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A "Fair Go" In The Land Of Opportunity? Yeah Right!

Have migrants done a job on Australia or has Australia done a job on migrants? Byron Kemp.

Australia and the people who live here have developed over time an identity of an egalitarian or fair nation. This perception by other countries and by Australian residents as a land of opportunity and a country who supports the culture of a "Fair Go" for everyone dominates. This egalitarian depiction of Australia has come about because of more than 200 hundred years of immigration since European settlement. Today one in every five Australians were born overseas and immigrated to Australia creating the cultural representation of an accepting, tolerant country where all people have an opportunity to get along and to achieve.

Immigration to Australia has predominantly been by people looking for economic opportunities. An example of this representation of Australian Identity and how it became a reality is present in the poem "First Potatoes". The text is value laden with beliefs and attitudes that tell how an immigrant arrives from Poland where he had spent time in a slave labour camp. The migrant arrives in Australia – the land of opportunity -and develops a successful potato garden that he lives off. "He would show the garden to visitors, who stood amazed at all the hard work he put in."

The language of the poem describes the immigrant as a hard worker who made the most of the opportunities Australia supposedly had to offer the man. "Finally in Australia in his own garden that he loved" he and his family prospered and did well enough to live off his own garden. The language and the fact that a relative of the farmer is writing the story gives the idea that the man and his opportunities were realised through his garden and the profit from the potatoes were able to provide for his family. The descriptions in this poem show how Australia is perceived as a land of opportunity for immigrants. The poem's...
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