the real face of white australia

The White Australia Policy was about people – people whose lives were monitored and restricted because of the colour of their skin. This experimental browser enables you to explore the records of the White Australia Policy through the faces of those people.

These portraits were extracted from a range of government documents using a face detection script. We've tried to weed out the mistakes, but you may still notice a few oddities. Many portraits are duplicated, as multiple copies of the forms were often kept.

The records are held by the National Archives of Australia. Currently the browser only shows images from Series ST84/1. Other series will be added over time. You can read more about the records at The Tiger's Mouth.

If you click on a portrait you can view the document it came from. You'll also be able to follow a link to explore the context of the document in the National Archives of Australia's RecordSearch database.

The portraits are presented in random order. You can reverse the order simply by adding '?order=reverse' to the url. You can also browse file by file by adding '?order=file'.

This experimental browser has been developed as part of the Invisible Australians project.