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Britain soon discovered Australia’s resourceful land and began to send over workers to harvest materials such as wool, gold and wheat. A lot of these immigrants were British convicts; not only did this separate them from the regular British society, but it was free labour.
The term “Populate or Perish” – first coined by Bill Hughes in 1937 – was the idea that Australia “must not only be defended but also have enough human resources to defend itself”. As such, Australia had to increase its population to fulfil this necessity in an economically viable way.
Several strategies were employed by the Australian government to solve this problem: relaxation on the “White Australia” policy; “Assisted Passage Schemes”; and the use of Displaced Person.
The Australian immigration authorities used several methods to deny entry to the “undesirable” immigrants.
The ‘dictation test’ was a test for all people seeking migration to Australia to read 500 words of a script as a ‘test’ for literacy.
Essentially, this policy was designed to create “an ethnically homogenous society” through refusing entry to most non-white peoples.
Family Therapy Term Papers - Essays On Immigration In Australia
This was first advocated by Alfred Deakin in his 1901 election campaign, and since carried on for 72 years. James Jupp noted that one of the pillars upon which Australia’s immigration policy during the 20 century has rested was “the maintenance of British hegemony and ‘white’ domination”, which can be seen to be firmly implemented in this policy.
Once numbers to send from Britain got low, the Empire then began moving other residents of other Dominions, such as China and India, to assist with the labour required. This soon slowed in the early 20 century following Australia’s federation.
One of the first Acts put in place by Parliament was the Immigration Restriction Act, which enabled the “White Australia” policy to come to fruition, the implications of which will be discussed later.
Throughout the late 1940s into the early 1970s, while the ‘White Australia’ policy was still in place, its administration became somewhat relaxed, thus allowing a higher intake of immigrants from more places.
It became apparent to Australia at the climax of World War II that the nation needed more people to both build the population and economy but also for the defense of the nation.