Skip to Content


English banner

We come to AustraliaBookmark

Learning area: English, History
Year level: Year 6
Country: India, Vietnam
General capability:

This learning sequence explores migrant stories of Australians of Asian heritage. Students analyse these stories and reflect on those who come to Australia seeking better lives.


  1. Divide your class into two groups. Group one will explore the migration story of Anh Do (below) and group two will explore the story of Cuc Lam, who immigrated from Vietnam as a refugee in 1978.

  2. In your group, list the facts about the immigration story you are exploring. What reasons are presented to explain why Anh Do or Cuc Lam migrated to Australia. Think about Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Make a list of the primary sources that are used to support the story. What can you learn from these?
  3. Compare and contrast Anh Do or Cuc Lam's family and culture to your own. For example, what are the key values being demonstrated? What were the choices these individuals have made and how do they live their lives in Australia?
  4. As a result of exploring one of these stories, what questions do you have that you would like to ask? Discuss with your teacher how you may be able to further explore these stories.
  5. Come back together as a class and consider how different these stories are to the stories of people in your local community. You may be able to identify someone and invite them to speak to your class.
  6. Discuss as a class what we can learn about history through people's stories.


  1. Read through the migration stories in Packing to Leave: Saris, Suits and Spices, in which immigrants to Australia share their photos and memorabilia, and make a quick summary list for yourself about:
    • the country the person came from
    • the person's age (child or young adult or older)
    • why the person came to Australia
    • what he or she did as a job
  2. Use your summary to describe the 'average' immigrant from this collection focusing on the reason they came to Australia at the age they did and what they did to contribute once they were here. 
  3. Choose to view videos from either Packing to Leave or Moving Stories. The latter is comprised of tales of post-1975 migration to New South Wales through personal mementos, cultural traditions, photographs and memories. Watch at least one person's video (you can also read the text). As you watch, make a list of the information that surprises you or that you think is interesting. If you wish, use a shared writing space like Google Docs or PrimaryPad to pool everyone's ideas.


The postcard held by Museum Victoria about 'Boat people' makes a point about immigrants arriving by boat.

  • Based on what you have learned by engaging and exploring the previous links and videos, give your best response to this prompt:

    I used to think, but now I think …

It is recommended that teachers preview websites and videos to ensure they are suitable for their students before they are used in class. Content accessed via these links is not owned or controlled by Asia Education Foundation and is subject to the terms of use of the associated website.

Related resources

The full resource can not be displayed on a mobile device.

back to top