A ''bamboo ceiling'' is preventing Asian Australians from taking their share of leadership positions, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, has suggested.
In a speech delivered in Perth on Thursday, Dr Soutphommasane said while children of Australians of migrant backgrounds outperformed the children of Australian-born parents in education and employment, the nation's cultural diversity was not represented in positions of leadership.
''Equality of opportunity isn't enjoyed in equal measure in all spheres,'' Dr Soutphommasane said. ''Our efforts in opening the doors of power to all who knock are more questionable.''
Dr Soutphommasane said while nearly half of all Australians were either born overseas or had a parent who was born overseas, and about one in 10 Australians had an Asian background, only a handful of members of Federal Parliament had non-European ancestry, and less than 2 per cent had Asian ancestry. Of 83 secretaries and deputy secretaries of federal government departments, only three had Asian origins.
Asian Australian were also badly underrepresented among the management ranks of business and executive positions at leading universities, he said.
Dr Soutphommasane acknowledged other business leaders of non-Asian backgrounds, such as Irish-born Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and former Telstra boss Sol Trujillo, who has Mexican ancestry, had also been the victims of racial prejudice, but questioned whether Asian Australian faced greater hurdles than those from other backgrounds.
''Is there a bamboo ceiling that exists in the same way that a glass ceiling exists for women?''
Dr Soutphommasane said an optimistic view was that the underrepresentation of Asian Australians in leadership positions was due to the fact that large-scale Asian immigration hadn't started until the 1970s and Asian-Australian leaders were still in the ''pipeline''. But he said a more critical view was that the situation replicated a ''pattern of invisibility'' relating to Asian Australian within Australian culture. He said in the media, Asian faces were largely confined to presenting cooking programs. The stereotype of Asians as law-abiding, hard-working and studious disguised a more negative view of Asians as passive, acquiescent and subservient.
Referring to the indentured Asian labourers of the 19th and early 20th century, Dr Soutphommasane said Australia needed to avoid the creation of a new class of ''professional Asian-Australian coolies in the 21st century - a class of well-educated, ostensibly overachieving Asian Australian, who may nonetheless be permanently locked out from the ranks of their society's leadership''.
Since when has it been part of the "Job Description" of the "Race Discrimination Commissioner" to - (1) Deliver PROPAGANDA FAVOURABLY PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF ASIANS OR OTHERS OVER THOSE OF REAL AUSTRALIANS ?? (2) CAST DEROGATORY ASPERSIONS AGAINST AUSTRALIANS ?? (3) SUGGEST OR DICTATE THE PERCENTAGE COMPOSITION RACIALLY IN OCCUPATIONS ??? (4) AS AN ASIAN, PUBLICLY PROMOTE THE "FAVOURED" ELEVATION OF ASIANS IN SOCIETY OR THE WORK-FORCE ?? (5) SUGGEST THAT "AUSTRALIAN CULTURE" IS RESPONSIBLE FOR "HOLDING BACK" ASIANS IN THEIR JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN AUSTRALIA ?? (6) STATE THAT WE AUSTRALIANS ARE CREATING 21ST CENTURY ASIAN-AUSTRALIAN COOLEES, AND IN THE SAME BREATH STATE THAT THESE ASIANS ARE SO CLEVER SUGGESTING THAT AUSTRALIANS JUST AREN'T THAT BRIGHT ?? . I recommend that this "Commissioner" Keep his ANTI-AUSTRALIAN "HATE-SPEECH" TO HIMSELF, AND, PREFERABLY, PISS OFF BACK TO THE GARBAGE COUNTRY HE CAME FROM, WHERE HIS OWN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN COOLIES FOR CENTURIES, AND STILL ARE, AND WERE SUPPRESSED TO THAT STATUS, NOT BY WHITE EUROPEANS, BUT BY THEIR OWN GRASPING ASIAN MONEYED CLASS !!! NOW HAVING A PROPER WHITE-MAN'S EDUCATION, THIS RACIST COMMISSIONER SHOULD BE WELL QUALIFIED TO RETURN TO HIS OWN COUNTRY AND PERFORM MIRACLES AT RAISING THE STANDARDS FOR THE LONG-SUFFERING COOLIES OF THAT SAD LAND. AH, BUT !!! THERE'LL BE NO WHITE MAN TO BLAME FOR HIS PEOPLE'S PLIGHT !!! WELL, TOUGH BLOODY CHEESE, SPORT !!! WE DON'T NEED ASIAN, ANTI-WHITE RACISTS HERE !!! (Vinco)
The danger of foreigners in positions of "power" in Australia.
BEIJING is manipulating the Chinese-Australian media and conducting systematic surveillance of Chinese Australians and resident Chinese, according to a controversial new paper.
John Fitzgerald, one of Australia’s leading experts on Chinese-Australian community affairs, says that “Chinese Australians are being lectured, monitored, organised and policed in Australia on instruction from Beijing as never before’’.
Mr Fitzgerald, a professor at Swinburne University, says in his paper, published by leading South Korean think tank Asan, that, with the global financial crisis and the decline of the international reputation of the US, “Beijing began to show less reticence in proclaiming authoritarian Leninist values as Chinese values and projecting its voice abroad”.
Within Australia, he says, public figures such as Malcolm Fraser “have begun to echo Beijing’s line … But a cursory glance at Beijing’s dealings with Chinese Australians and Chinese residents in Australia does little to support his vision of a benign China”.
Mr Fitzgerald, the author of Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia, says: “Today, Australia’s major Chinese language media are largely controlled from Beijing, which outlaws open discussion of constitutional issues and civic equality in areas under its remit, even within Australia.”
This effort, he says, is part of a larger proactive strategy of “group management, extraterritorial influence, counter-infiltration, and counter subversion” targeting overseas Chinese communities generally — particularly Chinese students abroad — to ensure their loyalty to Beijing wherever they live.
This active public-diplomacy program, he says, is “highly strategic, clearly focused, and generously supported”.
“Through China International Radio, the World Chinese Media Forum, and other arms of the party-government, the Central Propaganda Bureau outlaws the slightest criticism of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) or PRC government on its Australian radio and press networks.
“It pre-packages its own content for placement in local media, including layout, editing, and typesetting, and has largely banished alternative news sources from co-placement on Australian networks.”
Mr Fitzgerald says: “Recent arrivals from China are said to feel comforted by the familiar voice of Beijing, but others, notably immigrants from Taiwan and earlier arrivals from China, find their programming culturally and politically controversial” — including the broadcasting of anti-Philippine, anti-American, or anti-Japanese material.
The effect, he says, is that “freedom of speech cannot be taken for granted among Chinese Australians.”
Mr Fitzgerald says that the scale of surveillance operations run from Beijing and the opacity of clandestine organisations have accelerated in recent years.
Like the old East German Stasi informant system, he says, the CCP’s informant network is built “on the benign principles of neighbourhood watch under the less benign supervision of paid operatives’’.
“These operatives gather and file information from a large number of volunteer informers in Australia, who report on their fellow students and working colleagues, who then pass on reports to higher authorities in the intelligence system back in China …,’’ Mr Fitzgerald says.
“The CCP’s Australian operations are more clandestine than those of the old-time triads that used to run surveillance and stand-over rackets in Australia’s Chinatowns. It is time for the CCP to come out.”
John Keane, director of the Sydney Democracy Network at Sydney University, said yesterday: “The Chinese government’s soft power push for the hearts and minds of Australians (comprises) a hidden form of guanxi (networks) across borders, and it doesn’t fit well with our highest local democratic standards. “The quiet targeting of Chinese students and Chinese Australians is an important issue,” he said.