Post World War Two Racism, in Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Communities.
Over the years Australia has had many different problems with racism and racism affecting peoples’ lives. Many racial groups have been affected, most significantly the Aboriginals. The end of world war two in 1945 marked a huge change in types of racism. Australia went from the ‘superior’ white Australians dominating over immigrants and aboriginals. To a relatively multicultural and accepting society that is present today.
During world war two Australia came close to being invaded, the Japanese in Sydney Harbor were a huge fright to many Australians. After world war two it seemed Australia needed to populate or perish. So the government made a big push to fill Australia. Many children were born due to this new idea. They were called the 'Baby boomers'. The baby boomers were being born at huge rates and inflating Australians population. The white Australia policy was pretty much abandoned as migrants flooded into Australia. White Australians still felt that they were superior but they needed these immigrants to populate Australia.
Over the five years following the war, about 171,000 immigrants came to Australia. The government introduced the assisted passage scheme which gave immigrants temporary accommodation in Australia in exchange for two years of labour. Most immigrants came from places such as Poland, Yugoslavia and the Baltic States and then later Germany, Grease, Italy and Malta. The immigrant families were placed in old army barracks in severely poor conditions, and exposed to racial discrimination. They were often referred to with names such as ‘wogs’, ‘bolt’ and’ reffo’. Families were separated. Men were sent off to work on things such as the snowy mountains scheme. They were given very heavy labour jobs. That was allocated to them because the other Australians were too good to do those jobs. The assisted immigrants were not able to return to their countries and escape from Australia and its harsh racism because their own homelands had been taken over by communists. The immigrants eventfully became independent from the government and began to live in general society where they were still segregated and discriminated against. They brought parts of their heritage and culture with them to Australia and after many decades white Australians began to accept them.
Immigrants were not the only racial group to be segregated and discriminated against. In 1951 the Aboriginal assimilation policy began. Its aim was to get all people of Aboriginal blood who lived in Australia to live like white Australians did. They wanted the Aboriginals to breed out into whites. The Australian government thought that they knew best when Aboriginals were concerned. The government allowed Aboriginal Protection Boards to remove Aboriginal children from their families and be placed into institutions and missions to be brought up in. There they were to be taught to be white Australians...