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Community Relations - Committee - Final report, September 1975

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1975— Parliamentary Paper No. 298

Department of Labor and Immigration



Presented by Command 21 October 1975

Ordered to be printed 23 October 1975


ISBN Ο 642 01830 8

Printed by Watson Ferguson and Co., Brisbane


My Dear Minister

On behalf of the Committee on Community Relations, I herewith submit for your consideration and tabling in Parliament, the Final Report of the Committee.

In its Interim Report of August 1974, the Committee set down the background and structure of its inquiry, defined certain terms used in it, examined evidence given in correspondence, consultations,

submissions and press reports, detailed the extent of discrimination against and exploitation of migrants and made a preliminary statement on migrant use of community resources.

Subsequent to the abolition of the Immigration Advisory Council in August 1974, the then Minister for Labor and Immigration, Mr Cameron, approved the Committee continuing its inquiries and the publishing of

its Final Report.

Since that time, the Committee has finalised its examination of migrants use of community resources, and has investigated the position of migrants in industry, human rights legislation overseas and in Australia, over­

seas experience in community relations and the media of communication.

This Final Report includes statements on the Committee's findings in these fields, proposals for community relations and community education programs, a postscript to the Interim Report and certain conclusions and recommendations.

The Committee wishes to place on record its appreciation of the con­ tribution made to its work by the consultants and the trade union leaders who appeared before it. It also wishes to thank the departmental officers and in particular its Secretary, Mr B A McPhail who assisted

us in the preparation of this Report.

We believe this Final Report makes a number of important recommendations, some of which we hope will set a useful framework for the work of the newly established Community Relations Commissioner, and trust that it will receive your support and endorsement.

Yours sincerely


Senator J R McClelland Minister for Labor and Immigration Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600



Mr W M Lippmann, MB E , Australian Jewish Welfare Society


Mr J Bizjak, Federated Iron Workers Association

Mr J Calomeris, Journalist

Mr W J Henderson, Associated Chambers of Manufactures of Australia

Professor D L Jayasuriya, Department of Social Work, University of Western Australia

Mr L J Keogh, MP

Mr I R McRae, National Youth Council

Mr H Pietracci, Health and Research Employees' Association of Australia

Mrs R J Reader, OBE, National Council of Women

Dr S S Richardson, CBE, Canberra College of Advanced Education

Mrs R A J Thomas, Young Women's Christian Association (to 6/12/73)


Mr B A McPhail, Department of Labor and Immigration


Mr E L Charles, Assistant Secretary, Department of Education (Department of Labor and Immigration until March 1975)

Mr W G Kiddle, Assistant Director-General, Department of Social Security (Department of Labor and Immigration until March 1975)



Introduction 1

Recommendations 3

Postscript to Interim Report 8

Structure of Inquiry. Chapter 1 12

Terms of Reference 12

Meetings 13

Methodology 13

Summary 13

Migrants in Industry. Chapter 2 14

Introduction 14

Parameters of Inquiry 14

Migrant Representation in the Work-force 14

The Urban Nature of Migrant Settlement . 16

Migrant Women in the Workforce 17

Services for Migrant Women 17

Migrants and the Labour Market 18

Discrimination and Exploitation in Employment 19

Orientation Programs 19

Migrant Unemployment 20

Problems of Communication 20

English Language Training 20

Information Pamphlets 21

Interpreters 22

Industrial Safety and Workers Compensation 22

Migrants in Trade Unions 22

Educational Activities 23

Migrants and Trade Union Activities 23

Worker Information Centres 24

Summary 24

Migrants and Community Resources. Chapter 3 25

Introduction 25

Survey Conclusions 25

Reasons for Use/Non Use of Community Resources 26

Phase I - The Structure and Operation of Services for Migrants 26 The Cultural Factor ■ 26

Communication Assistance 26

Ability to Assist with other Problems 26

Phase II - Migrants and the Use of Community Resources 27

Cultural Factors 27

Differences in Services 27

Communication Assistance 28

English Language Ability 28

Level of Formal Schooling 28

Occupational Levels 28

Length of Residence in Australia 28

Access to Information about Resources 28

Cost 29

Discrimination 29

Inadequacies of Services to Meet Migrants Special Needs · 29



Need for Additional Services and Facilities 29

Community Resources 30

The Importance of Ethnic Groups 30

Participation and Self-Help 31

Need for Community Agencies to Cater for Migrants 31

Access.ability of Community Resources 32

Information/Interpreting Services 32

Specific Community Resources 32

Employment Services 32

The Recognition of Overseas Professional Qualifications 33 Welfare Services 35

Health Services 36

Child Care Services 38

Accommodation Services 39

Education Services · 39

Advice. Bureaux 40

Legal and Financial Services 40

Law Enforcement 40

Driving Licenses 41

Library Services 41

Ethnic Radio Broadcasting 42

Arts and Cultural Services 43

Conclusion 43

Community Relations. Chapter 4 44

A Philosophy of Community Relations 44

Historical Background 44

The Current Position 46

Migrant Settlement Policy 46

The Assimilationist Model 46

Pluralistic Model of Integration 48

A Community Relations Program 53

The Racial Discrimination Act 53

The Need for a Community Relations Program and Its Aims 54

Aims . 55

Community Relations Vrogram Structure, Functions and Methods 55 Structure 55

Function 56

Method 57

The Good Neighbour Movement 57

The Community Relations Council 58

Community Resource Centres 59

Research 60

Summary 60

Community Education 62

Introduction 62

Legislation and International Convention 62

Victorian Migrant Task Force Report 62

Community Education - Institutional Level 63

Curriculum Development 63

Australian Heritage Program 64

Teaching Techniques 64

Existing Cultures 65

Teacher Education 65

. Tertiary Level Institutions 65

Community Education At a Less Formal Level 66

Field Training 66


Industry and Commerce 66

Community Resource Centres 67

Library Services 67

Conclusion 67



(A) Consultants and Representatives of Other Organisations who met with the Committee in the period 1/7/74 - 30/6/75.

(B) Australia: Percentage of Male Workers from Selected Birthplaces in Six Occupation Classes. Censuses 1961, 1966, 1971.

(C) Australian Orientation Programs by Professor G W Ford.

(D) An Approach to the Problem of Migrants in Industry by R L Richter.

(Ei) Birthplace of Parents, Australian Born Population Aged 0-34 Years (Persons) (Census 1971)

(Eii) Birthplaces of Major Groups: Census 1947 and 1971

(F) The "Survey of Migrants Use of Facilities and Resources" Summary of Principal Conclusions and Recommendations

(G) Community Services Considered the "Most Appropriate" for Specified Problem Areas.

(H) Migration and Ethnicity Address to Committee 30 May 1975 by Doctor Gillian Bottomley

(I) Community Education by Lorna Lippmann


1 The Interim Report of the Committee on Community Relations was submitted to the Immigration Advisory Council in August 1974 for trans­ mission to the then Minister for Labor and Immigration and was tabled in Parliament on 17 September 1974. As the Immigration Advisory Council ceased to function after 16 August 1974, the Minister gave approval for the Committee to complete independently its inquiries.

2 In its Interim Report, the Committee emphasized the need for greater sensitivity to the cultural and social diversity of Australia's population in order to achieve harmonious relations between Australians of different origins. It stated that the goal of national cohesion could only be achieved through a spirit of understanding on the part of the Australian community toward newcomers, and recognition of their right to equality of treatment and opportunity. The Committee's studies since that time in the fields of community education, the experiences of migrants in industry and human rights legislation have reinforced its belief that the pluralistic nature of Australia's population necessitates a multi-cultural approach to community relations. The Committee has taken the important aspect of multi- culturalism into account in its recommendations. In this connection it should be recognised that many of the people commonly referred to as migrants are now Australian citizens or long term residents. More significantly the term migrant is frequently applied to Australian born children of migrants.

3 The findings of the Survey of Migrants Use of Community

Facilities and Resources, consultations with representatives of ethnic groups, trade union leaders and advisers on industrial matters, and with persons interested in community education, highlighted the fact that existing community structures, in areas such as education, employment, welfare and health, were still largely based on the idea of a homogeneous

English-speaking population and thus severely disadvantaged ethnic and other minority groups. The Committee viewed this idea as an example of general insensitivity to migrants' special requirements and cultural differences which need wider acceptance. The Committee was particularly concerned in the formulation of a community relations program with measures designed to make Australian society more aware of the position of migrants as part of the total community.

4 The Committee further wishes to re-affirm the value it placed on the role of ethnic groups. It recognised the contributions that ethnic groups have made in providing many of the services to migrants. It believed that ethnic groups had a further part to play in the context

of an integrated community structure based on cultural pluralism. At the same time, it noted the distinction between cultural pluralism and structural pluralism, and recognised that structural pluralism if taken too far could become divisive.

5 As stated in the Interim Report, one of the Committee's roles

was to inquire into discrimination. It was presented with evidence described as ’institutional' and 'attitudinal' discrimination. The Committee also examined allegations of exploitation of migrants but, although it was able to establish the vulnerability of many migrants to exploitation, even by other migrants, it was not in a position to determine

the extent of such exploitation. These two aspects of the Committee's study were discussed at length in its Interim Report.

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6 In this Final Report, the Commit tee presents its findings in other

areas of its study. These cover the position of migrants in industry with particular reference to their role in trade unions, the results of the 'Survey of Migrants' Use of Community Facilities and Resources' referred to in the Interim Report, communication media, the Australian Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and proposals for a community relations program.

7 The Committee has made recommendations concerning all these matters. It draws attention once again to those recommendations of its Interim Report which in some cases have yet to be acted upon by Government departments.

8 In the investigation of its third principal term of reference,

relating to the use made by migrants of community facilities and resources, the Committee commissioned a survey by the Survey Section of the former Department of Immigration. At the time of the Committee's Interim Report, the results of the survey were not available, and the Committee was not able to reach conclusions on this aspect. In the intervening period,

the Survey has been completed and a summary of its principal conclusions and recommendations is included at Appendix (F) in this Report. Its findings to some extent confirmed the Committee’s belief that migrants, particularly non-English speaking migrants, were in important aspects in a disadvantaged position when compared with Australians. Among the 'factors determining the level of use or non-use by migrants of community

resources, migrants English-language ability and the provision or service of interpreters, or lack of such provision, were found to be of importance. The survey also concluded that the structure of community facilities and resources in Australia was inadequate in some respects to meet the needs of migrants. The Committee believed that the findings of the survey indicated the need for programs to remedy the relative disadvantage suffered by migrants in this field,

9 The Committee also carried out an intensive study of the

position of migrants in industry, in the course of which it met with representatives of trade unions and other consultants in the field of industrial relations. It found that non-English speaking migrants in particular were disadvantaged to a significant extent in their rep­ resentation in trade unions, and by the difficulty of communication at their place of employment, particularly in safety and working conditions. It was pleased to note a growing recognition among some trade union leaders of the problems of migrants and recognised their endeavours to find sol­ utions to them. Another aspect was that of migrant women. There were indications that non-English speaking migrant women, who formed a large proportion of the workforce in such industries as clothing and textiles, were vulnerable to exploitation in their working conditions. The Committee heard proposals for alleviating the situation of migrant women generally

through the provision of child-care centres and opportunities for learning English.

10 The Committee further studied issues involved in a community relations program relevant to Australia and examined a proposed program of community education. In the course of this study, it examined the experience of other countries in this field, anti-discrimination legislation enacted in those countries, and met with consultants. The Committee concluded that in the light of the ethnic diversity of Australia's population, especially that brought about by immigration, any suitable program of community relations must be based on cultural pluralism rather

than earlier assimilation policies. It notes with approval the recent enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act and lends its support to the programs of community education for which the legislation provides.

Page 2


Having completed its enquiries the Committee wishes to make the following specific recommendations, The recommendations are not an exhaustive summary of its views, nor are they listed in order of importance. The reference after each recommendation the relevant section where the issues involved are discussed.



1 In view of the dearth of reliable information on the problems

of migrant workers in industry the Department of Labor and Immigration should initiate research into:

(a) Issues affecting migrants in the fields of employment and work relations (2.1); and

(b) The occupational mobility of unskilled and semi-skilled migrant workers (2.3).

2 The position of migrant women in industry requires special

attention, particularly to ensure that:

(a) There is no exploitation in basic working conditions such as rates of pay, working hours and long service leave entitlements (2.6);

(b) The attention of the Childrens Commission should be drawn to the need to provide adequate child-care facilities (2.5, 2.6, 3.16); and

(c) There should be regular inspections of factories employing significant numbers of migrant women by responsible Government officials, and trade unions should be alert to the special difficulties experienced by migrant women in industry (2.6).

3 To ensure that the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) provides an adequate service to migrants it should:

(a) Offer a job 'placement' rather than a job 'referral* system with regular follow-up action (2.7);

. (b) Provide the services of qualified interpreters at CES

offices with significant migrant clientele (2.7);

(c) Ensure that as a matter of policy migrants are informed of the availability of special facilities, including English language courses, and the necessary points of reference (2.7); and

(d) Offer a vocational guidance service for young adult migrant workers, particularly for the newly arrived migrant (2.7).

4 The concept of adult training with a view to implementing suitable

courses should be supported as a matter of urgency, and represen­ tations should be made to the appropriate apprenticeship authorities

Page 3

in each State to arrange for greater flexibility in age limits for apprenticeship training schemes (2.7).

5 To improve communication with migrants in industry:

(a) Suitably qualified interpreters should be available to migrant workers if required, at all levels of employment (2 .8 , 2 .11 ) ;

(b) Welfare officers with language skills should be available at all factories employing significant numbers of non-English speaking migrants (2.11);

(c) Job induction procedures should include a requirement to explain to all migrants in their own languages, when commencing or changing employment, safety regulations, and wage and employment conditions (2.11 , 2.12);

(d) Safety regulations should be publicly displayed in the main migrant languages in all places of employment (2.12); and

(e) Migrants with language problems should be provided with assistance in completing claims for workers compensation (2.12).

6 To familiarise migrant workers with employment conditions in Australia, the Department of Labor and Immigration should organise orientation programs (2.9 and Appendix (C) ).

7 Publications in the main migrant languages should be available to workers outlining basic employment conditions, wage rates, superannuation or related worker insurance provisions, safety regulsations, welfare services, and ethnic contacts either at

the work place, in the relevant trade unions, government depart­ ments or community service centres (2.11).

8 There should be greater involvement by employers and Government in providing language training for migrant workers including and in particular:

(a) On-the-job English language courses for non-English speaking migrants, preferably in employer time (2.11);

(b) English language courses for migrant women whether they are in employment or not, at a time and place convenient to them and they should be encouraged to attend such classes (2.11);

(c) Language courses in industry should take into account every­ day needs and not be confined solely to the work environment (2.11); and

(d) Unemployed migrants in difficulty with English should be given the opportunity of attending English language classes with Government help to cover travel costs (2.11).

9 There should be greater recognition generally of the considerable extent to which Australian industry is dependent on migrants and, in particular:

(a) Trade unions should be urged to be more effective in com­ munication with non-English speaking migrants, to provide a greater measure of assistance to them and to encourage their more active participation in trade union affairs

(2.13, 2.15); and

Page 4

(b) Migrants should be urged to take a greater interest in trade union affairs by seeking enrolment in trade union training courses (2.14, 2.15).

10 Workers information centres should be established in areas of high migrant employment to provide interpreter assistance, vocational guidance, a referral system to encourage migrants to use available community services and facilities and generally to provide advice which is not readily available elsewhere (2.16).

11 No distinction should be drawn between settlers on the basis of their nationality status when complaints about discrimination are investigated by the Department of Labor and Immigration1s Committee on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation (2.8).



12 Ethnic organisations should be encouraged and if necessary assisted:

(a) To inform their groups of the facilities and resources available in the Australian community generally, and how to use them (3.7); and

(b) Themselves to provide facilities and resources for their respective communities where this would be beneficial, including welfare services designed to provide social counselling, care for the aged and handicapped, emotionally disturbed migrants and co-operative housing schemes

(3.8, 3.9, 3.17).

13 Government and the community should:

(a) Recognise the value of migrants organising for mutual help and support ethnic groups in their efforts to provide supporting services for migrants (3.8); and

(b) Require that services provided for the Australian community generally should be geared to meet the needs of migrants (3.9).

14 In the development of regional programs such as the Australian Assistance Plan (AAP), supplementary arrangements need to be provided to cater for the position of minority groups including ethnic agencies whose services need to be provided on a wider basis in order to be viable and effective (3.9).

15 Community resources should provide:

(a) Interpreters and employees generally with a knowledge of and sympathy with the cultural differences of the people served by them and of the special difficulties which migrants might have in keeping appointments, responding to letters and using

the telephone (3.10); and

(b) Readily accessible locally-based services available at convenient times (3.10).

Page 5

16 To improve the standard of service to the public and in par­

ticular to migrants, the Committee recommends that consideration be given to improving the qualifications and training of counter clerks in Government offices. It is recognised that in accepting this recommendation there will be a need to reclassify such positions to obtain better qualified personnel (3.10).

17 The Department of Social Security's Grant-in-Aid Scheme to community agencies for the employment of social workers, should be expanded to include the employment of welfare officers. Such grants should be applied to the work of the agencies generally

rather than to meeting the cost of employing individual social workers (3.14).

18 Greater attention should be given to the needs of migrants who

have brought to this country professional, sub-professional and technical qualifications and in particular:

(a) The Department of Labor and Immigration should incorporate within its present organisation a section to deal with migrants already resident in Australia with sub-professional and technical qualifications (3.13);

(b) The Department of Labor and Immigration should broaden the role of its Professional Employment offices to provide in addition advisory and follow-up services, in relation not only to professionally qualified migrants but also to those who have sub-professional or technical qualifications (3.13);

(c) The Committee on Overseas Qualifications should strengthen its efforts to have overseas qualifications generally accepted by State Professional Registration bodies on a uniform basis (3.13); and

(d) The Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications should investigate the possibility of establishing independent appeals tribunals to investigate the claims of migrants who have failed to gain recognition of their overseas quali­

fications. (3.13)

19 Public hand-outs generally and particularly those explaining symptoms and treatment of illnesses should be available in the principal migrant languages (3.15).

20 Specialized areas of interpreting should be recognised and appropriate training given, particularly in areas where specialised vocabularies are in use, such as in medicine and in the law (3.15, 3.21).

21 The Australian Public Service Board and the Public Service Boards in all States be requested to recognise the professional quali­ fications required for interpreting and provide appropriate classifications in the establishment, thus opening jobs for trained interpreters in Government positions where they are required. (3.15)

22 Teacher training institutions and State Education Departments should ensure that the training of teachers at all levels takes account of the fact that the optimum development of migrant children needs attention not merely to the learning process but also to the sensitive understanding of cultural backgrounds, home relationships and the avoidance of cultural conflict (3.18).

Page 6











There should be adequate interpreter facilities in law enforcement agencies, including prisons, youth reformatories and motor regis­ tration and licensing offices (3.21, 3.22).

Migrants should be allowed to provide their own interpreters when presenting for driving license tests (3.22).

Greater attention should be given to the provision of library services to migrants, including more material in their own languages and the development of information services (3.23).

The important contribution of ethnic radio broadcasting should be recognised and program content should contain elements as reco­ mmended. (3.24)



Community relations in Australia should be based on:

(a) A concept which accepts cultural diversity within the overall context of national unity (4.6);

(b) A concept that a migrant has a freedom of choice within the broader framework of pluralistic integration (4.6);

(c) The recognition of the position of migrants and their organisations in the wider social system especially in matters of status, social and political rights and equality (4.6); and

(d) Public acceptance of cultural pluralism and its endorsement by all political parties (4.6).

The Racial Discrimination Act should be kept under review by a Standing Committee of Parliament (4.8).

The development of a vigorous community relations program and the establishment of effective machinery including the setting-up of community relations resource centres to implement it, should be undertaken as a priority task, and adequate resources should be allotted to the program. (A statement of the Committee's detailed recommendations on the aims, functions, staff training and structuring of such a program is set out in paragraphs 4.10 to 4.19).

The membership of any State Community Relations Committees estab­ lished should be selected by the Commissioner for Community Relations from a panel of names submitted by a wide range of ethnic community organisations and other bodies (4.16).

The primary program development role of the office of the Community Relations Commissioner should be recognised, and strong and active co-ordinating machinery be developed between his offices and others operating in the field of community relations and education (4.17).

An active community education program should be directed to all Australians and promoted through schools, colleges and universities, curriculum development and teacher education, community organisations, at the work-face and through the media as recommended by the Com­

mittee in paragraphs 4.20 to 4.35.

Page 7


1 The Interim Report is a document in its own right and for the

most part, its recommendations are concerned with matters which are not discussed in the Final Report. By way of a postscript to the Interim Report, which has been published and widely circulated, the Committee considers it important to restate some of its recommendations contained therein which are regarded as of particular importance and to comment on the steps already taken to implement them.

2 One recommendation in the Interim Report (1) was to the effect

that training institutions should offer facilities for the training of skilled interpreters to enable the formation of a cadre of professional interpreters available for employment in Government Departments, private enterprise, hospitals, courts, prisons and in the community generally.

3 Substantial progress has been made in the establishment of interpreter training courses at tertiary institutions in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. One of the major unfulfilled needs of the migrant communities in Australia is for the service of interpreters. The decision of the Public Service Board to allow officers in Government Departments to undertake full-time interpreter courses at full salary and of the Department of Labor and Immigration to pay NEAT allowances

to certain categories of students enrolled in these courses is a positive step forward.

4 It remains to be seen whether there has been acceptance on

the part of courts, police, hospitals and other bodies in contact with the public of any obligation to provide trained interpreters to facili­ tate their dealing with migrants. There is still much to be done by Public Service Boards and other bodies responsible for determining establishments and conditions of employment if interpreting skills are to be adequately rewarded and if positions as interpreters are to be provided for the students now under training in universities and colleges of advanced education.

5 While there are certain limits to the possibilities of

introducing work in migrant languages and cultures into professional training courses in Australia, the Committee still maintains that there would be value in exploring ways and means of introducing such studies into the training of teachers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, police

officials and other professionals working in contact with the migrant communities. In this connection the Committee draws attention to the fact that Australian-born children of migrant parents may possess language and cultural backgrounds which deserve some recognition in their assessment for their admission to professional courses.

6 Another recommendation (2) referred to what might be regarded as a fundamental human right of a citizen "that migrants without an adequate knowledge of English should have an immediate and absolute right of the choice of a skilled interpreter in every interrogation by the police and in all courts of law." 1 2

(1) Recommendation 25 Interim Report Page 5 (2) Recommendation 13 Interim Report Page 4

Page 8

7 A delay in the acceptance of interpreter needs by bodies not subject to direct Government control is perhaps inevitable, although it has to be recognised that some such organisations, including the major banks, have provided interpreting services to assist them in discharging their responsibilities to migrants. There is a need for a program of education and persuasion to induce the private sector more generally to accept the value of interpreters, In this matter it is the Australian Government authorities which should be setting an example and it is regrettable that

there still appears to be a hesitant attitude towards the provision of interpreter services on the part of some Government Departments which have direct contact with migrants. There are some Government Departments which, through their counter reception services, have a high proportion of non-English speaking migrants amongst their clientele. These include services within the jurisdiction of the Department of Social Security, the Commonwealth Employment Service, the Taxation Department and the Departments of Education and Labor and Immigration. In all these areas, the Australian Government is in a position to alleviate the present situation through direct action.

8 The Committee also suggested (3) that official letters and documents issues by the Local Government authorities and Government Departments offering services to the general public should be stamped in a number of the major migrant languages with the sentence 'If you need

this translated, please indicate the language required and return'. The Committee regrets that to date no action has been taken in this regard.

9 The Interim Report supported proposals that the criterion restricting eligibility for permanent employment in the Public Services should be reviewed. The National Committee on Discrimination in Employ­ ment and Occupation has endorsed this specific recommendation and has expressed the view that, where any nationality requirement is justified,

it should be restricted to that of Australian citizenship. It is under­ stood that the National Committee has included a recommendation to this effect in its'submission to the Royal Commission on Australian Govern­ ment Administration. Until such time as action is taken to revise the present nationality criteria, non-British migrants are being discriminated against in that they are denied permanent appointment in Government service ·

10 Important progress has been made in introducing ethnic broad­ casting along the lines recommended in the Interim Report. (4) The Department of the Media is conducting a survey of the impact of the two ethnic stations established in Sydney and Melbourne and funds have been provided for the maintenance of the effort and for its expansion. The

Committee re-emphasises that ethnic broadcasting is important for the contribution which it can make to the maintenance of ethnic languages and cultures in a multi-cultural society and equally to improve general understanding and awareness of the Australian community as a whole. There is a need for the media to develop wide ranging programs involving greater participation by ethnic organisations.

11 The Interim Report (5) urged that the needs of migrants be

given adequate consideration within the framework which was being developed to provide legal aid to Australians. The Committee welcomes the establish­ ment of the Australian Legal Aid Offices and has noted official statements to the effect that these offices will cater for groups with special needs,

including migrants.

(3) Recommendation 28 Interim Report Page 5 <4) Recommendation 41 Interim Report Page 6 (5) Recommendation 12 Interim Report Page 4

Page 9

12 The Interim Report made a number of recommendations in the area of social welfare. A major concern of the Committee was to emphasise that it is important to encourage the ethnic groups to involve themselves in the provision of welfare services and to be

'providers’ and not simply ’users'. The resources of existing ethnic organisations and clubs should be used to channel help and information to migrants and the Government should encourage the formation and promote the activities of strong, viable ethnic groups integrating them wherever appropriate into the general structure of community organisations

13 The Committee has noted the proposals of the Department of

Social Security concerning the implementation of the above recommendations These proposals involve the possible development of ’international centres associated with the Good Neighbour Councils to provide support for smaller and newer organisations, community centres which could cater for the needs of ethnic groups among others, and the circulation of information material to ethnic organisations. The immediate objective appears to be to help the smaller communities which are having a harder time in maintaining their identity than are the numerically more powerful ethnic communities. Government support and recognition of ethnic groups, whilst continuing to encourage the numerically strong communities which already have welfare and cultural organisations, should enable the many smaller communities which are relatively inarticulate and fragmented to become self-supporting or at least self-directive.

14 Such proposals could represent a movement along the lines envisaged by the Committee. However, it appears that there is still a certain reluctance on the part of Government Departments to give specific recognition and representation to ethnic groups. The Committee believes most strongly that adequate representation of ethnic groups by their own

elected representatives is essential on bodies which regulate the provision of their social welfare and other services.

15 There were also proposals (6) that payments under the 1 Grant- in-Aid ’ social worker scheme should be made to welfare agencies without linking the grant to the employment of a particular social worker employed by the agency benefitting from the grant. Many of the organisations

assisted by the scheme provide a wide range of services and employ a group of social workers specialising in a variety of fields of work. In such circumstances, Grant-in-Aid should be used to ensure that the financial contribution is available to an organisation enabling it to utilise the specialised skills of social workers in the best interests of its migrant clients. The Department of Social Security is apparently prepared to consider such an adjustment.

16 There is an obvious link between this recommendation and the recommendations concerning the development of interpreting services. For instance, there should be a greater use of welfare officers, preferably hi-lingual, to supplement and support social workers in their work with

the ethnic communities. A facility to work in the ethnic languages would greatly improve the effectiveness of welfare officers and social workers.

17 Two recommendations of the interim Report (7) concerned the education of migrant children. Migrant children’s ability should be regularly tested in their own language to ensure that they are not kept in lower stream classes through lack of opportunity to show their ability; secondly, all teachers should acquire, as part of their training, the expertise necessary to recognise and to cater for the special educational needs of migrant children in their classes.

(6) Recommendation 18 Interim Report Page 4 (7) Recommendations 39 and 40 Interim Report Page 6

Page LQ

IS The special needs of migrant children have been acknowledged by the Schools Commission in Chapter 8 of the Commission1s Report for the 1976-78 triennium. The Committee is therefore encouraged to believe that their concern to improve the lot of migrant children in Australian schools will be translated into some practical programs in the schools in the near


19 The Department of Education, acting with the Education Committee of the former Immigration Advisory Council, organised a seminar for teaching educators at Macquarie University in August 1974. The object of the seminar was to impress upon those responsible for developing curricula for teacher education in teachers colleges and in universities and colleges of advanced education, the pressing need to implant in teacher training a recognition of the needs of non-English speaking migrant children in the schools system. The Report of the seminar indicates that an influential group of academics and Departmental officers held wide-ranging discussions about the implications for the schools implicit in the acceptance of the pro­ position that Australia is a multi-cultural society. There is already some evidence that this fact is being reflected in the further development of teacher training programs throughout Australia.

20 The official statistics of enrolments in tertiary and higher grades of secondary level institutions in Australia suggest that migrant children are still significantly disadvantaged in terms of their opportunity to proceed with higher education. There are obvious practical difficulties in devising tests of ability which would give non-English speaking children an equal opportunity with English speakers in an English speaking country and it would not be practicable to consider that tertiary level insti­

tutions should be geared to provide instruction in any general sense other than in English. The Committee does believe, however, that the Government should continue to maintain a momentum in the task of developing suitable methods of selection for migrant children which would identify children who could benefit by higher education but who are at present penalised in

their attempts to achieve it by lack of facility in the use of the English language,

21 While welcoming the action taken so far on the Recommendations of the Interim Report, the Committee regrets there still remain many recommendations which have not been acted upon by relevant authorities. Many of these can be implemented administratively. The Committee hopes in the absence of a body such as the former Immigration Advisory Council, in particular newly appointed bodies such as the Migrant Social Welfare Advisory Council and the Advisory Council on Migrant Education, that these matters will be kept under review. ,



1.1 Terms of Reference

1.1.01 The Terms of Reference of the Committee announced on 17 April 1973 were:

1.1.02 Examine in detail community relations as they affected the integration of migrants, with particular emphasis on -

a) areas of discrimination;

b) exploitation of migrants; and

c) the extent to which migrants make use of community resources.

