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A Timeline History of Multicultural Australia
Old 18th January 2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default A Timeline History of Multicultural Australia

Part 1
The Making of Multicultural Australia


Making Multicultural Australia is a continuing process - a process affected by world events, by national concerns, and by the relationships within and between communities. Before the British arrived in Australia and claimed it for their King, the Indigenous peoples had already experienced relationships with many of the global wanderers who came to their lands - the Chinese, Polynesians, Melanesians, Indonesians, Portuguese and Dutch. Within Australia the Indigenous populations sustained some of the world's longest surviving cultures, ones rich in oral and visual traditions, open to learning and evolution.

The wave of exploration and settlement that brought the British and the other European powers to Australia had begun in the fifteenth century, when the metropolitan societies of Europe initiated strategies of expansion that would transform the world over the next five hundred years. The invasion and settlement of Australia began a series of cultural transformations - of the Indigenous societies (in many cases leading to their extermination), of the geo-politics of the region (a European White power located close to the centres of Asian civilisations), and of the settlers themselves (moving from a Eurocentric society to one which became more multicultural and accepting of diversity).

Along the way the various governments of the Australian colonies, states and then Commonwealth, adopted a number of different responses to the existing Indigenous populations, and then to the diversity of populations immigrating into the country. For much of Australia's history (until about 1975), governments asserted the superiority of the White European races - especially the British - and sought to subjugate, remove or prevent people of other races from surviving or settling in Australia.

Australia has a history of racism, but a current policy and cultural orientation that condemns racism. This tension, between our past and our wishes for the future, underlies much of the dynamism and controversy associated with multicultural Australia in the 21st century.

Making Multicultural Australia records, analyses and probes this history, and explores the potential for the future. It provides our audience with the tools to research that history, understand current controversies, and reach conclusions based on evidence - rather than prejudice. As you will discover, Australians have many different views about the benefits and drawbacks of cultural diversity - many different senses of the pathways they want to follow in the future. What we can say for certain is that the cultural diversity of the Australians who are engaged in these debates is much greater than fifty years ago, when post-war immigration was starting to accelerate, and very much greater than 100 years ago, when White Australia had just been officially enacted as the policy of the new Commonwealth.
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Part 2
Before the Australian Nation


For 60,000 years or more...

Before the Invasion - a diversity of languages, cultures and societies in what is now Australia.


Primeval rain forest, such as this old forest on Queensland's Fraser Island, was one of the many different environments in which the Indigenous people of Australia - in hundreds of different language groups - lived prior to the arrival of Europeans. The Europeans finally settled on the name Australia for this land, a name without meaning to its original inhabitants.

They lived on the continent for tens of thousands of years - maybe over 100,000 years according to recent archaeological finds in the northern part of Australia - before the armed forces of one European nation, Great Britain, claimed possession of the continent in the name of a distant monarch and with no recognition of the many societies who lived on the land. That moment, in 1770, has come to be called the Invasion.

The Indigenous people who lived in Australia in 1788 and the years after that - as the frontier of European settlement was pushed further into the hinterland - were a diverse group. They lived in smaller or larger cultural groups, their lives given meaning by a relationship to the particular places for which they were responsible. Every language group inhabited its own territory, spoke its own language and the languages of the communities that touched on it on all sides. Their lives were constrained by the seasons, by the weather and climate, by the continuing cycle of flood and drought. Their cultures were closely tied to their economy - a range of hunting and gathering practices affected by location and local resources. So most of the Indigenous people of Australia were multilingual, and most had skills in cross-cultural communication. They understood their local lands, husbanding their resources of animals and plants and fish. Their rituals, their stories, their imagining of the land and its meaning, were expressed in their culture - in rock paintings, in dance, in body painting, in totemic creations, in tales of the long-ago and its continuing importance for the present, in corroboree and in ceremony - often associated with the particular moments in the life cycle of women and men.

Further reference:

Anderson, Christopher; Flood, Josephine; Rose, Deborah; and Troy, Jakelin "The Aboriginal people" in Jupp, James (ed) The Australian people: an Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and their Origins, Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1988.

