“But what about the discrimination there?”

Fellow Filipinos interested in migrating to Australia commonly want to know how bad the racial discrimination it is here. Take one of our readers who emailed us the other day:

Alam mo dito sa atin when you talk of migrating to Aussie everybody would say grabe ang discrimination daw diyan. Wala daw tayo pag-asang umangat dahil sila puti at tayo brown. (You know that here in the Philippines, when you talk of migrating to Australia, everybody would say that the discrimination there is atrocious. I was told that we have no chance to advance there because they’re white and we’re brown.)

I can only speak from my own experience. And that is, I haven’t really encountered any discrimination in the workplace (at least, not overtly). I guess it helped that I work in the information technology sector. I believe that discrimination usually stems from ignorance. People in IT tend to be less ignorant than most, after all.

In my six years living in Australia, however, I had my share of some racial discrimination from people I came across out on the street. Mostly from rednecks or people who don’t seem to be the intellectual type. Nothing I couldn’t shrug off, really.

I think that the discrimination that could be encountered here in Australia is just about the same as anywhere else in the world on average. In some cases, I’m embarrassed to admit that some of our fellow Pinoys can be discriminatory as well. For example, I’ve heard of cases where Filipinos who have lived in Australia for a long time tend to look down on new Filipino migrants (not us or our friends here, of course). Also, if you’ve grown up in the Philippines, you’d know how our society lamentably has this tendency to poke fun at those with darker skin complexion or those with disabilities (as evidenced from local TV shows or films of old).

Anyway, on whole, Australians are very nice, welcoming and friendly folks. They are eager to give a total stranger a helping hand. Australians generally believe in giving everybody a fair go. It’s actually something they hold to be a very important Australian Value. So whatever the colour of your skin complexion, that shouldn’t hinder you from advancing in your chosen career here in Australia. Just do your job well and you should be right.

Published in: on October 5, 2006 at 11:22 pm  Comments (7)