‘Full Circle’ is a collaborative research project between The University of Western Australia, Centre for Western Australian History (CWAH) and The University of Hertfordshire (U.K.). The project is an investigation of the testimonies of British migrants to Australia, as well as their families who remain in the U.K.
With the aim of exploring how emigration has affected their relationships, connection and communication with their families, the project was begun in September 2014 when students in the Department of History at UWA interviewed British migrants of varying ages and backgrounds at Crawley and Albany campuses. This was the first part of the project—the second will feature the families of these migrants giving their testimony at the University of Hertfordshire.
‘Full Circle’ focuses on oral history and its value in conveying both the realities and emotions of the migrant experience. In order then to fully realise the aims of the project, selected interview material has been collated together for the Full Circle Podcast, a co-production by Westerly Magazine and CWAH. Join host and narrator Oliver Cope and hear from the interviewees about their many journeys, hardships, tragedies and triumphs.
Oral history is no different in many respects to other forms of testimony: it’s human evidence. And one of the most valuable things is to hear people delivering it.
In the first episode of the series we hear from the major players involved in ‘Full Circle’, including CWAH’s Lucy Hair and Andrew Green from the University of Hertfordshire, as well as a couple of former student interviewers.
Westerly editor Kate Noske joins us also to speak about Westerly‘s interest in oral history and the possibilities the podcast form brings when it comes to education and debate.
We explore what personal testimony can offer us when we attempt to make sense of our history and culture, and think about some of the often difficult questions that crop up when we discuss British migration to Australia.
Disclaimer: Due to the nature of the project and the conditions in which the interviews were conducted, sound levels do vary, and listeners may need to adjust volume as necessary. Please consider it a mark of the authenticity of the material!
Image credit: Immigrants for Australia, August 1949, 1983-5236/14190/1, Diary Herald Archive at the National Media Museum. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum/8416663904. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).