For further information refer to SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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Part 3
White Australia


Making sure it's whites only...

1901 - The new Parliament's first enacted piece of legislation restricts immigration


The new Australian nation would be white - fear of any "dilution" of racial purity was one of the most important public rationales for Federation. Livingstone Hopkins' 1902 Bulletin portrayal of the imagined undesirable outcome of letting non-whites into Australia, shows a number of different ethnic groups declining into savagery around the Christmas party table of the future unless it is Europeans only - and preferably British.

The new Commonwealth Parliament in 1900 was extremely anxious to ensure that its sense of the racial future of Australia would be realised - a white nation under the southern skies. There were many elements of this vision, but a key component can be found in the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, the first piece of legislation that the new Parliament would enact.

Today we view this idea of the world as racist, for it assumes the superiority of one group - defined in a broad sense by the "colour" of peoples' skins or their countries of origin - over all others, and then goes on to exclude people who do not fit the assumptions of acceptability. Yet at the time there was quite widespread support for the view that Australia should be a whites-only society. The British government did not support the new moves, for it presided over a multi-racial Empire - Indians, Africans, Malays, and dozens of other ethnicities and nations - and was engaged in political relations of some complexity with China and particularly Japan. The British government was concerned not to alienate the Emperor of Japan, with whom it was seeking an alliance. Australia was pressured to avoid excluding Japanese from northern Australia, where they were important in the pearl diving industry.

All the colonies had brought in legislation to control Chinese immigration by about 1890, both to prevent competition on the goldfields and then to ensure cheap Asian labour did not intrude into manufacturing. This was despite the fact that, for instance, the market gardens for fresh vegetables in eastern Australia were almost totally dependent on Chinese gardeners. It was the strength of the Australian labour movement of the time that allowed the whole orientation of the new migration environment to be shaped by its desire to prevent competition from non-white workers.

In general, non-Europeans could not immigrate to Australia. The Act used an indirect method to exclude people on the basis of their incapacity to pass a dictation test in any language decided by a migration officer. This meant that the government could avoid saying that "coloured" Africans or Asians or Pacific Islanders were excluded - the test seemed to be fair and equal for all, but in fact was only used against non-whites, or Europeans who were politically suspect.

The Kanakas of Queensland, the indentured labourers who had helped to build the sugar industry, were for the most part "repatriated", effectively deported to their islands of origin, even though many had homes and families in Australia. Those who remained, and the Chinese and other Asians (such as the Japanese in the pearl industry) who had managed to stay in Australia, were prevented from bringing in wives and families (by an amendment to the Act in 1903) - with the expectation that their "race" would in time die out.

Controls also existed on who was entitled to vote (Asians, Africans, and Indigenous Australians were not), while there were also restrictions on access to various entitlements. In general the environment was designed to ensure non-whites knew they were marginal, subordinate and unwanted, even if they had to be tolerated in the current generation.

Further references:
Borrie, W D (ed) A white Australia: Australia's population problem, Sydney, Australasian Publishing Co, 1947.

Lack, John and Templeton, Jacqueline Bold experiment: a documentary history of Australian immigration since 1945, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1995.

Langfield, Michele "White aliens: the control of European immigration to Australia 1920-30", Journal of Intercultural Studies, 12 (2), 1991, pp 1-14.

Markus, Andrew Australian Race Relations, 1788-1993, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1994.

For further information refer to SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:19 PM   #4
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Part 4
The End of White Australia


The white walls come down...

1958 - The notorious dictation test dropped: the beginning of the end of the White Australia Policy




These children in Surry Hills, an inner Sydney suburb, in the early 1970s, reflect the range of cultures that had begun to change Australian society. Here they include Chinese, Turkish, Lebanese and Yugoslav - the young girl in the foreground is Koori (Indigenous). But it wasn’t until 1973 that all racial qualifications for immigration were removed.

