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Migration, Multiculturalism and Language Maintenance in Australia

Polish Migration to Melbourne in the 1980s


Beata Leuner

The author sets out to examine migration movements to Australia and the role of successive immigration legislation: from the notorious White Australia Policy through to the contemporary multicultural agenda. Her detailed case study sheds new light on the experiences of Polish migrants of the 1980s and their children in Melbourne.
The story of successive waves of migration – particularly following the Second World War – and the influence of these on multicultural Australia provide the context of this study. Of particular interest is the relationship between the policy of multiculturalism and language maintenance among first generation Polish migrants and their children (the second generation).
In her empirical study of language maintenance, the author analyses ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors for migration from Poland to Australia. She examines the costs of migration; Polish migrants’ experiences of Australia’s multicultural policy; an evaluation of parents’ migration by their children; re-migration to Poland; interaction between Polish migrants and Australian-born people; and the influence of domains such as the home, institutions of learning, the Polish Catholic Church, the media and other organisations and spheres of Polish cultural activity.
Contents: Migration Movements to Australia – Migration Policies in Australia – Migration and Language Maintenance in Multicultural Australia – Polish Migrants and their Children: Language maintenance theories and factors – Polish Migration to Australia - a historical background and characteristics – Migration and Polish Language Maintenance among the First Generation 1980s Polish Migrants and their Second Generation Children from Endogamous and Exogamous Marriages in Melbourne - an empirical study – Push and Pull Factors to Migrate – Effects on Polish Migrants of Government Policies (Polish and Australian).