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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm posting this because in a few other thread i've seen people from the inner west decry the North Shore as some kind of bastion of the white race. What a surprise that it turns out the opposite is true...

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/...1182624168795.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

A while ago I spent some time in Greenacre. The south-western suburb near Bankstown is home to palatial homes, big cars and some of the best bread in Sydney. Families who live in the neighbourhood are from all over the world, particularly from Lebanon, Korea, Vietnam, Italy and China.

On the way back from Greenacre to my inner-city 'hood, I stopped to get some milk at the Annandale shops. I saw the strip with fresh eyes. I noticed the heritage paint colours, the camellias, the preponderance of cafes serving eggs benedict. Every sign was written in English. Everywhere happy, white faces. Mothers driving along in Subarus. Blonde kids on aluminium scooters. A white ghetto.

Unlike the mixed population of Greenacre, Annandale is an ethnic enclave where residents are surrounded by those of their kind. It made me think twice about the inner city's claims to diversity. Inner-city suburbs are rarely blamed for being monocultural. They are supposed to be diverse, basket-weaving, multicultural love-ins. Not like those dastardly whitebread suburbs on the North Shore and in the Hills district where everyone looks and thinks the same.

Well, city dwellers, the game is up. The census figures for 2006 are in and they reveal that some of the trendiest urban villages are more whitebread than a Laura Ashley clearance sale.

Not only do suburbs such as Annandale and Newtown have fewer migrants than the average Sydney suburb, they have fewer migrants than many genteel northern suburbs which have a reputation for being white. Annandale and Newtown have fewer migrants than Turramurra, Pymble, Castle Hill, Kellyville and Roseville. About a third of Sydney's residents were born overseas compared with 24 per cent in Annandale and 27 per cent in Newtown. Who's calling who bland now?

The picture becomes more curious when you consider where migrants come from. The racial mix of all those performance artists, bankers, web designers and curators in fashionable inner-city suburbs is strikingly Western. Annandale's migrants most commonly come from England, New Zealand, Italy, Scotland and the United States.

And what about Paddington, still riding on its reputation of being bohemian briefly a long time ago? Well, the whites moved in and they took over. In the 2021 postcode, which takes in both Paddington and Centennial Park, residents born outside Australia were most likely to come from England, followed by New Zealand, the US, South Africa and Scotland. And last time I was in Paddington, the South African accents were not coming from black people.

Balmain is the same. The top five overseas birthplaces for its basket-weaving residents are England, New Zealand, Ireland, the US and Scotland. I'm not racist or anything, but I think it is reasonable to feel a little concerned when migrants stick with their race like this and refuse to assimilate.

North Shore and Hills district suburbs have much more diversity, especially in terms of the number of Asian migrants. In Castle Hill, dismissed by city residents as a boring, distant suburb, migrants come from England, China, India, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Down the road in Kellyville, residents come from England, the Philippines, India, New Zealand and South Africa.

Even the most staid North Shore suburbs have a greater mix of migrants. In Roseville, migrants come from England, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and even Japan. In Turramurra, Korea scrapes into the top five countries where migrants come from.


This is not to say that the North Shore is entirely comfortable about its newfound diversity. Some of the key talking points among long-term residents are "you would hardly recognise Chatswood these days, if you get my drift" and "you would hardly recognise North Sydney Girls High these days, if you get my drift". The north is a melting pot, even if a reluctant one.

So what to conclude? City people should not feel so smug about their cosmopolitan tastes. Urban villages may be home to barristers, barristas, writers, punks and university lecturers but they are all the same colour. City people should not assume that those who live in the north live in suburbs that are dull and monocultural. Before city residents fret about the divisions in Sydney, white flight and the emergence of an occasional gated communities out west, they should examine their choices. This city has plenty of invisibly gated communities we don't recognise.
 

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I think the article is a bit dumb, really. For a start, the writer has completely ignored truly multicultural inner-west suburbs like Marrickville - presumably because it doesn't gel with her argument. And the point about "invisibly gated communities" verges on the racist. The writer's premise is that those 'poor ethnic minorities' are being locked out of wealthy inner-city enclaves by the invisible gates of 'unaffordability' - when in actual fact the ethnic minorities themselves have often *chosen* to pull up stumps and move elsewhere. For example, Leichhardt was once a very Italian suburb, but as the ABS figures show, that's just not true anymore. That's because a lot of the Italians have moved out to 'better' suburbs where they can have their McMansion, multi-car garage, and a patch of land. As for Asian nationalities: rather than being 'locked out' of the city by invisible gates, a good proportion can afford to live in more 'illustrious' suburbs, particularly on the North Shore, and that's why you won't find so many living in the inner-city. The idea that ethnic minorities are all poor 'victims', locked out of the inner-city, is just not true and actually a little offensive IMO.

