Announcing the opening of Memory Keepers exhibition and the launch of E-publication: RECALLING the JOURNEY

Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) proudly announces the opening of its first Memory Keepers exhibition of visual biographies for 2017: WAVES of LOVE & EMOTION


The launch of: RECALLING the JOURNEY – an illustrated E-publication of unforgettable stories by & about migrants and refugees who came to Australia by ship up to the late 1970s.

Saturday 11 February

10;30am – 12:30pm

Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre

195 Bank Street,  South  Melbourne

Invitation here

WAVES of LOVE & EMOTION is an exhibition of visual biographies, artifacts and artworks which  reflect themes of memory,  love , loss and  resignation.

Each one, an echo of  moments in the history of immigration to Australia by  Memory Keepers who have been  telling their stories through the What Happened at the  Pier program.

The stories in the Recalling the Journey, E-publication reveal personal anecdotes that leave you pondering.

Both the exhibition and the digital publication provide an opportunity for readers and viewers to engage with, and further explore significant historical events and circumstances which motivated millions of people to leave behind all and everything they had ever known, to embark on the long and dangerous journey to Australia, which for many, up to the late 1970s, Australia was an unknown continent.

A curious and adventurous child, István Hederics loved to draw and play with other children under the walnut tree, swim in the stream and adventure was altered only by the seasons. All was picturesque while he was immersed in village life, until the age of 8 when the Russians invaded Hungary and everything began to change for István, his family and the whole village.

Sally Hederics, Memory Keeper.

What these authentic stories by Memory Keepers featured in the E-Publication whose cultural heritage and ethnic origin include: Austrian, Czechoslovakian, Dutch, Dutch- Indonesian, English, Egyptian-English-Maltese, French-Jewish, German, German-Jewish, Greek, Italian, Hungarian and Polish-Jewish, also reveal is the talent that first generation migrants and refugees brought with them which contributed to the making of modern Australia.

They are stories that challenge us to redefine conventional perceptions of immigrants and refugees that arrived up to the late seventies, early eighties. They demands of  us to think of them not as lowly skilled workers and perpetual usurpers of Australian jobs, but as individuals with individual gifts,  who despite not being able to have their trade, creative  or professional qualifications recognized in Australia, and English not being their first language, many of them were  compelled to work in menial jobs, suffering profound culture shock and homesickness.

In an era when the job of  interpreting  and translating for a pregnant woman, often fell on the shoulders  of her primary school child,  they ,  incrementally worked their way  into various Civic and industrial  professions, into the world of business and commerce, medicine, science, literature and the Arts, and gained respect as politicians at local, state and federal level.

And of those first generation immigrant and refugees who did not quite manage to reach dizzy social or professional heights themselves, we must not think lowly of them, for they too through the success of their children, many of whom researched and wrote their parents stories for the E-publication, contributed by serving the country across all areas of private and public life.

Photo by Marietta Elliot-Kleerkoper

RECALLING the JOURNEY E-book is now available: