Bridging the Distance | 1957-new-australians
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-22311,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.4.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.7.4,vc_responsive

The Dutch migrants were considered highly
desirable as it was assumed that they would
‘assimilate’ into Australian life easily and happily.

Assimilation policy

‘As a child [I was] being taken to a Good Neighbour Council’s house and making toast on a coat hanger over an open fire and being able to eat as much as we wanted!’

RITA DE KONING (NEE BUUR), Bonegilla Memories Database

Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell, called the Dutch ‘very desirable migrants’. Clyne noted that the Dutch were ‘model immigrants’ who ‘did not stand out, they adjusted quickly’. Australia kept track of the migrants long after they settled. In accordance to the Aliens Act, migrants were required to update the Department of Immigration about any change in job or where they lived.

The Good Neighbour movement provided help and encouraged rapid assimilation of migrants. It was a group of voluntary organisations set up to assist migrants settle into Australian society and to adapt to the Australian way of life. Thousands of people across the nation used to work voluntarily for the association, many of whom were migrants themselves.