ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS WOKING IN AUSTRALIA
By the 1950’s early Australia was still a new nation, which was discovered and conquered by European settlers barely 150 years before. Many immigrants went to Australia because they saw it as a land of great opportunity. It was a harsh rugged country for Italian immigrants to work during the post World War 2 period. Mass migration ensued as a result of Prime Minister Menzie’s bold migration policy. During the period of 1951 to 1961, 170,000 Italians emigrated to Australia, mostly as unassisted immigrants.
Italians packed ships with very little to their name, followed relatives who had established themselves, many tried to make a living and send money back to their relatives suffering from severe poverty in post war Italy, or they simply wanted to take the bold challenge of making a new and better future for their families. Many came to Australia from Italy with little or no money, a suitcase and the clothes on their back. In the booming Australian economy, many Italians had been called to work as soon as they disembarked from the ships that brought them here.
Australia endured harsh conditions- the summers were unbearingly hot and living conditions were cramped and still developing, a far cry from the first world Australia of today. Italians were soon told that Australia boasts the world’s most deadliest snakes and spiders.
The English language was extremely difficult to comprehend to adult Italians; many Italians would never master the new language.
However, during the huge influx of Italian immigration into Australia in the period of the late 1940’s to the 1960’s, while many Australians were welcoming of their new Italian visitors during this period, there were also many who were not. Assimilation was difficult. A large proportion of Italians had only completed the fifth grade, and many could not undertake any school at all,...