Why did Australian officials feel the need to ‘sell’ Australia in the DP camps of post-war Europe?
“We are but 7, 000, 000 people and we hold 3, 000, 000 square miles of this earth’s surface.” In his speech to the House of Representatives on the 2nd August 1945, Calwell announced a target increase in population of two percent of population per year, approximately 70 000 through immigration, to increase population density. Various Australian officials travelled to the Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Occupied Europe to ‘recruit’ possible migrants. However, there were various obstacles to increasing the population, including that Australia was not well known, and not attractive to DPs, as the distance was considerable and hard to get to.…show more content… “Nobody knew what was awaiting us in Australia.” This statement by an interviewed person by Jerzy Zubrzycki, named Lydia, suggests Australia was simply not well known in the DP camps of Europe. Thus Australian officials advertised Australia as a “…country of salvation and new beginnings, and an escape route from the wartime devastation and postwar Communist perils of Europe.” This subversion directly appeals to DPs, however with “new beginnings”, there were many differences between Australia and Europe that were often unexpected by migrants. Chub presents this stark contrast between reality and the highly publicised version of Australia, including “…the trees and birds [which] were different…even the frogs croaked differently to those in Ukraine…” These representations suggest Australia was a homeland that was also pastoral and nostalgic in a European sense. On the other hand, these representations suggest attention was more towards representing Australia as a desirable resettlement destination, rather than successfully integrating immigrants into the Australian community. The features of the Australian immigration policy, and other factors including distance made it an unattractive resettlement destination. For these reasons, Australian officials may have felt the need to ‘sell’ Australia.
Following the creation of a desirable Australia was the writing of a specific historical narrative by