In the ten years immediately following the Second World War, some 170 000 immigrants from Europe and Britain arrived in Australia. First published in 1988, this unique book recreates the experiences of those who fled a ravaged Europe to seek a new life in far-distant Australia. Their stories are told in the words of the people themselves, supplemented with photographs, documents, press reports and memorabilia.
These stories of over 100 Australians, New and Old, stories sometimes humorous and often very moving, provide a fascinating insight into a significant moment in Australian history. As the first definitive examination of life in the migrant camps, it documents a part of Australian history in danger of vanishing without trace.
Never before has there been such a collection of intensely personal accounts of what it was like to pass through the immigration centres and workers’ hostels on the way to building new lives – and to shaping present-day Australia.
Table of Contents
Part 1: In Transit 1. Displaced Persons 2. Australia? 3. Southward Bound 4. First Impressions Part 2: Just an Ordinary Town 5. A Very Basic Army Hut 6. Community on the Fringe 7. Child’s Play 8. Food and Friction 9. The Status Quo 10. A Unique Experience Part 3: New Australians 11. A Mobile Workforce 12. The Last Convicts? 13. The Language Prison 14. Australia is Different 15. The Migrant Experience 16. Here to Stay.