24 August 2016 – Media Release: Launch of Australians Today
Discrimination and disadvantage key issues for immigrants: Australia first study
Freedom, democracy, and our standard of living are rated the best aspects of Australian life by both recent migrants and those born here, but some groups are happier than others, a new Scanlon Foundation report shows.
Australians Today – produced in partnership with Monash University and the Australian Multicultural Foundation – highlights findings of the largest ever survey of people born in Australia and recent migrants, on their experience of Australian life. More than 10,000 respondents completed the survey across 20 languages.
The research, released today, outlines public attitudes to key issues, by pathway of immigration and country of origin. While Australia is generally considered as a good country for migrants, analysis of the findings is not positive across all groups, with some experiencing high levels of dissatisfaction and discrimination.
Most happy and prosperous of recent migrants were those arriving in Australia on a 457 Business visa, with 90% satisfied with life in Australia. In contrast, many arriving on an Independent Skill visa struggle to find work, and nearly half indicate they are just getting along or struggling to pay bills.
Australians Today report author, Professor Andrew Markus, says the difference in satisfaction levels between 457 visa holders and those on Independent Skill visas is significant.
“The proportion of Independent Skill visa holders indicating a measure of difficulty is more than double that of 457 visa holders. A likely explanation is that 457 visa holders have work arranged before they come to Australia,” said Prof Markus.
Humanitarian entrants, while satisfied with life in Australia, struggle to find work and report increased financial hardship over time.
Among those least satisfied are New Zealand Special Category Visa holders, with some 50% indicating that they have experienced racism or discrimination in Australia – the highest level among the visa categories analysed.
“New Zealanders are not considered migrants and are not accepted as permanent residents, even though large numbers base their lives in Australia. These visa conditions also contribute to a low sense of belonging in Australia.