Ms. Julia Gillard,
Prime Minister of Australia
Dear Prime Minister,
We refer to the reports below for your information.
We welcome your remark - ''We warmly celebrate the Chinese community's
growth.'' but regret that your government saw fit to increase the
English Language Test from 4.5 to 5.0 last year. The creation of the
White Australia Policy/English Language Test in 1901 was to keep the
Chinese out and the final abolishment of the White Australia Policy in
1975 was in name only because the English Language Test remains.
Perhaps the Fraser government accepted 70,000 Vietnamese refugees
because it was wrong for Australia to invade another sovereign country?
Your comment, please.
Unity Party WA
Environmental friendly-save the trees-use email.
Can you afford to give Telstra a try?
PM applauds Chinese community
January 23, 2011
PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard last night paid tribute to the Chinese
community while reflecting on her own migrant past and ''search for a
better life'' in Australia.
''I acknowledge that across our history the larrikin embrace of this
nation was not always extended to the Chinese community.
"But you never lost faith in the nation,'' Ms Gillard said at a dinner
celebrating Chinese New Year and Australia Day.
''We warmly celebrate the Chinese community's growth.''
Journey to end of White Australia policy
Drew Warne-Smith - The Australian - January 22, 2011 12:00AM
PHONG Nguyen knew nothing of Australia's White Australia policy when he
flew into Adelaide a few days before Christmas in 1979.
Nor did he perceive any traces of it in the warm welcome offered to him
by a largely monocultural society. "So big, tall and hairy," he recalls.
"And very white."
But as the years passed and he learned Australian history, Mr Nguyen
came to understand that he was one of the people who helped to bury it.
While migration laws were first overhauled by the Whitlam Labor
government in 1973, it was Malcolm Fraser's Liberal government that
finally removed all reference to the selection of migrants based on
country of origin from government policy in 1978.
Then, in July 1979, the prime minister agreed to take 14,000 Vietnamese
refugees, a move that ushered in a new era in multiculturalism and
marked the end-point for the White Australia policy.
At the time of the decree, Mr Nguyen, his three siblings and their
mother were in an Indonesian refugee camp awaiting resettlement.
His father, a brigadier in the South Vietnamese army, had been jailed by
the communist regime in 1975, and the family had fled the country by
boat under false Chinese identities. (The ethnic Chinese were being
encouraged to leave Vietnam during the brief border war with China in 1979.)
The Nguyens would ultimately be among 70,000 Vietnamese refugees to find
a new home in Australia during Mr Fraser's tenure. "I never felt
uncomfortable," Mr Nguyen, 49, told The Weekend Australian this week.
"It was a white Anglo-Saxon society, unrecognisable from today, but
apart from the physical differences and the strange ways of society --
They way you drive and eat! -- we just felt a sense of relief that we
finally made it.
"We were grateful we were safe."
Now a senior project officer at a Melbourne healthcare centre, with a
wife and two teenage children of his own, Mr Nguyen's is just one of the
many stories that have been unearthed in the SBS documentary Immigration
Nation, which concludes on Sunday night.
The episode traces the origins of the White Australia policy, the public
disquiet over it and its gradual dismantling, as well as the very first
boatpeople to wash up on the shores of Darwin Harbour in 1976.
"If Malcolm Fraser had decided that he wouldn't take Indo-Chinese
refugees until he'd consulted opinion polls or focus groups, Australia
would never have taken Indo-Chinese refugees," John Menadue, then the
secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister, recalls in the program.
"But Malcolm Fraser didn't take polls. He decided leadership was
essential, it was something that Australia had to do, morally justified,
and it will be to the benefit of this country if we did so."