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)

Download

Migration Achievements Report (.pdf 3MB)

Download

Migration Blogs

Discover our shared histories through these compelling migration stories.

370 new names unveiled on the Welcome Wall

05 May 2015

600 people attended a special ceremony at the Australian National Maritime Museum on Sunday 3 May to see 370 new names unveiled on our migrant Welcome Wall in honour of all those who have migrated from around the world by sea or air to live in Australia.

Read more

Australian-Chinese junks and sampans

27 Feb 2014

Every Sunday and Wednesday mornings we would watch for the sails of the Chinese junks to come sailing up the river one behind the other. Red, white & black beacons guided them. Some sails were snowy white, some had …huge patches on and some were old and yellow.

Read more

Waves of migration returns on Australia Day

23 Jan 2014

The museum’s award-winning digital projection Waves of migration returns this Sunday, Australia Day, to once again illuminate the museum’s iconic roofline with a rich tapestry of migration stories drawn from our collection.

Read more

Suitcases, boats and bridges

09 Aug 2013

Last week I was invited to speak about the museum’s work at the Suitcases, boats and bridges: telling migrant stories in Australian museums workshop, organised by Dr Nina Parish from the University of Bath and Dr Chiara O’Reilly from the University of Sydney.

Read more

History and knitting

27 Jun 2013

Over the past few weeks I have been working my way through a wonderful collection of textiles, handcrafts, photographs and family heirlooms donated by Anu Mihkelson, who as a toddler migrated from Sweden to Australia with her Estonian parents Oskar and Magda in 1948.

Read more

Forgotten stories of Indian servants heard 200 years on

31 May 2013

I recently had the privilege of meeting a group of talented voice actors, some professional others amateur, but all great performers. They were hard at work in a recording studio for an audio component of our East of India – Forgotten trade with Australia exhibition.

Read more