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From Over the Seas: Stories of Tasmanian Migrants
The first humans to live here were aboriginals who migrated from mainland Australia about 40 000 years ago. They came via a land-bridge which was inundated when rising temperatures melted polar icecaps causing a rise in sea level. Tasmanian Aborigines lived in unchallenged isolation on their island home until British settlers arrived in 1803.
The British government wanted to create a convict settlement and to establish a new colonial foothold in the region. Convicts had no choice but early free settlers came for many reasons – to flee famine, war, persecution or poverty, to follow family members and to seek opportunities not available at ‘home’. Our newest migrants come for much the same reasons.
"Oh my God! It is at the end of the world! And everything is so different. It was like we had been dropped from the moon."
The new Australian emigrant packet-ship 'Ben Nevis'. Illustrated London News 4 sept 1852.
On board ship. Illustrated London News 1849
'E-migration or A flight of fair game'. Lithograph, Alfred Ducote 1832. Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.
A Convict Colony
Early Free Settlers
Assisted Migrants and Bounty Schemes
Gold Rush to Depression
World War 2 and Post War Migration
The Journey - by Sailing Ship
The Journey - after Sail
Supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Your Community Heritage Program.
Thank you to all those who supplied information and photographs relating to their personal migration stories.