In the early post-war era, the Anglo-Australians received a terrible shock. Their government brought into the country a large number of non-English speaking European workers (the then ‘wogs’), and many war-displaced European refugees (the then ‘reffos’). I have personally known a number of the latter, because the influx of educated, English-speaking youth from the former (some current) British territories in Asia also began in the same period. My life was thus enriched; but I am unsure of that of mainstream Australians.
Kind Anglo-Australians assisted many of the Europeans to adapt to Australian mores through the Good Neighbour Council. The government then spent millions of taxpayer money per year in providing migrants (and refugees) with hostel accommodation with full board, English language classes, and a variety of other settlement services. These included, from the 1970s, paying for the employment of social workers by ethnic communities. Our message was adaptation, mutual tolerance, and (eventually) acceptance, since the way we live is almost identical, except for the way we relate to God (and then the process is the same).
The greater the diversity of the newcomers, the more important it was for our message to be accepted. This was more so when Asians were admitted. It was the role of the teachers in schools which set the true multicultural outlook flowering (the odd yobbo and bully excepted).
My third book in this series, ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity,’ extolled my ambition: for Australia to join the Family of Man. I examined inter-community relations, as well as our shared search for God, through a quick run-through of the history of Australia’s intake of ‘ethnics’, and a few related issues. Prominent pre-publication support from notable people, which included the Religious Affairs Editor of ‘The Australian,’ as well as a most favourable appraisal by a book reviewer, led to publication. An ebook version is now available at US$2.99 at Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct.
As long as the inflow of immigrants continues, and with the increasing diversity of ethnic cultures in the land, the quality of inter-ethnic relations and a much-needed societal integration are of paramount importance. The experiences of certain European countries should be noted. There should be no place for ethno-religious superiority anywhere.