9.3 Profile

The Maltese in Australia have kept a fairly low profile. Exceptions to this generalisation abound. People like Jeff Fenech and Daren Gauci in sport and Joe Camilleri in pop music, emphasize the fact that the highest levels of endeavour have been reached by second generation members of the Maltese community. Likewise individuals have carved a name for themselves in politics (e.g. J. Aquilina in NSW, E. Micallef in Victoria), ethnic affairs (e.g. A. Bonnici), academic life ( e.g. J. Camilleri) etc.

What is meant by a low profile is that they prefer a quiet existence with very little involvement in civic life overall For their size, the Maltese have been particularly unnoticed - very few Melbournians realise that the Maltese are the 4th largest NESB community in Melbourne.

Economically, the census figures seem to give a picture which is somewhat at variance to one's experience. Although we are told that the wages earned by Maltese workers are among the lowest, and that there is very little difference between the high earners and the low earners (as measured by the Gini coefficient), the facts are that Maltese are among those with the highest proportion of house owners. Very few Maltese would admit to doing poorly. Somehow, the relatively thin pay-packet is transformed into a very comfortable home with all modcons and accessories. This probably is a reflection of the hard work and thriftiness of the Maltese woman, who although in most cases is 'unemployed', is none the less a very active person who contributes enormously to the household by wise economic planning and spending.

The contribution of tradespersons to the economy must be appreciable. The proportion of tradespersons is higher for Maltese than for the general population or for any other ethnic group. The cash economy that exists in this country would favour such a group and would render census statistics in relation to average weekly earnings incomplete.

Source: Maurice N. Cauchi - Maltese Migrants in Australia, Malta 1990

top-of-pageprevioustopic-indexnext Email-A-Page



We need your support to continue working on this site. Help us.
Text and pictures (c) 2001-2017 Malta Emigration Museum and/or its contributors.

Consultancy, hosting, programming and technical assistance provided by A6iT.