THE JOURNEY OF NEW GREEK MIGRANTS TO AUSTRALIA: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) has completed a research study in recognition of the substantial increases in the number of people arriving from Greece and to a lesser extent from Cyprus since 2010. Greece has been in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis for nearly 5 years. The consequences of this financial situation have impacted negatively on the health, quality of life as well as career and livelihood prospects of those living in Greece.
Commenting on the report, The Journey of New Greek Migrants to Australia: Opportunities and Challenges, to be launched today at the Immigration Museum by the Hon. Keven Andrews Minister for Social Services, Ms Messimeri AGWS CEO said “that with jobs in Greece being scarce, many people are moving in search of work opportunities to other countries, including Australia.”
Migration is never easy. The report shows that difficulties arise across a range of areas during the pre-migration planning and preparation stage. It also shows that the challenges new Greek migrants face on arrival vary depending on the thoroughness of their pre-migration preparation, financial resources available; differences on visa stream; the presence of family, relatives or friends, the duration and quality of support they provide; awareness of, and access to, formal support services, and the capacity of those services to respond sensitively and effectively.
Of significance, stated Ms Messimeri, is the “composition of the profile of people arriving from Greece with nearly 60% being Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents of Greek descent returning to Australia after many years of residency in Greece and to a lesser extent in Cyprus. Just over 40 % are Greek Citizens.”
Ms Messimeri added “that the study reinforced that this group of people are mostly university educated, intellectually adept, articulate, confident and in search of opportunities to unleash their talent and drive to achieve. They present a unique human capital for Victoria’s Australian Greek community and the general Australian community, which if harnessed appropriately will bring significant benefits to Australia.”
In concluding Ms Messimeri stressed that “AGWS looks forward to working closely with the State and Federal governments, as well as the Australian Greek community, ensuring that the key recommendations made in this report are implemented in order to expedite the settlement of people newly arrived from Greece and Cyprus thus enabling them to become fully engaged members of the Australian community.”
CLICK TO ACCESS: The Journey of New Greek Migrants to Australia: Opportunities and Challenges