Categories > Guides and Tips

Is Perth safe for immigrants

Is Perth safe for immigrants?

Perth is a multicultural city with anti-discrimination laws to ensure the safety of immigrants. However, multiple ancestral groups still experience racism, despite anti-discrimination laws and assistance from the Perth government.

With a population of over two million people, Perth has a reputation for being a diverse city that’s home to multiple races and cultures.

According to the Western Australian government, 53.5% of Western Australians have one or both parents born overseas.

A quick stroll down the Perth Metro area will give you a glimpse of how truly multicultural Perth is, with restaurants of different cuisines around the area.

However, if you’re a foreigner thinking about immigrating to Perth, it’s important to know whether Perth is a good city for you to move to. We’ll discuss how Perth treats immigrants and different races below.

Is Perth a diverse city?

Is Perth a diverse city

Perth is a diverse city in many ways. It’s home to multiple ancestral groups, religions, and cultures. 

It also champions gender inclusion and safety for the LGBTQIA+ community.

While more than half of Perth’s population are children of foreign residents, 27.6% of Perth citizens were actually born overseas. This information gives you a glimpse of Perth’s continuing growth in ancestral and cultural diversity.

Below we present key diversity statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2021 census.

Perthian’s Top 5 Countries of Birth Excluding Australia

New Zealand59,459
South Africa38,793

Top 5 Ancestral Groups in Perth


Top 5 Languages Used at Home in Perth


Top 5 Religions in Perth

No religion883,758
Roman Catholic411,980
Not stated131,602
Other Christan denominations ​​72,877

Perth’s Cultural Landscape

The data presented above cement Perth’s identity as a multicultural city that’s home to different ancestral, cultural, and religious groups.

While English is the main language spoken at home with over a million respondents in the census, Perth continues to grow more diverse, with the proportion of Australian-born citizens declining from 67.7% in 2001 to 60.3% in 2016.

Furthermore, a 2016 Western Australian census revealed that 90% of people born in non-market economy countries (NME) live in Metropolitan Perth. The top ten Perth suburbs contain the following percentages of people from NME countries:


Perth’s LGBTQIA+ Community

Perth’s LGBTQIA+ Community

On top of improving racial diversity, the City of Perth has an LGBTQIA+ Plan that aims to protect and promote the social inclusion, health, and well-being of the said community.

While the numbers vary, it’s estimated that 11 out of 100 Australians have a non-conforming sexual orientation or gender identity.

In Perth, 3,400 residents are estimated to be members of the LGBTQIA+ community, with 520 residents identifying as intersex.

The LGBTQIA+ Plan has seven action areas, namely safety, education, homelessness, healthcare, organisational capability, welcoming and accessible services, and visibility.

According to a survey done by the City of Perth, 54% of LGBTQIA+ respondents believe that Perth is an accepting environment for the community, and the remaining 46% responded that they are unsure about Perth’s safety for the community.

Unfortunately, 49% of respondents fear for their safety because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, and 73% of community respondents believe that they’re likely to experience discrimination or harassment.

It is worth noting, however, that same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since 9 December 2017. Furthermore, Perth holds an annual Pridefest to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ members of the community.

Is there racism in Perth?

Is there racism in Perth

Despite Western Australian anti-discrimination laws, different ancestral groups living in Perth still experience racial discrimination.

What are anti-discrimination laws in Western Australia?

One anti-discrimination law in Western Australia is the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) of 1975.

This act makes it unlawful “to discriminate against a person because of his or her race, colour, descent, national origin or ethnic origin, or immigrant status.”

There are several provisions that are especially relevant to immigrants who would be participating in the Perth labour market. These are some of them:

  • Employers cannot insist that employees speak English at all times, even during breaks.
  • Employers can be held liable for discrimination or harassment by their employees, especially for racial attacks or slurs.
  • It’s unlawful for employers to discriminate when advertising jobs and during the recruitment processes.
  • It’s unlawful for employers to terminate employment for racial reasons. However, these are often disguised under the terms of “these people being unreliable” or fears of “fitting in.”

It’s important to note that the RDA does not only cover Australian citizens but all types of employment and employee relationships. 

