During an office clean up last week one of my staff found an old copy of the Sydney Morning Herald from 1969. It contained an article about British migration (to Sydney) and interestingly many of the topics covered in the article are still echoed 42 years later in the posts on PIO. The following is an extract for those that might be interested.
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In March (of 1969) 16,836 British migrants arrived in Sydney, setting a new record for monthly intake. This will push the total number of British migrants coming in for 1968/69 to a figure well above expectations, possible to a new high of 175,000. And as a consequence, next year’s migration target will be set ever higher. A boom year for migration and a boom year for real estate in Sydney. <o:p></o:p>
Suburbs close to the centre of Sydney have seen rentals and house prices soar into the realms of fantasy. The British migrant can expect to pay $35 a week more for a flat big enough to accommodate a family. While bargains such as five bedroom, three-storey houses in excellent condition can still be purchased for as little as £2,500 in the provinces, migrants are aghast to find that very ordinary three bedroom bungalows in the Eastern Suburbs are fetching $40,000. Moreover, he will quickly learn that prices are not going to drop.<o:p></o:p>
Accommodation on arriving<o:p></o:p>
New arrivals unable to afford accommodation are housed free in the old Nissen huts and barrack like structures. these are painted in rather unexpected pastel pinks and greens in an attempt to relieve the institutional look. The insides can be frankly ghastly, as in one we saw, crowded with beds, personal belonging, damp cloths and accumulated junk. But another was as presentable as any economically furnished suburban house. The answer lies, to some extent, in the state of mind of the occupants. Regardless, the Nissen huts must strike a chill into the heart of new arrivals as they must stay there until the husband is earning and can pay the average tariff charge of $6.20 per head per week for accommodation and full board required for accommodation in the new brick units. One new arrival claimed the rugged conditions found in the Nissen huts and barracks were useful for separating the sheep from the goats.<o:p></o:p>
Reasons for migrating<o:p></o:p>
New arrivals list the long term welfare of their children as a primary reason for migration. Husbands are also seeking to provide their family with a new beginning away from a class driven society where they can earn higher wages and provide a better standard of living.<o:p></o:p>
Successful migration (comment provided for article from Migrant club in UK)<o:p></o:p>
Not everyone can take settling into a completely new way of life in their stride. Naturally there are problems, though we encourage our members to carefully research Australia and to undertake migration with the intention of assimilating. We are happy to report that, to our knowledge those who have undertaken their research and are migrating with the intention of assimilating are settling. None of our former member has returned home.