The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s
4 Assimilation Policy in Australia, 1890s–1962
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Assimilation Policy in Australia, 1890s–1962
In the post–Second World War period the Australian government adopted a mass migration programme, which brought large numbers of non-British settlers to its shore for the first time in its history. The “Australia” these migrants encountered when they arrived was very much a British society and an integral part of a wider British world. The White Australia policy was also a crucial capillary of this British race patriotism. Consequently, these new non-British migrants were expected to assimilate into this white, British society immediately and become near identical to Anglo-Celtic Australians. However, in the early 1960s the first signs that Australia’s Britishness and whiteness were beginning to wane started to emerge. This led to subtle changes in the assimilation policy adopted towards non-British migrants.
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