Cover Page

Cite item


The article contains a historical overview of Australia's migration policy and analysis of the Chinese diaspora’s role in building an Australian multicultural society. The relevance of the study is determined by the increased importance of the human rights and racial discrimination problems in the developed countries’ policy discussion in connection with the strengthening of the world processes of integration. Those problems are not new in Australia, until the early 1970s the “White Australia Policy” restricted immigration from non-European countries, particularly those of Asian background, with the goal of creating an “Anglo-Celtic” Australian nation. Post-war mass migration, mostly from Europe, had a significant impact on the ethnic composition of the population. This situation put pressure on the government to recognize cultural diversity and in the early 1970s led to the creation of the concept of a multicultural society. The aim of the study is to follow the evolution of public opinion on migration and to assess the role of the Chinese diaspora in the formation of the Australian new immigration policy. In addition, the author also examines the problems of integration, racial discrimination and residual racism in the Australian multicultural society. In conclusion, the author pointed out that despite the existence of some challenges for migrants relating to the social integration people from all over the world now harmoniously coexist in Australian society. Today, the Chinese diaspora is the largest Asian diaspora in Australia and one of the factors affecting the political and economic processes in the country.

About the authors

Evgeniya Yur'yevna Katkova

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.

postgraduate student of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations of the RUDN University


  1. Anderson, B. (2001). Imaginary communities. Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism. M.: KANON-press-TS, Kuchkovo pole. (in Russian).
  2. Booth, A., Leigh, A. & Varganova, E. (2012). Does Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence from a Field Experiment. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 47, 547—573. DOI:
  3. Brawley, S. (1995). The White Peril: Foreign Relations and Asian Immigration to Australasia and North America, 1919—1978. Sydney: UNSW Press.
  4. Collins, J. (2002). Chinese entrepreneurs: The Chinese Diaspora in Australia. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 8 (1/2), 113—133. DOI: 13552550210423750
  5. Dutton, D. (2002). One of Us?: A Century of Australian Citizenship. Sydney: UNSW Press.
  6. Fitzgerald, J. (2007). Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia. Kensington: UNSW Press.
  7. Gao, J. (2015). Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurship in Australia from the 1990s: Case Studies of Success in Sino-Australian Relations. Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
  8. Guo, X. (2005). Immigrating to and ageing in Australia: Chinese experiences. PhD thesis. Murdoch University. URL: (accessed 12.06.2017).
  9. Henry, N. (2013). A Multicultural Australia. The Australian Collaboration. URL: (accessed 11.06.2017).
  10. Higgins, C. (2018). Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy. Sydney: UNSW Press.
  11. Jakubowicz, A. (2011). Chinese Walls: Australian Multiculturalism and the Necessity for Human Rights. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 32, 691—706. DOI:
  12. Jones, P. (2005). Chinese—Australian Journeys Records on Travel, Migration and Settlement, 1860—1975. National Archives of Australia. URL: (accessed 11.06.2017).
  13. Jupp, J. (2002). From White Australia to Woomera: The Story of Australian Immigration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  14. Koleth, E. (2010). Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas. Canberra: Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library.
  15. Kon, H. (2010). The idea of nationalism. In: Myths and misconceptions in the study of empire and nationalism. Moscow: Novoye izdatel'stvo, p. 27—62. (in Russian).
  16. LeFort, C. (2014). White Australian Policy. Union: MelatiaeTrade Publishing.
  17. Liu, X. (2016). Australia’s Chinese and Indian Business Diasporas: Demographic Characteristics and Engagement in Business, Trade and Investment. Melbourne: ACOLA.
  18. Mence, V., Gangell, S. & Tebb, R. (2015). A History of the Department of Immigration: Managing Migration to Australia. Canberra: Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  19. Ngan, L. L.-S. & Kwok-bun, C. (2012). The Chinese Face in Australia: Multi-generational Ethnicity among Australian-born Chinese. New York: Springer.
  20. York, B. Australia and Refugees, 1901—2002: Annotated Chronology Based on Official Sources. Department of the Parliamentary Library. URL: online/03chr02.pdf (accessed 11.06.2017).

Copyright (c) 2018 Katkova E.Y.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies