Celebrations Spirit of Communities Exhibition

In September 2003, the MHP put together the Celebrations: Spirit of Communities Exhibition at the Wollongong City Gallery, which was made possible by funding from The IMB Community Foundation, a grant from Community and Cultural Services Wollongong City Council and a grant from Viva La Gong. The Exhibition was also made possible with in-kind support from Wollongong City Gallery, Downstairs Graphic Design, Community and Cultural Services Wollongong City Council, Multicultural Services Wollongong City Council, Faculty of Arts University of Wollongong, Carnivale and Powerhouse Museum Regional Services Unit. The exhibition was curated by Linda Raymond, Museum Consultant and Interpretation Specialist. The exhibition development was managed by the MHP Project Officer and members of the MHP with the exhibition design developed by masters' student, Delphi Dib-Milston and Joshua Beggs under the supervision of Gregor Cullen at the Faculty of Creative Arts University of Wollongong.

The Exhibition featured five Wollongong Communities: Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Macedonian. It also featured a Public Program. The involved communities generously donated their time and stories and loaned their objects for the exhibition. More>

MHP Book Every Story Counts Recording Migration History

This book has been as a result of the Migration Workshop that was held by the MHP in 2003. The MHP wanted to provide the migrant communities it came into contact with examples and a practical guide on how they can record and store their stories, objects and images. When the Migration Heritage Centre of NSW (MHC) learnt of MHP’s proposed publication they offered to provide some funding towards the publication. This allowed the MHP to contract Meredith Walker, a Heritage Consultant, to research and compile the publication. Every Story Counts Recording Migration History was launched on 17 October 2015. More>

Save the Nissen Huts

In 2003 a public meeting was convened by the MHP with the University of Wollongong representatives to exchange views on how a large part of the history of Wollongong would be lost forever if the huts were to be demolished or even moved from their original site. The Nissen Huts at Balgownie (Fairy Meadow) were under threat of removal from their original site. The University of Wollongong had developed a plan for the collocation of the remaining huts as well as developing an interpretation plan for the site. They were to remain on site and be used by the University as part of the new Innovation Campus which will be host to many overseas visitors and students in the years to come.

This meeting, together with lobbying from heritage consultants, played a role in broadening the understanding of the value of saving the Nissen Huts because of their historic connection with the migrants of the Illawarra.

In 2009 the Nissen Huts were placed on the NSW State Heritage Register. More>

Objects Workshop

On 4 March 2005 an Objects Workshop featuring the MHP's Rina Montgomery was held at the It-So-Wel (Italian Social Welfare Association), Stewart Street Wollongong. Rina Montgomery came to Australia from Italy in 1929 with her mother and brother to join her father who had settled in Wollongong 3 years earlier. Her parents brought with them some appliances, but more often than not, everyday items were homemade as they could not be found in Australia.

At the workshop Rina described her early life in Wollongong as she spoke about the objects she has kept that were used in her childhood home such as the spaghetti maker and coffee bean roaster. The workshop provided the attendees the opportunity to learn how they too can preserve and document objects that may be in their possession that are important to the Migrant History of Wollongong. A booklet containing information on how to go about documenting objects was also provided. More>

Maltese Community

The Migration Heritage Project held a workshop for the Maltese Community on 15 June 2004 at the George Cross Falcons Club in Cringila. The Maltese community, as it is now, is an ageing population and through the then Maltese Community Worker, Lorraine Vargas, the MHP recognized that there was the very real potential that all historical information about the community will be lost unless some measures are taken to ensure that it is recorded and preserved. Through the workshop the MHP were able to reach a large group of the Maltese community to emphasise that their stories are worth recording and preserving. Information booklets were provided to assist those interested in undertaking the recording of their personal history and objects. More>

George Cross Falcons Club Maltese Community Exhibition

The Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW provided funds for an exhibition of the heritage of a migrant community in the Illawarra and some preliminary work on the heritage of another community. The MHP approached the Maltese community to see if they were interested in being the community highlighted with this funding and they took up the offer very enthusiastically to coincide with the 50th Anniversary celebration of the George Cross Falcons Club which is a strong feature of this community’s history. The exhibition was held 2-16 September 2006 in the foyer of the Wollongong City Council Building in Burelli Street and was opened by the Hon David Campbell. Linda Raymond was the curator of the exhibition and the former Maltese Community Worker, Lorraine Vargas, was employed by the MHP to assist Linda with the exhibition. More>

Home Movies Animating Heritage

Home Movies Animating Heritage Project was an initiative of the Illawarra Migration Heritage Project Inc. in partnership with Film Illawarra, Faculty of Arts, School of Art & Design, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong.

