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A government under intense pressure from unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers arriving by boat, its radical policy attracting global attention; this might sound like contemporary Australia.

It is in fact the Australian government of 40 years ago, facing the wave of boat people from Vietnam.

Senior research associate at the Kaldor Centre, Dr Claire Higgins, speaks to The World Today about her book 'Asylum By Boat: the Origins of Australia's Refugee Policy'.

The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.