We’ve boundless plains to share: Record number of visas to be given out this year 153



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Not since the post war immigration boom have we seen this many people enter our country, as Australia prepares to issue more than 5 million visas for the first time.

While not everyone applying for a visa is staying long term like in the 40s and 50s, there are a huge amount of students, tourists and workers in the country at this point in time, with as many as 1.9 million foreigners at any given moment.

But there are a record number of permanent residency visas being given, a number not seen since 1969 when 185,000 migrants were given permanent residency. Do you remember your family coming over to Australia?

According to Michael Pezzullo, Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Australia is facing a set of challenges to cope with the additional population.

“We face no less a set of challenges than our predecessors did in the aftermath of the Second World War,” said Mr Pezzullo, in a speech at the Australian National University.

So who are the people entering Australia on visas?

  • 450,000 Chinese – number has tripled in last 20 years
  • 400,000 Indian – number has quadrupled in the last 20 years
  • 1.2 million British
  • 600,000 New Zealanders

This means that currently, there has never been a higher proportion of the population born overseas. George Megalogenis, author and documentary maker, told SMH he believes Australia’s economic success was created by immigration and Australia is a peaceful place for all nationalities and people.

Mr Pezzullo also said, “If a nation’s immigration programme is well crafted and targeted, and migrants enjoy high levels of economic participation, as distinct from high levels of social exclusion and welfare-dependency, immigration has beneficial impacts in terms of growth in the demand for goods and services; increases in national income, and living standards; improved labour participation; expansion of the economy’s productive capacity; and growth in household consumption and public revenues”.


With this considered, are you happy to open your arms to visa holders? Is it more the merrier? Do you remember or do you know someone who was a ‘ten pound pom’? 

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I remember migrating to Australia in 1960 and adapting to the Australian way and being called Pommy Bastards or $10.00poms and living on a camp for 2 years in a tin shed not put up in hotels like a lot today and were invited to come to Australia, imagine our treatment if we weren’t invited into this country, and came in illegally

    8 REPLY
    • My Aunty was in the tin sheds in Brooklyn, Melbourne. We were in the wooden huts in Williamstown. It was get off the boat, get a job and get out of the hostel and find your own accommodation.

    • Yes Maria.
      Today’s refugees are sometimes put up in motels. But I have seen those motels and the conditions. Families of 6 and 7 in one room. A communal cooking area and large fences around the motel with armed guards to stop them from leaving or mixing with the public. Then there are the ones who are put into camps. One toilet between 50 people, communal showers, no hot water and more armed guards.
      I’ve seen these conditions.
      As far as I am concerned ALL people are welcome here if they are looking for a better way of life.
      As for not assimilating with our way of life. We never assimilated with the indigenous way of life so our ancestors have nothing to be proud of. Instead we should try and learn to live together.

    • ^here come the rants. Spoke at length with a woman who lived a couple of years in one of those ex-army camps as a child-her parents were English- and she laughs when she hears other immigrants of her generation complaining about these modern ones getting funded. Here exact words ” We got funded too and supported- a lot of folks seem to forget that now..”

    • True Andrew. If you were white and British the government of the time PAID you to come here. Hence the ten pound fare. It was a payment, a subsidy of major proportions.

    • Rachel Kent, read the story, educate yourself and put your biggoted views aside for just one moment would you please? This thread and the story is about immigration and work and student visas. Why must you assume that someone who comes here from lets say Scandinavia, to work or study, is intent upon destorying your way of life???? Or are you not talking about ‘those sort of people”. I suspect, from your previous comments, we all know what ‘sort’ of people you are banging on about.

    • I think we are all banging on about those people. Those coming to the lucky country at the taxpayers expense.

  2. Yes we migrated from Scotland in 1958. There weren’t many vaccinations around back then. But we couldn’t leave till we had them. It’s time to come down hard on vaccinations now. There are too many diseases coming back. TB for example, along with whooping cough, measles etc.,

    Don’t care who comes here. But I do care if they bring in or susceptible to preventable diseases.

  3. I arrived Fremantle in June 1974 after hitch hiking across Europe , Middle East , Far East etc. I was stamped in as a resident as I had a British passport , after 3 years I claimed my citizenship . I loved buying a whole T bone steak for $1 . Jobs were in plentiful supply and i often worked 2or 3 at a time . It was lovely seeing my sister after many years and being part of her children’s life . I really believe I got the best out of living , working and thriving in Sydney , but I would think twice about it today . Too heavily populated, too busy , to expensive and a bit dog eat dog . Maybe I just got old ! Good luck to the new arrivals

  4. My wife and her to 3 boys came to Australia 4 years ago now they are perm res all paying taxes the amount of money the gov charge for visa fees and years of paperwork that’s doing it legally many times I told her( catch a boat and I will meet you in Broome please try and understand why most people who apply honestly get a little pissed off totally crap gov BOTH parties

  5. I came to Australia with my husband and three little girls in 1979. We left Zimbabwe in 1976 to get away from the war of independence being fought there. We spent 3 years in South Africa but decided that we need to find a place in the world that was going to give our daughters a long term conflict free future. We were initially rejected as there were too many unemployed engineers and teachers ( our professions) but the company GHD sponsored us to come. We have both worked and contributed to the economy here since we arrived. Our daughters and their husbands all work and pay their taxes. I believe we have made a good contribution to Australia and Australia has been good to us. I am a self funded retiree and my now ex husband is still working for the company who sponsored us. Thanks for accepting us and I hope you continue to accept more people from around the world who want a safer place to live.

