The New Ten-pound Pom

If you’ve been dating recently, you’d have met a British bachelorette. I’ve dated a few in my time, and all seemed lovely on the first date. For them, we’re a novelty. British gals have flooded Sydney; all of our major cities. Promised a better life in Australia, they’ve set their expectations of Australian men very high indeed. They’re keen to find love. And they’re prepared to search for it, to a point.

Australia, as a land of opportunity, stems way back.

Post-World War II, many Brits were part of an assisted passage scheme implemented by Labor’s Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell, to “populate or perish” with the objective, of course, to increase the country’s productivity across our booming industries. They came during the fifties and sixties in droves. Known as the 10-pound Pom (or 10-pound tourist), they were promised jobs, housing and a better life. Children came for free.

It was at this time, our rivalry with the Motherland was solidified.

Today, there’s a new breed. More specifically, British females have been watching the soapbox and planning their trips Down Under to snag their Aussie dreamboat. But all is not as it seems, is it guys?

After a while, the Australian-man fantasy wears thin. They start complaining about us. The whinging begins.

We’re non-committal. We’re arrogant. We’re too laid back; simple or just plain dumb. The food we eat is shit. What’s the big deal about our coffee? And it’s too bloody hot. Anything and everything back home is better.

Then, we get them in the workplace and it’s a free-for-all.

Ever worked with a whinging Pom? Boy do they right us off. They’re rigid, policy-driven and notorious for following procedures (preferably their own) to a tee. In-between their hourly cups of herbal tea and smoke breaks, they may occasionally do some work. A friend of mine has described the Temps in his office as near excruciating.

“All they do is sit around bagging Aussie men,” he said.

“They’re always complaining about something, in a passive-aggressive way. He did this or that. Have they ever looked in the mirror?”

“What do they expect from us, anyway?”

I’m not sure. But whatever it is, we’re not doing it for them longterm.

Controversial author and Channel 7 Sunday Night reporter, Peter FitzSimons, raised more than a few eyebrows with his Ping Pong Poms story last weekend.

Fifty six thousand Poms came to Australia last year to live the Home and Away lifestyle. Drawn by the sun, sand and seemingly idyllic beach culture, it seemed like an enormous success story. But as we found, beneath the surface it’s quite a different story. Last year more than 30,000 ‘whinging Poms’ went home, desperate to leave ‘boring’ Australia behind.

Of course, not all Poms are whingers, and not all British women hate Aussie men. I can think of many examples where everyday Brits and Aussies have married; numerous success stories. But there’s enough of a trend to ask the question: what is it about us Aussie men that’s so unappealing?

Is it the way we communicate? Perhaps it is.

Maybe it’s our unerring patriotism; our macho culture and pumped up libidos. Overconfidence.

We love the surf, the bush and our sport.

But we’re obviously doing something right, as many who do return home choose to do so after securing Australian citizenship. Interestingly, they bounce back. It appears, British women are happy to hedge their bets.

And we do love a punt.


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