Baggage label supplied by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), to German migrant Guenter Schneider, recording his ship, the J.v.Oldenbarnevelt, sailing date, December 11, 1954 and destination, Melbourne Australia. The Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) was established in Geneva in 1951 to help resettle people displaced after World War II. As a member, Australia made arrangements to accept assisted migrants with a number of European countries including Austria, Belgium, Greece and Spain.

Guenter and Ann Schneider migrated to Australia from Neustadt, Germany through the Australian/West German Assisted Passage Scheme, travelling on the Dutch Nederland Line ship MV 'Johan van Oldenbarnevelt' from 11 December 1954 until 13 January 1955. Guenter and Ann left Germany due to experiencing economic hardship, and also enticed by good reports from a German friend who had already migrated to Tasmania. They were transported directly from Station Pier to Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre in northern Victoria. Their first and only child Patrick was born at Albury Hospital soon after they arrived in June 1955. They later relocated to Mount Beauty in north-eastern Victoria where Guenter, a motor mechanic by trade, was employed as a general labourer on the Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme, probably in fulfilment of the standard two year government work contract compulsory for assisted migrants. In 1962 they moved to Morwell in the Victorian La Trobe Valley where Guenter was employed as a turbine operator. He was employed there by the State Electricity Commission until his retirement in the 1990s.

Physical Description

Small rectangular card printed in blue and grey with white type. Metal hole punch at one end. Passenger details completed with both stamped information and handwritten text. Reverse side printed in blue with 'ICEM' and a line drawing of a ship superimposed over the top.


Statement of Significance;
This item is part of a collection which enables the documentation of the experiences of post World War II German migrants who came via the Australian/West German Assisted Passage Scheme. This was one of many agreements established between the Australian Government and the governments of numerous European countries to encourage post-war migration. This agreement was ratified in 1952. The collection also links to the history of the Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme which employed many post-war migrants and which receives less attention in comparison to the better known Snowy Mountains Scheme, both managed at the time by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. Finally a number of the documents relate to one of the best known migrant ships the Dutch Nederland Line MV ‘Johan van Oldenbarnevelt’.

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