Teresa

A NEW AUSTRALIAN

Story and Background


Deb’s dad was born in a cave during one of the heaviest bombing raids of WW2. When she did some research, she discovered the cave was an underground shelter built to hide in during Hitler’s bombing raids. The raids lasted 3 years and made Malta the most heavily bombed place in WW2. Can you imagine that? Having your home bombed for 3 years? Deb’s Nanna Teresa had to bring up kids with bombs falling all around, food hard to find and her country being destroyed. After the war, Deb’s seven-year-old father and his family made the long journey to Australia, but their new home wasn’t always an easy place to be.


Teresa: A New Australian is the story of a young girl and her family who, like Deb’s family, survive the war and sail to Sydney.

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Teresa is a young girl who, with her best friend George, survive the war by hiding in shelters during the bombing raids, just like my Nanna and her family. Afterwards, she travels to Australia and is bullied, but she is strong and smart and determined to outwit the bullies and make Australia her new home.

Click the arrow to find out more about Malta and Teresa

Click here to read about a new exhibition about the Anzacs and immigration

The Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell, knew Australia needed a bigger population to build the nation and to protect itself if there was another war. With only 7 million people, he declared the country had to ‘populate or perish’, so he championed migration, but he was also a supporter of the White Australia Policy, which meant Australia wasn’t always welcoming of the new arrivals.