The Growing Community of Colombians in Australia

Jul 17, 2019

Between Colombia and Australia, these two countries stand out from each other in regards to culture, history, language, all the way down to its individual citizen and how they live out their everyday lives.

But ever since the day when Australia established diplomatic ties in 1976, with an embassy in Colombia in Bogota, the relations between the two have been rather steady despite society being ever-changing. And in the decades since then, citizens of both countries have migrated to the other, discovering the rich culture that each country would provide, as well as better opportunities for living.

But why is that?

In a word where globalization and modern technology have made it easier for individuals from one country to discover the wonders of the world outside of their home, and the desire to immigrate is the result of that. The economic growth of Australia is also among the leading factors for the rise of the Latin American population in Australia. Immigration is a dream and an opportunity that citizens of each country would strive for. Between the late 80s to the late 2010s, Australia has seen a significant surge of Colombian expatriates. Australia has seen an increase of Colombian immigrants by as much as 70% in the early 2010s.

But with this many wishing to live in Australia, one can wonder, why? What are the factors that make Australia such a desired country to live with for the Colombian people? To cut the story short, a long history of political unrest caused by the National Front Regime as well as its aftermath have forced many of its people to seek better lives outside the country. And while many would choose the neighboring countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, or Peru, it wasn't until the late 70s when Australia opened their embassy. This opened the doors for Colombians to travel between the two countries. Since then, many Colombians have made their home in Australian soil.

Due to the strong family ties present in their culture, many expats still maintain a very strong connection to their home country despite the distance and generations of migration and settling down. Many Colombian-Aussies would travel back to their homeland, visiting to discover and explore their heritage, or even migrate back.

But not everything is all good news, increased immigration can also mean many things for both countries. Among these issues is the increasing unemployment rate. Even with the appeal of living in Australia, Colombians (and other foreigners), face a difficult challenge securing work in Australia to support themselves financially, with some finding themselves in a precarious situation without a solid job, income or living arrangements.

Today the country would still see Colombian immigrants traveling to their shores to either visit or seek opportunities to live on Australian soil. Sydney usually sees the largest Colombian population in the country, which comprises about 45% of the total Latin-American Australian population, behind Peru-Australians and Uruguay-Australians. And even with the challenges posed by risks of unemployment and even deportation, nevertheless, Colombians would still choose Australia as among their top countries.


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