Many would consider them too little to cross the road on their own and yet, from the late 19th century, more than 100,000 British children travelled alone to the other side of the world to begin new lives.
Child migration schemes existed from the 1860s through to 1967, when British children were sent to Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. The exhibition explores the government-endorsed schemes and the motivations behind them. Through detailed case studies, visitors will meet a number of former child migrants and find out more about their different experiences.
Few were orphans. Many came from poor families who could no longer look after them. Sending them overseas, it was thought, would improve their lives while also increasing the population of ‘good British stock’ and labour in the colonies.
British child migration schemes changed the lives of these children dramatically. Some succeeded in creating bright new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from their family and homeland. This exhibition tells their emotional stories.
On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants is an Australian National Maritime Museum travelling exhibition in association with National Museums Liverpool, UK.
Image: Children Bound for Fairbridge Farm School Molong, NSW 1938. courtesy Molong Historic Society.
Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT, Australia
For more information, contact the organiser by calling 6212 3600, by emailing email@example.com or visit www.naa.gov.au .