Good Neighbour Council

The Good Neighbour Council was established in 1949 as a commonwealth-funded, nationwide movement to welcome and assist the influx of post-Second World War refugees and settlers. It was a co-ordinating body to oversee local branches that comprised delegates from existing voluntary bodies. The latter helped migrants, encouraged citizenship and brought settlers into contact with local people. The Council itself became a focal point for the training of volunteers and for information and direct assistance to migrants, holding seminars on the recognition of qualifications and welfare entitlements. The Council held art exhibitions and other events to celebrate ethnic origins and talents and prepared publications for settlers and volunteers.

As the concept of multiculturalism replaced those of assimilation and integration, ethnic groups sought direct funding and Good Neighbour formally ceased in 1979, though branches still operate in Glenorchy and Launceston.

Further reading: G Winter, The hand of friendship, Hobart, 1993.

Gillian Winter