In search of paradise – the human stories that helped shape our nation

06 March 2018

A Greek girl sent across the world to marry a man she’d never met; an African journalist fleeing for his life; and a stateless baby born in India to Iranian parents are just some of the human stories that feature in A Ticket to Paradise? opening on 10 March 2018 at Museum of Tropical Queensland.A Ticket to Pradise

The new touring exhibition, from the National Archives of Australia, examines the rich diversity of Australian immigrants and the government’s ambitious plans to encourage mass migration after the Second World War.

Acting CEO of the Queensland Museum Network Dr Jim Thompson said the government’s program transformed the nation socially, economically and culturally.

“This program helped develop Australia’s multicultural population; today, one quarter of our population was born overseas, and nearly half of us have at least one parent born elsewhere,” Dr Thompson said.

“While most people are aware of our diverse cultural heritage, many don’t realise the National Archives holds a wealth of immigration history, from personal and family stories to government campaigns and policies.”

National Archives curator Tracey Clarke said the exhibition A Ticket to Paradise? was designed to show that the migrant experience is as diverse as the seven million people who have arrived here from more than 200 different countries.

“The exhibition reveals the human side of migration through personal stories which give an insight into the rich, complex and very different experiences of the migrants and refugees who settled here, and also examines promotional campaigns which presented a utopian view of Australia as a welcoming country full of opportunity,” Ms Clarke said.

“The government-run campaigns emphasised Australia’s climate, beaches, jobs and housing — a safe home after the atrocities of war, but they also aimed to allay fears that might arise on the home front,” said Ms Clarke.

The Department of Immigration was established in 1945 to encourage and select prospective immigrants. As well as film footage and audio recordings, the exhibition features many images of migrants taken by government photographers between the 1940s and 1990s to enhance and drive the campaigns.

The National Archives has partnered with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to enable the exhibition to tour throughout Australia.

A Ticket to Paradise? will invite post-war immigrants and their families to contribute their personal memories on iPads provided in the exhibition or online at

A Ticket to Paradise? will be on display at Museum of Tropical Queensland from Saturday 10 March – Sunday 13 May 2018.

NOTICE TO EDITOR:  High-res images can be downloaded from

Visit for further details. The Museum is open daily from 9.30am – 5pm and will be closed on Anzac Day.

Media Contacts:


Andrea Hughes, (07) 4726 0604, 0497 347 117