How has Australia become a multicultural society?

Essay by tantivy April 2014

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

How has Australia become a multicultural society?

Australia first made a step towards becoming a multicultural society when Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell stated, post WW2, that Australia was to 'Populate or Perish". This statement led to a policy review, in which The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was changed to the Assisted Passage Scheme. Following this, Australia welcomed immigrants from many countries, such as Baltic States, Italy, Greece, Malta, Finland, Sweden and other parts of Europe.

Before World War 2, Australia had a "White Australia Policy" which restricted non-white immigration to Australia. The major tool used in this policy was a dictation test, which could be selectively given in any European language. After WW2, fears that Asia would invade Australia were heightened extensively and there was a growing fear of the spread of communism in Asia. These fears encouraged the decision to increased immigration and build up the Australian population, so that if an invasion were to occur, we would be better able to defend ourselves.

It was then that Arthur Calwell noted that Australia must "Populate or Perish".

After 1945, the migrants were essentially from Britain. From 1947 to 51, people from the Baltic States, Italy and Greece began to immigrate, and continued to come to Australia in large numbers throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These immigrants brought with them new cultures and foods, and began to change the attitudes and diets of Australians. Many of these migrants came to Australia under the "Assisted Passage Scheme" on a mere 10 pound fare.

Many migrants who chose to stay in Australia worked on large public projects, one of which was the Snowy Mountains' Hydro-Electro Scheme. The plan was to hold water from melting snow in the Australian Alps and then divert this water by a complex of tunnels through the Great...