chapter  5
9 Pages

Indians in Australia: Culture, Economy and Ecology

Viewed from an Indian perspective, Australia is a “new society” (Hartz 1964) and, as such, is a nation of immigrants.1 The European element of the Australian population settled here only about 200 years ago but constitutes 91 per cent of the people and is therefore numerically dominant. In recent years, however, Australia’s Asian connection has become much more important and visible. Though four times as far from Asia compared to the US and receiving far fewer Asian visitors and settlers (one-fifth the number of visitors), Australia’s small population (16.8 million in 1991) has meant that the Asian impact has been relatively much greater. In 1994, nearly 50 per cent of all visitors to Australia were from Asia, compared with 30 per cent from the US, while 40 per cent of all Australians travelling abroad spent most of their time in Asian countries (Price 1995). Charles Price predicts that in the near future, Australians visiting Asian countries will cross the million a year mark, which means that on average one Australian in 18 will visit Asia every year.