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Multicultural Western Australia

The White Australia Policy effectively ended in 1966 when the Liberal Government of Prime Minister Harold Holt allowed the migration of 'distinguished' non-Europeans. The new policy also recognised that large numbers of migrants, especially those whose first language was not English, were experiencing many hardships as they settled into life in Australia, and required more direct assistance. Expenditure on migrant assistance and welfare rose sharply in the early 1970s in response to these needs.

Around that time immigration from South-East Asia saw the numbers of Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants to Australia rapidly increase.  Until then the number of settlers from the Asian region was small.  By the early 1970s the number of migrants from Asia began to increase, peaking between 1988-89 (55,700) and 1990-91 (60,900).  By 1997-98, a total of 25,300 migrants, or 33% of all settler arrivals, were born in Asia.

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