This paper seeks to explore the nature of Australian immigration policies and practices, particularly their impact on women, from federation in 1901 to the cessation of large-scale assisted immigration to Australia brought about by the 1930s depression. The characteristics that influenced and affected female immigrants may have differentiated their experiences from those of male immigrants in the same period. Differential treatment of men and women has often been an unstated given in the formulation and implementation of immigration policies. It was as common to non-government organisations (of which there were, and still are, a great many associated with immigration and settlement), as to governments, both federal and state. Several inequities can be identified in the making and implementation of immigration and settlement policies, and in the access to government grants, concessions and services, not only in terms of race, ethnicity, class or occupation (which is well trodden ground in this field) but also in terms of gender. Such differentiation is part of the broader framework of changing conceptions about the place and roles of women in Australian society and their expected contribution to the nation, but it has remained largely unexplicated in this period and field.
Field of Research
160303 Migration 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)