Who were the people who came to Australia?

Poster advertising Australia to British men and women. Blue, white and red, featuring the southern cross.

Australia - the land of opportunity

NAA: A434, 1949/3/21685

Since Australia became a nation in 1901, federal governments have adopted many different migration policies. In the decades after Federation, official campaigns sought to attract migrants, mainly from Britain, recognising that Australia needed a bigger population to develop its resources and provide for its stability and security. In more recent decades, many of the people coming to Australia have been seeking refuge due to conflicts or natural disasters in their home countries.

Get thinking

  • What are some of the reasons people have left their own countries to migrate to Australia?
  • What are some of the features of Australia that would attract people from other countries?
  • Many Australian families can trace their migration history. Does your family have any stories of people who have migrated to Australia?

Get going

  • Click on record links below to see more primary sources.
  • Click on the 'about' tab attached to some of the records to learn about that record.