‘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.
‘Employment Guaranteed’ the poster said. ‘Good Wages’ and ‘Plenty of Opportunity’. But was it actually all it was cracked up to be?
In this week’s episode we explore the reasons and expectations that drew our migrants Down Under, and whether they have any misgivings or regrets.
We hear from the interviewees about how they felt their careers, their quality of life and their children would all benefit, consider whether Australia has a class system, and also look at some of the myth-making that goes on when people and propaganda advertise the so-called ‘better life’.
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 dear listener!
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).