The Population, Migration and Multicultural Studies Network

The Population, Migration and Multicultural Studies Network was established in 2012 and functions primarily as an interdisciplinary forum for academics based at the University of Melbourne, particularly for those whose research falls within the area of Asian migration, economic migration, humanitarian migration, social cohesion and multiculturalism in an ethnically and religiously diverse society. The Studies Network continues to explore how sustainable outcomes can arise from ongoing migration to Australia, how regional collaboration can be strengthened, and how continued settlement efforts can be improved. It provides a space for outcome-focused research collaboration between various stakeholders interested in population, migration and multicultural studies. These stakeholders include community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), politicians, public servants as well as external partners and external researchers.

This Network carries the legacy of previous migration research completed by University of Melbourne-based academics and students. To honour this legacy, the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Reform Group’s publication Immigration Reform: Control or Colour Bar?, which has in important ways led to the abolition of the White Australia Policy, will be celebrated at the 2013 June conference.

 

Background

This Network carries the legacy of previous migration research completed at the University of Melbourne by its academics and students. To honour this legacy, the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Reform Group’s publication Immigration Reform: Control or Colour Bar?, which in important ways led to the abolition of the White Australia Policy, will be celebrated at the 2013 June conference.

The University’s Historical Role

The Immigration Reform Group, led by members of the University of Melbourne, played a notable role in securing the abolition of the White Australia Policy in 1973. Led by Jamie Mackie and Kenneth Rivett who co-authored Control or Colour Bar (1962), this movement contributed to the end of Australia’s racially-exclusive immigration program and demonstrated the University’s keen interest in leading the way in this research area. Subsequently, two major Commonwealth Government agencies with substantial resources for immigration and multicultural research were headed by University of Melbourne academics Petro Georgiou, founding Director of the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs (AIMA), from 1979 to 1987, and John Nieuwenhuysen, founding Director of the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research (BIMPR), from 1989 to 1996. A review of BIMPR in 1994 noted that its active publication program ‘constitutes the most comprehensive collection of immigration and settlement research of any nation in the world’ (Graeme Hugo, 1994:1).

Events

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