1.1.03 Identify sources of discrimination as they related to -

a) legislative provisions;

b) administrative decisions;

c) prejudice on the part of individuals or organisations; and

d) general community attitudes.

1.1.04 Enquire into allegations of exploitation concerning in particular employment, housing and commercial practices (including hire-purchase).

1.1.05 Investigate the extent to which the use of non-use by migrants of community resources was affected by -

a) ignorance of available resources or communication problems;

b) differences between community resources in Australia and those of migrant source countries and migrants' attitudes to them;

c) structure and orientation of Australian community services;

d) cultural and social experiences of migrants; and

e) other causes.

1.1.06 Consider matters referred by Task Forces.

1.1.07 Consult as necessary with representatives of ethnic, community agencies and organisations, Commonwealth, State and Local Governments and academic and other experts.

1.1.03 Report on the foregoing and suggest measures to remove or ameliorate undesirable attitudes or practices revealed by the Inquiry.

Page 12

1.1.09 In Che view of the Committee the matters referred to it necessitated also specific examination of the following areas -a) investigate and report on the situation of migrants in industry;

b) examine some media of communication;

c) examine human rights legislation overseas and that proposed for Australia; and

d) examine overseas experience in community relations and make proposals for community relations and community education programs.

1.2 Meetings

1.2.01 Subsequent to the publication of its Interim Report, the Committee met on a further ten occasions to consider evidence from consultants and other interested parties. The meetings were:

Canberra 15 November 1974

Melbourne 9 December 1974

Sydney 10 February 1975

Sydney 10 March 1975

Wollongong 10 March 1975

Melbourne ' 18 April 1975

Melbourne 12 May 1975

Sydney 30 May 1975

Canberra 23 June 1975

Melbourne 17 September 1975

Additionally a drafting sub-Committee met on three occasions to draft this Report.

1.2.02 Appendix (A) lists those consultants, representatives of interested organisations and individuals who gave evidence to the Committee, at the place and dates indicated. Evidence was received in three main areas of concern, the position of migrants in industry, the use by migrants of community facilities and resources and the need for

community relations and community education programs.

1.3 Methodology

1.3.01 The Committee felt that the best way of obtaining authoritative comment about the various areas of concern for this Report was to meet with experts in industrial relations, migrant welfare, migrant education and the sociological and demographic fields. A number of consultants sub­ mitted written papers for consideration and several of these have been

reproduced or quoted from in the Report. Relevant literature was studied including legislation and documents from overseas. Evidence received by the Committee prior to the preparation of its Interim Report was also taken into account. A cross-section of unions employing significant numbers of migrants were also asked for their views and contributed

significantly to a wider appreciation of the position of migrants in industry as did the representatives of ethnic and other organisations with whom the Committee met in Wollongong on 10 March 1975. Additionally, Mr G B Wallace of the Department of Social Security who was responsible

for the Survey of Migrants’ Use of Community Facilities and Resources, met with the Committee on four occasions to clarify some aspects of the Survey and to highlight certain areas of particular interest,

1.4 Summary

1.4.01 The Committee is hopeful, after hearing from academic experts and others involved in migrant affairs together with its own deliberations, that this Report will serve as a basis for the continuation of Government action and community initiatives in a wide range of areas of concern not only to

migrants but to the wider Australian society.



2.1 Introduction

2.1.01 The Committee deferred examination of issues involving the position of migrants in industry for the Final Report. Several inquiries were instituted which included meetings with a number of representatives of trade unions (Appendix (A) ) as well as discussions with four con­

sultants, Professor G W Ford, Dr June Hearn, Mr R L Richter and Professor J Zubrzycki, who have expertise and wide experience relating to the position of migrant workers in Australia.

2.1.02 The dearth of reliable data relating to matters of industrial relations affecting migrant workers was noted, and to a point impeded the progress of this study. The Committee acknowledged this deficiency and recommends the allocation of special resources for the study of issues affecting migrants in the field of employment and work relations.

2.2 Parameters of Inquiry

2.2.01 Inquiries were directed towards assessing the current position of migrants in the workforce and in particular the problems encountered by non-English speaking migrants. Consideration was given to the volume of migrant labour in various areas of the workforce, its occupational and industrial distribution, the relationship to management and employee organisations, and the position of migrant women in industry.

2.3 Migrant Representation in the Workforce

2.3.01 Migrant workers had played a significant role in the development of the Australian economy during the post-war period and it was generally recognised that immigration had been beneficial in contributing to the nature and rate of economic growth since then. Without migrant labour Australia would have faced a shortage of manpower in most areas, especially

in those industries which had grown rapidly during the past two decades.

2.3.02 Statistics published in the National Population Inquiry, hereafter referred to as the Borrie Report, provided some basic data relating to the distribution of migrants in the workforce and indicated their contribution during the period 1963 to 1972. Table III.14 showed that on the basis of occupations of major birthplace groups, at the 1971 Census, over 1,400,000 migrant workers were employed in Australia and constituted more than 27 per

cent of the total workforce. Table III.13 showed that during the years beginning 1963 to June 1972, nearly 550,000 persons, expressed in terms of net settler gain, were added to the Australian workforce. Of this figure, in excess of 170,000 were skilled workers and over 57,000 were professional,

technical or related workers’. These categories represented 31.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively of net settler gains.

2.3.03 The employment patterns of migrant workers were also obtained from data in Table III.14. It was evident from this Table that 44.2 per cent of migrant workers were concentrated in the category described as 'tradesmen, production process workers, labourers, etc.’ almost double the Australian-born representation of 22.6 per cent. This suggested that migrant workers comprised a significant proportion of skilled, semi-skilled and

unskilled elements in the workforce.

Page 14

2.3.04 More detailed information in this respect is contained in statistical data supplied by Professor Zubrzycki to the Committee (Appendix (B) ). Accordingly, of Australia-born males employed in the workforce, 18.3 per cent were ’craftsmen1, British Isles migrants 26 per cent, Greeks 17.5 per cent, Italians 27.2 per cent and Yugoslavs 29.4 per cent. In the male workforce as a whole ’craftsmen’ were represented by 20.3 per cent which included a significant number of other migrant skilled or semi-skilled workers not listed. This further confirms that the skilled labour component of the Australian workforce was significantly contributed to by migrants. It was also evidence of

the concentration of non-English speaking Southern European migrants in these categories.

2.3.05 The data also showed that a considerably larger numbers of Greek, Italian and Yugoslav migrants were employed as 'labourers’ or in ’personal service’ - aproximately 31.9 per cent, 28 per cent and 31.3 per cent respectively, compared to the Australia-born component of 17.8 per cent, British Isles 16.9 per cent and the total male workforce percentage of

18.7. As these were essentially unskilled elements in the workforce, it also demonstrated that certain migrant groups were disproportionately represented as compared to others. 1971 Census data, showed that over 66 per cent of migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe were classified as unskilled or semi-skilled. As the Borrie Report observed, Australia like many other ’’modern industrial societies seems still to require an underpinning of workers at the lower ends of the occupational spectrum, the areas which their own nationals have been seeking to avoid by higher educational and training qualifications thus leaving a void to be filled by immigrants.”(1) The overall impression then was one of a heavy

concentration of migrants at the lower levels of occupational distribution, much of which may be due to sponsored migration.

2.3.06 It was also important to recognise that unlike many other countries of the Western World, the Australian data indicated a fair proportion of migrant workers in the higher levels of the occupational hierarchy, particularly in the category described as ’professional and

technical and related workers’.(2) Professor Zubrzycki in his evidence to the Committee stressed also that while there had been migrant worker recruitment in the more professional and technically qualified segments of the workforce, non-English speaking migrants, particularly those from Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia were significantly under-represented when compared with those who are Australia-born or those from the British Isles. The position of the more technical and professionally qualified migrants deserved special attention and may have a bearing on the recognition of professional qualifications discussed elsewhere.

2.3.07 The foregoing indicates that the policies of direct migrant recruitment have not been generally directed to obtaining cheap unskilled labour as sometimes claimed. There is the need however to examine the opportunities available to all migrant workers to improve their current occupational status, as well as factors facilitating or inhibiting inter-

generational mobility. Little research evidence bearing directly on this was available except for isolated references of some scholars who referred to a tendency for Australian born workers to move more rapidly up the occupational scale than migrant workers. According to one sociologist,

the "mobility out of unskilled and semi-skilled occupations is low by comparison with other occupational groups".(3) By inference migrants who were predominantly in the unskilled and semi-skilled occupational groups had very limited chances of occupational mobility. More detailed studies

of this aspect are urgently needed and the Committee recommends that they be commissioned. 1 2 3

(1) Borrie Report Volume 1 Page 128 (2) Borrie Report Volume 1 Page 128 Section 3.43 (3) Professor Sol Encel "Equality, Authority and Power" Page 122

Page 15

2.4 The Urban Nature of Migrant Settlement

2.4.01 The occupational and industrial distribution of migrant workers and their concentration in manufacturing industries and commercial enter­ prises means that most migrants have settled in urban areas. The Borrie Report illustrated that the growth of Australian capital cities between

1966 and 1971,was mainly due to the influx of migrant groups. In Sydney and Melbourne the percentage growth of Australian-born declined while the overseas born growth rates for these two cities were 59.9 per cent and 48.5 per cent. With the exception of Hobart, the overseas born component increased significantly in all capital cities.(4) Data relating to the proportion of birth-place groups in the major urban areas showed that 80.5 per cent of overseas born, lived in major urban areas compared with only 60.5 per cent of Australian born. Significantly 86.5 per cent and 86.3 per cent of Southern and Eastern Europeans lived in major urban areas.(5)

2.4.02 Social research studies by Dr Burnley indicated "ethnicity or segregation to be an important factor in social differentiation within the cities" and that there were "some interesting concentrations of ethnic groups in ’male’ occupations."(6) For example, over 68 per cent of all concrete and terazzo workers in Melbourne were Italians. There was also a trend for unskilled manual and service workers of all birthplace groups, to be more residentially concentrated than skilled manual workers - this contrast applied especially to Southern Europeans. Generally "ethnicity commonly accentuates social rank differentiations between areas by increasing social segregation."(6) Thus contrary to the conclusions of the Borrie Report this evidence suggested that ethnicity is an important dimension which "internally differentiates apparently homogeneous social rank areas.” (7)

2.4.03 The heavy concentration of non-English speaking migrants in urban areas emphasize s the extent to which Australian industry and manufacturing industry is dependent on migrant labour and highlights

the social problems of urban growth. Migrant workers in lowly paid occupations, are further disadvantaged by the cumulative harmful social effects of low quality housing, poor schooling and inadequate public facilities in congested inner city urban areas. The Henderson Poverty Inquiry Report stated that "all groups of recent migrants had a higher proportion of poor people than the population as a whole."(8) It noted

that 16.2 per cent of Greeks, 15.3 per cent of Italians and 9,2 per cent of British were below the poverty line compared to 7.7 per cent of the population as a whole.

2.4.04 The inner-city concentration of migrants was also often characteristic of the first phase of settlement. There was evidence of "urban sprawl" among migrants who moved into peripheral suburbs although

this trend was much less significant. Burnley’s studies of industrial suburbs on the metropolitan perimeter showed that there had been a large migrant contribution to areas such as Elizabeth in Adelaide and Medina/Rockingham in Perth. Generalized and intensified programs of

urban redevelopment are , therefore, an essential part of social measures and interventions required to improve the impoverished conditions of people living in urban centres, including many migrants. 4 5 6 7 8

(4) Borrie Report Volume I Table IV 8 Page 164 (5) Borrie Report Table IV. 11 Page 172 (6) I H Burnley: Ethnic Factors in Social Segregation and Residential

Stratification in Australia’s Large Cities. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology. Vol II, No 1, February 1975.

(7) IBID (8) Henderson Poverty Inquiry Report 1970 Page 126 Page 16

2.5 Migrant: Women in the Workforce

2.5.01 One noteworthy feature of the employment of migrants in Australia is the involvement of migrant women in the workforce. The Borrie Report pointed out that "migrant women were a sizable fraction (26%) of the total number of females in employment in 1971." There were at the Census of

1971, 424,400 overseas-born female migrants in the workforce, classified in the categories ’ tradesmen, production process workers and labourers'.(9) A substantial number were also in ’ service’ , clericalf and 'sales’ cate­ gories. While this was consistent with the increasing participation of women in the workforce, including the Australian-born population, the type

of employment of migrant women workers was markedly different. While tertiary sector expansion, especially in clerical and service occupations, had largely accounted for the overall increase in female participation rates, it was apparent that migrant women, particularly those from non- English speaking countries, were disproportionately represented in the less prestigious occupations.

2.5.02 There was also evidence that migrant women workers were typically concentrated in the clothing, textile, footwear and food processing Industries. Storer’s study of migrant women in the textile industry was one of the few sources of information available in this regard.(10)

This inquiry demonstrated that the majority of workers in this industry were non-English speaking women, and that they were one of the more easily exploited sections of the workforce.

2.5.03 Dr Hearn in her evidence to the Committee drew attention to the special problems of migrant women workers and suggested ways and means of dealing with some difficulties they were likely to encounter. She believed there was a need for more kindergartens and creches for children of all ages, benefiting both migrant and Australia-born women workers, which could ease the anxiety of parents where both were employed and especially where shift-work was involved. Dr Hearn supported the establishment of on-site creches and kindergartens, provided that the type and location of these centres were based on the expressed needs of the women concerned.

2.5.04 Dr Hearn also stressed the need for stricter supervision and policing of factories and plants employing large numbers of migrant women where industry and union regulations were not always enforced. She also suggested that migrant women workers were easily exploited,

2.6 Services for Migrant Women

2.6.01 Foremost among services needed for all female workers are adequate child-care facilities also geared to the needs of migrant women and either sited close to workers homes or the place of employment. The Committee has no special view about where such facilities should be

located, except that women workers themselves should be consulted in the siting and nature of these services. They should cater to the problems caused by school holidays, shift work and sickness of children. Such

facilities wherever they were located should pay special attention to the particular needs of the cultural groups who were likely to use them. Users should pay. a fee for services, although some subsidized Government assistance might be needed to cover a proportion of running costs. The Committee noted

in this respect the role in relation to child-care of the newly established Childrens Commission, as well as a study (11) commissioned by the Elec­ trical Trades Union of New South Wales which reinforced these views.

(9) Borrie Report Volume 1 Page 130 (10) D . Storer and K . Brown: A Preliminary Survey of Migrant Women in the Clothing Trade Fitzroy Ecumenical Centre 1974 (11) Working Mothers and Their Children: Electrical Trades Union of New

South Wales Page 17

2.6.02 There is a need for stricter supervision and policing of factories and plants employing significant numbers of migrant women to ensure that industrial and union regulations are enforced, particularly those concerned with basic working conditions, rates of pay, working hours, and long service leave entitlements.

2.7 Migrants and the Labour Market

2.7.01 Evidence indicated that migrant workers had an inadequate understanding of labour market operation in Australia and the availability of employment services. Changes in the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) as recommended in the Interim Report might remedy this. (12) The CES should be re-organized to provide greater emphasis on a more personal placement service with adequate follow-up and less on mere referral. The absence of interpreters at CES offices had also affected the quality of service,

especially at times of high unemployment when many non-English speaking migrants required individual assistance. Migrants with bi-lingual skills might be effectively used within the CES in the role of employment counsellors. CES officers need briefing about the special facilities

and services for migrants such as the availability of English language training. Similarly, vocational guidance services should cater to the needs of young adult migrant workers, in particular the newly arrived migrant.

2.7.02 Several consultants commented that the formal apprenticeship framework and other training schemes have failed to cater for the special needs of migrant workers and left then at a disadvantage. Action is therefore needed in the retraining or further training of migrants over apprenticeship age.

2.7.03 The Committee recalled in this respect the comments made about Adult Training in the Tregillis Report:

"Practically all European countries have accepted the principle that age should not be a bar to a person obtaining training for skilled work. Both from a social and economic viewpoint there are sound reasons for these policies. Socially, with rapid changes in industrial processes, there is a continued need for the employment of persons in work other than that for which they were originally trained and this has led to the development of retraining programmes. The trend of technological progress has meant that there is a constant upward movement from the craftsman

level into the technician and other higher skilled classifications such as draughtsman, etc. As a result of this, many of the European countries are finding themselves extremely short of the persons able to undertake normal skilled work. In these countries

this deficiency is being met by accelerated training courses for adults.

It is certain that these technological developments which are occurring in Australia will increase rapidly and the position may be reached where the current shortage of skilled workers becomes more acute.... consideration may need to be given

to some form of planned accelerated training in suitably equipped centres."(13)

(12) Recommendation 34 Interim Report Page 6 (13) The Training of Skilled Workers in Europe (Summary) Pages 28 and 29

Page 18

2.7.04 Issues of retraining especially in relation to migrant workers will require a total new approach by the ACTU and individual unions. This is viewed by the Committee as of tremendous importance to migrant employment mobility and to the utilisation of a wide range of skills which otherwise would be untapped. The Committee recognised in this

regard the useful role of the newly established Commission on Technical and Further Education in the retraining and upgrading of skills of migrant workers.

2.8 Discrimination and Exploitation in Employment

2.8.01 Complaints by migrant workers sometimes related to issues of discrimination in employment which were discussed in detail in the Interim Report. (14) The Committee however wishes to draw attention to the fact that the Committees on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation distinguishes between 'nationality1 and 'national extraction1 when looking at claims of discrimination and believes that no distinction should be drawn on the basis of the nationality status of settlers when investigating these claims.

2.8.02 In regard to exploitation, besides the observations made in the Interim Report, evidence suggested that migrants who did not speak English were particularly vulnerable, especially in small scale enterprises, in regard to mis-representation of basic working conditions and entitlements

for newly arrived migrant workers. Similarly, there was a problem of exploitation by some interpreters, especially in the areas of workers compensation and translation of foreign trade qualifications. This situation could be ameliorated by ensuring that adequate interpreter services are available to all key areas and by advising migrant workers about relevant protective legislation. The intention to establish a National Council on Interpreting and Translation which will encourage

training of and give professional status to interpreters, are important steps in the right direction.

2.9 Orientation Programs

2.9.01 Professor Ford portrayed the plight of newly arrived migrant workers in the following terms:

"Most migrants arrive in Australia by jet. It is often two or three days between the time many of them leave a traditional rural or fisning village to the time they are standing at a factory gate in the complex industrial society of Australia. This is a cultural shock of enormous proportions. If the migrants are

to become effective social, economic, industrial a n d ‘ political citizens of Australia.... then the Australian community must allocate human and financial resources to new innovative migrant orientation and welfare programs. The ’Australian Orientation Program' could be one of these."(15)

2.9.02 Professor Ford’s proposal for "Australian Orientation Programs" Appendix (C) warranted close scrutiny. It was modelled on similar European projects as an effective way of educating newly arrived migrant workers about employment conditions and the working of the Australian

labour market. Programs of this nature need the active support of employer-employee organisations and State Departments of Labour and industry, and the Committee recommends that these should be organised and funded by the Department of Labor and Immigration.

(14) Interim Report Pages 22 - 28 (1.5) Appendix (C)

Page 19

2.10 Migrant Unemployment

2.10.01 As regards migrant unemployment it was found that migrants were particularly vulnerable because they were often working in unskilled occupations and were the first to be retrenched whenever there was a down-turn in the economy. This applied particularly to those with the

least skills and knowledge of English. Newly arrived migrants were the most adversely affected as they were likely to have entered into major financial commitments arising from housing and establishment needs. Special assistance and relief should be offered in such cases and efforts made to inform retrenched migrant workers of their entitlements. The

Committee strongly recommends that as many migrants as possible in need of language improvement, should be provided with the opportunities to learn English, especially during periods of unemployment or redundancy.

2.11 Problems of Communication

2.11.01 The attitude of. management towards migrant workers depends largely on communication difficulties surrounding migrant worker- employer relationships. There seems to be a lack of concern by management about the special needs of migrants particularly those who are handicapped by language deficiencies in the work situation. This problem is most apparent among Southern and Eastern European migrant workers. It impinges on most areas of work relationships, particularly opportunities for advancement into foreman or supervisor positions from the factory floor which is largely dependent on English language ability.

2.11.02 The general problem of communication at work experienced by large numbers of non-English speaking migrants was examined by Mr Richter in his paper ''An Approach to the Problems of Migrants in Industry"(Appendix (D) ). His program for improving communication at the factory floor level

deserves consideration by management in general. The paper, based on an actual project, suggested among other things that at the factory floor level there should be basic communication units, each comprising rep­

resentatives of ethnic workers who could approach management and unions to air grievances as well as to seek assistance with particular problems. Mr Richter commented: "The development of a program of this sort would

provide a way to make a start on overcoming the problem of migrants in industry. It would give our industrial organisations a practical way to fulfil their obligations to society - by winning what amounts to a community relations program on the factory floor."(16)

(a) English Language Training

2.11.03 The Committee believe s that employers should assume greater responsibility in providing facilities for employees to learn English on the job in the employer's time. It is not unreasonable to expect employers to share this responsibility in view of the contribution of migrant labour to the growth of many industries, especially in the manufactaring sector. It is useful to draw an analogy with the United Kingdom situation where in terms of the Industrial Training Act all

employers have a responsibility to contribute towards the training of the workforce. The training of migrant workers in Australia including the important matter of English language training should be seen by industry as an incentive in their interests to improve quality and productivity. In the United Kingdom employers who did not establish training courses for their migrant workers are subject to a levy which is used to finance such training elsewhere.

(16) Appendix (D)

Page 20

2.11.04 Language training at the worksite must deal with the problem of incentives both for employees and employers. Some employers regard English language training as uneconomic because of a loss of production time. However, increased language fluency contributes to industrial safety, better staff communication, improved job training, quality of production, morale, quality control and greater productivity. If English language ability is seen as a job skill, Government should subsidise language training programs in a way similar to its support for apprentice­ ship training.

2.11.05 For employers with limited facilities there should be established training centres where English is taught on a regional basis for employees. Such centres should also provide opportunities for women and non-working wives.

2.11.06 Dr Hearn in supporting the importance of language training at the work site in employer time, stressed that classes should be held early in the working day; that class content should relate to community life generally and not be confined to the work situation, thereby maximising interest and value to participants,and that Australian workers should be involved in some class sessions to assist with dialogue practice and to encourage discussion between fellow workers. Dr Hearn suggested also that young migrant workers (under 21 years) should be allowed "time-off" to attend language classes on a full-time basis under conditions similar to young workers attending apprenticeship courses. Trade unions should also be involved in arranging courses in industry to avoid migrant workers assuming that these were designed simply as 'worker efficiency’


2.11.07 Dr Hearn also made observations about the provision of English language instruction facilities for non-English speaking migrants, particularly in factories employing large numbers of unskilled and semi­ skilled migrants. These occupational categories were deserving of special attention because currently there were no viable language programs to

facilitate improved language ability as a job skill. These observations reflected similar sentiments to those of Professor Ford who commented that "quite apart from any educational disadvantages experienced, migrants may find that language difficulties limit the training and employment

opportunities available to them."(17) Similarly the Cochrane Report stated that "Language training should certainly not be excluded from the range of courses that come within the ambit of labour market training."(18) While recognising that not all language training is so oriented, the

Committee endorses this approach, especially where language training is available to migrants accepted for retraining or conversion courses under the NEAT Scheme, and who have skills or qualifications recognised in Australia but who are unable to secure suitable employment due to lack of

English competence.

(b) Information Pamphlets

2.11.08 Another aspect of communication relates to publications in migrant languages outlining facilities and services available to migrant workers. Management and trade unions should be encouraged to provide these where costs were prohibitive, Government assistance should be

sought. tn this regard, the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Productivity Council serviced by the Department of Labor and Immigration has developed as a pilot project, foreign language information pamphlets linked to an ethnic contact register. This is a project which could with advantage be extended to all States. The use of audio-visual systems

to explain job safety and orientation programs at the factory floor is also highly desirable. It would also be helpful to an understanding of cultural differences if factory journals and union publications contained articles

f ! 7) Professor G W ford interim Report Page 1 1.3 fig) Cochrane Report (5.16) Page 21

explaining life styles and social values of migrants from other countries.

(c) Interpreters

2.11.09 The provision of interpreters at the work site to improve communication with non-English speaking migrants needs to be restated. Interpreters should be available at the factory floor level and in areas dealing with workers compensation, job induction programs and other situations involving communication in the industrial relations field. The provision of interpreter services should be the responsibility of employers and employee organisations dealing with non-English speaking migrant workers.

2.12 Industrial Safety and Workers Compensation

2.12.01 Industrial safety is affected by the problem of communication. Evidence suggested that migrants were more accident-prone because of the lack of multi-lingual safety instructions and training and these deficiencees were apparent not only at the time of commencement but also in relation

to on-going employment. Another cause of industrial accidents amongst migrants is anxiety about children left alone at home.

2.12.02 Because migrants often have little security of tenure in regard to housing and other long-term hire-purchase commitments, delays in settling compensation claims bear more heavily on them than on the community generally. The new national compensation legislation, if implemented, would greatly help in improving the difficulties encountered by special groups such as migrants.

2.13 Migrants in Trade Unions

2.13.01 The involvement of migrants in trade unions was also examined closely. The importance of the problems surrounding this area were highlighted at the Conference on Migrant Workers1 Problems held in Melbourne in October 1973 which was described as the first attempt to

tackle the long-neglected problems confronting migrant workers. The Conference proceedings demonstrated both the dissatisfaction of migrant workers with working conditions in Australia and in particular the trade- union movement. One speaker at the Conference observed that Mthe violent

Ford strike in Melbourne in 1973 involving migrant workers was indicative of the pent-up frustration and anger, and disillusionment" felt by migrant workers, in particular, the most disadvantaged sector of semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The organised trade union sector, although not

overtly discriminatory, has been traditionally suspicious of Government policies encouraging the rapid growth of migrant labour. Hence the importance of migrant workers in Australian industry in the post-war period had not been fully recognised. Generally speaking, trade unions are failing to communicate effectively with non-English speaking migrant workers and cater to their needs. There is also a reluctance to

acknowledge that migrants are a particular group of members within unions with special problems. This indifference extends to the ACTU where at its last three Congresses little mention was made of the specific problems of migrants in industry.

Page 22

2,13.02 An overview of some of these problems was given by Storer in the Committee's Interim Report. (19) One of the points raised was the generally apathetic and negative attitude of migrant workers to trade unions. Dr Hearn in a study of migrant workers also observed that a large proportion of those surveyed had little confidence in trade unions and their activities , some even seeing them as agents of the employer. This attitude was equally characteristic of all migrant workers and not merely non-English speaking migrants. Dr Hearn remarked


"To the obvious handicaps of pre-occupation with economic problems and the language barrier must be added some features of Australian trade union practice which are historically-rooted and often very puzzling to the new­

comer. Legal arbitration of disputed industrial negotiations is a difficult and completely new concept for most migrants. Many migrants, especially those from northern Europe, prefer the forceful, direct confrontation between employers and employees rather than arbitration procedures, particularly when these are prolonged and very

technical and conducted by a large number of craft unions, necessitating wide variations in applications of awards and provisions."

2.14 Educational Activities

2.14.01 To help migrant workers understand the complexities of the labour market, industrial relations and the structure and function of trade union organisations, suitable counselling sessions should be held prior to arrival in Australia. Educational programs after arrival along the lines of the "Australian Orientation Program" Appendix (C) might be

another appropriate means of achieving these objectives. The trade union movement should also attempt to educate migrant workers through the Australian College of Union Training by directing special attention

to attract potential leaders from migrant workers. Australian workers, especially those in leadership positions in the trade union movement, need to be more sensitive and understanding of the problems of migrant workers. The cultural and social distance between Australian-born and migrant workers could be bridged through mutual understanding and improved

communication. The Committee's suggestions for community education outlined in paragraphs 4.20-4.35,might be profitably developed in this context.

2.15 Migrants and Trade Union Activities '

2.15.01 The nature and extent of migrant worker involvement in trade union activities was difficult to assess because of the lack of reliable statistical information on the extent of migrant membership in unions. There is however a distinction between participation of migrants as members and their representation in leadership in unions while recognising

that both aspects were inter-related. The low level of participation in union activities by migrants from non-English speaking countries might be due to such factors as the failure of union officials to respond to their needs, language and communication difficulties caused by the lack

of interpreter and translation services and a general ignorance of the purposes and functions of union activities. These comments are not to imply that there has been overt obstruction or active "discrimination on the part of trade unions against migrants taking a full and active part in trade union affairs, but clearly more must be done to involve migrant workers in day-to-day union activities such as leadership training

courses, conferences, seminars, courses for shop stewards, etc.

