The Hostel Stories Symposium, Reflecting on the Past, Looking Forward was held on the 29th and 30th of September 2014. Thank you to everyone who attended.


We were privileged to have the following individuals speak or co-author papers at the symposium:

Symposium program

Monday 29 September - Chapel, Migration Museum
9:30-10:00am: Registration and Morning Tea
10:00-10:30 am: Welcome and Overview of Hostel Stories Project (Rachel A. Ankeny)

10:30am-12:00 noon: Lived Experiences of Migrants

  • Pammie Fung (University of Melbourne), "A Place 'Midway' Between the Old Life and the New: A Case Study of the Migrant Hostel at Maribyrnong"
  • Daniella Pilla (University of Adelaide), "'The place could never have run without her!' Olive Taylor and Welfare Services at the Pennington Migrant Centre"
  • Kristy Kokegei (History SA), "Public Works Shemes and the Migrant Experience of Worker Camps in South Australia and Tasmania"

12:00 noon-1:00pm: Narratives of Single Women

  • Marg Kleinig (Flinders University), "'A link in the great chain of organisation of immigration to Australia': The Reception in South Australia of Single Female Domestic Servants in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries"
  • Karen Agutter (University of Adelaide), "Ensuring the Moral Welfare of Single Women: The Problem of Suitable Accomodation"
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:30pm: Commemoration of Migrant Hostel Experiences

  • Jayne Persian (University of Wollongong), "Displaced Persons and Public Memory: Reception Training Centres and Holding Camps as Memory Sites"
  • Alexandra Dellios (University of Melbourne), "Marginal or Mainstream? Migrant Centres as Grassroots and Official Heritage"
  • Bruce Pennay (Charles Sturt University), "Once Upon a Time in Wodonga: Local Engagement with the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre"
3:30-4:00pm: Afternoon Tea
4:00-5:00pm: Curator's Tour of Hostel Stories Exhibit (Catherine Manning) and Discussion
Evening: Casual Dinner (by prior registration)
Tuesday 30 September - 715 Ingkarni Wardli, University of Adelaide

9:00-10:30am: Experiences among British Migrants

  • Justin Madden (University of Adelaide), "The City of Tomorrow or 'What the hell have we come to!': British Migrant Experiences and Perspectives of an Australian Newtown"
  • Marisa Young (Charles Sturt University), "'No tears necessary': From the End of Empire, to the Edge of the Torrens and a Walk to the Flicks! A British Ex-Serviceman's Journey in 1949 to a Migrant Hostel in Adelaide"
  • Fidelma Breen (University of Adelaide) and Dymphna Lonergan (Flinders University), "'Tus maith, leath na h-oibre: Half the Work is in Having a Good Start"
10:30-11:00am: Morning Tea

11:00am-12:00 noon: Curating Migrants' Stories

  • Catherine Manning (Migration Museum/History SA), "'I thought there'd be more': The Material History of South Australia's Migrant Hostels"
  • Tracey Clarke, Amy Lay, and Sara King (National Archives of Australia), "Telling Migrants' Stories at the National Archives of Australia"

12:00 noon-1:00pm: Medical Treatment of Vulnerable Hostel Residents

  • Karen Agutter (University of Adelaide) and Catherine Kevin (Flinders University), "Lost in Translation: Managing Maternity and Infant Loss in Post-War Migrant Hostels"
  • Rachel A. Ankeny and Karen Agutter (University of Adelaide), "Feeding Infants and Children in Post-War Migrant Hostels: Making Malnutritiona a 'Memory of a Sad Past' Through Nutritional Science"
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-3:30pm: Experiences of Current-Day Migrants and Refugees in Australia: An Overview of Qualitative Research Projects (Panel Presentation)

  • Keith Miller (Flinders University)
  • Danielle Every (Central Queensland University)
  • Mel Baak (University of South Australia)
  • Clemence Due (University of Adelaide)
3:30-4:00pm: Afternoon Tea
4:00-5:00pm: Former Migrant Hostel Residents' Panel and Summing Up

5:30 for 6:00pm: Public Discussion Forum (Napier 102)
"Learning from the Past, Thinking about the Future: Lived Migrant Experiences Then and Now" Facilitated by Prof Rachel A. Ankeny (History, Adelaide University)

  • Dr Mel Baak (Education, UniSA)
  • Dr Jim Hammerton (History, LaTrobe)
  • Ms Nicole Harb (Social & Policy Studies, Flinders University)
  • A/Prof James Jupp (Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute, ANU)
  • Prof Klaus Neumann (Swinburne Institute for Social Research)
  • Prof Melanie Oppenheimer (History, Flinders University)
  • Dr Francesco Ricatti (History/Italian Studies, USC)

The symposium and forum were supported by a Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council (LP120100553) in partnership with the Migration Museum/History SA, the Cities of Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield, the Vietnamese Community in Australia (SA Chapter), and State Records of South Australia.