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Australia's Migration Stories

Explore changing attitudes to migration

Group of children looking at convict jacket
Photo: George Serras, National Museum of Australia

Where did your Mum and Dad grow up? Were they born in Australia or overseas?

In Australia's Migration Stories students investigate some of the ten million migration stories from 1788 to today, and reflect on Australia's changing attitudes towards migration.

In this program students use an iPad and activity card to record when, how and why individuals came to Australia.


Year levels 5–12 (6–12 in Qld, WA and SA)
Group size 40 students (note that two groups can run concurrently)
Duration 2 hours (90 minutes with Museum educator and 30 minutes teacher-guided exploration)
Cost $6 per student (2017)
$7 per student (2018)
Availability Tuesday–Friday at 10am and 1pm

Alternative times may be available for local schools. Please contact for further information.
Curriculum links Australian History curriculum links to our programs (225kb PDF)


  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore stories of individuals and groups who have migrated to Australia since 1788.
  • Enable students to reflect on why over 10 million individuals have migrated to Australia since 1788.
  • Challenge students to investigate changing attitudes to migrants.


  1. Introductory activity – through an investigation of mystery migrants' belongings, students explore stories of migration and reflect on how Australian government policies and community attitudes towards migrants have changed over time.
  2. Gallery activity – working in groups, students explore migration stories in the Australian Journeys gallery and record, using digital cameras and activity cards, when, how and why individuals came to Australia.
  3. Reflection – students gather to discuss the stories they selected and the range of contributions migrants have made to Australia, as well as how their photographs may be used for further research and reflection on Australia's migration history back at school.

Exploring the Museum

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Related resources

These classroom activities might be useful in your classroom.

You may also be interested in the following teacher resources:

and these interactives:

  • New homes – discover the stories of two 'displaced persons' who migrated to Australia after World War II.
  • Hong Hai – Journey of the Hong Hai – take a trip on the first refugee boat that came to Australia's shores in 1978.

You can also see the full list of resources related to Australian history.