The 'White Australia' policy describes Australia's approach to immigration from federation until the latter part of the 20th century, which favoured applicants from certain countries. The abolition of the policy took place over a period of 25 years. Following the election of a coalition of the Liberal and Country parties in 1949, Immigration Minister Harold Holt allowed 800 non-European refugees to remain in Australia and Japanese war brides to enter Australia. Over subsequent years Australian governments gradually dismantled the policy with the final vestiges being removed in 1973 by the new Labor government. The history
The origins of the 'White Australia' policy can be traced to the 1850s. White miners' resentment towards industrious Chinese diggers culminated in violence on the Buckland River in Victoria, and at Lambing Flat (now Young) in New South Wales. The governments of these two colonies introduced restrictions on Chinese immigration. Later, it was the turn of hard-working indentured labourers from the South Sea Islands of the Pacific (known as 'Kanakas') in northern Queensland. Factory workers in the south became vehemently opposed to all forms of immigration which might threaten their jobs; particularly by non-white people who they thought would accept a lower standard of living and work for lower wages. Some influential Queenslanders felt that the colony would be excluded from the forthcoming Federation if the 'Kanaka' trade did not cease. Leading NSW and Victorian politicians warned there would be no place for 'Asiatics' or 'coloureds' in the Australia of the future. In 1901, the new federal government passed an Act ending the employment of Pacific Islanders. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 received royal assent on 23 December 1901. It was described as an Act 'to place certain restrictions on immigration and to provide for the removal from the Commonwealth of prohibited immigrants'. The Act prohibited from immigration those considered to be...
Global Migration Stories
Dr Charles Fahey
The demise of the WhiteAustraliaPolicy (WAP) was brought about by a combination of external and internal push-pull factors. The strongest influence that realized the downfall of the policy was war. The event of war on a global scale began a cascading effect of interwoven causes outside and within Australia which would ensure the eventual destruction of the WAP. In this sense there are four main points that can be focused on when looking at the issue. These are; Australia’s transformation during World War II (WWII) to an industrialised economy driven by the war effort; massive numbers of refugees from war torn Europe looking to resettle; a paranoid fear of invasion from the communist threat and the humanitarian crisis at the conclusion of the Vietnam war.
During WWII Australia’s economy had undergone a transition to an industrialised economy which required more labour than Australia possessed. Australia’s preferred source of immigration, the United Kingdom, having just suffered over four-hundred-thousand casualties during the war was in no position to meet the numbers required either. If Australia was to sustain a continued rate of growth they were going to have to source additional immigrants from places other than the UK. The argument put forward by the head of the newly formed Immigration...
...The WhiteAustraliaPolicy (WAP) was a policy that was introduced in 1901 by the newly federated government. It was officially known as the Immigration Restrictions Act 1901 and the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901. These policies were put in place to keep Australiawhite for racial issues, economic issues and for the preservation of democratic freedom. In order for the WAP to work, a “Dictation Test” was put in place that would monitor who was allowed into the country such as undesirables including Asians and coloured immigrants. This policy was very racist although it was a common attitude of the time and was accepted and supported.
The Immigration Restrictions Act 1901 and the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 were both policies that restricted people from entering the country. Before federation, politicians argued about who should be able to enter and settle in Australia. Two points talked about was that Australia needed to stay “racially pure” and preferably British, and that a high-standard of living had to be maintained. This meant that cheap and non-white labour must be excluded.
Racial Issues played a major role in the WAP. The Chinese were a very big target for racial antagonism as they had different appearances and customs. Even though many were skilful and honest, they were victimised...
...Year 10 History Research Essay- The WhiteAustraliaPolicy- Racist or a cautious legislation?
The ‘WhiteAustraliaPolicy’ was the product of all the fear that the white parliament officials held against anyone with non-European background. The WhiteAustraliaPolicy was first promulgated by the first governing Prime Minister Edward Barton who was fearful that if non-Europeans in Australia were left unchecked, they would no longer regard the Australian Parliament as a ruling figure. The basis of these fears originated from a book written by a British-born historian by the name of Charles Henry Pearson in 1893 that stated “The day will come, and perhaps is not far distant, when the European observer will look round to see the globe girdled with a continuous zone of the black and yellow races, no longer too weak for aggression or under tutelage, but independent, or practically so, in government, monopolising the trade of their own regions, and circumscribing the industry of the Europeans”. Therefore the WhiteAustraliapolicy, after being put into effect, acted out to control the demography of Asian immigrants or in simple terms, restricting them, with a perfect example of their best and most deceiving method of rejecting their entry was the so called "Dictation Test"....
...What did the WhiteAustraliaPolicy and Aboriginal Protection Acts reflect about Australia’s view of Asian and Indigenous peoples?
