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Immigration & Ethnic Minorities


• 1901 - Immigration restriction act

• Colonial policies designed to restrict non-White settlement, abolished in 1973
• 1945 – Mass wave of immigration
• Australia needed population growth to adequately defend the country from invasion
• (European ancestry, healthy, and without a criminal record – accepted)
• Because the English were reluctant to migrate, the Government targeted refugees
from Spain, Greece, Poland, Yugoslavia and Italy. In more recent years, Australia has
opened its doors to refugees from the Middle East and Asia.
• The ability to integrate such a diverse group of people with relatively few problems
could be seen as a marvel of the world
• 1967 - Referendum on Aboriginal citizenship
• Until this referendum Aborigines were according to law neither residents nor
migrants of the colony, so Australia had a referendum to decide whether Aborigines should
be counted in the federal census, and whether the federal government should be given
power to make laws for them. Almost 90 per cent of Australia voted yes.

• But the Chairman of the Northern Land Council, Mr Galarrwuy Yunupingu said:
„[It] had been forced upon the Aboriginal nation. Aboriginal people have never wanted
to be equal with the white people of Australia. The referendum had been inspired by guilt and
had never considered the rights we Aboriginal people really had, or who we really were."
• 1988 - The celebration of European settlement in Australia
• Was not welcomed at all by Aboriginal people who saw a deep irony in celebrating
200 years of oppression
• Citizenship day (17 September): An opportunity for all Australians to think about the
changes that shaped their nation
• 2006: 24% of the Australian resident population born outside Australia
• Migration agents: It is possible to employ migration agents or lawyers to assist with a
visa application to Australia
• One Nation Party – late 90s, a nationalist and protectionist political party against

Aborigines and Torret Strait Islanders

• The indigenous people of Australia
• Actual timing of the arrival of Aboriginals in Australia?
• It is said that the general quality of life of Australian Aborigines remains extremely
poor (higher infant mortality rates, health problems – trachoma, diabetes, alcohol and
drugs dependency...)ţ
• Until 1960s: Policy of separating Aboriginal infants and children from their parents
and placing them in white institutions
Ethnic groups
• 85% of Australia's population is of European descent
• In the 2006 Australian Census residents could nominate up to two ethnic groups to
define their ancestry. The most commonly nominated ancestries were: Australian (37.1%),
English (31.6%), Irish (9.1%), Scottish (7.7%), Italian (4.3%), German (4.1%), Chinese
(3.4%), Greek (1.8%), Dutch (1.6%), Indian (1.2%), Lebanese (1.0%) and other such as
Poles, Croat, Welsh, Spanish, Hungarian, South African, Serbs, Russian, Turkish etc.

Countries of the world which are birthplaces for at least 50,000 residents in Australia (2006
estimates). Scarlet countries are the birthplaces for 200,000 or more residents; red
countries are the birthplaces for 100,000 to 199,999 residents; orange countries are the
birthplaces for 50,000 to 99,999 residents
Czech immigrants
• The earliest known settler: Mark Blycher, a convict who arrived in Sydney in 1830
• Czech immigration to Australia occurred in several phases: 1930s
(emigration related to the Nazi occupation) The end of World War II and the
following communist takeover of Czechoslovakia saw the largest number of
Czechoslovakian-born immigrants arriving in Australia
The Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 The fall of the communist
government in 1989 – a decline in the size of the Czech community in Australia
• 2001: Australia – 6 973, Tasmania – 125

Australian Government and ethnicity

• Nationalities of Australian Government members:
• The Prime minister Kevin Rudd is an Australian; other members: 20 of them are
Australians, 5 of British nationality, 1 of Malaysian and 1 of Slovenian nationality

Anti-discrimination Laws
• Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Prohibition of racial discrimination, offensive behaviour based on racial hatred.
When someone is treated less fairly than someone else in a similar situation because of their
race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin
• Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Prohibition of discrimination because of sex, marital status, or pregnancy; of dismiss
from job because of family responsibilities and of sexual harassment
• Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
Breaches of human rights by any Commonwealth body or agency and discrimination
in employment on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national
extraction, social origin, age, medical record, criminal record, marital status, impairment,
disability, nationality, sexual preference, trade union activity
• Disability Discrimination Act 1992
To promote the rights of people with disabilities in certain areas such as housing,
education and provision of goods and services.
• Age Discrimination Act 2004 (CTH)
Protects both younger and older Australians
Government Programs
• Living in Harmony
Seeks to promote social cohesion and address issues of racial, religious and cultural
• National Action Plan
A coordinated government and community approach aimed at addressing increased
global, religious and political extremism threatening Australia's national security and social
Interesting Australia
• Emily Kame Kngwarreye
• (1910 – 1996)
• Indigenous Australian artist
• Her 1995 painting Earth's Creation set a record in 2007 for sale price of an
Aboriginal work, at AUD$1,056,000.

• Ian James Thorpe

• (born 1982)
• Freestyle swimmer
• Has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any Australian
• In 2001 he became the first person to win six gold medals in one World

• Jřrn Utzon
• (1918 – 2008)
• Danish architect most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia
• 38 years old when he sketched the design
• Never returned to see it finished

• Sally Morgan
• My Place was considered a breakthrough memoir in terms of bringing indigenous
stories to wider notice.
Future for multiculturalism
• Some small groups will lose cultural roots and contact with cultures of origin
• Ethnicity will be maintained by folkloric activities
• New technology links people of the same origin
• Multiculturalism is still an open subject in Australia