(19) D, Storer "Migrants in Unionism" Interim Report Page 117

Page 23

2.15.02 This lack of participation of migrant workers from non-English speaking countries, might be because Australian trade unions were until recently almost involved solely in industrial issues. As pointed out by Dr Hearn, migrant workers "lament the lack of provision by Australian unions of social welfare services - holiday accommodation, medical clinics, employment bureaux, etc." similar to those available in Europe. An involvement in welfare issues requires a radical re-orientation of union activities benefiting both migrant and Australian-born workers. These activities might with advantage be combined in the suggestion for the establishment of migrant information centres (which we prefer to call Worker Information Centres),

2.16 Worker Information Centres

2.16.01 Worker Information Centres could be established in Trades and Labour Councils, individual unions and in highly industrialised areas. Centres should be staffed by multi-lingual personnel and should distribute suitable publications about industrial awards, workers compensation etc. The concept of Worker Information Centres would need to be ’politically* supported by the ACTU and TLCs and subsidised by Government. A study of the staffing and operation of such centres should be undertaken prior to establishment as a developmental project by the Department of Labor and Immigration.

2.17 Summary

2.17.01 The Committee believes that equal opportunity must be afforded to migrant worker representatives to achieve union office irrespective of their degree of fluency of English. A migrant worker who occupied a trade union position stated at the Migrant Workers’ Conference that "Trade unions should encourage and facilitate greater participation and representation by seeking to recruit those who are potential leaders." The same speaker also recognised that this responsibility did not lie only with unions but equally with migrant workers. Language barriers alone do not account for this extent of under-representation. Perhaps of more significanc is that unions themselves are not attuned to the needs of large sections of their union membership. The Committee recognises

that there are notable exceptions in this regard but feels that these do not negate the view that more non-English speaking migrant represen­ tation in union affairs is both desirable and essential. The improvement of migrant-union relationships can only take place as a two-way affair involving the active co-operation of both the union movement and migrant workers themselves. If urgent action is not taken by unions to encourage

the active participation of migrant workers, a situation of damaging social consequence is likely to arise affecting the whole fabric of Australian society.

Page 24



3.1 Introduction

3.1.01 In its Interim Report the Committee stated that "migrants did not make as full use as was desirable of services available for reasons mainly resulting from -

(a) The orientation of many services being unsuitable to deal adequately with their needs;

(b) Their own lack of knowledge and lack of familiarity with the structure and nature of the services."(1)

3.1.02 This preliminary assessment was reached on the basis of sub­ missions and evidence at personal hearings which indicated that in particular non-English speaking migrants refrained from using community services, and language factors were a major reason for this. The principal conclusions and recommendations of the Survey of Migrants’ Use of Community Facilities and Resources, commissioned by the former Department of Immigration, are reproduced in summary form at Appendix (F).

3.1.03 The Survey comprised two parts; Phase I which was an Australia­ wide mailed questionnaire addressed to providers of key services and Phase II an interview survey among a sample of migrants in Sydney and Adelaide with a small group of Australian born for comparison purposes. Phase I enabled a summary to be made of the relative use of services by

the different categories of migrants. They included non-English speakers and recent arrivals in a list of six categories.(2) A significant pro­ portion of the recent arrivals comprised non-English speakers.

3.2 Survey Conclusions

3.2.01 Conclusions drawn from Phase I of the Survey were that migrants overall do make a significant degree of use of community facilities and resources as a whole. They are however in a disadvantaged position when compared with Australians in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

Further, non-British migrants are on the whole in a disadvantaged position overall when compared with British migrants in regard both to knowledge and use of resources in general and knowledge and use of the most appropriate community resources. Phase II demonstrated the existence

of a relationship between English-speaking ability and the use of com­ munity services; as the level of English-speaking ability among non-British migrants increased, the proportion of interviewees who were familiar with the use of the ’most appropriate1 community services also increased.(3)

3.2.02 These overall conclusions from both phases of the survey con­ firm the Committee’s initial reaction that non-English speaking migrants do not make as full use as is desirable of available services. 1 2 3

(1) Interim Report Page 57 (2) Recent arrivals (resident 2 years or less); long-term residents (resident more than 2 years); English speakers;

non-English speakers: those with relatives in Australia; and those without relatives in Australia (3) An operational definition of the term "most appropriate" by

problem area is included at Appendix (G)

Page 25

3.2.03 Without inferring that the use by British migrants of available services is entirely satisfactory, the Committee believes that the situation of migrants from non-English speaking countries in regard to their use of services is such that comments should be concentrated on

this aspect and this section of the report has been framed accordingly.

3.3 Reasons for Use/Non Use of Community Resources

3.3.01 The Committee primarily directed its attention to the factors which gave rise to the under-use by migrants of available services, in order to formulate recommendations to improve the delivery of services from which they could benefit. Issues such as inappropriate orientation of services to meet migrants’ needs and a lack of knowledge on the part of many migrants and their unfamiliarity with the structure of services

are highlighted as significant in most cases. There are, however, . further dimensions to these factors associated with non-use of services which the survey findings helped clarify. These relate to the natural reluctance of many migrants to take their problems to strangers lacking

an understanding of their background or their language, and particularly to people who represent ’officialdom1. As Heimler noted

"Helping immigrants is difficult because they find it well nigh impossible to confide in strangers who do not understand their past or speak their language. It is particularly hard for those who are older, who cling to earlier patterns of behaviour and

to old customs................ "(4)

3.4 Phase I

The Structure and Operation of Services for Migrants

3.4.01 Phase I based on the mailed questionnaire addressed to the providers of services to migrants revealed three notable factors were operative when migrants’ did use available services.

The Cultural Factor

3.4.02 The most common factor related to migrants’ cultural conditioning to using a particular type of service and their familiarity with it. This was demonstrated for instance, in the relatively high representation of Southern Europeans among the clientele of public rather than private health

and medical services.

Communication Assistance

3.4*03 The second most commonly reported factor was that migrants could communicate in their native language where the service provided inter­ preters, employed bi-lingual staff or the respondent himself spoke the language of the migrant clients concerned. This was an important factor for a proportion of respondents in the accommodation, welfare, health, legal and finance fields and to a lesser extent in the employment field.

Ability to Assist with Other Problems

3.4.04 The third factor was the ability of particular services to assist with associated problems and generally to provide information to facilitate settlement. This factor was reported by many welfare respondents and among others, by banks especially those operating advisory services for migrants.

(4)E.Heimler "Mental Illness and Social Work" Penguin Books 1967

Page 26

3.4.05 As to the non-use by migrants of services it was not anticipated that providers of services would comment significantly on this aspect. If they were able to specify factors which gave rise to non-use or under­ use of their services by any particular group in the community, it might have been expected that they would have taken corrective action. Where comments were made, Phase I of the Survey revealed that a relatively low incidence of use of a particular service tended to be associated with contrary circumstances - lack of familiarity with the service or conditioning to a different system, communication barriers, or failure to provide a service which took account of the special needs of migrants. Another factor mentioned most often by welfare respondents was that migrants often preferred to seek assistance within their own groups, either informally or through their own formal institutions or services. This factor was most pertinent in respect of Southern Europeans.

3.4.06 Two other significant factors emerged from Phase I which further demonstrated that migrants were at a distinct disadvantage in finding out about and making contact with community services and resources. First was migrants' heavy dependence (reported by 49 per cent of respondents) on referral by another service, as the principal means by which they became acquainted with services in all major fields (except possibly accommodation). Second was migrants' significant dependence upon a personal visit to establish initial contact with services. For migrants, a personal visit was almost half more common than for Australians, a telephone call half

as common and having relatives or friends to make initial contact twice as common for migrants as Australians. When dealing with services where means of contact such as a telephone call were accepted as the norm, migrants were heavily dependent upon making a personal visit. This finding underlines the importance of information being readily and conveniently available to migrants, in particular where to find services appropriate to their particular needs, thus minimising referral from one authority to another and from one service to another.

3.5 Phase II Migrants and the Use of Community Resources

3.5.01 Phase II of the Study based on interviews with migrants themselves showed that a variety of factors had a bearing on the extent to which migrants used community facilities and resources, especially those normally con­ sidered most appropriate. These factors included -

Cultural Factors

3.5.02 Migrants' traditions and culturally-based prefetences were often observed in their stated preferences; for example, to seek solutions to certain kinds of problems, particularly in the marital and domestic sphere, within the kinship circle or ethnic group, and to seek rapid and outright home ownership.

Differences in Services

3.5.03 The differences between facilities and resources in Australia and those to which migrants were accustomed overseas were found relevant to the failure of some migrants to take out for example, health and life insurance coverage. This was a factor also in their tendency to use, in a mild health emergency, public rather than private health facilities and in their

reluctance to use specialist guidance bureaux for assistance with child- related problems. To an extent that could not be specified from the data cultural traditions and preferences and ignorance were shown also to have been relevant.

Page 27

Communication Assistance

3.5.04 There was a general preference by migrants to use services or resources which were known to provide communication assistance. Examples of this were seen in migrants' use of hospital out-patient departments in a mild health emergency and when advice on important legal and financial

transactions was required, of banks offering migrant advisory services. Many stated that they would be less likely to use those services which did npt provide such assistance or did not provide it readily. (The importance and unambiguity of the communication factor was particularly in evidence in the findings of Phase 1 in relation to migrants' greater use of ethnically oriented welfare services compared with general welfare services.)

English Language Ability

3.5.05 Migrants' English language ability was an important factor. It was found that those unable to speak English were least likely to know about and use the most appropriate facilities and resources. Analysis of responses of migrants to all questions indicated that, while over two- thirds of those with some knowledge of English knew about and/or used the mosr appropriate resources, only one-third of those without English did or would do so. This demonstrated the disadvantaged position of this latter category of migrant.

Level of Formal Schooling

3.5.06 The level of migrants' formal schooling was also a relevant consideration. Those with little formal schooling were least likely to know about or use the most appropriate resources. Compared to British and Australian-born respondents, migrants, irrespective of age at leaving school, knew less about and/or least used the most appropriate resources. Not surprisingly migrants who left school aged twelve years or less were

at the greatest disadvantage.

Occupational Levels

3.5.07 Data on occupational levels showed that migrant respondents in all occupational categories least often used or would use the most appropriate service, particularly those at the lower end -of the occupational scale where use was recorded in less than 60 per cent of instances. In addition, there was evidence that unskilled migrant workers, both British and non-British, less often used or would use the most appropriate resource

than unskilled Australia-born.

Length of Residence in Australia

3.5.08 It was found that migrants with a relatively shorter length of residence in Australia were least likely to know about and use the most appropriate resources, although the position of British migrants improved more rapidly over time than did that of non-British migrants. For the

latter, the incidence in which a most appropriate resource was known and/or used was approximately 50 per cent in the case of arrivals resident for less than two years, but only about 60 per cent for longer-term residents. The comparable proportions for British migrants were 60 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

Access to Information about Resources

3.5.09 Further evidence to that revealed by Phase I showed the unfavourable position of many migrants in their access to information about resources. For example, only 45 per cent of migrant respondents had a telephone com­ pared to 65 per cent of Australia-born. As 25 per cent of migrants

Page 28

possessed poor or no English language ability, it was likely that many of those owning television sets would understand little of what was broad­ cast; also fewer migrants than Australian-born read English language newspapers which were an important source of information about available facilities and resources,

3.5.10 Although only 12 per cent of migrant respondents indicated that they read foreign language publications exclusively, it appeared that by making less use of the English language media in which many services were advertiseds they were disadvantaged in access to information. Ignorance of a particular resource was usually the result of a lack of knowledge of English or lack of access to the media of communication.


3.5,11 In a number of instances cost was reported to be the principal reason for non-use of certain facilities. For example a significant proportion of working migrant mothers and Australian-horn mothers of children under school age did not use child-minding centres for this

reason. Cost was also a factor for those migrants who did not insure their homes, or who, when faced with illness or injury, did not seek assistance from a private medical practitioner.


3.5.12 There was no evidence of overt discrimination against migrants on the grounds of their migrant status or ethnic origin. However there was evidence of dissatisfaction where migrants had failed to use par­ ticular facilities because they had not met adequately their special needs. This was often seen by migrants as grounds for perceived discrimination.

Inadequacies of Services to Meet Migrants’ Special Needs

3.5.13 The most common inadequacies were notea when services failed to provide adequate communication assistance or lacked an awareness of the special needs of migrants. Hence many migrants were adversely affected in their use of community facilities and resources.

3.5.14 More than half of migrant respondents stated that there was some service or facility available in their home country which was not available in Australia. This applied particularly to a comprehensive health scheme, mentioned by 23 per cent of all migrants and by 56 per cant of British migrants. Subsidised dental care was another service not available in Australia nor were comprehensive employment provisions

and services. Some believed that an accommodation service with more Government-provided housing was necessary. This reflects the urgent need in the community for housing advice bureaux. Other services deemed inadequate related to social welfare generally. A number of migrants

commented that the social security system overall in their country of origin was better than in Australia.

Heed for Additional Services and Facilities

3.5.15 A need for additional facilities and services for migrants was seen by 40 per cent of Australian-born interviewees and 54 per cent of migrants. Migrants commented that their most important needs were for bi-lingual information and advisory services as sources of help for migrants with legal, financial or family problems. Some saw the need for

an alternative to migrant hostels by subsidising accommodation services; others saw a need for an emplo}r ment service catering more adequately for migrants than existing services did, while others saw needs in English language teaching and interpreting.

Page 29

3.6 Community Resources

3.6.01 In considering the use by migrants of community facilities and resources, the Committee confined its inquiries to those services more directly relevant to the general welfare of migrants. The survey res­ tricted itself to employment, accommodation, health and social welfare services, legal and financial institutions and child care facilities. The Committee made separate inquiries into education, advisory bureaux,

libraries, the media and law enforcement.

3.7 The Importance of Ethnic Groups

3.7.01 As ethnic organisations provide a considerable range of welfare services the Committee attempted to assess their importance in the community generally and in the lives of migrants. In its Interim Report the Com­ mittee commented that.'

"The establishment of self-help organisations by and in a number of ethnic communities has also provided opportunities for migrants to gain the security derived from association with people of similar background and experiences. Ethnic groups provided, too, valuable services geared tc meet the needs of migrants and, suitably

developed could represent significant instruments in enabling migrants to integrate into the Australian community and to relate to organ­ isations with similar i n t e r e s t s (5)

3.7.02 Following their migration, involving a departure from familiar surroundings and a confrontation with tilings new and unfamiliar, the ability of migrants to associate with ethnic groups was important. Often there was a sense of loss or grief, anxiety or fear for the future and some degree of conflict when confronted with different attitudes and values than those apparent in their homeland. An individual's sense of social identity was likely to be confused. The extent to which trauma was associated with migration depended largely upon the personality and

resources of the individual. However, association with an ethnic group could provide support and security where these were necessary.

3.7.03 Phase I confirmed this latter point, as most responses described ethnic group organisations as important or very important:. Some felt that these provided communication and culture-broking bridges. Significantly 92 per cent of respondents indicated that these organisations provided an opportunity for migrants to meet and obtain advice from fellow-countrymen and promoted a sense of belonging amongst newly-arrived migrants. They helped in the cultural transition and cushioned the Impact of a new society with different cultural values. Equally essential to migrant integration was an understanding by the Australian community of migrant cultural and social patterns and values.

3.7.04 Heimlcr illustrated the problems of adjustment to a new society and the importance of ethnic groups in the following terms;

"Adjustment to a new society is a slow process and some members of a family may find it easier than others. if older members cling to the past and the younger ones assimilate very quickly, a family itself may be torn apart...............................

Linguistic shortcomings, a previous background of persecution, lack of a wide family network or many friends, a feeling of

(5) Interim Report Page 57

Page 30

insecurity and loneliness, perhaps a very slender attachment to the new social and cultural milieu, all create problems which increase the chances of mental breakdown and add to the difficulties of rehabilitation. Community care under these conditions is made increasingly difficult for the individual as he may feel he does not belong to the new community, he may even resent its help or he may be facing genuine hostility and prejudice from local

inhabitants." (6)

3.7.05 For these reasons, there is value in migrants banding together for mutual help and support in ethnic clubs and organisations, staffed by fellow-countrymen who because of shared experiences are in a position to give advice, provide assistance and develop ethnic-based services where required.

3.8 Participation and Self-Help

3.8.01 Action to cater for migrants' special needs in the context of a multi-cultural society should centre on the encouragement of the organisation and development of ethnic communities. Action should be non-directive to encourage ethnic communities to identify their special needs and priorities. Some measure of financial support from the public

sector would be desirable and probably necessary.

3.8.02 Self-help has been described thus:

"Stress is laid on the need to encourage communities of people to identify their own wants and needs and to work co-operatively at satisfying them. Projects are not predetermined but develop as discussion in communities is encouraged, proceeds and focuses the real concerns of the people. As wants and needs are defined and solutions sought, aid may be provided by national governments or international organisations. But the emphasis is on communities

of people working at their own problems."(7)

3.8.03 The importance of self-help for ethnic communities was demonstrated to the Committee in its series of consultations with representatives of ethnic organisations and community agencies. Criticism of the extension of patronage as the solution to migrants’ problems and the lack of suitable available resources reinforced this view, although

the Committee wishes also to underline the importance of ethnically-based services inter -relating and integrating with community services generally.

3.9 Need for Community Agencies to Cater for Migrants '

3.9.01 The relevance and importance of ethnic groups in providing services for migrants was demonstrated by Professor Henderson when he commented that "Both the Italian Committee of Assistance (CoAsIt) and the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Society have an impressive record in family welfare, care of the aged and help to the handicapped> and show how far the work of ethnic organisations can extend."(8)

3.9.02 New initiatives relating to the organisation and delivery of services on a regional basis are being developed by the Australian Assistance Plan (AAP). In this context it needs to be emphasised that in the provision of community services it is a mistake to ignore the

ethnic factor. Such a policy could undermine the rights of minorities and weaken the individual in his identification. Attention needs to be paid to this aspect so that the special needs of ethnic minority groups are accommodated within such programs on a basis which maintains their viability and enables them to play their role as important parts of

community services in Australia.

(6) Heimler "Mental Illness and Social Work" Penguin Books 1967 (7) F. Milson: An Introduction to Community Work: Routledge and Keagan Paul London 1974 Page 22 ' „ ,,

(8) R. Henderson "Poverty in Australia" 1975 s

3.9.03 The International Conference on Social Welfare, Athens 1972, affirmed the right of minority groups "to participate in our pluralist society in a manner which permits them to retain their identity if they so desire whilst participating fully in the mainstream of society."

3.9.04 The Committee also wishe5 to draw attention to the fact that some ethnic groups are unable to provide their own special services nor do all migrants need or seek solutions to their problems through identification with their ethnically based community organisations. It is therefore important to stress that ethnically provided services must be seen as supplementary choices and that in spite of their existence

it remains incumbent upon general community services to be geared also to meet the needs of migrants. The individual has a right of choice between the service provided by their own ethnic group, and the services provided generally for the community. Some migrants might feel that these services were more appropriate or relevant to their personal needs in their inte­

gration in the community.

3.10 Accessibility of Community Resources - Information/Interpreting Services

3.10.01 The Committee believes that the question of accessibility to community resources is essential. Australian community resources, often differ markedly in structure and function from those of migrants’ homelands. Hence there is a need for them -

. to provide skilled interpreters or bi-lingual workers with a genuine appreciation of the cultural differences of the people served by them;

. to be locally-based so that migrant users would not be dissuaded by reason of travel costs, time, etc.;

. to provide their services at times convenient to migrants rather than to themselves;

. to appreciate and allow for the difficulty of many migrants in keeping appointments, in responding to written communications and using the telephone because of language difficulties.

3.11 Specific Community Resources

3.11.01 The Committee considers it appropriate to single out a number of services in crucial areas and to highlight issues of migrants' needs and their access to these resources.

3.12 Employment Services

3.12.01 Chapter 2 of this Report dealing with Migrants in Industry, identified the over-representation of migrants in the lower occupational levels. Migrants are concentrated largely in urban areas and are disadvantaged considerably by the effects of low quality housing and inadequate public facilities.

3.12.02 Economic reasons are often the main motivation for many migrants who judge their success in terms of economic advancement. This sometimes governs the type of employment migrants undertake, as employment at the lower end of the occupational scale is usually more readily available. Their vulnerability and fear of dismissal leads them to work longer hours

even to the extent of making themselves unpopular with fellow workers. Miss P. Oliver described this situation in the following terms -

Page 32

"Migrants are often eager workers and seek a great deal of overtime for financial reasons. This sometimes causes resentment from Australians because the migrant is seen as ingratiating himself with the management. Migrants are often fair game for unfair treatment from foremen and supervisors. Because of their inadequate English and fear of dismissal migrants tend to tolerate bad treatment more than Australians. Australians find it easier to obtain other employment as they know how and where to look.” (9)

3.12.03 As most migrants needed to find work quickly for financial reasons, the Committee examined the comparative situation amongst the unemployed, particularly for the newly-arrived. Unemployment figures released in 1972 showed an Australian-born unemployed rate of 2,1 per cent, a migrant rate of 3.2 per cent and a 10.9 per cent rate amongst those who arrived after January 1971. There j_s no reason to believe that these relativities have changed with the more recent higher levels of unemploy­ ment. Professor Zubrzycki in an analysis of 1971 Census data relating to occupational distribution by birthplace, showed that first generation migrants were disproportionately represented in various levels of the workforce. Significant numbers of certain ethnic groups, disadvantaged

in education, lack of training and English language ability, are employed in occupations with lower earning levels and a higher risk of unemployment.(10)

3.12.04 Knowing how and where to look is an important factor in migrants' quest for employment. Phase II showed that migrants' knowledge and use of the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) was relatively poor, especially among non-British migrants. Phase 1 however, had suggested

that recent arrivals and non-English speakers were above average users of the Commonwealth Employment Service. These apparently contrary findings were indicative of the tendency of newly arrived migrants to use the CES initially, and subsequently often preferred to use other methods including contacts within their own community to find work.

3.12.05 Migrants often worked at job levels not commensurate with their ability, previous training or experience. Dissatisfaction with their status often led to welfare problems. Under-utilisation of job skills could perhaps be corrected by greater use of the retraining and up-grading provisions of the NEAT Scheme.

3.13 The Recognition of Overseas Professional Qualifications

3.13.01 In its Interim Report, the Committee indicated that it would investigate further, complaints by migrants that they were still in difficulties in obtaining recognition in Australia of their overseas professional qualifications. The Committee accordingly met with senior

represez^tatives of the Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications (COPQ) to establish what progress had been made by this organisation.

3.13.02 COPQ has undoubtedly made significant progress in a number of areas of its charter. In particular, the development of expert panels of assessors has proved to be a most effective medium through which professional bodies m Australia are being persuaded to recognise a range of specialist overseas qualifications as satisfying the requirements for professional practice in Australia. In particular, there has been

progress in engineering, architecture and in the recognition of generalist qualifications. COPO is presently engaged in attempting to extend the acceptability of overseas qualifications more widely and to include medicine and dentistry. COPQ's charter must: be recognised to be severely

c:ircumscribed in that the concern is to obtain the recognition of ov-^rsuaa qualifications. The task is complicated by the fact that there is, in some professions, a wide disparity in professional registration require—

(9) P, Oliver "Survey of Problems and Resources" Sunshine City Council 1973

( 10) Appendix d Page 33

ments as between States. COPQ is therefore handicapped in some situations in negotiating with the States a blanket recognition of particular overseas qualifications. Professional registration is, by and large, a matter with­ in the constitutional competence of the States although there has been marked movement in recent years towards the achievement of common standards

of professional requirements throughout Australia. COPQ indirectly appeares to be having an important influence upon professional bodies throughout Australia in its efforts to establish a nation-wide recognition of overseas qualifications and to achieve portability as between States for such qualifications.

3.13.03 An area of continuing difficulty is that of sub-professional qualifications which not within the jurisdiction of COPQ. There are numerous qualifications obtainable overseas at a relatively high level, and often after a lengthy period of education and training, which

are not regarded as professional qualifications and for which there are no parallels in Australia. People coming to Australia with such qualifications would' benefit from having access to an organisation which would explain and interpret their qualifications in some detail so that Australian employers would be able to assess more effectively what the

individual concerned was equipped to do. Some such service is being provided by COPQ in relation to generalist qualifications and is in strong demand. Perhaps some co-ordination machinery to cover sub­ professional and technically qualified migrants might be established within the Department of Labor and Immigration and widely advertised, botn in Australia and overseas.

3.13.04 COPQ does not provide a service to professional migrants already resident in Australia needing information as to the appropriate authority to which they should direct enquiries in seeking to identify the organ­ isations. institutions and individuals who have to be approached in the task of resolving questions involved in recognising their professional qualifications. COPQ receives numerous enquiries and requests for recognition from individuals but its major concern hitherto has been to obtain a blanket recognition of qualifications obtained at particular institutions overseas rather than to provide a personal service for individuals.

3.13.05 It must be recognised that the jurisdiction to register or not to register professional qualifications lies with the States and with the professional bodies concerned. The role of COPQ is to negotiate the recognition by such bodies of overseas qualifications.

3.13.06 COPQ is prepared on occasions to take up the case of an individual who has been refused recognition of his professional quali­ fications by a professional body, but such intervention can not be regarded as an appeal against the decision of the professional body concerned. The role of COPQ in such situations is to investigate the qualifications of the applicant and to relate the case to agreements reached for blanket approval of similar types of qualification. It would perhaps be desirable to establish an independent appeals tribunal which could investigate the claims of migrants who have failed to obtain

a favourable decision from a professional body in Australia. However, there are obvious constitutional difficulties in establishing an effective machinery for appeals at the national level in a situation in which the essential decisions on professional recognition lie within the jurisdiction of State bodies.

Page 34

3.13.07 In summary one of the greatest problems experienced by migrants with certain qualifications is that the ultimate recognition authority lies in State Registration Boards with standards varying from State to State and from profession to profession. Hence, migrants often placed in a bewildering position when endeavouring to have their qualifications recognised or when seeking to clarify the status of their overseas qualification vis-a-vis an Australian equivalent. The Committee therefore recommends that an appropriate advisory centre for professional, sub-professional and technically qualified migrants be set up,within the existing machinery of the Professional Employment Office of the CES, to advise migrants of the various registration or other requirements needed to gain recognition of their qualifications m Australia and the steps which need to be taken to obtain from COPQ an assessment of the degree of acceptability accorded to their qualifications in terms of obtaining suitable employment in Australia. ‘

3.14 Welfare Services

3.14.01 Ethnically based community welfare agencies have a vital role to play In providing services to migrants in areas such as social counselling, care for the aged, help to the handicapped and supporting services for the emotionally disturbed members of their community.

3.14.02 Advantages of an ethnic based welfare agency are summarized as follows:

a) Language - particularly when discussing inner feelings and relationsnips migrants are better able to express these in their native tongue;

b) social workers with similar ethnic background are better equipped to deal with social problems when they have knowledge of and understand the cultural background and mores of their clients;

c) an agency operating within an ethnic group has advantages in placing in employment workers handicapped physically or by inadequate language;

d) in the case of psychiatric stress understanding of client social environment and background is of particular importance;

e) problems arising from or connected with religious and cultural beliefs, customs and attitudes, including a conflict arising from 'inter-dating' and inter-marriage, are only brought out clearly in dialogue with a counsellor, sharing or at least

fully understending, the cultural background of the people involved, and thus being able to offer advice likely to be more acceptable and leading to resolution of the problem;

f) in times of need and stress, clients, even relatively assimilated ones, often revert to a greater consciousness of their past background.

3.14.03 The survey indicated that non-English speakers were below average users of voluntary general welfare agencies, whilst in the "Grant-in-Aid" welfare agencies, those providing special migrant oriented social workers, they were above average users. This finding demonstrate

the value of the scheme initiated by the former Immigration Department and now administered by the Migrant Services Branch of the Department of Social Security. It further points to the need for an expansion of this scheme together with a similar scheme for welfare officers, so

that ethnic community organisations arc better equipped to provide

Page 35

services most valuable to their clients.

3.14.04 The Committee welcomes efforts made by a variety of ethnic communities to provide facilities for the care and services to their aged and especially the establishment of a special committee of the Social Welfare Advisory Council to advise the Minister on the development of

such services.

3.14.05 The Committee believes that the recently enacted Family Law Bill requiring marriage counselling might present special problems for the migrant community.

3.14.06 It strongly re-iterates the recommendations made in its Interim Report. (11)

"That the Government encourage the formation and activities of strong viable ethnic groups and their appropriate integration in the structure of community organisations."


"that existing migrant organisations and clubs be used to channel help and information to migrants."

3.15 Health Services

3.15.01 Migrant customs and cultural background are relevant to their use and non-use of services related to health. Members of some ethnic groups have different ideas and attitudes about ill-health, treatment, doctors and hospitals.

3.15.02 Some migrant groups are also prone to illness perhaps due to a variety of factors including climatic change, lack of immunity and ignorance in matters of hygiene and diet in a foreign environment. These factors are recognised as important to migrant physical and mental health and in determining their behaviour in regard to health services. Migrant preferences in using certain health facilities rather than those considered more appropriate in the community generally often dictated by communication difficulties.

3.15.03 Research into migrant mental health has been analysed recently by the Australian Council of Social Services and conclusions reached include the following:

- existing facilities for migrant patients in hospitals were inadequate;

- preventive measures were of crucial importance and these should involve health education programs, in which emphasis should be on the facilities available in Australia and access to them, as opposed to those in migrants' home countries. Education about the role of allied health staff and other welfare personnel were also essential;

- personnel in the health field should be educated about migrant cultural differences, their attitude towards sickness in general and especially to specific types of illness. The role of doctor and patient and other health personnel should be explained;

- the difficulty of doctors in communicating with migrant patients sometimes led to a wrong diagnosis, particularly in migrants

being diagnosed as having psychiatric problems.

