In the 1970s and early 1980s, there appeared to be a considerable measure of concensus in Australia on policies towards the many ethnic groups which make up the population: they were to be permitted a large measure of cultural autonomy, while at the same time special institutions and measures were introduced to ensure access and equity and participation for all Australians irrespective of their origins. These policies - referred to collectively as multiculturalism - were endorsed and implemented albeit in varying forms) by the major political parties, and appeared to enjoy broad public support. However, recent events indicate that this multicultural concensus is no longer uncontested, and that issues and policies are being redefined. This paper will look at the meaning of multiculturalism and its background in Australia's postwar migration program. It will then examine various aspects of multiculturalism in State and Commonwealth Government policies.