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Journey to Australia - Learning about migration

On their way to the museum: for many students, this was their first excursion ever.

In Term 2, the Year 3 and 4 students at Elsternwick Campus learnt about migration. They explored the different reasons why people migrate to Australia and the contributions migrants have made to their new communities.

To better understand these migrant journeys, guest speakers shared their migration stories with the students. Listening to their experiences helped the students empathise with people who needed to flee their home country as refugees seeking safety from conflict. They were also able to understand that some people choose to migrate to a new country for better opportunities and for a better life.

Next, the students interviewed their family members to learn about their own family history and migration stories.

To extend their understanding, they visited the Melbourne Immigration Museum and the Museum of Chinese Australian History in the city. Excitement was high as they made their way there - for many students, this was their first ever excursion.

Florence Komm from Year 3 explains:

‘First, we burst through the doors of the bus and arrived in the city for our visit to the Immigration Museum. There we learned fascinating facts about people who migrated from a different country to Australia and the reasons why. Some of these reasons include war, natural disasters or for a better life. We closely examined three special artefacts. It was loads of fun!

‘At the Museum of Chinese Australian History, we learned about Chinese people who came to Australia during the Gold Rush. The journey took two months by boat. They were taken to South Australia and walked hundreds of kilometres to Victoria. Can you believe that? We also saw a Millennium Chinese dragon that was 62 metres long and had to be held up by 22 people. The Chinese Museum was fascinating: you should go there too!’

The final stage of the student’s inquiry involved creating their own artefact; a story cloth that depicts their own family’s migration journey. See some of the artwork created by our students:

Emily Watson (Year 3 Homeroom Teacher) and Shellene Hurle (Year 4 Homeroom Teacher), Elsternwick Campus