Collection Online
gelatin silver photograph
19.5 × 28.7 cm (image)
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
inscribed in fibre-tipped pen on reverse u.l.: K
typed on accompanying paper label: A MELBOURNE TEXTILE FACTORY 1981. / In the textile and clothing unions combined 75% / are migrant women. / Australia has for many years been one of the major / importers of migrant workers. Between 1963 and 1974 / the average intake was over 100,000 per year. / There is a tremendous strain placed on migrants by the / upheaval of leaving their homeland - usually for / economic or political reasons. The most disadvantaged / are those from rural areas who usually arrive in / Australia destitute (possibly in debt), with no job, / no home and no knowledge of the English language. / They have been attracted to this country by Australian / advertising depicting Australia as a land “flowing / with milk and honey”; the reality is that they are / thrust into a hostile environment without the material / benefits of the extended family support to which they / were accustomed in their home villages. / Poverty and the pressures of a consumer society make it / vital for both husband and wife to work, and it is an / economic crisis if for any reason both members are unable / to do so. / Apart from these psychological stresses there are / unaccustomed physical strains. In the rural areas from / which they have come work is slow, seasonal and relaxed; / in Australia the work available for migrants consists / of the heaviest, most monotonous and menial jobs and is / continuous for long hours with constant pressure to / increase output.
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1984
© Viv Méhes
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Daryl and Anne Whinney
Gallery location
Not on display