After the federation of the colonies, during the period 1901 to 1914 Australia had several major political developments which affected the Australian society dramatically. One of these developments was "The Immigration Restriction Act 1901" which stopped immigrants from the surrounding Asian countries. Another important development was "The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902" which made Australia one of the first places in the world to grant women the right to vote.
Australia was a new nation of mainly white people of European origin and isolated in a region where there were very few other white races. There was a real sense of insecurity and a growing fear of the large numbers of Asian people to the north. Australia not only had a distrust of other races but also believed that they were a much more superior race. In 1901 "The Immigration Restriction Act" was passed by the federal government. "The Immigration Restriction Act" was the key part of "The White Australia Policy" aimed at excluding all non-European migrants by using a Dictation Test.
By law immigrants are required to do a 50 word written Dictation Test in a European language directed by the officer. The Dictation Test could be administered to any immigrant during the first year of residence, however only non-white immigrants were required to take this test.
"During 1902, 618 intending immigrants were turned away from Australian ports because they were not sufficiently well educated to write out dictation in an unfamiliar European language. Among them were 459 Chinese, 21 Vietnamese, 6 Egyptians, 3 Kurds, 2 Chileans and one Seychelles Islander. Thirty-three people passed the test... it must be assumed that these thirty-three had influential friends in Australia, that they wrote English or some other European language, and that the language chosen for dictation was the language they...