(1i) Interim Repur L Recommendations 21 and 22 Pago 36

- generally there was a scarcity of institutions specialising in the treatment of migrants. Health Commission Clinics in areas of migrant concentration were usually staffed by personnel who tried to encourage migrants to use existing general'and

psychiatric facilities;

- few hospitals and clinics endeavoured to ensure that migrants were catered for adequately, although some limited attempt was made in the provision of staff with specialised skills, for example, interpreters, community workers, ethnic workers and mental health visitors, but these attempts were exceptions. Literature explaining the symptoms and treatment of specific

illnesses and diets (heart, cancer) were available only in English and thus of little use to migrants with an inadequate knowledge of English;

- interpreters represented the main facility provided for migrants but too many general and psychiatric hospitals and clinics still relied on the bi-lingual ability of their own staff, particularly domestic staff who did not have the fluency of English or often

that of their mother-tongue or competence in the subject matter, to interpret correctly. Often professional interpreters did not have specialised training in the medical field which hindered their competence in handling medical situations. In some cases patients were expected to provide their own interpreter, usually

a relative or friend and where children were used patients could withhold personal details of value in their treatment;

- bi-lingual people ana people of ethnic origin should be encouraged to enter the specialised health professions.

3.15.04 This research indicates the extent of migrants’ problems in regard to the access of health care and the Committee considers it appropriate to support these recommendations.

3.15.05 The Committee's own inquiries revealed that migrants' inability to communicate with medical personnel and the general insensitivity of medical personnel and their lack of understanding of cultural factors governing migrants' attitudes to health and health services, were factors evident in the choices open to migrants for medical treatment. These choices were described by the Committee in its Interim Report a s ;

"treatment at a public hospital providing an adequate interpreting service...... *

the seeking out, and treatment by, a multi-lingual doctor; or visiting a local doctor but providing their own interpreter who, too often and unsatisfactorily, was one of their own children."(12)

3.15.06 The limiting nature of these choices was obvious and this together with the ACOSS research, revealed the serious problems of migrants' access to health care.

3.15.07 The Committee's survey revealed the following pertinent facts relating to migrants' knowledge and use of health services -

a) Migrants' cultural conditioning to using particular types of services was an important factor in the relatively high representation of Southern Europeans among clienteles of public rather than private health and medical services;

b) migrants preferred to use services that provided an inter-

(12) Interim Report Page 43

Page 37

preter service or that employed bi-lingual staff who could perform an interpreting function;

c) differences between facilities and resources in Australia and those to which migrants were accustomed overseas were pertinent to the failure of some migrants to take health insurance; and

according to providers of services, Phase I revealed that non-English speakers were below average users of baby and infant health services, pharmacies and dentists. ho rating was recorded of their use of general hospitals and private medical practitioners, although their use of these resources had been illustrated elsewhere in the survey and in other studies.

3.15.OS The Communication barrier is the greatest problem and is virtually insoluble; it is unrealistic to expect that many doctors could become, or would be interested in becoming bi-lingual, or that all migrants could gain an adequate knowledge of English. The more realistic answer lies in the provision by public hospitals of an adequate skilled interpreting service. The Committee believes that it would be better to restructure all resources and services migrants were inclined

to use, in a manner that caters to their special needs rather than forcing migrants to change their patterns of behaviour. An alternative answer to the problem has been suggested by the Turkish Welfare Association which is seeking to sponsor the migration to Australia of some Turkish

doctors with United Kingdom qualifications, to cater to the health needs of the Turkish population in Sydney, who have no ready access to Turkish speaking medical personnel.

3.15.09 Another development the Committee notes is the employment by the Health Insurance Commission of ethnic liaison officers to explain Medibank to migrants.

3.16 Child Care Services

3.16.01 A relatively higher proportion of migrant women are obliged, because of economic circumstances, to join and remain for long periods in the workforce. Migrant wives comprised nearly 33 per cent of the total married female workforce in Australia although they represented only 22 per cent of married women in Australia. Access to baby health and child minding services is recognised as important. The survey showed however,

that non-English speakers were below average users of these resources.

3.16.02 The Committee believes that there are both practical and cultural reasons for the survey's findings in this respect. Very few Australian cities provide adequate child minding services and those available generally are expensive, operated at hours not wholly convenient

for working mothers and are not conveniently located. Cultural factors were important for families who are traditionally accustomed to using family,neighbours or friends to look after their children. Mothers at work often feel anxious about the care their children are receiving, because they are sometimes left in unsatisfactory circumstances in unregistered neighbourhood centres or other ad-hoc situations.

3.16.03 Another important factor which was taken into account in the consideration of child care facilities was that of their potential role in supplementing and complementing the role of the home and parents. Ideally they should be staffed by people with an understanding of the home life of children in their care.

3.16.04 The Committee considers that child-care facilities could appropriately be augmented for migrant families by ethnic groups.

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3.17 Accommodation Services

3.17.01 In its Interim Report the Committee identified three distinct phases in migrants’ accommodation needs, namely, phases of initial settling in, interim accommodation (usually rental) and long-term housing, and had pointed to serious disadvantages experienced by migrants in each phase.(12) These arose from the urgency of their housing needs, unfamiliarity with the Australian housing market, problems of communication, low incomes, lack of savings and the waiting period for Government housing. Since then little has been achieved in alleviating these problems.

3.17.02 The survey indicated that non-British migrants tended to achieve outright or rapid home ownership more quickly than British migrants, who tended to pay off their homes over a longer period. Non-British migrants seemed more prepared to purchase lower standard housing and tended to commit themselves to arrangements to pay off a house quickly. In this regard although non-British migrants on average earned less than British migrants they made higher weekly payments when buying a house, although sharing accommodation was a factor in many cases.

3.17.03 This desire for rapid home ownership has implications for migrants’ use of accommodation-finding and financial institutions. Some preferred to obtain short-term, high-interest finance rather than approach banks which often had strict limitations on the proportion of earnings used to repay a loan , for example, Greek-born respondents used loans arranged through finance companies more often than did other respondents.


3.17.04 Non-English speakers were rated by providers of services as below average users of real estate agencies and building societies and non-British migrants appeared to place more reliance on help from relatives and friends than did British migrants. The survey suggested

that while migrants on the whole had similar methods to Australians of locating accommodation, non-British migrants tended to have fewer sources of assistance because they made less use of newspapers to locate accommodation and had least knowledge of the Housing Commission. Some ethnic communities, notably the Dutch and Jewish groups, have helped to overcome the disadvantages experienced by their members by the success­

ful development of co-operative housing societies. These examples could be used to encourage similar efforts by other ethnic groups.

3.18 Education Services

3.18.01 In its Interim Report, the Committee referred briefly to education services and made several recommendations requiring urgent attention.(13)

3.13.02 The Committee is pleased to note that the Australian Department of Education, the Schools Commission and the State and Catholic education authorities are showing increasing awareness of the need to adapt teacher education and for curriculum development to cater more adequately and

equitably for the educational needs of migrant children. Chapter 8 of the Schools Commission’s Report deals extensively with this subject.

3.18.03 The Survey had found that non-English speaking migrant parents in particular had less knowledge and made less use of specialised counselling facilities and services for the educational ana behaviour problems of children.

(12) Interim Report Pages 29 and 30 (13) Interim Report Pages 38 to 40

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3.18.04 Migrant children, including Australian-born children of migrants5 represented a significant reservoir of potential skills. The optimal development of all children need to be fostered in the education system and requires attention not merely to the learning process, but also to a sensitive understanding of diverse cultural backgrounds, home relationships and an avoidance of culture conflicts.

3.15.05 The Committee recommends that education authorities be encouraged to give special attention to these aspects in the develop­ ment of educational planning and policy.

3.19 Advice Bureaux

3.19.01 The Committee received conflicting advice on the extent of migrants' use of Citizen's Advice Bureaux and is therfore unable to reach any specific conclusions.

3.19.02 The survey, revealed that advice bureaux were particularly important for recently arrived migrants but that non ethnically-based bureaux were under-utilised by non-English speaking migrants. One study showed that of 1400 people who sought help from advice bureaux in Queensland during the period July-September 1974, only 32 were migrants. The situation appeared to be different in Victoria as the Association of Citizens' Advice and Aid Bureaux, in a submission to the Committee, indicated that the experience of its 28 Bureaux offices was that a significant proportion of migrants used their service. In view of this heavy usage the Association now considered that it would be counter­ productive to establish special bureaux for migrants as it had at one time proposed. ’

3.19.03 Because the evidence was so inconclusive the Committee deci-ed to refrain from commenting on migrants' access to the bureaux and their capacity to deal adequately with migrant clients but recommends further study of this issue.

3.20 Legal and Financial Services

3.20.01 The survey showed that non-English speaking migrants were above average users of banks particularly those with migrant advisory services but were below average users of solicitors, insurance, finance companies and building societies.

3.20.02 Migrants under-use of solicitors was seen as being consistent with their reluctance to confide in strangers as most preferred ethnically- oriented services for advice. It reflected also their lack of under­ standing of the role of solicitors in Australia. Some migrants had been

exploited in business and they were limited in their access to legal aid through a lack of knowledge. Migrants relied on banks because of their ethnically oriented advisory services.

3.20.03 The Committee accepts the general conclusion that migrants, more often than Australians, experience problems in legal/financial affairs because of their lower usage of professional legal assistance.

3.21 Law Enforcement

3.21.01 Many instances were brought to the notice of the Committee where language difficulties and cultural differences contributed to migrants' problems with law enforcement agencies and injustice and even miscarriage of justice sometimes resulted because of the inadequacy of interpreter services. The considerable handicaps experienced by migrants with an inadequate knowledge of their rights within the Australian legal

system and of English - particularly in situations of tension - placed

Page 40

them at a considerable disadvantage. The need for improved interpreter services was particularly relevant. There was a virtual absence also of interpreter facilities in prisons and youth reformatories. Steps should be taken by the appropriate authorities in all States to correct this


3.22 Driving Licences

3.22.01 In regard to testing for driving licences a knowledge of English obviously was desirable, but should not of itself be a factor determining the outcome of an otherwise satisfactory application for a licence. The initiative of the South Australian Government in enabling migrants to provide their own interpreters when presenting for driving licence tests

is welcomed and the Committee believes that similar provisions should be introduced in all States.

3.23 Library Services

3.23.01 As the survey did not cover library services, the Committee relied upon evidence from consultations with representatives of ethnic organisations. It had for consideration also the survey conducted by the Library Association of Australia in New South Wales in 1973 and the commentary on library services in Victoria, the West Study.

3.23.02 The New South Wales study identified the following migrant needs for library services:

- material to assist the learning of English as a foreign language;

- information about Australia and Australians;

- material to enable migrants to maintain contact with their own culture and country;

- material in simple English to assist migrant students who have not attained a fluency in English to use normal school text books.

The study found, however that these needs were not being met. It found for instance that:

- special library services for migrants were almost non­ existent; 1

- very little effort was made to inform migrants of the existence and location of public libraries;

- the present provision of foreign language books, pamphlets and other material was quite inadequate to meet the cultural and recreational needs of migrants;

- there were insufficient librarians and library assistants with foreign language qualifications to deal with migrant enquiries and to handle foreign language materials.

3.23.03 The Victorian study, conducted in Melbourne’s western suburbs, showed that although some libraries in the region provided a useful collection of foreign language books, periodicals and newspapers, only few migrants made use of them. The conclusion drawn was that those

responsible for providing library services should be more familiar with migrant customs and backgrounds when providing special services and promoting greater use of libraries. There was a need to realize that visiting a library to seek information ,to borrow materials or simply to browse was an unfamiliar activity to many migrants.

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3.23.04 The Committee notes that a number of Government Departments are conscious of the need to increase migrant usage of library facilities and welcome5 the establishment of the Committee of Enquiry into Public Libraries in May 1975. A proposal had been made to that Committee

that foreign language information pamphlets produced by various government agencies should be assembled into kits for use by public libraries in areas of high migrant density. As a consequence, government instru­ mentalities were being approached to enable a small number of these kits to be used in a pilot project in selected Sydney municipalities. The Library Association of Australia had also indicated its support to the proposal.

3.23.05 A survey of ethnic organisations conducted by the former Department of Immigration indicated that 40 per cent of public libraries had foreign language library materials and 20 per cent a reading room. The Committee of Enquiry into Public Libraries was also receptive to a

suggestion that foreign language material might be outposted by libraries to ethnic organisations in order that their members could participate more directly in library services.

3.23.06 The Committee believes that libraries should provide a wide range of foreign language literature; that training in librarianship of migrants and people with language qualifications should be encouraged; that there should be a central pool of foreign language books for distribution within each State and that those migrants who do make good use of libraries

should be encouraged to work with people responsible for providing library services in planning special services for migrants. Additionally libraries and information services generally should play a greater role in helping to overcome the isolation and loneliness of many migrants. Libraries also have an important role in facilitating the flow of information about migrant cultures to the Australian population.

3.24 Ethnic Radio Broadcasting

3.24.01 The Interim Report commented in detail on migrants' access to media programs (14) and the Committee wishes to outline the development and operation of ethnic radio broadcasting since that time.

3.24.02 The first practical steps to establish ethnic broadcasting stations in Australia were taken in June 1975 when two experimental stations 2EA (Sydney) and 3EA (Melbourne) were officially opened for a 12 weeks trial period. These were set up following a meeting in February

1975 of interested Government Departments and representatives of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. The meeting made a number of recommendations about the form ethnic broadcasting might take in Australia of which the main one was the establishment of the two experimental stations.

3.24.03 The Planning and Research section of the Department of the Media, in conjunction with the Department's Radio Branch, is conducting a survey to establish the impact of the stations on migrant communities in Sydney and Melbourne. A survey is also to be conducted by an audience

research company. This will be based on a sample of migrants from within the listening areas of Sydney and Melbourne.

3.24.04 The main purpose of the research is to provide information to the Radio Branch of the Department of the Media as an aid to the formulation of departmental policy on ethnic broadcasting; but it is anticipated that the results will be made available to the public in due course.

(14) Interim Report Pages 35 to 3S

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3.24.05 Radio 2EA (Sydney) operates for six hours each day and broadcasts in Greek, Maltese, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Turkish and the Yugoslav languages. The station covers an area of about 16 km radius, which accommodates a large section of Sydney’s ethnic community. Radio SEA

(Melbourne) operates for six hours a day and broadcasts in Greek, German, the Yugoslav languages, Italian, Spanish, Maltese, Turkish and Arabic. The station covers an area of 15 km radius.

3.24.06 Some programs in ethnic languages are also broadcast through the Melbourne Access Radio 3ZZ financed by the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the University of Adelaide Access Station 5UV. On Radio 3ZZ, 20 hours of the total weekly broadcasting time of 35 hours, are currently available to users of ethnic languages. Twenty-five languages are broadcast, including Greek, Italian, the Yugoslav languages, Arabic, Maltese, Spanish and Turkish. SUV, operates 48 hours a week of which five hours are devoted to ethnic programs in Ukrainian, Italian, Dutch, Polish

and Greek. The station is financed by the University together with subscriptions from its monthly program guide.

3.24.07 Broadcasting in foreign languages is advantageous both to migrants and Australians. For migrants, programs about Australia and migrants’ home countries could benefit their integration into the wider

community. Migrants could receive English language instruction at times convenient to them. Another benefit could come from religious broadcasts as many migrants are restricted in this respect and the Committee believes that the extension of foreign language broadcasting to include religious sessions is desirable. For Australians, foreign language broadcasting could provide an avenue to learn languages. Ethnic radio

could also broadcast programs of value in terms of community relations, by broadcasting in English about migrant cultures and backgrounds.

3.24.08 The Committee notes that in his statement on August 27 1975, the Minister for the Media announced the appointment of Ethnic Radio Committees in Sydney and Melbourne, to continue ethnic broadcasting over Stations 2EA and 3EA and to establish these stations on a permanent basis as public broadcasting stations available to and conducted by representatives

of Australia’s ethnic communities.

3.24.09 The Committee welcomes this development and believes that it can make a valuable contribution by fostering a broader understanding between the various components of Australia's population.

3.25 Arts and Cultural Services

3.25.01 The contribution made by migrants to the enrichment of Australian society in the field of arts has received wide recognition.

3.25.02 The initiative of the Australian Council in establishing a steering committee on ethnic arts is welcomed. This will encourage ethnic art, educate migrant children to appreciate their cultural traditions and bring greater knowledge and appreciation of the wide range of cultural traditions which

are part of Australian society.

3.26 Conclusion

3.26.01 The Committee's investigations and the survey results clearly indicate the disadvantages experienced by migrants - particularly non- English speaking migrants - in the use of community services. The problems of communication and understanding of cultural differences arc the

common thread linking all the diverse areas examined.

3.26.02 Upgrading of interpreter facilities, language improvement and community education are therefore seen as most urgent tasks. The services provided within the Australian community also need to reflect a freedom of choice so that every Australian,whatever his origin, has access to a service which best suits his needs in a particular situation.

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4.1.01 The Committee in the course of its deliberations relating to questions of discrimination against migrants, exploitation of migrants and the use of community services and resources by migrants was led to consider the need for a community relations program.

4.1.02 The term "community relations" itself is not easy to define. A working definition which proved useful was that "community relations is concerned with the interaction of the many community groups which constitute, firstly, the wider community and, secondly, society as a whole. It is concerned with how these groups relate with one another

and ultimately seek to develop relations which are.... harmonious."(1) It has been taken for granted that community relations is a valuative notion and refers to harmonious relationships. Within this general area the focus is on ethnic relations.

4.1.03 In any given society, there are many forces - social, political and economic - which determine the nature of these relations, especially ethnic relations, and they need to be viewed both in an historical and functional perspective. Consequently, to understand the dynamics of community relations it is necessary to consider the background to the growth of Australian society and the way in which its social composition has changed within the last few decades. Attention must be given to the way in which "ethnic groups" and, more generally, "ethnicity" has affected the entire social system and how ethnic groups relate to the wider society and to one another structurally. An 'ethnic group',

following G. Allport, is taken as referring to "a collection of people considered by both themselves and by other people to have in common one or more of the following characteristics : religion, racial origin, national origin, or language and cultural traditions."(2) Dr G. Bottomley, in her address to the Committee, observed that 'ethnicity' meant "a sense of peoplehood that has some depth.... a consciousness of a kind which arises because of common characteristics that serve to define social boundaries between one group of people and another."

4.2 Historical Background

4.2.01 Australia, since the early days of colonization, has developed essentially on the basis of immigration and has seen from time to time the influx of large numbers of migrants from a wide range of countries. There was, for example, an influx of non-British migrants during the gold rush of the mid-nineteenth century including the entry of a large number of Chinese settlers and subsequently groups of indentured labour

from the South Pacific. (The 'White Australia Policy' or, more correctly, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, was a direct outcome of the reactions to such a policy of immigration).

4.2.02 Immigration continued to be the dominant determinant of population growth until about 1861 and was characterized by a strong influx of British migrants. This trend was reinforced in the early part of this century in the years immediately proceeding and following World War I.

(1) Editorial Comment Page 115 New Community Volume 1 No 2 1972 (2) G. Allport: The Nature of Prejudice Cambridge Mass : Addison-Wesley 1954

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4.2.03 Until the end of the second World War, Australia was seen primarily as a country of British heritage. The relatively small groups of settlers from other ethnic backgrounds had very little impact on the British-type institutions and life styles which were apparent at that

time. Non-British settlers were quickly absorbed into Australian society and for a variety of social and demographic reasons became part of the Australian society with little conflict either from the host

community or between themselves.

4.2.04 An important landmark in the development of Australian society as apparent today began with the post World War II migration policies developed by the first Minister for Immigration in Australia, the late Hr Arthur Calwell. Official approval as well as public endorsement was

given for embarking upon large scale immigration programs as a matter of population and economic policy affecting the national interest. In practice, the implementation of the post war immigration policy and, in particular, Australia's humanitarian response towards displaced persons

in war torn Europe resulted in an influx of European migrants. The Displaced Persons Scheme was the beginning of substantial non-British migration to Australia.

4.2.05 In the 1950's and 19&0's, there were large scale movements of assisted passage migrants from a number of European countries, in particular in later years, from Southern and Eastern Europe. Although there has been a significant relaxation since 1966 on the question of non-European migration to Australia, official policy discriminated in

favour of Europeans until the election of a Labor Government in 1972. It is too early to determine whether the non-discriminatory policies will have any significant impact on the future pattern of immigration to Australia. The Borrie Report (3) adopts a conservative position in advocating a return to the early historical pattern of ethnic priorities and these particular recommendations warrant special scrutiny before they are accepted as a basis for public policy.

4.2.06 Until 1945, Australia was rightly regarded as a country of almost total British stock. At the 1947 Census, the analysis of the distribution of Australia's population showed that 90.2 per cent were Australian-born and 7.1 per cent British Isles born. The foreign-born

component was only 2.7 per cent. By the time of the 1971 Census, the Australian-born component had decreased to 79.8 per cent while at the same time the proportion of the British Isles born had increased very slightly to 8.5 per cent. The significant contrast, however, relates to

the foreign-born proportion which had jumped from 2.7 per cent in 1945 to 11.7 per cent in 1971, approximately a fourfold increase in almost three decades. It is important to note that approximately 75.2 per cent of the foreign- born came from the non-English speaking countries of Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe. These facts are presented in greater detail in a Table of the birthplace of major groups in the Australian population as

evident at the Censuses of 1947 and 1971.(4)

4.2.07 Demographic studies show that migrants and their offspring have been the main contributors to the growth of the Australian population since 1945 - accounting for nearly 58 per cent of growth. According to the 1966 Census one Australian in five was either a post war immigrant or

the child of one. Professor Zubrzycki stated in his evidence before the Committee that at the time of the 1971 Census almost 40 per cent of the Australian population was of migrant extraction, including British Isles born (5), a higher proportion of its population than the United States of

.America had experienced at the peak of its immigration intake in the decade ending in 1910.

(3) Borrie Report Volume 2 Pages 734 to 737 (4) Appendix (E) (5) Appendix (E) Page 45

4.3 The Current Position

4.3.01 The impact of immigration on Australian society is to be seen in all aspects of social, political and economic life of the country. Australian society is socially heterogeneous and, significantly, now culturally diverse. Its social and cultural institutions are permeated with this heterogeneity and cultural diversity as is evident in the

distribution of population in large metropolitan centres, in the structure and organisation of schools, religious institutions, work patterns and industrial activities, and the mass media of communication. The reality of present-day Australian society is that, notwithstanding official policy and the prevailing ideology of settlement, Australia is a 'multi-cultural society', a society composed of diverse groups of people, each of which

claims particular identity and distinctiveness of customs and habits born out of a sense of common sharing and belonging. Hence, ethnic identity is an important social fact which cannot be ignored or eliminated by subsuming it as a facet of class or socio-economic difference.

4.3.02 Class and racial or ethnic factors may overlap by virtue of such factors as the low class status position afforded to some ethnic minority groups. It is nevertheless true that 'ethnicity1 remains an independent factor which overrides other structural factors such as those pertaining to class and socio-economic standing.

4.4 Migrant Settlement Policy

4.4.01 An understanding of these historical and contemporary social facts is important in assessing the present-day state of community relations in Australian society and in determining ways and means of achieving 'good community relations'. There is a need to clarify and to formulate the nature of the relationship which it is desired to achieve between the host or receiving society, and migrants, as Individuals or collectively. The nature of this relationship will determine the way in which community relations are structured and patterned. Relationships between the host community and migrants have been variously described in

such terms as 'assimilation', 'accommodation', 'absorption1 , 'integration', 1 pluralism', etc. There is however little agreement on the way in which each of these terms has been used by writers in Australia as well as elsewhere.

4.5 The Assimilationist Concept

4.5.01 The basic concept on which the host society - migrant relationship has been based in Australia has been generally described as 'assimilationist'. This concept requires a newcomer to accept, and conform to, the common values and life styles of the dominant groups in the host society. It demands participation in common sets of groups, associations and institutions as they exist in the host society and subjugation to the ethos of the new society. This approach is based on the belief that a stable nation and a socially healthy one is directly related to its homogeneity, that is, a society with a uniform set of values, attitudes and institutions. Assimi­

tation in the Australian context has been described as a policy of 'Anglo- conformity' within which British cultural patterns and social institutions continue to be dominant.

4.5.02 In the face of a considerable influx of non-British migrants in the post-war period, the late Arthur Calwell asserted a policy of assimi­ lation when he stated that "the settled policy of the Department of Immigration is to discourage the segregation of racial groups". This assimilationist point of view has remained the basis of public policy until very recently.

Page 46

4.5.03 For the newly arrived migrant, a policy of assimilation implies an estrangement, a clean break with loyalty to ethnic identity and with cultural bonds of the homeland, and an unconditional and total acceptance of the values and behaviour of the host society. Thus, very often the term ’integration’ is a loosely used term to describe this twofold process of complete or partial assimilation and alienation and is taken in the main to mean, as Krausz observes, "the process of adjustment to and compliance with the dominant section of society".(6) The term integration is there­

fore sometimes used as a synonym for the assimilationist point of view.

4.5.04 Dr Jean Martin summed up assimilation in the early post Second World War years as an attitude which made no allowance for the special needs of migrants and which expected them to fit quickly into existing patterns and structures in Australia. In the following comment, Dr Martin describes the essential elements of this common ideology of settlement, which she states was characteristic of official and non-official bodies

in the Australian society in the early post-war years but is readily apparent even today in matters of public policy, although to a much lesser extent.

"First, Australians are democratic and individualistic, free of class prejudice and essentially generous-hearted and open-minded towards anyone who shares their central values. Second, the one salient characteristic that all migrants have in common is that they are lucky to be here. Third, with a little education of public opinion and a little

extra support from special organisations like the Good Neighbour Movement, the existing Australian social structure can and will incorporate newcomers without undue strain and without undergoing radical change itself. Fourth, ’national

groups’, as any form of organisation among migrants was called, are unnecessary and a potential threat to this smooth incor­ poration: what we are working towards, as the Prime Minister wrote to the Premier of Victoria in 1949, is ’the ideal of one Australian family, devoid of foreign communities, thus preserving

our homogeneity and solidarity as a nation’. Fifth, the process of incorporation involves the individual migrant assimilating into the Australian way of life, and the success of this assimilation depends fundamentally, not on structures and policies, but on the good-will of individual migrants and individual Australians. And sixth, it would be contrary to the prevailing egalitarian values

and detrimental to assimilation for migrants as migrants, to be given unique privileges or consideration of any kind''. (7)

4.5.05 This approach and ideology may have been relevant and functional and conducive to social stability and harmony during a period of Australian history when the society was markdely homogeneous. However, the rapid changes that have taken place in the composition of Australian society since World War II are now manifest in a greater diversity and heterogeneity and challenge the validity of perserverance with a policy of assimilation. Dr Allan Richardson has commented that "even the majority of adult British,

remain recognisably non-Australian throughout their lives". (8) These comments reinforce the Committees belief that cultural pluralism should be accepted as a basic fact of Australian life.

4.5.06 In the last few years there have been pressures in official and non-official quarters in Australia to adopt a new and alternative way of establishing relationships between migrants and the host society which would recognise the particular needs and situations of new settlers as members of a socially and culturally diversified and heterogeneous society. This approach highlights the adverse social consequences (for example,

(6) K. Krausz; Ethnic Minorities in Britain, Padadin, 1972. (7) Jean T. Martin; "Migrants, Equality and Ideology" La Trobo University, 1972

A. Richardson; British Immigrants and Australia, Page 146

Page 47

social and economic maladjustment), the cost in terms of personal misfortune and human misery implicit in the maintenance of a policy of assimilation in present day conditions. Part of the price is being paid in the high incidence of mental illness, apathy and individual unhappiness amongst migrants. Dr C A Price makes this point in the

following terms -

"Arrivals in a strange land cannot strip themselves of their old world culture overnight: they need companionship with ^people of their own kind, people who speak the same language, people who can come into the home with understanding and help

when there is-trouble, people who have, the same background and experience and can therefore appreciate reminiscences, jokes, and familiar hospitality. Such companionship is quite essential to the normal immigrant’s sense of security and happiness; any attempt to interfere with it will, in the opinions of competent psychiatrists and in the experience of other countries of immigration, add to the difficulties .'of adjustment and increase the dangers of mental instability ,

alcoholism, and even suicide.1 1 (9)

4.5.07 Mr A Grassby, a former Minister for Immigration officially endorsed these sentiments in his concept of a ’multi-cultural society’ (see Section of the Interim Report). The present situation is perhaps best summarised in the following extract from a statement made by the Prime Minister to the Good Neighbour Council in South Australia in July 1974:

"We do not want migrants to feel that they have to erase their own characteristics and imitate and adopt completely the behaviour of existing Australian society. We want to see that society enriched by the cross fertilisation that will result from migrants retaining their own heritage.

The old approach of individual assimilation is no longer Government policy. We are concerned with the integration of ethnic communities into the broader Australian society. By strengthening those communities we strengthen the whole society".

4,6 Pluralistic Concept of Integration *

4.6.01 The Committee strongly supports this concept and believes further that an assimilationist concept of community relations is no longer viable, nor relevant, to the present circumstances. The Committee, having examined several alternatives to an assimilationist model of migrant settlement, recommends that community relations in Australia should be restructured in terms of a concept of pluralism which

denotes the willingness of the dominant groups in Australian society to promote or even to encourage some degree of cultural and social variations within an overall context of national unity.

4.6.02 Following Michael Banton, a leading authority in this field, the Committee wishes to define a ’plural society ’ as "one in which there is a common realm of political rights and social valuations together with separate spheres of community living".(10) Pluralism, as defined here, implies first and foremost mutual tolerance and respect for cultural differences by all the members and institutions of Australian society.

