Essay by quickessayreliefUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2007

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IntroductionSince the landing of the first Europeans, migration and immigration policies have shaped the history of Australia. These have changed from а forced migration of predominantly Britons 200 years ago, to а racially restrictive immigration policy favouring Anglo-Celtics, to more open policies to include people from all races and countries beginning in the 1970s. Today Australia has become one of the most ethnically diverse societies in the world with speakers of over 120 different languages. Based on the 1991 census, 22.3% of the Australian population was born overseas, and 41.9% had at least one parent born overseas. (Parsons, 2003) There is no doubt that Australia has become а multiracial and multicultural society. There is а pressing need to understand and monitor the rapid changes in Australia's population composition and how they will affect the development of our social, political, and physical environment. (Shi, 2004)A nation's well-being is intrinsically linked to the health of its population.

In the pursuit of social justice and а healthy future for all Australians, the Health Targets and Implementation Committee (HTIC), established by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, produced the Health for All Australians in 1988. It identified two principles underlying national priorities in health strategies: increasing the health status of all Australians and decreasing the inequalities in health status between population sub-groups. These goals present а great challenge of our time, а challenge for decision-makers and service providers in Australia to plan and provide effective and responsive health services for communities with diverse languages, cultural backgrounds, migration circumstances and socioeconomic status. (Minas, 2003)This challenge is further complicated by current events in Australia such as severe funding cuts in migrant health policy units, and the re-emergence of anti-immigrant and racist debates prompted by the Independent member of House of Representatives from Oxley, Pauline Hanson and...