a multicultural Research Library

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Audio »

Category: Audio Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »


The Labor Party in Power

Al Grassby.

Al Grassby, Minister of Immigration, speaks on the multicultural concept and other concepts introduced.



Date Added:

26 June 2002


Making Multicultural Australia


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



61 secs


Minister for Immigration 1972-74, and Commissioner for Community Relations, 1975-82

Once that concept, the multicultural concept, was enunciated and accepted, then people like Bill Hayden, who was the Minister for Social Security, put in the Australian Assistance Plan. He was looking at the grass roots, and he was looking at all the grass roots not just John Jones with a couple of token ethnics. But he wanted to see the whole community involved. The other one, of course, that was very important was in education with Kim Beazley, because we then put forward the Migrant Children's Legislation.

The tower of strength was Lionel Murphy as Attorney-General. Now he was really the most powerful idealist and visionary in the Cabinet apart from Whitlam. Because Whitlam had the leadership quality. But Lionel had the vision and the idealism. And don't forget he was interested in a Bill of Rights, he was interested in the Anti-Discrimination legislation. He was interested in us endorsing and adopting the various UN conventions.


I mean Lionel Murphy was one of the great reformers of this century and he, under that umbrella of multiculturalism, acted at great speed, at great speed.

But it wasn't only one Minister in one portfolio. Once the ideology was in place, once it had been announced, then everybody moved at a great pace. The pace of reform was a bit much politically. It was a great thing to do in history. Politically, it was not considered good politics.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.