(9) C.A. Price: Southern Europeans in Australia, Melbourne, Oxford University Press 1963 (10) M. Banton : Race Relations Tavistock, 1967

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Within such a perspective newcomers can adjust to their newly adopted homeland without having to be completely submerged into the ethos and ways of the larger more inclusive host society. Such a viewpoint prevents the complete achievement of uniformity of society and enables newcomers to relate to the life of the larger society at their own pace, from a position of strength and emotional security, in that their own sense of personal worth and dignity as ethnics are generally rec­ ognized and respected rather than merely tolerated.

4.6.03 In the long run, as Anthony Richmond observes, immigration leads not only to an "exchange between migrants and host in terms of linguistic usages, religious observations, family customs and traditions", but also to "the emergence of a consensus on certain universalistic values that involve a commitment to the receiving society as a political unit".(11)

It is necessary to stress the fact that such a consensus or a common realm of political rights and social valuations can co-exist with a recognition of ethnicity and ethnic identity. Pluralism, in this sense, recognizes not just the possibility but the fundamental need for ethnic groups to share in the common and general aspects of the life of the wider society. This means that ethnic groups in turn recognize and respect

the values, activities and institutions of the host society. Thus, there is a different meaning of the term 'integration' which may be descrined as 'pluralistic integration'. As defined by Schermerhorn, integration in this sense is a "process whereby units or elements of a society are brought into an active and co-ordinated compliance in the ongoing

activities and objectives of the dominant group."(12)

4.6.04 It is in striking a balance between the pressures and require­ ments of a wide range of ethnic groups and the host society that a fine line divides cultural pluralism from structural pluralism. The latter refers, as described by Mr David Cox, to a situation "where the various

ethnic groups involved develop their own ethnic structures.... so that there is pluralism at an organizational level."(13) Separatism and segregation become characteristic of such a situation which allows a society to develop 'plural structural units' and enshrines the potentiality of conflict and

tension between these units. Institutional differences will inevitably prevent common sharing and participation in a universalistic value system and sharing in key social institutions such as educational, legal and political institutions. However, the viewpoint of 'cultural pluralism',

as advocated by the Committee dees enable ethnic groups, if they so desire, to establish their own structures and institutions usually of a cultural and social nature, for example, the media, clubs and restaurants, shops, and community organisations.

4.6.05 The existence of such ethnic structures serves to reinforce and sustain the fact of separate identity and distinctiveness but need not compete with the more universalistic structures of the wider society.

As Dr Bottonley, has observed:

"At a less formal level, the heterogeneity of the society provides for a wide range of choices, particularly in those activities designated as 'private'. Where such choices are available, it is possible to find migrants accepting the basic common roles of the receiving society but developing

their own alternatives in the more informal spheres of existence, particularly in primary relationships".(14) 1 1

(11) A. Richmond: Immigration and Pluralism in Canada, Page 5 The International Migration Review, Volume IV, 10, 1969 (12) R. A. Schermerhorn: Comparative Ethnic Relations A Framework for Theory and Research, Random House 1970 (13) D. Cox: Migration Action, Volume I Number 1, Page 5

(14) Appendix (H)

Page 49

4.6.06 The important role ethnic groups have to play in Australian society has been recognized in the Interim Report (see page 57) and the Committee again draws attention to the need for the active support of ethnic structures. While recognizing the utility and value of dzhnic structures in achieving the ends of pluralistic integration, it has to be borne in mind that an excessive emphasis on self-interest programs may prove harmful both to ethnic groups and the host society. These inherent dangers - really the dangers of structural pluralism - can be avoided if the exchange and interaction between all groups is sustained at all levels and in particular through their common participation in the shared and 'universalistic’ structures of the wider society.

4.6.07 Cultural pluralism as an objective for migrant settlement suggests a duality, one pointing to the need for maintaining ethnic distinctiveness, and the other indicating the need for ethnic groups to share in the common realm of political rights and social valuations. The latter process is sometimes denoted by the term 1 acculturation’ which is inevitable in a multi-cultural society, and determines the limits of the ’separateness and exclusiveness among ethnic groups living in one society’. The recognition of this two-sided process, described by Dr Smolicz as ’inter-actionism’, signifies that in situations of cultural pluralism there is always cultural contact between groups which allows

the individual newcomer some flexibility and choice in adjustment - a point which is expressed by Milton Gordon as follows:

"While the doctrine of cultural pluralism claims to be fully democratic because it allows each ethnic group to maintain its comniunality and culture, how democratic is it if it is presented in such a categorical fashion that each individual must remain within the structural and cultural confines of his ’birthright1 ethnic group regardless of his wishes in

the future?...while cultural pluralism may be democratic for groups, how democratic is it for individuals? In a society of advanced urbanisation, heterogeneous contacts and virtually unlimited mobility, many interests and influences besides those of an ethnic nature will play upon the individual. Many of these will tend to pull him away from ethnic comniunality. While some persons will be able to effect a satisfactory

integration of ethnic values and those of the larger society, others may not".(15)

4.6.08 The Committee, while stressing the merits of ’pluralistic integration' as a desirable objective for Australian society, also wishes to stress the need to maintain the reality of self-choice as an essential feature of a democratic society. This point of view is expressed by the late Gordon Allport:

"For those who wish to assimilate, there should be no artificial barriers placed in their way; for those who wish to maintain ethnic integrity, their efforts should be met with tolerance and appreciation.... Democracy demands

that the human personality in its course of development should be allowed to proceed without artificial forces or barricades, so long as this development does not violate the safety and reasonable rights of others. In this way

the nation will achieve, at least for a long time to come, a desirable ’unity in diversity'."(16)

(15) M. Gordon: Assimilation in American Life. Pages 151 and 152 (16) G. Allport: The Nature of Prejudice Cambridge Mass: Addison-Wesley 1954

Page P0

4.6.09 It is in this sense that one architect of current Immigration Policy in the United Kingdom, Mr Roy Jenkins defined 'pluralistic integration1 as "equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance".(17) Despite the obvious differences in the experience of immigration in different countries of the Western World, most scholars in this field agree that the general problems of how migrant groups adjust and relate to a new host society are fairly

similar anywhere in the world and consequently comparative experience is often valuable. This needs to be borne in mind particularly in designing a community relations program for Australia as there is always the danger of dismissing too lightly the experience of other countries because of obvious differences in the practice of immigration policies.

4.6.10 Cultural pluralism represents a desirable mode of adjustment in a multi-cultural society like Australia which has ine.vitably to contend with inter-ethnic relations, nevertheless it needs to be supplemented by an understanding of the position of ethnic groups in the wider social system, especially in matters of status, social and political rights and

equality. Cultural pluralism in itself may assist in alleviating the stresses and strains in inter-ethnic relations and bring about some measure of social peace and equilibrium,however, there is both equil­ ibrium and conflict within any social system. To maintain inter-ethnic

relations in equilibrium or harmony does not mean the perpetuation of the status quo. As Dr Bottomley remarked: "There is a strong positive element, consciousness of kind; but conflict and differentiation are also normal elements in any society"(18). Therefore, there is a need to look at ethnic groups as they interact with other segments of society, especially the facts of conflict which highlight competition and differ­ entiations inherent in the social system. Thus, it becomes important to realise that community relations should be equally concerned with measures of social justice and equality. All groups must be able to enjoy and participate equally in the rewards and benefits of membership in society which include the formal (for example, the political groups and the

occupational structure) and informal (for example, voluntary and civic groups) organisations of the total society.

4.6.11 One thing which stands out from overseas experience is that the concept of complete harmony in ethnic relations is an ideal not always attainable. Mr Eric Butterworth, a United Kingdom scholar in this field who appeared before the Committee stressed this feature of community

relations by stating that people have "a vested interest in their own prejudices". There is the need therefore to recognise certain conflicts and tensions in society as inevitable. These may be contained to some extent, according to Mr Butterworth, if community relations' are structured

in such a way that groups, especially ethnic groups, have free and ready access to community structures so that prejudices are not acted out.

4.6.12 In this regard the concept of 'pluralistic integration' within a framework of equality of opportunity provides an effective model for determining the objectives of a community relations program in Australia which is both democratic, operationally realistic, socially just and

attuned to the particular needs of contemporary Australian society. Although there is clear evidence that the ideology of settlement in Australia is moving towards the ideals of cultural pluralism and pluralistic integration in many areas of governmental and non-governmental activity,

for example, in education (in particular Chapter 8 of the Schools

(17) R. Jenkins: 735 House of Commons Debates Column 1233-4 November 1966 (18) Appendix (H)

Page 51

Commission * s Report;) welfare, legal systems etc., the urgent need is for a clearer endorsement of cultural pluralism as a matter of bi­ partisan public policy. Such a philosophy of community relations needs to be de-politicised and accepted by all major political parties.

4.6.13 As outlined in the Fitzroy Ecumenical Centre's "Recommendations for a Multicultural Australia", "the time is overdue for the people of Australia to become more aware of the rich tradition of the many cultures in Australia and to recognize that this cultural diversity endows all Australians with a great variety of human experience." What is more

important is the need for "All Australian institutions (and certainly government ones) to be structured to meet the reality of this cultural diversity". Most governmental institutions and the social practices of Australian society are still not properly designed to fulfil functions which are specifically related to ethnic concerns. A radical change in

outlook, philosophy and social action is required if cultural pluralism is to become a reality rather than mere tokenism in Australian society.

4.6.14 The Committee in its Interim Report and this Final Report has persistently argued for such a stand and urges that it be implemented with honesty and candour as an important change in the direction of official policy relating to migrant settlement. The Committee believes that the

first step in this direction is the establishment of a publicly sponsored community relations program designed to inform the public of this new thinking and the measures designed to create good community relations within the framework of this new philosophy.

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4.7.01 In a new program of community relations there is a need for an organisation to help people living in Australia to understand and to reconcile the interests of different groups. To be socially relevant and practically useful, especially to ethnic groups, a community relations program should attempt to reconcile, within the constraints of a demo­ cratic society, the need for harmony and consensus as well as the need for social change. The balance between consensus and conflict is a difficult one to achieve, as overseas experience suggests that this is a basic dilemma facing a community relations program.

4.7.02 In this connection, it is recognized that the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 now protects at law formal rights in the social, political and legal fields. The Ac c also provides for the establishment of machinery designed to encourage and facilitate the active participation of all groups in achieving the full benefits and rewards of society as a whole.

4.8 The Racial Discrimination Act

4.8.01 The Committee does not propose to comment at length on the provisions of the Act relating to discrimination and the machinery for dealing with discrimination. It notes, however, that while the Act finally passed by Parliament includes a power for the Community Relations Commissioner to convene a compulsory conference of parties involved in discrimination disputes, he does not have the power to enforce the production of documents relevant to such disputes. A law devoid of such investigatory powers is not likely to be effective.(1) While agreeing with the underlying general philosophy of the Act, that 1 conciliation

should remain the kernel of the entire process’ of anti-discrimination legislation, it will perhaps be regretted that the Act as finally passed, does not permit the Commissioner to institute civil or criminal proceedings.

4.8.02 Hopefully, the conciliation machinery established by the Act will be structured in a manner which reflects adequately the plural nature of Australian society. Conciliation committees should be constituted with at least one member representing the interests of the migrant ethnic

communities as well as one member of the Aboriginal community. Existing agencies, such as the National Committee on Employment and Occupation and its various State bodies, might be expected to function as Conciliation

Committees in the field of discrimination in employment. To operate effectively in this role, they will need to be reconstituted to accord with the arrangements made for other Conciliation Committees under the Act. For the conciliation machinery to be effective there is a need for

community acceptance, wide respect and recognition in order that the tasks enjoined upon it by the Act can be competently performed.

4.8.03 In a recent review of anti-discrimination law in Britain and the United States published by the Minority Rights Group in the United Kingdom, certain important conclusions have been made on the basis of the United States and British experience about the role of the law in the

social control of discrimination. Their observations are reproduced because they have an important lesson for Australia which is on the threshold of embarking on a new social experiment, by attempting to utilize legal processes in the control of difficult social problems.

(1) Professor Street: Report on Anti-Discrimination Legislation United Kingdom 1967

Page 53

"...merely declaring discrimination on the ground of race or colour illegal is not enough. Although it serves a limited educational role, an unenforceable declaration too often ends as an unfulfilled promise, raising expectations which, unreal­ ized, produce frustration and anger. Moreover, when anti* discrimination legislation is seen to be defied without penalty, both the victims and those inclined to discriminate plausibly conclude that the law is a token gesture, not intended to be

taken seriously. To be effective as a teacher and deterrent, the law must be known to work."(2)

4.8.04 Considering the importance of the Racial Discrimination Act it is recommended that the operation of the Act should similarly be kept under review by a Standing Committee of Parliament, as in the United Kingdom. It is significant that action has already been taken in the United Kingdom to amend its legislation to provide for civil and criminal proceedings to be instituted where necessary.

4.8.05 The Racial Discrimination Act makes provision for the establish­ ment of a Community Relations Council and foreshadows that a program of community relations will be developed under the direction of the Community Relations Commissioner. Such programs are considered to be necessary to complement the legal sanctions which have been introduced to counter racial discrimination in Australia.

4.9 The Need for a Community Relations Program and Its Aims

4.9.01 The need for a community relations program was implicit in the findings of this Committee in its Interim Report. The reduction of the incidence of different forms of discrimination, prejudices, hostilities and tensions which exist in the community must be a prime focus of a community relations program.

4.9.02 The Borrie Report provides supportive evidence drawn from several attitudinal surveys based mainly on studies of ethnic preferences, to demonstrate the extent of antipathy towards ethnic groups. It is reported that these surveys indicate "a persistence of the national stereotype which gives first preference to the British and Northern European model (though improving) rank to the other continental European and the lower ranking still to the Asian". The Report adds that these "attitudes may imply a desire by Australians to sustain the image of cultural and racial homogeneity'1. (:)

4.9.03 Kovacs and Cropley similarly, reviewing a variety of studies, suggest that there is some degree of ethnocentrism which is defined as "the hostility to out-groups and submission to in-groups", in Australian society. They quote evidence to suggest a "we-they" identification in Australia with reference to migrants.(4) The Committee also received evidence that derogatory name calling and labelling of groups was sill fairly common in schools and the media.

4.9.04 It is difficult to determine in the absence of any definitive studies relating to prejudice, discrimination and hostility in the Australian society, how prevalent racial prejudices and negative attitudes are in the total community. 'Ethnocentrism1 and some other unfavourable attitudes may have been somewhat reduced in recent years, reflecting general cultural change, the high rate of immigration particularly from non-English speaking countries and the growth of the cities. (5)

(2) "Race and Law in Britain and the United States" L Claiborne Minority Group Report Number 22 London 1974 (3) Borrie Report: Volume I 5. Page 104 (4) Kovacs and Cropley: Immigrants and Society Page 64 (5) D G Beswick and M D Hills: Survey of Ethnocentrism in Australia:

Australian Institute of Psychology Volume 24 No 2 1972

Page 54

Whether this trend will continue is a matter of conjecture but positive measures need to be taken in order to combat developments in social attitudes which are clearly not conducive to good community relations. High priority should be given to promoting a program of community education

directed towards influencing altitudinal change.

4.9.05 In addition to fighting against prejudice and discrimination and ameliorating inter-group tensions, a community relations program should be concerned with measures directed towards helping different groups of people to understand each other and to reconcile their various interests.

Such a program would contribute towards the attainment of the objectives of creating mutual tolerance, greater acceptance of cultural differences, social understanding, a greater measure of social peace and harmony.

4.9.06 Conflicts in society are not necessarily matters of individual pathology but may be symptomatic of deep seated social grievances affecting the status of migrant communities. A community relations program should be vitally concerned with the campaign to achieve social justice and

equality of opportunity for members of all groups in Australia. Con­ sequently, such a program will have to pay attention both to such matters as the guarantee of formal rights whether they be social, political or legal and endeavour to create conditions which will promote the enjoyment of these rights by individuals and groups.(6)

4.10 Aims

4.10.01 The aims of a community relations program may therefore be stated to be -

(a) the promotion of the acceptance that Australia is a multi­ cultural society with its implications for social policies;

(b) the promotion of more harmonious relations in the Australian community;

(c) assistance to ethnic groups to participate in enjoying the full rights and benefits of citizenship in Australia; and

(d) to assist in the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

4.11 Community Relations Program Structure, Functions and Methods

4.11.01 The Committee considers that what follows may be .acceptable as a basic outline for a National Community Relations Program to be based on the models of cultural pluralism and pluralistic integration elaborated earlier in this Report.

4.12 Structure

4.12.01 The Structure of a Community Relations Program might include the following -

(a) The Community Relations Commissioner as prescribed in Section 19 Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

(b) The Community Relations Council as a rational advisory body to the Community Relations Commissioner as described in Section 19 of the Act.

(6) Sections 4.10 to 4.14 are based on a submission to the Committee by Mrs L Lippmann, one of its consultants. Page 55

(c) State Community Relations Committees with strong ethnic group representation responsible to the Community Relations Council.

(d) Community Relations Resource Centres situated in the same premises as Community Relations Committees or in existing educational institutions.

4.13 Function

4.13.01 1) The functions of the Commissioner for Community Relations are defined in Section 20 of the Act as

(a) to inquire into alleged infringements of Part II, and endeavour to effect a settlement of the matters alleged to constitute those infringements, in accordance with Section 21;

(b) to promote an understanding and acceptance of, and compliance with, this Act; and

(c) to develop, conduct and foster research and educational programs and other programs for the purpose of -(i) combatting racial discrimination and prejudices that lead to racial discrimination;

(ii) promoting understanding, tolerance and friend­ ship among racial and ethnic groups; and

(iii) propagating the purposes and principles of the Convention.

4.13.02 2) Similarly the functions of the Community Relations Council are referred to in the Act in Section 28.

4.13.03 3) The activities of the State Committees should be closely related to those of the National Council so that the effect of the work of the Council can be brought closer to the Committees in each State.

4.13.04 4) The functions of the community resource centres should be -

(a) to assist in the development and dissemination of educational and other resource materials for the purposes of community education;

(b) to develop community education programs to assist teachers, community organisations and special interest groups (teachers, trainee teachers, nurses, police, social workers and others concerned with minorities) which would have as its goal the

. (i) recognition of human dignity and the right of others to hold beliefs and values discrepant from one’s own;

(ii) achievement of attitudes towards peeple from other groups, of fairmindedness, respect for feelings and some measure of empathy and friendliness;

(iii) learning to accept differences with interest and pleasure, as an enrichment of one’s own

life and understanding, rather than as an

Page 56

assumption of inferiority on the part of the different.

4.14 Method

4.14.01 (i) Resource Centres to comprise teaching aids and display materials concerning minority groups in Australia and other countries, racism and prejudice, differences in value systems and social organisations, the contribution

of all groups to the whole, aspects of migration, treatment of minorities in other countries, etc.;

(ii) Contact with a wide range of community organisations (service, church, women’s youth, political, etc.) for purposes of encouraging use of the Centre's resources;

(iii) Short training courses for adult and youth group leaders in the running of seminars on different aspects of community relations;

(iv) Preparation of special materials in response to community demand e.g. for seminars, displays, dramatic and radio presentations, etc.;

(v) Publication of guide-lines for group leaders on the running of community relations workshops, dealing with the prejudiced, etc.;

(vi) Assisting community organisations to hold joint functions where interest is expressed;

(vii) Use of media to convey multi-cultural image, approaches to writers, journalists, editors, radio and T.V. stations.

4.14.02 The success in realising the aims of a community relations program as outlined in paragraph 4. 10 will greatly hinge on the effectiveness of the structures proposed In paragraph 4. 12 . In recommending these structures the Committee has taken into consideration the enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 which has foreshadowed a community

relations program. This legislation has, to a large extent, preempted the Committee's task of examining this issue in greater detail. The Committee has, however examined legislation now passed by Parliament and has decided to comment on the proposed legislation as it relates to the implementation of a community relations program in Austral,ia.

4.15 The Good Neighbour Movement

4.15.01 Before commenting on the proposed structures for a community relations program in Australia, it is necessary to examine whether existing community structures are or could be geared to fulfil the role of the community relations committees as proposed in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. The most obvious organisations to consider in such a context are the Good Neighbour Councils in the various States whose activities are currently under review by a Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Australian Government.

4.15.02 A number of consultants were of the view that the Good Neighbour Movement had lost its direction in recent years and was no longer fulfilling the role for which it was originally established, namely the reception of migrants, assistance to migrants at the neighbourhood level and the promotion

of citizenship, areas where it had been most effective.

Page 57

4.15.03 It was recognised that there had been no uniform pattern of development of Good Neighbour Councils in the various States and that some had acted and performed in a variety of roles by facilitating the functioning of ethnic organisations to achieve their own objectives including participation and representation in Australian community structures.

4.15.04 In this connection, the Committee noted with interest the following remarks of Mr Peter Shaw,a former Co-ordinator of the Good Neighbour Movement, when he appeared as a consultant before it·

"The Good Neighbour Council emanated as a call from Government to the people, inviting them into partnership in order to achieve something that Government itself could not. It resulted in the creating in 1950 of the unique Good Neighbour Movement and the Good Neighbour Council formed in each State proceeded for years to engender favourable attitudes towards migrants through educating the host community towards appreciating the advantages of their membership in the community. They also educated the newcomers towards understanding our way of life and also to appreciate the privileges and obligations of citizenship. They welcomed migrants upon arrival and amassed an impressive record

in basic welfare service. But over recent years, the momentum of this campaign has slackened and its effectiveness has diminished. The Good Neighbour Council generally can no longer claim to be significant community educators paving the way for multi-cultural social development."

4.15.05 There was also a consensus that the Good Neighbour Councils as presently organised are not equipped to be structurally involved in the development of a community relations program on the lines envisaged by the Committee.

4.15.06 The Committee believes however that if the Good Neighbour Councils are to return to their essentially neighbourhood role, they, can also be an effective agent in promoting good community relations at the ’grass-roots' level in support of programs developed by the Community Relations Council and Committees.

4.16 The Community Relations Council

4.16.01 It is to be regretted that the Council on Community Relations provided for under the Act is a purely advisory body answerable to the Attorney General and the Commissioner for Community Relations. Recently the House of Commons' Select Committee on Race Relations has noted the

complaint of the United Kingdom Community Relations Council that "It can urge the Government to do things, but if when it urges them to do things there is really very little response, its credibility and authority are

inevitably diminished." The same weakness is likely to be experienced by the proposed Australian Community Relations Councils as an advisory body in a situation in which all executive powers reside with the Attorney General and with the Community Relations Commissioner. Given the activities

and tasks to be carried out within a community relations program, an alternative procedure would have been to establish the Community Relations Council as a quasi statutory body with executive authority. Whilst law enforcement functions lie within the province of the Attorney General, the promotional work envisaged for the Community Relations Council needs to be kept separate and distinct. It is anticipated that these provisions will need to be re-examined at an early date.

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4.16.02 The independence of the Community Relations Council from political pressures is critical for the successful implementation of a community relations program. The Council and Committees at the national and local level, should be constituted in such a manner that they have the widest degree of community acceptance and their composition should reflect

the 1 grass-rootsr and not merely the established, middle-class elite leadership of various groups, migrant as well as non-migrant groups. Care should be taken to avoid the possibility of these Committees being dominated by individuals and pressure groups. Membership of the Council and State

Committees should be representative of the widest possible range of groups. State Committees in particular should contain a strong element of ethnic group representation with a view to engaging their involvement and participation in the development of cohesive community structures. Bearing in mind these guidelines we recommend that the membership of these Com­ mittees should be selected by the Commissioner for Community Relations from

a panel of names submitted by a wide range of ethnic community organisations as well as other bodies in each State.

4.17 Community Resource Centres

4.17.01 The Committee considers the establishment of Community Resource Centres are an integral part of the community relations structure. Resource centres should be the focal point around which the community relations committee will function in each State. The function of the resource centres can only be achieved, if adequate resources, that is, material, financial and manpower are available to them. Careful consideration must be given

to the staffing of these resource centres. The new category of executive officers of community relations committees will need to be carefully selected and the day-to-day administration of the Community Resource Centres will be one of their main duties. The question of the personnel needed

for the exercise of the tasks of community relations committees needs special attention.

4.17.02 The Committee recommends that an expert Committee be appointed by the Community Relations Commissioner at a very early date to examine the question of personnel needs such as educational qualifications and expertise required for the job, mode of recruitment, conditions of tenure,

accountability and in particular, the training required for such personnel.

4.17.03 In the absence of adequate resources, especially of qualified personnel, the new community relations committees run the danger of becoming an exercise whose energies might be dissipated in trivial and peripheral activities. The Committee is of the opinion that these are an experiment and innovation vital to the social well-being of the entire society needing unconditional Government approval and support, especially in the allocation

of resources.

4.17.04 The community relations committees should endeavour at all times to work closely with other bodies and agencies which have relevance for migrant activities. A task of these committees will be to encourage other groups and institutions to relate to the philosophy and orientation of the

community relations program. As stated elsewhere, one key objective of community relations must be to enable the community to undertake the necessary action for itself. Community relations activities according to one writer are necessary "to stimulate the community, inform it, advise it,

arouse its conscience, and, if necessary, bring pressure to bear upon it."(7) To be effective in this regard the new community relations committees must receive the support of the local authorities, key community groups and bodies as well as political organisations. At the same time, these com­

mittees should not come under the control of any such bodies.

(7) New Community Page 117 Volume 1 November 1972

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4.17.05 Apart from the special machinery recommended to be established by the Community Relations Commissioner, it needs to be recognised that many instrumentalities run by Australian, State and local governments, as well as those conducted by regional and community organisations, have

important roles in the development of satisfactory community relations. There is however, an acute danger that a multiplicity of efforts will inhibit the effectiveness of such programs.

4.17.0ό The Committee strongly recommends that the primary program development role of the office of the Community Relations Commissioner be recognised and that strong and active co-ordinating machinery be developed between his office and others operating in this field.

4.18 Research

4.18.01 One of the functions of the Commissioner for Community Relations and the Community Relations Council as defined in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is to:

"develop, conduct and foster research and educational programs and other programs for the purposes of -

(i) combating racial discrimination and prejudices that lead to racial discrimination;

(ii) promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among racial and ethnic groups; and

(iii) propagating the purposes and principles of the Convention" (on the Elimination Of All Forms of Racial Discrimination)."

4.18.02 The Committee wishes to highlight the function of research as requiring special attention. The success of many social action programs that come within the field of community relations will depend on the availability of accurate and comprehensive information.

4.18.03 There is a need for detailed studies of the significance of 'ethnicity' and ethnic groups in Australian society. It is also necessary to understand the social circumstances affecting the life of newcomers and importantly their Australian-born children. There is a need to know more accurately the ways in which the dominant groups in the host society perceive and react to the migrants. As stated previously,

there is little definitive evidence about the nature and extent of pre­ judice and discrimination in Australian society. Techniques for reducing inter-group tensions and affecting attitudinal changes will of necessity be based on an understanding of the structures and dynamics of social

attitudes in the Australian society. For these reasons research pertinent to the area of community relations should receive high priority in the early program. At the same time facilities should be provided for the widest dissemination of this research and other relevant information in the form of periodicals and publications devoted to community relations activities.

4.19 Summary

4.19.01 Discrimination, prejudice and inter-group conflict are not always readily apparent in society. It is of their very nature that they are covert, subtle and disguised. They can affect society and can endanger the social well-being of the community. The proposals outlined in this chapter reflect the new directions of change that are visible in Australian society. The community relations program outlined is 'future-oriented* and needs to be

Page 60

understood as an important facet of social change in Australia. Demon­ strable Government commitment to the philosophies and programs outlined is an essential first step in building broad-based social supports needed for a community relations program. The Committee hopes that the thinking underlying this program will lead to greater harmony and form a basis of a more just and equal society in which all its members may be able to participate fully. The Committee commends the community relations program as a practicable social experiment for contemporary Australian society.

4.19.02 One important task of the community relations council and committees will be to engage in a program of community education conceived as a broad-based educational activity focused on inter-group relations and this aspect of the work of the community relations program is examined next. In general, the community relations committees will need to use and adapt existing community resources and facilities, for example, the media, voluntary organisations, trade unions, schools etc. to develop social action programs conducive to developing good 'community relations' which emphasise harmony and the achievement of equality of opportunity for all groups.

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4.20 Introduction

4.20.01 A community education program should actively relate to all Australaans. Community education is related to migrant education only in the sense that newcomers to this country need to be aware of the social and cultural background of the host community and of the various ethnic components of Australian society. To achieve this object, migrant education for adults and children must be much more than a matter of special English classes or ethnic broadcasting. Any program must be positively directed to familiarise newly-arrived citizens with their strange surroundings and to assist in the process of welcoming them into

the Australian community.

4.20.02 Even more strongly it is believed that the main thrust of the community education program should be towards the Australian community and generally effected through the schools, colleges and universities, con­ tinuing education programs for adults, in the workshops and on the factory floor, and through the intelligent use of the media including broadcasting, the press and public advertisements. The battle to be fought and won is against prejudice and ethnocentricity and for the adoption of tolerant attitudes towards the miscellania of ethnic communities which are now an integral part of Australian society.

4.20.03 Colleges and universities in Australia, the Australian Government's Curriculum Development Centre and after they are established, the Community Relations Resource Centres recommended in this report (see paragraph will share a major responsibility in the task of reviewing what is taught

in our schools in those subjects such as history, geography, economics and social studies generally which are important and particularly sensitive in the process of encouraging the development of tolerant attitudes, mutual understanding and respect towards people living in the community.