When Mick Young, Immigration Minister in the Hawke Government in the mid 1980s, first went to work, his union ticket said “no Asiatic” could become a member. Arthur Calwell, the champion of Australia’s post-war immigration program is famous for his anti-Asian quip that “two Wongs don’t make a White”, and was to hold to his view in favour of restricting Asian immigration until the 1970s. Yet in the 1990s, Asian countries have been the source of the fastest growing group of immigrants to Australia. The change began in the 1960s with a series of measures which heralded the demolition of the White Australia Policy.

In a sense, the Australian nation was founded on the White Australia Policy with the Immigration Restriction Bill of 1901 entrenching as Federal policy the racism and xenophobia characteristic of all the Australian colonies. When the push for an expanded immigration program began at the end of World War II, the idea was to bring in British migrants and, where that failed, Europeans who were most likely to assimilate into Australian society. Asians and - so the government thought - Jews could not be assimilated and their migration continued to be severely restricted.

But the rebuilding of the European economies in the '50s and early '60s began to choke off the flow of "acceptable" migrants, so the Australian immigration authorities began to look elsewhere. They were also under rising pressure from the small Asian community within Australia, some churches, and a progressive network of campaigners concerned to end the policy. In 1958 the notorious dictation test for migrants was officially abolished and permits for immigration were thereafter solely at the discretion of the Minister (and therefore his Department).

In the '60s there was agitation on the campuses for an end to racist immigration policy and Australia was beginning to forge economic, defensive and strategic alliances with nations of south-east Asia, a process which put Australia's immigration policies in the spotlight; Australia was becoming internationally embarrassed.

The new foreign affairs policy of "good neighbourliness" and the increased recognition by Australia of its responsibilities to assist in the development of its Asian neighbours led to such plans as the Colombo scheme which saw hundreds of Asian students studying at Australian universities. The logic which underpinned the White Australia Policy - to keep Australia as homogeneous as possible - was crumbling. In 1966 the then Immigration Minister in the Menzies Government, Hubert Opperman, announced an amended immigration policy which opened the door for selected non-European migration. Asian migrants who were particularly skilled or valuable to Australia would be allowed to settle. The Australian Labor Party in its 1965 annual convention had eliminated officially from its immigration policy words about maintaining White Australia - after a strenuous series of debates. At that time within both major political parties were those who still believed in the White Australia Policy, those who recognised its political unacceptability, as well as those who had a genuine ideological opposition to the position.

The easing of barriers to non-European migration was matched by the move toward integration as a social policy for migrants. Was this because assimilation had to be abandoned as the "visibly different" could never be assimilated? Or was there recognition by government of the important role played by the ethnic communities in the process of settlement and adjustment? Both perceptions played a part so that migrants were now to be encouraged to retain elements of their "home culture" and ethnic community organisations were seen as useful integration tools. By 1968 the Immigration Department was recruiting in its first non-European source country, Turkey, even if attempts were still made to select only the lighter-skinned applicants.

Between 1966 and 1970 an average 6500 Asians were permitted to settle each year. The Labor government in 1973 was to remove all racial qualifications to immigration, and lower the time required for gaining citizenship. However it was not until after 1975, with the end of the Vietnam War, that the major inflow of Asian immigrants was to occur. This immigration challenged the values of older Australians who still felt in some senses that Australia should stay "white".

So the end of White Australia as a formal policy did not necessarily mean that there was universal support for non-European immigration - nor the end of discrimination, intolerance and prejudice against non-European immigrants. The debate about how "white" Australia should be was to remain a potent element in Australian political life. Yet there was a growing awareness that was identified by Walter Lippmann, then Chairman of the Migrant Welfare Committee of the Australian Council of Social Service, and a member of the Immigration Advisory Council, when he said in 1971:

In the last ten years we have gingerly shifted the accent from migrant assimilation to migrant integration, recognising that there are differences in cultural background, experience, environment and outlook which distinguish most migrants and even their children from the majority of Australians.

For most migrants, ethnic background is meaningful because it is an important part of their personality. Coming to a strange country, they find security and a sense of belonging to their own national or ethnic group. We are doing ourselves a great disservice in not openly recognising them and utilising them for development of a multicultural society. Let us do away with ambivalence; acculturation is taking place among the immigrants but we must not cripple their personalities by expecting them to renounce part of themselves. (Wilkes [ed] 1971.49).

