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Long ago … was it in the Seventies or Eighties? … South Africans jokingly referred to the PFP crowd. Not the South African political party at the time, but the ‘Packing for Perth’ crowd. And here in Australia, we are told, they were nicknamed the ‘new boat people’, because many arrived in Australia with brand new boats. The rumour goes that these boats were sold once they were safely in Australia, as it was an effective way of bypassing stringent foreign exchange regulations. Unfortunately South Africans who migrate to Australia today are seldom abundantly wealthy. They are ordinary, hardworking people, wishing to improve their lives and the future of their children. They are often also concerned for their safety. I think that South Africans make great Australians! South African born Australians are committed work hard and build successful careers. Like most other migrants, they are grateful for the opportunity to live in this beautiful country and they desperately want only the best for Australia and its citizens. They realise that the welfare of beloved friends and family back home is not the responsibility of the Australian people. However, as a South African born Australian, I want to express my sincere wish that the reported downward trend on visas granted to South Africans is to be reversed as soon as possible - in the interest of both our loved ones and our new country, Australia.

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