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Multiculturalism In Australia. By Vanessa Locke, Dina Danias, Katie Glynn and Jacqueline Rogers. Definition of Multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country.

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Multiculturalism In Australia

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    multiculturalism in australia

    Multiculturalism In Australia

    By Vanessa Locke, Dina Danias, Katie Glynn and Jacqueline Rogers

    definition of multiculturalism
    Definition ofMulticulturalism
    • Multiculturalism is the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country.
    al grassby
    Al Grassby
    • Al Grassby is considered the father of multiculturalism. The reason for this is because in 1972 when he became Minister of Immigration.
    • While being Minister of Immigration he was considered “A one person propaganda” reasons for this is because he acknowledged the benefits of multiculturalism and strived to increase migration from non- English speaking countries.
    history of multiculturalism in australia
    History of Multiculturalism in Australia
    • Australia did not always have a policy of multiculturalism, it has been developing over the past decades.
    • In 1972, the Minister for Immigration, the Hon. Al Grassby called to abandon the assimilation policy, as the Government investigation (known as the Galbally Report ) into Australian migrants found that they were socially, politically and economically disadvantaged.
    • "The government also saw that forcing these communities to abandon their culture and adopt an Australian way of life was futile."
    • This therefore saw that a policy of multiculturalism would benefit Australia in a variety of ways.
    what is multiculturalism
    What is Multiculturalism?
    • ‘Multicultural’ is simply a term which describes the cultural diversity of contemporary Australia, in which Australia is known to be a multicultural society.
    • A multiculturalism policy includes the Australian government to respond to this diversity. It plays no part in migrant selection; however it is a policy for managing the consequences of cultural diversity in the interests of the individual and society as a whole.
    • The Commonwealth Government has identified three dimensions of multicultural policy:
    • Cultural Identity: the right of all Australians, within carefully defined limited, to express and share their individual cultural heritage, including their language and religion;
    • Social Justice: the right of all Australians to equality of treatment and opportunity, and the removal of barriers of race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, gender or place of birth;
    • Economic Efficiency: the need to maintain, develop and utilize effectively the skills and talents of all Australians, regardless of background.
    • These three dimensions of the policy apply equally to all Australians, whether Aboriginal, Anglo-Celtic or non-English speaking background; and whether they were born in Australia or overseas.
    • However, there are limits to Australian Multiculturalism;
    • Multicultural Policies are based upon the grounds of all Australians should have a want or need to commit to Australia.
    • Multicultural Policies require all Australians to accept the basic principles of Australian society such as: The Constitution, Australian law, equality, Parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, English as the national language and equality of the sexes;
    • Multicultural Policies force obligations as well as allowing rights: the right to express one's own culture and beliefs involves a reciprocal responsibility to accept the right of others to express their views and values
    multiculturalism timeline
    Multiculturalism Timeline:
    • The first Australians: For many thousands of years, Aboriginal societies and Torres Strait Islander societies live on the Australian continent. Estimates suggest there are some 700 different cultural groups speaking 250 different languages.
    • 1606: Earliest record contact between Aboriginal people and Europeans by crew of the Dutch ship Dwyflken under Captain Willem Jansz. During the 1600s parts of the Australian coast become known to the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch British and French.
    • 1788: The First Fleet arrives Sydney, home of the Eora people, with some 60 nationalities among the crew and convicts.
    • 1810: Aboriginal missions set up. Different religious groups established in colony.
    • 1820: Conflict between European settlers and Aboriginal people continues with many Aboriginal people killed.
    • 1830: Migration expands-assisted migration from Britain, labourers from Asia and South Sea Islands, Germans settle in SA. First ethnic schools. Aboriginal people killed at Myall Creek, NSW and Pinjarra,WA.
    • 1840: Migrants include people from Greece, China, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Spanish missionaries, Irish convicts. Killing of Aboriginal people continues.
    • 1850: Gold rushes bring migrants from any countries, particularly China. Large numbers of Irish then come. Anti-Chinese legislation passed.
    • 1860: Migration continues as do Aboriginal killings. First Afghan cameleers arrive. South Sea Islanders kidnapped for work. Anti-Chinese riots break out. First government station in Torres Strait Islanders.
    • 1880: Legislation to restrict immigration. Kidnapping of South Sea Islanders continues. Aboriginal children removed from families in Victoria

    1890: Depression reduces immigration. First foreign language newspaper. Aboriginal reserves set up. Dictation test introduced to exclude non-European migration

