Immigrant Stories and Timeline

Immigrant Stories and Timeline Daily, Now Showing
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Immigration is about us all - those who were here and those who came.

Everyone has a story to tell – about ourselves, our families, friends and ancestors. It is in the telling of these stories that we can begin to understand Victoria’s rich histories.

This gallery explores why people have migrated to Victoria, where they settled and how they started a new life here. The stories change annually and represent a diverse array of time periods, motivations and cultural backgrounds. Some feature Museum Victoria collections, others have been developed through partnerships with families and communities.

Stories now showing

  • John Cotton, English migrant and ornithologist, 1843
  • Edda Azzola, Italian migrant and textile outworker, 1955
  • Youssef, Romanos and Tansa Eid, Lebanese migrants and Melbourne taxi drivers, 1960s
  • Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa, refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and artist, 2009
  • Gung family, three Chinese generations since 1890


View video with transcript

Around the walls of the gallery is an immigration timeline that highlights key events in the history of immigration to Victoria and its impact upon Australia’s Aboriginal communities.


Event Type: Permanent Exhibition

Daily, Now Showing
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Extended Hours
Fridays in February until 9:00PM

Immigration Museum

Included with museum entry.
Museum Members receive FREE museum entry. 

Comments (19)

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oksana 7 September, 2010 17:40
what countries moved to Australia in the 1900's to 1910's
Discovery Centre 9 September, 2010 12:47

Hi Oksana, check out our Origins website, heaps of information about the various community groups that now call Australia home.

from eighty year old 5 October, 2010 12:01
I came to Australia in 1948 with my parents and brother and sister.I honoured our family by subscribing to a plaque on the Tribute Wall. Now that I am less able to travel, I find that the Tribute Wall is a wonderful place to visit for remembrance instead of having to travel nearly 250ks to visit their grave. It is also a central point for the extended family to gather to contemplate on the journey of a lifetime of their ancestors.
Hi 3 September, 2015 13:13
shelley Biasin 8 December, 2010 22:13
I love this idea of a tribute wall, we recently lost the man who brought the Biasin family to Australia, I would love to give my father in law this as a gift for his 60th birthday next year. Can someone please tell me how I go about subscribing to a plaque and what information is required. I think he would really love this gift of love and tribute to his own father and his family.
Discovery Centre 11 December, 2010 12:22

Hi Shelley, we have an article about the various gardens and walls where you are able to pay tribute to migrants.

rin 24 May, 2011 20:04
oh wow!! im going here with my friends soon!! im so interested already!! I WANNA GO NOW!!! XD
lois daley 1 September, 2011 10:39
I have lookedc through your website and am having trouble finding any stories of Greek migration and what they have accomplished since the 1950's esp in the field of their businees life ..I live in Port Melbourne and saw/see and experienced much of the Greek community who bought their homes here in port melbourne..Is there anything on display to show this marvellous experience which changed the suburb for the better....regards Lois Daley 1.9.2011
Antonio Galimany 4 September, 2011 17:08
My parents came to Melbourne from Barcelona in 1910 {father} and 1912 {mother}. I am looking forward to attending the catalan footprint exhibition on September 11.
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Beverley Morrow 30 October, 2011 19:34
My family arrived in Melbourne on January 1st 1975 on the Ellinis passenger ship. I'm looking for any footage of the ship crossing the equator which I believe was in an exhibition at the museum in 2009.
Discovery Centre 1 November, 2011 11:53
Hi Beverley, please go to our image requests page to submit your enquiry.
Eve Dawson 4 February, 2012 00:40
My family (Mother, Father & baby brother 3 months old) arrived in Australia in 1970 we sailed on the 'Australis' Sitmar Line. We lived in Brisbane at Kangeroo Point Immigration Hostel, then moved to Castle Hill, Townsville then lived on Magnetic Island. Cyclone Althea prompted us to move down to Willaimstown, Melbourne. This was all in the space of 3 years. We eventually returned home to England, my Father was desperate to return home, I on the other hand was devastated. I would have stayed had I been older.
Agnes Herron 31 May, 2012 21:57
I migrated with my mother and two brothers in September 1952 on the SS Roma (Floatta Laura Lines). I loved the Journeys of a Liftime exhibition well worth seeing thank u.
Jill McDougall 30 July, 2012 23:38
My partner and I were amazed to discover that not only are we both direct descendants of people who came on the First Fleet but that our ancestors had travelled on the same ship - all three of them! (My ancestors Colonel Johnstone and the convict Esther Abraham came on the same ship, then married and established a property they called Annandale.
Anonymous 3 December, 2012 13:54
Hey i was just wondering what the building that immigraters go and get interviewed is called
Peter Riley 25 January, 2013 15:53
We arrived here in 1958. Like countless others before and after us, NOT because Australia seemed so good but because where we came from proved to be so bad. This point is overlooked by most "dinkum Aussies". Our experience was not all feelgood, there was a lot of negativity and prejudice against "newcomers" and like most of us in those days we grew first tired and then indifferent to the "wog" and "why don't you go back where you came from?" comments, to name two of a thousand derogatories. "God's own country?" Haven't heard that slogan for a very long, long time anymore.....
Fadhil 11 September, 2013 11:21
Where did they come from?
Antoinette Dakota 8 September, 2014 14:42
Fabulous to see our wonderful Indigenous given a face and voice. We have so much to learn from these amazingly resourceful people. In fact, they deserve a whole ongoing exhibition unto themselves. We ought to exalt them, be proud of our origins and let them thrive as they well did for tens of thousands of years before we got here.
Ann Reid 24 June, 2015 10:01
I came to Australia in May 1973 as a Ten pound pome with my best friend I was 20 years old. Melbourne was are home and we stayed with my friends family who had emigrated some years before,The fact we could not leave the country for two years or we would have to pay back the cost of the fare made a lot of people very home sick and many returned home only to return again I loved Australia and lived there 15 years marrying an Aussie and having 4 children all born in Australia and living there today having given me five beautiful Aussie grandchildren.I thank the Australian people for letting me live and be part of there beautiful country I would love to be on the plaque with all the names of people who came to live in Australia if I can. My grandchildren are 6th generation Australians.