Chapter One

Transfield's first fifty years of activity were coincidental with three major changes in Australia's history. After World War II, the country for the first time opened up the floodgates to mass migration from Southern Europe, and later, after discarding the White Australia policy, to Asian countries. Then, in the 1950s, Australia "got off the sheep's back" as industrial production outpaced that of the primary sector. Thirdly, since the mid-1970s, Australia steadily opened to the world, making significant macro economic reforms, (floating the dollar, reducing tariff barriers, etc) and trading in an increasingly globalised economy, engaging in cultural exchanges, becoming a more assertive player in international relations.


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Italian migrant families arriving in Sydney. The Transfield workers of the Whyalla plant, South Australia.