Setting the record straight: Migration makes Australia great

Migrants coming to Australia are bringing far more than cultural diversity – with new research showing that the 33% of small businesses owned by migrants are making a significant contribution to our economy, including creating thousands of new jobs.

The CGU Migrant Small Business Report found that migrant business owners are entrepreneurial, innovative and ambitious, and are likely to create over 200,000 new Australian jobs in the next 5-10 years.

While these statistics tell a positive story, the report also uncovered that anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in pockets of our communities. The findings showed that young migrants or migrants who have settled in Australia recently are more likely to experience racial discrimination.

These trends may be fueled by myths and misconceptions that migrants take Australian jobs, rely heavily on government benefits and put pressure on our infrastructure – however the research shows that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

This experience is one that CGU Small Business Customer, Hamid Ranjbarian, who arrived in Australia from Iran in 2013, agreed with. He found it difficult to find employment and ultimately worked outside his field of expertise.

Watch Hamid's story

Hamid started his own painting business in 2015, employs over 15 Australians and is looking to make new hires. Hamid is one of many migrant small business owners making an immense contribution to Australia.

In fact, according to the Migration Institute of Australia, Australia wouldn’t thrive without migrants. Our population would stagnate and our economy would go into recession.

So as we approach the day when we celebrate our great country, isn’t it time that we set the record straight and recognise Australians like Hamid?

Hamid, and the rest of Australia’s 620,000 migrant business owners may not have been born here, but they’re driving this country forward.

They fully embody the very best of Australian values of resilience, grit and having a go. They’re as Australian as it gets.