Wollongong’s Migration Heritage Places Study, 2007, was an initiative of the Migration Heritage Project and was also known as ‘The Places Project’. The study was made possible through funding from the Department of Planning NSW Heritage Office, the Migration Heritage Centre of NSW and Wollongong City Council. The study was conducted by Meredith Walker, Louise Thom and Glynis Cummins. The Project report was officially handed over in February 2008 to the Migration Heritage Project, Migration Heritage Centre and Wollongong City Council. Material from the study continues to be incorporated into other forms of media by the MHP but publishing the study is entirely dependent on funding availability and volunteer assistance.
Using the historic themes identified in the MHP’s “Investigation Migration Heritage Wollongong” (unpublished), the benefit of the Places Project was the greater understanding of the experience of migration in Wollongong in the 20th Century, in particular: post World War 2 accommodation, work and worship. The population of Wollongong more than doubled between 1947 and 1961 due to migration yet previous heritage studies of Wollongong had not fully acknowledged migration as a significant historic theme in the City’s development. The Places Project aimed to address this oversight. The themes of accommodation, work and worship were selected being the shared priorities of all migrants irrespective of where or when they settled in Wollongong and the results of the research into these themes led to an understanding of important places related to migration.
When researchers, Louise Thom, Meredith Walker and Glynis Cummins, formally handed over the Wollongong Migration Heritage Thematic Study (Places Project) to the stakeholders, the potential to build on the Places Project research was clearly evident to the MHP Committee.
In March 2009 the Wollongong City Council convened a Places Workshop and invited a cross-section of the heritage, academic and local government sectors for a presentation and discussion of the Places Project and the offer to share the Places Project for migration heritage themed exhibitions, publications or further expansion on the collection so far.
Places Project material is available at the Wollongong City Council Local Studies Library.
Essays can be downloaded as follows:
Walker, M, 2007, 'First accommodation for migrants arriving in Wollongong post World War 2', Wollongong's Migration Heritage Thematic Study 2007. Download pdf
Thom, L, 2007, 'The places migrant women found work in Wollongong 1943-1990', Wollongong's Migration Heritage Thematic Study 2007. Download pdf
The 'First Generations Portrait Exhibition' and the 'Not Missin' the Nissen' creative interpretation in the 2009 Viva La Gong Festival and the Working Women internship are example of projects drawn directly from the Places Project.