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By Thomas J. Noer

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Political positions articulated at the highest levels of decision-making had a profound influence on the treatment of immigration applications, other than those from the United Kingdom. The position of the conservative Liberal Party was no different to that of the Labor Party as they maintained a ‘White Australia’ policy, extending it to the exclusion of people from southern Europe (for example, Italy, Greece and Spain), whose skins were regarded as ‘swarthy’. The dictation test was actually brought in to camouflage the racist political goals of the ‘White Australia’ policy.

However, these early forms of African migration have so far not been recognized as fitting under the rubric of ‘typical’ migration typologies. Rather, they have been labelled as ‘nomadic’ movements, a derogatory term that takes away the value and significance of pre-colonial forms of African migration. Furthermore, the body of literature on early human civilization is replete with examples illustrating the long history of the social 16 Becoming an African Diaspora in Australia processes of migration and cultural diversity.

34 Becoming an African Diaspora in Australia In Chapter 6 the book extends the analysis of the same data set used in Chapter 5 to support the argument that the everyday politics of race and fear of the non-desired other still persist in Australia more than half a century after the official demise of White Australia Policy. Personal stories of African refugee background Australian citizens, regarding their experiences with the English language test for Australian citizenship and their opinions about the entire process of being and becoming Australian, are presented and discussed.

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