Identity document for James Forbes issued by the Australian Department of Immigration, Australia House London, 16 June 1961. The document acts in lieu of a passport which had to be submitted by intending assisted British migrants prior to arrival in Australia. The document outlines James' personal details, including listing his daughter Shirley and is stamped 'COM NOM' for Commonwealth Nominee. It also has an immigration stamp from Fremantle dated 2 August 1961. The document was brought to Australia by James when he migrated in 1961.

James and Sylvia Forbes migrated from Aberdeen in Scotland with their two year old daughter Shirley and James' younger brother Harry. They travelled onboard the Sitmar Line ship Fair Sky, sailing from Southampton, England to Melbourne, Australia on 8 July 1961.The family were sent to Broadmeadows Hostel and more family followed who settled in Adelaide. Sylvia was employed at the Ford Factory while James worked for Stewarts & Lloyds Stanton Pipes Division. Tragically James was killed in an industrial accident on 20 June 1963 and after subsequently also losing her unborn baby, Sylvia and Shirley returned to Scotland on 18 September 1963. Shirley visited Australia for the first time since departing in 2014.

Physical Description

Single sheet of cream paper with black printed type and adhesive tape attached across the centre.


This collection provides a valuable and poignant insight into a young family's post-war British migration experience and their return home. It offers a perspective on the return migrant experience which is more difficult to obtain, as opposed to the more commonly told permanent settlement narratives; and it also reveals the diverse (and at time tragic) reasons why migration can be a transient experience for some.

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