the white australia policy

From what I can figure out, the White Australia Policy was pretty much what it sounds like it was. European settlers wanted Australia to be populated with white people. This policy was officially in effect as late as 1973, although some efforts were made before that time to chip away at the Policy.

When I began to apply for a permanent resident visa in 2001, I was surprised to note that there was -one- Department of Immigration and Multiculturalism and Indigenous Affairs. Immigration and Indigenous Affairs are at the opposite ends of the spectrum! It could be that all three were lumped together as troublesome issues. In theory, it is possible that a multicultural Australia is now genuinely preferred, however, given the history, it seems more likely that some of the original aims of the White Australia Policy remain, and the name of the department was chosen for reasons of political correctness.

[At present, I think the department is called the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.]