09 February 2009

Australia wins with South Africa's biggest "brain drain"

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An increasing number of South Africans are immigrating to Australia, where they are enjoying the wealth, safety and economic stability, and are often outshining the Australians, reports The Times.

It has been reported that South Africans emigrating to Australia are taking over the higher positions in the country.  New statistics show that the highest paid male and female executives in Australia last year were both South Africans, and media mogul Rupert Murdoch hired a South African immigrant as his editor.

The Supreme Court, which presides over Australian law, has many South Africans installed as its judges, with the president of the Court of Appeals in Western Australia sitting at the top.

Brian Sherman, a billionaire philanthropist, has made a name for himself in his new Australian home by his integral part in securing the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Last month, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd titled the late South African-born soldier Gregory Sher as "Australia's Hero" for his efforts with the Australian forces.  

Gail Kelly is now CEO of one of Australia's major banks and has been placed ahead of Oprah Winfrey in the latest Forbes List, which ranks the world's most powerful women. 

Allan Moss also headed Australia's economy as the Macquarie Bank's CEO; however, he retired last year, and Marius Kloppers, another Australian immigrant, is now CEO of Australia's largest mining company BHP Billiton.

Brian Sherman and his family have left a major hole in the South African economy; Brian Sherman raised billions of dollars in foreign investment to the US, was the director of the Sydney Olympics, co-founded an animal rights protection movement for livestock with his daughter and sits alongside Cate Blanchett as the president of the Australian Museum Trust.  His wife is a director of a leading art gallery and his son produced a plethora of big-name movies, including the famous Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Gene Sherman said in an interview, "We didn’t want to raise children in an environment in which we felt morally ill at ease and out of place."

South African-born Professor Colin Tatz who now lives in Australia says the brain drain has been devastating for South Africa, which has lost over a third of its skilled workers overseas.

Results show from the 2006 Australian Census that over 100,000 South Africans are now residing in Australia, the majority of which have chosen Perth as their final destination, and experts have suggested that there was a 50 per cent increase in interest in South Africans wanting to move to Australia.


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