13 August 2005

The Australian Diaspora

Did you know that 5% of Australia's population is living overseas at the moment? That is over 1 million Australians that live in other countries out of a total population of 20 million.

The Australian government has realised that 5% of their voters should be recognised and so are doing more to treat them as part of the general population. No one really knows the reasons why so many Australians live away from home, but the majority are only away temporarily and intend to return home one day. The massive displacement of a population away from their home country is called a "diaspora" - such as Israel's diaspora after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and from that time the Jewish people lived all over the world.

Normally a diaspora is caused by war, or tyranny at home, or poverty, starvation and so on. But the Australian diaspora is different. This is primarily a voluntary and temporary departure from home for opportunities and experience overseas with the intent of returning later. In the process many millions of people around the world are able to know Australians resulting in a much higher recognition of Australia than similar sized countries. Considering that Australia is many thousands of miles away from the majority of the world, a lot of people have met Australians in their travels.

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