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Information about the work of  Orange City Council, located in the Central West of NSW

Migration Heritage

Orange City Council in conjunction with the NSW Migration Heritage Centre have embarked on an exciting new project researching and documenting the migration heritage of the Orange district, particularly objects associated with migration heritage.

From the 1830s, migrants from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds have made a remarkable contribution to the settlement and development of Orange. Following World War II, many migrants from Europe made their home in Orange, transforming the economy, culture and landscape of the city. As these post war migrants' age, it is vital their stories are recorded and their contribution to the development of Orange is documented.

Migration heritage stories are told in many ways: through memories of people and places, including work, home, gardens and families; through cultural traditions and practices such as food and music; through documents and photographs, and through the memories and associations of objects. Object stories are easily lost once those who owned the item have died; and the meaning of photos can also be forgotten if the time, place and/or people in the picture are not recorded. A particular focus of this project is to record the stories around the objects and photographs owned by post war migrants living in Orange. This will help families to care for their migration heritage, and pass their memories onto the next generation. It also means that this important history is recorded for possible use in future exhibitions and publications.

What are migration heritage objects?

Half a World Away  site

Many different kinds of objects help to tell the personal stories of migration and settlement. They may be precious items carried from overseas, such as family heirlooms, tools of trade or domestic objects. They can be simple things such as suitcases that evoke memories of journeys, and help to tell a story about the process of migration and settlement.

Migration heritage objects may also be items that have been made or purchased in Australia, such as things that keep cultural traditions and practices alive, items marking important phases in establishing a new life and home, or items associated with life in migrant hostels.

The next stages of the program may see the research developed into an exhibition, a publication, a driving tour brochure, or used on-line through a website hosted by the NSW Migration Heritage Centre and Orange City Council. Future stages of the project will depend on the outcomes of the research work, the availability of funding, and the support of migrants and families involved in the project.

Writer Liz Edwards has been engaged to undertake the research and interviews for Orange City Council and the NSW Migration Heritage Centre. Liz is an experienced writer and historian who has already worked closely with some of Orange's migrant families through her research for the book Weapons to Whitegoods; Celebrating Email's 50 years in Orange and Starting over; Migrants tell their story. If you would like to contribute your migration story, or know people who might assist in this work, or for further information on the project please contact Council's Community Liaison Adviser, Alison Russell on 6393 8170 or email arussell@orange.nsw.gov.au

See the NSW Migration Heritage Centre website: www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au

Also see the Half a World Away website: www.halfaworldaway.com.au