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  • 前言
  • "Immigration is taking away our jobs" 70% of Australians oppose further immigration
  • "Masters no longer go in and out of the palace, but wander about for life" The professional gap after the Chinese came to Australia
  • What jobs are Chinese Australians doing?
  • Can Asians break the "workplace ceiling"?
  • Conclusion


The hit drama "All Very Good", which I swiped the screen a while ago, finally ushered in the finale. In addition to Su Mingyu, who was treated unfairly in his native family, the Su Mingzhe and his wife who insisted on staying in the United States in the play also caused extensive and heated discussions.

In the play, although Su Mingzhe, the eldest brother of the Su family, graduated from Tsinghua University and got a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford after he went to the United States, his job search experience has been quite tortuous. He experienced unemployment in the United States and returned to Shanghai to find a job. Work, and finally chose to resign and return to the United States to be unemployed and to be with his family.

Su Mingzhe, who graduated with Ph.D. from Stanford, could not find a job in the United States after losing his job / Source: Stills

And Su Mingzhe's wife, Wu Fei, although she also graduated from a prestigious American university with a master's degree, for many years she could only work as a front desk for a company in the United States, and she was still blushingly taught by the manager.

Fei Wu who doesn't want to go back to China even in the U.S. / Source: Stills

"Can't eat Chinese food", "Can't get a taxi", "The doctors next door took off their lab coats to deliver pizza", "Can't you put your body down and serve your plates" …Although there is something about Chinese in the play The details of immigrants working and living overseas are still worthy of scrutiny and questioning;

But it is undeniable thatThere are indeed many Chinese who have "exhausted their money" and "worked hard" after finally getting a green card, only to find that life is not what they imagined.


"Immigration is taking away our jobs"

70% of Australians oppose further immigration

Australia, this attractive southern hemisphere continent, has always been one of the most popular destinations for Chinese immigrants to settle.

Among all Australian immigrants in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, China was the second birthplace of these new immigrants, with a total of 2.96 people, second only to India.

The history of Chinese immigration to Australia can be traced back to the 19s. Mai Shiying, a native of Guangzhou, is believed to be the first Chinese to settle in Sydney. Later, with the discovery of a large number of gold mines in New South Wales and Victoria on the east coast of Australia, especially in Victoria, a huge gold rush was also set off, bringing a large number of Chinese miners to Melbourne, which is known as the "new gold mountain". And chose to settle and breed in Australia.

After that, there will be the "going abroad wave" and "study abroad wave" of all Chinese people...

Source: "Australian Finance Insights" based on data compiled by the Department of Home Affairs

In fact, about 28% of the population in Australia was born overseas. This ratio is more than twice that of the United Kingdom and the United States, and the political disputes in these countries on immigration issues are far more intense than Australia.

In addition, 21% of Australians have at least one parent born overseas, which means that nearly half of the Australian population are first- or second-generation immigrants. Especially in Sydney and Melbourne, this ratio is more concentrated.

Behind the huge immigrant population, Australia's immigration problem has become the focus of unavoidable problems.

Prime Minister Morrison emphasized at the end of last year that the current annual number of permanent immigrants in Australia will be limited to 16 per year. In fact, this is only slightly lower than last year's actual figure of 16.2, but it is obviously stricter than last year's "official ceiling" of 19.

To alleviate the pressure on the central city, Morrison is trying to attract more international students to regional universities and promised them an extra year of working time. Source: Andrew Taylor

Earlier, the leader of the NSW Labor Party, Michael Daley, even publicly stated that in a speech in the Blue Mountains area, he said that "our children" were leaving Sydney and were replaced by foreigners who "moved into Sydney and took their jobs".

He said in his speech, "Our children will escape from Sydney, so who will replace them? They are being replaced by young people from Asia with a PhD degree."

Michael Daley, the leader of the NSW Labor Party who returned home in the NSW general election / Source: ABC

In fact, when politicians and parties make xenophobic remarks, the motive behind it is nothing more than the panic of consuming local Australians and canvassing votes for the general election (click to read "Fatal thinking? New Zealand air strike! The first "holocaust" in the Internet age》).

An immigrant population survey initiated by the Australian National University at the end of 2018 showed that among the more than 2000 Australians interviewed, 70% opposed the further acceptance of immigrants.

In a street interview with ABC, 76-year-old Joyce Barrow said that she did not want to see too many people other than white people immigrating to Australia. She said, “Too many Chinese come here and our people cannot find a job. And they come to these countries with money, and they all seem to have jobs.”

A 63-year-old Perth man named Gerald Sanders also expressed similar views in an interview.

"The government needs to slow down the pace of immigration. So many immigrants have entered Australia, and all the cheap houses have been taken away by them. These immigrants have also taken their jobs. If you look at those car repair shops, there are no Australians working in them. ."

