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Memory, Migration and Television: National Stories on the Small Screen

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 17:32 authored by Katherine Darian-SmithKatherine Darian-Smith
The introduction of television into Australia in 1956 coincided with the nation’s ambitious and socially transformative post-World War II migration scheme. Drawing upon a national project that traces the conjoined histories of television and cultural diversity in Australia, this chapter examines the significance of television to migration through two oral history collections. In the first, migrants to Australia across several decades reflect on the place of television in their experiences of settlement — including memories of television as a material presence in the home, as a technology of education and English language acquisition, as a window onto an ‘Australian way of life’ and as a cross-generational facilitator between the cultural values of the countries of origin and Australia. In the second group of oral histories, television writers and producers remember the imperatives to introduce storylines that reflected migration and expanding ethnic diversity in Australian television programming, and what this meant (and means) in the context of telling ‘national’ stories to domestic audiences and export markets. The discussion explores the multi-layered connections between individual and shared memories of media and migration.


Publication title

Remembering Migration: Oral Histories and Memory Practices Workshop




College Office - College of Arts, Law and Education


University of Melbourne

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic

Event title

Remembering Migration: Oral Histories and Memory Practices Workshop

Event Venue

University of Melbourne

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding Australia’s past

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    University Of Tasmania