The White Australia Policy

791 Words 4 Pages
The White Australia Policy was reformed do to a rise in the new Post WWII educated class. Australia’s Whites Only policy was a continuation of the colonial era mindset that the white race was the dominant race and the only ones fit to rule. After WWII, those social-Darwinists who followed in the footsteps of the founders of the Commonwealth, the Old Guard, were slowly pushed aside by a new equality minded generation bent on reform. This New Guard was the product of the modern, liberal, post-WWII university system. This rising, reformist, educated class became the power behind the dissolution of the White Australia immigration policy, also known as the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901.

Background
Australia’s Whites Only policy began when
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After the conclusion of WWII, in the 1950’s, ‘It was becoming increasingly difficult to justify a racist policy when a war had just been fought against ‘pride of race’. (Brawley, 1989:155) The international community was putting both political and economic pressure on Australia to change. The international press began comparing the White Australia policy to the extreme racism prevalent in South Africa and Rhodesia (Tavan, 2004:116). Australia’s xenophobic immigration policies created extreme enmity and distrust, which made it difficult for External Affairs to operate in the region. External Affairs, now the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, were forced to work around these racist policies and still maintain favorable political and economic relationships in …show more content…
In the 1950’s, Australian universities opened their doors to international students. Primarily from Asia - Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Indonesia, these students came from the same countries whose migrants Australia was actively trying to keep out. Surrounded by this diverse non-white, non-European population the New Guard was raised in a more culturally diverse environment than that of the previous generation, and viewed racism from an entirely different perspective. ‘Their new positions in an expanding middle management environment enforced a desire to be well informed and responsible. As a consequence, the new generation found defects in national policy and the most visible was White Australia’ (Brawley,

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