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Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) in partnership with the City of Port Phillip present “The initiation and implementation of Australia’s post World-War-Two immigration scheme” with Mary Elizabeth Calwell

March 14, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana, 16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain, 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy. Philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

This 2017 history feature is an extension of the exhibition: “WAVES of LOVE & EMOTION” and marks the seventy-second anniversary of the implementation of Australia’s post World-War Two, immigration scheme, which opened the door to immigrants from the Uniting Kingdom, and from European countries which, up to 1945, had been at war with Australia.

Such courageous and visionary policy devised by Arthur Calwell, who within a short time of being appointed Minister for Immigration by the Australian Labor Party (ALP), in August 1945, established the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and laid the foundation for the multicultural Australia, we come to know and appreciate in the twenty-first century.

Mary Elizabeth Calwell, the daughter of Arthur and Elizabeth Calwell, has been involved in the ALP all her life. She was Vice President and Treasurer of her Local ALP Branch and a Delegate to the Victorian State Conference for 17 years. She studied economics and history at the University of Melbourne and was awarded the degree Doctor of Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity on the basis of her extensive research into her father’s life, faith and political achievements.

It is an honor to have Mary Elizabeth Calwell speak to a general audience about her father’s legacy, which led to millions being able to call Australia home.

Lecture by Mary Elizabeth Calwell

Date: Tuesday 14 March 2017

Time: 6 -7 pm

Venue: Ground Floor theatre

South Melbourne Town Hall

208-220 Bank Street, South Melbourne

Followed by a viewing of the: WAVES of LOVE & EMOTION exhibition

Time: 7.15 – 8pm

Venue: Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre

195 Bank Street, South Melbourne

2017 also marks the forty-fourth anniversary of Multicultural Arts Victoria, the launch of its’ first E-book RECALLING THE JOURNEY and the opening of its’ tenth exhibition: “WAVES of LOVE & EMOTION”.


As part of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s What Happened at the Pier program, the Recalling the Journey E-Publication touches on our profound cultural heritage through the historical sites of Princes and Station Piers in Port Melbourne. These sites resonate as the first impression of a new home for many thousands of migrants; people forced from their countries of origin, seeking a new beginning and leaving behind much of what was important to them.

What would these people have felt as they disembarked from the Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, the Australis or the Neptunia? Recalling the Journey allows us to sense a little of what this abrupt experience might have been like for some, as they took their initial steps along the pier, carrying their few possessions, perhaps with their children, perhaps alone, towards an unfamiliar horizon.

Each story in this publication, echoes particular moments in history. They are a collection of opportunities to consider the circumstances that motivated millions of people to embark on the long and dangerous journey to Australia. Given that for many, up to the late 1970s, Australia was an unknown continent.

Link to: Recalling the Journey E-Publication: https://heritage.portphillip.vic.gov.au/People_places/Community_Stories/Recalling_the_Journey

Photo: Federal Minister for Immigration and Information Mr Arthur Calwell welcoming just arrived Displaced Persons from Europe

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March 14, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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