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Home > View & Discuss > Catherine Devery on stories from the Immigration Museum

Catherine Devery on stories from the Immigration Museum

  • Date recorded: 8 Aug 2016

  • Duration: 41:17

'All non-Indigenous Australians have a migration story in their family history. Immigration is about us all: those who were here and those who came.'

– Catherine Devery

About this video

 In this Family History Feast 2016 talk by Catherine Devery from the Immigration Museum, hear the stories of five individuals who travelled from all corners of the globe to live and work in Victoria.

Catherine begins with the story of Youssef, Romanos and Tansa Eid from Lebanon, who established a successful taxi business in the 1960s. She then pays tribute to the Gung family from China, who travelled between their old and new homes, and endured decades of discrimination before finally witnessing the dilution of the White Australia Policy.

The story of artist Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa from the Democratic Republic of Congo explores the experience of refugees who can never return home. A video within the video shows the artist at work, carving and sculpting wood using the skills he learned from his Congolese grandfather.

Englishman John Cotton's time in Australia was short, barely six years, but in that time he documented his new home's exotic birdlife as both an ornithologist and artist.

Catherine's final story looks at the life of Italian garment industry worker Edda Azzola, whose possession of skills and a knitting machine allowed her to work from home for one of Melbourne's most successful knitwear manufacturers.

Catherine concludes her talk by inviting family history researchers to visit the Immigration Museum, whose staff can help put together the puzzle of an individual family's migration story.


Catherine Devery is the Acting Operations Coordinator in the Discovery Centre at the Immigration Museum.

Hear more from Family History Feast 2016