One-Way Street or Roundabout? German Migration Trajectories to and from Australia Since 1952

Maren Klein


Australia has been a country of immigration since becoming an independent nation in 1901. Until the 1970s the country’s immigration program was predominantly European in origin, geared towards permanent settlement of skilled and also unskilled workers. Changes to Australia’s migration program since the 1970s have seen diversification of country of origin, an increased focus on skills and economic growth, and since the mid-1990s a move towards temporary migration.Germany has been an important migrant source for Australia for more 200 years. Large scale German immigration was part of Australia’s post-war era population policy and took place from 1952 until the late 1960s. German settler migrants in Australia, dubbed “the hidden migrants”, were largely invisible due to their rapid assimilation. Despite a considerable decline in migrant numbers, Germany is still one of the ten most common countries of birth and ancestry in Australia, and ranks in the top 10 source countries for temporary immigration. However, today as in the past outflow of long-term German residents from Australia is significant. Moreover, technological advances in transportation and communications have made circularity a common phenomenon, making the distinction between permanent and temporary migration increasingly vague.This presentation will focus on aspects, processes and determinants of German migration and return behaviour since 1952 in the context of changing macro-level socio-spatial conditions.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n8p438

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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