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Migrants are special people. They are different from those who stay in their home country. Virtually all migrants are determined to work for a better life for themselves and their families. They accept as a matter of course that there will be difficulties, trials and hardships, but because of their commitment, self-confidence and drive, believe that they can overcome these difficulties and achieve their goals. The Italian migrants of the 1950s had one burning ambition – to own land, their own home. It was a mark of status and the single most tangible sign that they had succeeded in this new land. The 1957 novel “They’re a Weird Mob” by John O’Grady teased out the migrant experience in a way that ordinary Australians of the day could understand. Perhaps we need a modern author to repeat the exercise for current Australians who may have lost sight of migrants as real human beings, not some caricature designed to resurrect old stereo-types, enmities, prejudices and avarice. Australia is a much better place because of the post-war migration. There is no reason why we cannot continue to obtain the benefits of migration while at the same time managing any possible adverse outcomes.

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