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Thoughts and Reflections on African Migration and Settlement in Australia.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Compulsory Test for Migrants

Migrants to Australia may soon find it difficult to become citizens of the country because of the English language requirement.

There is also a new proposal for compulsory testing of all migrants for their basic knowledge of Australian culture, history and values as a pre-requisite for citizenship.

But the advocates of a more liberal immigration policy strongly believe that no formal proposal should be adopted without a vigorous public debate.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Desperately Seeking Asylum

The team officials and athletes who attended last month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia have stayed on to enjoy Australian hospitality, according to The Australian newspaper report.

Some are desperately seeking asylum. In fact, three young women from the West African nation of Sierra Leone are among the 26 athletes and officials who have declared their intention to remain in Australia permanently.

The women are fearful of being forced to undergo the brutal traditional female circumcision, if they return to Sierra Leone.

Thus, down in the trenches, there is a desperate struggle for freedom and survival, so to speak!

The recent report suggests that participants from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Cameroon are among the 126 athletes and team officials who have over-stayed their special Games visas.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monica's Eye

The Australian city of Darwin managed to evade the eye of the storm, as Cyclone Monica is downgraded to a tropical low.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cyclone Monica

The residents of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula are battling gale force winds as cyclone Monica, a category three tropical storm, crosses the far north Queensland coast. This is the second cyclone in less than a month.

Monday, April 17, 2006

New Detention Plans for Asylum Seekers

Under the new hardline approach to asylum seekers, people who enter Australia by boat, illegally, will be sent to the Pacific Island of Nauru, Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, or Christmas Island for processing.

They will, then, be relocated to a third country, according to The Australian newspaper report.

The Uniting Church has attacked the new detention plans as an act of moral abandonment. And refugee advocates argue it will lead to the long term incarceration of children.

The tough new policy on asylum seekers threatens to rekindle the debate about the best possible way of dealing with the problem.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

African Athletes apply for Visas

Eight of the 14 Sierra Leonean athletes who fled from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games have applied for visas to stay in Australia. They were granted extended bridging visas a few weeks ago.

Others are also expected to lodge their visa applications, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Chronic Skills Shortage

A report just released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has identified areas of chronic skills shortage in the country.

In Western Australia, for example, the booming resources sector and a strong property market have fuelled the demand for skilled personnel; placing considerable pressure on labour supply.

In fact, there is a significant increase in demand for skilled workers in the electrical and metal trades, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In New South Wales, the government has launched a scheme to double the state’s intake of skilled migrants by sponsoring employees in the finance, pharmaceutical, information technology, and biotechnology sectors.

The program will target migrants with professional and trade qualifications to fill vacancies in regional areas.