The United Kingdom Settlers’ Association survey of British migrant needs was completed in 1999, with financial assistance from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.
As a result of very extensive publicity, almost 11% of the British-born “usual residents” of the City of Melbourne completed survey forms.
The largest group of respondents was aged 20 to 49. 53% were female and 47% male, which possibly reflects the clustering of jobs in the “caring industries” in and around the City.
There were no apparent differences between the perceptions of male and female respondents.
74% of respondents were pleased that they had chosen to migrate to Australia. 78% reported that Australians had been welcoming and friendly. 32% even felt that they were now more Australian than British.
These results indicate that the survey did not attract a disproportionate number of malcontents. It would seem that the respondents represented a genuine cross-section of British migrants, and that their response to the migration experience was, overall, very positive.
Given this strong endorsement of their Australian experience, it is alarming that several of the questions elicited considerably negative responses. These responses need to be considered separately, but in general they suggest aspects of the British migrant experience that need to be addressed.
First, 43% of respondents felt they had not been adequately advised and prepared for migration. The main reported information deficiencies related to housing, children’s education, and the Australian medical system.
To address this problem it was recommended that DIMA should make a greater effort to inform prospective migrants of what to expect, particularly in the fields listed above. It was also recommended that DIMA assist British migrant community organisations to provide appropriate advice and information services to British migrants, both before and after arrival. Finally, in 2004 the British Australian Community (formerly known as the UKSA) created an exhaustive web page for prospective migrants.
The other issues that elicited a significant negative response tend to be inter-related.
35% felt that the Australian media “create or reinforce negative stereotypes about British migrants”
24% believed there was generalised discrimination against British migrants
39% claimed to be aware of discrimination “in favour of” people of non-British origin
37% disagreed with the statement that “Complaints by British migrants are taken just as seriously as complaints by other groups within the community”
The UKSA made appropriate recommendations to deal with these problem areas exposed by the survey.
The media was also informed of these results, which led to many reports being run in newspapers and on radio.
The President of the then-UKSA was invited to contribute an article to The Australian daily newspaper, which was run on 28th April 1999 on page 15, opposite the letters page.
In October 2000 the Immigration Minister, Phillip Ruddock, announced that every skilled British migrant adds (on average) $8,250 in value to Australia every year, years after year after year. By the same reckoning, each refugee costs Australia $5,5000 every year.
On this basis, the 18,272 British Isles migrants who arrived in 2003-4 are enriching Australia by $150,744,000 every year (to which an allowance for inflation since 2000 should be added).
The problem for Australia is that about 30% of British migrants who come here with the intention of enriching Australia for the rest of their lives end up returning to their original homeland – as a result, largely, of Anglophobia.
Clearly, Anglophobia is not a joke. It is costing Australia something like an extra 45 million dollars forfeited every year. That is to say, 45 million in the first year we choose to look at, then 90 million in the second year, then 135 million, then 180 million, then 225 million. That is just five years. It simply goes on and on, for the lifetime of those people who changed their minds about enriching Australia.
To put it even more simply, for every single British migrant who leaves Australia because of Anglophobic discrimination, Australia will be impoverished to the tune of at least a quarter of a million dollars over the next 30 years. (This figure does not even allow for compounding.)
We suggest that the next time you hear an Anglophobe sounding off on radio or television, or read one venting his or her personal inadequacies in the print media, you should send them a copy of this page. These anti-British people are clearly sabotaging the Australian economy.