Issue 2 Migration Heritage Project Newsletter February 2004

In this issue:

  • Message from the chair
  • Exhibition wrap up
  • 2004 at a glance
  • Membership


Photos: Celebrations-Spirit of Communities exhibiton opening night & public program

Over 6000 people saw the MHP's first exhibition, at the Wollongong City Gallery. It was a major undertaking for the team. Thanks go to the IMB Community Foundation, the Wollongong City Gallery, the Wollongong City Council Small Grants Program, Viva La Gong, University of Wollongong Faculty of Creative Arts, and Downstairs Graphic Design. Particular thanks go to the families and individuals who generously shared their stories and donated objects to the exhibition. They include: Portuguese, Macedonian, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese communities.
The exhibition was well received.

Some of the comments:

"It's great to see Wollongong do something like this" (interstate visitor during set up week)

"It puts us on the map" (participant)

"It makes you feel good to see your stuff in the Gallery" (family member)

"Fabulous food - this is just fantastic" (visitor to the public program)

"This has never happened in the gallery before" (staff about the public program)

A video was made of the launch and public program for each participating group and family. A limited edition of the catalogue is in production. A booklet of the panels and content of the exhibition is available on request (contact the MHP on 4275 2266).The exhibition panels will be on display in the Telstra exchange building as part of the Uptown Crown revitalisation program in March 2004.


Franca Facci - MHP chairperson

The migration heritage project of the Illawarra has grown in leaps and bounds in the last 12 months. In the main this was due to generous funding from the IMB Community Foundation which allowed the committee to employ a project officer to carry out many of the grand ideas that came up at committee meetings. The funding also enabled us to produce a magnificent exhibition at the Wollongong City Gallery highlighting the enormous variety and depth of migrant heritage in the region. Hopefully many of you will have seen the exhibition and have been impressed and stimulated by the professional displays and interpretations. However, our work is still only beginning. As many of you may be aware, our aim is to ensure a sustainable presence in relation to migration heritage in our region. This can only happen with support and input from a variety of sectors including the migrant communities, the cultural services sector, government agencies, business and industry. Our aim for 2004 is to identify opportunities to expand the awareness of the rich cultural heritage in our area and attract commitment to ensure its growth. We would love to hear from any one who has been involved in heritage projects in the past or how is interested in pursuing some element of their own heritage in the future. As part of this we are collecting information about objects and local migrant history.
Come on board and be inspired!


Some old things have heritage value. (March 4)
In 2004 we are holding workshops where you can learn about how to identify what items have historical value. Things like recording information, how to take care of objects and passing them on. We are hoping this will unearth exciting objects, photographs and stories. For more information about the objects workshops contact Fidelia on 04388 32094.

• What has gone before
We know others have documents and produced work about migrant history in the past. If you were involved or know of any project we would love to hear from you. Feel free to come to our regular meetings or contact the MHP.

• Telstra Exhibition Space On Crown
Celebrations exhibition continues at the Telstra Exchange on Crown Street. The Uptown Crown project and Telstra are supporting the display and exhibition of visual design projects in the street level window space. The Uptown Crown project is currently installing track lighting and display system for the space. The MHP Celebrations-spirit of communities panels will be the first exhibition to make use of the space. The Uptown Crown project is part of the Wollongong City Council revitalisation program for the western end of Crown Street. The MHP is looking forward to future project opportunities with Illawarra Telstra.

• National Library Multicultural Documentary Project - Tool Kit.
See the web site for more information about this great project. What's it about? Includes, collecting records, arranging and describing what you have, preservation and storage, applying for grants and much more. It will suit multicultural organisations, businesses or families who have documents, and photographs with historical value.
The University of Wollongong Archive is the local repository for this material.
If you are interested in this project but don’t know where to start, the MHP will consider running an information session. Contact the MHP at or phone 42752266 by Friday March 26th.

• MHP Web Page
Watch this space - the MHP is going interactive with a web presence soon. The best way to promote migration heritage of this region to a world wide audience.


Photograph of two brothers aged 12 and 7 one now living in Newcastle
and one in Wollongong.


I was born in a 6th floor apartment in Alexandria, Egypt. I spoke Greek and my brother spoke
some English.
Heritage - Greek, migrated to Egypt, then migrated to Australia in 1953.
Why? Because of the political situation in Egypt.
What did you bring with you? Brass coffee maker, crocker, cooking utensils, Singer Treadwell sewing machine, cutlery, photographs, icons, jewelry, family heirlooms.
What did you think when you arrived? Apprehensive about the big change. Missed the extended family - we had no relatives in Newcastle where I grew up.
What do you do now? I work at Bluescope.

Membership of the Migration Heritage Project
Interested persons or organizations are welcome to join the Migration Heritage Project.
Membership fees are $5 for individuals and $10 for an organisation. Membership forms are available from the Wollongong Public Library.

Newsletter contributions
Have you got a story or photos that you would like to share with readers? The MHP would like to collect the stories of migration from community groups in the Illawarra. You can send your contributions to the newsletter by e-mail or by post.

Become involved
Interested persons or organisations are welcome to join the Migration Heritage Project.


News: Related links

Become a member

If Illawarra’s cultural heritage matters to you, you may want to stay in touch with MHP and become a member.


For further information:

Migration Heritage Project
PO Box 1589
South Coast Mail Centre
Wollongong NSW 2521