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The Australian continent has been the ancestral home of the First Nations People for many thousands of years before European contact. Since the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, migrants from more than 190 countries have made Western Australia their home. Western Australia is rich with stories of people who have migrated here, and the State Library plays an important role in sharing these stories and recording the influences of migration through its collections.

The WA Migration Stories online resource is an introduction to Western Australia’s migration history which aims to engage students with primary source materials from the State Library collections and support classroom learning relating to the movement of people to Western Australia. This online resource can be used to extend students who have visited the State Library and participated in the Suitcases: Stories of migration facilitated workshop, or it can be used as a stand-alone resource in the classroom.

The content of this resource is designed so information can be accessed in a variety of ways: by migrant group, place of origin, timeline of migration or browsing via geolocation. Content is provided in a way as to encourage students towards further inquiry. Suggestions for focus questions have been provided for each migrant group. It is anticipated that students will formulate their own questions to research and be inspired to use the State Library catalogue, and other credible sources, to further their own understanding of migration to WA.

WA Migration Stories incorporates a selection of suggested classroom activities to further challenge students and was produced to align with the Western Australian HaSS Curriculum.

Disclaimer: Content warning

The State Library of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to land and culture. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. The Library is honoured to be located on Whadjuk Country, the ancestral lands of the Noongar people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this resource may contain images, names and references to deceased persons.

This resource has been compiled with the understanding that some migration experiences have been traumatic for some people. The State Library has endeavoured to convey these experiences in a sensitive manner for the target audience.

This site was culturally reviewed by the Community Liaison Indigenous Engagement Officer, a Minang woman.