I also have a problem with the contention that white = dull or bland. Again, it verges on the racist. The whole tone of the article just comes across as typical self-hating, 'white = bad' undergraduate arts rubbish, and typical of the SMH's feature/fluff pieces.
 

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Very poor journalism full of quick judgements on passing observation and selective definitions and examples, doubtless fitting a preconceived position. The definition of 'white' and 'diversity' are, at best, selective. If 'whites' moved into Paddington and took it over, what does the writer think was there before? It was a working-criminal class slum full of Irish!
It really is a very silly article.
 

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Hhhhhhm,

i think the only NON melting pot part of Sydney would absolutely have to be "The Shire". I was completely shocked a couple of months ago going to the local Bunnings in the area with the b/f.

There was not a coloured person of any description in the whole store. I couldn't beleive it - even every single shopper / shop assistant was Anglo.

It was thoroughly weird.

Anyway I completely disagree with the article, I live near Annandale and was just wandering the streets the other day. Plenty of people from different backgrounds / countries.

As our lord mayor says "Sydney is a city of villages" and that can be seen everywhere. From the Chinatown district the city (it's getting to be like Hong Kong!), the Italians in Leichardt, the Portuguese in Petersham, the Vietnamese in Cabramatta, the Indians in Blacktown, the Lebanese in Auburn / Lakemba etc etc to name a few examples.

I don't see a problem with this - I like to go to these ethnic suburbs to pick up supplies that I can't get in DJ's or coles online. It makes Sydney a so much more interesting place and you can pick and choose where you would like to live.

js
 

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Wow, I wonder if that journalist would like some dip for that chip on their shoulder.

Ok, let's say Balmain, Annandale and Newtown are exceptionally white for the inner-west, they're still massively more culturally stimulating than anywhere on the north shore and north west, no matter how many chinese residents they may have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I won't deny that the nightlife and "culture" is great in Balmain. Newtown etc. I'm just sick of people (from those suburbs mind you!) telling me about the "whitebread" North Shore.
 

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Why is colour the key to cultural diversity? In Balmain there are lots of French as well as Asians, and doubtless the odd Italian, Greek and Indian. And you CANNOT walk down King Street, Newtown, without encountering gays and lesbians of every known colour and hue. As for Annandale, who are those multi-hued folk, from every part of the world, including a charming array of variations on the theme of "white" that I manage to see when passing through: do you mean that Annandale doctor I went to for some years was a Fake Chinese: Oh, my god, this is a conspiracy. I think this intrepid newshound has unearthed A Real Scoop with this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I won't deny that it's a silly article, and no one is saying that there aren't migrants in Annandale, just that there's less than the Sydney average.

Like I said, it's more of a rebuttal to this silly notion that the Northern Suburbs are Anglo strongholds, especially considering that my North Shore High school was less than 45 percent white.
 

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Don't forget that Leichhardt, which borders Annandale, has a significant Italian population. It's not known as little Italy for nothing !
 

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I don't know if the author of that article has checked their figures.

54.5% of Newtown residents were Australian-born compared to the Australian average of 70.9% and also compared to Pymble (65.0%), Turramurra (67.0%) and Roseville (68.6%). Annandale is more comparable to these areas however, with 66.4% of residents Australian-born (more than Pymble but less than Turramurra or Roseville).

I wouldn't even bother including Castle Hill & Kellyville in the "northern suburb" argument since they are both in the growth suburb belt (which typically have higher numbers of migrant residents, whatever the location) and are not even included in the typical definition of "northern suburbs" (although geographically they are north of Sydney CBD, they are just as much western suburbs as northern suburbs, hence the usual classification as "Hills district" or "north-west" suburbs).

I hate the idea that the article introduces a "white" vs "colours" argument into the story as well - the Australian Census doesn't specifically measure racial background, only country of birth, so to assume that just because a suburb has a large population from New Zealand, England, South Africa, USA etc. certainly doesn't mean these people are exclusively white, especially considering the racial diversity in these countries of birth (Maori, large Indian/Pakistani/West Indies pop in UK, US being a country of immigrants etc).
 

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I hate the idea that the article introduces a "white" vs "colours" argument into the story as well - the Australian Census doesn't specifically measure racial background, only country of birth, so to assume that just because a suburb has a large population from New Zealand, England, South Africa, USA etc. certainly doesn't mean these people are exclusively white, especially considering the racial diversity in these countries of birth (Maori, large Indian/Pakistani/West Indies pop in UK, US being a country of immigrants etc).
True. And as much as I hate to sound like Pauline Hanson - it is true that many Asian immigrants are using New Zealand as a "back door" to gain entry to Australia. Many people classified as "New Zealanders" are actually Asian.
 
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