Immigration to Victoria - a Timeline

This timeline provides a brief overview of key moments in Victoria's immigration history by highlighting significant policy and social developments, shifts in population and demographics, and the impact of immigration upon Indigenous Australians.

As a decade by decade summary, it is a useful starting point for exploring a variety of themes relating to immigration such as policy, immigration schemes, immigration debate, and national identity. Also included are links to relevant collections online, historical images from each period and statistics, illustrating population growth in Australia and Victoria since 1830.

Each decade has been illustrated by contemporary cartoonist, Oslo Davis, exploring and commenting upon a key issue or figure from that period. Based in Melbourne, Oslo’s work can be found in The Age, The New York Times, The Big Issue, The Wheeler Centre and Meanjin. He has also done work for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and did a Creative Fellowship residency with the State Library of Victoria.

Many of the themes can be investigated in more detail at the Immigration Museum, through the Immigrant Stories and Timeline and most particularly through the exhibition Getting In.

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This video includes Oslo Davis discussing his work as well as Senior Curator of Migration, Dr Moya McFadzean, exploring the role of historical cartoons then and now and what they tell us about how we have changed as a society.
Click for visual overview