into a hotel and two other youths of Middle Eastern appearance were assaulted on a train.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Cronulla_riots
For further reading concerning the international response to the Cronulla riots read the following article by the Boston Globe.
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/12/25/on_the_beach/



Pauline Hanson and the One Nation Policy
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Pauline Hanson and the One Nation Policy
The One Nation Party led by Pauline Hanson is a controversial nationalist and protectionist political party founded in 1977. The name "One Nation" was chosen to signify national unity, in contrast to what Hanson saw as an increasing division in Australian society caused by government policies favouring migrants and indigenous Australians. It promised to drastically reduce immigration within Australia and to abolish "divisive and discriminatory policies... attached to Aboriginal and multicultural affairs." It critisised multiculturalism as it targeted it as a "threat to the very basis of the Australian culture, identity and shared values", One Nation rallied against government immigration and multicultural policies which, it argued, were leading to "the Asianisation of Australia."

The Party obtained the following support during its campaign time...
Election
Chamber
%
of vote
Seats
won
Queensland state election
June 1998
Legislative Assembly
22.7%
11
Australian federal election
October 1998
House of Representatives
8.4%

Senate
9%
1
New South Wales state election
March 1999
Legislative Assembly
7.5%

Legislative Council
6.3%
1
Victoria state election
September 1999
Legislative Assembly
0.29%

Legislative Council
n.a

Western Australia state election
February 2001
Legislative Assembly
9.6%

Legislative Council
9.9%
3
Queensland state election
February 2001
Legislative Assembly
8.7%
3
Northern Territory state election
August 2001
Legislative Assembly
1.3%
Australian federal election
November 2001
House of Representatives
4.3%

Senate
5.5%

South Australia state election
February 2002
House of Assembly
2.4%

Legislative Council
1.8%

Queensland state election
February 2004
Legislative Assembly
4.9%
1
Australian federal election
October 2004
House of Representatives
1.2%

Senate
1.7%

Western Australia state election
February 2005
Legislative Assembly
1.6%

Legislative Council
1.6%

South Australia state election
March 2006
House of Assembly
0.3%

Legislative Council
0.8%

Queensland state election
September 2006
Legislative Assembly
0.6%
1
Australian federal election
November 2007
House of Representatives
0.3%

Senate
0.4%
Western Australia state election
September 2008
Legislative Assembly
n.a

Legislative Council
0.6%

Queensland state election
March 2009
Legislative Assembly
0.4%


As you can see from the table featured above there was some discontent with the Governments immigration and multiculturalism policies during this time.The One Nation Party is one that goes against multicultuarlism and this table shows that there was support for the Party, most support was from the state of Queensland, comprising of 22% of the Party's votes.


2009 Indian
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Indian students protesting on 31 May 2009, in Melbourne, blocking Swanston and Flinders Streets
Student Riots in Melbourne and Sydney
In May and June 2009 Indian International students were targeted for multiple alledged violent racial attacks. These attacks took the form of stabbings, beatings, threats, robbery, assault and in some cases murder. One student "David", a 21 year old Indian student, was beaten unconscious in the Melbourne suburb of Glenroy on 4 May 2009. Four men had surrounded him, the one from behind smashing a bottle over his head before continuing to punch and kick him. The police failed to effectively prosecute the attackers, and as a result protests and rallies took place in the streets of both Sydney and Melbourne streets by the Indian Students. The movements were sparked by the overall feeling that the Australian Government did not address the racial attacks. During these rallies there were allegations that police were "punching" and "using pressure point tactics" while dragging protesters away, and that they hit a protester's leg with a baton, stomped on another student's chest, and broke anothers thumb. The attacks attracted lots of international media attention and unnerved many overseas born residents in Australia.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_attacks_on_Indians_in_Australia



Losing Aussie Culture

Multiclutualism has resulted in a feeling of common loss of national identity. Even though there are many positives in multiculturalism such as reduced racism, the mixing and acceptance of other cultures starts to diminish the boundaries and values of the original culture. Migrants, immigrants, refugees and even asylum seekers are the carriers for the different cultures mixed within society.
New foods become favoured and shops can be seen everywhere which sell products including Lebanese, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Inian and many others. Even supermarkets have sections where they sell certain supplies for a individual culture. What happened to the old bangers and mash? Or a good BBQ? Whole suburbs become known for a certain ethnic background. For example, Norton Street in Liechart is called ‘Little Italy’ and the Itialian Forum not only has Italain restuarants all around, but the archietecture mimicks that in Italy. Also many Australians experience other religions bought in by other societies leading some to convert. These religons include buddism, Islamic, Hinduism etc. All these have temples, mosques, churches etc all around Sydney.
All these factors lead the Australians to mix, integrate and experience the different cultures leading to a decrease in Australian loss of national identity. Citizens pick up other values, beliefs and lifestyle activites leaving the old behind them.




Summary

Multiculturalism was a previous government policy to deal with immigration. It was a policy which embraced cultural diversity and allowed for Australia to develop with input of other cultures. The effect that other cultures had during this time was quite substantial and this can be seen in different aspects of everyday life including food, leisure and architecture. Although the policy was good in theory there were quite a substantial amount of flaws in the practice, the main one of course being the clash between particular ethnicities. Multiculturalism is no longer the official government policy in regards to immigration however the effect of this movement will be in society indefinitely.


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By Bronte Walker, Jules Murray and Lillie Morris