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Migration and Empire$
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Marjory Harper and Stephen Constantine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250936.001.0001

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Land of Perpetual Summer: Australian Experiences

Land of Perpetual Summer: Australian Experiences

(p.41) 3 Land of Perpetual Summer: Australian Experiences
Migration and Empire

Marjory Harper

Stephen Constantine

Oxford University Press

The substantial contribution which immigration from the UK made to the demographic development of Australia began with the arrival of convicts. Without a sufficiency of aboriginal workers, they were the continent's first manageable workforce. Their age, occupation and skills made them suitable as pioneer settlers. They were followed by free immigrants, initially mainly pastoralists, and then by the very many assisted migrants. Subsidized passages, beginning in the 1830s, long remained essential (except in gold rush periods) to overcome the ‘tyranny of distance’ from the UK, the preferred source. Official recruiting also permitted selection, especially by skill, age and ethnicity, but economic fluctuations, war and demographic worries affected programmes and migrant experiences. These issues led after 1945 to recruiting outside the UK, and eventually to the ending of the ‘White Australia’ policy and the arrival of multiculturalism.

Keywords:   aborigines, assisted passages, Australia, convicts, ethnicity, identities, multiculturalism, tyranny of distance, White Australia

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