Doll purchased in Melbourne in 1963 as a gift for Maria Attardi by a relative. Maria was hospitalized, at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, for three weeks with a broken arm at age seven.

She had immigrated to Australia with her mother and two brothers in 1961, to join her father Michele Attardi who was already in Melbourne working. In 1967 Maria, her mother and two brothers, returned to Italy with the aim of remaining. Prior to the journey Maria's mother removed the stuffing from the doll and replaced it with various Australian plant seeds to give to relatives in Italy.

After 11 months in Italy, Maria's mother decided to return to Australia with her children as she didn't see a strong future for them in Italy. Once again Maria's mother stuffed the doll with seeds, this time Italian vegetable seeds, in particular different types of beans, tomatoes, lettuces and other beneficial greens. She recalls it was so full of seeds that it was no longer soft, and her mother instructing her never to put the doll down and to always have it clutched when they arrived in Melbourne.

After this voyage the doll's head continuously fell off and Maria used to say to her mother that the doll 'had a headache' and her mother would sew the head back on.

Physical Description

Doll with vinyl face and hands with pale pink cloth bunny suit body and synthetic hair. Eyes open and close. Label indicates the doll was 'Made in Japan'.


This doll is a rare example of how some immigrants flouted Australia's strict quarantine laws in order to bring in 'something from home'. While the doll is a smuggling tool; it is also a child's toy which represents stories of the ongoing processes of migration, and children's experiences of that upheaval, movement and resettlement.

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