Media release: Wednesday, 14 January 2015
The latest exhibition at the National Archives A Ticket to Paradise? has rekindled memories for former migrants and their families, say the gallery hosts who escort guided tours each week.
'Many of the people coming on our guided tours were migrants themselves, or have heard stories of life as a migrant from their parents,' said gallery host Kristen Krippner. 'We've had a range of visitors, who enjoy talking about how their own experiences compare to the stories featured in the exhibition.
'But we've also had visitors who weren't migrants but who are interested in gaining an insight into what it means to leave your home and travel across the world to a new country. One school teacher was so impressed she plans to bring her students back when school begins.
'The pictures bring back memories that people often feel emotional about as they recall their own experiences. One visitor spoke of her mother being so lonely that she cried every day for two years after she arrived. But there are other aspects as well, such as how landmark migrants were carefully chosen to show the best possible face of migration to Australian citizens.'
Migrants who have left comments in the visitors' book came from as far afield as South Korea, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Philippines, New Zealand, Scotland, France, England, Holland, Ireland, Denmark, China, Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria, Eritrea, United States, India, Panama and Croatia.
The comment 'brings back memories' occurs throughout the book while other comments include 'emotional and memorable' and 'the older videos are amusing'.
People can add their own migrant stories while visiting the exhibition or online through the National Archives website www.destinationaustralia.gov.au.
A Ticket to Paradise? is on at the National Archives until 9 March 2015. Gallery hosts will conduct guided tours at 11am and 2pm on selected days throughout January and February (details at www.naa.gov.au).