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Immigration nation : the secret history of us.

Author: SBS-TV.
Publisher: [Australia] : Madman, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   DVD video : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A landmark, three part documentary series which tells the story of how modern, multicultural Australia was built against the odds. At Federation in 1901, Australia stands as a beacon to the world - a new nation with a Utopian vision, to become the most progressive and egalitarian nation in the world. Yet at the heart of this plan lies a dark paradox - the belief that to build a country with such noble ideals you
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Details

Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: SBS-TV.
OCLC Number: 712464000
Notes: First broadcast 9th, 16th, and 23rd January 2011.
Description: 1 videodisc (DVD) (162 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

Abstract:

A landmark, three part documentary series which tells the story of how modern, multicultural Australia was built against the odds. At Federation in 1901, Australia stands as a beacon to the world - a new nation with a Utopian vision, to become the most progressive and egalitarian nation in the world. Yet at the heart of this plan lies a dark paradox - the belief that to build a country with such noble ideals you must be a country that is exclusively white. Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us explores Australia's untold immigration story; a century long struggle to overcome the White Australia Policy that resulted in one of the world's most multicultural nations. Based on interviews with eminent historians and testimony from eyewitnesses to the key events that built a nation, the series reveals the dark paradox behind the Utopian vision at Federation. It tracks the implementation of the White Australia Policy and the impact on the migrant communities that it fractured.

In the first episode, when the Commonwealth of Australia was founded in 1901, the very last thing the nation wanted to be was multicultural. The measures taken to ensure this would be the case not only caused great human suffering, but in a supreme historical irony, actually helped create the very threat Australia feared the most - invasion from the Asian north. In episode two, the Second World War had far reaching effects on the history of the 'Immigration Nation'. With no Asian migrants allowed and the pool of available Britons decreasing, Australia faced a crisis. Not only were there fears that Australia couldn't defend itself, experts also believed the country would not grow economically without more people. So the nation's first ever Immigration Minister, Arthur Calwell, made a momentous decision to bring in non-British European immigrants for the first time. Yet the nation, which is 99% white, is not easily persuaded this is a good idea. Despite the horrors of the Nazi death camps, the arrival of Jewish migrants like Dachau survivor Willie Lermer was greeted with scathing attacks in the press. When the arrival of the first migrant boat from Egypt provokes a similar reaction, Calwell, the war time Minister for Information, decides he must use his skills in propaganda to prepare the nation for mass non-British migration.

The final episode covers events from the 1950s up to the present day. Despite causing widespread criticism overseas, in the fifties under the Menzies government, Australia's whites only immigration policy seemed as popular as ever. Indeed, the rise of Communism in the region added extra justification to the need to prevent Asians entering the country. By the 1960s a new generation were questioning Australia's racist immigration policies and the exclusion of our Asian neighbours. The staged kidnap of a six-year-old Indian-Fijian girl by Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins exposed the injustice of the system. But it took the Vietnam War and the following humanitarian crisis to force the country to banish the ideal of a White Australia once and for all and sow the seeds for the Immigration Nation we live in today.

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