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Not Quite Australian

How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation

Not Quite Australian by Peter Mares
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Permanent migration has long been vital to the story of Australia. From the arrival of early settlers to waves of post-war immigration, the symbolic moment of disembarking onto Australian soil is an image deeply embedded in our nation’s consciousness.

Today, there are more than million temporary migrants living in Australia. They work, pay tax and abide by our laws, yet they remain unrecognised as citizens. All the while, this rise in temporary migration is redefining Australian society, from wage wars and healthcare benefits, to broader ideas of national identity and cultural diversity.

In Not Quite Australian, award-winning journalist Peter Mares draws on case studies, interviews and personal stories to investigate the complex realities of this new era of temporary migration. Mares considers such issues as the expansion of the 457 work visa, the unique experience of New Zealand migrants, the internationalisation of Australia's education system and our highly politicised asylum-seeker policies to draw conclusions about our nation's changing landscape.

Not Quite Australian is packed with fresh insight and challenging new ideas for understanding Australia’s growing culture of temporary migration.

Peter Mares is an independent writer and researcher. He is a contributing editor with the online magazine Inside Story and a senior moderator with The Cranlana Programme. Peter was a broadcaster with the ABC for twenty-five years, serving as a foreign correspondent based in Hanoi and presenting national radio programs. He is the author of the award-winning book Borderline: Australia's Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Tampa and has written about migration for many media outlets including the Age, Australian Financial Review and Griffith Review. Peter lives in Melbourne with his wife and son.

‘Mares is indefatigable in his data gathering and scrupulously even-handed in weighing the evidence. He strikes an exquisite balance between the personal and scholarly, the humane and tough-mindedness. Not Quite Australian is big-picture storytelling with a pulse, always keeping ideals, blunt realities and people—the exposed who want a place and the lucky ones entrenched here—in the frame.’ Australian

‘An important and timely contribution to the debate about how Australia should handle the migration of people to its territory, and I highly recommend it.’ Australian Book Review 

‘Compellingly readable…[Mares’] research is comprehensive, intellectually deft, ethically and philosophically grounded—but digestible, and personally attested…This is on-the-ground, people-focused journalism of the highest kind.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Mares has once again presented a controversial and complicated topic with clarity and humanity. At a time when a national conversation about what it means to be Australian (or unAustralian) seems daily social media fodder, Not Quite Australian is an important contribution. And a reminder of the importance of thorough, slow-burn journalism in the hot-takes age.’ Big Issue

‘This detailed, careful and topical book is illuminated by the personal stories of individuals and families caught up in a complex and bureaucratic system, and it leaves a lasting impression of an Australia that is becoming a two-tiered country…Powerful and persuasive.’ Overland 

‘This book is one which should be read by policymakers and concerned citizens alike.’ Spectator

‘One of the most important books published in Australia in 2016. An impressive account of one of the biggest scandals in contemporary Australia; how we’ve sleepwalked into a policy environment that encourages the systemic exploitation of an underclass of millions of temporary migrants in our country.’ Tim Watts

The Text Publishing Company; August 2016
336 pages; ISBN 9781922253705
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Not Quite Australian
Author: Peter Mares
  • News
Peter Mares - The Conversation AU
Wed, 12 Feb 2014 12:18:26 -0800
The Conversation AUPeter MaresThe Conversation AUHe has a long-standing interest in migration issues and is the author of ...

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