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Landscapes of voluntarismNew spaces of health, welfare and governance$
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Christine Milligan and David Conradson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346322

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346322.001.0001

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Developing voluntary community spaces and Ethnicity in Sydney, Australia

Developing voluntary community spaces and Ethnicity in Sydney, Australia

(p.209) Twelve Developing voluntary community spaces and Ethnicity in Sydney, Australia
Landscapes of voluntarism

Walter F. Lalich

Policy Press

This chapter explores the development of voluntary and non-commercial communal spaces by non-English speaking immigrants in Sydney, Australia. It examines the notion of the ‘communal home’ as a key outcome of voluntary collective immigrant endeavour. It describes the experience of Australian migration and settlement patterns. From 1948 onwards, Australian immigration intake shifted from heavily subsidised British immigration to a gradual acceptance of continental European immigrants. By the early 1970s, immigrants from other parts of the world were arriving in increasingly significant numbers. The chapter outlines the effects of its own ambitious immigration programme. The resultant cultural diversity is evidenced in data on language use and religious diversity. The dynamics of the settlement process brought with it new forms of leisure, sport, media, art, food, building styles and gardening. Finally, the chapter discusses the development of ethnic communal places in Sydney. Through voluntary collective action, immigrant communities have been able to enrich the social, cultural, religious and sporting life of many of the old and new suburban areas of Sydney, creating signifiers of cultural diversity in the process. The resulting communal sites — rooted in voluntary action, self-reliance and mutual help of less privileged community segments — also often have a significance that transcends their initial ethnic, collective and suburban limits.

Keywords:   communal spaces, immigration, Australia, settlement patterns, cultural diversity, communal home, language use

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