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Subject: Immigration »


A time of social change

Pino Bosi.

Pino Bosi speaking on immigrants and 1972.



Date Added:

17 July 2002


Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



51 secs


Author and broadcaster

1972 was the birth of an Australian renaissance, if you wish - more than a renaissance. It wasn't a renaissance, it was something new - when Whitlam won, and he won on the basis of actually embracing immigrants as people with an equal standing with Australian born.

Suddenly, for the first time, immigrants believed they could be whole persons. See until then, we were all living... we were guests in this country: do the best we can, give back as much as we can, take as much as we can for ourselves etc, etc.

There was no real idea that we were part of the country. Whitlam realised that he had to change and he succeeded in changing the image of the Labor Party that Calwell had led for a time, totally and completely. This was the party of intelligentsia. This was the party of political awareness. This was the party of open doors and open windows. This was the party that could embrace everyone.


Prior to 1972, people weren’t organising. There was no political awareness. People were still settling down. There were the clubs, soccer teams, creating the social icons for them to retain some semblance of their own culture.

Migrants were surviving physically, financially and socially. But there was no debate, no venue for debate, no association - except one or two - emerging strongly.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.