How to talk to your family about immigration: Al Jazeera’s Natasha Foa
As Australia prepares to welcome tens of thousands of refugees, some families are anxious about how to discuss their new country with their children.
Natasha Foglio is the host of the popular ABC TV program, How to Talk to Your Family about Immigration.
She spoke to children about Australia and asked them to tell their stories of migration.
In a report on how to talk with your family when arriving in Australia, Natasha says children should say, “Welcome to Australia, I have family here, but I don’t have family”.
In an article on the ABC News website, Natasha writes: My father’s first language was Tagalog.
I am bilingual, so I don,t speak English.
When my mother was coming to Australia she said she didn’t know what to say.
She was really worried that I would be rejected, but as soon as she was here I knew I would make it.
As I spoke to my mum about how I wanted to go, she told me I had to find my way back home and that she hoped I would see my family again.
Natasha says the children should ask questions and let their parents know what they are feeling.
She says they should be willing to explain their situation to their parents, but should not give them details about their new home.
When I came here as a baby, I had no idea what I was going to find in Australia.
Natasha tells us she feels sorry for the children.
“When they come here, they don’t know how they’re going to fit in,” she says.
They should tell their parents they are not going to go to school here, that they have no money, they can’t speak English and they are scared of how their parents will react.
Natasha says it is important to let the children know they are welcome to stay and live in the community they have grown up in, but that they should not expect a better life than they have already had.
If a child wants to come to Australia with a family member who is already here, she should ask for permission from his or her parents.
Natasha explains this is an important process, because the children will need to prove they can meet the requirements to be granted citizenship.
A child who is born in Australia should have been given permission to stay if their father or mother is an Australian citizen.
Some children are concerned about the fact that they will be sent back to their country of birth if they are born in New Zealand.
In the article Natasha writes, “Many people here in Australia are very upset about this.
They don’t want to return to the countries where they came from.”
Natasha tells Al Jazeera that it is crucial that people understand that they are still welcome here and that there are ways to work together to make it work.
The ABC’s Natasha says Australia has “a proud tradition of welcoming people with different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, but we have also worked hard to ensure that we are inclusive of all Australians”.
Natasha adds that Australia is “unique” in welcoming refugees, but she thinks it will be important to show that this can happen in other countries.
More from Al Jazeera.