After World War II, Australia launched a massive immigration programme, believing that having narrowly avoided a Japanese invasion, Australia must “populate or perish.” Hundreds of thousands of displaced Europeans migrated to Australia and over 1,000,000 British Subjects immigrated under the Assisted Migration Scheme. The scheme was initially open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries and after the war, was gradually extended to other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy. The qualifications were straightforward: migrants needed to be in sound health and under the age of 45 years. There were initially no skill restrictions. In 1954 the 50,000th Dutch migrant arrived in Australia.
Around 1970, there was a fundamental change in immigration policy. Million of migrants and refugees came to Australia during the 1970s which resulted in the issue of a policy of multiculturalism. For the first time since 1788 there were more migrants wanting to come (even without a subsidy) than the government wanted to accept. All subsidies were abolished, and immigration became progressively more difficult.
Nowadays, Australia, which is a popular destination of migrants all over the world, has become one of the most multicultural and diverse countries with more than 200 languages and about 25 percent of the population from overseas countries of birth.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in mid-2010 5,993,945 of the Australian resident population were born outside Australia, representing 26.8% of the total Australian resident population. There were 88,609 residents from The Netherlands.
Do you want to tell your personal story? Please contact our webmaster.