The Immigrant Stories and Timeline Gallery shifts the focus of visitors from a global to a very local and personalised perspective. The central exhibition features five displays each highlighting a personal story to represent a different period in Australia's immigration history: 1800-1900, 1901-1940, 1940s-1960s, 1970s-1980s and 1990s-Present. These stories are supplemented by two further display cases in the subsequent Journey of a Lifetime gallery. These cases, each of which changes on an annual rotation, tell personal stories through objects, images, text and audio visual presentations. The selection of stories aims to achieve a broad diversity of representation in terms of country and culture of origin, gender, motivation for migrating and settlement experiences. Each story also includes a contextual text panel, which expands on a particular migration theme represented by the personal story - for example World War II internment, chain migration, migrant textile workers, Empire Settlement Scheme, and migrant hostels. The displays are developed in variety of ways depending on the particular story - through the Museum's own collections, often only recently acquired, through family loans and community collaborations.
Also featured is an Immigration Timeline which runs around the perimeter of the gallery. Through text and images it provides a decade by decade summary of key moments in Victoria's immigration history, highlighting significant policy and social developments, shifts in population and demographics, debate and the impact of immigration upon Indigenous Australians.
The exhibition is supported by an online version of the Immigration Timeline which features links to migration objects for each decade and cartoons by Melbourne cartoonist Oslo Davis who provides a contemporary interpretation on key migration issues over time.Museum Victoria objects featured in past and present Immigrant Stories can be explored by following the links to collections online listed below.
Further Exhibition Content
The current Immigrant Stories cases currently on display are
1800-1900: John Cotton, England, 1843
1901-1940: Gung family, China
1940s-1960s: Edda Azzola, Italy, 1955
1970s-1980s: Youssef, Romanos and Tansa Eid, Lebanon, 1960s you can find out more about the Eid brothers on the discovery centre website
1990s-Present: Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2009
Some of the past Immigrant Stories are
- Neil Black, Scotland, 1839
- Lili Sigalas, Greece, 1922
- Susannah Nicholls, England, 1923
- Karl Muffler, Germany, 1930
- Leopoldine Mimovich, Poland, 1949
- Anna Apinis, Latvia, 1950
- Jose Alonso, Cuba 1968, you can find out more about Jose on the discovery centre website
- Mai Ho, Vietnam, 1981
- Masumi Hiraga-Jackson, Japan, 1985 - Gaston Munoz, Chile, 1987, you can find out more about Gaston on the discovery centre website
- Nyabana Riek, southern Sudan, 1995
- Bul Bulkoch, southern Sudan, 1996