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Abstract

This article analyses 20 years of bilateral peoples' flows between Italy and Australia using a unique set of data collected by Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This period has witnessed substantial changes in the composition of migration between the two countries. Against a historical background where migration is mostly composed of unskilled Italians relocating to Australia, the past two decades have seen a progressive increase in the arrival of young and highly skilled/qualified Italians on a short-term basis. Conversely, there has been an increase in older Australians moving to or visiting Italy for work. Such changes have affected the bilateral skill flows, whose relevance has increased as globalization forces have made international transport easier and cheaper. Australia remains a “magnet” for Italians, and, unlike the historical origin of Italy's early immigrants, it now enjoys a net inflow of highly skilled labour.