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.
William Monger was born on 11th of February 1812, the second child born to William and Ann Monger, in Nailsworth in the Parish of Gloucestershire, England. Nailsworth played an important role in the boom days of the woollen industry being well known…
William Monger, England, 1838
We wanted to give our 4 young sons a better chance in life, even though we had our own home in a lovely country village, and Jack had a steady job as a postman. It was hard to leave my parents, as my only sister was already living in Dunedin, New Zealand with…
Irene and Jack Warwick, England, 1965
Story of preeminent businessman Andrew Lederer OAM (1918- 2004)
Andrew Lederer was born and grew up in Poroszló (Central-East Hungary) where his father owned vast property, and an abattoir as well as involved in horse trading. The affluent family’s…
Andrew (András) Lederer (Léderer), HUNGARY, 1957
An Australian man came to Saigon to visit me in November 2007. He wanted me to be his partner in Sydney. He told me he was searching for a traditional type of wife. I think he meant a submissive wife. Alright he will get one. He looks and talks OK and he is …
Uyen Do, Vietnam, 2007
Dad says he left Italy for a family reunion with his sister, Julie and brother-in-law Vince Pisconeri and to help his father and mother, who were in poor financial circumstances.
He came out on the “Sydney”. He had a very bad trip on the…
Giuseppe Chiera, Italy, 1960
The Story of Nick Cretan Part 2
In 1938 a business partnership in Holbrook, with Jim Pavlakis, Snr, eventually meant moving south. They leased the ‘Old\’ Peter Pan CafŽ, opposite the Post Office. Nick was called up in October 1941, …
Nikos Yiannou (Nick) Stavroulakis (Cretan), Crete, Greece, 1939
The story of Nick Cretan Part 1
Nick migrated to Australia for a better life. He was a loving and generous man and grateful to his new homeland Ð many of the cafŽs he worked in are gone.
Born (12 March 1900), in the rural hillside village of Kaniskatho,…
Nikos Yiannou (Nick) Stavroulakis (Cretan), Crete, Greece, 9/2/2026
John Bela Polya was the son of Dr. Jenő (Eugene) Pólya a university professor & famous surgeon (Polya Gastrectomy operation) & Livia Polya from a gifted, orthodox Jewish family. The Polya family was assimilatory and secular, changing…
John Bela (János Béla) Polya, HUNGARY, 1939
Lionel and Cynthia, both Anglo Indians, had growing concerns for the future of their children, the eldest Richard, Austin, Adrian, Margaret and Delphine the youngest. At the time of arrival the children’s ages ranged from 13 years to 18 years…
Lionel and Cynthia (nee Hicks) D’Cruze, India, 1971
Migrating to Australia in 1947 to marry led to a good and fulfilling life for Aphrodity Cretan.
Aphrodity was born in the rural hillside village of Argastiri, in south-west Crete, the youngest of four children for Yeoryos and Eleni Kandilierakis.…
Aphrodity Cretan (nee Kandilierakis), Greece, 1947
GEORGE ADAMS, A LAD FROM SUFFOLK
Born in 1803 in the village of Henstead, Suffolk, in England, George Adams was part of a poor rural family, the son of John Adams and Sarah Lydamore. George had 4 sisters and 5 brothers. At age 17, on 24th July, 1820, George,…
George Adams, England, 1821
My father had a PhD scholarship with University of Sydney which he took up. I was five years old and followed him to Australia with my mother and siblings.
I have very few and disjointed memories of my homeland – we lived in Srinagar, Kashmir (where…
Manar Ahmad, India, 1971
I was a Church of England Child Migrant. My mother and grandmother were of the opinion that Australia would be a better place for me. I recall a Miss Swan telling me how wonderful Australia would be and that I would be going to a place with lots of boys and…
Richard Pittman, UK, 1955
Rosette Tyler was brought to Western Australia by her mother Elizabeth Tyler along with her brother & sister on the ship Medic in 1908. Her father Robert Emeric Tyler had earlier come to the WA goldfields with his father (a London architect) …
Rosette Tyler, England, 1908
Reason for leaving homeland – I wanted to find new horizons.My foster brother had already migrated to Geraldton WA.
