Orange City Council in conjunction with the NSW Migration Heritage Centre conducted a research project, documenting the migration heritage of the Orange district, particularly objects associated with migration heritage.
This project was used to develop the Half a World Away website.
From the 1830s, migrants from many cultural and ethnic backgrounds 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 was to record the stories around the objects and photographs owned by post war migrants living in Orange. This was aimed at helping families care for their migration heritage, and pass their memories onto the next generation.
What are migration heritage objects?
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.
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