In this delicate exercise, care must be taken in introducing new attitudes and ways of thinking characteristic of ’cultural pluralism’ as described in this Report, not to denigrate the past.

4.20.04 What is needed is a concerted effort to present Australia to present-day Australians as a country in which there has been cast, by events of history, a rich blend of cultures drawn from various ethnic sources which in the due course of time might be anticipated to develop into a way of life peculiarly and perhaps characteristically Australian.

4.21 Legislation and International Convention

4.21.01 Community education, at both the institutional and less formal level, is integral to a successful community relations program. According to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Section 28) one of the main functions of the Community Relations Council will be to advise and make recommendations on the promotion of educational programs which are relevant to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Article 7 of the Convention refers to the necessity for.immediate and effective measures to be taken to combat prejudices leading to discrimination and to promote understanding, tolerance and friendship in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information.

4.22 Victorian Migrant Task Force Report * 1

4.22.01 The Victorian Migrant Task Force in its report (1) has made several recommendations relacing to community education and gave concrete and specific details of direction and guidelines for action. The Committee regards this contribution as worthy of careful study. The Task Force report makes the point that the prime focus of community education must be

towards achieving harmonious relationships between all groups in society; (1) Migrant Task Force Committee Victoria Recommendations to the Minister for Immigration 30 June 1973. Page 62

it should endeavour to create an understanding and respect for cultural diversity and at the same time establish unifying relationships within the whole community. A related object is of course the elimination of prejudices and negative attitudes while avoiding the creation of new prejudices.

4.23 Community Education - Institutional Level

4.23.01 At the institutional level there will be a major role for schools, tertiary institutions and adult education bodies. The critical question for these educational institutions will be to devise ways and means of promoting a more widespread appreciation of the multi-cultural diversity of the Australian society. A proper awareness of this diversity

and of its social implications are essential to a proper understanding of Australia as we know it today.

4.23.02 In examining the role which the school can play in developing educational experiences which are relevant to a community relations program, the Committee welcomed the statement in the Report of the Schools Com­ mission for the triemmium 1976-1978 (Chapter 8) that (2) -

’’the multi-cultural reality of Australian society needs to be reflected in school curricula - languages, social studies, history, literature,, the arts and crafts - in staffing and in school organisation. While these changes are particularly

important to undergird the self-esteem of migrant children they also have application for all Australian children growing up in a society which could be greatly enriched through a wider sharing in the variety of cultural heritages now present in it.

Teachers in schools with significant migrant enrolments need courses to sensitise them to the varying cultural backgrounds of their students and to assist them in acquiring skills specific to the language development of second language learners within a framework relevant to all learners. There is a need for a range of in-service and pre-service courses relevant to the education of ethnic minorities, including the teaching of ethnic languages

and culture, the training of interpreters and social workers, the sociological study of multicultural societies, and overseas teacher exchanges. Special steps need to be taken to enable members of ethnic minority groups to be strongly represented among

students undertaking such activities. In order to perpetuate the benefit derived by teachers from such courses and to ensure that classroom activities are related to consequent new insights, teaching and learning materials need to be developed to reflect the multi-cultural character of Australian society today in terms

meaningful both to ethnic and to mainstream learners."

4.24 Curriculum Development

4.24.01 The Committee endorses the new perspectives reflected in the Schools Commission Report and at the same time recognises that action has already commenced in the key areas of curriculum development and teacher education. Curriculum may be defined as "those learning experiences or

succession of learning experiences that are purposefully organised by such formal educational agents as schools".(3) One point of view is that a curriculum should reflect the effects of the wider social system outside upon the work of the school. Alternatively, a curriculum may be said to

represent the effect which the school hopes to have upon the thinking of its pupuls. Consequently, curriculum development is vital to the develop­ ment of a program of community education within the formal education system.

(2) Schools Commission Report for the triemmium 1976-1978, June 1975 (3) P.W. Musgrave, The Sociology of the Curriculum, Pedagogica Europaea, 1970

Page 63

4.24.02 The Committee acknowledges in this respect the important initiatives taken by the Australian Government in establishing the Curriculum Development Centre as a national body to foster materials and curriculum development from pre-school to post-secondary levels. It acknowledges also the importance of the sponsorship by the National Committee on Social Science Teaching of the Social Education Materials Project - the first major task to be undertaken by the Curriculum Development Centre. The Project has allocated to Victoria the study of Race and Ethnic Relations, in which materials will be produced to assist in creating an awareness of the area of self-concept and identity, both on an individual level and within and between racial and ethnic


4.24.03 The Committee urges that curriculum change as a means of creating social awareness and understanding should be reflected across the total curriculum and that ethnic and related studies should not remain as isolated and specialised components of the curriculum. Only by a broadly-based approach to curriculum change will the necessary new inter-

cultural dimension be added to Australian education.

4.25 Australian Heritage Program

4.25.01 The Committee believes that there is need also for a critical review of existing curriculum materials to ensure that correct historical perspective is given to the various ethnic components which have contributed to Australian development. In this regard the Committee wishes to draw attention to proposals for an Australian Heritage Program which could have considerable relevance for community education.(4) It suggests that

this program be developed as an educational project along the lines of the Ethnic Heritage Studies Act of 1969 in the United States. The American legislation gives official recognition to the "heterogeneous com­ position of the nation and the fact that in a multi-ethnic society a greater understanding of the contributions of one's own heritage and

those of one's fellow citizens can contribute to a more harmonious, patriotic and committed populace.... "(5) From an educational point of view, the Act has two main objects; one, to provide opportunities for the study of one's own group through language, ethnic and other studies and thereby assisting in maintaining one's ethnic identity and the second,

to develop an understanding and awareness of the multi-ethnic composition of American society as a whole and to encourage general multi-cultural attitudes. These principles could well be applied to the development of a similar program in Australia.

4.26 Teaching Techniques

4.26.01 Various approaches may be adopted in a community education program to the teaching of ethnic and related studies. One would be to take what has been called the "anti-prejudice approach" (6) and to direct teaching in different disciplines, for example, history, social studies and the human­

ities. Within this approach the lessening of prejudice would become a primary task for curriculum designing. Another approach which should be encouraged is the need to teach concepts that are basic to an understanding of the multicultural reality of society, for example, by conveying comparative data about various groups, their heritage, their current position in society and the importance of language. Community education with an inter-cultural framework, especially in the schools context, is vitally concerned with both language and culture, which are not synomous. Therefore, if we are not to sacrifice the cultural identity of a large

section of the school-going population, it will be necessary actively to support the study of migrant languages and culture. The Committee expects

(4) Minister for Immigration News Release 6.1/74 of 8 May 19 74. (5) Judith Herman: Schools and Group Identity: Educating for a new

Pluralism, Institute of Pluralism and Groun Identity, USA, 1974. Page 13 (6) IBID Page 64

that the Report of the Committee on the Teaching of Migrant Languages appointed by the Australian Minister for Education (7) will provide a new perspective not only as regards migrant language teaching but also as regards the significance of the role which part-time ethnic schools, which are complementary educational institutions within the total educational system, may have in inter-cultural education.

4.27 Existing Cultures

4.27.01 However, for any program to be effective there needs also to be a greater awareness of the value of Australian culture and of the effect of it and of Australian institutions on migrants and the ways in which the host community and newcomers each may inter-act with the other. While the greater need immediately is an awareness and understanding of new cultures being introduced to Australia, sight must not be lost of values which have developed and are already established in Australia.

4.28 Teacher Education

4.28.01 Programs of teacher education need to be developed concurrently with curriculum development. The Committee recognises that a major forward step in focussing on the need for teacher education to be adjusted to meet the demands of a multi-cultural society has already been taken at

the first National Seminar for Teacher Educators held at Macquarie Univer­ sity in August 1974.(8) The initiatives taken at this Seminar need to be widened throughout the country, and more intensive efforts should be made by teacher training institutions and other relevant education bodies in

providing for new programs of teacher education which would be relevant to community education activities generally. Substantial programs of teacher education about inter-cultural relationships have already been established in some colleges, particularly those relationships relating to Aborigines. Two of these programs have been evaluated and have been shown to have led

to markedly more favourable racial attitudes.(9)

4.29 Tertiary Level Institutions

4.29.01 Tertiary level institutions, especially colleges and centres of continuing education In universities, should also be brought into the ambit of community education. The methods, skills and techniques developed for community education within the schools system may be suitably modified and adapted to meet the needs of students in higher education. Many of these students, particularly those whose future careers will involve extensive contact with people, for example, teaching, medical practice, pharmacy and social and others who will occupy leadership positions in the communitym will later be in a position to influence social attitudes to

inter-group relations. Tertiary level institutions have an explicit commitment to study the nature of the society of which they form part and to promote research, teaching and publications.

A .29.02 It would be an appropriate function for tertiary level insti­ tutions, with a view to achieving a deeper awareness and acceptance of the multi-cultural reality of Australian society and at the same time, to transmitting the fundamental values held in common by all Australians, to

research into the. way in which Australian history is being currently taugnt by carrying out an analysis of the history curriculum in the different States, as well as a careful examination of textbooks, teaching methods and teaching biases. The Ontario Human Rights Commission in Canada initiated

a significant study of the effects of textbooks on children's racial attitudes which highlighted the extent to which textbooks, and particularly i i istory textbooks have presented the biased view of events for at least

a century and influenced the formation of attitudes in the children who

(7) Minister for Education Press Release Number SO, 15 November 1974 (8) National Seminar for Teacher Educators 'The Multicultural Society’ - Macquarie University, NSM, 28-3 ί August 1974 (9) Townsville College o! Advanced Education Armidaie I catchers ColUa.·

used them. This study (10) may be usefully replicated in the Australian context.

4.30 Community Education at a Less Formal Level

4.30.01 At the less formal level, in areas of activity such as voluntary organisations, clubs, youth organisations, church groups and trade unions, the community education program needs to be geared to overcome the fear of ethnic structures and for this to be replaced by an understanding that an acceptance of cultural diversity and pluralism is related to serving basic human needs.

4.30.02 The Committee believes that for the community as a whole adult education programs also can make an important contribution to community education by a conscious effort to help citizens understand the impli­ cations of a multi-cultural society and the meaning of pluralistic integration. In fashioning social change for the future, it will be the today’s adults who will make the crucial decisions. If no attempt is made to inform these adults through programs of adult education, they will be faced with making decisions on grounds that could not have been

anticipated in their own childhood education.

4.30.03 One of the emphases in community education, especially at the less formal level, must be on giving the people an opportunity to under­ stand how attitudes are formed. Existing prejudices need to be recognised and comprehended, and thereby neutralised. The "anti-prejudice" or the human relations approach to community education to which there was

reference earlier in the chapter (paragraph 4.26) should be based on a variety of techniques that have been only recently evolved. Changes in attitude, which are the main object of this approach are not easy to achieve. The Committee is aware from several studies overseas that there is some doubt about the value of public education as a means of reducing prejudice and changing attitudes and patterns of behaviour, and that the traditional techniques of education for example, lectures, discussions, newsletters, conferences, pamphlets, etc. are not always effective. It believes, therefore, that more emphasis should be given to the new human relations type techniques of attitudinal change.

4.30.04 An introduction to these techniques is found in a publication entitled "The Aim is Understanding" (11). The human relations approach which stresses personal growth and the development of interpersonal relationships through an acknowledgement of individual experiences in

encounter groups or task oriented groups has been effectively used in several recent Australian programs of attitudinal change.(12)

4.31 Field Training

4.31.01 The Committee believes it important also that those involved in community relations and community development tasks should receive a significant amount of their education in the field under supervision and in inter-action with the kind of community amongst which they will eventually work.

4.32 Industry and Commerce * 1 1

4.32.01 Community education is no less important in other less institution­ alised training programs such as those conducted by large commercial organ­ isations. Not only is it necessary to bring about a greater understanding between employees in an organisation, many of whom will be migrants from

a variety of cultures, but between employees and the public they serve. Community education techniques, therefore, should have relevance within the training programs of business organisations and other large enterprises.

(10) Teaching Prejudice - G. McDiarmid and D . Pratt Ontario Government Bookshop (11) The Aim is Understanding Lorna Lippmann Australia and New Zealand Book Company Sydney (12) Appendix (I)

Page 66

4.33 Community Resource Centres

4.33.01 In its outline of the structure of the community relations program (paragraph 4.12) the Committee recommended the establishment of community resource centres. These centres are seen as important instru­ ments in developing appropriate community education programs geared to particular groups. The basic purpose of such programs should be to broaden horizons of new and existing groups in society so that they will

encompass the new realities around them and be encouraged to see their potential as participants in social change.

4.33.02 It needs to be recognised that the community resource centres are conceived primarily with a view to facilitating educational programs which will of necessity have to be carried out by a variety of other bodies such as schools, tertiary institutions, the media, voluntary organisations, the

trade unions and through a variety of training programs conducted by large employers of labor both in the public and private sectors. The Committee wishes to emphasise, the need for providing adequate resources both of a material kind and manpower to community resource centres in

order that they might effectively discharge their educative role. Staffing of these resource centres will be an important aspect.which should receive careful consideration.

4.34 Library Services

4.34.01 The development of library services as recommended in Section 3.36 of the report should also serve the needs of the community education program. Such services are important in developing a positive appreciation of the value of the cultural variety which is part of the Australian heritage. The Australian Heritage Program should therefore be closely linked with the

development of library materials.

4.35 Conclusion

4.35.01 In conclusion, it needs to be stressed that community education has to be located within a truly educational context in which the object is to change attitudes and behaviour -of all groups in the community through infor­ mation, evidence, facts, logical reasoning and interpersonal experiences. There should be no attempt to bias what people see, think and feel in the hope that they will adopt a particular viewpoint. The facts of a multi­

cultural society such as ethnic diversity and cultural identity are not necessarily right or inevitable. Even if a person were to disagree with an outlook of another group, he should be made aware of its viewpoint and should be encouraged to learn and appreciate the differences between the traditions

and aspirations of people that come from different cultural backgrounds. The rationale of a program of community education is well expressed in the following comment from a Dutch Sociologist Ger Ebbeling who has studied the problems of migrant integration:

"Both the minorities and the majority are ill-informed on each other’s background and motivation. The host country is often not aware of the reason why the minorities are with them, the minorities have sometimes no idea how

to understand the reaction of the majority on their being present among the majority... The minority has to know the background, ways of thinking, structures, possibilities and limitations of the host country; the latter has to be

informed of the cultural background, the customs and habits, patterns of behaviour and reaction as well as the reason why the minority groups left their own familiar milieu to settle down in a foreign country."(13)

(13) Gcr Ebbeling Community Organisation and Cultural Minorities Ministry of Culture, Recreation and Welfare Netherlands Page



Melbourne -_9/12/74

Mr J Ralston Mr E Austin Mr C George Mr F Samblebe Mr J Fraser Mr G Zangalis

Amalgamated Metal Workers Union Clothing and Allied Trade Union of Australia Clothing and Allied Trade Union of Australia

Federated Liquor and Allied Industries Employees Union Australian Railways Union Australian Railways Union

Sydney - 10/2/75

Mr S Busuttil Mr L Short

Mr H French Mr R Uriels Mr M Nixon

Mr J Thompson

Australian Glass Workers Union Federated Iron Workers Association of Australia Federated Rubber Workers Union of Australia Miscellaneous Workers Union South Coast Labor Council Vehicle Builders Employees Union (NSW Branch)

Sydney - 10/3/75

Professor G W Ford - University of New South Wales Dr J Hearn - University of Melbourne

Mr L R Richter - New South Wales Health Commission

Wollongong - 10/3/75

Mr C H de Bruyn

Mr S Sebulovski Mr J Bedzinski Mr A Kujat

Father N Bozikis Mr T Neophyton Mr F Valenzuela Mr B Garcia Mr M Ozcan

Mr G Ackaoui Mr N Lelli

Mr R Dezelin Father T Fox Mr J Benetos Mr H Walter Mr H Post

Mr J Dombroski Miss S Cockran Mr S Novokovoski Mr J Kowalski Mr C Gerado Mr F Zeckner

Dutch Australian Society in Illawarra Macedonian Orthodox Community of Wollongong Polish Association in Australia (Wollongong Branch) Australian German-Austrian Club

Greek Orthodox Church Greek Orthodox Church Latin American Association of Wollongong The Spanish Club Kemblawarra Turkish Australian Association Wollongong L ’Association des Residents de Langue Francaise, Wollongon: Federated Iron Workers Union, Port Kembla New Australian Club

Federated Iron Workers Association of Australia Federated Iron Workers Association of Australia Federated Iron Workers Association of Australia Past President Secondary Teachers Federation South Coast Social Worker Australian Iron and Steel Workers Union Postal Worker Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board Union Electrical Trades Union

Melbourne - 12/5/75

Mr D Cox

Mr P Shaw

Dr J Smolicz

International Social Service Department of Social Security University of Adelaide

Sydney - 30/5/75

Dr G Bottomley - Macquarie University Mrs L Lippmann - Monash University

Canberra - 23/6/75

Professor J Zubrzycki - Australian National University Page 68



1961 1966 1971































20 .


1 . 0

1 0 0 . 0

1906 1971

10.6 11.2

13.0 13.2

13.6 13.5

21.2 20.3

20.7 18.3

20.1 18.7

0.3 4.3

100.0 100.0

The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n I n i o s ix oc cupa tio nal class es has Been de rived Iron E. Broori, E.L. Jones and j , Zuhrzycki "An Occupational c l a s s i I / c a t ion o f the An. I r a l i n n

Wor kf or ce ", The A u s t r a l i a n and New Zealand Journal ot So ciol og y Vo l. I , No. 2 (OcloUer 1 965), supplement. The s i x - p o i n t scale used in file ahove t a M e wa- M r s t

used by Broom, Jones,Zubrzycki in "S oci al S t r u t i f i c a l l on in A u s t r a l i a " i n J.A . Jackson (e d .) Social S t r a t i f i c a t i o n . Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press. 1968 ( S o c io lo g ic a l

Studios 1), p p . 212-233.








Learning Methods



Supporting Activities



1 Preamble

Most migrants arrive in Australia by jet. It is often two or three days between the time many of them leave a traditional rural or fishing village to the time they are standing at a factory gate in the complex industrial society of Australia. This is a cultural shock of enormous proportions. If the migrants are to become effective social, economic, industrial and political citizens of Australia, rather than industrial cannon fodder, then the Australian community must allocate human and financial resources to new innovative migrant orientation and welfare programs. The Australian Orientation Program could be one of


2 Ob j ectives

i) To improve a migrant's opportunity to become an effective member of the community.

ii) To improve a migrant's understanding of the basic services available in the community.

iii) To improve a migrant's opportunity to become an effective member of the labour force and industrial organisations and to improve their occupational status.

iv) To reduce the opportunity of exploitation of a stranger facing a bewildering new environment.

3 Participants

Suggested order of priority:

i) All newly arrived migrants (eventually the program should be mandatory for this group before they enter employment).

ii) Unemployed migrants.

iii) Handicapped migrants (i.e. people with a physical or emotional handicap who wish to enter or re-enter the work place).

iv) Married migrant women who wish to enter or re-enter the workforce after a period of absence. ,

v) Children of migrants.

vi) Employed migrants who wish to upgrade their language or technical skills.

4 Location

Initially, pilot programs could be established at migrant hostels and migrant community centres.

Eventually programs could be developed in each local community where there are large numbers of recently arrived migrants.

Page 71

5 Content

i) English Language Training

This should be developed in relation to the content of the orientation program.

ii) An Australian Community

This should be an experiential introduction to the information needed by a person to become an effective citizen and consumer of goods and services in a par­ ticular local community,

e.g. community organisations and services educational institutions and services

- pre-schools

- schools

- technical colleges

- centres of tertiary education

health and welfare services

- medical

- hospital

- dental .

- optical


transport services

banking services

legal services

iii) Employment in a Particular Area

This should be an experiential introduction to employment opportunities and conditions in a particular region,

e.g. employment opportunities protective legislation (Factories and Shops Act) safety and occupational health principles and practices training opportunities wages and conditions Unions

industrial tribunals Workers1 Compensation

6 Learning Methods

The English language program should be developed around the community and employment needs of migrants.

Many migrants have little experience of institutions and practices of an industrial society. Therefore in developing the community and employ­ ment programs, strong emphasis should be placed on experiential learning. For example, educational opportunities are best illustrated by inspections of local schools and technical colleges; employment opportunities are best understood by visiting a Commonwealth Employment Service office and

a range of production units; and protective industrial legislation ±s best illustrated by explaining the reasons for safety equipment and regulations at the particular plants visited. Page 72

Consideration should be given to the use of new Video Access Centres in developing the programs.

7 Duration

This would vary depending primarily on the migrant’s ability to speak English and familiarity with industrial societies. However, people from non-English speaking cultures should be given the opportunity of a minimum of a ten week language and orientation program.

8 Financing

The programs could be financed by the Australian Government as part of the NEAT Scheme. Therefore, all participants would receive the level of income established for participants of that Scheme.

9 Supporting Activities

In developing the Orientation Program, consideration should be given to the following supporting activities:

i) A need to develop a large number of people who can contribute to migrant education and training programs, particularly members of migrant communities;

ii) a need to continually develop teaching materials and methods relevant to the needs of particular migrant groups;

iii) a need to develop researchers who have an interest and competence in migrant issues;

iv) a need to develop a network of people who will disseminate an understanding of migrant issues throughout a range of organisations in the Australian community.

10 Administration

The programs could be developed by migrant community groups with the aid of the specialised skills and knowledge of officers of Australian, state and local government departments, local employers (public and private), local union officials (particularly plant level officials who are in daily contact with migrant workers), and local welfare groups.

Where migrant communities lacked administrative resources, provision could be made for short term secondment of staffs of government departments to help develop and administer the programs.

11 Evaluation

To ensure that programs are most effectively meeting the needs of newly arrived migrants, provision should be made for continual feed­ back from participants. This should be done during the program, at the end of the program and by interviews or short follow-up courses perhaps

twelve months after completion of the orientation program.

G.W. FORD April 1975

Page 73





This report is primarily based on observations made in the % process of setting up a migrant support system at Leylands. Although the report pulls no punches, it does not aim to condemn but rather to point out the need for looking more carefully at the situation of migrants in industry.

It outlines the program developed at Leylands for consideration as a way to work towards the objective of integrating migrants into our industrial organisations for if the position at Leylands indicates a general trend, and there are powerful reasons for believing it does, then it must be conceded that a great many migrant workers are alienated from our industrial institutions. Three factors contributing in major ways to the deep dis­ content of migrants at Leylands are discussed. They are:

. The failure to develop more effective organisation for communicating with migrants in their own language.

. The lack of understanding and intolerance displayed by Australians in supervisory roles, towards the customs and behaviour patterns of migrants.

. The insensitivity to the range and depth of the migrants problems and the lack of institutional means for dealing with them.

The Communication Gap

The heavy influx in recent years of non-English speaking people from the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South American countries has pluralised the Australian industrial workforce and given prominence to the need to develop more effective ways of communicating with them. In the past the response to this need was to deny it or pretend it didn’t exist. With rare exceptions companies and trade unions have completely neglected

or at least made only token efforts to translate crucial information into the migrants’ own language, an approach hardly likely to please the migrant or enhance his capacity in job performance.

This was the pattern at Leylands. As part of the intake process, newly employed migrants heard talks on safety and accident prevention in English which they could not understand and were humiliated still further by the expectation that they could learn their jobs listening to instructions

in English which they could not understand. This was a case of cross- cultural misunderstanding for the safety officer and some job trainers really believed their messages were getting across. When asked, migrants claim to understand, but only to avoid looking inadequate in the eyes of those whom they think might have the power to dismiss them. -

Perhaps most incredible of all were the great many migrants at Leylands who could not resolve their job dissatisfactions because they were terrified by foremen, threatened by the personnel department and because they did not know their shop stewards or realise the protective functions

they were supposed to perform. A small Turkish worker, for example, spent frustrating months on his toes polishing the roofs of the P.76 which was almost beyond his reach; he was locked into a job virtually beyond his capacity to perform. Some migrants were disappointed to find dues

taken from them by the trade union were not returned to them when leaving the company by the Credit Union. Many others actually worked on the line for several months before learning exactly what they were expected to be doing in their jobs. Obviously this degree of confusion could lead nowhere except to chaos 'and turmoil on the factory floor.

Page 75

Lack of Intercultural Skill

Personnel Relations Officers interested in developing more harmonious relations with migrant workers should know at least the basic elements of the migrants social and cultural patterns. They should be aware of the different ways migrants expect to be treated and the different ways they see work roles and their relationships with people in authority

over them. They should show a sensitive regard for the migrants feelings and above all, considering the vulnerability of their position as strangers in an unwelcoming land, never do or say anything which might be construed as disparagement or disapproval of migrant cultures.

Unfortunately the vast majority of Australians in personnel roles at Leylands fell far short of this cosmopolitan ideal. They showed little if any interest in, much less concern for migrant culture. To them and perhaps more so to factory supervisors and superintendents the good migrant was the one who had already become Australian. Their approach to migrants so bold as to insist on following their own traditions while

earning a living seems based far less on any known principle of personnel management than on the lingering if somewhat faded ’Ocker' tradition of fear and hatred of foreigners. This at least was what the migrants felt, but nobody bothered to consult them about their thoughts and feelings. And it is largely because of their difficulty in accepting people unlike

themselves that so many managerial types were hardly aware of the effect their behaviour was having on migrants.

Thus a personnel officer might make a rude gesture to a Turk and watch with incomprehension as the Turk boiled inside because he was brought up to believe that this kind of action is a sin against human nature. Or a superintendent might g eet an Egyptian women with hiya love and wonder why she moved back away from him. He did not realise he had

insulted this women by violating her cultural norms. What is more factory superintendents did nothing to prevent the arbitrary and over­ bearing behaviour of foremen and leading hands towards migrants or stop them from discriminating against some groups in favour of others, usually

giving the most difficult and tedious jobs to non-English speaking migrants. It is because of this sort of treatment more than the boring monotony of assemply line work that so many migrants at Leylands felt a deep sense of injustice and despari, rapidly lost their motivation to work and left

the company in droves without giving reasons. It is difficult to believe how anyone exposed to this incredibly inept and brutal way of treating workers could fail to wonder whether similar factors are at play in the

shoddiness of much of Australian manufacture and in the inability of Australian industry to stand up to competitive pressure from overseas.

Insensitivity to the Migrant Plight

In attempting to overcome the alientation of migrants from industry, management, the trade unions and government must do more than speak tolerantly to migrants in a language they can understand. They must also provide improved opportunities for them to get help with their adjustment problems; these too can undermine a migrants willingness and ability to work and need it be mentioned contribute to absenteeism and high turnover rates.

To know w h y , it is only necessary to realise that many migrants, particularly members of recently arrived incohesive groups, are socially and emotionally vulnerable upon arrival in Australia and family organ­ isation often breaks down. Yet in search for assistance newly arrived migrants will be hard pressed to find suitable help within their own

communities and are made to feel demoralised, frustrated and impotent because they are blocked by their lack of knowledge of social services,

by the deplorable lack of adequate interpreter service and by discrimination

Page 76

from getting the sort of help they want and need from established sources of support. Were industry to provide access to these sources the migrants problem could be caught before becoming chronic. But if, as things are now, the newly arrived migrant suffering the stress of culture shock is badly handled, ridiculed and rejected and on top of this left to fend for himself in a world with which he cannot cope, the results may be disasterous not only for migrants but taking all factors together for industry itself.

Company managers and trade union officials prepared to face up to the need for motivating and training the increasingly large migrant sector of the workforce will want to explore the possibility of adopting a strategy similar to the one underlying the program developed at Leylands.

Core of the System

The program calls for co-operation between business and trade unions in the development of a roaming information and advice team, consisting of bi-lingual men and women, chosen for their ability to relate directly and warmly to members of the major ethnic groups employed at a particular plant.

Identification of Team Members

The team members could be identified by contacting shop stewards, welfare sisters, personnel officers and so forth to locate ethnic people already performing helping activities inside the plant. The decision to select a particular person for the team would be made by assessing such

factors as intelligence, ability to relate, popularity among and reputation for providing reliable assistance to members of an ethnic group; infor­ mation received from knowledgeable people outside the plant would also be considered.

Team Member Roles

The team members would perform as information and advice givers, interpreters, case finders, social brokers, advocates and group leaders.


The team members would be selected and trained by an Australian with demonstrated ability to work within ethnic communities and Australian systems. It should not have to be pointed out, that practical experience in these separate realms is far more essential than any formal eligibility

criteria an individual might possess.

Training Program

The relationship between the adviser and the team members is a crucial and subtle one, which if properly developed takes the team through a process of learning and self-development. The goal of training is to equip the team members with sufficient inter-cultural expertise to enable

them to carry on their roles after the adviser departs.

In working towards this objective the adviser uses group work, role play and related techniques to get over the difficult early stage of group formation assisting team members to overcome their initial defensiveness helping them to relate to each other and to the adviser, building confidence in their ability to articulate the problems and needs

of the people they help and the information as well as the adaptive skills required to feel at ease while dealing with Australians and their organ-

Page 77

isations. The adviser must also gradually evoke the trusting co-operation needed to foster group cohesion for this is a powerful force in bringing about individual growth and development.

In addition, he must in the early and middle stages of the process protect the team members from becoming engulfed in their own ethnic groups or from succumbing to pressures arising from the Australian side. For before the team members can hope to work without the adviser's support

they must acquire the ability to straddle what will at first appear to be opposing cultures, learning how to translate information about Australian system requirements, values and norms into the migrants own language and how to reverse the process in order to increase Australian understanding

of ethnic cultures.

