Tavan, Gwenda: Beginning of the end of White Australia

Tavan, Gwenda

The beginning of the end of the White Australia policy‘, Inside Story, 1 July 2016

Detailed administrative history of the steps taken by the Coalition Government. They did not take matters all the way, however.

It was clear … that the reforms had not gone far enough to remove racial discrimination from the immigration statutes. Immigration controversies continued to distract Australian governments and mar Australia’s international reputation. The leaders of Asian nations continued to publicly express concern at Australia’s treatment of their nationals …

The limits of the 1966 reforms were clear, as was the capacity of Australia’s Coalition parties to manage the politics of race and immigration during a period of profound social change. It was left to the Labor Party, under Whitlam’s leadership, to finish what Holt had started in 1966. Whitlam won the 1972 federal election on a platform that included the removal of racial discrimination from the immigration statutes and an overt declaration to the world that the White Australia policy was finally dead.

One of a series of articles in Inside Story about 1966 as an important year in Australian history. The other pieces link from this one.

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