Migrant memories fading fast

Media release: Monday, 2 March 2015

There are only days left to catch the latest exhibition at the National Archives of Australia A Ticket to Paradise?

Former migrants and their families have flocked to the exhibition which has rekindled memories of their own experiences. On guided tours, they have enjoyed talking about how their own stories compare with those featured in the exhibition.  Gallery hosts will be conducting guided tours in the evening during the Enlighten weekends.

The exhibition examines the rich diversity of Australian immigrants and the government's ambitious plans after World War II to encourage mass migration.

'The program transformed the nation socially, economically and culturally,' said curator Dr Sara King. 'It has resulted in a community where, today, one quarter of our population was born overseas, and nearly half of us have at least one parent born elsewhere.

'In A Ticket to Paradise? we've tried to show the human story of migration, with recordings of new and archival personal experiences. These stories give an insight into the rich, complex and so very different experiences of the migrants and refugees who have settled here. They help us understand that the migrant experience is as diverse as the 7 million people who have arrived here from more than 200 different countries to shape Australia into the place we know today.'

'While most people are aware of this aspect of our cultural heritage, many don't realise the wealth of immigration history held by the National Archives, from personal and family stories to government campaigns and policies.'

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 in Canberra until 9 March 2015. Gallery hosts will conduct guided tours during the Enlighten weekend 6, 7 March.

Curator Dr Sara King is available for interview

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Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au

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