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1.4 1949 Nationality and Citizenship Act

<p>50,000th Dutch migrant arrives in Australia aboard the <em>Sibajak</em>, 1954</p>

National Archives of Australia A12111, 1/1954/4/53

<p>50,000th Dutch migrant arrives in Australia aboard the <em>Sibajak</em>, 1954</p>

It is 1949.

The Australian Parliament is sitting. It has before it a Bill that will change the legal status of every living Australian. It is a law to change the status of all Australians from being ‘British subjects’, to being ‘Australian citizens’.

How will this affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians?

Read the information in the Defining Moment in Australian history: 1949 Nationality and Citizenship Act creates Australian citizenship and answer the questions that follow.

1. What did the Nationality and Citizenship Act do?

2. What is ‘national citizenship’?

3. Why was it passed? Who was designed to benefit from it? How?

4. What difference did it make to existing British subjects in Australia?

5. What was the significance of the Nationality and Citizenship Act for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rights?

6. How would this event have influenced the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rights over time?

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