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.

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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Needlework sampler made by Julia Donovan on board Carnatic en route to Australia, 1879

A migration story in stitch

28 Jul 2015

One of my favourite objects in the museum’s collection is a charming needlework sampler made by 19-year-old assisted immigrant Julia Donovan on board the Carnatic in January 1879. Immigration records show that Julia arrived in Rockhampton, Queensland, from England on 5 February 1879, and presumably went into domestic service in the growing port town.

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