“Australia for the white man”
As Australia entered the new century after federation, deep concerns and fears of other races which had been bubbling beneath the surface since colonization began to emerge in the policies of the new government. Two of the most controversial were ‘The WhiteAustraliaPolicy’ and the ‘Aboriginal Protection Act’. These two policies, widely supported by all white Australians, came from the deep-rooted sense of superiority that whites held over blacks, known as Social Darwinism as well as ignorance and lack of empathy.
The WhiteAustraliaPolicy restricted non-white immigration and promoted white, European immigration. It was carried out through two main policies, the Immigration restriction act which only allowed non whites in after they had passed a dictation test in a european language of the officers choice. The other policy was the pacific island labourers act which endeavored to rid Australia of Pacific Islanders who were brought to Australia to labour on the sugar farms. This was done...
...Introducing the ‘WhiteAustralia’ policy
From WhiteAustralia to Multiculturalism
This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part the concepts or race, ethnicity, prejudice and racism are defined and how they are connected is discussed. Part 2 of the paper looks at the ‘WhiteAustralia’ policy and why it was introduced. The impact of such a racist immigration history on contemporary Australia is also discussed in terms of attitudes and behaviours of the population. Following is a brief discussion on how successive government policies and non-government organisations have tried to deal with and eradicate racism and discrimination against minority groups in Australia since the ‘WhiteAustralia’ policy was abolished in the 1940’s. Lastly, the tensions that remain today in multicultural Australia are explored.
What is race?
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries it was thought that humans could be divided into different groups according to their biological makeup, or alternatively, their race. The term ‘race’ focused more on common features that were shared among a single species, rather than placing emphasis on the characteristics which divide us (Cohen & Kennedy, 2007; Giddens,...
...the White Australian Policy was one of the first acts Australia passed during its federation in 1901.This racist act restricted the entry of non-Europeans into Australia by means of a dictation test. The origin of a "whiteAustralia" can be traced back to the 1850's when resentment towards Chinese diggers progressed into violence on the Buckland River, Victoria, which resulted in the restriction of Chinese immigration. Closer to federation, Australia was in fear of invasion, people felt threatened by job loss to non-white Australians who accepted lower wages. The prospect of lower living standards pushed the Australian Government to pass the White Australian Policy. The policy put a halt to foreign migration, which prevented Australia from advancing culturally and socially. In January 1973, after the Whitlam Labor Government intervened, Australia formerly abolished the White Australian Policy. Australian Immigration Minister, Al Grassby, announced that requirements for foreign migration would from then on be based on a points system. It had taken 25 years for Australian governments to gradually dismantle the policy and each amendment was influenced by events such as World War Two (WWII), the removal of the dictation test and the Ten Pound Poms.
The discrimination against non-White people and Indigenous Aboriginal Australians has had both cohesive and divisive impact on Australian society and culture during the 1880 to 1929 period. A number of significant events occurred during this time. These include the depression, Federation, the implement of Immigration restrictions and World War II. Aboriginals were segregated from the mainstream white society and their settlements controlled by the government. Non-European migrants were also unwanted in Australia, leading to the creation of a political party with the agenda to enforce immigration restrictions. Both these factors served to unite most of the White population of Australia, but divided the overall population into the White majority and disadvantaged and unwanted minorities.
The white population had many differences amongst themselves. These included the friction between Catholics and Protestants. Also there was always the conflict between the Irish Republicans and British Imperialists. On a larger scale, the various states were passionate about holding on to their independence. The attitude towards non-white and Aboriginal people, however, brought the white Australians closer together.
Social Darwinism was a popular belief in Australian society since the 19th century along with phrenology. Both views supported that...
Comparison of Ethnic Stratification in Australia and the United States
SOC308: Racial & Ethnic Groups
Dr. J Kipp
September 1, 2014
Comparison of Ethnic Stratification in Australia and the United States
Australia is a large continent located between the Indian Ocean and the South
Pacific Ocean. Its climate is generally dry to semi dry, with a temperate climate in the
south and east, and a tropical climate in the north. The terrain is mostly low plateaus with
deserts and a fertile plain in the southeast. It is the world’s smallest continent, but the
sixth largest country by total area. The country is made up of the Australian continent,
the island of Tasmania, and several smaller islands. It is the sixth largest country in the
world, comprising three basic ethnic groups. Whites make up 92% of the population, Asians seven percent, and aboriginal and other groups comprise just one percent of the population. Both countries are culturally diverse and, to a degree, embrace multiculturalism. Although quite similar in ethnicity, the United States and Australia have different approaches to ethnic stratification and both could benefit from studying the mistakes each has made in order to achieve true ethnic harmony, equality and multiculturalism for both countries.
Because Australians tend to embrace multiculturalism to a...