Misperception # 1
Work hard & Hard work
They are jogging between two or three jobs to support their family financially, they are doing a day time work and using spare time to do the delivery, especially the one who is living in Sydney where the costs of living are very high.
You probably get used to the traditional picture of new immigrants of Australian:
Australian believe work hard is what good immigrant needs. We would say nothing is wrong with work hard especially when you don’t have a roof over your head and need food to be put on the table.
With hard work (Manual labor or technical work), you often received a higher payment and good benefit in Australia, such as construction worker or bricklayer where you don’t need much of English language skills. That’s why you see 85% of the new immigrant (especially male) ended up to be a blue-collar worker.
The first-generation immigrants are greatly benefiting from this work hard and hard work attitude? Absolutely, but this is not the whole picture.
Statistic shows that most of first-generation immigrants who believe work hard and hard work have missed the best opportunity to develop themselves in skills and language which restrict their living standard later around and most of them are ended up with moor poor health mentally or physically. The traditional Immigrant settlement suburb is rated as the poorer compared to average living standard of Australia.
Misperception # 2
Opportunity & Equality
Do Australian care about Equality for immigrant as civil society? Yes, they do. You often see that they are advocating and debating publicly that the immigrant should not be exploited and discriminated in Australia.
Australian government takes real actions to help out immigrant. Many organisations in Australia provide numerous services to immigrants: legal aid, immigration resource center, immigration advice center, new start allowance, anti-discrimination board…
But do not mistake the law and pollical correctness of Australia from the practical sense of all human living: Human nature does not like someone who does not fight for their rights. If you are expecting a stranger to embrace the immigrant who even can not speak their language, you are wrong, even 99% of Australian are immigrants themselves or the descendants of immigrants.
The recent public opinion poll shows that Australian is not the country that welcomes the immigrant without condition. The current Scott Morrison government promise to reduce the number of immigrant yearly intake to 19 thousand to win the federal election 2019. Why?
Look at the Poem for advocating immigrant by Emma Lararus: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” Australian believes the best gift to immigrant is freedom, not a guarantee of equality! Which means you work out the way of equality by stand high and tall like everyone else first.
Misperception # 3
Religion & Racism
If you say that “Australia is a new and diverse country made up of immigrants. There’s a saying in Australia about giving everyone ‘a fair go,’ which reflects a culture of tolerance, and lack of hierarchy and class system.” Most immigrants will agree with you because we all come from different parts of the world and the most successful people in this country are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants.
It is fair to say that religion has never played a crucial part in holding Australian together nor did it divide people into groups rigorously. Even during most furious debates about the Islamic and tarriest attack, Australian can keep calm and carry on. No one cares your religion as long as you do not boast about it or become extreme crazy on it.
At least from the point of the law and political system, your freedom of religion is guaranteed, and racism is condemned.
But sometimes you will encounter with offended racism critics about immigrants, especially to refugee, do Australia practise what they preach?
Australian have their own unique value and social code, this value or codes are imbedded in the heart of Australian through years of education, such as consider the needs of others, honesty, team play or mateship, respect environment around us… the list is going on. As an immigrant if you don’t always understand the common frame works of society or the rule of game, you might inadvertently act against their Australian value, when you are subjected to racial critics that’s because people often attack the behaviour from an ethnic group rather than individual.
Misperception # 4
Financial Literacy & Money
When it comes to making a good living for your new life, Immigrants often experience some degrees of financial distress partly because of their unfamiliarity with the Australian financial system. If you don’t know the system, it might work against you especially with the crazy system of the Australian tax system.
Most time, immigrant inherit the habit from their original country to handle their financial matter and misjudged the consequence of the way money works in Australia. Such as investing only in property, or avoid any financial service from professional…
We have seen so many immigrants put themselves into the worst financial position not because they don’t have any earnings or skills. It is some serious misunderstanding of wealth and money under the Australia financial system, which causes immigrant leaving the money on the table and let other take advantages of it. Commonly small business missed out the various grants from the government and struggle to raise wages to employees.
Financial education can help immigrants better understand and harness the Australian financial system, so that they have a safe place to save their money, learn how to manage their finances and develop credit, access loans, purchase homes and build wealth for themselves, their families and their communities.
Misperception # 5
Employment & Entrepreneur
Australians are pretty laid back and accepting when it comes to work relationship where immigrants are not competing with them. As soon as you have interests conflicting with them, you are outsiders! Integrating with locals can take place but with time. This is the cross we all have to bear as a newcomer.
Most of the immigrant have to overcome the reality that they need to get into the workforce to support themselves. You can get stung by some harsh requirements which Australian locals might not encounter, some “soft skills” like getting alone with other, professional integrities, self-awareness… which you might not have a clue about it.
When immigrant struggles to fit into a new culture, you must figure out how to deal with, or overcome the frustration, loneliness and steep learning curve, this is the exact experience or journey of being entrepreneurs: facing many of same kinds of obstacles and workout the best strategy to handle it.
Overcoming the challenge of leaving your homeland and setting into a new country can foster an “immigrant mindset” which is tolerance for uncertainty and confidence with adaptability. The nature of migration often helps immigrants to see a wealth of new ideas or opportunities that do not exist in their homeland. Immigrants are more accepting to the renovative idea and dare to do thing differently.
As an immigrant, you decide that instead of being a member of a certain nation or ethnic group, you choose to join a new country. You define your own identity instead of taking the one society hands down to you. Entrepreneurs aren’t just staying in the same job, waiting to get promoted; they’re also defining their own identities.
Misperception # 6
Learning & Improving
The impetus for immigrating to Australia is rooted in a desire for a better life. Whether that involves seeking freedom from persecution, obtaining an education, securing a successful career or simply forging a new beginning that provides greater opportunities, the common denominator among immigrants is typically the hope for a better future.
How long does take an immigrant to achieve this goal in Australia?
If we measure the success of immigrant by their incomes, employment, social capital and English skills, then the answer to this success is to foster it. It takes an immigrant who lives in Australia at least 6 years (According to the recent study by Global Talent Bridge) to achieve this success.
The success of immigrants is the test of endurance and grit. Immigrants often need to take the multipronged approach to re-establish themselves, from English language, updated skills, social connection to acculturation. The learning and growing are parts of immigrants’ life.
Fortunately, this type of learning is not so costly but requires determination. With a small effort everyday, you can get what you want eventually.
Immigration is not a quick scheme for success. The most successful immigrant has always tried to expand their identities beyond just that of the nations they were born in. They learned to think and act above one group or nation, they grow themselves into a much big shoes for success.
Misperception # 7
Social Network & Family
Changing to live in a new country means changing the social dynamic and changing gender roles in a family.
There was a remarkable correlation between the size of social network and the achievement of immigrant. With 44% of new immigrant claims that their quality of life in Australia is significantly improved when they feel that there is someone they can rely on.
Unfortunately, social isolation is a reality experienced by many immigrants. Even though it is not easy to recognize, it has significant health, social, and economic consequences.
Your idea of role in Australian society might be different from your original country, this also causes family struggle to re-balance the power at home.
According to a report by Monash University, out of 36,450 annually approved temporary partner visa applications in 2017, 9,112 are assumed to be suffering from family violence.
Immigrant does not inherit an existing social network. It is not easy to make a good friend circle and you are probably end up associated with the people who is also an immigrant. But don’t be limited by the physical social work, there are many online social work which can equally help you to exchange ideas. Migrant family also need to adapt the Australian social dynamic to keep family together as children adapt much faster to the new culture compared to their parents.