So what are the working and living conditions of these Chinese immigrants who have taken white jobs from them and have "high education" in Australia?


"The master no longer enters and exits the hall, but wanders for life"

Occupational gap after Chinese come to Australia

Recently, a wandering master who talks about Chinese culture and art has attracted the attention of many netizens on Douyin."The master is wandering, the clown is in heaven."

The master was originally named Shen Wei, a 54-year-old from Shanghai. He graduated from Fudan University and worked in the Audit Bureau of Xuhui District, Shanghai.

He is ragged but full of resources. Almost every broadcaster who has published a video about him has received thousands of attention, comments and likes.

"Wandering Master" Shen Wei / Source: Strait Metropolis Daily

Master Shen freely chose a wandering life for his own ideas and values. After many Chinese came to Australia, they have also experienced the transformation from being a master of "wandering in and out of the palace" to having to "wander for life".

Previously, a special theme report during the Spring Festival "Hometown that can't go back: A Guide to Chinese Australians"(Click to read more), Australian Financial Insight interviewed the stories and reasons behind the Chinese Australians choosing to return to China or stay in Australia.

Twenty or thirty years ago, many Chinese who chose to immigrate overseas during the "going abroad wave" had an obsession in their hearts: "As long as you go out, you will succeed."

This point, in the phenomenon-level hit dramas "Beijing People in New York" and "Shanghai People in Tokyo", both Jiang Wen and Chen Daoming's roles have deeply realized that "even washing dishes abroad is better than staying." The feeling of being strong in the country.

"Beijing People in New York"

In fact, before the 1986s, the average annual income of China's two major cities, Beijing and Shanghai, was only around RMB 1271. Taking XNUMX as an example, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the average annual salary of employees nationwide was only XNUMX yuan. However, for the people in developed countries at that time, this figure was really the cost of a fine dinner.

In Australia in 1990, the per capita annual income exceeded 2 Australian dollars. At that time, even if the dishes were washed abroad to earn money, the quality of life and the quality of materials enjoyed abroad were much higher than in China.

But soon, this beautiful dream was gradually broken by time and reality.

On one side is the helplessness of the workplace ceiling within reach and the language and cultural barriers, on the other side, looking at the wealth of China one after another in recent years from the sea, and the higher and higher salaries of the peers who stayed in China in the circle of friends Salary and professional development level...

When those wandering overseas finally wanted to look back, they realized that they could never go back.

Some people choose Ah Q-style spiritual comfort. After all, Australia has bright sunshine, beaches and fresh air; while some people conceal their depression in their hearts.

In fact, according to a survey report by Lifeline, 2038% of the 38 Chinese Australians surveyed have experienced a period of psychological stress, and 36% said that people around them have experienced a period of psychological stress.

The survey showed that for Chinese in Australia, the main causes of stress and anxiety are economic and family problems. The lack of access to friends and family in China can also lead to mental health problems.

Sarah, a senior registered nurse who works in a large public hospital in Australia, is deeply touched by what happened to Chinese friends.

Sarah revealed, “A friend of mine originally had a good job in China, but couldn’t find a professional job in Australia. This friend first studied at TAFE (Technical Vocational College) and then found a job, but because I was unemployed due to a bad economy and ended up as a cleaner. The huge gap at work made this friend very depressed for a while."


What jobs are Chinese Australians doing?

According to statistics from the latest Australian National Census, there are nearly 60 native Mandarin speakers living in Australia.

Among them, the largest number is accountants, with 15798 people. This is also because for a long time before, accounting is an old Australian immigration profession. According to statistics, the median annual salary of an Australian accountant is 55160 Australian dollars.

The number ranked second and third are sales assistants and retail managers, with 2 and 3 respectively. The median annual salary of the former is AU$12911 and the annual salary of the latter is AU$8117.

I believe that every Chinese is very familiar with the job ranked No. 4-waiter.

You can see Chinese waiters in almost every Chinese restaurant in Australia. Most of these waiters are part-timers, and some of them are students in order to earn some living expenses. The median annual salary for this profession is $31807.

Other Chinese occupations ranked in the top ten are successively:

5. Programmers (5353 people)

6. Registered nurses (5336 people)

7. Chef (4982 people)

8. Real estate sales (4607 people)

9. Kitchen helpers (4235 people)

10. Packers (4198 people)

Regardless of technical jobs such as accountants, programmers, nurses, etc., it is said that among the Chinese immigrants who work part-time in the Australian retail, service industry, or engage in more physical work, to be honest, how many have ever been or would be willing to do the same job in China?

"The landlord called a plumber. A Chinese came. He used to be a senior engineer in China." A Chinese student told "Australian Finance and Economics."