Further reference:

Curthoys, Ann and Markus, Andrew (eds) Who are our Enemies? Racism and the working class in Australia, Sydney, Hale and Iremonger, 1978.

Markus, Andrew Australian Race Relations, 1788-1993, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1994.

Roberts, Huw (ed) Australia's Immigration Policy, Perth, University of Western Australia Press, 1972.

Stevens, Frank (ed) Racism: the Australian Experience: vol 1, Prejudice and Xenophobia, Sydney, ANZ Book Co, 1971.

Wilkes, J (ed) How Many Australians? Immigration and Growth, Sydney, Australian Institute of Political Science and Angus and Robertson, 1971.

For further information refer to SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:23 PM   #5
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Part 5
Multiculturalism in Practice


Prime Minister Fraser’s initiatives

1975 - A new PM picks up the challenge of multiculturalism with a series of new measures


The poster In Limbo by Adelaide artist Demeter Tsounis illustrates the dilemma of migrants everywhere - caught between cultures. As the Whitlam era gave way to the Fraser years, there were fears that progress on migrants’ rights and services, to make the transition easier, might stall. But in fact the Fraser government continued the work begun by its predecessor - though with mixed reviews.

Whitlam’s term ended in November 1975, following his government’s still controversial dismissal by then Governor-General Sir John Kerr.

In the subsequent election, the Liberal-National Country Party Coalition swept to power. What could have become a crisis for the emerging consciousness of Australia as a multicultural society, did not, largely because of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s personal commitment to translating multiculturalism into government policy. This dimension of Fraser’s political philosophy, unexpected at the time, was given its policy form through a series of initiatives articulated and managed by his adviser, Petro Georgiou.

A number of key initiatives taken by the Fraser Government shaped multicultural policy into the '80s and still echo today. Walter Lippmann commented on these early changes, noting:

- MacKellar (the new Immigration Minister) came out with a policy that sounded good. It appeared to be continuing the trends Al Grassby had initiated with a slightly different emphasis. But basically it was good.

- It was a degree of return to the patronage mentality; the dismantling of the migrant workers' rights. They still had welfare rights. They were going to preserve them but in the end they didn't. It was basically a return to the traditional Department of Immigration attitude of the past: we tell migrants what to do.

- It appeared that they wanted to dismantle community-based organisations, but they had grown too far to be dismantled too.


Critics of the Fraser initiatives argue that while on the surface they appeared to advantage ethnic groups, in fact they promoted the notions of cultural pluralism while ignoring the structural inequalities which maintained a large ethnic underclass. This was partly achieved, the critics argue, by advancing an ethnic middle class which was favoured because it was more amenable to control.

Nonetheless, the practical initiatives of the Fraser era were considerable. They began with the re-creation of the Department of Immigration, now with an added component of Ethnic Affairs. The new Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs was reassigned the functions which had been transferred away three years before. A system of advisory councils was introduced: in 1976 the Australian Population and Immigration Council and the Australian Ethnic Affairs Council (AEAC) and in 1979 the Australian Refugee Advisory Council. In 1981 all three were merged into the Australian Council on Population and Ethnic Affairs (ACPEA), which advised the minister on all aspects of the portfolio. One of the first reports of the AEAC, under the chairmanship of Professor Jerzy Zubrzycki, recommended that three key principles be adopted as the foundation of a multicultural society: social cohesion, cultural identity and equality of opportunity and access. A fourth - equal responsibility for, commitment to and participation in society - was added by the ACPEA in 1982.

A major initiative under Fraser was the 1978 report of the Review of Migrant Programs and Services, chaired by Melbourne barrister Frank Galbally QC and including experienced ethnic welfare and community workers. The Galbally Committee was appointed in 1977 and its report advised a number of specific actions which were acted upon in following years.

