Throughout history stories have been used to illuminate, to educate, to recount, to challenge and to engage. Every individual’s life experience is unique and dynamic, particularly for those of us who have journeyed far from our homes to establish new lives in foreign countries.
Australia’s migrant history has enabled us to develop into the strong nation we are today. Personal stories and anecdotes are an important opportunity to enrich the public record and to embellish our history. Immigration Place Australia encourages the collection of immigrant stories. By giving a voice to our immigrants, we hope to record significant experiences with increased depth and nuance. We envision an opportunity to connect generations and to build community via a comprehensive record of the distinctive immigration footprint of Australia.
IPA’s mission is to continue to collect stories until completion of the construction of Immigration Place in Canberra. At that time, subject to the agreement of the National Archives of Australia those stories will be transferred to their website – Destination Australia.
We encourage you to record your stories or those of your ancestors.
From a small Mancunian child I always considered that the turnstiles of life swept my family through from a life of dirty polluted rivers, and unimaginable unemployment and the certainty of poverty. This had we not immigrated to Australia in the …
Marie Constance Margaret Davidson and the Cunningham family., England, 1966!
REASONS FOR LEAVING OUR HOMELAND:
Robert’s great, great, grandfather William was born in 1783 and became, like other generations of Scarletts way back to 1610, a tenant farmer in County Fermanagh Ireland on land no bigger than 1/8 of an acre.
Robert and Maisie Scarlett, England, 1952
REASON FOR LEAVING HOMELAND.
I was 24 when I left England, with my then husband of a year, to move to Australia. He had a friend who had already immigrated to Sydney who loved it and we thought we would like the lifestyle – it would be great to get …
Patricia June Morgan, England, 1967
Reason For Leaving Homeland:
Bohumil was born at Sekule in 1930 within the then Communist Czechoslovakia. He was the youngest of 3 children and was only eight when Europe was engulfed by World War II. Sekule is a small town not…
Bohumil Kopunic, Czechoslovakia, 1952
Akos Kovacs grew up in Hungary, which was an axis power ally of Germany during World War II. As a teenager he was called up to service in the Hungarian army. He lost an eye on the battlefield. At war’s end, Akos returned to Hungary where he became…
Akos Kovacs, HUNGARY, 1948
Editor: With some stories I don’t feel that editing is appropriate – this is one such story!
Berislav Babic ( known as Bery ) escaped from the former Yugoslavia with 2 friends (to avoid having to go into the army).
They stole a boat and with…
Bery Babic, Yugoslavia, 1949
Charles was born in Canada but his family returned to England because his mother, Eleanor (Nellie) found Toronto too cold. Nellie died in 1919 from The Spanish Flu and was pregnant at the time when Dad was 9. Charles’ father, Arthur Frederick…
Charles Henry Rich, Canada, 1927
Reason for leaving homeland
There was to many riots and Australia has more opportunities
About the Journey
We went and moved to Scotland then we moved to USA then Australia
Impressions on Arrival
I was relived that we know we are safe and at home…
Brodie Owen, England, 2008
My family left Paris because times were hard we went to live with family in Italy. This was a three bedroom apartment and there were ten people living in it. We were poor but very happy with a large extended family, no way of finding private rentals. even…
Amleto Conticello, France, 1969
I am a direct descendent of Benjamin Corrie, he is my granddad from my paternal side. Benjamin Corrie’s dad is Robert David Corrie. Benjamin’s descendents are Fiji, NZ and Kiribati.…
Benjamin Corrie, Kiribati, unsure
In the Name of God.
A comparison of living in Australia with living in my country, Ahwaz.
I’m living in Australia now. Compared with my life before, Australian people are made up of different races of the world. Australia is a democratic country.…
Mina NASSERI, Iran, 2013
Karl the son of a farmer joined the Swedish Navy and was stationed on a small island off Stockholm.
When Karl realised he was going to be on the island for 7 years he decided to desert and went to Norway.