The ability to maintain an independent stance between cultures grows out of the on-going relationship between the adviser and team members as they exchange ideas, attitudes and information in the process of working through problems as they emerge from workers in trouble on the

factory floor. Indigenous workers it is strongly argued should not be taught in impersonal bureaucracies or in the insulated classrooms of Australian schools. In assisting a migrant to become an effective indigenous worker it is prolonged contact with a skilled and trusted person from the host society and the opportunity to work closely with him or her in seeking solutions to problems that really counts. The formation of a team of indigenous workers, capable of operating on their own is a gradual and painstaking process taking no less than a year. The need for the adviser to take independent initiative gradually declines as the team members gain competence in defining problems, handling complex cases and knowing how to find and use outside sources of help.

Training of Company Personnel

The adviser would expand the scope of what is done during in­ service training programs, introducing a cultural component to achieve the following objectives:

a) Identify and train key company personnel to act as resources people and reference points after the adviser leaves. The overall aim being to establish a back-up system within the plant to protect the team from breaking up under antagonistic company pressures and to support team activities after the adviser's departure. To maintain these two systems would ultimately require the backing of key figures at the directoral level.

b) The adviser would use a variety of techniques including cross- cultural simulation exercises, intercultural dialogues, role play and other attitude change techniques to sensitise men occupying middle management roles to the migrants values, beliefs and their plight. If the adviser is successful in his efforts to make middle management aware of the problem, they will very likely be prepared

to establish guidelines for low level supervisory staff to follow in their every-day dealings with migrant workers. As soon as foremen and leading hands become accountable to their superiors for their behaviour to migrants the time would be ripe to include them in the training program. It would of course be highly desirable for the adviser to secure union support for involving shop stewards in the training program.


The team members and the adviser should be placed under direction of an advisory board, consisting of a representative from the company, trade union and the government. It is not intended that the board would interefere in the day to day running of the service but would set

Page 78

priorities in the allocation of service and regularly evaluate the performance of the team. How much the team members and the adviser should be paid and by whom are questions yet to be resolved.

Activities of the Team:

The Communication Network

The team would act as a communication network enabling messages to flow downward from trade union officials and company managers to workers and upwards from them to people concerned to know what is happening on the factory floor. The team members could also assist migrant workers into a position where they could find and use the existing trade union and company channels, for the resolution of grievances involving job disputes. On industrial matters the team would maintain strict neutrality, serving as interpreters in negotiation procedures to provide for the worker an opportunity to put his point of view, clarifying for him the issues involved

in his problem and the reasons why one decision instead of another was reached. ■

Orientation and Job Training .

For orienting purposes each team member could run small groups of between 8 - 1 0 new starters making certain they all receive infor­ mation in their own language about such crucial topics as safety and accident prevention, company rules and regulations and ways to use the

facilities and amenities of the plant. When organised this way, the intake process serves to establish, from the day of employment, a supportive link between the team members and members of their own ethnic groups and the opportunity to explain in detail what the team does and how it can help. The team member could remain with their groups through

orientation to job training to make sure, by interpreting for the job trainer, that each new employee has sufficient information not only to fit into the factory surroundings, but to perform their jobs.

Referral Work

It would be up to the adviser to organise publicity for the service in bi-lingual brochures and pamphlets, to make certain these are distributed throughout the plant and to speak to groups of foremen and superintendents stressing the practical benefits to be gained from

referral work on the factory floor in order to overcome their resistance to using the service. Once this is accomplished, it would be possible for the team members to contact workers in their own sections and to circulate the factory picking up cases wherever they occur. Once the team begins to show evidence of viable work the demand for service would rapidly grow and foreman and shop stewards would start to call on the team members for help with workers in difficulty.

The adviser, in turn, would link the service to agencies in the surrounding environment drawing on ethnic grant-in-aid social workers and welfare workers for help with casework and family therapy. In this regard the team members themselves could do home visits, mediate for workers with minor legal problems and bureaucratic entanglements, and accompany them to

hospitals, doctors and solicitors, thereby reducing the information loss and distortion bound to occur whenever migrants with little English are compelled to consult Australian professionals unattended by an interpreter The main aim of this sort of work is preventative - to reach and deal with

the migrant problem before it becomes too deeply entrenched to do anything about it.

Page 79

English Teaching

The team members could be instrumental in setting up small social conversation groups using flexible teaching methods to give group members at least enough English to perform everyday functions or tasks. These groups could be conducted during lunch break directly on the factory floor and be headed by team members together with Australian workers giving each side a chance through co-operative endeavour

to see the other in a more favourable light. Also the groups could serve orienting purposes providing a way to familiarise migrants with their rights and entitlements, showing them how to use social services as well as giving practical advice on the many problems that arise for newly arrived migrants in every day life.

Modular Model

An important feature of the model is that it can be separated into parts which could be used selectively by companies smaller than Leylands. The orientation program, the English classes and a structure to provide opportunities for at least some referral work could be established in companies by an outside consultant with expertise in the migrant field for little money and in a relatively short period of time. Besides the setting up of any one of these activities could trigger further innovational development increasing the adaptive capacity of the company



The development of a program of this sort would provide a way to make a start on overcoming the problems of migrants in industry. It would give our industrial organisations a practical way to fulfil their obligations to society - by running what amounts to a community relations program on the factory floor. It would also serve as a demonstration project providing an opportunity for other institutions to determine for

themselves whether the techniques used would be of value to them in integrating migrants into their own organisational structure.

Page 80



00 03



194? 1971 1947 1971

A u s tr a lia 6,835 10,176 90.2 79.8

B r i t i s h Is le s 541 1,088 7.1 8 .5

O th er fo re ig n - b o r n 203 1,491 2.7 1 1 .7

TOTAL 7,5 79 12,755 100.0 1 0 0 .0

D is t r ib u t i o n o f 'O th e r F o re io n -

b o rn :

N o rth e rn Europe 34 282 1 6 .6 1 8 .9

E a ste rn Europe 25 301 12.3 2 0 .2

S outhern Europe 52 358 25.8 36.1

West A sia 4 70 1 .9 4 .7

O ther A sia 20 112 9.7 7 .5

A f r ic a 7 34 3.7 2 .3

Am erica 12 56 5.7 3.8

Pacific and T e r r it o r ie s 6 17 2.8 1.1

New Zealand 43 81 21.5 5.4

TOTAL OTHER FOREIGN-BORN' 203 1,491 100.0 100.0





To assist it in investigating its third principal term of reference, relating to the use made by migrants of community resources, and to supplement and complement information gathered by other means, the Committee decided that a survey should be conducted which would provide empirical and representative data concerning overall trends and an indication of the situation in key areas of experience.

It was agreed that the Survey Section of the former Department of Immigration would undertake the project on behalf of the Committee, with the specific aim of establishing the particular resources to which migrants have recourse in dealing with important problems in selected areas of experience and, where resources which might be considered the most appropriate are not used, the reasons for such non-use.

The Survey Method

The Survey was conducted in two phases, over the period late 1973 to mid-1974. In Phase I, a representative cross-section of community agency representatives (both government and non-government) throughout Australia operating in fields particularly significant for the welfare of migrants was surveyed by means of a mailed questionnaire. It sought

from respondents, as providers of services, information on a variety of aspects which would enable any significant overall features of migrants* use of these services to be identified. In all, questionnaires or letters providing comments were received from 684 respondents, covering activities

in several broad fields, principally those of employment, accommodation, welfare, health and the legal and financial fields.

Phase II consisted of an interview survey of a representative cross-section of the migrant community in localities of significant migrant settlement in Sydney and Adelaide, and a group of Australian-born from the same areas for comparison purposes. In this phase, a "problem-

centred" approach was adopted to investigate what resources,were used or would be used by respondents in a range of specified problem situations. It was not practicable to investigate all the very many possible situations which might confront migrants with problems and a need to seek assistance.

The problem areas selected for investigation accordingly were those considered of particular significance and of general relevance for all migrant groups and applicable to both migrants and non-migrants. This phase obtained information from a total of 303 households (32 per cent in Sydney and 48 per cent in Adelaide) of whom 85 per cent were migrant and 15 per

cent Australian-born.

Principal Findings

Because of space limitations, it is not possible here to present detailed findings of the survey. These are incorporated in a separate survey report. However, below are presented some of the more important findings and conclusions, particularly those having clear implications

for action and recommendation on the part of the Committee.

Page 83

Phase I Mailed Questionnaire - Survey of Providers of Services

This phase found that the migrant component of respondents’ clienteles varied markedly, often within the same field of activity. There was also considerable variation between fields in respect of the groups and categories of migrants with whom respondents had most contact. Concerning the latter, it was found, for example, that British and Yugoslav migrants were more prominent among clienteles of respondents in

the employment field than in other fields, and Italians more prominent in the health field; on the other hand, Italians were least prominent as clients in the welfare field as a whole compared with other fields, and Greeks least prominent in the employment field.

Reasons for Use and Non-Use of Services

Overall, the factor reported most often by respondents as the determinant of a relatively high incidence of use of their services by a particular migrant group was that the group concerned was culturally conditioned to using the type of service provided and was familiar with . it. This was an important factor, for example, in the relatively high

representation of British migrants reported among the clienteles of employment respondents, and of certain non-British migrants (particularly Southern Europeans) among clienteles of public rather than private health and medical services.

The second most commonly reported factor, in this case pertinent to migrants from non-English speaking sources, was that the migrants concerned could undertake the required communication in their native language since the service provided interpreters, employed bi-lingual staff who could perform this role, or the respondent himself spoke the

language of the migrant clients concerned. This was an important factor for a proportion of respondents in the accommodation, welfare, health, legal and finance fields and to a lesser extent in the employment field.

Other factors associated with the use of a particular service by migrants were that at the same time the service was able to assist them with related problems and generally provide information to assist with settlement (apart from welfare respondents, reported also by a

proportion of employment, health and medical, and finance respondents), and that the service was a natural point for coming into contact with migrants experiencing settlement and integration problems (mentioned by a proportion of employment, legal and health respondents).

A relatively low incidence of use of a particular service tended to be associated with contrary circumstances - lack of familiarity with the service or conditioning to a different system, communication barriers, or failure to provide a service which comprehends or takes account of the other related problems of the migrant. Another important factor, specifically mentioned most often by welfare respondents but also by some in other fields, was that those concerned preferred to seek assistance within their own groups - either informally, or through their own formal insti­

tutions or services. This factor was evidently most pertinent in respect of Southern Europeans.

Usage by Particular Categories of Migrants

Information obtained enabled an identification of particular categories of migrants considered by respondents to be most likely and least likely respectively to make use of their services. It also enabled identi­ fication of categories who, in their use of particular services, were considered not to differ significantly from the community at large. It

Page 84

further enabled the grouping of specific services in terms of their relative significance for the different categories referred to.

These findings showed, for example, that the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) was more important as a resource to comparatively recent arrivals, to non-English speakers, and to those without relatives in Australia than to other migrants. Voluntary general welfare agencies were used to a lesser extent by non-English speakers than by English-

speakers; non-English speakers were more likely to use ethnically oriented welfare services. Non-English speakers by comparison also were on the whole under-users of real estate agents, child minding facilities, baby and infant health services, and certain professional and financial

facilities. Comparatively recent arrivals were more likely to use child minding and public hospital facilities, banks' migrant advisory services and finance company facilities than were longer term residents, and less likely to use dentists, solicitors and insurance facilities, for example.

Longer term residents, in their use of real estate agents, private medical practitioners, public hospital facilities, baby and infant health services, and finance and insurance company facilities tended overall to approximate the community norm.

Features of Contact With Migrant Clients

Both migrant and non-migrant clients most often became aware of respondents' services on referral by another service. This was reported significantly more often in respect of migrant clients, being reported by 49 per cent of respondents as the principal means by which migrant clients became aware of services. This heavy dependence on the

part of migrants on referral from other sources as a means of knowing about services was evident in all major fields, with the possible exception of accommodation.

It was also found that, in making initial contact with services, migrants were significantly more dependent upon a personal visit than were non-migrants. In fact, for migrants, a personal visit was almost 50 per cent more common, a telephone call half as common, and having

relatives or friends make initial contact on behalf of the client twice as common as among non-migrants. Even when dealing with services where other means of fact such as a telephone call were accepted as the norm, migrants were very heavily dependent upon making a personal visit.

These findings strongly suggested that migrants, particularly those from non-English speaking origins, operate at a distanct dis­ advantage in finding out about and making contact with community services and resources.

Importance of Ethnic Organisations and Contacts

Respondents' views were sought on the importance for migrants of ethnic organisations, especially insofar as they might have a bearing on migrants' knowledge and use of community resources. Unfortunately, only 36 per cent considered they were in a position to comment; almost two-

thirds of these were active in the health, welfare and employment fields.

The place of ethnic group organisations in the community generally was described by most respondents to the survey who commented (88 per cent) as being important or very important. Some of these respondents also commented that ethnic group organisations provided a communication or

culture-broking bridge between migrants and non-migrants, and that they were essential to migrant integration on the one hand, and to an under­ standing by the Australian community, migrant cultural and social patterns and values on the other. Others thought that these organisations were

important in the community, but only if they did not become introspective and operate solely for their own narrow interests. Page 85

In relation to the role and importance of ethnic groups in the migrant community as distinct from the community generally, 92 per cent of those respondents who commented indicated that these organisations were necessary because they provide an opportunity for migrants to meet

and obtain advice from fellow countrymen, and also because they promote a sense of belonging amongst newly arrived migrants. As some respondents commented, they provide help in migrants' cultural transition, and perform a useful function in cushioning the impact of a new society, with differing values and mores. Others saw the role of these organisations as providing

information on a wide range of matters of interest to migrants.

Although a minority of negative comments was received, the overall majority view of those who commented was that ethnic organisations were valuable as a means of information dissemination amongst migrants and of generally fostering integration of the community as a whole. They were evidently in a strategic position to influence the extent to which migrants know about and use community facilities and resources.

Comments on the importance of contact with other migrants as distinct from ethnic organisations were made by 80 per cent. Most of these thought such contacts important,principally for reasons for psychological, emotional and practical support.

Important of Australian Citizenship

Comments on the importance of Australian citizenship as a factor influencing use of community resources were received from 84 per cent of respondents. Overall, 53 per cent considered that not being an Australian citizen was not a disadvantage, whilst 47 per cent considered

it was. Those considering that not being a citizen was not a dis­ advantage mostly stated as their reasons that non-citizens by and large were not disadvantaged at law, were not disadvantaged in the respondent's own field of activity, or were not discriminated against in the community


Those considering that not being a citizen was a disadvantage mostly mentioned material disadvantages which they considered accrued from non-possession of citizenship. Chief among these was inability to obtain certain government and some other types of employment. Others, however, mentioned disadvantages which were of a social or psychological nature,

namely that migrants who were not Australian citizens lack a sense of belonging and security here, that they were thought to be not equal before the law with Australians, that they do not integrate fully or receive benefit from participation in community affairs, and that they are

in fact discriminated against in the community. The psycho-social aspects were considered to be particularly important as factors likely to influence the extent of use made by migrants of community facilities and resources. Apart from the immediate consequences of not taking part if many of the decision making processes of the community by means of the vote, the 'alien' status (or alienation) of migrants without citizenship was considered to present psychological barriers to their full involvement in community affairs, which often effectively denied them the opportunity of influencing community affairs to their own benefit. These factors would have a bearing on both the use made by migrants of existing community resources provided.

Phase II Interview Survey of Migrants and Australian-Born

The principal conclusions arising from a consideration of the various findings of Phase II of the survey are presented below. Details of the various resources used or which would be used in response to specific problem situations are given in the survey report, but selected findings

are presented below by way of example or support for conclusions reached

Page 86

(in relation especially to factors influencing use or non-use).

Principal Conclusions

The following are the principal overall conclusions from this phase of the survey -

(1) Migrants as a whole make significant use of community facilities and resources overall. However, the extent of such use, particularly in certain fields, cannot be regarded as being generally satisfactory.

(2) As is the case with Australian-born, in seeking assistance with problems migrants have recourse to a variety of resources, both to the most appropriate resources, and to other less appropriate resources.

(3) In their use of these resources, migrants as a whole, in both quantitative and qualitative terms, are in a somewhat disadvantaged position when compared with Australians.

(4) Similarly, non-British migrants on the whole are in a disadvantaged position when compared with British migrants, in regard both to knowledge and use of resources generally, and to knowledge and use of the most appropriate community resources.

(5) In a majority of instances overall where migrants are faced with problems, they at least know about one or more of the most appropriate formally provided community resources. However, in the remaining significant proportion of instances where problems are faced, migrants

do not know about and/or do not use the most appropriate, formally provided resources. In this latter category were estimated to be some one-fifth of both British migrants and Australian-born, and some one third of non-British migrants.

(6) There are differences, sometimes quite marked, between many of the fields in which community services are provided in the extent overall of migrants' knowledge and use of the most appropriate, formally provided resources. Sometimes such differences involve all groups

(British, non-British and Australian-born) equally or nearly so, but in others the difference involve some groups more than others. Some important relevant findings of the survey were -

. in the health area, knowledge and use of the most appropriate services in the case of significant illness or injury tended to be relatively good for all groups (Australians, British and non-British).

. in the employment area, knowledge and use of the most appropriate community services was relatively poor, especially among non- British migrants, strongly suggesting that, in a proportion of cases at least, other and possibly less appropriate sources of help are being used.

. similarly, in the accommodation area, when respondents had needed to find accommodation recently there was a relatively high occurrent of non-use, among all respondents, of the formally provided most appropriate services. Knowledge of the most appropriate resources was fair among those dealing with a hypo­

thetical problem but by no means general, particularly so for non-British migrants.

Page 37

. knowledge and anticipated use of the most appropriate community services for child-related problems, domestic problems involving teenagers and marital problems was relatively low for non-British migrants compared with other groups.

. where respondents had actually entered into a significant financial transaction, the proportion who sought advice from a most appropriate community service was relatively low for all groups of respondents.

(7) A variety of factors have a bearing on the extent to which migrants use communtiy facilities and resources, especially the most appropriate facilities and resources, These include the following (not necessarily in order of importance) -

(a) Culturally-based traditions and preferences. This was found to be generally relevant, but most pertinent for non-British migrants, especially Southern Europeans - illustrated, for example, in the often observed preference of the latter for seeking solutions to certain kinds of problems, for example marital problems, within the kinship circle or ethnic group. This factor was seen to be operative also, for example, in British migrants' higher incidence of knowledge and use of the CES as a source of assistance when unemployed, and in evidence for an ethnic based preference among non-British migrants for out-right or rapid home ownership.

(b) Extent of similarity between facilities and resources in Australia and those to which migrants were accustomed to overseas. This factor was found to be pertinent to failure of some, most often non-British, to take out health insurance coverage and pensions, for example. It was also evidently a factor in the greater use, in a mild health emergency, of public rather than private health facilities by certain non-British migrants, than by British migrants and Australian-born, and in a relatively low

rate of mention by non-British migrants of the marriage guidance bureaux for marital problems and specialist guidance bureau for assistance with child-related problems. To some extent, cultural

traditions and preferences, and simple ignorance of these services would be relevant also.

(c) Whether a particular facility of service in Australia provides assistance for communication in the migrants' native language. It was found that a number of the services or resources preferred by non-English speakers were those which could be expected to

provide communication assistance, whilst several of those less often used were those which would be expected not to provide such assistance or not to provide it readily. Examples of the former are the hospital out-patients' department for assistance in a mild health emergency, and banks (which often offer a migrant advisory

service) when needing advice on an important legal/financial transaction; examples of the latter are the CES when seeking employment, and the school when needing advice on child-related problems. (The importance and unambiguity of this factor was particularly in evidence in the findings of Phase I).

(d) English-speaking ability. It was found generally that non-British migrants unable to speak English are least likely to know about and use the most appropriate facilities and resources. Analysis of responses of non-British interviewees to all questions in the interview phase indicated that, whilst in over two thirds of instances those with poor or better English-speaking ability knew about and/or used the most

appropriate resources, only one-third of those without any

Page 88

English-speaking ability did or would do so, showing the very disadvantaged position of the latter.

(e) Level of formal schooling. The survey led to the conclusion that those with the least formal schooling, particularly in the case of non-British, are least likely to know about and use the most appropriate resources. Non- British migrants, irrespective of age of leaving school, con­

sistently had smaller proportions than both British and Australian- born interviewees who knew about the most appropriate resources. Non-British migrants who Ifft school aged 12 years or less were in the most disadvantaged position.

(f) Occupational level. It was evident that non-British respondents in all occuptiional categories least often use of would use a most appropriate service, particularly at the lower end of the occupational scale. In addition, there was some evidence that unskilled migrant workers, both British and non-British, less often use or would

use a most appropriate resource than do or would unskilled Australian-born.

(g) Length of residence in Australia. It was found that those with relatively short lengths of residence are least likely to know about and use the most appropriate resources. This was found to be true for both British and non-British but the position of British migrants

improved more rapidly with the passage of time than did that of the non-British.

(h) Access to information about resources. There was clear evidence that non-British migrants in particular are disadvantaged in regard to access to information about resources. Phase I identified the relatively high degree of

dependence of migrants upon referrals from third parties as a means of learning about facilities and resources, and their disadvantageous position as to means of making contact with them compared with non-migrants. Phase II produced further

evidence of the unfavourable position of many migrants. In this phase, it was found that a higher proportion of migrant respondents (55 per cent) than Australian-born (35 per cent) in fact had no telephone, and that significantly fewer migrants than Australian-born read the English-speaking press. It was also concluded that, although a high proportion of migrants did have a working television set, because one-quarter of non- British migrants had poor or no English it was likely that many migrants with television sets do not, in fact, understand much of what is broadcast. It seemed clear, therefore, that non-British migrants in particular are disadvantaged in regard to access to

information about community facilities and resources which adversely affects the extent of their use.

(i) Lack of knowledge. Ignorance of a particular resource was usually the outcome of some other factor, such as an inability to speak English or lack of access to the media of communication. In respect of each principal

field enquired into in Phase II, (employment services, health care facilities, and so on), there was a proportion of respondents (always or most often migrants) who were unable to nominate any source of help at all. Also, respondents in all sub-groups

(British, non-British, and Australian-born) in a significant proportion of instances indicated they used or would use resources

Page 89

other than the most appropriate ones, suggesting ignorance as the operative factor in a proportion of cases. A further indication that ignorance is a reason for non-use of community services in a proportion of cases was obtained by recording stated reasons for non-use of some of the more common sources of help. This showed that lack of knowledge was overall one of a number of reasons for non-use by migrants of the services concerned. As a reason for non-use, ignorance tended to be more common among migrants than Australians. Some findings were that 6 per cent of migrants in the labour force did not know of the CES; 1 per cent of migrant home owners did not know of the availability of home insurance; 5 per cent of migrants and 2 per cent of Australian-born when asked where to get medical help did not know how to contact a doctor; and about 8 per cent of working migrant parents with children under school age did not

know of child-care centres. Moreover, more than one-third of both British and non-British migrants and almost half of the Australian- born were ignorant of the departmental welfare services provided for migrants by the Australian immigration authorities. There was also evidence of considerable ignorance of the Telephone

Interpreter Service on the part of non-British migrants as well as British migrants and Australian-born.

(j) Cost. In a number of instances, cost was reported to be the principal reason for non-use of the facility concerned. It was the operative factor for a significant proportion of working non- British and British migrant and Australian-born mothers of

children under school age where child minding centres were not used, and for a small proportion of both British and non-British respondents who had not insured their own homes and who when faced with illness or injury would not seek assistance from a private medical practitioner.

(k) Discrimination. Although there was no evidence in the survey of overt dis­ crimination against migrants on the grounds of their migrant status or ethnic origin, there was evidence that in some

instances at least, migrants failed to use particular facilities specifically because of dissatisfaction with services provided. Where such dissatisfaction led to non-use this was not uncommonly a result of a failure or perceived failure of the service in

question adequately to meet the special needs of migrants, a situation which could be said to amount in effect to discrimination. A failure to provide adequate interpreting assistance to facilitate or enable communication, and a lack of awareness of the kinds of problems faced by migrants associated with the migration venture and their related needs, are common ways in which migrants are adversely affected in their relationships with community

facilities and services.

(8) In some respects, the structure of community facilities and resources in Australia is inadequate to meet the needs of migrants, or at least is a source of some difficulty. Slightly more than half of those born overseas stated that there was some service or facility available in

their home country when they particularly missed in Australia. The most commonly missed service was a comprehensive health scheme, being mentioned by one-third of migrant respondents, and, as to be expected, more often by British (56 per cent) than by non-British respondents

(23 per cent). Help with dental expenses was particularly stressed as a feature missed in Australia. Comprehensive employment provisions and services (particularly sick leave entitlements) were especially missed by some. Others missed an accommodation-related service of one

Page 90

kind or another, with more Government-provided housing being frequently mentioned. Most of the other services missed were related to social security. Pension schemes of the source country were missed, other other forms of financial relief, or another specific social service

available in their country of origin. Some while not missing any specific social service nevertheless commented to the effect that the social security system as a whole was better in their country of origin than in Australia.

In addition, 40 per cent of Australian-born and 54 per cent of migrant respondents considered there was a need for additional facilities and services for migrants. Migrants considered their most important needs were for an information or advisory service, either making referrals to sources of help or actually providing help specifically for migrants with various problems such as legal, financial or family difficulties. Some considered there was a need for better accommodation services, either by providing an alternative to migrant hostels or by providing financial help or some other kind of assistance. Others considered there was a need for an employment-finding service which catered for migrants better than existing service did, whilst yet others saw needs in the areas of English language teaching or inter­ preting. Taking these and other responses as a whole, it would seem existing services do not cater fully for the needs of the migrant population.


The following specific recommendations arising from both phases are considered necessary.

(1) That the attention of providers of facilities and services be drawn to the findings of this survey.

(2) That facilities and services, particularly those in which the greatest need exists, be encouraged, and where warranted, assisted to ensure that their services and resources are availed of effectively by migrants.

(3) That the attention of ethnic groups and ethnic group organisations be drawn to the findings of this survey.

(4) That ethnic groups and ethnic group organisations be encouraged, and where warranted, assisted to inform their respective communities of the nature and function of facilities and resources available in the Australian community, and how these may be availed of.

(5) That ethnic organisations be encouraged and where appropriate assisted themselves to provide facilities and resources by their respective communities where this would be beneficial. As a related matter it is recommended that more young migrants be encouraged and assisted to

train for the professions and other pertinent occupations.

(6) That, in respect of the facilities and resources which could be considered the most appropriate for providing assistance with par­ ticular problems, particularly those in respect of which the greatest need exists, action be taken to raise the level of awareness of the backgrounds, problems, and needs of migrants, and insofar as this is possible, to remove obstacles to their more effect and extensive use by migrants.

(7) That more effective use by made of the media, especially the electronic media and the ethnic press in informing migrants of the existence and function of important facilities and resources, and in practical concrete

Page 91

terras how they can assist with various problems. The use of ethnic languages would be necessary.

(8) That providers of facilities and services of importance for migrants be encouraged to provide interpreting assistance, and that where such provision is made, the fact be suitably advertised. Such provision, in some form, should be mandatory for government agencies, and some form of incentive provided for other providers of services.

(9) That, where possible, facilities and resources important for migrants, both government and non-government services, be decentralised and physically located or represented in areas of high migrant concentrations, to facilitate and encourage their utilisation by migrants.

(10) That the employment of Welfare Rights Workers or similar itinerant welfare personnel be extended in areas of high migrant density generally.

(11) That, in the administration of the immigration program, additional efforts be made to acquaint new settlers with the nature and structure of facilities in Australia, especially drawing their attention to differences between the situation in Australia and in the source country which could have important implications for their later welfare.

Page 92


Community Services considered the "most appropriate8' for specified

problem areas


Employment Commonwealth Employment Service

Welfare Agency Immigration Department

Accommodation Real Estate Agency

Housing Commission Welfare Agency

Health Doctor (called or visited)

Ambulance Hospital (inpatient or outpatient)

School Child Problems Teacher

School Education Authority School Guidance Agency

Teenage Child Problems Child Guidance Agency

Welfare Agency

Marital Problems Marriage Guidance Bureau

Clergy Doctor Psychiatrist

Psychiatric Problems Psychiatrist

Doctor Hospital Welfare Agency

Financial/Legal transaction

(a) advice Solicitor ,

Legal Aid Bureau Bank Real Estate Agency Finance Company

(b) loan Bank

Finance Credit Union Building Society

Page 93



There is an urgent need to come to terns with the realities of ethnic diversity in Australia. We need to understand the nature of that diversity, to bring official ideologies in line with social reality, to plan so that we can maximise the advantages of pluralism and avoid the pitfalls.

I want to discuss some of the implications of diversity and some

of the difficulties created by past practice and structural conditions in Australia. This paper will concentrate on migrants but much of the framework should hold for Aborigines and other minorities. One of the realities of Australian life is the existence of a large number of sub-groups. In looking at race relations or ethnic relations, we too often forget that this is a highly differentiated society. It is interesting to examine, for example, the similarity and interplay between •class relations and ethnic relations. Ethnic groups are usually stratified

within themselves, but also have to be understood in terms of the broader system of stratification. In some cases class differences are actually more marked than ethnic differences. Ethnic relations are only a special case of social relations; they can reveal certain social processes, but

they must be considered as part of the development process of the whole society, and in terms of intergroup relations within that society. I feel a little uneasy about the increasing emphasis on migrants, for example, as a category separate from non-migrants. Just as the Aborigines say there is no Aboriginal problem, only a white problem, so it is useful to locate ethnic studies in the context of interaction with other individuals and groups. And, to move back to my earlier point about class in Australia, positive discrimination in favour of one group may create problems where there are others who also need assistance. I have in mind something which might be classified as a mild form of white backlash to Aboriginal aid.

