Booklet issued in the United Kingdom by the Australian Department of Immigration in 1963. It details for intending migrants such issues as maternity allowances, child endowment, national fitness, health benefits, hospital benefits, age pensions, and funeral benefits; as well as what would be needed 'for your voyage'. This is one of many booklets in the 'Facts About...' series produced and reproduced throughout the 1950s-1970s by the Australian Department of Immigration as a series of subject-specific information guides for intending migrants from the UK and Europe. The booklet was part of the Myerscough's package of information materials as they prepared to migrate to Australia from England in 1963 and kept as a souvenir of their migration experiences.

John and Doreen Myerscough migrated to Australia from Liverpool in England with their daughters Jill and Julie on 20 November 1963. Searching for greater opportunities and with savings behind them, they took advantage of the Australian Government's 'Nest Egg Scheme'. They were also assisted ten pound migrants. The family sailed on the P&O Orient Line SS Canberra and settled in Melbourne where the climate was said to be similar to that of England. They transferred directly to Altona Migrant Hostel and ended up staying there (most unusually) for two years. John worked on the Geelong-Melbourne oil pipeline, in construction, and as a sub-contractor all over Victoria installing ceilings. Doreen had another baby Paul and later worked at Rothman's cigarette factory in Brooklyn. The couple purchased a block of land in Melton, promoted as a growth suburb, but the potential for isolation, as well as the couple's inability to really get ahead, made them decide to give up the dream and return to England. They paid their full fares, sold their land and returned to Liverpool on the P&O Orient Line SS Oriana on 21 January 1966. However, the challenges they experienced inspired them to strive and succeed, and John and Doreen have subsequently become frequent tourist visitors to Australia.

Physical Description

Booklet with soft paper cover. Two staples in spine. Front cover entitled: 'Facts about Health and Social Services in Australia'. Dated July 1963. Volume number: No. 6 (a). B/W images. Black text. Image caption text in orange. 15pages. Section entitled: 'Hospital Benefits' has been marked with an asterix in pen. Back cover has image of teenage boys surfing with the words: 'They're healthy in Australia's sunshine'. Dated July 1963


The Myerscough migration documents collection offers the unique opportunity to record the experiences of a migrant family who returned home. It is extremely difficult to capture the narratives of the people for whom migration was a negative or unsuccessful experience and who cut their losses and left. Return migration by its very nature is challenging to document through memory and material culture from the receiving country as people tend to be geographically distant, as well as frequently reluctant to record their negative experiences often accompanied by a sense of failure.

More Information