Italian Migrants to Australia

Topics: Australia, Gough Whitlam, Snowy River Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: March 31, 2013
History Assignment- Extended Response

Describe the experiences of the Italian migrants from their arrival after WW2, through to the multicultural period in the 1970s

The experiences of the Italian Migrants have changed from the time of their arrival after WW2 to the present day. The Italian migrants were forced to leave Italy after the war due to the fact that many of them were displaced as a result of sheer destruction that some areas had undergone. What was once a home, was now no more than a pile of rubbish. Also, with many loved ones dead, leaving and making a new start was very tempting. When they first arrived in Australia, the Italians experienced considerable cultural shock. They found that Australia was insensitive to their culture and traditions and therefore expected them to change. The Italians were mainly like the “black sheep” of the population. The feud between the Italian migrants and the Australians got to a point were the Italians had to go out in groups in fear for their own safety. It also appeared that the Australian government was not well prepared to accept them. However, after their work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme and other enterprises, life changed for the better. The Italians overcame the resentment and social isolation to achieve a better future for themselves and their children.

Australia was a country for white people. The migrants had to be white and from the British Isles of English speaking parts of the empire. However, after the bombing attack, Australia realised that their population was not big enough to defend itself and therefore, they must “Populate or perish”. Immigration was the only answer. On the border of Australia, the Italians had to pass a medical examination and if they passed they were allowed to live in Australia. If not, they were sent back. However, by this time Australia was 99%(most of the population being british) white, and the Australian public wanted to keep it that way. The Australian...
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