By Dr. Nonja Peters
Milk and Honey – but no Gold is the story of those who left behind their country of birth, and everyone and everything they knew, to become part of Australia’s mass migration scheme in the years following World War II. Some were homeless and displaced refugees from the demolished cities of Europe. Others came from countries that seemed to offer little future. Lured by propagandist images of Australia’s abundance, good working conditions, and home and vehicle ownership, they sought a new life for themselves and their families.
Told from the perspective of these ‘New Australians’, the story follows the immigration selection process, the long sea voyage to Australia, the search for accommodation and work, and the psychological, physical and emotional hardships associated with resettlement in Western Australia in the 1950s. These experiences are illuminated through the use of oral-history accounts and through an extensive collection of photographs and illustrations.
The social, cultural and economic development of Australia has been enriched by the contributions of postwar immigrants from Europe and Britain, whose journey across the world brought them ‘milk and honey – but no gold’.
The book was launched by the Premier Dr Geoff Gallop in the Passenger terminal, Fremantle 22 November. 500 People turned up at the launch. It was:
Short-listed for NSW Premier’s History Award: John and Patricia Ward History Prize 2002
Short-listed for Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards: Best History Book 2002
Short-listed for Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards: Non-fiction 2001