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Western Australia - Archival Item

David Plowman interviewed by John Bannister in the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project (2010)

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[From the National Library of Australia's Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project]

David Plowman talks about his family background; being in hospital in Malta between (1941-1942); the Salesian Institution, coming to Australia; memories of his trip; the community of Tardun; his knowledge of Australia; his initial impressions of Perth; how over 50 percent of Maltese children were being reunited within two years; uniting with his mother in (1959); his mother sponsored by children working in Kanna, Mullewa and Geraldton; his brother's situation; the British migrant story being different to the Maltese; Maltese families exploiting system of migration; his concerns of reuniting with family; the sense of loss, rejection and anxiety; being homesick; his dormitory experiences; re-adjustment problems.

Plowman speaks about cultural differences; Clontaft orphanage; being sent to Tardun farm school, near Mullewa and other institutions; impressions and memories of Tardun; Palatine Mission; Brother Doyle; who organised the migration; Tardun Old Boy Association; working with Christian Brothers Ex Residence Services (CBERS); unfortunate stories heard; his Maltese child migrant experience; family reunions; significant numbers of children not orphans; examples of problems with reunification; child migrant's issues; examples of Maltese situation; the government recognising its faults; monuments erected in Malta and Fremantle, Western Australia; how to deal with problems; Barnardos; helping people that can't move on; society reflecting the human condition; the Boat people.


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Access open for research and personal copies. Written permission required for public use.



  • Plowman, David, Enduring Struggle, Scholastic Press Australia, Broadway, Nedlands, Western Australia, 2003. Details

Prepared by: Debra Rosser