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You have to be Pleasing & Co-Operative': Australia's Vision Splendid for Post-World war II Migrants (Essay)

Traffic (Parkville) 2004, July, 5

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This article examines the 'vision splendid' that existed for Australian migration following World War II. That vision (championed by the then Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell) was myopic, but is still pertinent to current debates on Australian Migration, particularly in the way that migrants were placed in categories of the desirable. This paper uses a particular migrant group, the Temple Society, to illustrate the concerns of 1940s immigration policy. This group was interned in Australia during World War II and underwent postwar investigations by the then newly formed Department of Immigration. There has been much argument over current Australian migration policy. The points that are of particular interest to my own postgraduate studies are the ways in which Australia, as a migration nation, constructs migrant identities, placing people into categories of the desirable. At times, the Australian vision of migration has not been particularly inspiring. In fact, following World War II it was myopic. As a result, it impacted on people's lives to an extraordinary extent, not least on the lives of an ethno-religious group, the Tempelgesellschaft (or Temple Society), who form the main focus of my current studies. (1) The quote I have taken as the title of this article, although from 1946, seems to apply as much today as it did at the beginning of Australia's modern migration policy. (2) There still appears to be an attempt to fit migrants into categories which emphasise three things: that migrants will be safe, that they will have money or be in some way of utility to Australia, and that they will be 'pleasing' or willing to work within governmental ideas of what it means to be Australian. In this paper, I will examine what the Australian government's vision of 'the good migrant' was in postwar Australia through looking at the migration experience of the Temple Society members.

You have to be Pleasing & Co-Operative': Australia's Vision Splendid for Post-World war II Migrants (Essay)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Reference
  • Published: 01 July 2004
  • Publisher: University of Melbourne Postgraduate Association
  • Print Length: 27 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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