Chapter One

The Second World War displaced over 12 million people. Between 1947 and 1954, over a million refugees were resettled, mainly overseas. Of these, Australia took close to 180,000. In 1951, Australia signed a Migration Agreement with Italy, which resulted in over 260,000 Italians settling in Australia by the end of the 1960s.

Notwithstanding the harrowing war deprivations and suffering, the culture trauma experienced by the newly arrived was staggering. They faced alien customs, a language foreign to them, a harsh climate and, in many instances, discrimination, if not outward hostility on the part of Anglo-Celtic Australians.


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1971. Transfield workers with Alberto Bemporad, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In its early days, Transfield provided English language classes for its migrant workforce. 1966. English class lesson for Transfielders at Seven Hills. Early 1960s. English class lesson for Transfielders at Seven Hills.