This includes “all government employees, private sector employees, full-time, part-time and casual employees, contract workers and commission agents, as well as apprentices, trainees and those on probation.”

Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes in Perth

According to The Guardian, Aboriginal families in Perth reported that their children have been attacked and chased with knives, bats, and metal bars.

Noongar families have voiced concerns for their safety, especially after the killing of Cassius Turvey, a Noongar-Yamatji schoolboy.

Unfortunately, racial profiling and discrimination are not uncommon in Perth even before the tragic death of Turvey. 

Aboriginal parents have reported that their children were discriminated against by other parents who refused to let their children play with the Aboriginal children.

This racism is also directed towards other cultural groups besides the Aborigines. 

Dr Eric Tan, a Malaysian immigrant and former chancellor of Curtin University, has kept a bullet hole in his home as a souvenir for a racially motivated incident that occurred in the 1960s.

Furthermore, after the spread of COVID-19, there was a rise of racially charged attacks towards Asian-Australians.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, there were 377 reports of racism from April to June. This included attacks, being threatened with a knife, and discrimination at work and in housing.

Racial slurs were especially common while Asian-Australian citizens were walking in public areas, with over 90% not reporting their incidents to the police.

What job opportunities are available for people immigrating to Perth?

While Perth at large still needs to improve its treatment of its immigrant and Aboriginal populations, it still draws the interest of people from outside the country because of the job opportunities available in the city.

The top ten jobs that are most in demand for migrants in Perth are the following:

  1. Construction managers
  2. Civil engineering professionals
  3. Early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers
  4. Registered nurses
  5. ICT business and systems analysts
  6. Software and applications programmers
  7. Electricians
  8. Chefs
  9. Child carers
  10. Aged and disabled carers

What benefits are available for people immigrating to Perth?

The Commonwealth and Western Australian government gives assistance to immigrant children and migrant workers such as free English classes and skills training.

Immigrant children can access government schooling

Immigrant children can access government schooling

Foreign immigrants who are taking their children with them can enrol their kids in government schools at the same price as local residents.

However, this isn’t a straightforward process, as international students—including immigrant children—must still apply to the Western Australian government if they want to study in a public school.

Education opportunities aren’t just available for school-age children but for adults as well, especially for those who need to learn English.

The Commonwealth Government provides an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), which gives migrants and humanitarian entrants a minimum of 510 hours of free English classes.

Aside from English, AMEP includes lessons on Australian society, customs, and culture. To join this program, applicants will have to fill up an expression of interest in AMEP service providers.

Migration WA provides free training to immigrants

Migration WA provides free training to immigrants

The Skills for Education and Employment Program (SEE) from Workforce Australia gives migrant workers free training in reading, writing, and mathematics.

This program is different from the AMEP mentioned above, as this program can be tailored to each participant’s needs.

Participants can gain vocational skills, work experience, and the qualification skills that are required in the jobs they plan to apply to.

There are multiple jobs with critical shortages in Australia, hence the need for migrant workers.

Despite the increased demand, however, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that foreign migrants are wary of returning or coming to work in Australia due to tight anti-COVID immigration laws. 



Perth may be a good option for immigration if you’re looking for a culturally diverse city.

However, despite laws that protect and assist immigrants to adjust better to Australian society, Perth is not completely free from incidents of racism, especially towards Aboriginal groups and Asian-Australians.

That isn’t to say Perth is a racist city. Unfortunately, the reality is that racial discrimination still exists despite Perth being a multicultural city.

Of course, there are a lot more factors that go into the decision to immigrate to Perth such as the city’s costs of living. One may also have to consider whether it’s the right Australian city for them and whether they find any of Perth’s suburbs agreeable.

But with the resources available to help immigrants, migrant workers, and foreign students, Perth is at least worth the consideration if you’re thinking of immigrating to Australia.

Still hard to beat

Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2

Read more below Buy Now

Better Fitting

Mpow MDots Wireless Earbuds

Read more below Buy Now

Noise Cancelling

BlueWow A8 Macarons True Wireless Earbuds

Read more below Buy Now
Check more deals
Related topics