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Peopling Australia Since 1788

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James Trapani

on 11 October 2016

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Transcript of Peopling Australia Since 1788

Today's Lecture
Today we will overview the historical immigration trends to Australia between 1788-2016. In order to do this we will overview:
1) The British colonisation of Australia.
2) Other arrivals to Australia and their treatment.
3) Federation and the White Australia policy.
4) The challenges of underpopulation.
5) Post-WWII immigration.
6) Multi-racialism.
7) Multiculturalism.
8) Resistance to multiculturalism.
Why did the British establish a penal colony in Australia?
a) Settling the convicts?
b) A source of resources (timber, flax and whale oil)?
c) Trade in Asia?
d) Regional supremacy? (remember that the British
just beat the French here).
e) Establishment of a settler society?
British Colonisation of Australia

The British were not the only arrivals on this colony after 1788.
They were joined immigrants from:
a) China
b) Japan
c) The Pacific Islands
d) The Indian subcontinent.
Other Arrivals and their treatment
Why did our ancestors want the White Australia Policy?
Federation and the WAP
- The bombing of Darwin provided evidence for a longstanding fear of Asia.
- Australia stood upon a large undefendable continent with 7.3million inhabitants.
- While bringing in more Saxons and motivating a post-war "baby-boom" would help - Australia needed large scale immigration.

Populate or Perish
As the Marshall and Molotov Plans increased the quality of life in Northern Europe Australia was forced to look elsewhere for immigration.

As it was preferable to attract immigration from Britain (through assisted passage) and Northern Europe - increasingly Australia began taking more Southern Europeans.

War had also impacted Italy, Greece and Spain. However, no Settler Colony actively attracted them. Hence, Australia turned to these countires to continue the process of "populate or perish".
Post-War Immigration
-The WAP was unsustainable.
-By the 1960s, the global processes of civil rights and decolonisation had made racial discrimination taboo in global politics.
-Countries like Apartheid South Africa who refused to change were isolated by the global community.
-Australia only just dodged that type of reputation.
The Decline of the WAP
-Multiculturalism is the next logical step.
-It is unwise to believe that such a diverse group of people could give up their cultures to become typically Australian.
-While many young immigrants happily learn English, take job opportunities, embrace aspects of social culture and generally enjoy Australia, it is not possible to break the ties to both the older generation and their home land.
-This is even more true when it comes to religion:
-The Civil War in Lebanon of the 1980s led to a stark increase in Australia's Islamic population.
-Continuing poverty in the subcontinent led to an increase in Sihk and Hindi people also.
-Issues in the Middle East have also contributed to our moderate Jewish population.
-Australia CANNOT expect these people to give up their culture or their religion.
-Hence we have to embrace those things.
Peopling Australia Since 1788
Next Week
Convict Transfer to Australia
The Establishment of a
"Settler" Economy
British Governance
Free Settlers to Australia
Freed Convicts
The Chinese and the Gold Rush
The Japanese Pearl Divers
The "Kanakas"
The "Afghans"
The treatment of other arrivals
Perceptions of the Chinese
Lambing Flat
The ideologies present
The Union movement
Britain's refusal
The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901
The Dictation Test
Evaluating Effectiveness
Enemy Aliens
The Attack on Australia
The crisis in Europe.
Calwell's Selection Process
Why choose the Whitest Immigrants?
1) Where did they come from?
2) What did they contribute?
3) How were they treated?
Defining Multiculturalism?
The Agenda for a Multicultural Australia - 1988
Embracing Multiculturalism?
A Multicultural National Identity?
Resistance to Multiculturalism

1) John Howard 1988
2) Pauline Hanson 1996
3) Modern Resistance
Multiculturalism is not without its critics. Many Australians see it as an affront to "Traditional Australian values".
Many think that it leads to division and disunity in the community.
We will briefly focus on some of these critiques:
1) John Howard
2) Pauline Hanson
3) Modern anti-Islam groups.
‘This will be one of the most valuable acquisitions Britain will ever make.’ (Governor Arthur Phillip in his first report, May 1788).
-Approximately 168,000 convicts came to Australia between 1788 and 1870.
-They were effectively the agents of British imperialism in this continent.