The story handed down by his family is that he wanted…
Karl Johan Segerstrom, Sweden, 1890
The Rebikoff family, comprising my mother, Helen and myself migrated to Australia from Singapore in the early part of 1950 so that I could attend an English speaking school in Perth. Having been born near the end of WW2 in Kuala Pilah in Malaya (now …
Victor Rebikoff, Malaysia, 1950
I remember it was a cold winter’s day when the ‘Neptune’ docked at Port Melbourne. It was about 5am, July 21st 1957. We had spent a month at sea, leaving the port of Napoli on a hot June the 25th day. It was still dark but Mama got us up…
Maria Assunta Sernia, Italy, 1957
Chunchai arrived in Canberra as a Career Diplomat at the Office of Commercial Counsellor, Royal Thai Embassy in September 1977. This was the culmination of many years of dedicated study and support from her family of 3 girls and 2 boys. While Chunchai’s…
Chunchai ( Tongyode) Giugni, Thailand, 1977
Isaac REECE was born in Peasmarsh in East Sussex in around 1804 to Isaac REECE, a shoemaker, and his wife Judy REECE. Isaac’s parents died the year after he was born. He gained enough of an education in Peasmarsh to be able to read and write but …
Isaac Reece, England, 1839
Story: A stellar career from humble beginnings as machine tool tradesman to extraordinary career advancement. Newcastle based founder of major ship repairs and dockyard companies, large employer, owner-entrepreneur-industrialist specializing…
Stephen Forgács, Hungary, 1957
Town/City: Kangaroo Valley, NSW
First Name: Otto
Surname : Abbott- Oerdoegh (…rdög)
Country of Origin: Hungary
Date of Birth : 1920
Year of Arrival in Australia: 1957
Story : Veterinarian, beef and dairy cattle diseases specialist and pioneer…
Otto Oerdoegh (…rdög), Hungary, 1957
My father Kenneth Ross Henderson Wallace and my mother Brenda Elizabeth Catleugh emigrated to Adelaide South Australia in November 1972 with myself Kenneth Scott Wallace and my sibling/Brother Ross Alexander Henderson Wallace from Edinburgh…
Ken Wallace, UK, 1972
Maria (Mary) Kochanski arrived in Australia on board the “Quetta” on 29th June 1885 along with Mr. and Mrs. Stiller (Conrad and Julianna) and their son Carl Emil who was aged 28. Mary was orphaned at an early age as her father (a butcher)…
Maria Kochanski, Poland, 1885
I was studying a BA (linguistics, education, literature and philosophy) in Bogotá, Colombia, and working as a school teacher. My country has been always known for its history of violence and social problems but, I was very fortunate since they …
Diana Paola Zappone, Colombia, 2006
Gregorio Puglielli was born in Sulmona, provincia L’Aquila of the Abruzzo region of Italy. The birthplace of the Roman poet “Ovid”. He was last born into a family of 7 children and he had to help his father with the farming of vegetables…
Gregorio & Lucia Puglielli, Italia, 1951 & 195
James Phillips was born in Herefordshire 1823 to parents James and Ann.
His father was an agricultural labourer,
siblings included Mary Ann 1820,
and Job 1844.
All or most of their baptisms took…
James & Mary Phillips, England, 1853
Emilio Arturo, son of Oraste & Enrica Costa was born in Santorso, Italy.
Eldest son in a family of 8, he had a primary education and worked as a farm labourer and builder.
Drafted into the army in the 1st World War he was sent to the front line. Caught…
Emilio Arturo, Lucia, Norma & Lino Costa, Italy, 1922, 1923
James Phillips was born in Herefordshire 1823 the 2nd child of 8 to parents James & Ann.
Mary Draper was born in Chelsea SW London to parents Edmund & Mary.
James & Mary married July 1852 at St.Mary’s church in Neasden Lane Willesden…
James & Mary Phillips, England, 1853
Wladyslaw Kluzek and Eleanor Harris met during the latter part of WWII as a result of Wladyslaw being moved to Scotland as part of the Polish army. Eleanor was from the Peebles in the ‘Borders’. She had enlisted with the RWAF (Royal Womens…
Wladyslaw & Eleanor Kluzek, Poland &Scotland, 1950
Edward Thomas Oldfield flew out to Australia during the RAF years he served, loved the climate & people & had many fond memories when he was based in QLD near the Gold Coast.
Afters some years of service & marrying Eileen Mary Miles …
Edward Oldfield, Wales UK, 1958