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Category: Audio Interviews »

Subject: Immigration »


Fitzgerald Immigration Policy Review, 1988

Vasiliki Nihas.

Vasiliki Nihas, speaks on the concern that the FitzGerald Report was too narrow.



Date Added:

18 July 2002


Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1996.


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



1min 15sec


Consultant to government agencies (multicultural and access and equity policies) and former Assistant Secretary, Office of Multicultural Affairs

I think there were concerns that the FitzGerald Report was too narrow. Basically it started putting a price on a lot of services that we believed should be more a right rather than something that needed to be paid for. It certainly brought about a shift in terms of the user-pays syndrome...

I think it's much harder to continue walking down that path with any certainty, which is what the FitzGerald Report tried to do - to say that you have to take out Australian citizenship to prove that you are a bona fide Australian, and that's going a bit further than what they did, but to say that or to move in that direction I think has enormous problems attached to it...

I think thatís problematic because itís extremely difficult to say or to articulate what commitment is, without ending up in a situation like McCarthyism and the witch hunts of the Ď50s. I think itís a very dangerous path to be treading. I think itís perfectly acceptable to say that there is a bottom line in regard to multiculturalism, such as the law, OK. The law is there, the law is the bottom line, the law is something which needs to be obeyed by all... Thatís fine. And there are responsibilities attached to that.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1996.