1980s

Multiculturalism takes effect

Cartoon by Oslo Davis Cartoon by Oslo Davis
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Amendments to the Migration Act replace the term 'alien' with 'non citizen' and end the favoured treatment of British nationals.

In 1980, Channel O/28 begins broadcasting multicultural television in Melbourne and Sydney.

Family reunion is the most common criteria for migrating to Australia.

In 1981 the Commonwealth government ends assisted passage for all except refugees.

First significant numbers of African refugees arrive, mostly from Ethiopia.

In 1985, the Commonwealth government transfers title of Uluru (Ayers Rock) National Park to traditional Aboriginal owners.

Professor Geoffrey Blainey's proposal to limit immigration from Asia sparks public debate on immigration policy.

In 1988, the Bicentenary of British settlement is marked by official celebrations and Aboriginal mourning.

Aus Pop (1986): 15,602,279
Vic Pop (1986): 4,019,568 Figures taken from Colonial and Commonwealth censuses and exclude Aborigines until 1971.

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Related collection items

Explore items from our collection

  • Kimono - Black with White and Pink Maple Leaves, 1940s
  • Badge - Don't Celebrate '88 Rock Against Racism, Australia, circa 1988
  • T-Shirt - Fire Fox, White Australia has a Black History, 1988
  • Dress - African Women's Group, Chitenge, Melbourne, circa 1990-1992
  • Guide Book - Department of Immigration, 'Living in Australia (Zycie W Australii)', Australian Government Publishing Service, 1988
  • Video Tape - Hello Australia, Episodes One & Two, SBS, VHS Tape, 1986
 

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