Over the last five decades, Australia has experienced a cultural transformation due to increased migration. Migration brings with it some serious challenges. Family dynamics and gender roles change. You lose social networks and cultural identity. Then there’s the difficulty of interpreting and negotiating a new legal system.
Yet one of the biggest challenges, that indeed divides Australian society, is that of parenting and parenting rules.
Parenting in the new culture brings with it many intergenerational conflicts, simply because family values differ across cultures. Traditional parenting practices used in the home country may not be the norm in the new one.
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In any discussion about how best to manage migration in this country, there needs to be a line. And that line is the same one that traces the borders of Australia’s coastline. Every single dollar that we spend on the essential and important task of looking after migrants in Australia, should be spent within the borders of this country. And Abla Kadous has crossed it.
The president of The Islamic Women’s Welfare Association has suggested the federal government subsidise regular travel for recent migrants back to their native countries, to visit loved ones, as they settle into life in Australia.
Not surprisingly, Ms Kadous has already copped a lot of flak for this suggestion.
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I love Australia Day. I love celebrating what this country is all about. But you know what I hate about Australia Day?
I hate blonde-haired, blue-eyed yobbos prancing about in the Australian flag who intimidate people who don’t look like them.
I hate the drunk bloke who told me in Chinatown the other night that I had the personality of a rubber glove (fair enough, that’s his view) but then turns to my Sri Lankan-born son-in-law and says the problem with this country is “the coloureds”.
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Here’s an offer too good to refuse. Start work at 6.30 – if you’re lucky – with no idea how many minimum-wage hours you’ll work.
You are there because your employer last night sent out a text message telling you there was a shift available. Every night you wait for your text to tell you if you’ll be working the next day or not.
You know that even if you ask for something simple, like a couple of days off for the birth of your child, there’s a solid chance your job won’t be there for you when you return.
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As our annual obsession with national identity reaches its peak, after weeks of debate into the meaning of red meat, high carb beverages and the quaint French phrase ‘oi, oi, oi’, here is one more idea to think about.
On Australia Day 1999 the Coalition Government introduced the reaffirmation ceremony to mark 50 years of Australian Citizenship. It’s a pretty simple idea where natural born Australians join with those who are taking up citizenship for the first time to recite the pledge together:
“As an Australian citizen, I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I uphold and obey.”
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