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a National Archives travelling exhibition
16 September 2017 - 18 February 2018

A Greek girl, sent across the world to marry a man she’d never met; an African journalist fleeing for his life; and a stateless baby born in India to Iranian parents, are just some of the human stories that feature in this new touring exhibition from the National Archives of Australia.


A Ticket to Paradise? delves into the rich diversity of the nation's migrants and their experiences, and looks at the Australian government’s ambitious promotional campaigns following World War II. Campaigns which presented a Utopian view of Australia as a welcoming country full of opportunity, in an endeavour to encourage mass migration.


Revealing the human aspect of migration, A Ticket to Paradise?  tells personal stories that give an insight into the rich, complex and very different experiences of the migrants and refugees who have settled here.


The exhibition features archival film footage, audio recordings, and many images of migrants taken between the 1940s and 1990s, revealing the wealth of immigration history held by the National Archives, from personal and family stories to government campaigns and policies.


The exhibition tour is supported by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


Exhibition development was supported by the Department of Communications and the Arts through Visions of Australia and the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.



Image: Italian prisoners of war wait to board a train bound for an Australian camp, 1943. NAA: A11663, PA189


10:00am - 5:00pm


Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday


19 Conacher Street, The Gardens, Darwin NT 0820

GPO Box 4646, Darwin NT 0801



Tel: +61 8 8999 8264

Bookings essential

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Brian Jonmundsson and his wife Visitacion arrive in Sydney, 1963. NAA: A12111, 1/1963/4/41

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Italian prisoners of war wait to board a train bound for an Australian camp, 1943. NAA: A11663, PA189

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These refugees have just heard that a selection mission for migration overseas has arrived in their camp, Italy, 1947. For some, hopes are high. Others fear that they may be too old to qualify or may not meet the exacting health standards. NAA: A12111, 1/1947/15/9

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Italian migrants disembark at Sydney, 1951. NAA: A12111, 2/1951/4A/5

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Some of the first displaced people to arrive in Australia enjoy leisure time on the banks of the Hume Weir near Bonegilla, 1947. NAA: A12111, 1/1947/3/7

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Annie O’Keefe with her daughter Mary Jacob, 1956. Annie O’Keefe was the first victorious legal challenger of the White Australia Policy after the High Court quashed a deportation order against her and her children. NAA: 1501, A429/3

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The National Archives and MAGNT are encouraging other post-war immigrants and their families to contribute their personal memories on iPads provided in the exhibition space or online.

Share your story, read about other migrants’ memories and explore our photos – to see if you recognise someone you know.​


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