In 1975 the Federal government passed the Racial Discrimination Act. It was a ratification of the United Nations International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965).
This convention requires Australia to;
“prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law.”
This convention also exempts special measures taken for the purpose of securing adequate advancement of certain racial or ethnic groups but critically requires that:
“such measures do not, as a consequence, lead to the maintenance of separate rights for different racial groups and that they shall not be continued after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved.”