New Rules for Migrants in Australia?

As you know, I recently received a letter from Immigration Minister Chris Bowen informing me that my application for Australian citizenship had been approved. He also said I would soon receive an invitation from his department about my Australian citizenship ceremony.

And I have.

My, or rather our ceremony will take place on Australia Day, that’s 26 January for those who aren’t aware, in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Hehe! Nearly there.

Now, I had to pass a pretty stiff citizenship test (ahem) in order to get through. But if the spokeswoman on citizenship for the coalition, that’s the political party not in power, gets her way, I’d have to take a little bit of extra training.

This is how the story appeared on the news….

Yes, Teresa Gambaro, MP, has caused a bit of a stink around here with remarks suggesting that us migrants need to be better educated with regards to the Australian way of life, and in particular, about wearing deodorant and waiting in line politely.

Suggesting that us migrants stink has got up a lot of people’s noses around here, but I’m livid about this waiting in line thing.

I come from somewhere they used to call Great Britain; we invented queueing up! We are world leaders at standing in line patiently! There isn’t anything anyone can teach us about standing still politely!

We have had some fantastic (and polite) queues in England.

  • To be truly British, to really understand our culture, most Brits have spent at least three hours queueing up to get into Madame Tussaud’s.
  • When the Northern Rock Building Society hit the rocks in September 2007, thousands of people realised their life savings were at risk. What did they do? They formed a queue!
  • We even teach new immigrants how to line up before they even enter Britain….

Queue Pushing

In contrast, on the very first day I arrived here in Australia as a permanent resident, somebody “pushed in” as I was waiting to board the transfer bus from the international terminal to domestic.

“Hey, there is a queue!” I said.

His reply made it obvious to me that he was an Australian. “No worries mate, there you go” he said, waving me ahead.

Very soon after my arrival here, at Wet ‘n’ Wild, about four 12-year-old kids tried to push past me in the queue for the SkyCoaster.

“Oi!” I said.

And they swivelled around and went to the back of the queue.

In other countries, either of these two incidents may well have led to a fatal stabbing.


So I think we can applaud the Australians for their easy-going and non-aggressive nature. But please, you can’t teach us Brits anything about queueing!

As for deodorant, she may have a point. Maybe I’ll go and buy some tomorrow.

Or perhaps I’ll go jump in the ….

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • John January 13, 2012, 10:09 pm |

    Yeah and while we are at it, the loud and the ugly ones should wear a bag over their head. Unfortunately, they are also the ones that sometimes make the most sense!

    • BobinOz January 17, 2012, 2:16 pm |

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you on this one, I’ve been out bag shopping 🙂

  • Rupert January 12, 2012, 6:22 pm |

    Has Ms Gambaro looked in a mirror lately? If migrants should wear deodorant, then politicians should eat healthier food and exercise more. See what happens when you ‘generalise’, Ms Gambaro?

    • BobinOz January 13, 2012, 10:00 pm |

      Fair comment, after all, she started it!

  • John V January 12, 2012, 4:53 pm |

    She might talk to them, look at them, and decided their culture by physical attributes, but lets face it, its a rotten job, but someone had to do it, but perfect for politicians.

    • BobinOz January 13, 2012, 9:59 pm |

      I wonder if she enjoys her work?

  • John V January 12, 2012, 2:03 am |

    I can see it

    “The pledge of Antiperspirants”
    From this time forward,
    I pledge my loyalty to Australia,
    And its people,
    Whose Hygiene habits I share,
    Whose underarm deodorants I respect and
    Whose orderly queues I will join and obey
    ripped from the cartoon. 11/01/2012
    If you’ve ever been on a tram in Smelbourne (and yes it was once upon a time called that for other reasons than the unwashed)
    You will appreciate the politician’s sensitivity.
    I would suggest she may even use public transport where the “apehangers” on trams and trains expose one to the most virilant form of malodorous relatives of the ape world.
    Well said by her and no need to apologise. Maybe she is too good as a politician. Said like a man.

    • BobinOz January 12, 2012, 3:54 pm |

      Yes, but how does she think she knows all the smelly ones migrants?

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