Part A: Explore the clues

How have migrants been treated in Australia?

Your next question is: How have migrants been treated in Australia?  What clues can you find in the following six sources?

Source A: This is a report from a police investigation in 1901 following a complaint raised by a member of parliament.  Who do you think may have been responsible for the 'reports and rumours' about people from Afghanistan?

Reports and rumours of Afghans polluting the water and taking forcible possession of dams have been received by the police on various occasions, but, on enquiry, no evidence was obtainable to substantiate same.
Fred Hare,

Ref: National Archives of Australia: A6, 1901/1910

Source B: In 1930, those migrants who were not naturalised were known as 'aliens'; they were not considered to be Australian citizens.  Why do you think that the man referred to in this letter from the Department of Home Affairs wanted to be naturalised?  Why was he refused?

9th May, 1930
Dear Sirs,
With reference to your letter of the 1st May, regarding the desire of your client, Mr. G. Mahomet, of Young, to become naturalized, I have to inform you that it having been ascertained that he is a coloured person, the Department is unable to accept his application as it is contrary to the general practice to naturalize such persons.
Yours faithfully,
(F. J. Quinlan)
Assistant Secretary

Ref: National Archives of Australia: A1, 1930/3188

Source C: Maria Vamvakinou MP emigrated from Greece with her family at the age of four.  She is a Member of the Australian Parliament representing the electorate of Calwell.  Watch this video to hear about her experiences.

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Source D: Senator Penny Wong represents the people of South Australia in the Australian Parliament.  In this video she reflects on her experiences as a migrant to Australia.

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Source E: Innocent Munyantwali left Rwanda in 1983 and arrived in Australia in 2007.  He recently spoke of his experiences, saying:

I feel safe in Australia and I can live a normal life like I did in my old country before the war...  When you've been offered citizenship, you have your dignity, respect and rights as other Australians.

Ref:‘Success stories’, Department of Immigration and Citizenship website, 2011

Source F: The Parliamentary Library of the Australian Parliament prepares reports to provide information for politicians as they make laws.  This is an extract from a report in March 2007 on Muslim Australians:

According to consultations...  Muslim Australians commonly experience discrimination, racial vilification, threats of violence and actual violence.  Others reported a general insensitivity towards Muslim cultural practices such as a refusal to allow prayer breaks or negative comments about Muslim names or dress.


Consider the six sources you have looked at and answer the question: How have migrants been treated in Australia?