From the islands of Torres Strait to the mountains of Tasmania, early Chinese Australian families made important contributions to the communities in which they lived. Records in the National Archives of Australia reveal the private, community and public lives of these families over the past century.
Family and local history information can be found in all sorts of unexpected places – even post office records!
Would you know where to look to confirm a family story that Great-Aunty Madge once wrote a book that no-one's ever seen? Do you know where there might be some photographs your father is supposed to have taken at a historical event? Perhaps your grandmother was a singing star in her day?
You just might find evidence of these things in the collection of the National Archives of Australia.
The National Archives collection holds the stories of thousands of Japanese people from 1860 onwards who travelled south in search of adventure, business opportunities or to join family members already living in Australia. Some were temporary visitors and others stayed on for generations.
If you have relatives who came to Australia by sea in the 20th century or who were involved in shipbuilding, lighthouse keeping, coastal protection, coastal exploration, the navy or fishing industry, then you may be able to locate records about those family members in the National Archives collection.
The collection of the National Archives of Australia contains many records about Dutch settlement and participation in Australia in the twentieth century.
Around 1,500 Australian civilians were interned by the Japanese throughout the Asia–Pacific region during World War II. While the most famous internment camp was perhaps the one at Changi Prison in Singapore, Australians were also interned in many other camps in surrounding countries. The National Archives of Australia has a rich collection of records dealing with civilian internees of the Japanese, particularly their liberation from the camps and their postwar attempts to gain compensation.
From the pearling industry to political life, as war heroes and wrestling heavyweights, Greek Australians have made significant contributions to Australian society and culture, and many of their lives and achievements are highlighted in records held in the National Archives.
Below is a selection of audio recordings of lectures and talks produced by the National Archives.
To play a recording within your browser, click on the speaker icon. To keep a copy of the file and listen to it later, right-click and – depending on your browser – select ‘Save target as’ or 'Save link as'
|Hélène Bartleson – Christmas tree: Genealogy of an island, 23 February 2010||56:17 minutes||52.77mb||Transcript|
|Kate Grenville – The Secret River, 27 February 2008||24:22 minutes||11.43mb||Transcript|
|Jeremy Palmer – Climbing your family tree, 27 February 2008||35:15 minutes||16.53mb||Transcript|