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Post World War II Immigration in Photographs
Image: Digital Photograph - Man Embarking Ship to Immigrate to Australia from Macedonia, 1964
Source: Museum Victoria
In the years after World War II, immigration changed the face of Victoria. In a drive to increase national security and post-war economic development, nearly three million immigrants arrived in Australia between 1945 and 1970, of whom almost a third disembarked in Melbourne. Amongst them were over 200,000 refugees. They came from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece and Latvia, although almost every second immigrant still came from Britain. Australia's immigration program became the second largest in the world, relative to its population (the largest being Israel).
The 1958 Migration Act finally removed references to race, opening the door to non-discriminatory immigration policy. However, non-European immigration to Australia remained limited until the passage of the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975.
At a time when inexpensive cameras were affordable to most, photographs provide an important record of these changing times: immigrants arriving in Melbourne, staying in migrant hostels, building their first home, celebrating family weddings and birthdays, children playing in the streets and family holidays by the beach. New suburbs are seen growing from bare fields, and old suburbs take on new appearances. Collectively, such photographs mark out the construction of life in a new country: new social networks, new places to live, key moments, and ways that ideals are fulfilled or challenged.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 11 - 17) 17 items
Black and white photograph showing Ivan Kucan and friends eating ice cream at Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre, 1950. The men are probably resting during a work project. According to ...From: Bonegilla, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing Ivan Kucan and an unknown friend, working to build a house, Newport, 1951. According to Ivan Kucan's family, in 1949 the Kucan family migrated to Au ...From: Newport, Australia Images: 2
Black and white photograph showing Ivan Kucan and a friend with their tomato plants, at Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre, 1950. According to Ivan Kucan's family, in 19 ...From: Bonegilla, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing Michael Clarke and an unknown friend at the Nunawading Migrant Hostel, 1958-1959. Michael and his family came out from Nuneaton, Warwickshire Englan ...From: Nunawading, Australia Images: 2
Black and white photograph showing Doris Atkinson sitting with her children Joan and Geoffrey on a park bench in Middle Park, 1949. The Atkinson family had only just arrived as migran ...From: Middle Park, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing a view of MV 'Georgic', the ship the Atkinson family arrived on as British migrants to Australia. According to the family it was 'the first all-Briti ...From: Port Melbourne, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing Todorce Spasevski walking off a gang-plank from a ship to a pier in Macedonia, 1964. According to the family, he was getting ready to embark the ship ...Images: 1