Maltese people have been emigrating to Australia for close to 150 years. In 1947, Australia signed an agreement with Malta which established an assisted passage scheme to encourage migration from Malta to Australia. It was under this scheme that the largest numbers of Maltese immigrants arrived and settled in Australia.
This book bears testimony to Dr. Cauchi's clear understanding of the settlement experiences of the Maltese community. It also presents a detailed picture of what it means to be Maltese in Australia today.
The historical section of this study is both informative and fascinating to read, as we are taken through the colonization of Malta by one power after another.
Through sections on employment, education, health and ageing, Dr Cauchi highlights the various facets of life of Maltese migrants and the problems that they met in the process of settlement.
One area of major concern expressed is the demise of the Maltese language within the next generation. The study reports that, although Maltese language teaching at all levels is extremely limited and that the loss of original language is bound to occur over a period of time, it seems to have occurred faster among the Maltese than amongst most other ethnic groups.
It is salutary for an objective analysis of the status, problems and achievements of an ethnic group to be undertaken from time to time. A study summarising these topics for Maltese migrants has not thus far been attempted, and in this respect this monograph is most timely. It also provides valuable insights into the Maltese people, as they continue to share their language and their cultural heritage within our multicultural society.
Andrew McCutcheon M.P.
Minister for Ethnic Affairs
Melbourne, February, 1990
Source: Maurice N. Cauchi - Maltese Migrants in Australia, Malta 1990