I ’ve no doubt there is a good deal of prejudice lurking in most hostility towards Aborigines, but it is difficult to explain to an unemployed white worker why his children don’t receive school subsidies like the part Aboriginal children next door. After explaining the disadvantages suffered by Aborigines and the handicaps they carry, one is still left with the

recognition that the initial grievance has some basis. In this case, ethnic divisions are actually being reinforced by policy) because ethnic differences rather than need have been the basis of assistance. 1 know there are extra cultural considerations in such a decision, but 1 can still see the viewpoint of the non-Aboriginal and I know it cannot be dismissed simply as racism.

It is of course, much more difficult to consider interrelationships and to take a holistic view of the society. It requires an articulation of policy over a very wide area and a clear understanding of just what inter­ relationships exist. I think w e ’re working towards that position in Australia, but our material is still very fragmentary.

The policy of Anglo-conformity:

We are also faced with the problems created by past policies. Our policy makers have for years been guided by a notion of an ideal Australian who is English speaking, light Caucasian, culturally northern European and Christian. Distance from that ideal entailed inferiority - the Aborigines,

traditionally the direct antithesis of this ideal, clearly rated rather badly. Immigrants have been assisted according to their proximity to the ideal: from 1945-1968, for example;, only about -q of Greeks and 1/6 of Italian migrants were government assisted, compared with 2/3 of the Swedes and over 4/5 of the Germans and British. These preferences can be traced back to the period when the migration programme was launched, when Australia

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had a relatively homogeneous population, with a history of intolerance of foreigners, particularly those who might threaten hard won working conditions. There was little secondary industry in the 40s and relatively limited employ­ ment for unskilled non-English speaking migrants. In 1947, 90.8 per cent of

the Australian population was Australian born. But by 1966, this figure had dropped to 82.4 per cent. While the proportion of British born remained much the same, the percentage of people born in Europe jumped from 1.4 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

The sheer size of the post war influx has effected lasting changes in Australian society. Compared with the almost homogeneously British texture of life in the 1940s, Australia in the ‘70s has developed into a plural society despite the official policy of Anglo-conformity.

Australian policy makers have always intended that our migrants should fit in with our British heritage. As recently as 1972, the Minister for Immigration stated that he wanted to "ensure an essentially homogeneous society" (Forbes, 1972, page 3) (as though we already had one). In keeping with this aim, all minorities in Australia are "open", subject to Australian

law. With the exception of Australian Aborigines, no ethnic group is formally accorded a separate politico-legal status. Education is largely state-directed and the language of instruction is English. English is also the language of the law courts, the Parliament and all official communications. Political pluralism has been strongly discouraged.

The Australian government has been remarkably successful in resisting the development of what one Minister described as "undigested minorities" (Lynch, 1971, page 16). Implementation of the assimilation policy has, according to Jean Martin, concentrated on the related themes

of "dispersal" and "non confrontation" (cf. Martin, 1971). The first theme has resisted ethnic grouping in particular places of employment or par­ ticular institutions. Political parties, for example, have absorbed migrants into the existing structure rather than form ethnic branches. Similarly, organisations such as the Boy Scouts have discouraged ethnically based sub­ groups .

The principle of "non confrontation" is closely related to this practice of dispersal, providing some sort of ideological support for a policy of assimilation. If one assumes that ethnic pluralism is out of the question, there is no need to adapt existing structures to meet the require­ ments of migrants. In Martin’s words, many major Australian organisations

"proceed on the assumption that what they want to believe is happening actually is" (1971, page 8).

As a result of non-confrontation and dispersal, ethnic organisations confine· themselves mainly to their own cultural activities, where they can assume some independence. Some ethnic groups, however, are more autonomous and highly organized than others, at times representing the sort of quasi­

independent sub-system that marks a pluralistic society. Where ethnically defined institutions delineate a distinct sphere of social life, ethnic differences may be retained at the same time as the migrant adapts to his new home.

Although Australia has only a slight degree of pluralism, compared with a structurally and culturally segmented country like South Africa, non- British migrants who have the support of ethnically defined institutions are unlikely to assimilate in the sense in which the process has been defined by Australian policy makers. I base this contention on two sets of reasons;

the first to do with the nature of the receiving society and the second with the process of socialization.

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Australia in the 1970s has a highly urbanised population, an increasingly industrially-based economy and a complex, highly differen­ tiated social structure. Differentiation and sometimes conflict is based on distinctions between social classes, religious and ethnic categories, rural and urban dwellers. The politico-legal system, in theory at least, operates without favour or bias. Accordingly, ethnic minorities are subject to the same political and legal requirements as other citizens. Migrants must send their children to schools, most of which adhere to a curriculum standardized by State Departments of Education. Their male offspring - naturalized migrants over 18 - have been liable for national service, and all citizens must vote at State and Federal elections. Failure to comply with any of these requirements brings sanctions, including fines or even imprisonment. Thus, there are certain forms of behaviour required of all citizens.

These forms of behaviour necessitate what Linton has described as "universal roles", those that are incumbent on all members of a society (1936, page 272). Even at this level, however, there is room for manoeuvre. The education system is itself differentiated, mainly along

the lines of social class and religion. Alongside the Government school systems are high status "independent" schools catering for the offspring of the wealthy and influential, and a complex system of Catholic schools perpetuating the Catholic-Protestant division that dates back to the early days of the colony. These separate class-based and religion-based systems receive substantial aid from the Federal Government and offer formally recognized choices within the universal requirement that all children must attend school.

At a less formal level, the heterogeneity of the society provides for a wide range of choices, particularly in those activities designated as "private". Where such choices are available, it is possible to find migrants accepting the basic common roles of the receiving society but developing their own alternatives in the more informal spheres of existence, particularly in primary relationships.

To this extent Australian society is pluralistic. Co-existing with a common economic and political framework are numerous sub-groups whose primary relationships may be confined to those sharing the same religion, the same social class and/or the same ethnic origin. In a

society with this degree of pluralism it is possible to find "a shared core universe taken for granted ... while different partial universes co-exist in a state of mutual accommodation." (Berger and Luckmann, 1969, page 168).

Two implications follow. First, the heterogeneity of the receiving society provides migrants with opportunities to retain at least some of their pre-migration meaning systems or to modify them in their own way. Second, the question of homogeneity or degree of difference may be relevant to a migrant only In particular situations, especially those where he is uncertain of the expectations of other people. In some situations the lack of a shared understanding may not be important - it is possible to maintain superficial relationships based on minimal mutual understanding.

This argument throws some doubt on the tidy zero-sum notion that migrants become progressively more assimilated as they become less "ethnic". The process of adjustment to a new environment is much more complicated. Moreover, in a heterogeneous society like that of Australia, the process of adjustment is likely to be uneven because of the scope for situational manoeuvre and the maintenance of alternative frameworks.

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My second set of reasons for rejecting the possibility of assimi­ lation are more concerned with migration as a process of de-socialization. A migrant must become a different social person - the process that enables such a change has been well explored in research (for example, see Banton

1961, Cronin 1970, Eisenstadt 1954, Martin 1965 and 1972). These authors have recorded the emergence of different norms and patterns of interaction in response to the new situation. But, to quote one of them, "new social institutions can arise only from the reshuffling of elements already in

existence" (Banton 1961, page 115). Moreover, if these "new" institutions are to have any meaning, they must bear some relation to people’s previous experience of the world. Thus, what usually happens is an interpretation and adaptation in terms of the migrant’s own meaning system. Schutz offers a

lucid explanation of such interpretations. In his terms,every individual acquires knowledge of "trustworthy recipes" for interpreting their social world (1964, page 95). This he calls "thinking as usual". When a crisis such as migration occurs, it reveals that these recipes are limited in applicability.

But the stranger must translate the cultural patterns of the new society in terms of his own thinking as usual. What is taken for granted by people born and reared in the host society may be a maze of contradictions and problems to a stranger, "a labyrinth in which he has lost all sense of his bearings" (Schutz, 1964 page 105). Two important considerations affect his process of adjustment. First, the trustworthy recipes of the host

society can never be an integral part of the stranger's biography. These recipes arise from the cultural scheme handed down by ancestors, teachers and other authorities; like language, they include "halo" effects and subtleties of meaning that can only be grasped by someone born or reared within that society. Second, the trustworthy recipes acquired by the

stranger before migration will always remain an integral part of his biography. Where his circumstances change greatly, and his earlier meaning system is not reaffirmed in his new environment his primary socialization may fade into relative insignificance. But the world internalised in primary socialisation usually remains the "home world" and subsequent adjustments tend to be what Berger and Luckmann have called "partial

transformations", building on the earlier basis, and generally avoiding abrupt discontinuities. A total transformation would be possible only if the existing identity were completely dismantled and the process of primary socialization re-traced. Such a transformation might be effected within closed institutions where control is continual and comprehensive, but Australia has no such programme of systematic re-socialization. In

general, immigrants are left to find their own levels in Australia, thus retaining a range of choice as to what new roles should be learned.

Furthermore, Australia does not have a long-standing set of traditions and parallel sets of trustworthy recipes for action that one finds in a nation like Greece. Given that the population is growing rapidly and becoming progressively diverse, and that a relatively brief time has elapsed since European settlement was established, it is difficult to answer the question, "assimilation to what?" As I pointed out, the basically British core

culture is no longer as pronounced as it used to be and even that varies from city to country, and from suburb to suburb. Australia is neither socially nor culturally homogeneous - because of this, migrants are faced with the possibility of maintaining, particularly in their private lives, alternative

institutions that parallel those of the host society. Given that primary socialization is so powerful and that people try to maintain some consistency in their personal biographies, I believe that most migrants attempt to come to terms with their new environment in such a way as to retain as much as

possible of what was valuable in their pre-migration lives.

This is not to imply that the customs and values of the old country can be transplanted unchanged. The process of change and its consequences require close examination to see how much of the old ways has been retained

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and to gain some understanding of the interaction between an immigrant and his environment. This will vary according to pre-migration background, mode of migration and the migrants position in the receiving society.

Most studies of migrant adaptation have concentrated on cultural measures of assimilation. But measures of a common cultural life too often ignore the importance of social interaction and the vexed question of identity. Recent studies in the U.S. have shown that people who appear to be culturally very similar are often structurally quite separate, i.e. they have minimal interaction, and they identify themselves as separate categories of people. The question of ethnic identity deserves closer attention.

The retention of ethnic identity.

The basis of identity is formed during the period of primary socialisation when a child learns to be a member of society. A small child assumes the attitudes and roles of significant others in his immediate environment; usually his parents, siblings and other close kin. Their definitions of his situation are presented to him as objective reality. They mediate and modify the wider structural reality in the process of defining it. Thus, their own idiosyncracies, together with their location in the wider social structure, filter the world in a particular way. The world presented to the child is experienced as inevitable, the world

tout court. It is unlikely that the later world could have the same impact.

Class, nation and culture may provide some abstract sense of coll­ ective identity that supports the identification of significant others. The individual can be insulated in this way from alternative definitions of reality. Thus', immigrant groups may continue to relate to an ancient tradition in an environment where it is not highly valued.

The formation of identity is not coterminous with childhood. It seems much more likely that identity is never finally fixed, that there is continuing interaction between identification by others and self-identification. The intensity of this process undoubtedly diminishes after childhood, but we should not pre-judge the importance of secondary socialization. Usually, however, secondary socialization builds on to what is already there, a matter of differentiation rather than competition. Where such learning is

role-specific, it may be related to particular situations rather than to one’s whole existence. Where different roles are played to different audiences, it is possible to maintain a number of selves. Identity, then, is a composite of significant self identifications and identifications by others, primarily those of childhood but also those of the social groups in which one participates later. Identity is formed by social processes.

Crystallised during the early years of life, it is maintained and modified by social relations. Its maintenance depends upon recognition accorded by the various people with whom one interacts, particularly significant others. An exploration of identity demands knowledge of a person's patterns of

interaction as well as some understanding of what that interaction means to him.

This view of identity, together with the earlier examination of Australian pluralism and the process of adaptation together provide the rationale behind my earlier contention that a non-British migrant to Australia is unlikely to become undistinguishable from the British Australian majority, particularly where he has access to a community that can sustain his sense of identity. Where this is an ethnic community, ethnicity is also maintained.

By ethnicity, I mean a sense of peoplehood that has some time depth. This sense of peoplehood, a "consciousness of kind" arises because of certain characteristics - physical. geographical, religious, linguistic -

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that served to define social boundaries between one group of people and another. That is, it arises in interaction: very isolated people like some of the New Guinea Highlands groups, tend to describe themselves as "human". Other people are simply non-human. But where groups are in

competition for wealth, power or prestige, certain characteristics form the basis for group closure. Mutual understanding within the group is reinforced by a sense of ethnic honour, the conviction of the excellence of one’s own customs. From my understanding of the evidence available, it seems futile to imagine that these differentiations will just disappear. The social sciences suffer from over-emphasis on an equilibrium model of society, and a neglect of the central place of conflict. The concept of community, for example, is too often the gemeinschaft one based on some ideal 19th century European village life. There _is_ a strong positive element, consciousness of kind; but conflict and differentiation are also normal elements in any society. As I said earlier, it is impossible to look at ethnic groups without examining interaction with other parts of the society, competition and differentiation.

Ethnicity is often confused with race and/or nationality; the latter confusion being the basis of our own assimilation policy, 1 think. What I mean by that is that ethnicity was feared because it might detract from identification with national aims. In my own research among Greeks, I've found this to be a groundless fear. Greeks have always distinguished

the ethnos, the Folk, from the kratos, the state: there is no inherent contradiction in being a good Greek and a good Australian citizen. The contradiction only arises when the dominant ethnic group insists on political closure along ethnic lines, as for example, in Egypt or Turkey.

But the sense of ethnic honour is vulnerable in a plural society. Where ethnic groups remain in relative isolation, the superiority of one’s own customs can remain unchallenged. But competing meaning systems may suggest alternatives that encourage scepticism. Where a dominant group

imposes a particular view of reality, ethnic honour can be dissipated entirely. I mentioned earlier that some of the African slaves taken to the Americas were stripped of their identity. Randomly distributed after a brutal transportation, they could not develop the social relationships necessary to sustain ethnic institutions; they were virtually forced to adopt the culture of their overlords. In many cases, members of an oppressed minority may develop a sense of ethnic dishonour as they absorb the negative valuations offered by the dominant majority. This kind of "self hatred"

has been widely described among Jews.

In Australia we have had the cultural and physical ideal I mentioned earlier, and the policy of Anglo-conformity. Given an inability to conform to the ideal, some people have been very sensitive about obvious discrepancies. I have read letters in the Greek press, for example, complaining about fellow Greeks who "draw attention to themselves in public", talking loudly, gesturing frequently. The idea seems to be that prejudice will disappear if the minority fades into the background. Indeed, this has been a well tried technique of older migrants, and a reasonable interpretation of the policy of assimilation.

On the other hand, migrants to Australia have not been stripped of their cultures and, as I argued earlier, the society is now heterogeneous enough to enable some flexibility. Ethnic honour can still be sustained if the ethnic group is strong enough. In this case, migrants can participate in a partial universe within Australian society. My own research among Greeks has indicated that sort of adjustment is possible, though not necessarily for everybody. Greeks have three important advantages -

- long overseas experience in the Diaspora;

- clearly developed, relatively homogeneous culture;

- big enough population here with time depth, to maintain organizations and provide a field of interaction.

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Some of the second generation adults I studied have made an impressive synthesis of Greek and Australian spheres of activity, the kind of adjustment which 1 think should be wholeheartedly encouraged. It developed from a strong sense of the value of their Greek background. This had a lot to do with their kin and friendship networks, but it could also be encouraged by official policy, e.g. a much more extensive education programme for Australians aimed at developing a relative appreciation and understanding of other cultures.

Otherwise we risk the formation of negative identities, where second generation children have received, from schools and age peers, only negative evaluations of their ethnic backgrounds, and their parents are not supported by a network of kin and friends who validate their own meaning systems. Tension between generations is probably inevitable, but some of the tension, would be alleviated if children could be encouraged to understand and value their parents' heritage. Apart from the obvious psychological advantage of coming to terms with elements of one's own identity, it should ease a situation which is already difficult enough for both parents and children. It should also allow these children and others to explore ancient and rich traditions. Our present ethnocentrism deprives us and them of these opportunities.

Pluralism undoubtedly has problems, particularly when it becomes structural as well as cultural pluralism. So far in Australia, non Britishers participate minimally in, e.g. the political structure. But this must change: worse than the problem of pressure groups is the problem of

a powerless minority defined according to extrinsic characteristics. What we need in Australia is a programme of structural and ideological change, ie. pluralist participation at all levels and education so that the population can understand and assist the process. Competition and

differentiation are inevitable, but structural inequality is not. We are a heterogeneous people and we must bring policy into line with that fact. The tactics of non-confrontation and dispersal have enabled this degree of pluralism to develop without much conflict, but it is now essential to

take a more positive line. Sheer weight of numbers may force us to confront the shortcomings of our present policies, to avoid intergroup conflict. But basic democratic principles demand an immediate examination of our aims and illusions.

Gillian Bottomley, Lecturer in Anthropology, Macquarie University, N.S.W.


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References :

Banton, M (1961) "The restructuring of social relationships" in Southall, A(ed) Social Change in Modern Africa (O.U.P.)

Berger & Luckman (1969) The Social Construction of Reality (Allenhare)

Cronin, C (1970) The Sting of Change (Chicago Univ. Press)

Eisenstadt, S (1954) The Absorption of Immigrants (Routledge & Kegan Paul)

Erikson, E (1968) Identity: youth and crisis (Faber & Faber)

Linton, R (1936) The study of man (Appleton Century Crofts)

Lynch, P (1971) The evolution of a policy (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra)

Martin, J (1965) Refugee Settlers (Australian National University Press)

Martin, J (1971) "Migration and social change" in How many Australians? (A.I.P.S.)

Schutz, A (1964) "The Stranger" in Broderson, A (ed) Collected Papers of Alfred Schutz (Martinus Nijholt)

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(a) Origin

In 1947 Kurt Lewin, a psychologist working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed the. idea that training in human relations skills was important in order to enable individuals to observe the nature of their interactions with others, better understand their own way of functioning on the job and so become more competent in dealing with interpersonal situations. The original T- or Training-groups, emphasizing human relations skills broadened to become encounter groups, which stressed personal growth and the development of interpersonal communication and relationships through an experiential process.

(b) Format

Psychiatric opinion concerning both T- and encounter groups has been mixed, since they tend to have a strong emotive content, involving many hours of small group discussion, with the aim of breaking down barriers to communication. Except in therapeutic

situations, with a trained resource person, this has on occasion led to harmful consequences, when personal defence systems were penetrated and the individual concerned had no support for his subsequent "nakedness".

Task-oriented groups have, in recent years, tended to replace encounter groups and lend themselves admirably to enabling co­ workers jointly to define problems and to offer mutual support in efforts at social change. In other words, the method lends itself

admirably to consciousness-raising, to the understanding of social processes and to being empowered to "transform reality". (1) As Paulo Freire has put it,

"Only dialogue is capable of generating critical thinking. Without dialogue there is no communication and without communication there can be no true education."(2)

The extent of this group "dialogue" can extend from one intenstive day and evening up to several weeks. There is a facilitator (leader) with the small groups whose purpose is to develop a psychological climate of safety in which freedom of expression and reduction of defensiveness gradually occur. Professional confreres, who normally meet only on an unequal status basis

(e.g. doctors and nurses) are placed on a more mutual and con­ structive footing.

(c) Outcome

An analysis of 106 research studies related to encounter groups concluded that intensive group training experiences have psychologically growth-promoting effects.(3)

(1) Paulo Freire, Cultural Action for Freedom, Penguin 1972, page 31 (2) Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Herder & Herder, N.Y. 1968, Page 81 (3) J.R. Gibb, "The Effects of Human Relations Training" in A.E. Bergin & S.L. Garfield, eds., Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behaviour Change,

John Wiley & Sons, N.Y. 1970, Chapter 22 Pages 2114-76

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"Changes occur in sensitivity, ability to manage feelings, directionality of motivation, attitudes toward the self, attitudes toward others, and interdependence."

Under "attitudes towards others" are included decrease in authoritarianism, greater acceptance of others, reduced emphasis on structure and control, and more emphasis on participative management.

Both leaderless and led groups have been found effective and it is considered that more will be gained in 20 or 40 hours of weekend or week-long sessions than the same number of hours in once-a-week meetings. Many encounter groups are task- oriented or concentrate on team-building. One such team­ building workshop was mounted by the Health Commission of New South Wales in October, 1974 for health personnel situated

in the Wollongong area.

(d) The Wollongong Workshop

With the recent opening of a number of regional community health centres throughout New South Wales the staff of the Health Com­ mission has expanded considerably with a new emphasis on educational and preventive rather than on curative services. This involves a multi-disciplinary approach and considerable team-work. Entirely new roles have been created, such as health educators, for which

there is no local precedent and for whom there is no specific training. Furthermore, the educators have been drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds. Other health workers, such as nurses, have to adapt their training and attitudes to a far less structured

situation, say, than in their previous hospital experience. All are seeking to operate in a less hierarchical and more co-operative framework than previously.

The Illawarra Regional Community Health Services Training School expects to mount a one or two-week training course every six weeks throughout the year, with a selection of health personnel attending each course. The October workshop was on the theme of "Communications and Problem Solving in the Preventative Areas of the Community Health Services", the objectives of which were to

(i) study and develop communications and problem solving in an interactive small learning group; i

(ii) use these skills to develop channels of communication with other team members;

(iii) give group participants experience and understanding of the roles of other members of the health team.

Members met from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily for five consecutive days in four groups of eight or nine persons per group, with a limited number of brief plenary sessions and the showing of two short films.

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A facilitator/resource person was attached to each group to prevent blockages and enable communication to take place more readily, though he or she was not regarded as a leader or specialist since this latter role was to be taken by the different group members in turn, as the subject under discussion and their individual experience warranted. Though no attempt was made by the organisers to constrict discussion, a broad, general

theme was allotted for each day: communications in groups, inter­ personal interaction and relationships, communications in problem solving, communications and problem solving in health prevention, some thoughts on future prevention. It was suggested that members should be wary of non-facilitative behaviour, particularly in the early stages of discussions, such as withdrawal, arguing, attention seeking, special interest pleading, blocking and dominating. Some groups chose to be more task-oriented than others and discussed such topics as sex education programmes and the feasibility of mounting courses against drug-taking.

Those taking part included community health nurses, health education officers, general practitioners, counsellors, social workers, medical personnel educators, medical students, an ambulance superintendent, a psychiatrist and a psychologist with the Mental Health division, a schools dental officer, a baby health nurse and

a community health centre secretary.

(e) Evaluation

At the conclusion of the workshop participants were invited to fill out a brief questionnaire to indicate what, if anything, they had gained during the week and what their criticisms were, thus giving a subjective evaluation of the course.

The general consensus was that the week had been well spend and that it had at least partly achieved its aim of enhancing a team spirit among health workers in the area, making them more sensitive to each other, more self-aware and more aware of the role which each person played or might play.

A number of criticisms might, however, be fairly levelled against such a training method:

(i) A high degree of group integration, which no doubt took place, might also have occurred to an equal or greater degree if the sessions had been task oriented, particularly as the health workers concerned do have a broad common ground.

(ii) More cognitive input - fact sheets, short talks, films or other - might have made the outcome more productive. As it was an amount of time was spent discussing personal trivia which appeared irrelevant.

(iii) The encounter method gives rise to occasional outbursts of emotional self-revelation from which individuals are likely to emerge damaged where there is no skilled therapist to provide continuing support.

(iv) Though the participants comprised a broad range of Health Commission employees, consumers were in no way represented. Another serious lack was the virtual exclusion of European migrants (beyond two or three highly acculturated types) despite the fact that Wollongong has a very substantial

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migrant population. It was thus, as so often happens, a case of middle-class white Australians talking to middle- class white Australians and determining what is good for "them” , the rest of the community.


The Institute for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs has, over the last few years, mounted courses for white professional workers in Aboriginal areas. Their aim has been to enable professionals to function more effectively in aboriginal areas by helping them understand the background, outlook and value system of the Aboriginal

communities of Central Australia in which they serve and which are organised along semi-traditional lines.

(a) Format

A course for 10 participants was conducted in September-October 1974, for a fortnight. Those involved were nurses, police, and graduate clerks (that is, trainee public servants) from the Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The workshop was divided into four daily sessions each with a specific topic,

except for two days when visits to nearby Aboriginal settlements took place. The Aboriginal people involved in these discussions had been asked in advance by the Director of the Institute whether they would consent to this procedure and, in both instances, had

readily agreed. The Director accompanied the participants and acted as interpreter. During these discussions the areas explored were: Aboriginal attitudes to white individuals and services, their expectations, their beliefs and practices. This opportunity for . equal-status discussion was greatly appreciated by both black and

white since, for most people present, it was occurring for the first time.

Workshop sessions which took place at the Institute included such topics as:

Communication - within the workshop - cross cultural

Basic human needs in two cultures

Social change and traditional society

Aboriginal social organisation

Education in a cross-cultural situation

Community development and the change agent

Planning and evaluation of community programmes.

Workshop members were encouraged to talk about their own background, experience and professional frustrations, all in an atmosphere of emotional and practical support. A summary of the preceding discussion was distributed in mimeographed form at each session by way of mnemonic and permanent record. Several community leaders were brought in to talk of development projects, their achievements

and their lacks, ample time being given for discussion both with the leaders and within the group itself. The final session was concerned with the pressures on the change agent, most participants stating that the challenges of their jobs on the whole outweighed

the frustrations and expressing their encouragement in finding that a number of people shared their concern.

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(b) Result

No formal evaluation of these recurrent workshops takes place but, judging by the expression of viewpoint of the participants both before and after the course, their value in increasing the understanding and efficacy of workers in Aboriginal areas and in promoting development of Aboriginal communities is likely to be considerable.


(a) Aim

In November 1974, the 25 branches of Community Aid Abroad, New South Wales, sent representatives to the annual New South Wales conference of Community Aid Abroad, held in Sydney. The conference took the form of a weekend workshop under the title "The Aim is Understanding” .

Community Aid Abroad is a voluntary overseas aid organisation comprising of 165 groups throughout Australia who raise funds

”to encourage new ways of solving old problems through self help development projects”

in poor countries. In addition,

"Community Aid Abroad sponsors an active education programme designed to build greater public understanding in Australia of the achievements and problems associated with the nations where Community Aid Abroad works."(4)

Approximately 50 representatives attended the workshop, which was highly structured, with lectures followed by discussion on a set topic at intervals of approximately Ik hours throughout the day and evening. Resource material of a very thorough and

attractively presented kind was made available before the conference, including a set of "Myth Exploders” of immense value to emergent community educators concerned with discussing problems of Third World countries.(5)

The specific aims of the conference were not set down b u t , by implication, they could fairly be stated to be the same as those of the educational arm of Community Aid Abroad, known as the Light, Powder and Construction Works:

"To foster the growth of a critical awareness of the nature of our society; To explain the connection between the goals, values and institutions of our society and the plight of the majority of people living in the Third World; To awaken in people a feeling of greater involvement in and responsibility for this situation; To lead people to believe in their potential power

to change Australia’s society."(6)

(4) Community Aid Abroad Annual Report for year ended December, 1973, page 1 (5) Titles of the Myth Exploders included: Charity begins at home; They're poor because they have too many kids; Why don’t they help themselves?; The gap is closing; What about the millions we give in aid?; The

solution: technology, But what about the green revolution? (6) op. cit. , page 11 Page 106

In short this workshop, like that of Wollongong, was an attempt at conscientisation for community workers, although in this instance the workers concerned are voluntary adult educators and not professional health workers.

(b) Method

The main thrust concerned the areas of educational activity likely to prove effective in this connection. Representatives of Community Aid Abroad groups described successful programmes already evolved while methods of approach and techniques to be emulated and avoided were considered, and broad problems of the relationship between

wealthy and poor countries discussed. A talk was given on present­ . day educational problems of a developing country, Papua New Guinea, and a panel considered the role of Australian government and private agencies in the field of Development assistance.

The emphasis throughout was on support for Community Aid. Abroad groups wanting to involve themselves effectively in community education, by drawing their attention to resources, both human and technical, available for the task.

(c) Likely Outcome

A criticism of the workshop as a whole would be that it was too structured with too many "experts" talking at the audience and not enough time for discussion among the participants only.

Because of restrictions on physical space it was not possible to break the conference into small discussion groups. It may be that not a great deal was lost by the pressure techniques employed since the audience comprised active Community Aid Abroad workers,

willing to give up weekend time to equip themselves better for their voluntary educational task and already committed to the ideals of the organisation. Even so, it is likely that more of the valuable ideas mooted would have become internalized had

there been provision for less passive reception and more active participation among group members.


These three exercises in adult education, though employing considerably different methods and having divergent stated aims, nevertheless have certain features in common. Their successful outcome would, in each instance, encourage participants

(a) to broaden their horizons to encompass problems of the society around them;

(b) to view themselves as potential agents for social change;

(c) to acquire both the self-confidence and the technical skills to achieve their desired aims, preferably with the assistance of the group or community with which they identify.

l.Oiix'A LLPPMANU 7th November, 1974.

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