Immigration in Diversified Australia

Today and Tomorrow's Challenges

Thursday 20 June and Friday 21 June 2013, The Spot Basement Theatre, 198 Berkeley Street, University of Melbourne



In 1962, Melbourne University Press (MUP) published a volume by the Immigration Reform Group entitled Immigration: Control or Colour Bar? The Background to 'White Australia' and a proposal for change. It played an important part in the national debate which led to the dismantling of the White Australia Policy. Fifty years on, the Asia Institute-based Population, Migration and Multicultural Studies Network is commemorating the significant achievement of this publication and the Immigration Reform Group's influence during the 1960s.

In its opening sessions, the conference will take as point of departure the developments in the areas of migration flows, policy and research since the abolition of the White Australia Policy. Subsequent sessions will be dedicated to examine and discuss current and future issues pertaining to population, migration, and multiculturalism in Australia.

While Australian society today is considered to be harmonious, controversies surrounding population, migration, and multiculturalism persist. This conference aims to provide an important framework for a review of the developments, achievements, and challenges which continue to surround and impact on Australia's management of flows and settlement.

The conference brings together regional, national and local researchers, practitioners and community agents to ask how we ensure sustainable and resilient societies in light of inevitable population growth and the increasing ethnic and religious diversity that follow.

The Studies Network hopes that this conference will recapitulate the Immigration Reform Group's impact in highlighting Carlton's migration history, but move on to tackle broader state, national and regional issues. We recognise that community input and support are essential in order to achieve tangible conference outcomes. We are thus grateful to have as partners Foundation House - The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, The Australian Multicultural Foundation, The Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria, and SBS - Special Broadcasting Services.

Finally, many of the founding members of the Immigration Reform Group were academics and students from the University of Melbourne, while other members were associated with the University.

The Asia Institute-based interdisciplinary Population, Migration and Multicultural Studies Network is proud to commemorate the achievements of this group as it coincides with the University of Melbourne's 160th anniversary celebrations.
We look forward to welcoming you to the conference.

Conference reception at Queen's Hall, Parliament House

The conference's evening reception will be held at the Victorian State Parliament where the 1855 Act to restrict Chinese immigration, Australia's first, was enacted.
The reception will take place from 7pm to 9pm and is by invitation only.

Key sessions

  • Migration to Australia in a Historical Perspective The Origins of the Colour Bar
  • Access to Public Goods and Social Equity How to Identify and Address Needs?
  • Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Australia How to Facilitate Inclusion and Understanding?
  • Our Humanitarian Program Now and in the Future?
  • The Power of Stories The Migrant Experience
  • Sustainable Migration Into the Future
  • Australia and the Asian Century The People Movement Connections