Recommendations of the Galbally inquiry included consolidating and extending existing services such as the Grant-in-Aid scheme, the Adult Migrant Education Program and the Bilingual Information Officer program, and the establishment of Migrant Resource Centres. A number of other specialist agencies were created by the Fraser Government including the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs (AIMA), the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), the Multicultural Education Program and the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. In 1981 AIMA reviewed the implementation of the Galbally Report and endorsed its recommendations, retaining its criticisms for the limitations of the bureaucratic implementation of the Galbally program.

Conservative Melbourne academic Colin Rubenstein (in 1993, during a speech "What is Wrong with Multiculturalism?") spoke positively of Fraser's contribution to the development of Australian ideas about multiculturalism during his time as Prime Minister. He quoted Fraser's philosophy as arguing for:

diversity as a quality to be actively embraced, a source of social wealth and dynamism, and (it) encourages groups to be open and interact, so that all Australians may learn and benefit from each others' heritages. Multiculturalism is about diversity, not division. It is about direction, not isolation. It is about cultural and ethnic differences set within a framework of shared fundamental values, which enables them to coexist on a complementary, rather than competitive basis. It involves respect for the law and for our democratic institutions and processes. Insisting upon a core area of common values is no threat to multiculturalism but its guarantee. For it provides the minimal conditions on which the well-being of all is secured. Not least, multiculturalism is about equality of opportunity for the members of all groups to participate in and benefit from Australia's social, economic and political life. This concern with equality of opportunity is dictated by both morality and hard-nosed realism. I'm talking about basic human rights. No society can long retain a commitment and involvement of groups that are denied these rights.

Further reference:

Castles, Stephen (et al) Mistaken identity: multiculturalism and the demise of nationalism in Australia, 3rd ed, Sydney, Pluto Press, 1992.

Jakubowicz, Andrew; Morrissey, Michael; and Palser, Joanne Ethnicity, class and social policy in Australia, SWRC reports and proceedings, no 46, Sydney, Social Welfare Research Centre - University of New South Wales, 1984.

For further information refer to SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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Part 6
Transforming Multiculturalism


1986 - Major cuts to multicultural programs spark controversy

The headlines say it all - the rude shock of the 1986/7 budget and the outraged responses from ethnic communities. Any observers who thought that after almost fifteen years and several changes of government the policies of multiculturalism were firmly entrenched in federal political philosophy, had to think again. The Hawke Government was under great pressure to cut expenditure, all departments were told to look for savings - many found those savings in the areas of service to ethnic communities and immigrants.

The Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs was closed, a move which had been predicted. But other cuts were not. The Multicultural Education Program was abolished at a saving of $5.1 million. English as a Second Language (ESL) programs were slashed by 45% from an expenditure of $62 million to $34 million. There was a 5% cut to the Ethnic Schools Program, a 4% cut to funding for the Adult Migrant Education Program, an 8% cut to the National Advisory and Co-ordinating Committee for Multicultural Education, and the threat to close offices of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, particularly in regional areas like Newcastle and Wollongong, both with high migrant and ethnic populations. There was also a proposal to merge the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) with the ABC.

It appeared to be a deliberate policy to undermine multiculturalism. But some observers like Dr Peter Shergold, later to head the Office of Multicultural Affairs, believes that it was not a co-ordinated government decision to “slash and burn” multiculturalism. He sees it as a result of incompetence and lack of interdepartmental consultation; multicultural programs were located in different portfolios, each minister and department had to make cuts and they chose to make cuts in multicultural programs. It showed, according to commentator Peter White, the tendencies of bureaucracies in times of economic stringency, “to defend their large, core programs at the expense of the small and peripheral ones”. But by demonstrating that departments and ministers considered multicultural programs peripheral, the budget cuts made a statement about the priorities of the Hawke Government.

This was not lost on the ethnic communities which lobbied intensively for a rethink of what they told Hawke was “a disastrous mistake”. The government’s credibility with ethnic communities was under threat, and “bus loads of little old ladies in black from Newtown and Stanmore” came to Parliament House in Canberra to protest.

