Refugees in Australia - employment outcomes remain problematic
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Captain Cook arrived in Botany Bay on 28 April 1770 and declared Australia as 'terra nullius', a Latin phrase meaning 'a land of no one'. This ignored the rights of Indigenous Australians and set the scene for the theme of racism which mars the history of Australia through to the present day. This paper considers the difficulties refugees face in the Australian workplace, exploring interrelationships between their religion, ethnicity, employment and equity. These difficulties are due to a variety of factors including their visible difference in accent and appearance; their lack of Australian qualifications and experience; and the failure of federal English language programs to provide adequate employment skills or continuity in training for some immigrant groups. Even where refugees do find employment, this is typically in low status occupations or in workplace contexts where they often face structural barriers and discrimination. All these factors limit the employment opportunities of refugees in the supposedly egalitarian society of Australia which gives everyone a 'fair go'
Third International Conference on Racisms in the New World Order: Realities of Culture, Colour and Identity
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