Australia’s multiculturalism Government Legislation and Policy Framework
Notes from RTF of speech to visit of PR China Ethnic Affairs delegation, Macquarie Fields TAFE 7 Dec 2009
What is multicultural(ism)?
A description of diversity — hundreds of languages, countries of origin, national and regional cultures
A policy framework which recognises diversity — can be hierarchical (some more important and powerful than others), or egalitarian (all treated equally) or segmentary (groups separated from each other by political or economic decisions)
Telling history — in Australia can have White European, or Black Indigenous, or non-White perspectives. Each asks different questions.
Foundation of Australia as nation (1901 – close to time of Chinese revolution of Sun Yat Sen)- 1st Act of government, to restrict immigration, especially from China.
Long period of rigid controls of non-White entry (“White Australia”).
A Chinese history of Australia
Harvest of Endurance
Making Multicultural Australia website
National Museum of Australia
Chronology of National Government Policies
1901-1966 White Australia – exclusion of most non-Whites; assimilation of settlers (single set of core Australian values and behaviour)
1966-1973 Integration – more non-Whites allowed in, especially well-educated and wealthy
1973 -1978 End of White Australia
1978 Adoption of multiculturalism as official policy
1978-1996 Multiculturalism encompasses Access and Equity
1996- Winding back multiculturalism
What do the leaders say?
Language retention and acquisition
Making Multicultural Australia