My thanks to Tim Sherrat, Russell Marks and Mei-fen Kuo who all assisted with research for this article. Thank you also to La Trobe University which provided a research grant for this project. A version of this paper was presented to the APSA Conference, September 2011. My thanks to participants for their invaluable feedback.
Leadership: Arthur Calwell and the Post-War Immigration Program*
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2012 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 203–220, June 2012
How to Cite
Tavan, G. (2012), Leadership: Arthur Calwell and the Post-War Immigration Program. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 58: 203–220. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8497.2012.01632.x
- Issue published online: 4 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
Arthur Calwell was the major architect of Australia's successful post-war migration program that laid the demographic, economic and cultural foundations of contemporary society. In public memory, however, Calwell is now mostly associated with the White Australia policy, which aimed to preserve Australia as a white, British-Australian society by severely restricting Asian immigration. This article assesses Calwell's leadership of the immigration program, his impact and his legacy. It identifies three distinct, often irreconcilable leadership characteristics, defined in terms of him as “innovative policy-maker’, “political broker” and “agitator”. This focus on leadership challenges the one-dimensional view of Calwell that exists in Australian political historiography. It is also intended to extend our engagement with leadership studies and illuminate the role leadership plays in political decision-making, especially sensitive portfolios like immigration.