They are Italians making cappuccinos at the front bar of cafes in Glebe and Carlton, and Indians washing dishes out the back. They are accounting lecturers from Britain running classes in Brisbane full of students from Beijing. They are American mining engineers and Taiwanese meatworkers, Filipino nurses and French au pairs. They are also medical specialists, climate scientists and the CEOs of ASX 200 businesses. They are the Indian IT contractors who come to city offices to fix computers, and Malaysian students who enter the same office late at night to push vacuum cleaners and polish desks. Some are even more invisible, their cut-rate work surfacing in supermarkets as mounds of cut-price cucumbers. These are Australia’s temporary migrants, and though they are not officially part of the nation, they are changing it.
In the past year, Australia has embarked on the largest and most sustained immigration debate since the maiden speech of Pauline Hanson in 1996, perhaps since the Fitzgerald Report of 1988. So far the argument has focused on housing, congestion and infrastructure pressures in our big cities, but simmering below the surface are debates about integration and, beyond them, the ethnic and racial composition of the migrant intake. Immigration policy has also become extremely complex. This second research narrative for the Scanlon Applied Social Cohesion Research Institute seeks to shed light on one of the most vital – but least visible – aspects of that policy: temporary migration.
SOURCE: Scanlon Institute. “Off the Scale but Out of Sight: The Rise and Rise of Temporary Migration.” Scanlon Institute, December 2018.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia