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Is Australia safe for foreign students and immigrants?

The United States-based blog for Indo-Americans, “Sepia Mutiny”  has frequently carried alarming accounts of unprovoked attacks on Indian students. Recently there has been some bad press for Australia in the Indian news media about similar-seeming events. Is the situation comparable? Should prospective Indian students (and their parents), investors and independent skilled migrants feel any alarm?

No. Australia is a much different culture and society: western, yes; American, no. There are no guns: Australia strictly controls and largely bans private gun ownership. There is no history in Australia of any ethnic community being rigorously oppressed and suppressed, apart from the unfortunate aboriginal Australians, whose lot is assuredly tragic but who do not resort to violence.

The rate of, crime in Australia, including violent crime, is extremely low: it is comparable with the rates in Canada, the UK and New Zealand, where guns are also strictly controlled. It compares extremely favourably with the USA, where there are both a relatively uncontrolled gun culture and discrete populations of disaffected and marginalized unfortunates.

Australian cities are extremely safe and the Australian police extremely vigilant; in regional towns even more so. International students who are serious about their studies won’t venture into pubs in the wrong part of town on the wrong night of the week or drink more than is wise. There are strict anti-discrimination laws and those who engage in speech or action which is hostile to others on the grounds of race, religion, gender or political views are harshly penalised. Employment is equal-opportunity and this too is strictly enforced.

Visitors to Australia from Indian invariably exclaim over the cleanliness, orderly and safety of Australian streets, suburbs, towns and cities and the friendliness of the local people.

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