Australian Heritage – Italian Migration Stories of FNQ
The Way Back In is an Australian heritage project that is set in Far North Queensland, Australia. Presented here is a series of filmed interviews and portraits, of pre and post war Italian migrant families, individuals and their successive generations. The aim of the project is to document a small selection of Australian heritage within the Italian communities in Dimbulah, Innisfail and Cairns.
Participants were first engaged through La Nostra Storia (our story) story telling workshops. These workshops provided a space where stories emerged and inspired nostalgic accounts of migration, settlement and the significant contributions made by Italian communities to the cultural and economic growth of our region so many decades ago. Importantly La Nostra Storia workshops enabled greater intergenerational dialogue between Italian elders and ensuing generations from Italo Australian backgrounds. Their memories remained vivid of the no less than extraordinary journeys and stories of hardship they experienced upon arriving in Australia’s far north, as far back as the 1920’s and throughout Europe’s post WWII era and into the 1960’s.
As a community, we share the responsibility to identify and respect what is important, and pass on these stories to future generations so they will understand what came before them. As these stories are direct from the subject, they provide depth, texture, flavour, nuance, and colour to our social history. When stories come from the community it fills in the gaps , gives voice to otherwise hidden people, enriches or embellishes, substantiates or contradicts and potentially corrects the official record.
The stories presented on this website are just a small part of Australian history and a slice of Far North Queensland heritage.