Australia is no advert for multi-culturalism
Published 28/03/2011 | 05:00
In response to Ian Berkeley (Letters, March 22), I am also a naturalised Australian who left Ireland in the 1980s when this country was in a similar economic condition. If Ireland 'has far to come with regard to multiculturalism' then so, too, has Australia.
Multiculturalism cannot be measured by the 'colour' that immigrants add to a suburb. Although we have fine examples of this in Melbourne -- African shops and cuisine, a multitude of restaurants from whatever country you care to think of and so forth -- is this proof that multiculturalism works?
I think not. It's easy for us Irish to fit into the Australian society but far more difficult for other races. Assimilation is the key to integration, not the Ethiopian cafe on a street corner that has brought 'life' to an otherwise drab suburb. And in this respect, Australia has a long way to go and much to learn.