Tavan, Gwenda: Long, slow death

Tavan, Gwenda

The Long, Slow Death of White Australia, Scribe, Carlton North, Vic., 2005

The history of the racist immigration policy that was Australia’s guiding light for the majority of the 20th century is examined in this work. Beginning with the policy’s introduction in 1901, this analysis traces the ideals and values that affected its creation and the policy’s gradual transformation as successive governments reluctantly gave ground on barring non-Europeans from Australia. Originally intended to ensure an ethnic and cultural link to the mother country, the policy hurt Australia’s relations with Asia and had harsh consequences for non-Europeans residing in the country. The policy’s demise in the early 1970s was initially celebrated as a watershed moment when Australia came into its own as an independent and culturally diverse modern nation. However. the contradiction between the current policy and public support for preserving Australia’s white, Anglo-Celtic culture begs the question of whether the White Australia policy really died or was buried alive by bureaucrats and politicians eager to present a new face of Australia to the world. (blurb)

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