“Australia is a country of spoiled children”

Machismo, racism, lack of openness, indifference to innovation … At the risk of appearing unfair, Australians who have decided to make their living abroad point to the flaws in the Australian mentality.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foreign Office estimated the number of Australians living abroad at 1 million. They are 398,000 to have spat out thousands of dollars and undergone strict border controls to return to the country, many of them for good, between March and October this year, but 36,000 more, at least, wanted to return and did not could not. Which means the majority of Australian expats have decided to stay where they were – and the events of 2020 crystallize exactly the reasons for some of them.

“It’s hard to have a sense of belonging when other Australians behave like they don’t want us to come home, says Ashton Hollwarth, a vet who moved from Perth to the UK five years ago. They say for example: ‘Well you chose to stay there’ and ‘You were told to come home’ while I have friends who have spent a fortune trying to get back and have had a host of canceled flights. These attacks by Australians in Australia on Australians abroad are hurtful and a bit scary. ”

“I am appalled by political life”

If many expats welcome the Australian management of the pandemic, they also note the signs of a closed mentality which had pushed them to leave.

“Every time I come back to the country, I am appalled by the political life”, says Hugh Rutherford, a photographer and filmmaker living in Kampala, Uganda. Ugandans often tell him that he is lucky to come from Australia and that they would love to live there. “It’s true, it’s a fabulous country, but damn it, we could do better! It would be hard for young Ugandans. Bad skin color to start with. Of course, I don’t tell them, but it really saddens me. We say we are welcoming but we really are not. ”

Stuart McDonald, who has written travelogues and has lived in Southeast Asia for over twenty years, agrees. “It feels more and more in the United States anger, corruption, catastrophic treatment of minorities… Why expose my children to this unnecessarily? ”

Most expats don’t like what they see as a shift to the right, especially on climate change and refugee issues.

“Seen from abroad, Australia is a country of spoiled children, says Sam Davies, who runs a communications agency in Paris. The climate ? Get moving, p


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Kate Guest

Journalist based in Australia, Kate Guest contributes in particular to the Australian edition of Guardian.


Independence and quality characterize this title born in 1821, which houses some of the country’s most respected columnists. The Guardian is the leading journal for the intelligentsia, teachers and trade unionists. Oriented to


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