The Immigrant Stories and Timeline Gallery shifted the focus of visitors from a global to a very local and personalised perspective.

The central exhibition featured 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 were supplemented by two further display cases in the subsequent Journey of a Lifetime gallery. These cases, each of which changed on an annual rotation, told personal stories through objects, images, text and audio visual presentations. The selection of stories aimed 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 included a contextual text panel, which expanded 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 were developed in a 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 was an Immigration Timeline which ran around the perimeter of the gallery. Through text and images it provided 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 First Peoples.

The exhibition was supported by an online version of an Immigration Timeline which featured links to migration objects for each decade and cartoons by Melbourne cartoonist Oslo Davis who provided a contemporary interpretation on key migration issues over time.

Museums Victoria objects featured in past and present Immigrant Stories can be explored by following the links to MV Collections listed below.

Further Exhibition Content

The final Immigrant Stories cases on display:

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.
1990s-Present: Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2009

Some of the previous Immigrant Stories:

- 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.
- Mai Ho, Vietnam, 1981
- Masumi Hiraga Jackson, Japan, 1985
- Gaston Munoz, Chile, 1987.
- Nyabana Riek, southern Sudan, 1995
- Bul Bulkoch, southern Sudan, 1996

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