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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Role of Immigration Reform Group in ending White Australia

Mara Moustafine and Gwenda Tavan.

Gwenda Tavan historian identifies the role played by the Immigration Reform Group in ending White Australia



Date Added:

13 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.1 MB






I think that the Immigration Reform Group was very significant in terms of making the White Australia Policy an important domestic issue. Right? It was clearly an important issue in diplomatic terms and government officials knew that, but it was the arrival of the Immigration Reform Group in Melbourne, it began at the University of Melbourne and then the other associations formed out of that around Australia, that turned it into a hot – a hot topic. I wouldn’t say a primary topic, a principal topic.


It was never – it was never going to be a – in the post-war period, you know, a vote turner and even in the 1972 election when the Holt Government – sorry the McMahon Government, contemplated turning it into an election issue, they left it alone, it wasn’t a principal issue. But, you know, the Immigration Reform Group did a lot of public education work, holding public forums, writing letters to newspapers, lobbying government and it was very important in bringing it to the attention of Australians so I think we should – we should definitely concede that it was a very important role.


End transcript