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How multicultural are various parts of Australia?

(15 Posts)
starrynight Sun 31-Jul-05 09:37:16

How dull does that sound!

Seriously, we are planning to emigrate to Oz and I would like some insider info on where to go. We are a mixed race - black/white - family and would like to move somewhere where we are not unusual or likely to get any aggro.

suzywong has told me that there are not many black people in Perth and I wondered about other places. We are also considering Sydney and Brisbane and would like a community that is multi-cultural (but affordable...aaagh!).

So - could any of you aussie mners let me know what its like where you live.

Much appreciated. (tips on particular areas/communities most welcome)

monkeytrousers Sun 31-Jul-05 11:42:00

Don't live in Auz but I heard Melbourne was a pretty relaxed multicultural city. Only hearsay though.

There are some pretty mixed signals coming out of Auz in general though. Their pretty alarmist about immigration and asylum but a few weeks ago I saw a programme specifically targeting 'Brits' to emigrate. Seemed a bit hypocritical to me.

Hope it works out for you anyway!

lunavix Sun 31-Jul-05 12:02:29

The thing with Perth is it IS very multicultural, but there is some discrimination against Aborigines. This is usually directed at the children, usually mixed-race, who hang around Perth city centre or the train stations etc asking for money.

This isn't uncommon in most of the major cities though.

However, out of the cities it can be the other way around. I went to a town miles out of Perth (a good 5 hour drive) with some friends and we couldn't go out after dark as the locals (mostly Aboriginal, or mixed but in families iykwim) would suddenly turn up in gangs and behave threateningly...

Melbourne is lovely and multicultural too, but the multicultural aspect of Australia is mainly white British/Australian mix, Asian and Aboriginal. A lot of people go to University in Australia from Asian countries, then stay.

Are you more worried about discrimination about skin colour or the fact you are a mixed race family?

starrynight Sun 31-Jul-05 13:18:01

I just don't want my children growing up thinking they are freaks really. Have lived in a town before that was majority white and had really horrible experiences with my children that I don't want to repeat. I just want to live normally without people staring or being the 'odd ones out'.

I also lived in a country where only 0.6% were white and got tonnes of racist abuse so want to avoid that too - blimey its a tricky one

suzywong Sun 31-Jul-05 13:22:12

yes good points lunavix ( did you go on that online shop to get your burger rings?)

starry night, what is attracting you to Oz in the first place, if you don't mind me asking?

starrynight Sun 31-Jul-05 13:25:42

I have been there 7 yrs ago now (my god, is it that long ) and loved the vibrancy and different scenery: mountains/beaches/deserts etc. I thought it was amazing & weather is of course great as is the fact that it is english speaking and has good infrastructure and quality of life.

However, I do have to feel confident that wherever we choose to move will be comfortable for us and we won't get any (or too much) aggro.

suzywong Sun 31-Jul-05 13:30:03

IME you won't get aggro ( I know that my family's mix is not so consipcuous as yours). You may get non-malicious ignorance - some of my friends say "Chink" and "You know what Asians are like" but tbh dh got worse form the conceited MC of north London but that's a nother story (I'm the white one btw)

Australia knows it needs multiculturalism to survive, and the education system and civic communications are well aware of this,

starrynight Sun 31-Jul-05 22:30:28

bump - are you aussies up now??

suzywong Mon 01-Aug-05 03:06:30


YeahBut Mon 01-Aug-05 12:24:59

We lived in Melbourne and then Perth before moving back to Europe. Melbourne is a very cosmopolitan city and is probably the most European feeling of the major cities. There are very many different ethnic groups living alongside one another.

Perth, a city by name, is really a big country town by nature. It is very laid back and the lifestyle is amazing - we intend to go back in a couple of years to settle permanently. Being smaller and more isolated than the east-coast cities, it felt more conservative than Melbourne. There was a much more visible aboriginal community in Perth and so the racism towards that community was more overt. That's Australia's guilty secret, though, and I think is pretty prevalent throughout the country under the surface.

There is also some antipathy towards the asian community throughout Australia - fear driven. Asian immigration is growing and there is a real fear amongst some Australians (mostly older) that the "white" Australia will disappear.

I think you would find any of the major cities a tolerant, wonderful place to live. The lifestyle that you could offer your children there is amazing. I imagine that there are ignorant people there as you would find anywhere else. In general, I think you would find Australia a pretty laid back place. Life is what you make of it over there. The emphasis is on what you can do (anything) as opposed to what you can't do, which is the prevailing attitude in the UK. I'd go for it. We will!!!

suzywong Mon 01-Aug-05 13:50:48

hear hear Yeahbut, very well put

starrynight Mon 01-Aug-05 14:07:40

Thank you guys, this has been very informative. I would still like tips on communities/areas within maybe Sydney and Brisbane that can be recommended.

OldieMum Mon 01-Aug-05 14:15:37

I don't have up-to-date knowledge - DH left Oz in 1980. But I've visited and talked to his friends and family a lot. We all get the impression that, in general, Australia is an example of a country that has successfully adapted to having real ethnic diversity, culturally and socially, much more so than the UK. Of course, if you ended up in a country town, it would be a different story, but Sydney, in particular, is a place where people generally seem happy about diversity. Some of the older generations have a different attitude, but you'd expect that.

stripey Mon 01-Aug-05 14:33:07

Hi I lived in Sydney for 3 years about 5 years ago and dh is from Sydney. It is a very diverse place and quite multicultural but from what I remember there were very few black people. There were lots of Asian communites, Greek, Italian and so on but I honestly don't remember seeing many African/Jamaican people in or around Sydney. Maybe I just didn't notice.

Hopefully somebody who lives there now could be of more help.

starrynight Tue 02-Aug-05 10:33:25

Whoops, I bumped the wrong thread! Thanks for all the responses guys - I have certainly had food for thought!

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