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Research Guides

Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia

Sponsorship and assisted passages

Following World War II, the government took advantage of the instability in Europe to encourage refugees and displaced persons to migrate to Australia. Using the catchcry 'populate or perish', the Commonwealth Government launched an immigration program in 1947 with the aim of increasing the population by 1 per cent each year through migration from the United Kingdom and Europe.

Applicants were attracted by offers of assisted passage and accommodation for sponsored migrants. Between 1947 and 1983, nearly 3 million people – including 260,000 refugees and displaced persons – migrated to Australia. More than one-third were from the United Kingdom.

Families and individuals already settled in Australia could sponsor prospective immigrants if they were able to purchase the fare and guarantee accommodation and employment.

Selected series relating to sponsorship and assisted passages in South Australia
Recorded by: Collector of Customs Adelaide
Correspondence files, 1871–62 D596
'Atto-di-chiamata' (Italian sponsorship) nominations and landing permits, 1925–40 D1987
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Correspondence files, 1946–49 D401
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Application forms, medical examination documents and related papers of British and non-British migrants (including ex-service), 1947–54 D1989
Sydney, Adelaide
Recorded by: Department of Immigration, South Australia Branch
Correspondence files, 'SA/S', 1948–66 D400
Selected items relating to sponsorship and assisted passage in South Australia
Vladcoff Nicholay – application for admission of relatives, 1946–53 D401, 47/3/265
Gilbert Gustav Alfred – application for admission of relative or friend to Australia – Blohn Alice, 1948–49 D401, SA1948/3/276
Sirdar Singh – application for admission of wife, 1936–38 D596, 1936/162
Anthony Neville and Jean Adams – arrived Adelaide per Ormonde 2 March 1948, 1947–48 D1989, ORMONDE 2/3/1948 ADAMS A
TSS Arcadia – ex United Kingdom 26 October 1954 – advice of nominee sailing, 1954 D400, SA1954/6492
Bring out a Briton campaign – Oronsay ex United Kingdom 7/6/1957 (with photographs), 1957 D400, SA1957/6267


Chapter 10
Immigration and naturalisation