By the end of World War II, millions of people in Europe had been forced to flee from their homes and were living in camps for refugees and displaced persons.
Relief agencies called on other nations to help to resettle these people. At the same time, Australia was suffering from shortages in the work force and its small population and isolation increased its sense of vulnerability.
To increase the number of workers available for defence and development, Prime Minister Joseph Chifley approved an urgent recruitment campaign in Europe to attract migrants. The Australian Government also sent officers to select people from the camps to migrate to Australia. The slogan ‘populate or perish’ was used to help the Australian population to accept this large intake of migrants.
- Year 10 History
- Year 11 History
- Year 12 History
- Year 8 Geography
- In what ways did the war influence the Australian Government’s decision to increase its immigration program in 1947?
- Why do you think the Australian Government changed its immigration policy to accept migrants from a wider range of countries in the postwar years?
- What are some of the challenges the Australian Government might have faced at home by bringing migrants from a wider range of countries?