Most immigrants in Australia choose to reside in NSW (33 percent) and Victoria (27 percent), the states which hold Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
With so many different cultures in Australia, it comes as no surprise that the vast majority of Australians welcome multiculturalism.
The Scanlon Foundation's Mapping Social Cohesion survey of 2015, found that 86 percent of Australians agree that multiculturalism has been good for the country. And this figure has remained at this level in subsequent years.
Australians also embrace multicultural events, including Multicultural Day in February, and Harmony Week in March.
Multiculturalism not only introduces new cultures, foods and languages to a society, it boosts the economy.
According to the McKell Institute, Australia had a net overseas migration gain of 262,500 persons in 2016-17. That’s a rise of more than 27 percent from the previous year. And those immigrants pay income tax of $80 billion a year.
Australia hasn't always been so welcoming. In 1901 it introduced its Immigration Restriction Act (aka the "White Australia" policy), which restricted non-European immigration to Australia up until 1973.
In the 1980s, the then Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, released the contentious One Australia policy that aimed to limit Asian immigration.
Even though the policy was abandoned, Howard remained strong on his position of immigration. As Prime Minister he controversially stated during the 2001 election campaign that “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.”
Independent Queensland senator Pauline Hanson has also been a fierce opponent of immigration and multiculturalism.
Even so, it is difficult to imagine Australia without multiculturalism, with many of its most famous and popular citizens coming from other lands, including John Farnham, AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young, Jimmy Barnes, comedian and author Anh Do, businessman Frank Lowy and “Dr Karl” Kruszelnicki to name a few.
"I only want to say the Australia I belong to and love is a tolerant Australia. A place that is open and giving," said Barnes, speaking out against the anti-Islam group Reclaim Australia, who were using a Cold Chisel song at one of their rallies.
"It is a place that embraces all sorts of different people, in fact it is made stronger by the diversity of its people."
Indeed, Australia has become a rich and varied land through its welcoming of so many other cultures.