The journey for me was a one off. I had never been on a cruise before and have never been on one since. We sailed past Gibraltar …
Constance Ella Scrimshaw, England, 1963
Story: Geza Lakatos (1890-1967), General in the Hungarian Army, Prime Minister of Hungary, migrant.
In 1910 he graduated as second-lieutenant officer from Ludovika Academy, the Military College of Hungary in Budapest. He served as army infantry…
Geza Lakatos, Hungary, 1965
Rudolf (Rezső) Bozoky was born in Siófok, an idyllic vacation town on the shores of the vast Lake Balaton, surrounded by beautiful rural countryside. His father was a marine mechanical engineer serving in large River Danube ships plying between…
Rudolf Bozoky, Hungary, 1957
Reason for leaving homeland – It has been a Unhappy Country !
My own story : At My Dream’s Destination
(Shopneyer Thikanaye )
Since my birth in early 1960s, I spent over four decades in the traditional Bangla Speakers’ Land: Bangladesh.…
Fouzia Shibli, Bangladesh, 2006
Story : Dr. GEORGE F. (GY…RGY F.) BORNEMISSZA A.O., entomologist, research scientist, naturalist-ecologist, world authority on beetles (1924 – )
In 1983 George retired to Sandy Bay in Tasmania. But the introduced bovine dung beetles…
Dr George Bornemissza, Hungary, 1951
Dr. GEORGE F. (GY…RGY F.) BORNEMISSZA A.O., entomologist, research scientist, naturalist-ecologist, world authority on beetles (1924 – )
George F. Bornemissza was born in Baja, Hungary, on 11 February 1924 to Katalin Bornemissza…
Dr George Bornemissza, Hungary, 1951
My Life as Deshantory (The Emigrant) !
I was born in Hobigonj City of Jalalabad-Sylhet region. From my very early years I used to Dream that when I would reach the Teenage stage I would permanently Quit my Country of Birth & Emigrate to an Island…
Jamil Shibli, JALALABAD, Mar-90
Reason for leaving homeland – To have a better life.
My Great-Great-Grandfather Juwanna left Amoy, China as a 18 year old in 1848 on the Barque called the ” NIMROD ” arriving in New South Wales, Australia.
Juwanna took whatever…
Juwanna Wan, Amoy, China, 1848
My mother with my sister (5 months) me (7 years) and our grandparents must leave Nova-Pazova at the 6.October 1944 – about WW2. With the last train to Austria (Braunau-Camp), became a place in Lerz-Waldzell (township Ried). Went there to school…
Johann Staufenberger, Nova-Pazoa (Jugoslawia), Xmas 1960
I am relating this on behalf of my father who died in 1993. My parents wanted to make a better life for themselves and me, their daughter.
We arrived on one of the ships in which the sleeping arrangements were large bunk rooms and husbands and wives were…
Matthias Fillip, Austria, 1954
We don’t know the reason our Grandmother at 25yrs left her native land and sailed on the “SS Otranto” to Fremantle, West Australia. Her Mother and siblings emigrated to Canada a short time later. Life in Scotland would have been…
Margaret Jane Ann Maxwell (nee Johnston), Scotland, 1911
My father was one of nine children born in Melissa Italy in 1920. He was forced to leave school after his first grade due to the need to work and help the family who were poor. He worked for the family until the Second World War where he served as an Italian…
Francesco Cosentino, Italy, 1959
DAVID DALE MORGAN came from an unlikely combination of people. A father who travelled half way round the world at three years of age with his family from Durham, England to become a farmer on the Waikato River in New Zealand. John Morgan introduced …
David Dale Morgan OAM, New Zealand, c1948