Our Global Unschool Adventure

One family's quest to learn together

The Migration Museum

Last week ended with extreme hot weather days (45C + ) so we mostly hid inside with the air conditioning on. We continued with our online program Study Ladder, watched lots of Horrible Histories and read lots of Library books. The children’s interest in the Horrible Histories program has lead to lots of fabulous conversations about the past, including an interest in the two World Wars. Simon and I spoke with Lucy about the terrible effects of both wars, our experiences of travelling to war cemeteries and the inexcusable human toll of both wars. We spoke with her about the thousands of families that were displaced as a result of the wars, and how this is still true today, which lead to questions about refugees and asylum seekers. With the innocence of an 11 year old, Lucy questions how people can be so cruel to one another, why people are persecuted and why ‘nice countries’ like Australia can be so mean to those who need our help. ” Why can’t we just let them all in?” she asks. “I don’t know” I have to answer her honestly.

A visit to Grandma and Grandad’s house on Friday afternoon lead to a discussion over lunch with both of them about their families. Both families had fled war torn Europe after World War 2 hoping for a better life in Australia. Grandma was only a little girl, so she has only a few memories of the boat trip from England in the early 60’s. Her dad was a stonemason and bricklayer so the family immigrated on one of the well known £10 fairs offered to skilled workers. Grandad’s family came to Australia in the early 50’s, he was born here. His family came from Italy for a better life, bringing market gardening skills with them. Both families found settling in Australia to be such a shock. When they arrived they were placed in government run ‘hostels’ which were very inadequate, whilst suitable houses were being hurriedly built for the rapidly expanding population.

With all this talk of immigration, displacement and refugees we decided to take a visit to the Migration Museum in Adelaide to learn some more with Grandma on Monday when the weather would hopefully be a bit cooler. Oscar took the photographs and the children are supplying the captions…


A statue of immigrants coming to Australia at the Museum


The boat that our Grandma came on


Immigrants arriving at the Elder Park Hostel


The tin huts at Gepps Cross. They were hot in summer, and not very nice


Inside the huts, this is a the bedroom


In the kitchen they used to wash the clothes in the sink. Grandma remembers the kitchen just like this.


A map of where all the hostels were


Men playing games in one of the shared dining rooms


A little girl eating a big plate of food, not very different from food we eat now


A family playing outside a hostel


Men riding bikes to work, the immigrants were skilled workers


Only a skilled English workers were allowed into Australia during the white Australia policy


A map of what people thought the world looked like in 1690, before white settlers came to Australia.


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This entry was posted on February 4, 2014 by in Excursions and tagged , , .

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