-But who were they?
-A "Settler Society" requires the dispossession of the Indigenous population in order to emulate the political-economy of the metropole.
-This required a lot of labour. Convict labour became the heart of this economy. They were important in the construction of:
-Transport infrastructure;
-Commerical and Residential property;
-Social and cultural institutions;
-And most importantly, the farming economy.
-NSW was effectively established as a police state.
-Three companies of marines were sent with the first fleet of convicts in 1788.
-Of the 759 members of the first fleet under 200 were women and there were no free settlers.
-These demographics were consistent in the second and third fleets of 1790-1791.
-Arthur Phillip was given command of this colony between 1788 and 1792.
-All of the commanders of the colony were military generals subserviant to Britain until the mid-nineteenth century.
-Once the penal colony had sufficiently developed infrastructure it became slightly more appealing for free settlers.
-These free settlers were given: assisted passage, land grants and convict labour to assist them.
-These were not "rich" people. They were primarily agrarian people dislocated by the changes inherent within the Industrial Revolution.
-However, many of them would become very rich in Australia.
-Free settlers established productive industries in areas such as wool, and other profitable agrarian industries.
-Many of Australia's wealthiest families made their wealth during this era.
-Most of the 168,000 convicts who were sent to Australia were eventually freed.
-However, they could not afford to go back home.
-Hence, they were given many of the same opportunities as free settlers.
-As time progressed the line between free convicts and free settlers blurred.
-Even the line between the Irish and English blurred.
-The White Australian identity began to emerge in the late nineteenth century.
-Russel Ward has demonstrated the influence of Irish and convict identity within this new nation.
The allure of the Gold Rushes brough immigrants from around the world. However, it was the Chinese who left a lasting impression in Australia.
Around 30,000 Chinese people came to Australia between 1830 and 1860 to work on the goldfields.
Significantly, many of them stayed.
They established "Chinatowns" in every major city. They brough their wives and children out to build a new life.
Some became successful business owners.
-Large settlement of Japanese "pearlers" in northwestern Australia.
-Integrated well with European business owners.
-Population around 1,000. Considered "indentured" labour
-Very dangerous work with a high death rate.
-Agricultural slaves in North-Eastern Australia.
-Kidnapped by Europeans in the pacific islands.
-Process called "black-birding"
-Worked in tropical agricultural industries such as sugarcane harvesting.
-Very low(if any) wages paid.
-Brought in to run the transport industry in central Australia. They ran "camel trains" to move goods.
-Ironically, not many actual Afghans here - most were actually Indian and Pakistani.
-Used well into the twentieth century when technology replaced this form of logistics.
-While some ethnic minorities were welcomed into the "White Australia group" others were not.
-The Irish, Dutch and German were assimilated into Australia's identity during the nineteenth century.
-While other arrivals were demonised and seen as inferior to the dominant race and culture.

-This section of the lecture will:
- document cases of discrimination
- as well as, explaining WHY that discrimination
-White Australia held a negative perception of Chinese immigration.
-They believed:
a) As non-Christians that they were immoral.
b) That they were Opium addicts.
c) That they lived in urban slums
-In reality, though, the opposition was based on,
a) Fear of large scale Asian immigration
b) The challenge posed to workers in the gold fields
c) Racism.
-This opposition was most pronounced on the goldfields.
-This came to a violent pinnacle in 1860-1861 when a series of anti-Chinese riots on the goldfields.
-At Lambing Flat a mob of 3,000 white miners drove the approximate 1,000 Chinese miners off the goldfield permanently using the banner below as their symbol.
-Social Darwinism:
-Racial Hierarchies:
Herbert Spencer wrote adapted Darwin's work on evolution to sociology in the mid-C19.
-The Union movement were fearful of losing their rights to cheap immigrant labour.
-Australia was conceived as a "working-man's paradise" from the 1880s.
-We developed the radical ideas:
a)that women should enjoy the right to vote
b)a worker should earn enough to support a family
c)that the state should have a role in ensuring social security

-These are all parts of Australian history that we can, and should, be proud of.
-However, the cost seems to have been exclusion.
-These egalitarian rights would not be extended to non-white including immigrants and the Indigenous.
-In protecting the 1907 Harvester Amendment, the Union movement became the biggest critics of non-white Australians.

