Immigration has conditioned the peopling of Australia. This article examines the evolution of Australia's population as influenced by immigration, what the impacts of population change have been for the economy, society and environment and what options exist to influence this process. The desirable course of policy is examined. A central role for immigration and the enhancement of its management and of complementary policies in building a worthy future for Australians are proposed. The contribution of past economic analysis to understanding of these issues and to informing policy settings is discussed and work still required in analysis and policy is identified.