So...where are you from?

Newspaper article
Newspaper article, "Racism row splits MPs" in Herald Sun newspaper, 1972.
Source: Herald Sun, 5 May 1972

People from Mauritius and Rodrigues are often a puzzle to others. Their physical features embody the many shades and characteristics of the Europeans, Africans, Indians and Chinese who settled on the islands over the centuries. Mauritians and Rodriguans are proud of their layered ancestry.

In the early years of Mauritian immigration, the White Australia policy was in place and non-European or ‘mixed’ ancestry was a barrier to entry into Australia. In spite of the fact that Mauritian citizens were British subjects many were refused entry because of their skin colour. However from 1964, Australian authorities no longer required immigrants to be 75% European in appearance, but instead insisted on their ability to readily integrate into the Australian community. In 1967, the immigration rules were further relaxed for close relatives of Australian residents of mixed descent, and more Mauritians and Rodriguans were able to migrate to Australia.