From its earliest days Australian capital has depended heavily

on immigrant labour to replenish labour supplies and to boost

population growth. During the nineteenth century, demand for

immigrant labour came as manufacturing industries began to

develop in urban centres. Most of the migrants coming to

Australia at this time were British and Irish. They outnumbered

size of Australia's population and a declining birth-rate led to

an immigration policy that aimed to increase the population by 2

per cent per annum by assisted and unassisted migration

schemes. 1 Skilled British and northern European workers were the

most sought after, but as the demand for unskilled labour

increased so did the number of migrants from Medi terranean

countries until by 1969 they exceeded those from Great Britain. 2

Rising standards of living in Europe, the establishment of the

EEC, severe labour shortages there combined with unfavourable

until the Australian government was forced to abandon

preoccupations with European homogeneity and began to recruit

labour from the previously unacceptable Middle Eastern and Asian

official redefinition, Turkey lost her status as an Asian

country and became 'an entirely European country' (Price, 1971). In 1967 a formal agreement under which suitable persons

could enter Australia as migrants was signed by the governments

of Turkey and Australia. The agreement ensured that workers and

Table 1: Permanent and long-term arrivals of Turkish nationality

1945-48 1948-49 1949-50 1950-51 1951-52 1952-53 1954-55 1955-56 1956-57 1957-58 1958-59 1959-60 1960-61 1961-62 1962-63 1963-64 1964-65 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72 1972-73 1973-74 1974-75 1975-76 1976-77 1977-78


205 2,094 3,606 3,460 1,892 1,260 1,800


1,016 1,389 1,386

855 1,066 1,173


2,219 3,831 3,844 2,456 2,270 3,189 1,722 1,058 1,244 1,191

Australia and that their employment and welfare needs would be

safeguarded (Australia's Immigration Programme 1968-73, 1968). The dramatic increase in the numbers of Turks coming to Aus-

tralia as migrants can be seen in Table 1. The figures in this

table are based on the migrant's last country of residence;

therefore some of these people may be ethnically non-Turkish.