The White Australia Policy is a set of rules and policies that were put in place to stop other people from immigrating to Australia. It targeted some ethnicities specifically and limited who was able to move to the country, and so cultural assimilation in Australia was beginning. This was an attempt to keep the British majority as they had arrived first and to keep others out.
As there was increasing competition between European and Chinese miners over gold deposits, a labor union requested there be a limitation of people coming from the Pacific Islands to work in the goldfields. Restrictions were put in place to limit the family members who were allowed to join the miners who were already working in Australia. In addition, a tax was added for any Chinese immigrants, while others were not taxed. These limitations and taxes were specifically intended to keep out one set of people, though it did extend to several others as well, allowing only for white Europeans to immigrate openly to Australia. This progressed to limitations on their company in other markets and limiting their employment options.
Immigration Restriction Act of 1901
This act was the beginning of the White Australia Policy as a federal government’s policy. These restrictions, and other acts, were used up until the start of World War II and limited the immigrants that were able to move into the company. The restrictions were created to provide an advantage to the British who were already living within the country and their own families. It was intended to keep the country belonging to the descendants of those who came with that First Fleet and created colonies in Australia.
After the end of World War II, the government began to remove the policies and dismantle the program. They allowed for large-scale immigration from other countries and this dismantling of the policies through 1949-1967. After that, there were laws passed that created regulations restricting the future ability to use race as a limitation to immigration. The Racial Discrimination Act was passed in 1975 to make it illegal to use race as any method of determining immigration ability. By 2018 there were laws in place to allow for people from anywhere to immigrate without being judged or stopped due to nationality, culture, religion, language, or others. By 2019 they were in the top ten countries for the population of immigrants, and they welcome people of all ethnicities each year.
The current immigration policies allow for people from any country and of any cultural or religious background to immigrate to Australia. They have several paths for immigration, including family members of those who live in Australia already, people who are trained to do jobs that are needed, and those who want to attend school there. Each of these paths accepts people from anywhere in the world who meet the qualifications and are able to support themselves after the move.
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