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.
My childhood was spent in Vienna, Austria a city ravaged by a horrendous world war.
Then followed 10 years of allied occupation, inflation, recessions and the constant struggle for my mother trying to bring up six children on her own.
Barely 14 years…
Ernest Langer, Austria, 1957
I was young and wanted to see a bit of the world, My sister had migrated the year before and she wanted help with her young family, so I decided I would like to emigrate.
I travelled on board the MV Fairsea and there were four English girls and four Scottish…
Helen Lee, Scotland, 1959
George and his wife Maria (nee Faithful) departed England for a better life in Australia.
They sailed from London on the 11th Jan 1844 on board the barque “Sea Queen”.
Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born at sea on the 18th of Feb 1844. …
George II Good, England, 1844
My wife Moira, and I left Scotland mainly to travel, and work in another country.
Moira and I were married 4 weeks before we left for Australia.
We were given an opportunity to come to Australia to work , so, with youthful exuberance, we took, what we …
Ian and Moira Scotland, Scotland UK, 1969
The Medza family fled Hungary as refugees on the 21 November 1956, due to the Hungarian Revolution (Freedom Fight) which commenced on the 23 October 1956 against the terror puppet Stalinist Communist regime of Rakosi. We fled Hungary on a very frosty…
Istvan & Family Medza, Hungary, 1957
[Reason for leaving homeland]
At 17 years of age he migrated to Australia, under the Dreadnought Scheme, a joint venture between the United Kingdom and Australia to bring young people to Australia to work on the land. He was one of ten children from…
Robert (Bob) Gordon, Scotland, 1926
Peter Bryan Brownlow & Theresa Brownlow emigration to Australia October1966
I was finding it very hard to settle down in England after being abroad in Malaya doing my national service 1958 Ð 1960; also the winter month\’s had a detrimental…
Peter Brownlow, England, 1966
My Great grandfather Patrick McGrath together with his 18 year old brother Michael left Scarriff in County Clare in Ireland in search of a better life for himself, his ten siblings, and his parents. He and Michael came as Bounty migrants on the “Duchess…
Patrick McGrath, Ireland, 1841
As with most immigrants after WWII my parents came to Australia for a better life not only for themselves but also for their children. My parents had spent 7 years in the forced labour camps of Germany. My father had served in the Polish army. With the…
Jan and Janina Budzinski, Poland, 1949
Peter left Germany with his parents, Feliks & Kornelia, to emigrate to Australia after World War II. Feliks, from Poland, had been in forced labor under the Nazis for 5 years. Kornelia, a single mother from the Ukraine, was in Germany when war…
Peter Skrzynecki, Germany, 1949
John Marris was born in Kirton in Lindsey, a market town 18 miles north of Lincoln, England. His wife, Susanna, was born in Nottingham, England.
John and Susanna emigrated to Australia from Nottingham in 1839 with their 6 children, sailing on the …
John Marris, England, 1840
William R Muirhead.
At the age of 18 William, who was born in Scotland, joined the London branch of the Bank of Adelaide. Three years later he was transferred to the Bank’s head office in Adelaide, arriving on board the R.M.S. Ormuz on 6th January…
William Muirhead, Scotland, 1908
Philomena (Phyllis) Iermano immigrated from Plati, Italy at the age of 7 together with her mother to join her father who had migrated to Australia earlier. The family settled in Griffith, NSW where Phyllis met and married Bruno Favetta in 1945. Together…
Philomena (Phyllis) Iermano, Italy, 1933
Bruno Natale Favetta immigrated from San Zeno Di Montagna, Italy at the age of 13. He travelled alone to meet his father who had migrated earlier. Together they raised fares for the family to join them in Australia.
He settled in Griffith, NSW. Married…
Bruno Favetta, Italy, 1934
Though born in Bulgaria, my family lived in Hungary. My father was an Orthodox priest sent to serve the large Bulgarian market gardening community in the University town of Pecs in south western Hungary. While there, my father completed a Law Degree.…
Victoria Valchev- Zabukovec, Bulgaria, 1948
Daniel Brice lived at Cockleshell Walk, Sittingbourne, Kent, England. He was employed in the town’s brickmaking yard in Effingham Street which was previously called Brick Street. It is not known why Daniel decided to leave England but it…
Daniel Brice, England, 1853
Eliza Linklater born in Stromness, Orkney Islands on 11th January 1855, the sixth of eight children of William Linklater (b. 1813, d. 17 March 1882, Kirbister, Orkney) and his wife Margaret Stockand (b. 1818).
Eliza\’s siblings spread across…
Eliza Linklater, Orkney Islands, 1875
Richard Ellem, the founder of the huge Ellem clan in Australia, was born in Warrington, Lancashire. His family was heavily involved in the rope making industry. The uneducated Richard, at the age of 17 was found guilty of stealing a plough beam worth…
Richard Ellem, England, 1818
Rachel was born in Achworth, Yorkshire. Her family had been in that area for generations. She had two children before marrying Thomas Milthorpe, a ‘farming servant’ in 1837. Neither Rachel nor her husband could sign their names on …
Rachel Trueman, England, 1844
Thomas Rawlings the Younger
Thomas Rawlings arrived in New South Wales on the ship “Parmella” on 16th November 1832.convicted of Robbing Master, transported for 14 Years.
He was born in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire in 1811, having …
Thomas Rawlings, England, 1832
Auguste Simeon was the youngest of eight children born into a farming family in Hammersville, Loraine, France. He was schooled until the age of 14. He went into the service of the Viscount Boureparte in Champly. He went on to Paris and learnt the shop…
Auguste Simeon, France, 1853
Biagio boarded the ship ‘Protea’ at Messina, Italy on 21st May 1951. As he bade farewell to his pregnant wife Francesca and their 8 month old daughter Maria, Francesca thought she would see her husband again in 2 years.
Biagio & Francesca Settineri, Italy, 1951, 1956
William Begg a draper, then commercial traveller, after emigrating from Aberdeen, Scotland. He married Elizabeth Mary Yeowell and they lived at “Yemboon”, Herston Road, Kelvin Grove. His grand-daughter, Ces remembers: “The…
William Begg, Scotland, 1874
Norberto was raised on a family farm in the mountain area of Camacha on Madeira Island, Portugal. He was the second youngest of 5 children and worked as a wicker worker making cane baskets from the age of 12. His love of soccer meant he grew up playing …
Norberto Jardim Freitas, Portugal, 1972
Albertina grew up on a farming property, overlooking the sea, on a hillside of Madeira Island, Portugal. She was the second eldest of 11 children in a happy family. With the equivalent of only year 4 primary school education, she worked on the family…
Albertina Quintal Freitas, Portugal, 1974
I emigrated from Scotland in 1970 with my wife Wilma and 18 month old son Martin, in search of a better life style. Having worked in a bank for 10 years, I was confident of obtaining similar employment in Australia
The journey started at Kilmarnock railway…
Roderick Macleod, Scotland, 1970
George Green at the age of 12 was not the first of the Green family to arrive in Australia. His father Amaziah’s sister, Charlotte Green was sentenced to penal service and came to Australia aboard the H.M.S. “Glatton” in 1803. …
George Green, England, 1822