09 February 2005

Immigrants make Australia home

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A new kit developed by the National Archives will allow migrants and their families access to information about their immigration to Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today.

The kit, called Making Australia Home, is being launched as part of the Transformations conference, co-hosted by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils Australia and the Australian National University.

‘This kit presents people with a real opportunity to obtain photos and a record of their migration to Australia, something their families can keep for future generations,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Migration is perhaps the most important factor in the history of Australia - and this kit provides an insight to a vital part of our history.’

‘It tells the stories of the people who came from over 200 countries to help build Australia, one family at a time.’

‘Family visas have been an important part of Australia’s migration program and play an important role in achieving a sustainable population in the future.

‘Over 42,000 Family Stream visas were issued in 2003 -04, accounting for nearly 37 per cent of the total migration program.

‘This will continue this year when we’re expecting to issue a further 42,000 visas.

‘The Making Australia Home kit means people can explore the arrival and settlement of their own family members during the 20th century, and access naturalisation records and copies of the forms migrants completed before coming to Australia.

‘In some cases, as well as documents on arrival, naturalisation, accommodation and employment, people will able to obtain photos of their family members.

‘People will be able to add these documents to their family records and have a greater picture of their migration to Australia and the beginning of their new life here,’ Senator Vanstone said.

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