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Darren Watson on researching migrant occupations

  • Date recorded: 8 Aug 2016

  • Duration: 28:10

'Migrant Selection Documents hold a wealth of information for the family history researcher'

– Darren Watson

About this video

In our series of videos from Family History Feast 2016, hear from Darren Watson from National Archives of Australia (NAA) on the topic of researching migrant employment.

The talk, written by Terrie Page, Access and Communication, Victoria State Office, provides background information on the wealth of material held by National Archives. It particularly focuses on Department of Immigration records, Migrant Selection Documents and photographs.

Darren takes us through the step-by-step process of navigating the NAA website and using the RecordSearch and PhotoSearch functions to search for resources on migrants and employment.

As an example, he looks at Irish migrants who were sponsored by the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board in the postwar years to come to Victoria to work as conductors.

Migrant Selection Documents are another source of information on migrants, providing the names, addresses, occupations and health reports of those who applied for assisted passage to Australia.

As Darren explains, the NAA's collection is increasingly being digitised and can be explored online. If the record you're seeking hasn't yet been digitised, you can visit the NAA reading room in North Melbourne.


Darren Watson is an archivist at National Archives of Australia.