being australian » see stuff » stories » migration lessons from the soccer pitch*

Login | Get involved

Share your pictures from Australia Day... Share an experience you have that feels Australian

Send Being Australian a TWEET on Send Being Australian a tweet on Twitter

Being Australian
revealed on air
(on 2SER-FM)

Your Stories

Facebook Fan Box

Join Being Australian on Facebook

16612 fans so far

Featured Member

Raymond Richardson from Adelaide

Raymond Richardson from Adelaide

Who's involved

Derek Patton from New Zealand & more
Sally Daly from Sydney
Marlene Traynor from Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Ginger

Audio Intro

Doug Kirkpatrick tells Sydney's 2SER-FM about Being Australian

Listen on RealPlayer while you browseRP | Windows | MP3

Featured Provider

Cheese Style and Making

Cheese Style and Making

FREE GIFT

FREE BAG with your first story

only 16 left

Their words...our rationale

stories

[no images submitted]


Migration lessons from the soccer pitch*

an experience of sports

After Germany had convincingly demolished the Socceroos at the World Cup, I was not sure what to expect in the office, with me being German and all that. Quips about Per Mertesacker’s hand-ball in the German penalty box? Discussions about the harsh red card for Tim Cahill? Speculations that the new Adidas ball gave the Germans an unfair advantage?
 
As it turned out, I got none of that. Australians, or at least my dear colleagues, are far too nice for such unsportsmanlike conduct. Instead, they congratulated me on the German win. ‘You must be so happy,’ one of them said.
 
Well, actually, I wasn’t. My preferred result had been a draw as I feel an emotional attachment to both my native country and my new home. When the national anthems were played before the match, it was Advance Australia Fair that gave me goose bumps, not the German anthem. Although it’s quite a challenge to feel patriotic for any country at 4.30 am.
 
The match made me realise how easy it is to develop an emotional bond with Australia.
 
Perhaps it is even stronger for migrants like me than for the natives. When CIS received a Socceroos’ fan scarf as a promotional gift this week, I quickly volunteered to hang it up in my office. Nobody else had wanted it. Possibly that was a reaction to the 4-0 defeat, or maybe they just didn’t care about soccer?
 
Maybe there is a lesson in this for our current discussion about migration and population growth.
 
Many commentators assume that Australia’s character will change beyond recognition as more and more people arrive on these shores. They seem to believe implicitly that there is not much about Australia these migrants could love.
 
My own experience points to the very opposite. Australia is such a friendly, fascinating country that its emotional appeal to new arrivals couldn’t be greater. It’s a country you want to call home even before the ink on your visa has dried.
 
The social result of migration could be counter-intuitive: it may very well strengthen Australian patriotism, not undermine it. It may reinforce social cohesion, not destroy it.
 
The key to such integration are not strict limits on the number of migrants but finding the right migrants: migrants who not only bring their skills to this country but are also willing to become a part of it. This aspect is often missing in our population debate, which almost exclusively focuses on the number of migrants.
 
As for myself, I’ll try my best to become more Australian. Supporting the Socceroos is a start, but please allow me a few decades to understand cricket.
 
[ *This story originally appeared in the June 2010 edition of ideas@theCentre, a monthly newsletter distributed electronically by the Centre for Independent Studies and appears here by express permission from its author ]

 
Thanks to
Oliver Marc Hartwich
on 05/07/2010 send a message to Oliver Marc Hartwich

Tell a friend about thisshare it

Pin to your profilepin it

printer friendly versionprint it

Report this for removalreport it

Bookmark and Share with friends

Other Experiences of Oliver Marc Hartwich

Australia’s familiar past

Other experiences of sports

Golf by Greg, Surfing in Victoria by surfboard1, The Sydney-to-Hobart by Doug, Rugby League - the Best Australian Sport by Penny, running the marathon by julia, Abseiling in the Blue Mountains by Eric, Plunging escarpments ain't always pretty by Doug, Melbourne Cup in Martin Place by Douglas, Taking a punt on the Melbourne Cup - Part 1 of 2 by Douglas, Darwin crocodiles by Rodney, Origin by Sophdog, We got up at 4am to watch Australia... by Sunflower10

Other experiences from people feeling contemplative

My backyard clotheslines by Doug, Farm fresh eggs - scrambled by bike by Gillian, Passing road trains by Doug, Xmas dinner by Simone, Hand of Friendship by Doug, The flood of 1956 by Gard, Hanging out to dry by Doug, Genuine Aussie gladiators... by Doug, Being Australian by relaxbeauty, Living among the gum trees by Doug, Acceptance by joey, running the marathon by julia, Pausing to honour the 'Diggers' by Doug, Australia Day Baby by Anna, Survival by linus, Kirribilli commute by Doug, Sand in the sandwiches by Ginger, Kangaroo shooting in Western Australia by Gillian, The Bay by miss maggie, Why am I here? by miss maggie, Aussies can't be bothered to say whole words. by Atalanta, It's not always like the tropics here. by Atalanta, Clothesline signage for a suburb (part 1) by Matty, Clothesline signage for a suburb (part 2) by Matty, Living in the Wild West by Matty, Distance by Naids, Stuart Highway - the real wilderness by Matty, When you're driving in Australia... by Douglas, Australian architecture: where hip and historic coexist by Matty, My job - photographer to the stars by Shelley, Highest court in the land by Matty, Old Sydney buses had character by Fran, Overseas and missing home by shar-la, The Isa in the '80s by slif, Being Australian by angela z., Being Australian by acklow, Freedom by sarah, mates over family by jo.l.92, We are Australian by sandysan, No worries, literally by Fibbler, SE Queensland, Northern Sydney & West Palm Beach Florida by Kat, Feeling Australian during pub crawl in Prague by wemb, Someone's lost world in the Dandenongs, Victoria by Carry My Can, A Commitment to Australia... by Sunflower10, YAAMA by Sunflower10, A touching moment by Xue, Night fall by KellyJayne

Related Info

Mulberry photo albums - Easy Gift, Business Growth Plan - Success Enterprises Consulting Pty Ltd, Absolute Decadence - Viewpoint Cafe, Wedding Car Ribbon In Many Colours - The Glass Votive Candle Shop

Search site

News

All news items...

Advertise Free

Reach a wider market - promote your product, service or event for FREE
Promote your product,
service or event here

» See demo...
» Check out this sample

Sponsor Advertising


Your Videos

Your Australian experiences on video
» Recommend a video

Featured Picture

Cyclone Supplies
'Queuing for free alcohol - South Hedland, WA after Cyclone George'
posted by KellyJayne

[click for story]

Cyclone Supplies...

Random Moments

» 

15/05/06 Geraldton to Kalbari

» 

Our Dog

» 

Feeling Australian

» 

tradie's bit for the nation

» 

ozzie

Tell a friend about Being AustralianSpread the word
Tell a friend

People talking

Are Australians growing apart or growing together?
Add your comments...

Being Australian on Google Groups
» more discussions...

List all experiences that feel AustralianList all experiences people have shared

Sponsor Advertising


 

everyone matters

 

Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy | Legal | Site Credits | Site Map | Contact Us | Report Errors | Your Feedback
Copyright © 1994-2018 Being Australian PTY LTD / All Rights Reserved