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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Al Grassby, the father of Australian multiculturalism, dead at 78.


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It is with great sadness that Fight Dem Back marks the passing of the great Al Grassby, Australian immigration minister from 1972 to 1974.

He passed away peacefully in a Canberra hospital this morning after suffering a heart attack on Thursday evening.

Grassby is responsible for sweeping away the last vestiges of the White Australia Policy and for ushering in a new era multicultural tolerance and acceptance.

A life-long campaigner for human rights and social justice, Grassby’s political career sports an impressive resume. Some of the many achievements during his tenure as immigration minister include:

• The right to remain in Australia for overseas students on the
successful completion of their studies and when their services were sought by an
Australian employer.
• The right of parents of Australian born children to remain in Australia. In
announcing this Grassby said "We must stop making war on children"
• Granting passage assistance to Vietnamese orphans coming to Australia and later
extending to orphans from any country.
• Removal of limitations in the amount of non-English language programming on radio
and television.
• Exclusion of racially selected sporting teams from Australia.
• Decision to apply new non-discriminatory procedures for selection of migrants and
issue of tourist visas.
• Repeal of Section 64 of the Migration Act 1958-1966, the last of the old
discriminations against Aboriginal Australians, which required them to seek
permission to leave the country.
• Establishment of a new series of migrant education centres in State capitals to
provide facilities for migrant instruction and a focal point of the migrant
program in each State.
• Establishment of Community Relations Committee of the Immigration Advisory Council
to enquire into the discrimination against, and exploitation of, migrants and the
use or non-use by migrants of community services.
• Development of a home tutoring scheme particularly to reach migrant women at home,
using voluntary tutors and a home tutoring kit based on a kit used in Great
but adapted to Australian requirements.
• Amendment of the Aliens Act 1947-1966 to eliminate the annual notification of
Address, occupation and marital status by aliens.
• Rise of persons granted Australian citizenship from 38,402 in 1972 to 57,102 in
1973, an increase of 48.7%.
• Australia's first amnesty for illegal immigrants.
• Amendment of the aliens registration policy to remove restrictions on the changes
of names by aliens.

Al Grassby as the father of Australian multiculturalism has long been enemy number one for local race-hate groups. Ironic that with his passing, a new campaign should spring up to build upon his legacy of defying racism, bigotry and prejudice.

Grassby was also the life-long enemy of the fashion police with his penchant for wearing the most spectacular ties.

Al was a warm hearted, larger than life figure who will be sorely missed. Stay posted for the latest on his funeral arrangements.

Sources: Racism - No Way.

Related Links:

Grassby leads nation's multiculturalism.
Fischer farewells snappy dresser.
Al Grassby dead at 78.

posted by Fightdemback @ 6:20 PM