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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

Postwar migration

Between 1945 and 1965 two million immigrants arrived in Australia. The Australian Government had decided to open up the nation because it believed there was an urgent need to ‘populate or perish’ after the Second World War.

1. Extract from Across the Frontiers (1953)

A documentary illustrating the principles and operations of UNESCO with particular reference to Australia's participation in the plan for the extension of education to promote better understanding between members.

General note: This film was made at the invitation of UNESCO.

Film Australia Collection NFSA: 86 Documentary courtesy National Film and Sound Archive

2. Extract from Cavalcade of Australia: 1901–1951 (1951)

Scenes from a documentary which uses archival film to highlight and illustrate the main events that occurred in the history of Australia in the fifty years following Federation. On the celebration of Australia's Jubilee as a Commonwealth, Australian film production organisations, both governmental and commercial, made archival material from their libraries available for this film.

NFSA: 1396113 Documentary courtesy National Film and Sound Archive


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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