Australia is both a young nation built on immigration and a country boasting the oldest living culture in the world. Walk down a city street and you’ll see signs of a richly diverse, cohesive and multicultural country – people from all over the world living their daily lives in harmony.
The Australian dream is magnetic, attracting vastly more people than ever move away. A quarter of the population is born overseas and almost half of us have a parent born abroad. The Australian Bureau of Statistics counts one international migration every two minutes.
Who wouldn’t want to live the Australian dream? Everyone is entitled to the same basic levels of safety, protection and opportunity, no matter their race or religion. Indeed Australian laws protect everybody from racial discrimination, ensuring we all get a ‘fair go’ in life.
But our history and recent events suggest the dream is far from the reality. The Stolen Generations were subjected to atrocities that only ended in the 1970s and continue to manifest today. Tensions between Anglo and Lebanese Australians infamously reached crisis point in the 2005 Cronulla Riots. Then Australia made headlines across India for a spate of “racist”, violent attacks against students in Melbourne. And only recently, we’ve seen an onslaught of racist attitudes seep into sport, that supposedly merit-based and quintessentially Australian pastime.
So are we really the multicultural safe haven of equal opportunity? Or is racism destroying the Australian dream?
Speakers to be announced.
Due to popular demand, IQ2 debates now start at 6.30pm.