Postwar migrant experiences of Australia

Child at Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre, Victoria.

In the aftermath of World War II, the Australian Government embarked on a large-scale immigration program in order to strengthen the economy, infrastructure and defence of the nation. Promotional campaigns presented Australia as a welcoming place that offered great opportunities. For many Europeans displaced by World War II, Australia seemed like it would be paradise. Starting a new life on the other side of the globe, however, came with numerous challenges.

Get thinking:

  • What were the migrants' first impressions of life in Australia?
  • What challenges did they experience?
  • How did migrants overcome these challenges?

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.

Records