Apart from our first nations people, we are all migrants to Australia, so each of us have a coming to Australia story to tell.
Allan Tranter from Creating Communities continued his conversation reconciliation this week, challenging us to embrace our own coming to Australia story. It may have been you, it might have been your parents. For many others, it was many generations ago.
Whoever it is, it is worthwhile knowing what triggered your ancestors to make that faithful trip.
For a lot of people, coming to Australia was sparked because of hardship, war, starvation, and oppression in their home country. For others, it was the prospect of better education, greater opportunities, more employment opportunities. Perhaps the lure of the Gold Rush is part of your families history.
It is really important we know this and share it with our families, especially with our children. If we understand the trauma or opportunity that brought our families here, then perhaps we can imagine what it is like for people coming here.
If we know what it was like for our ancestors, then we can understand the journey that so many people around the world are on at the moment.
After a little investigating around the 98five office, I found out other peoples coming to Australia story.
Drive host Mels’s Babcia(grandmother) during WWII in Poland, was removed from their home by soldiers who placed them to labour camps in Siberia. From there, they traveled through Africa, eventually a boat to Australia.
Drive producer Leon’s great grand father (he’s not sure how far back!) came over on the second non-convict boat and founded the town of Wandering.
Drive host Jeziel, caught a plane in 2014 to work up in the north of WA in the mines. Everyone has a story!
Currently, there are 65 million people displaced around the world. Only a small margin of them have made their way to Australia.
So, for Allan, he says to make them welcome. Let’s encourage them, smile at them in the street and say “hi”.