Everyone is Human: Stories of Recent Migration

Argyle Foyer
18 March - 22 May 2016

Tasmania has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. A surge of new migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia has created a more richly diverse society. Whether coming as refugees, business migrants, students or to join other family members, these recent arrivals have come to a country where almost everything was different for them.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has recorded the stories of six migrants who have arrived in the state since 2004. In this display you can view the stories of refugees fleeing violence and persecution, an aspiring Manga artist and a dynamic cricketer, all of whom now call Tasmania home. The interviews provide a deep insight into their lives and remind us that despite superficial differences everyone is human.

The museum acknowledges the importance of migrant experiences to the state’s history and plans to continue this project as part of its responsibility to record contemporary Tasmanian stories for the future.

The display is on show in conjunction with Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women: A Tasmanian Experience, which tells the stories of the women and their families who migrated to Tasmania post-war.

This project was made possible with a grant provided by the 2A4 Small Grants Scheme.

We are deeply indebted to the Tasmanians who agreed to be interviewed for this display: Anita Mombila Bananga, Mey Chee Fui Chin, Hassan Mohammed, Prajit Parameswar, Beatrice Storrs and Naina Thapa.

Thanks also to: Brian Martin, Sarafino Enadio, Pamela Stewart, Khadga Thapa and Terry Whitebeach.

You can view the interviews with the six migrants below.

Anita Mombila Bananga
Anita Mombila Bananga was forced to leave her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001 because of her husband’s political activities. They came to Tasmania as refugees in 2008. Anita lives in Hobart with her husband and four children and works in aged care. She dreams of bringing her two sisters to live with her in Tasmania.

Mey Chee Fui Chin
Mey Chee Fui Chin is a Chinese Malay woman from Rantau in Malaysia. After studying graphic art in Kuala Lumpur, she came to Hobart in 2004 to continue her studies at the University of Tasmania. She has worked for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery as a graphic artist since 2012. Mey hopes to achieve her aim of becoming a successful Manga artist.

Hassan Mohammed*
Hassan Mohammed was born in Afghanistan. A member of the persecuted Hazara ethnic minority, he fled the Taliban to Pakistan as a teenager. After returning, marrying and starting a successful business, Taliban threats and beatings forced him to flee again in 2010. Hassan now works in Hobart as a Bi-Cultural and Disability Support Worker. He dreams of becoming an Australian citizen and bringing his wife and three young daughters to live safely in Tasmania.
* to protect Hassan’s family, his real name is not used here.

Prajit Parameswar
Prajit Parameswar grew up in southern India and came to Hobart in 2006 to study for a Masters of Professional Accounting and a Masters of Business at the University of Tasmania. He now works at Hydro Tasmania and has one child. Prajit is passionate about cricket and is president of the Summerleas Eagles Cricket Club, a multicultural club he helped found in Kingston in 2012.

Beatrice Storrs
Beatrice Storrs is a Ma’di woman from South Sudan. Following the outbreak of civil war her family fled to Uganda when she was ten years old. She arrived in Tasmania as a refugee in 2006 and has since lived in Hobart with her young son. Beatrice works in aged care and dreams of owning her own home in Tasmania.

Naina Thapa
Naina Thapa was six years old when her ethnic Nepali family fled Bhutan. After eighteen years in refugee camps she came to Australia with her husband in 2010 and became the first Bhutanese woman to give birth at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Naina lives in Hobart with her husband and children and works in aged care. She is grateful to live in a safe place with freedoms she had not previously experienced.