Professor Stephen Castles gives his view on Hawke and multiculturalism.
27 June 2002
Making Multicultural Australia
PROFESSOR STEPHEN CASTLES
Professor of Multicultural Studies, University of Wollongong
I'm not so sure about Hawke. Iím never really quite sure whether it was a personal commitment on his part, or more seeing it as a useful political instrument. And the reason I say this is that in the early years of the Hawke government, multiculturalism really was rather marginalised, especially in 1986, of course, when a lot of major multicultural programs were simply dumped in the budget. Then he very quickly turned around and suddenly showed a great commitment to multiculturalism. Iím not sure how seriously one can take that.
CONTINUATION OF INTERVIEW AS TEXT
Hawke didnít seem terribly committed and didnít really seem to believe that anyone would care. And of course there was a big backlash and Hawke realised and was told by the then NSW Premier Barrie Unsworth Ďyouíve got to bring all these multicultural things back or weíre going to lose seatsí.
Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1995.