Digital image copied from black and white photograph showing Giuseppe (John) Minniti standing outside his home in Newel Street Footscray in May, 1955. This image relates to the small wooden hand made travelling case, made and used by Giuseppe Giovanni Minniti when he migrated to Melbourne from his home in Limpidi, Calabria in Italy in 1950.

Giuseppe wished to avoid national service in Yugoslavia and departed from Messina, Italy on the ship 'Sebastiano Caboto' on 23 March, travelling alone via the Suez Canal. He arrived at Victoria Dock Melbourne on 22 April 1950. Giuseppe made the small suitcase in a hurry in order to carry items at the request of friends and relatives to take with him to people in Melbourne. He had another trunk to transport his own personal belongings. Soon after his arrival he moved to South Gippsland where he worked as a farm hand. Almost three months later, Giuseppe moved back to Melbourne and after a short stint at the Windsor Smith shoe factory in Fitzroy, he joined the Victorian Railways at Footscray Station for eight years. Giuseppe purchased a house in Footscray and rented out rooms to two other men. At this time he also had an informal barber's outlet from home where he cut hair for family, friends and neighbours. He married Giulia in 1959, moved to another house in Footscray and the couple had four children. From 1967 the couple ran a milk bar for seven years and then Giuseppe worked for Repco for the rest of his working life.

Description of Content

A man standing alone on a street in front of houses.

Physical Description

Black and white digital image.


This photo relates to Giuseppe Minniti's travelling case which is an iconic symbol of the migrant experience, reflecting the journey, and the modesty of the number of possessions brought. The inscriptions offer a very personalised and visual record the individual's departure point and destination. The case was originally purchased in an opportunity shop and its historical value was substantially increased in 2012 when the family recognised their father's case on the Museum's website and contacted the Museum in order to share their family story and photographs.

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