Over a million Ten Pound Poms emigrated to Australia between 1947 and 1972. The majority settled and made Australia their new home. On the other hand, many Ten Pound Poms were disillusioned by what they found in Australia, including extreme heat, migrant hostels and Pommy bashing. Another challenge faced by Ten Pound Poms was coping with the Curse of the Migrant: homesickness. Many missed their family and friends and suffered from a sense of displacement, isolation or not belonging in Australia. Ten Pound Poms who found it tough or who failed to adapt to their new life in Australia were dispassionately referred to as ‘Whingeing Poms’.
Around a quarter of a million Ten Pound Poms returned home within a few years of arriving in Australia. These unsettled migrants were referred to as ‘Boomerang Poms’. An unfortunate condition of the assisted passage scheme was that those who stayed in Australia for less than two years had to repay the Government the balance of the full fare (around £110) to return home to Britain.
Nearly half of the 250,000 Ten Pound Poms who returned to Britain reassessed their situation and subsequently returned to Australia. The back and forth behaviour of these migrants means they are now referred to as ‘Ping Pong Poms’.
A recent research study shows that the phenomenon of Boomerang Poms and Ping Pong Poms lives on. Almost 107,000 new settlers arrived in Australia from Britain between 2005 and 2010 and over the same period more than 30,000 British-born permanent settlers decided to permanently leave Australia. Climate, cost of living, Brexit and economic prosperity are sure to play an ongoing role in migrants’ ultimate decision about whether they want to call Australia their home.
What do you love about living in the UK and Australia and what do you miss about home? Share your thoughts and experiences in the Ten Pound Pom forum.