The need to send remittances home makes it very difficult for for Pacific Island migrants living in Australia to save and invest in assets or the education of their own families. It creates enormous pressure often leads to resentment.
Queensland University Associate Professor Richard Brown said Samoans, Tongans and Cook Islanders have a culture of sharing their income with large families and extended families. But,“Migrants do not remit exclusively to their own households back home, but they also out of obligation remit to other households and to organisations especially churches, charities and community groups in need of money for particular projects.”
Polynesian church and charity groups also send delegates to migrants living in Australian cities to collect funds, some returning home with as much as $100,000, says Brown.
Some migrants are moving to rural areas were where the are under less pressure to send remittances to others besides their immediate families because they were less likely to be visited by community groups.
The research team found migrants in Sydney remitted as much as 32 per cent of their earnings to community groups while migrants in Riverina remitted only 16 per cent.
News category: Pacific.