From across the sea - the museum's migration program explores our cultural heritage.

The arrival of waves of more than ten million migrants by boat and plane is one of the major themes in Australia’s history, and a foundation narrative of modern Australia, infusing our country with more than 200 different cultural and linguistic traditions. Was your family among them? 

Nearly half of all Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. Migrants have contributed enormously to the making of modern Australia - we believe museums sharing their stories can increase our understanding of the unique challenges many migrants face.

Image: Group of migrants on the deck of MV Castel Verde, Italy, 1950–1957. ANMM Collection Gift from Barbara Alysen. Reproduced courtesy International Organisation for Migration. ANMM Collection ANMS02014[024]

Explore their stories:

Learn more about our migration activities

Past exhibitions and events (.pdf 181kb)

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Migration Achievements Report (.pdf 3MB)

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Migration Blogs

Discover our shared histories through these compelling migration stories.

Migration and photography: The Skaubryn archive

28 Mar 2018

One of our most significant collections documents the fire and rescue on the Norwegian liner Skaubryn in the Indian Ocean in 1958. A selection of these photographs is now displayed in our Tasman Light Gallery to mark the 60th anniversary of the Skaubryn disaster.

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The beautiful Balts – 70 years on

28 Nov 2017

At the museum, we hold a rich collection of ephemera. Many of these items go on to acquire a lasting historical or social significance, such as a letter that was sent to a passenger on the former troopship USAT General Stuart Heintzelman in 1947.

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Remembering the White Russians

07 Nov 2017

The October Revolution in Russia, which occurred 100 years ago today on 7 November 1917 (or 25 October in the old Julian calendar), would lead to the exodus of the refugees known as White Russians or white émigrés.

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The elusive Mrs Cherry

06 Nov 2017

In our own museum’s immigration collection are two intriguing watercolour albums that were created by traveller and amateur cartoonist, Mrs M E Cherry, in the 1930s.

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Fifty years of Turkish migration

05 Oct 2017

Fifty years ago today, on 5 October 1967, the Australian and Turkish governments signed a bilateral agreement to provide assisted passage to Turkish migrants, to help build Australia’s population and expand the workforce.

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Welcome Wall September 2017

12 Sep 2017

Last Sunday, around 900 people attended a special ceremony at the museum which saw 339 new names unveiled on the museum’s migrant Welcome Wall. The Welcome Wall stands in honour of all those who have migrated from around the world to live in Australia.

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