Black and white digital photograph of Barbara and John Woods dressed to attend the Foy & Gibsons' cabaret ball in Melbourne in 1959. John was an employed as a door-to-door salesman by Foys until he opened his own drapery store in Lalor in 1966.

Barbara and John Woods married in 1955 and were living in commission housing with extended family in Buckinghamshire, England when they decided to apply for the assisted passage scheme and migrate to Australia. They sailed on the Sitmar Line MV 'Fairsea' from Southampton in 1957 and eventually built their house in Lalor [also referred to in some items in the collection as Thomastown] in 1960. They had a variety of jobs before they opened their own drapery store in Lalor and had four children.

Foy & Gibsons (or Foys) was one of Australia's first department stores, opening as a drapery in Smith Street Collingwood in 1883 and later in Bourke Street Melbourne and other states around Australia. The company manufactured and sold a large range of goods including clothing, manchester, leather goods, soft furnishings, furniture, hardware and food. The company was bought out by Cox Brothers in 1958.

Description of Content

Man and woman in formal wear posing for photo.

Physical Description

Digital scan of photograph.


The Woods family collection documents through objects, documents and photographs the experiences of an English family who migrated to Australia under the 'Ten Pound Pom' assisted passage scheme. The material enables the exploration of their entire migration narrative, from the decision to emigrate, planning and departure, the ship voyage, arrival and early settlement, including employment, building a house and family life. More than one million people from Great Britain migrated to Australia under this scheme between the 1940s and 1970s.

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