    • 1900: Federation of Australia. Aboriginal people denied citizenship. ‘White Australia Policy’ introduced. Pacific Islanders deported.
    • 1920: Immigration increases favoring British and northern Europeans. Australian Aborigines’ Progressive Association established. Coniston massacre, NT-30 Aboriginal people killed.
    • 1930: Anti-immigration feeling during depression. Assimilation of Indigenous people adopted as national policy.
    • 1950: Treatment of ‘non-whites’ causes international concern. Dictation test abolished. Assisted migration from some countries.
    • 1960: Policy of integration for migrants. ‘Freedom ride’ for Aboriginal rights. Referendum for Aboriginal rights passed. SA first state to pass anti-racism legislation.
    • 1970: Increased diversity among new migrants. Aboriginal flag is flown for the first time. Aboriginal Tent Embassy and Department of Aboriginal Affairs set up. Multiculturalism and multicultural services established. Racial Discrimination Act passed.
    • 1973: The term multiculturalism had been introduced and migrant groups were forming state and national associations to maintain their cultures and promote the survival of their languages and heritages with mainstream institutions. Al Grassby, Labor Minister for Immigration issued a reference paper entitled A multi-cultural society for the future.
    • 1977: The Australian Ethnic Affairs Council, appointed to advise the Fraser Liberal-Country Party Government, recommended a public policy of multiculturalism in its report Australia as a multicultural society.
    • 1978: The first official national multicultural policies were implemented by the Fraser Government, in accord with recommendations of the Galbally Report in the context of the government programs and services for migrants.
    • 1979: An act of parliament established the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs (AIMA) whose objectives included raising awareness of cultural diversity and promoting social cohesion, understanding and tolerance.

    1986: the AIMA Act was repealed by the Labor Government, which in 1987 created the office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    • 1989: Following community consultations and drawing the on the advice of the Advisory Council for Multicultural Affairs, the Labor Government produced the National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia which had bipartisan political support.
    • 1990: ATSIC and Council for Reconciliation are established. Torres Strait Islands flag down for first time. Native title- Mabo and Wik decisions. Racial Hatred Act passed. Republic referendum held and lost. Temporary protection provided to refugees from East-Timor. Bi-partisan Parliamentary Statement on Racial Tolerance.
    • 1994: A National Multicultural Advisory Council was established to review and update the national agenda. Its report, launched in June 1995 found that much had been achieved and recommended further initiatives.
    • 1996: Following the election of the Liberal-National Party Government in March 1996, OMA was absorbed into the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. Parliament endorsed the Parliamentary Statement on Racial Tolerance.
    • 1997: The government announced the a new National Multicultural Advisory Council (NMAC)
    • 1999: The PM, Mr. Howard launched NMAC’s report, Australian Multicultural for a New Century: Towards inclusiveness. Government issued its multicultural policy.
    • 2000: Australians march in support of Reconciliation. Corroboree 2000
    • 2003: The government released its multicultural policy statement, Multicultural Australia: United in Diversity. It updated the 1999 new agenda.
    australia s success in multiculturalism
    Australia’s Success in Multiculturalism
    • The Australian post-war immigration program was an exercise in nation building and established Migration. The reason for Australia’s success in Migration is mainly because Australian culture is said to be ‘egalitarian’. From Migration comes multiculturalism. The Australian society is said to be proud to live in a cohesive and inclusive society in which cultures, languages and religions of millions of Australians have transformed the social and cultural landscape. There has been very little conflict as a result of multiculturalism and migration; hence this proves that Australia has been successful in migration. Another reason for Australia’s success is that Australia’s Federal Governments have established and funded organisations such as; The Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, The Office of Multicultural Affairs, The Bureau of Immigration, and Multicultural & Population Research. Organisations such as these assist migrants with their new life and allow them to become able in functioning in their new environment.
    • Australia is a nation of migrants with over 6 million immigrants since the end of WWII. Australia is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world, with over 40% either born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas.
    multiculturalism in australia1
    Multiculturalism in Australia
    • It has been said that ‘Australia is now a multicultural society’; however there are several views on this statement. One view is that we describe Australia as demographically and culturally 'multicultural' in which is a result of the immigration of culturally diverse groups in Australia. However this statement doesn’t account for the government’s views or intentions about the ideal social composition of Australian society. Yes, Australia is known for its acceptance and immigration programs, in which was originally to boost its population after WWII. Migrants are free to do whatever they like in terms of keeping their cultural background and embracing it, or perhaps adapting to the Australian culture; although the government is unclear on their intensions. Whether they want to respect and preserve diversity, or whether they want to encourage assimilation.


