Immigration to Australia
Australia is often described as one of the ‘classical countries of immigration’.
The concept of being a ‘nation of immigrants’ is at the center of Australian identity.
Australia is a unique country, and it has a long history of population growth due to
immigration. Australia is a young country and has not fully developed. It is commonly
called “The Land of Opportunity.” This paper will discuss the history of immigration,
the history of the immigration policy, the economic, social and cultural, and the
population impacts of immigration to Australia.
The History-Immigration to Australia
The history of immigration to Australia started before 1770. The first human
inhabitants of Australia were the Aborigines. The word Aborigine is derived from Latin
and means “from the beginning”. This is not the name that the Aborigine people called
themselves; they prefer Koori, and the name Aborigine was given to the native
Australians by the Europeans. It is a mystery of how they came to Australia around
60,000 years ago, however, they may have walked and sailed there from Asia. They are
dark-skinned people belonging to the Australoid group. The Aborigines were nomadic
hunter-gathers. They roamed from place to place, gathering fruits, nuts and yams, which
they ate. They were hunters who used spears and boomerangs to kill animals. “There
were around 300,000 aborigines in about 250 tribal groups before the first white settlers
came to Australia.” (http://www.ozramp.net) Each group had its own territory, traditions
beliefs and language. The Aborigine people were the first Australians, the first human
inhabitants of Australia.
The first encounter with settlers was called the “First Fleet”. The First Fleet
entered the Botany Bay in 1778. In 1770 the British government decided it needed a new
penal colony to place convicts. The British government wanted the convicts as far away
from Britain as possible. The designated place would come to be Australia, then known
as New South Wales. “On the 13th May 1787 a fleet of eleven ships left Britain with two
years provision and a cargo of 759 unwilling convicts, their guards, and ships crew
numbering-1530 people in all. They were to colonize the new land.”
(http://www.ozramp.net) Transported criminals were the basis of the first migration
from Europe. Starting in 1788, some 160,000 people were shipped to the Australian
colonies. These convicts, along with the officials of the penal system, were joined by
free immigrants from the early 1790’s.” (http://www.immi.gov)
Not too many people wanted to migrate to Australia in the early days. Life was
very hard during this time. Australia needed farmers, carpenters, builders, etc., but most
people did not want to leave the comforts of home for the hardships of this new land.
Therefore, in the early 1800’s as poverty and unemployment increased in Britain, the
government tried to encourage people to come...