Teacher Notes

Part A: What they packed

In this activity you will explore what migrants coming to Australia have packed.  You will also think about what you might take on a migration journey.

The lists below show what three migrants, in three different centuries, may have packed to come to Australia.  Look carefully at the lists to find similarities and differences.


  • Clothes (shirts, skirts, coat, shoes)
  • Cutlery, saucepans
  • Recipes
  • Sewing kit and fabric
  • Diary
  • Bed, chairs and table
  • Seeds to grow vegetables
William Claxton 1859 Courtesty of the National Gallery of Victoria


  • Photos
  • Recipes
  • Piano Accordion
  • Clothes for daily wear
  • Traditional dress
  • Books to learn English
  • Painting set
Courtesy of Collingwood Local History Photograph Collection


  • Laptop
  • Mobile phone
  • Grandmother's beads
  • Identity documents
  • Clothes
  • Guitar
  • Selection of spices
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Using the lists to help you, answer the following questions.
  1. In what ways are the things migrants may have packed in 1810, 1910 and 2010 the same?

  2. In what ways are the things migrants may have packed in 1810, 1910 and 2010 different?

When people migrate to another country they do not just pack a suitcase.  They also bring lots of things with them that cannot be packed in a suitcase, like feelings, skills and beliefs.  Read the following quote, which was written in an 1874 diary entry by Ally Heathcote who had just left her home in England to come to Australia.

With what feelings I first sighted my new country I cannot describe, suffice it is to say, they were of a mingled character, joy and sadness, first of all a feeling of sadness crept over me, as when I was out of sight of Australia I felt a kind of link still binding me to the dear ones I had left behind me in Old England, but this morning I knew that our journey was almost terminated and prayed that our new home might be as peaceful and happy as the one we had in Preston.

Ref: Musuem Victoria Collection

List some of the feelings or emotions that Ally Heathcote brought with her to Australia.