Belongings Project > Home

BELONGINGS has come to the Illawarra: Tell your post-war migration story through your special mementos

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.

One out of every five people in the Illawarra are overseas born. Many arrived in the decades immediately after WW2 when the Australian Government actively pursued an immigration policy of 'populate or perish'.

Sadly, as the post-WW2 migrant generation age, too often we don’t know what their memorabilia items mean or what stories they tell. Frequently this history is lost. Belongings helps to save some of this history.

Whilst documenting community oral histories and keepsakes, Belongings also advocates for belongings to be kept within the family and advises on how to care for them.

This means that through Belongings:
• mementos will be passed down within families with their stories and meanings understood;
• historians will know which memorabilia items are important and why; and
• curators can request a loan from the private owner for museum exhibition displays.

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

So, if you, a relative or friend arrived in Australia between 1945 and 1974, live or work in the Illawarra area and have a special personal belonging, then please complete the Belongings expression of interest form and send to the MHP at or PO Box 1589, South Coast Mail Centre, Wollongong NSW 2521.

Up to 15 entries will be selected for Belongings but all expressions of interest will form an important body of historical information for the MHP and the NSW Migration Heritage Centre and may be followed up through later projects.

Interviews take place in the participant’s home and will begin going online this year. For more information about the project, please visit the Belongings website at

Andrea Fernandes
Belongings Curator
NSW Migration Heritage Centre


Project: 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