Refugees Collection


MM 14


The Migration Museum holds a significant collection of objects relating to refugees. The bulk of this collection relates to Displaced Persons who migrated to South Australia after the Second World War.

The Migration Museum aims to collect objects spanning from German migrants fleeing religious persecution in the nineteenth century through to recent refugees. The objects span a wide range of material including identity documents for Displaced Persons, a model boat made by Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s and a pair of stones carved in the Woomera detention centre.

The Migration Museum recognises that not all immigrants have come here voluntarily. Refugees usually come here with very little which makes any material history relating to their previous homeland and journey especially precious. Often these objects have significant meaning for individuals who have been through the trauma of becoming a refugee, and people may be reluctant to part with them, limiting what may make it into museum collections. More frequently former refugees may wish to mark their achievements since they arrived in Australia, demonstrating how far they have come, and the Migration Museum collection reflects this as well.

A Migration Museum collection. Access to collection items held in Museum Stores is by appointment only.


Asylum seekers; C.19th century to present; Refugees; South Australia

Displacement (Immigration); Immigration; Migration; Refugees; World wars

Documents; Models

Migrants; Multiculturalism; Refugees

Migration Museum, South Australia

Coverage Spatial

South Australia; Australia

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-12-12 16:49

2011-03-22 15:55