The changing face of Australia’s refugee policy

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Australia has a complex history with boats. Forty years ago, thousands of Vietnamese refugees arrived on Australian shores by boat and were resettled in Australia. The then Fraser government went on to welcome and resettle tens of thousands more.

Since then, successive governments have introduced policies of mandatory detention and boat turn backs. So, what’s changed since the seventies and what does this mean for Australia as a nation?

Author and historian Dr Claire Higgins explores these ideas in her book  Asylum By Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy.

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