A moving feast of migrant history

27 MARCH 2006

The rich history of migration in regional NSW will be brought to life with the award of a $5 000 fellowship to a Charles Sturt University student for 2006.

The rich history of migration in regional NSW will be brought to life with the award of a $5 000 fellowship to a Charles Sturt University (CSU) student for 2006.
 
Third year education student Lysa Dealtry will develop a mobile display showing the experiences of migrants around NSW, especially children. It will include photos, objects, print and audio materials from the Bonegilla Collection, which is based in the Albury Regional Museum.
 
“The project aims to raise community, especially children’s, awareness of migrants and their heritage and identity to their local communities, NSW and Australia,” said Ms Dealtry.
 
As a child of migrant parents and grandparents from Ukraine and Poland who came to Australia after World War II, the CSU student said the Bonegilla Migrant Centre near Wodonga was important to the history and cultural heritage of the regional cities of Albury-Wodonga on the NSW-Victorian border and of Australia. Around 320 000 migrants passed through the centre between 1947 and 1971 before they settled in various parts of Australia.
 
“I am very proud of, and and have high respect for the courage and strength of migrants, and I feel that I can share their joy and pain in re-telling their stories, because of my own migrant heritage,” Ms Dealtry said.
 
An important element of the project will be “explore-a-box”, an educational resource that will tour schools. The box will include movable items from the Bonegilla Collection, as well as teaching materials and ideas for lessons and museum visits to encourage research and lessons on migrants in NSW. The box is due to be ready for schools by the end of 2006.
 
Ms Dealtry received her award in February from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the NSW Migration Heritage Centre, which includes one week of supervised research at the Powerhouse Museum this year.
 
The project is part of her honours degree in early childhood teaching with the University’s Murray School of Education in Albury-Wodonga.

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