Paul Byrnes and Penelope McDonald interviewed historians as well as filmmakers and their subjects for Film Australia's Immigration.
Edited transcripts of those interviews are available here.
Table of origins (birthplace) of major population groups at census years 1933-1996
After WWII, Harold Grant was an interviewing officer for the Department of Immigration, responsible for selecting and approving prospective migrants to Australia. Ron Maslyn Williams' film Mike and Stefani showed Harold Grant performing a real selection interview in a displaced persons camp in Germany but the interview was not well received later in the department. Harold discusses the post-war social climate, selection criteria, migration policy and his own involvement in the making of the film.
Download Harold Grant Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 72k)
Professor Jerzy Zubrzycki is one of the founders of Australia's multicultural policy and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University. He outlines Arthur Calwell's extraordinary speech to Federal Parliament in 1945, which introduced the mass migration program. He describes the social and political climate in Australia and support and opposition to the plan, and investigates its link to and departure from the existing White Australia Policy. And he discusses the public education program and Calwell's pioneering use of cinema as a propaganda tool to promote migration, as well as Calwell's political contribution and his legacy of multiculturalism.
Download Jerzy Zubrzycki Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 68k)
Ann-Mari Jordens is an historian whose books include Alien to Citizen: Settling Migrants in Australia 1945-75 and Redefining Australians: Immigration, Citizenship and National Identity. She discusses the social and political forces at work in Australia and overseas when the mass migration program was being developed, the government's careful stage management of the issues, the shift in migration selection processes and the resulting years of rapid social change. She also raises the question of citizenship as a reflection of attitudes towards British migrants, contrasting that with the lack of rights afforded Aboriginal people.
Download Ann-Mari Jordens Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 96k)
Bernie Freedman was a parliamentary journalist before joining the Department of Immigration in 1955. He was Director of Public Relations for the department from 1972 to 1981. He talks about his role in the department as writer of The Way We Live and his involvement with other migration films and commercials, used by the department to inform and attract possible candidates for migration. Freedman offers insights into the filmmaking process, the involvement of Film Australia and the department, and the images used to represent Australia overseas.
Download Bernie Freedman Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 68k)
Pham Van Lam
Pham Van Lam fled his homeland of Vietnam after the communist regime came to power. He talks about his escape to Malaysia and his decision to bring his family to Australia, where they became the subjects of Tony Wheeler's documentary The Visit. Pham Van Lam describes how they were chosen, why they wanted to be involved and how the film affected their lives.
Download Pham Van Lam Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 60k)
Albert Moran is a film academic and author whose publications include Projecting Australia: Government Film Since 1945, a history of Film Australia and its predecessors. He discusses government filmmaking in the national interest, the 'birth of spin' and the involvement of Film Australia. Looking at the contribution of filmmakers John Heyer, Maslyn Williams and Catherine Duncan as well as specific productions, he places migration films within an historical context.
Download Albert Moran Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 84k)
Oliver Howes and Riri Ioannou
Toula explores the cultural and generational conflicts arising from a young Greek-Australian's life in a new society. The filmmaker Oliver Howes and his Greek-Australian leading actress Riri - or Rina - Ioannou (now Treweeke) talk about making the film and how it related to the real-life experiences of young people from non-Anglo backgrounds in the late 1960s.
Download Oliver Howes and Riri Ioannou Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 72k)
James Ricketson and Blagica Tonevska
Roslyn and Blagica is a documentary that explores the friendship of two eleven-year-old girls from migrant families with different ethnic backgrounds. Almost 30 years later, Blagica Tonevska (now Bonic) and the director, James Ricketson, discuss the making of the film, their individual roles within it and what it was trying to achieve.
Download James Ricketson and Blagica Tonevska Transcript (Acrobat PDF file, 64k)