Image: Boys from Cottage 1 Quarriers before departure to Canada, 1886. Reproduced courtesy Quarriers.
Developing the exhibition
This exhibition was developed against a changing political landscape, which culminated with the Australian and British Governments apologising for their role in schemes that were once considered generous philanthropy, but are now widely condemned as fundamentally flawed social policy.
The history of child migration is complex and contested. Issues of redress and compensation remain unresolved. Many former child migrants are still coming to terms with their deportation and dislocation and find it painful to reflect on their past.
The Australian National Maritime Museum and National Museums Liverpool wish to thank the many former child migrants and their families who so generously gave their time and shared their experiences for the exhibition.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Australian National Maritime Museum and National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
The exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.
Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum, on the western shore of Sydney's Darling Harbour, is in a lively heritage precinct with many attractions. The distinctive main building, with a roofline evoking waves and sails, houses exhibitions that:
- explore Australia's links with the sea
- consider how maritime activities and issues have shaped the lives of people in Australia.
These exhibitions are themed, ranging from Indigenous lore and European seafaring to aquatic sport and the maritime defence of our shores.
National Museums Liverpool
The National Museums Liverpool group includes Merseyside Maritime Museum in the historic Albert Dock on Liverpool's waterfront. The museum tells the story of Liverpool's central role in centuries at sea as the gateway to the new world. The Emigration gallery in particular tells the story of the millions of people who departed from Liverpool in the 19th and 20th centuries.
If you or your family have been affected by child migration, or if you are interested in finding out more about the subject, then you might find the following websites useful.
- Action for children
- Nugent Care
- Fairbridge UK
- Fairbridge Australia
- Big Brother Movement
- CBERS Consultancy
- Child Migrants Trust
- Father Hudson’s Society
- Nardy Old Boys and Girls Reunion Club
- Old Fairbridgians Association of Western Australia
- National Archives of Australia Fact Sheet – Child Migration to Australia
- State Library of Victoria Research Guides – Child Migrants
- Vaughan Evans Library Research Guide – Child Migrants
The exhibition On their Own - Britain's child migrants opened at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney 10 November 2010.
UK Exhibition itinerary
- Merseyside Maritime Museum, National Museums Liverpool
Albert Dock Liverpool England
17 October 2014 - 4 October 2015
- V & A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road London England
24 October 2015 - 12 June 2016
Australian Exhibition itinerary
The Australian national tour completed in April 2014 and included the following venues:
- Migration Museum, South Australia
- Western Australian Museum, Perth
- Immigration Museum, Victoria
- National Archives of Australia
- Albury Library Museum
The exhibition was awarded the IMAGinE Award (Australia) for best exhibition in 2011, presented by Museums and Galleries NSW, Museums Australia (NSW), Regional and Public Galleries NSW and Museums Australia.