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This came up in another topic and I figured maybe people are interested in sharing their views here for future reference or just to vent as it seemed to resonate with other members.

In the topic, the OP said his non-Australian partner had concerns about becoming an immigrant and feeling like a second class citizen. I responded that Australia and Australians have never made me feel like a second-class citizen, but I will always feel like one because I know no matter how long I am here that I am not from here and that that is okay if you can make peace with it. More was said but it came down to that.

I was just wondering how everyone else is feeling about it? Please avoid aggressive opinions as I realize that some people may feel this subject relates to possible racism (it has been brought up before) but this isn't to discuss whether racism is alive in Australia or not (ignorance/hate is not exclusive to any country, to start with). This is really about how we feel about coming into a new country - how you relate to a new culture (or not), whether you have a tendency to look for others from your home-country, where you feel your place is now.

Or maybe nobody cares :p but it was worth a shot.
 

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Interesting topic!

This came up in another topic and I figured maybe people are interested in sharing their views here for future reference or just to vent as it seemed to resonate with other members.

In the topic, the OP said his non-Australian partner had concerns about becoming an immigrant and feeling like a second class citizen. I responded that Australia and Australians have never made me feel like a second-class citizen, but I will always feel like one because I know no matter how long I am here that I am not from here and that that is okay if you can make peace with it. More was said but it came down to that.

I was just wondering how everyone else is feeling about it? Please avoid aggressive opinions as I realize that some people may feel this subject relates to possible racism (it has been brought up before) but this isn't to discuss whether racism is alive in Australia or not (ignorance/hate is not exclusive to any country, to start with). This is really about how we feel about coming into a new country - how you relate to a new culture (or not), whether you have a tendency to look for others from your home-country, where you feel your place is now.

Or maybe nobody cares :p but it was worth a shot.
Dear Nelly87,

Great topic, with lots of emotion on both sides of the equation.

I am so very thankful to Australia for allowing me to immigrate - I'm half of a bi-national same-gender couple, and may be facing exile from the US unless laws change so that I can sponsor my partner for a US Green Card.

As a US citizen, our cultures are very similar, so I don't really feel like a total outsider. My first language is English, and Aussies seem as charmed at my accent as my US compatriots are of Aussie and British accents. Our food is fairly similar. Our sense of fairness is the same.

I have been struck by the difference in patriotism, but understand where that comes from. The US fight for independence has bred a nation that is still proud of that fight (and, unfortunately has caused many of us to keep fighting wars that are not ours to fight). I will be honest - I'm aghast at the "tall poppy" syndrome and how Australia tends to eat its own when someone begins to be popular.

The US has lovely scenery, but I am totally gob-smacked (how's that for learning the local lingo????) by the beauty I've found in Australia. I'm looking forward to seeing much more!

I'm nervous about taxation, as the US will tax me on everything, as will Australia. There are some foreign tax credits available, but I think the Oz-US union will mean I pay more in taxes than usual.

I believe I will suffer far less ostracism as a Caucasian American than those of us immigrants who do not look like "white Australians", or those whose first language is not English. I fear that "difference" is still divides us as humans.

I will do my best to adopt this country, since it is fair enough to adopt me. But I don't know how long it will take to really FEEL like an Aussie.

Human nature tends to focus on difference and sameness. If you look different, speak a different language, wear different clothing, are not blond and blue-eyed, then you may be easily put into a box. Hold your head high. You are here because you choose to be here. Don't let a closed mind make you feel like a second-class citizen.

Best of luck to all immigrants. One of these days I'll be sporting an Australian passport!:D

Susan
 
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