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The Peopling of Australia since 1788

The Peopling of Australia since 1788

Since the British first colonised Australia in 1788, 10 million people have arrived in this country and made it their home. These people have been part of one of the greatest migration movements in the history of the modern world.

Horizons traced this incredible story of human relocation. It looked at how migration has shaped the Australia we know today, and the role governments have played. It showed who these migrants are and were, where they came from, what they packed in their suitcases, and what hopes and expectations they held for their new life.

The human face of history

Why do some people leave their family and friends to start a new life on the other side of the world? What is it like to be forced from your home?

Horizons explored multicultural Australia and examines how each group, from British convicts to Sudanese refugees, has contributed to the richness of Australian society.

Horizons also examined the emotional side of migration - the longing for home, sadness, confusion, or joy and freedom.

From penal settlement to homeland

The journey begins with the early stages of British settlement and the first migrants the convicts. It also highlights the importance of the early visionaries who worked to create a better society.

Through the use of biographies, images and objects, Horizons also looked at how Australia's growth was made possible by official immigration.

It featured people such as Mei Quong Tart, a Chinese businessman who spoke English with a Scottish accent (due to his living with a Scottish family as a child), and Rose Deng, who fled the civil war in Sudan and migrated to Australia with her children in 1997.

Possessions that speak 1000 words

Horizons was laden with rich objects and images. These included traditional Castellorizian costume worn by a Greek migrant, an English settler's toy farmyard set, crockery from a convict housewife's kitchen, and an Italian barber's shaving tools.

As a whole, these objects and images serve as little windows onto Australia's very big past.