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Appointment of Minister of Immigration
Following the cessation of the Second World War large-scale immigration became a national and state objective, largely as a result of economic, strategic and humanitarian factors.
In 1950 the Chief Secretary (VRG 26), who had been responsible for immigration matters from 1947, was appointed as the Minister in Charge of Immigration. In 1955 the Minister responsible became known as the Minister of Immigration.
British Assisted Immigration 1950 - 1976
The primary responsibilities of the Minister were:
processing of personal nominations (later known as personal sponsorship) of British residents made by a resident of Victoria who was a relative, friend or employer
processing of group nominations (from 1976 known as employer sponsorship) usually made by commercial enterprises seeking to recruit particular categories of workers
processing of State nominations (later known as State sponsorship) of British residents who were without personal or group sponsorship
determination of the numbers and categories of migrants outside the State's nomination scheme who were assisted under Commonwealth or Imperial Migration schemes
provision of initial reception and settlement services to migrants
provision of after-care (later known as welfare) services to settled migrants
liaison with voluntary and community groups providing assistance to migrants.
The State was primarily responsible for the provision of assistance to British migrants and although some services were provided to migrants from other countries, these migrants were essentially the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth (VRG 87) was also responsible for overseas promotion and supervision of selection for the British immigration schemes.
A branch of the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475), known as the State Immigration Office, continued to have operational responsibility for the State's immigration functions until the establishment of an Immigration Division within the Department of State Development and Decentralisation (VA 552) in 1971. The State Immigration Office and the Immigration Division were responsible to the Minister of Immigration.
By 1976 greater emphasis was being placed on the provision of welfare services to settled migrants and on schemes designed to promote the development of a multicultural community. This change in emphasis resulted in the appointment of a Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (VRG 68) who assumed responsibility for immigration matters in 1976.
History of Administration of Immigration in Victoria 1839 - 1983
Pre-Federation control and regulation of British and alien (non-British or foreign) immigration, naturalisation, administration of assisted immigration and nomination schemes, as well as associated reception, settlement and welfare services, were the responsibility of the Police Magistrate (VRG 7) and Superintendent (VRG 11) of the Port Phillip District and, after separation from New South Wales, of the Colonial Secretary (VRG 16) and later the Commissioner of Trade and Customs (VRG 22).
Shortly after Federation, the Commonwealth (VRG 87) assumed primary responsibility for the control and regulation of non-British immigration (both assisted and unassisted), unassisted British immigration (except for a brief period from 1975 to 1983), naturalisation, and associated reception, settlement, employment and welfare services.
Responsibility for monitoring immigrant arrivals, part of a wider role in monitoring passenger arrivals and departures by ship, passed from the State to the Commonwealth in 1923.
Administration of assisted British immigration, nomination and sponsorship schemes, which flourished in the periods 1906 to 1930 and from 1947, was a State responsibility until 1923 - under the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey (VRG 18) between 1906 and 1918 and Minister for Labour (VRG 42) between 1918 and 1923. Thereafter such schemes were jointly administered by the State and Commonwealth. Responsibility for the State's obligations under these schemes rested in turn with the Minister for Immigration (VRG 44) between 1923 and 1930, the Chief Secretary (VRG 26) between 1947 and 1950, the Minister for Immigration (VRG 90) between 1950 and 1976 and the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs between 1976 and 1983. In 1983 the Commonwealth assumed responsibility for the function in its entirety.
For further information about the administration of immigration in Victoria from 1839 to 1983, see VRG 68 Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.
Location of Records
See List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 3.10.2 (immigration records), 3.13.4 (VA 552 Department of State Development and Decentralisation records) and 3.16.5 (VA 475 Chief Secretary's Department records). Relevant Commonwealth records are held by Australian Archives.
Minister in Charge of Immigration 1950 - 1955
Minister of Immigration 1955 - 1976