Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration is Changing the Nation by Peter Mares

Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration is Changing the Nation by Peter Mares (Text Publishing)

Judges' Comments

At a time when border management is in the spotlight, Not Quite Australian tackles a related issue that is rarely discussed. Today there are more than a million temporary migrants living in Australia who are not, and possibly never can be, citizens. They live, work and pay taxes. They engage in all aspects of society and obey Australian laws. To all intents and purposes they are just like the rest of the community, except in some very important ways. They can never have a vote and are denied many of the protections Australian citizens enjoy and take for granted.

Peter Mares unpacks this issue in an elegant and accessible way. He makes complex aspects of migration law clear to general readers while linking issues to the lives of real people to show the human impact of the policies of exclusion. Running through the work are two important questions: How long is it reasonable for a migrant to live in Australia without being accepted as an Australian? What sort of country do we want Australia to be? Mares answers both questions, as well as recommending ways to resolve these dilemmas.