Friday, October 20, 2006

Migration Matters - the view from 1949

Note to readers: To help those who are interested, I have now added a list of previous posts in this series at the end of this post.

I was listening to ABC radio this afternoon on the way to pick up one of my daughters. They (the panel) were talking about the policies re bias. The question posed was this. Looking back in history, what must the ABC do now to redress past bias?

One panelist made a series of suggestions re the fifties, presenting the usual modern stereotypes. It was quite funny and I would have laughed had I not just watched a short 1949 film (here on Google video Australia) selling the virtues of the new mass migration program to possible migrants on one side, Australians on the other.

Yes, the film was set in the frame of populate or perish. But what I really noticed were the comments on Australian attitudes, what are now called values. A few examples:

1. You may worship God in the way that seems fit for you

2. You may read or write what you like

3. You may preserve your culture

Makes one think.

Previous Posts in the Migration Matters series

In previous posts I:

1. Provided an overview of post war immigration pointing to its size and dramatic impact on Australia, suggesting that that the Australian experience was unique.

2. I qualified this slightly in my second post with a brief comment comparing the US and Canada, wondering whether the Canadian experience had in fact been similar.

3. I then looked in my third post at the emergence of the mass migration policy set in the context of the Australia of 1945, a far country so different from today that it really has to be thought of as another country.

4. I then extended the story, looking at the changes in Australia over the fifties and sixties.

5. Struggling to keep up with the current debate, I posed some questions that we needed to consider in thinking about future migration needs.

6, In my sixth post in the series, I discussed the end of the Australian concensus on migration that had held for so many years.

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