Diaspora: Paper 4

Diaspora: Paper 4 : The World Wide Web of Australians

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On any given day, there are approximately one million Australians outside Australia, perhaps three-quarters of whom live offshore on a permanent or long term basis. This latter group, the Australian diaspora', is large and, in the main, prosperous, well educated, well connected, and well disposed to this country. It is also very mobile: rather than turning their backs on Australia once and for all, expatriates these days are more likely to move back and forward between Australia and other countries as opportunities present. Australia has always sent people out into the world. In the last decade and a half, however, the numbers have increased markedly, prompting concern about a brain drain'. The reality is both more complex and more hopeful. This Lowy Institute Paper assesses the phenomenon of the Australian diaspora and suggests that Australia's government and institutions should capitalise on their networks, talent and goodwill to further the national interest.

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