-Unlike the US, Australia became federated to become a more useful member of the British Empire.
-Every aspect of our early history is defined by our "Britishness"
-Hence, there was no desire to reduce that.
-The WAP meant to we would continue to be a British society in the service of Britain despite the geographical distance.
-Australia's early leaders wanted the WAP in the constitution.
-However, the Australian Constitution was an act of British Parliament.
-At this stage, Racism in the UK was looked down upon as its vital interests were best served by India, China and Japan.
-All of those states would come to find the WAP abhorrent.
-Hence, the first act of Australian Parliament was to implement what the British wouldn't - discriminatory legislation to keep Australia WHITE.
- The first form of Social Engineering was the 1901 - IRA. It Reads -

3. The immigration into the Commonwealth of the persons described in any of the following paragraphs of this section (herein-after called “prohibited immigrants”) is prohibited, namely:
(a) Any person who when asked to do so by an officer
fails to write out at dictation
and sign in the presence of the officer a passage of fifty words in length in
an European language
directed by the officer;
(b) any person likely in the opinion of the Minister or of an officer to become a
charge upon the public
or upon any public or charitable institution ;
(c) any
idiot or insane
person ;
(d) any person suffering from an infectious or contagious
of a loathsome or
dangerous character
(e) any person who has within three years been
convicted of an offence
, not being a mere political offence, and has been sentenced to imprisonment for one year or longer therefor, and has not received a pardon ;
(f) any prostitute or person living on the prostitution of others ;
(g) any persons under a contract or agreement to perform
manual labour
within the Commonwealth: Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to workmen exempted by the Minister for special skill required in Australia or to persons under contract or agreement to serve as part of the crew of a vessel engaged in the coasting trade in Australian waters if the rates of wages specified therein are not lower than the rates ruling in the Commonwealth.
This social engineering was enforced at our borders. The Dictation test was:
-Designed to police the immigration to Australia
-Immigration offers had total control over who to test and who to let in.
-They also had the ability to choose the language of the test.
-The clearest example of corruption was the 1934 exclusion of the Czech journalist Egon Kisch.
-In this well known story, Kisch, who was fluent in 6 European languages, was given the test in Scottish Gaelic.
-This event was publicised due to his media connections in the US.
-It highlighted the hypocracy of the WAP to the world and was a significant event in its eventual downfall.
If the goal of this "Social Engineering" was to keep Australia as "WHITE" as possible, then the policy was a success.
-By WWII Australia was one of the least diverse populations on earth as it remained a country composed of Anglo-Saxons.
- Additionally, we shouldn't overlook the economic and social progress that occurred in the first four decades of federation.
- Perhaps this young state required a cohesive national identity to quickly come as far as it did.
- While we should view this level of racism as abhorrent, it isn't the job of historians to moralise.
-It is up to us to look at both the good and bad to reflect on the current state currently finds itself in.
-We should also acknowledge that many other European and Settler Societies prophesed similar racist ideologies at this time and Australia was not really an outlier in this time.

Race and Identity
-Despite Britain's stance, the early Australian politicians thought it necessary to bring in formal policies of "Social Engineering"
-James Jupp (2002) has stated,
assisted passages were a form of social engineering designed to keep Australia British, to increase the manual labour force, to redress the gender imbalance and to keep Australia white. While about half of those coming to Australia in the century and a half paid their own fares or had them paid by employers or relatives, the other half would probably not have come without assistance. No other society, at least before the creation of Israel in 1948, has been so consciously shaped by public authorities and resources
-This effectively means that our politicians sought to design Australia's social demographics through government policy.
The Early twentieth century saw two major conflicts within Europe.
Hence the young Socially Engineered Settler Society of Australia was increasingly concerned by loyalty.
During WWI approximately 7,000 Australians were interned. Over 4,500 of the detained were naturalised Australians with German heritage.
A similar process took place in WWII. The number swelled to 12,000 as the Japanese population of Northern Australia also faced internment.

