go to content

9 Amazing Things Malcolm Fraser Did For Australia

Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser was a champion of human rights, multiculturalism and Aboriginal land rights.

Posted on

Australia's 22nd prime minister Malcolm Fraser has died at age 84, after a brief illness.

Central Press / Getty Images

A statement released by his office said he "died peacefully in the early hours of the morning."

Fraser, who was Liberal prime minister from 1975 to 1983, remained active in public life and became a vocal critic of the party's asylum policy in his later years.

Here are some of his remarkable achievements that shaped modern Australia during his time in office.

1. Resettling Vietnamese refugees after the war.

After the Vietnam War, the Fraser government accepted more than 2,000 Vietnamese refugees.

They arrived by boat and without documentation. They were resettled in Australia and never put in camps or put on temporary protection visas.

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese settled, overwhelmingly welcome, thanks to Fraser's leadership. Today we reject and mistreat asylum seekers.

VALE Malcolm Fraser. He was our champion at the ASRC, our countries collective memory of a more compassionate time towards refugees.

2. Establishing the Special Broadcasting Service.

sbs.com.au

Malcolm Fraser set up the TV channel to provide multilingual broadcasting and television for Australia's migrant community in 1980.

This was our first TV Program Schedule. Thank you @MalcolmFraser12 #ValeMalcolmFraser

3. Establishing the Human Rights Commission

Central Press / Getty Images

Malcolm Fraser's government passed the Human Rights Commission Act 1981 and established the Human Rights Commission.

The last article he ever wrote was in defence of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs.

The Commission is saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister and Human Rights Medal winner, Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH.

4. Aboriginal land rights.

guides.naa.gov.au

Fraser's government enacted the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, which paved the way for Aboriginal people to make claims to land rights.

He also established The National Aboriginal Conference, a national organisation that represented Indigenous Australians.

Fraser passed the Aboriginal Land Rights Act & provided funding mechanism for Aboriginal enterprises, housing &other services @RecogniseAU

6. Fighting for the abolition of South African apartheid and helping to establish an independent Zimbabwe.

guides.naa.gov.au

Speaking in 2011, he said “If there were six Mandelas around today, a couple in Europe, one in America and in a couple of other places, there wouldn’t be any wars.”

I honour Malcolm Fraser. His brave stance against the evil of South Africa's apartheid helped change the world http://t.co/GgJmFmjTcO JG

7. Continuing commitments of the Whitlam government.

Alan Porritt / AAPIMAGE

Despite playing a key role in the Whitlam dismissal, Malcolm Fraser continued with many of the previous prime minister's initiatives, and the two eventually became good friends. It's an approach which seems almost unthinkable in today's political climate.

Gough, then Fraser: reminds me of those old couples who die in quick succession, unable to break for long the ties that bound them in life.

8. Embracing multiculturalism in Australia.

guides.naa.gov.au

Malcolm Fraser broke away from the assimilationist policies of his own party and was a passionate advocate for multiculturalism.

A strong believer in immigration as a way to boost Australia's population, he set up the Institute of Multicultural Affairs, the Australian Ethnic Affairs Council and re-established the Department of Immigration.

Speaking in 1981, Fraser described Australian multiculturalism as a unique achievement:

"Within a period of time that is short in historical perspective, Australia has been enlarged in capacities, talents and outlook by millions of men and women from every corner of the globe."

Vale Hon Malcolm Fraser,former Prime Minister and leader in human rights and courageous advocate for refugees and a multicultural Australia.

Vale Malcolm Fraser – a champion of the Great Barrier Reef, and a fierce advocate for action on climate change.... http://t.co/mueNmi5l0k

Vale Malcolm Fraser who saved the whales and Fraser Island and nominated the Franklin for World Heritage in 1982. Bob Brown.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss