Share a Story

Share a Story is a collection of immigration stories that explores the experience of migration to Victoria. The stories reflect on the reasons why migrants left home; the journey to Australia; their thoughts and feelings when they first settled here; and their subsequent lives in their new country.

We welcome you to share your own story or your family’s story of immigration to Victoria below. Stories be entered into the Share a Story database and can be read in the Discovery Centre at Immigration Museum.

The story should focus on the experience of leaving your home country, the journey and arrival in Victoria. Samples of stories can be found on our Question of the Week linked at right. Please also give your country of origin, place and year of arrival and the name of the ship or plane.

Each story must be under 350 words and any contributions exceeding this will not be added.

Terms and Conditions of Share a Story contributions

  • By contributing a story, the contributor understands and consents to the story being published and being used by Museum Victoria for exhibition or website related purposes.
  • Museum Victoria reserves the right to review, edit and alter all contributions.
  • Museum Victoria does not warrant the accuracy of the contributions and is not responsible for correcting any inaccuracies.
  • Museum Victoria does not guarantee that all stories contributed will be published or accessible at all times.
  • Full conditions of use for online contributions can be found at the bottom of this page.

Comments (24)

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Roma Mulder 22 April, 2012 13:44

My husband Hendrik Pieter Mulder (Henk) arrived with his family in December 1956 on the Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt. He was 17. They travelled to Bonegilla Camp, but soon left for Warren NSW to work on his uncle Jack Lindhout's farm. He married 1964 and had a daughter Sandra Lee. He died of Mesothelioma in September 2011. He was exposed to asbestos while in the building game in the early 1960s. He did volunteer work from 2004 in Kalgoorlie and remote Aboriginal communities sharing his building skills.

JULIA HANN 17 January, 2013 22:47
I am trying to locate relatives who emmigrated to Australia in 1952 from Glasgow, Scotland on the ship called the “Cameronia” bound to Sydney. The family consisted of a James Moran (born circa 1914), his wife Mary (born circa 1911), a son James (born circa 1940), a son William (born circa 1943) and a son Ronald (born circa 1950). how can I find out where they went to from the Boat? can you point me in right direction? thank you
Discovery Centre 18 January, 2013 16:45

Hi Julia,

Finding missing family is something that is very hard to do, due to Privacy Laws and the fact that locating people takes a lot of effort. We do have a webpage that may help, it is called Locating living people. It contains links to various Government agencies, as well as tips on where to go looking.

