Erinbank students in the Settlings gallery at Immigration Museum

Migration Stories Discovery trail for secondary schools

Terms 1-4, Mon–Fri
Year level
Years 7-12
Minmum student numbers
Minimum 10 students
Maximum student numbers
Maximum 50 students
Education service fee
Booking information
Bookings (03) 9927 2754

The Migration Stories discovery trail is a self-guided program designed to give Years 7-12 students an introduction to the permanent exhibitions on display at the Immigration Museum.

Pre and post visit resources are available online.

For teachers

Please acquaint yourself with the contents of the galleries before arriving at the museum.

MV Teachers membership provides free entry to the museum and you are welcome to visit and scope your excursion prior to your class visit.

You may want to create your own activity program based on the details below, or use the activities on the following pages.

First Floor gallery map

Your excursion will focus on the following galleries on the first floor.

Immigration Museum First Floor map
Immigration Museum: First Floor map

Gallery and exhibition details

Leaving Home
Using sound, objects, still and moving images we explore the reasons why people left their countries to come to Australia and what they brought with them.

Immigrant Stories and Timeline
This gallery explores why people have migrated to Victoria, where they settled and how they started a new life here. The stories change annually and represent a diverse array of time periods, motivations and cultural backgrounds. Some feature Museum Victoria collections, others have been developed through partnerships with families and communities.

Customs Gallery
The Immigration Museum occupies the Old Customs House, one of Melbourne's most important 19th-century public buildings. For over a century the Customs House was the focal point for Victoria's trade and shipping.

Getting In
Since the 1800s, various immigration policies have dictated who gets in. This exhibition shows how and why our immigration policies have changed.

Suggested activities

Activity 1 - See Think Wonder

In the museum

Use the See, Think, Wonder strategy and have students spend 10 minutes in each gallery space. 

Download or create a template for students to use and ask them to respond to either an object or an exhibit in each of the four galleries.

Back at school

Once you return to class have students share their observations with others either focusing on one particular gallery at a time or across the entire four galleries at once.  

Discussion could focus on the cultural diversity of Victoria and Australia and the ways in which a visit to the Immigration Museum offers opportunities to think about cultural diversity

Activity 2 - Small Object Trail

In the museum

Provide students with a 4 page booklet and set the following task.

Choose one object in each gallery. 

Draw or photograph the object. 

Answer the following questions:

  • What is it made of?
  • Where was it made?
  • Who did the object belong to?
  • Why is this object in the museum exhibition?

Back at school

Ask students to create a small exhibition of their drawings/photographs and discuss what they discovered from the objects on display

Activity 3 - Understanding our Cultural Diversity

Task: Evaluate the ways in which the community demonstrates the value it places on Cultural Diversity.

For teachers:

Before excursion

Have students Brainstorm and develop a set of criteria to measure ways of "valuing cultural diversity".

Back at school

Set the following tasks for groups of students in the class: Use data collected and criteria developed previously, measure ways in which Immigration Museum and its associated programs contribute to valuing Cultural Diversity.

For students:

  • The Immigration Museum opened in 1998 and established an extensive community programs calendar. Watch an overview of Community Festivals
  • After visiting the Immigration Museum and recording observations as described in either Activity 1 or 2 (above) conduct a survey of programs offered at the museum. What conclusions can be drawn from the observations ?
  • Use the Origins website to create a presentation that tracks changes to the cultural composition of Victoria over time. Object descriptions and observations from the museum visit, plus images from Museums Victoria Collections Online can be included.

Curriculum links

  • Humanities – History: Level 9–10
  • Humanities – Geography Level 7-8
  • Intercultural Capability
  • VCE Sociology

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