OPINION

We win by adding to our big Aussie family

As I've reminisced with you before, growing up I was one of 10 children. And being one of the babies of the family certainly had its privileges.

The older ones usually had to do all the jobs around the house and usually got the blame when things went wrong.

We younger ones got to grow up not worrying about the school bullies who knew we had older and siblings and we usually received the greatest benefits when Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny visited in the dead of night.

Of course, when there was food and lollies available to all for general consumption, being one of the younguns was a disadvantage, until you began to live by that ancient sage advice: "All is fair in love and war and large families."

As a kid, if I tried pinching food early and got caught my older sisters would shout "You'll ruin your appetite!"

Is that the best argument they could come up with?

Do you know, to this day, I still don't fully understand what that means.

Being somewhat portly at the moment, I confess that if I could find a food that could actually "ruin" my appetite I would happily eat it daily and sell it for millions!

Still, I'm not complaining. As many as we were in my family, I always had enough.

I know that for a fact because, as a child, whenever I asked for more my mother would tell me "You've had enough!"

Once, in my youthful ignorance, I asked my mother why she had so many children.

She whispered: "I kept having children until I had one I liked."

My brothers and sisters are very lucky I wasn't born first.

Of course, no matter how old you get, your older siblings never think you're old enough for them to stop telling you what to do.

This was true again last week when my older siblings started hassling me about mowing my parents' lawn.

I didn't think their grass was getting that long, but when some television producers contacted my parents about filming a season of Survivor in their backyard, I thought I'd better do something.

Being from a large family has its supporters, but there's many detractors also.

Even now, when I talk about the good ole days growing up in a large family, some people seem to think it is OK to mock large families for being, well, large.

An often used argument is overpopulation, which, in Australia, has never been a problem. In fact, the opposite is true.

In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, immigration has again been under the spotlight. And it appears opposition to immigration and concerns for overpopulation were two of the alleged perpetrator's motives.

But again, and as always, the motivation behind this great evil was based on great ignorance.

If it was not for immigration, both New Zealand and Australia would have imploded decades ago.

Given that Australia's current birth rate is 1.81 births per woman (2016) and New Zealand's is 1.87, we are not even replacing ourselves.

Of course, a country has to be careful who immigrates into society, this is just a given. But immigration is not bad in itself. If done well, it's a good thing; actually, a very good thing. People who immigrate can bring fresh ideas and a different way of looking at things.

I don't think we talk about entrepreneurship enough, but entrepreneurs have the ability to make a civilisation move ahead in leaps and bounds.

Immigration only assists entrepreneurship as many immigrants were entrepreneurs in their old country. In fact, often it was their entrepreneurship that brought them to our shores.

By embracing immigrants, they are more likely to embrace us.

Immigration has the potential to connect us to peoples and cultures we would never have otherwise come across or understood.

Again, and this lesson should never become boring, immigration is a reminder that every man is our brother and every woman is our sister, even if they make you mow the lawn.

Twitter: @fatherbrendanelee

Immigration only assists entrepreneurship as many immigrants were entrepreneurs in their old country. In fact, often it was their entrepreneurship that brought them to our shores.