    • The strength of multiculturalism in Australia entirely depends on the Government and the Australian community under the meaning of encouragement and assistance. In Australia, this encouragement and assistance took form under the reformation of the welfare system, in which was to provide more specific cultural services; such as the funding of cultural schools and numerous community self-help programs. Other services include the foundation of the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, and the television and radio services such as Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
    australia s migration program
    Australia’s Migration Program
    • The Australian Migration Program does not discriminate on the basis of race or religion. Therefore this means that anyone from any country can apply to migrate to Australia, regardless of their cultural background, gender or colour; unless they do not meet the requirements under the criteria set out by the Australian law system.
    • These requirements are set out in the Migration Act and Regulations, and apply to all applicants whom wish to migrate to Australia under any sort of visa that best applies to them. There are different criteria’s for different visas, whether it’s a student visa, a temporary visa, a permanent visa etc. From here the Australian Government determines the criteria for each visa and sets the number of people who can enter the program on an annual basis. This program is selective, however all applicants are regarded as equal, although the choosing of the applicants are based in the favour of those who meet Australia’s requirements (i.e. health requirements and character requirements etc) and have a good and successful prediction of their settlement in Australia. All applicants for permanent entry to Australia must be assessed against Australia's health and character requirements, which are designed to exclude those whose presence in Australia would not be in the interest of the Australian community.
    multiculturalism facts
    Multiculturalism Facts
    • This country was built by people from many different national backgrounds, and has followed an active policy of multiculturalism since 1972. To what extent is Australia a tolerant and inclusive society? How has cultural diversity shaped this country’s national identity? These are some of the questions raised about Australians multicultural society.
    • Indigenous peoples have been living in Australia for some 50,000 years, scientists believe. All other Australians (about 97 per cent) have been settlers or their descendants for more than 200 years.
    • Since the end of World War II, more than 600,000 people have arrived under humanitarian programs, as displaced persons and refugees – about 10 per cent of our total migrant numbers.

    During the 1990s Australia received 900,000 migrants and in 2000-03 more than 93,900 people arrived to settle in Australia. In addition, Australia is one of only a few countries that operate a dedicated offshore resettlement program, which accepts the world’s most needy and desperate people. The program makes available 12,000 new places for refugee and humanitarian entrants each year.

    difficulties experienced by migrants
    Difficulties Experienced By Migrants
    • When migration was first introduced to Australia the Australian population did not support the decision of the government. Because of this migrants coming to live in Australia experienced:
      • Racism
      • Discrimination
      • Abuse
      • Difficulties in finding employment
      • Exclusion
    australia as a multicultural society
    Australia as a Multicultural Society
    • Australia is often perceived as a multicultural nation and according to the definition of multiculturalism it fulfills the requirement of having several nations coexisting.
    • However it is the ratio of these nations which lends to doubts of Australia's Multiculturalism. As evident in the table below of Australia's population approximately 71% are Australian born, leaving only 30% of the population to be culturally diverse.
    • Also the second an third highest birthplaces for Australian citizens is the United Kingdom and New Zealand two nations which would have seemly similar cultures to Australia, reducing Australia's cultural diversity.
    case study vittorio s story
    Case Study: Vittorio’s Story
    • Vittorio De Bortoli was born in Castelcucco in 1900
    • Vittorio left Italy because he had very little chance making a living as a farmer so he sold all his possessions and took a boat to Australia.
    • In 1924 Vittorio arrived in Melbourne after a 2 month voyage. He then caught the train to Griffith in NSW, farm work was available in the newly irrigated Riverina district.
    • He was then joined by Giuseppina’s older brother and they managed to save enough money to buy a fruit farm at Bilbul, outside Griffith. Later on he created a vineyard.
    • During WWll the federal government restricted the amount of wine Italian-owned wineries could sell. The National Security Regulations made it very difficult for Vittorio to manage financially, and he began selling wine illegally. But he was caught, fined and jailed for three months.
    • When he was released, he lost his licence to sell wine. Vittorio then applied for a licence in Giuseppina’s name and the family was able to keep their winemaking business. When the war ended the restrictions were lifted and Vittorio was able to expand the business until he died in 1979.
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