Audience: Years 5-8
Submitted by: Michele Gladden
This resource looks at Australia’s attitude to immigration in 1950s and the 1960s and examines the credentials of “acceptable” immigrants at that time.
The resource can be used in the context of learning about Australia's immigration policies from the 'White Australia Policy' to multiculturalism. There is also room for some critical consideration of the political, economic and social imperatives which drive immigration policy and the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Interrogate the idea of culture using the Intercultural Communication Kit Activity 2.
Discuss the following questions questions with your students:
- What do you notice about the families shown in the documentary, and the countries they are from?
- Can you notice any unspoken rules about these new families settling into Australia? (This may need further scaffolding along the lines of “Were they expected to fit in?”)
- How would you feel if tomorrow you had to move to another country, on the other side of the world? Would you be excited, scared, or maybe both?
- Would your feelings be different if you didn’t speak the language of the country you were moving to?
- Do you think everyone would feel the same way you do? Why or why not?
- What is similar about life in the documentary compared to your life now? What is different?
- In which era/time would you prefer to live - now or in the 1950s?
The above resource explores how political forces and propaganda campaigns of the era tried to fill Australia with “pure white” immigrants.