Australia’s Cultural Diversity: History and FactsApril 28, 2017
The unique history of Australia has led to it having one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world today. Almost 25 percent of the residents of this country were born in another country with numerous others being descendants of refugees or immigrants. Also, add in the almost 2.5 million indigenous people, whose ancestry on this continent dates back 40,000 years, and you have the basis for the multicultural mix that is unique to this country. With immigration continuing in this country, the diversity will only increase and not decrease in the years to come.
Prior to 1788, Australia was inhabited by only people indigenous to the continent and the surrounding islands, namely the Torres Strait Islanders and Aborigines. Since these people were divided up in different “nations or clans,” there were differences between their languages, beliefs and overall cultures.
In 1788, the first British fleet arrived at Botany Bay and set up a penal colony in New South Wales with 736 convicts from England. The convicts were not under lock and key, but had a rough life living in their new environment in Australia and under the threat of punishment, such as 100 lashes, if they did not obey the rules. England ceased sending convicts to New South Wales in 1823. After this, convicts became cheap labour for those who chose to be settlers in this country.
By the late 1850s, Australia had six different colonies, namely New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and Queensland. These colonies were the early beginnings of this culturally diverse Australia that we know it to be at present.
Today, the population of Australia is around 24 million residents. About 400 different languages are spoken by the residents collectively and this includes those of the indigenous population. Australians claim a total of over 270 ancestries collectively. The four top countries of origin for current immigrants are India, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and China.
Thanks to Australia’s diversity, people of various cultures live in peace with the freedom to practice their religion of choice and other beliefs of their countries of origins within the realm of the country’s laws. Anyone moving to this country should have a working understanding of the English language in addition to their native one to function daily and find employment.
For further details on Australia’s cultural diversity and immigration to this country, contact James Tan Immigration Consultants. We are experts in assisting potential immigrants to navigate through the procedures to immigrate to Australia successfully over the last 21 years.