After immigration minister Peter Dutton's comments about refugees being illiterate and innumerate while also taking Australian jobs, countless politicians, journalists and ordinary people have shared their own personal stories about being part of migrant families.
"They won't be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English... These people would be taking Australian jobs, there's no doubt about that," Dutton said on Sky News on Tuesday, responding the Greens' proposal to boost Australia's refugee intake to 50,000 per year.
Dutton's comments were widely criticised in the multicultural community and beyond, with many using the ironic Twitter hashtag #SoIlliterate to share their success stories about growing up in families where they or their parents had moved to Australia with limited English.
The 2011 national census found 26 percent of Australia's population was born overseas and an additional 20 percent had at least one overseas-born parent, while 18 percent of people spoke a language other than English at home.
My nan & my dad came to Australia fleeing WW2. She spoke 5 languages including broken English. Dad rose to multiple CEO roles #Soilliterate— Lawrence Meckan (@absalomedia) May 18, 2016
My mother was a refugee - started school without a word of English and spent her career committed to ESL curriculum in Vic #soilliterate— Allison Coles Allen (@allicoles) May 18, 2016
My grandparents were so #soilliterate they came here with nothing, worked hard, learnt the language and made their new lives in a decade— Jacqueline Maree (@PSDontTellMum) May 18, 2016
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari -- who was born in Iran and emigrated to Australia at age five, before becoming a federal senator at 30 -- spoke passionately on Sky News on Wednesday. He shared his story of moving to Australia with zero English.
"I came here during the end of a very bloody conflict in Iran. This country has given me amazing opportunities... this is a country that should pride itself on what migrants have been able to achieve," Dastyari said.
Here's Sabina Husic, an adviser to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the sister of federal MP Ed Husic.
my mum was an illiterate migrant who taught herself english then went on to have an MP son and a daughter who is a phenomenal twitter celeb— Sabina Husic (@sabinahusic) May 18, 2016
TODAY show host Karl Stefanovic shared the story of how his grandparents emigrated to Australia, and how the mother of fellow TODAY regular Tim Gilbert also moved here from Lebanon. Stefanovic titled Dutton's comments "unAustralian".
While journalists Peter van Onselen, Mark Di Stefano and Uma Patel also shared their family stories.
@MarkDiStef both my parents were migrants, English wasn't my dads native language. Couldn't be prouder of the start they gave me in life...— Peter van Onselen (@vanOnselenP) May 18, 2016
Some random personal thoughts about Peter Dutton's comments attacking humanitarian refugees... pic.twitter.com/RXL0tXVK72— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) May 18, 2016
My mum was a refugee (left Uganda for the UK, now lives in Sydney) she's now owns a pharmacy that employs around 20 people #auspol— Uma Patel (@umabp) May 18, 2016
While far more stories under the #SoIlliterate hashtag also drew attention to the success stories of migrants who arrived in Australia with limited or zero English skills.
My dad had to leave school at 9— Kon Karapanagiotidis (@Kon__K) May 18, 2016
My mum at 12
To support families
My sister & I have 8 degrees between us
Sadly you have just 1 #Dutton