a multicultural Research Library

Making multicultural Australia

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

multicultural Video »

Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Shifts in ALP from White Australia towards multiculturalism

James Jupp.

Political scientist Jim Jupp describes the shifts in the ALP away from White Australia towards multiculturalism



Date Added:

17 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

6.4 MB






It happened because of the federal intervention in the Labor Party, by Whitlam, restructuring of the Labor Party and a deliberate attempt to broaden it out in the early – in 1971, ’72. And then it moved quite rapidly the branches got more influence, the trade union’s influence, was still dominant, but restricted. And of course, the federal leader was a different person, both Whitlam and Dunstan but particularly Whitlam were conscious of what – the changes in the – in the pattern. Say in Whitlam’s only electorate in Werriwa.


Arthur Calwell maintained good relations with the Chinese community in Melbourne and spoke Chinese in fact to them. And through Wyndham who was State Secretary, put some effort into organising the ethnic – what eventually became the ethnic branches in the ALP in Victoria in 1975. And they are still there and they were quite an important influence in bringing Greeks into the party.


So really between about 1971 and 1975 things were really changing quite rapidly in that direction. And of course, the nature of the federal leader undoubtedly does influence the party that people follow the leader. And if the leader changes, they follow the next leader, in a different direction. But the Greeks were very political and they were obviously becoming citizens and settling in and they were looking to the Labor Party to incorporate them and welcome them in. And when it started doing so, they came in, in quite large numbers.


So, they were the pioneers of left migrant support because they mostly supported the left faction in the Victorian party. And they were also the spearhead for multiculturalism at the same time. So that married up multiculturalism, the Greeks and Labor, they all, you know, formed a triangular kind of relationship.


End transcript