Part of the process of social engineering was to create a society who was completely loyal to Australia and the British Empire. These civilians were seen as a threat to the nation and Empire.
Australia's longstanding paranoia was confirmed by the bombing of Darwin.
UWS historian Dr. Drew Cottle asserted in his book, the Brisbane Line, that Australia's ruling class had planned to evacuate all but the small South Eastern corner where the majority of the population lived
WWII left an unprecedented amount of human suffering.
Development of more powerful weaponry meant that:
-A total of around 85 million people died.
-30 million of this was due to displacement and lack of food/water.
-At least 5 million people were in refugee camps in Europe after 1945.
-To make things worse - the Cold War had begun and refugees were flooding out of Soviet occupied Eastern Europe.
-Australia saw this as an opportunity
The Vietnam Refugee Crisis
1966 Migration Act
1975 Racial Discrimination Act
Multiracialism in Australia
We will examine how this peopling process impacted upon the First Inhabitants of Australia.
We will specifically focus upon:
a) The first interactions,
b) The frontier wars,
c) European Missionaries,
d) Aboriginal Protection,
e) The Protection Boards,
f) The Stolen Generation,
g) The long term consequences,
h) The apology.
i) The future of reconciliation.
1) Australia is a settler society of the British Empire
2) It was founded and developed through convict labour.
3) That white identity forced it to exclude other non-white arrivals.
4) This quest for whiteness led our leaders to Socially Engineer a new Australia.
5) This was implemented through the WAP.
6) As the world changed so did Australia - it needed more immigration and could not remain "racist" forever.
7) We brought in people from many regions developing a multiracial society.
8) Hawke extended this by implementing multiculturalism in 1988.
9) There have been many obstacles to multiculturalism.
10) Our society is still determining whether or not it is a good thing.
A common obstacle to multiculturalism is its vagueness.

If I were to ask you to imagine a typical "Australian" it is relatively easy as Australia's identity is well defined.

But can we define a multicultural national identity?

Hence, can we look past race and culture and find what truly unites us?

There is no easy answer. And in some ways this drives the resistance.
Arthur Calwell was the immigration minister from 1945-1949.
He was effectively in charge of the process of increased immigration.
While minister, he travelled to Europe to select desirable immigrants.
In July 1947 he joined Australia to the United Nations Refugee Organistion and began the process of bringing people into Australia.
He decided upon those nations of the Baltic States.
He reasoned that the "Beautiful Balts" would easily assimilate into Australia due to their appearance and personalities.
They were also willing due to the fall of many countries to Communism in 1945-1947.
Calwell was NOT a humanitarian.
At the same time he was rescuing Europeans from Soviet Communism - he was actively deporting Asians who took temporary wartime refuge.
These people were sent back to Malaysia, Indochina and China. Those familiar with the next 20 years of that region's history would know they worse hardships than te Balts.

Calwell's immigration program was based on the same premise as the WAP.
The Whiter Immigrants would assimilate easily:
They would learn English
They would get productive jobs
They would not form Ghettos.
Australia took in an average of over 100,000 immigrants per year between 1949 and 1960.
According to census data:
The number of Italians increased from
33,632 in 1947 to
119,897 in 1954 to
228296 in 1961.
The number of Greeks increased from
12 291 in 1947
77333 in 1961
160200 in 1971
The number Germans increased from
14567 in 1947
109315 in 1961
These are the numbers of people BORN here. The number of their descendents is much higher.

