Document Type

Working Paper


The aim of this paper is to examine the experience of Australia with regard to immigration and migrant settlement since 1945, and to discuss the model of multiculturalism which has emerged as a way of shaping social policy and national identity in an increasingly diverse society. Australia is widely regarded as a 'classical country of immigration'. Indeed, apart from Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who make up approximately 2 per cent of the population, the whole Australian people can trace their origins back to the immigrations which started with British colonization in 1788. Immigration has always been a central part of nation-building in Australia. Since 1945, there has been a planned program of mass immigration. Today, one in five Australians are immigrants or children of immigrants, and the country is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world.