Colouring in White Australia

Jade Balfour

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The White Australia Policy (WAP) is a platform of historical laws that were used to exclude people on the basis of ethnicity from immigrating to Australia between 1901 and 1973. While this was aimed at excluding non-white people external to Australia,
it also affected First Nations people and its tenets existed prior to Federation. Even though the WAP was dismantled nearly fifty years ago, its negative impacts, such as racism and Othering, can be seen in attitudes toward non-white people today.
I argue that these legacies of the WAP are underscored by whiteness, more broadly termed 'White Australia'. Turning to phenomenological analysis of the experiences of Others, I demonstrate that non-white perspectives are crucial for a cohesive and inclusive twenty-first century society. To do this, this thesis proposes an exhibition that would put Aboriginal, African, Asian and Middle-Eastern Australian artists together to map their experiences and ideas of White Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Jorgensen, Darren, Supervisor
  • Lydon, Jane, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date23 Dec 2021
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022


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