The Migration Heritage Project created a community register of home movies which recorded the information about home movies making it possible for us to select, document, educate and tell the story and importance of migrant heritage through moving image. The collection enriches our understanding and knowledge of the history of the Illawarra region. Some home movie footage included; stories of arrival and settlement in Australia, festivals, parades, school events, cultural celebrations, ceremonies and sporting events, topics that represents or is significant to the heritage, traditions, customs, experiences and lifestyles of Illawarra migrant families and community.

This project has been made possible by funding through the IMB Community Foundation. This project, and the bulk of the workload, is being managed by a member of the MHP. More>

Wollongong’s Migration Heritage Places Study

The Wollongong’s Migration Heritage Places Study (the study) was conducted to gain a greater understanding of the experience of migration with particular reference to the post World War Two period and used the historic themes identified in the book “Investigating Migration Heritage Wollongong” (unpublished) by Meredith Walker to identify places associated with those themes. The outcomes were: state heritage inventory forms for significant places; State Heritage Register nominations if appropriate; Wollongong Local Environmental Plan nominations if appropriate; historic themes expanded and developed into essays; database of places and events related to post WWII migration in Wollongong drawn from nominations made through the consultation process; collection of photographs with captions about selected places (for addition to the Wollongong local Studies Library collection and MHP records); and potential material for the MHP website. The study was managed by the MHP with assistance from the NSW Department of Planning - Heritage Office; NSW Migration Heritage Centre and Wollongong City Council. The study was undertaken by Meredith Walker of Heritage Futures and MHP member Louise Thom with collaborations as above. Historical research was undertaken by Glynis Cummins a local historian under the direction of Meredith Walker. Funding for this study was through a successful grant application through the NSW Heritage Office and funding provided by Wollongong City Council.

Material from the Places Project has been used for an internship undertaken with the Powerhouse Museum focussing on the textile and footwear industry, and also used as themes in 2009 Viva La Gong, namely ‘First Accommodation’. More>


Belongings is a NSW Migration Heritage Centre website exhibition which records and shares post-World War Two (WW2) migration memories through community memorabilia – or belongings.

In partnership with the MHP, Belongings has now come to the Illawarra and is actively seeking people to participate. More>

First Generations Photographic Exhibition

First Accommodation research from the MHP's Wollongong Migration Heritage Thematic Study (Places Project) was the subject of a photographic exhibition that formed part of the 2009 Viva La Gong Festival. The photographs are exhibited on the Wollongong City Gallery exterior panels (Corner of Kembla and Burelli Streets Wollongong). More>

Stamina eBook a Snapshot into the TCF Industry in Wollongong

Stamina: Aspiration & Capability is a Migration Heritage Project publication about Wollongong's textile, clothing and footwear industry from the 1940s to 1970s. The research was conducted by Eva Castle as part of an internship program through the Powerhouse Museum and advice from the NSW Migration Heritage Centre. The book was designed by Gregor Cullen from the Graphic Design Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong. Both Eva and Gregor are founding members of the Migration Heritage Project. Funding to produce the eBook was provided through the Royal Australian Historical Society, Local History Research and Publications Grants Program.
More >

Collections of Hopes and Dreams Exhibition

An exhibition curated by Eva Castle The Collections of Hopes and Dreams Exhibition provided for many residents a significant personal reality, in a regional gallery exhibition – a life of dispossession and dislocation arising from World War 2, or growing up in families that experienced the Second World War in Europe. More>

Migration to the Illawarra Exhibition

A collaborative exhibition between the Migration Heritage Project and the University of Wollongong. More>

The Food Business

The Food Business was an exhibition about Wollongong's own 'foody' pioneers. It was an exhibition that showcased the individuals that brought new flavours an colours to the palates of the people in an emerging city that we know and love today. More>



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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