The Australian National Maritime Museum will unveil 287 new names on the Museum’s Welcome Wall at a special ceremony on Sunday 1 December 2019. The Wall, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, stands in honour of all those who have migrated from around the world to live in Australia.
Close to 30,000 names appear on the wall’s bronzed panels with the number continuing to grow. The arrival of migrants to these shores is one of the major themes in Australia’s maritime history, and a prominent focus for the Museum.
The ceremony will welcome John Goldstein, who was born on the ship on the Red Sea on the way to Australia as his parents fled Nazi Germany. John’s father asked his son to teach them English once he started school and he later joined his father’s business at 15 years of age due to his father’s ill health. Together with his brothers, he built the business up from a single bakery to 16 retail outlets and a factory on the Gold Coast.
Paul Page will speak on behalf of his deceased father-in-law Nicola (Nick) Auciello from Bari in Italy. Nick joined the Italian navy at age 15 and was brought to Australia as an Italian prisoner of war and sent to Orange. He led a colourful life, eventually marrying an Aboriginal woman Shirley Miles in Queensland, having four children and working in their corner shop and then as a cleaner where he commenced his duties at 4am every day.
Angela and Dominic Waters from Dublin came out on the same ship as Carol and Terence Bebbington from Bristol in the UK. Both couples met on the voyage to Australia and stayed friends in regular contact ever since. The Waters’ three children gifted their names on the Welcome Wall as a 50- year wedding anniversary gift.
This ceremony will see 287 names added including 46 from the United Kingdom, 41 from Italy, 25 from Greece, 10 from the Netherlands, 8 from Germany, 7 from Poland, and many more from close to 100 countries. SBS Chief Sports Analyst and human rights advocate Craig Foster will be the MC for this very special occasion.
As a multicultural nation with one in four of Australia's 22 million people born outside Australia, the Welcome Wall is a celebration of diversity. It allows today’s Australians to pay tribute to migrant forebears, family members and friends by having their names inscribed on the Welcome Wall.
The Welcome Wall was built on the Museum’s northern boundary, facing Darling Harbour and Pyrmont Bay where many new settlers arrived. It is the only migration commemoration in Australia with capacity for adding stories. You can read many of these stories here: https://www.sea.museum/discover/welcome-wall/stories.
The Museum is committed to sharing the nation’s migration stories with funds raised through donations to the Migration Heritage Fund being used to upgrade permanent galleries and improve facilities which will strengthen visitors’ understanding of our rich migration history.
Media are invited to attend the ceremony which starts at 11 am.
Images & interviews available on request.
For media information contact:
Lyn Tuit Ltuit@momentum2.com.au or 0405 160 275