The outrage was focused on cuts to ESL programs – without adequate English language skills ethnic groups and immigrants had absolutely no chance of achieving the sort of participation in Australian society championed by the Jupp review, for example. The effective mobilisation of ethnic communities over these budget cuts saw some of them modified, particularly in the ESL area, and the SBS/ABC merger plan was abandoned. But many people had their confidence in the march of multicultural progress severely shaken. That budget of 1986 marks a turning point in the development of multiculturalism in Australia, for it revealed that when pushed to the wall, the public service viewed the interests of ethnic communities as dispensable, and politicians were not aware enough or interested enough in the implications to see the dangers. In hindsight, it also indicates that the opposition to multiculturalism within the bureaucracy and government was finding its feet in the wake of the social trauma generated by the Blainey debate.

Further reference:
Castles, Stephen (et al) Mistaken identity: multiculturalism and the demise of nationalism in Australia, 3rd ed, Sydney, Pluto Press, 1992.


For further information refer to SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:28 PM   #7
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Part 7
Globalisation and Towards the New Millenium


Over the past 50 years the world has seen a rapid spread of capital and money, people and culture. National boundaries are more open, ideas and immigrants flow more quickly, and new centres for production appear everywhere.

This process is called globalisation.

It is not new. Australia itself was the result in the 19th century of globalisation, as was the United States. That was a globalisation focusing on the flowing from Europe out to the edges of the world, as it was known at that time. What is new now is the speed of change, the directions in which change is going, and the pressure on countries to modify their economies, their cultures and their populations to receive these movements.

The impact of globalisation, then, can be very positive. It can increase cultural interaction and open up new economic opportunities. It can also be negative. It can intensify inequality, and undermine local culture.

Whichever occurs in any particular place, interaction between people is growing immensely, and cultural change is everywhere.

In the contemporary world, cultural diversity, different cultures living together in one place, is the typical experience in most cities. This is brought about by immigration, by refugee settlement, and by large numbers of business and skilled migrants or workers, moving through temporary settlement from one place to another around the globe.

We've seen in recent years the tensions caused by the new globalisation. Mass rallies and violent street confrontations have taken place in North America, in Australia, in Europe and parts of Asia. They've been extraordinary rallies in places like Porto Alegre in Brazil, South America.

Yet, whatever we think about economic globalisation, it's quite clearly been the driving force behind Australia's emergence as a modern nation. We are, after all, dependent on the import of skilled workers, on Euro-American culture, and on foreign capital. Not that we don't contribute a bit to that flow the other way as well.

In addition to the purely economic definition of Globalisation, it can also refer more generally to cultural, social and technological exchanges amongst people. Fashion, food and music are aspects of culture that often move across borders, and influence how people dress, what they eat, what music they play and listen to, and what they think of themselves.

Some people blame globalisation for a decrease in cultural diversity, making everyone the same. On the other hand, other people see it as driving cultural innovation and new ways of seeing the world. Opening up things that liberate people from older, less resilient, more conservative cultures.

The history of Globalisation in Australia is really the history of Australia.

What we're going to look at here is how globalisation works in this country. How does it affect the long history we have of cultural diversity, and what are its implications for the future of communities living together in a globalising world.

For further information see SOURCE
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Old 18th January 2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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Part 8
This Generation and Steps Towards Reconciliation


“Reconciliation” has come to refer to the “unfinished business” that many people feel continues between Indigenous Australians and the descendants of the immigrants over the past 200 years. The last decade of the twentieth century was planned to lead to a settling of past problems, and the creation of a new future of harmonious relations within a single Australia. The most public symbol of the process was a national “walk across the bridge” campaign in May 2000, when over 500,000 Australians walked hand-in-hand across bridges in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and many other cities.

However Aboriginal people still suffer poor health, housing and community services, and a sense of acute grieving over the cultures and knowledges that they have lost since European settlement. There is now a widespread debate over how these problems can be solved – some people see individual assimilation as the way forward; others argue exactly the reverse, that there should be a formal recognition of Indigenous rights and distinctiveness. Whatever the answers chosen, reconciliation still requires the attention of governments and the wider society.

For further information refer to SOURCE
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