Margaret Wood Immigration & Shipping Collection




This collection provides a rare insight into the working life of a female Immigration Officer. It contains nearly 300 items and includes shipboard memorabilia, immigration policy documents, material relating to the processing, management and settlement of migrants and newsclippings. The objects in the collection span Margaret's career with the Department of Immigration from 1951-1961.

Margaret Wood was an officer in the Australian Department of Immigration from 1951-1961, during which time she worked in the Department of Alien Assimilation, the Assisted Division and finally the General Assisted Passage Scheme. The objects and documents in this collection of 275 items reflect the different experiences and groups Margaret met while working in each of these divisions. Her first role involved issuing alien registration certificates to non-British migrants at Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre in northern Victoria. In the Assisted Division, Margaret met European migrants upon arrival at Station Pier where she was often presented with shipboard memorabilia by the ship's crew, including ashtrays and luggage tags, even menus if she arrived at mealtimes. Margaret would then often accompany migrants to hostels such as Bonegilla. Her final position was working for the General Assisted Passage Scheme, assisting migrants from the US, Scandinavia and Switzerland who came individually on general ships. Margaret would meet these migrants, usually groups of two or three families and single people, and help them with the arrival process. Various forms and settlement related documents represent Margaret's time in this division. The collection also includes a number of documents relating to Australia's migration policy during 1950s, which were made available to interested staff in the Department. Margaret recalls her time with the Department of Immigration as having been exciting, diverse, interesting and busy. Her collection of material documents an often untold side of the migration story, the people and processes which make it possible.


1950-1970; Assisted Immigration; Government Policies; Government publications; Immigrant Shipping; Immigrant Voyages; Immigration; Immigration Debates; Immigration Policies; Immigration Selection; Immigration Voyages; Language Teaching; Migrant Camps; Migration & Settlement; Proxy Brides; Ship Memorabilia; Shipping; Shipping Companies; Shipping industry; Shipping Lines; Station Pier; Travel & Tourism; White Australia Policy; Women's work

Coverage Spatial

Victoria, Australia

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