08 May 2018


A unique exhibition of personal immigration stories is on display at the Unley Museum as part of the South Australian History Festival.

Cosmopolitan Unley is a visual exposition featuring stories from some of the city’s earliest pioneering families through to some of our most recent migrants.

The exhibition includes some of Adelaide’s well-known families, such as the Sym Choons of ‘Miss Gladys Sym Choon’ and the Landherrs who founded the Adelaide German Language School.

Unley Museum Curator Karen Paris says it is an honour for the museum to present the personal experiences of people who have migrated to Unley from all corners of the world. 

“Getting to know the people and their families, while bringing their stories to life so others can get know them, has been a wonderful part of this exhibition,” Ms Paris says.

“The exhibition highlights the diversity of our population, right back to the mid-1800s, when the first migrants voyaged from countries such as England, Germany and China, to settle in South Australia.”

The exhibition aims to bring people together and encourages them to share their own histories via the Cosmopolitan Unley Many Faces wall, where attendees can take a photo of themselves and add to the installation with their own story or a flag.

According to the 2016 Census, almost 25 per cent of the City of Unley population was born overseas, including 17 per cent from non-English speaking backgrounds. The number of people born in non-English speaking countries has increased by about 2,300 since 2001 with the greatest increases from those born in China and India.

“The increasing number of people born in non-English speaking countries suggests the City of Unley is becoming more multicultural, though even the previous waves of immigration can be seen today,” Ms Paris says.

Cosmopolitan Unley will be on display at the Unley Museum, 80 Edmund Avenue, from 10 May until 2 August 2018 with a free public launch event to be held on 10 May at 5pm.

Entry is free with the museum open Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 4pm, Thursday 10am to 6pm and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm.

For more information, please visit www.unley.sa.gov.au.

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