Australia needed labour after the war.
Our economy was shifting from subsistence agrarian and light industrial to extraction.
This meant government in:
Transport infrastructure,
Mining exploration,
Heavy industrialisation,
And long-term urban development.
This all needs labour. The men below were working on the Snowy River Hydroelctric scheme - as my uncle did. It was one of the largest infrastructure projects in national history.
The process of assimilation meant continued discrimination against other cultures.
Macintyre asserts
"The pressure on them to give up their ethnic identities in order to conform to the Australian way of life, another new locution, was insistent; equally striking was the assumption that so many people from diverse cultures could do so".
Many in this generation assimilated by learning English and absorbing Australia's way of life. Those who did not dealt with discrimination on a constant basis.
Their children largely turned more "white Australian" through their schooling.
This process of assimilation allowed a new generation of immigrants to join Australia. But it did not change what Australia was.

The concept of multiculturalism has not been fully embraced by all Australians.
The recent protest movements against Islam in Australia have demonstrated the fragility of this process.

We will deal with this in tutorials.
-During the Vietnam war of 1954-1975, we fought alongside the South Vietnamese.
-At the request of the US, we sent troops to fight in the protracted civil war.
-Unfortunately, we lost.
-This meant that those who had supported America were left without a country.
-There were serious reprisals for our allies in Vietnam and countries like Australia held an obligation to provide refuge for displaces peoples.
-Accordingly, the fist largescale Asian migration to Australia came from Vietnam from the late 1960s.
-The Holt Liberal government responded to the migration crisis by bringing in the 1966 Migration Act.
-This was a significant change as it increased access to non-Europeans allowing the Vietnamese refuge.
-In many ways this was the beginning of the end for the WAP.
-However, Holt did not take the full IRA off the table.
-He merely relaxed it for practical application.
-However, the fact that we were willing to do this demonstrates that we were changing. It also coincided with increased rights for Indigenous people.
-These were the first significant steps towards racial equality in Australia.
-Australia changed substantially under Gough Whitlam.
-We became a more modern and progressive country.
-His significant achievement in this field was the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act.
-The act FORBIDS racial discrimination in the fields of:
-Access to housing
-Access to businesses
-Access to public sphere
-Trade unions
-The legal system
-Section 18c also makes it illegal for any citizen to act in a way deemed offensive by a racial minority.
-After 1975, every race was treated equally by the Australian government.
-These different races were now free to access every component of Australian society.
-They could live, work, socialise and enjoy the Australian way of life.
-However, Macintyre's assertion that they were expected to "conform to the Australian way of life" still held true.
-There was an expectation that new immigrants would:
-Learn English
-Actively engage in Australian culture
-And leave much of their baggage behind.
Oxford English Dictionary simply defines Multiculturalism as:
The presence of, or support for the presence of, several distinct cultural or ethnic groups within a society.
-Hawke identified the need for change and launched the Office of Multicultural Affairs through his so-called Agenda for a Multicultural Australia in 1988.
-In the interest of balance it should also be noted that the PM that preceded Hawke, the Liberal Malcolm Fraser was also a proponent of refugee rights and supported multiculturalism later in his life.
-But Hawke went further - OMA stated:
"the fact that Australians come from many different backgrounds but are all members of our multicultural society".
-Multiculturalism under Hawke would see individuals free to express their cultures, religions and identities.
-The government has an important role to play in embracing multiculturalism.
-What they encourage are the celebrations of diversity.
-They do not want isolated cultures who either exclude themselves or feel excluded by the larger community.
-Hence, local and state governments spend significant resources promoted multicultural festivals and other celebrations like "Harmony Day".
-Some people disagree with the basic principles of multiculturalism. And as this is a democratic country, they have the right to do so.
-As opposition leader in 1988, John Howard asserted that multiculturalism was unsustainable as it promoted "tribalism" and halted the process of assimilation.
-He saw the ethnic segregation of individual races and cultures into individual suburbs as problematic.
-Howard held this view throughout his 11 year leadership of Australia, and still holds true to this day.
-Unlike other critics Howard holds a consistent view based on evidence.
How did increased immigration after WWII begin to break down the WAP?
Explain the process that led to multiculturalism in Australia
Go to Kahhot.it and follow prompts on screen
Full transcript