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III

In looking back over a life not many years short of three score and ten, it is remarkable that the most readily remembered is what is bright and pleasant. Disappointments, hard toil, sufferings and struggles are mostly forgotten. What I have written relates to experiences since I first went to Australia some forty-five years ago. There are many who may want to know whether I am pleased I went, also whether I would advise young people of to-day who so desire to do likewise. My reply to both questions is an emphatic “Yes.”

There is no country with a brighter future than Australia. It is capable of supporting in reasonable comfort a European population at least ten times as large as it has at present, it is a country with vast tracts of fertile land and rich inexhaustible mineral resources. Nowhere is there more scope for human energy, and to-day there are as good opportunities in it as ever.

The bad name that Australia has had as a field for immigrants is due to the spoon-fed Government-aided migrant whose independence has been sapped and


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who sinks until he becomes a mere grumbling loafer. The pioneers had to rely entirely on their own resources, and I would advise anyone to stay in England if he cannot come without Government aid. A young man who comes to Australia should be ready and willing to work hard, be satisfied with small beginnings, not expect to make a fortune in a few years and then leave Australia for ever, but be prepared to throw in his lot and make his permanent home in the country.

True, a man may go to Australia, do his best and deserve to succeed and still may fail. That happens everywhere. There is always the element of chance in life. A turning one way may lead to fortune and a turning another way may lead to ruin, and there is no fingerpost or the slightest indication as to which turning should be taken. I do not say that a young man going to Australia will be successful, but I am convinced that his chance of success in Australia is better than anywhere else, and that his chance is better if he altogether ignores Government aid and, as the pioneers did in the past, relies on his own resources solely.

Frequently it is pointed out that there are to-day thousands of Australian unemployed. In all countries there have ever been unemployed and there ever will be unemployed. Amongst human beings, wherever they be, there is invariably a percentage of “unemployables” —men who constitutionally cannot or will not work and men, many of whom, whilst continually asking for work, do not want it when they get it, or if they take it do not retain it. In the early days of settlement in Western Australia, before the population numbered 4,000 people, there were those who pointed out that many of the settlers were unemployed and


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there was no work for new arrivals—a warning was issued to intending immigrants and the warning, issued as it was a hundred years ago, has to-day a strangely modern ring. If migration to Australia be discouraged until unemployment has quite disappeared from the Commonwealth then it will never be encouraged.

Despite the failure of numerous Government immigration schemes in Australia and the failure of numbers of individual migrants in Australia, the average man who is determined to work hard and succeed has an excellent chance of making a success of his life. The new arrival will experience setbacks. He must go there in the right spirit; he must be ready to settle permanently in Australia; he must not think only of the country's disadvantages and be hankering to get away from it; he must remember it is a new land; it is in the making and should not be compared with older and more settled parts of the world. To come to Australia as a migrant is a wonderful adventure, but to be richly successful is the work not of a few years but a lifetime. Suddenly won fortunes should not be expected. For a thrifty hard-working man who keeps on trying, a good competency for himself and his family is almost certain to come to him in time, and there is an excellent chance of getting even better results than a good competency. Men fail everywhere, but let me say again there are opportunities to-day in Australia for any man who relies solely on himself and is endowed with patience, energy and industry and is anxious to win through.

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