Whilst visiting the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, I came across a journal which was written by Benjamin James Watling who came from my home county Essex in England. He worked in an accountant’s office in London and was married with two daughters. In 1951 he decided that him and his family should immigrate to Australia for a better life.
They took the SS New Australia ship from Southampton (south of England), which took them a whole six weeks to travel! The Watling family had two stops on the way, one being in Fremantle and the other being in Melbourne. They eventually arrived in Sydney and created a transport business between Sydney and Melbourne before purchasing a banana plantation in New South Wales. However, one of the daughters decided to stay in Melbourne as she felt settled there.
The museum had a journal which was written by the Benjamin James Watling; some of the pages of his 47 page journal he wrote are below.
This shows how England has contributed to the diverse culture that Australia has today. People from the UK were some of the first settlers in Australia, which is a reason why Australians speak English. As people from around the UK have different accents, it is said that this is how the Australian accent was formed.
Britain sent over criminals to New South Wales when their prisons were full, this happened up until 1823. The British criminals were eventually seen as workers and used for labour rather than being criminals, therefore British people helped the character and identity of Australian’s develop.
I notice many similarities between British and Australian people even though we live on opposite sides of the world. In 2013 it was said that there were 1,277,474 British expats living in Australia which was more than in any other country.