Chris Griffiths 16 January, 2014 23:10
I am researching my fathers journey from Southampton on the ss. Esperance Bay on 8th March 1939 to Sydney, arriving 6th April 1939. His name was Henry Felton D.O.B. 11/8/1924. He was 14 yrs old at the time and travelled with his 16 yr old brother Peter Felton. It was an assisted passage but I don't know who arranged it (YMCA, Salvation Army, Big Brother movement,?) any info off anyone about anything would be appreciated. Thanks.
Discovery Centre 17 January, 2014 15:40
Hi Chris, we have sent you an email with some links and possible leads for information.
lucia Di Fiore 25 January, 2014 21:29
I arrived in Aust 1958 on La Roma. I was eleven y o. Maiden name Tarulli. Recently I visited Station pier, was so moved I wrote a poem on my experience. How can I send it. Lucia
Immigration Discovery Centre 26 January, 2014 12:29
Hi Lucia, sounds great, please feel free to submit your poem in the comments section on this page.
Peter Goerman 26 July, 2014 09:27
I arrived in Melbourne on the 6th of August 1965 aboard the FLAVIA from Germany. I wrote my story at and would be very interested to hear from former shipmates, especially the other five I shared my cabin with. Your suggestion to search the database of is wonderful: I found and ordered copies of all my immigration records for $25. It was a blast from the past! Everybody should do it!
Elisabeth page nee meeuwsen 12 November, 2014 13:30
Our story started in Australia started in December 1956 from Amsterdam to Melbourne on the Johan van oldenbarnevelt there was tony and trudy meeuwsen and 7 children excited about our new country and full of hope. Tony and trudy lived happily in Victoria until both reached the age of 92 left 7 healthy children and now 38 decendents whom are healthy and happy Australians With no regrets and enjoy the freedom and comforts of this great land
Margaret Speer 12 November, 2014 17:32
My great grandfather was born at sea in 1855 on board the Commodore Perry, whilst sailing from England with several hundreds of immigrants for Tasmania and New South Wales. His birth parents were named McKenzie, but his mother died in childbirth. He was adopted by a family named Buchanan and christened on board. They named him Joseph Mundle (after the captain) Chisman (after the 1st officer) McKenzie Buchanan. He was nick-named "Ocean Boy". The Commodore Perry arrived at Launceston. Joseph and his parents made their way to Victoria after a stay in Launceston and he married Janet Johnston in Melbourne. They then came to Adelaide where he was President of The Adelaide Democratic Club. They had 9 children and many of their descendants live in Adelaide and several parts of Australia.
Zoe Cox 23 February, 2016 08:12
Fascinating to read as Captain Mundle was my 3rd Great Grandfather - I love all the facts I'm picking up as I research the family tree.
Joseph Bretland Johnson 25 February, 2017 09:47
I am fascinated like Zoe Cox (to whom I am related because Mundle is my gt gt gt grandfather on my father's side. I am descended through Mundle's grandson Joseph Lamb of Liverpool (1878-1967)who was my gt gdad whom I remember as a boy. Can you pass this on to Zoe with my email as I would like to hear from her. My 81 yr old uncle Brian Johnson and I are researching in the UK. Thank you Bret Johnson
Klaas Salomons 6 December, 2014 21:02
I arrived in Australia on the 23rd August 1950 aged 11 with my parents and brothers and sisters and 2 related families including 9 cousins.We had all lived in the same village in Holland,came on the ship the "Sibajak".Not knowing a word of English.I am now 76 and have been retired for 13 years.Over the last 22 years have been back to Holland (my roots),quite a few times and met up with relatives and thoroughly enjoyed it.Have an Australian wife and who has been back with me.I have never been sorry my parents made the move to Australia's a great country.
Geraldine Watts 11 January, 2015 12:33
Hello, i am researching my family history of my Granparents Jozef and Genowefa Kurek who came from Germany orinially Broitzeme dpac on board the general black 11 to cowra then Bonegilla i have reearched alot but always after any info or photos of them i can get thanks
Angelo Iannacone 23 February, 2015 15:36
Hi There, I arrived in Australia in 1961 as a 2 year old along with my mother and 2 older brothers after the passing of my father in France from a work related accident. We migrated from Italy to Australia as all our immediate & extended families were already here in Australia. I remember our arrival here at Port Melbourne pier as a four year old on the passenger ship Australia and am forever great full to have grown up here in my country Australia. I have done a little research to confirm our arrival dates, ship etc and and was quite pleased to find out.
Shirley king saunders 25 May, 2015 22:50
I and mum dad sister brother went to sydney Feb 1957 on the otranto it was an exciting trip we were the king family my dad went to work at car factory in sydney on the £10 scheme I remember I used to sneak to first class for cake in the afternoon bit of a Tom boy then I'm nearly 69 know is their anyone who was on that trip from tilbury
Kathleen Slingo (nee Will) 20 November, 2015 21:19 exciting to read your entry. I am 68 and was on that voyage with my family all whom have passed. We settled in Melbourne. Trying to put things together after all this time is not so easy.
George Aivatoglou 26 May, 2015 18:04
I arrived in Melbourne aboard the Patris in October 1962. I knew no one in Australia and knew no English. I spent my first night sleeping in the toilets at Port Melbourne. I came from Edessa in Northern Greece as a 24 year old with hopes to work hard in Australia for 2 years and then go home. 53 years later I have been blessed with great success in Australia having spent every winter in that time working every ski season in my own business at Mt Buller .
Graham West 20 June, 2015 15:31
We arrived in Melbourne during Easter 1965. I was 18 at the time, I was worldly educated on the ship, Castle Feliceon the way to Australia. We were educated by the many the Nationalties on the ship. From West Germany, and many other countries in Europe at the time. We were 10pound POMS, like many many others. I am an Australian citizen, and very proud to be. I have served in the Australian defence Forces, Army and R.A.A.F. I resided in Werribee, Victoria. I am now 67 retired due to injury, not choice. I give my time to MY COMMUNITY as a Hon Justice of the Peace for Victoria. I ma very proud to have J.P after my name. I would dearly love to find others from The Castle Felice, who like myself are still here in Victoria. My Dad too 8mm movies on the trip over, Bum Boats at Port Said, British war ships in going like hell through the Canel down to Aden. Meeting Chips Raferty. As well as the faces of many others while on board.
Margaret Drury 19 January, 2016 14:04
My husband, two small children and myself came to Australia on the last voyage of the Castel Felice in September 1970. We stayed at the migrant hostel in Maribyrnong for a couple of months then lived in Carnegie and Frankston.We still live in Frankston South. I have only met a couple of passengers on that ship, most of the people we met on board were travelling to Adelaide sadly we lost touch. We have all been Australian citizens for many years, Australia has been good to us.
Silvia 31 December, 2015 00:36
While my parents were migrating from Italy in 1967, I was born on the Galileo Galilei, arriving in Melbourne on the 19th of October 1967, at 19 days old..... so the story goes, for my mum not to be left behind she said she was only 7 months pregnant, I apparently arriving early at 19 days old, I love my latitude and longitude birth place, thanks to google maps, it was just off the coast of Sierra Leone. The captain and his wife are my Godparents, I went to Trieste on a backpacking trip, I did look them up but they were out of town, i did however managed to contact them years later when i was living in London, they knew instantly who i was when i said my name, after all, i was named after his wife, and the nurse!!! I believe they have since passed away. I have only managed to find one other person who was born on the same ship, you guessed it, we share the same first name.
Janet Thornley nee Morley 2 January, 2016 17:56
I left Tilbury aged 8ys with my parents and younger brother in April 1955.Heading for Australia. I feel honoured to have sailed on such a fine ship. I remember setting off to a band playing and streamers being thrown. The visit to Port Said, with the traders bartering with my parents,sell their wears,the large blue jelly fish in the water, and the people on the land, as we sailed in the evening who were praying. The porpoise and the flying fish, that followed us as we crossed the Indian ocean,have stuck in my mind all these years.....i wouldlove to do the journey again. Our final destination was Melbourne, then by rail to Adelaide, where we stayed at the Finsbury Hostel, for about 6mnths, till my father found us a more permanent home.Both myself and brother, then attended Sturt st,school in Adelaide, until returning to UK in 1958. We now live in Woodhaal Spa in Lincolshire .My dad is still with us.2016 Jan. age 98yrs
Cheryl Mullens 4 January, 2016 08:33
One of my ancestors was an orphan sent out on the ship Pemberton from Ireland after the Irish Famine. She was 17. She married and reared a family. My grandchildren are the eighth generation to live in Australia. She was disembarked in Williamstown and had to walk through marshes to a boat which rowed them to the Old Customs house. Do you have any information of what happened to people like her at the Customs House?
Denise Weiss 1 August, 2016 18:26
My family arrived at Station Pier on 14 September, 1958. We boarded the 'Sydney' ship in Genoa, Italy. Was anyone else on that ship? I don't remember anything as I was only six months old.
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