In 1946, the Immigration Restriction Act ensured we were still a ‘White Australia’. Mass migration drove immigration policy after the Second World War, and while Australia still aimed to recruit the majority of our migrants from Britain it soon became clear that British migrants alone could not meet the Australian Government’s target population growth.
In 1947 Minister for Immigration Arthur Calwell signed an agreement with the International Refugee Organisation, paving the way for thousands of Displaced Persons to come to Australia from refugee camps in Europe. Australia also signed migration agreements with countries including Austria, Malta, Italy, Germany, Holland and Greece, bringing more migrants from across Europe.
Following the end of the White Australia Policy in the early 1970s, refugees and migrants arrived from new corners of the world, including South East Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. Throughout the period when the migrant hostels operated, British migrants remained the majority.