Discover the stories behind my face!

Every item in our collection has a special story.

The hat

A roll of hostel meal tickets from the 1960s and 1970s, used by residents and staff to buy meals in the central dining hall. The Australian government established migrant hostels throughout Australia to provide temporary accommodation for Commonwealth sponsored migrants after the Second World War. Donated by Australian Archives, HT 1999.0113

The eyes

An identity card belonging to Mieczyslaw (Mike) Wolanski, a pilot in a Polish squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, who migrated to Australia in 1954. Donated by Mr Wolanski, HT 1985.0863

The ears

These paper cut-outs are a traditional Polish craft called wycinanki, and were bought in Poland by artist Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski, best known for his ground-breaking work in chromasonics, laser kinetics and 'sound and image' productions. He migrated to Australia in 1949 and used them as inspiration for his own work. Donated by E Booth, HT 2016.0002

The face

A compass belonging to John Billiat, who accompanied explorer John McDouall Stuart on the successful 1862 trans-continental expedition from the south to the north coast of Australia – the first Europeans to make this crossing. Donated by B Vickery, HT 1984.0001

The smile

This brass protractor, made in London, was used by surveyors working for the South Australian Government in the early twentieth century. Donated by the Surveyor-General’s office, HT 2016.1552

The body

A Bible bag belonging to Elspeth Fyfe, who was a young girl when she migrated to South Australia from Scotland in 1910. Donated by A Casey, HT 2002.0090