In Australia’s short history, the Australian Government has had a long tradition of providing support to enable disadvantaged students to participate in higher education. This article offers a brief history of the provision of equitable access and opportunities to widen participation to higher education in Australia over more than a century up to the present day. Three key factors causing disadvantage to students and making university inaccessible to students are addressed, as well as an analysis of the social justice theories of Pierre Bourdieu within an educational policy framework. This article also provides a critical analysis of two key Australian Governments that have had an immense impact on higher education in Australia over the past century. With a change of government in November 2007, there is a new wave of commitment and enthusiasm for what the Government is labelling an ‘education revolution’.