    5 REPLY
  6. If they are made to speak our language & adopt our culture they are welcome to enjoy our beautiful country but if not, they can stay where they are

    11 REPLY
    • Did your ancestors learn to speak aboriginal or adopt their culture.
      Or is it a case of do as I say and not as I do.
      White Australia has nothing to be proud of in the way they came to this country.

    • We all came here from somewhere except for the indigenous Australians. I think it’s a good thing to celebrate all cultures as that’s what makes up the country of Australia. What I am against though are those that want to impose their cultures on everyone else and live by their laws.

    • I’m a born Aussie and I don’t think they have to adopt our culture as much as they should respect our culture and don’t come here changing it because of their culture I’m sure we can all live in this country side by side if they accept us and not force their religions on to us

    • Michelle has a point. If you are going to even visit another country, it is common courtesy to learn the basics of the language. If you are going to migrate permanently, it should be compulsory….. It’s common sense.
      As for the HISTORICAL context of how we came to this country, give it up…..unless you have perfected time travel.

    • We came here from UK 27 years ago. Both got good jobs and we became naturalised 2 years later. We lived in Germany for 3 years. I learned German, but every time I spoke to the Germans in their own language they answered back in English, telling me I spoke with a Swiss accent and laughed. I think though, that they appreciated my attempt, funny as it may have sounded to them. I agree that there is room for all cultures and religions, as long as we respect the Australian laws and integrate with each other. This is a great country.

    • It seems a lot people do not under stand the LAW, The house that is divided falls, doesn’t matter what we want or not want, the LAW is infalliable.

    • I just love the way people jump on the indigenous issue and how they were murdered and demonised. We have moved on from that, we didn’t murder or demonise them and let me remind you that the convicts that were hauled out here in chains, some for stealing a loaf of bread contributed to this country and helped make it what it is today. They built bridges, roads and buildings that are still standing today. As for learning the language of the indigenous, which one, each tribe has it’s own language, the indigenous from Dubbo can’t understand the one’s from Bourke so to learn their language would be very hard. I agree with Michelle, if people come to this country, learn to speak it’s language, assimilate, like the Poms, Italians, Greeks did, they didn’t force their culture onto their new country, they loved it and so should everyone who makes it their home.

  7. My dad came here from England as a 17 year old in 1927 on a scheme called The Dreadnaught Boys …. They were encouraged to learn farming and be our future farmers. He made a great life for himself on the land around Moree until he enlisted in World War 2 . He met my Mum while training on the Atherton Tableland after returning from North Africa and Greece and Crete . They married after he came home from New Guinea but never went back to farming really preferring to to work and manage shops . He loved Australia but must have missed his family …. I know they missed him …. No quick plane flights and technology in those days. My daughter now lives in England and I can speak to her face to face any time of the day.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes Janet, your Dad must have felt very isolated from his birthplace back then. Big decision to make but I hope it turned out for the best for him. One thing is ,he would not have met your Mum.Cheers!

  8. My wife’s family escaped from the Russian invasion of former Czechoslovakia in 1969 and arrived in Australia with not much more than a couple of suitcases and the clothes on their backs. They had left their extended family behind and faced an uncertain future in a foreign land. Without a word of English it must have been so hard. Yet they did it and became Australian citizens. They became part of our multi cultural society that was built by people from all over the world. Post war immigration has fast tracked Australia to the be the great nation that we all love.
    In recent times we have seen a dark and evil shadow begin to cross our borders. A shadow that hides bad intent and preaches hatred of this land and it’s people. So maybe it is time to “put the brakes on” and carefully consider what our current immigration policy should be.

  9. unbelieveable – providing they are willing to blend in or adopt our way of life here instead of jumping on the band wagon wantng us to change our way of life one that has been here for ever, for their way of life – can we afford to have them here i also ask?? wont they be a drain on welfare – we cant afford what is here now if we are to believe what the pollies are telling us

  10. Be interesting in the statistics how many kiwis are coming back ,they reckon they are pouring back.hmmm

  11. I was a £10 pom in 1966. As a registered nurse it was easy to find work. I had six months in Sydney then moved to brisbane where I met my husband, a local brisbanite. We have four sons and seven, nearly eight grandchildren. All the sons are employed and my husband and I worked till nearly seventy. I love visiting UK but this is home.

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