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Junior School: Migration

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”



Migration is the movement of a person or a group of people, to settle in another place, often across a political or administrative boundary. Migration can be temporary or permanent, and it may be voluntary or forced.

There are two important terms that relate to migration

Immigration (people coming in from elsewhere) and Emigration (people leaving their home country).


Australia has a rich history of Migration that spans many decades.  It has been influenced by war, economics, the Government and a chance at freedom.
This term, Grade 6 will be learning about Migrants to Australia after World War II.  We will investigate where they came from, why they came and where they settled. 


The top ten migrant groups that came to Australia during 2014 and 2015 are,
United Kingdom
The Philippines,
South Africa






Migration is the medium to long-term movement of people - either within a country or from one country to another. They migrate for a variety of reasons, including economic, social, political and environmental.

Voluntary Migration -  Sometimes people choose to migrate because they want to.  They might be looking to live in a better climate, they might have a better job opportunity to go to, they might want to move closer to places they holiday in or they might want to live closer to their family or friends.  They don't need to stay in these places forever.  They can move back home whenever they like.

Forced Migration - Some people are forced to move because the country in which they live has become too dangerous.  These people have usually left their homes to escape violence and persecution. These people often don't bring anything with them when they move.  They have had to leave their homes with nothing and they quite often are unable to return to the place from where they came.



The total number of migrants to Australia in the 2014 - 2015 period was 189 097 people. 
127 774 places were taken by Skilled Migrants, 61 085 places were taken by migrants who arrived under the Family Stream, 238 places were delivered in the Special Eligibility Stream - which does not include refugees. Special Eligibility covers two groups of people seeking to remain in or to return to Australia as permanent residents who had never acquired Australian citizenship.

This means that 67.6% of migrants who came to Australia during 2014/2015 could speak good English and had qualification and work experience that the Australian Government considered valuable to our economy. Of this 67.6% of skilled workers, more than half of them were trained professionals and just less than 20% of migrants were technicians or trade workers

Skilled Stream
These are migrants who can speak English, have qualifications and work experience in their chosen field.  Australia might also be experiencing a shortage in that particular skill.

Family Stream
These are migrants who have been accepted into Australia because they have a close family member living as an Australian resident or citizen.  They don't need to have a special skill and they don't need to be able to speak English.

Humanitarian Program
Australia is an active member of the international community and we share the responsibility for protecting refugees - people who have been forced to leave their home contra and cannot return because of war, famine or persecution. The Humanitarian program offers protection to refugees who are already in Australia and offers resettlement to refugees overseas.







There are two main factors that cause migration. Negative push factor and positive pull factors. Push factors are the bad things about the country in which you live that might push you to migrate to another country.  Pull factors are the positive things about another country that would make you want to go and live there.Migration can also be dependent on age, gender, wealth and skill.  Opportunities to migrate aren't always equal.


  • poor housing
  • not enough work or job opportunities
  • lack of religious or political freedom
  • racial discrimination
  • persecution or death threats
  • overpopulation
  • war or threat of war


  • good housing and living conditions.
  • enough work and job opportunities
  • political and religious freedom
  • education opportunities
  • attractive climate
  • safety
  • family ties



There are more than 15 million refugees around the world.
80% of refugees live in developing countries.
More than 1/2 of refugees live in urban areas.
Less than a 1/3 of refugees live in camps.

​47% of refugees and asylum seekers are women and girls.


Where do Australian Refugees Come From?

Below is a list of refugee and humanitarian visas entrants by top 10 countries of origin.

2015–2016 offshore visa grants by top 10 countries of birth


Countries Number of visas granted
Iraq 4,358
Syria 4,261
Myanmar 1,951
Afghanistan 1,714
Congo (DRC) 657
Bhutan 515
Somalia 437
Iran 337
Ethiopia 337
Eritrea 291


An asylum seeker is someone who has fled their home and is seeking protection from another country.  They are waiting for their claim to be a refugee to be evaluated.

 A refugee is a person who has fled persecution, has sought protection and has been granted refugee status. A refugee may be residing in a refugee camp waiting for an opportunity to return to their home country, waiting for resettlement in another country, or may have been resettled in another country such as Australia. 

A migrant is a person who chooses to leave their country, generally to seek work, undertake study or be reunited with family. They can return home at any time if things don't work out.

An asylum seeker is someone seeking protection because they have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. An asylum seeker could also be someone who is fleeing other serious human rights violations, including torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognised as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker.


Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (the Migration Act), asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a valid visa must be held in immigration detention until they are granted a visa or removed from Australia.
There is no limit under Australian law to the length of time for which a person may be held in immigration detention. Some asylum seekers spend long periods of time in immigration detention waiting for their refugee claim to be assessed; waiting for the completion of health, identity and security checks; or awaiting removal from Australia if they have been found not to be a refugee nor someone who is owed ‘complementary protection’.