Media release: Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Actor Noni Hazlehurst spoke about her family's arrival in Melbourne as 'ten-pound poms' today when she launched Family Journeys, the book containing their story, published by the National Archives of Australia.
Other high profile Australians who shared their stories in Family Journeys are television presenter and producer Annette Shun Wah, landscaper Jamie Durie and celebrity scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
'Knowing something of your family background is immensely valuable.' wrote Noni Hazlehurst in the book's foreword. 'It provides a sense of connectedness with someone other than your peers and immediate family.
'I know how much it meant to me and to my children to read the information about my parents that the National Archives of Australia unearthed for us,'
The book also features families who are not so well known but whose stories make fascinating reading. They include the Casamentos, an Italian migrant family who arrived in the 1920s and 30s, marathon cyclist, inventor and patriot Ernie Old, the war bride mother and serviceman father of author and publisher Carol Fallows and the Cubillo family, descended from Antonio Cubillo who arrived in Darwin from the Philippines and married Lily a young woman of Aboriginal and Scottish descent.
Another story is that of war hero Hugo Throssell and his wife, the writer Katharine Susannah Prichard, part of whose story is held in ASIO files preserved in the National Archives collection.
'We are very proud of Family Journeys, a book which we hope will inspire and help many other Australians to search their own family history through the records in our collections,' said Ross Gibbs, Director-General of the National Archives at the launch.
'In conjunction with this book, we have also recently created a new website feature on tracing your family history. This gives people tips on how to search our collection to find members of their own families.'