A new life down under

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By Rob Waltonteacher and freelance writer

Explore the emotions felt by generations of Britons as they packed their bags and set sail for Australia

Australia is the most popular destination for emigrants from the UK. Every year, thousands of families pack up their possessions and move to the other side of the world. Children in your class may have family or friends who have moved to another country for work or other reasons. There may also be children who are immigrants themselves and whose families have moved to the UK from another country. You may know someone yourself who you could talk about.

This sort of personal experience will bring the following activities to life for children. Ask them whether or not they would like to move to another country. What would they look forward to? What would they most miss about home? Briefly discuss what they might take with them.

Explain to the class that people from the UK have been moving to Australia for more than 200 years. The first British convicts set sail in 1787 and arrived in a land that was already populated by about 300,000 Aborigines. The Aborigines had lived in Australia for thousands of years.

In the 1950s and 60s the Australian Government encouraged people to move to the country by offering very cheap immigration. Tickets to travel there on liners cost as little as £10, so immigrants from the UK became known as ‘Ten Pound Poms’.

Ages 7-9

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