This is not to discriminate against plumbers. After all, the income of plumbers and electricians in Australia is very generous, even higher than the fees charged by lawyers.

According to Australian national data from the employment website service seeking, plumbers charge an average of A$78.40 per hour, an increase of 1.9% over last year, and electricians charge an average of A$74.61 per hour, an increase of 4%. According to PayScale, the average hourly income of Australian lawyers is $37.

A lecturer who teaches at a well-known university in China, while studying for a PhD in Australia, while putting down his body to become a masseur. In order to stay in Australia after graduation, he even applied to go to Tasmania, but unfortunately the visa was refused.

In fact, there are still many hard-working and lucky Chinese who have found their favorite and stable jobs, but many people have to leave Sydney and Melbourne where they have studied for many years to settle in a distant and unfamiliar Australian city.

The first generation of immigrants who successfully stayed in Australia will never be able to avoid the gap between Chinese and Western languages ​​and cultures.

Some Chinese students may say, “I think Australia is very equal and I have never felt discrimination. I can also mingle with local friends in school and have a great time.”

That's because you are still at school and there is no conflict of interest. Of course you can have fun; and with the blessing of your parents' tuition and living expenses, you can naturally enjoy the fun of life abroad.

But as soon as you leave school and start looking for a job, you will immediately feel the slap in life's merciless slap.

Visa restrictions, language proficiency, cultural understanding barriers...any one has nailed a ceiling for the career development of first-generation immigrants.

In Sydney, there are already many "China districts" like this

The helplessness and abandonment of the gap between Chinese and Western languages ​​and cultures has also led to many Chinese living in Australia, and it seems that they are living in another "China":

Living in a gathering place of Chinese people, working in a Chinese company, and only doing business with Chinese people, most of the meetings and contacts are Chinese friends.


Can Asians break the Australian "workplace ceiling"?

The Australian Human Rights Commission report in August last year pointed out that currently about 8% of Australia’s chief executives are white, and called for greater cultural diversity among senior management in the Australian workplace.

According to SBS, the Commissioner of the Anti-Race Discrimination Committee, Dr. Tim, stated that all non-European and Aboriginal people accounted for 24% of Australia’s total population, but this ethnic group accounts for only 5% of Australia’s senior managers, especially in This situation is particularly evident in government departments and universities.

Tim Soutphommasane, Commissioner of the Anti-Race Discrimination Committee / Source: SBS

In fact, a previous study conducted by the University of Melbourne showed that in 2015, only 3.4% of all the vice presidents of colleges and universities in Australia were Asian, and no Asian was the principal.

Ms. Long Ming (transliteration) of Asian background is an exception. She is the first Asian woman to lead a "S&P 200" listed company. She has served as a senior manager in fund investment companies, real estate and education.

Ming Long / Source: SBS

She believes that cultural diversity is very important in the construction of enterprises. In her team, there are members from different ethnicities and backgrounds to facilitate smooth communication with banks or shareholders of different countries and cultural backgrounds. For example, if you are faced with an Asian bank, it is very logical that an Asian employee will lead the contact.

But this problem is not unsolvable. Many Chinese Australians have pioneered their own business.

For example, Airwallex, an Australian Chinese startup company that has received much attention recently, has completed another round of financing of up to 1 million US dollars, with a valuation of 10 billion US dollars. There is no doubt that it has become a new unicorn. It also became the fastest growing company in Australian history.

CEO Jack Zhang: "Individuality is essential in startups." / Source: Vest


After all, before going abroad, you still have to figure out what you want.

Many people have encountered difficulties and setbacks in their domestic lives, and there will always be moments when people want to escape. Those who want to escape have to imagine a place again, and as long as they go there, they won’t have the troubles of "all chicken feathers" now.

Therefore, many people think of foreign countries too well before going abroad. It seems that they can live a good life like "I don't know the Wei Jin" in "Peach Blossom Spring". And such people feel the biggest psychological gap after they go abroad.

As Gao Xiaosong said in Xiao Shuo, he believes that the personality of a nation is inexplicably related to the geographical environment of the country. People born in a country where they have seen tigers and wolves naturally have a bloody contention in their hearts.

But for example, in New Zealand next to Australia, a country where there is no complete food chain, the national animal is Kiwi, a flightless bird that lays only one egg at a time. Those who grew up and lived in New Zealand were proud to call themselves "Kiwi", diligent, simple and comfortable, like hobbits in the Lord of the Rings.

Kiwi, the flightless New Zealand national bird / Source: Dodo

Perhaps one day, when you are no longer tortured by lofty ideals and ambitions, and when you can finally feel the warmth of family and the joy of life from the ordinary life, maybe this is the true meaning of choosing immigration.