Cartoons of Australian Federation

'Our Fellow Subjects of the Glorious Empire'

Race, White Australia Policy, Immigration

Source: The Bulletin, February 23, 1901
Source: The Bulletin, February 23, 1901.

This anti-immigration cartoon was published about seven weeks
after Australia became a Federation of States. It reflects the widely-held fear
that non-white immigrants would bring with them a willingness to work
for lower wages than white Australians were used to earning,
and would lower the general standard of living and change the Australian lifestyle for ever.
At this time, under the new Commonwealth, legislation was being drawn up
to prevent non-whites from entering the country,
and to send Kanaka labourers in the Queensland sugar fields back where they came from.
This was the beginning of the 'White Australia' policy.