The Immigration Museum is part of Museum Victoria, which is Australia’s largest public museum organisation and explores the stories of real people from all over the world who have migrated to Victoria, Australia.

Located in the Old Customs House in the heart of the city of Melbourne, the museum re-creates the real-life stories of coming to Australia with a rich mix of moving images, personal and community voices, memories and memorabilia.

Station Pier Melbourne SS Australis

From the reasons for making the journey, to the moment of arrival in a new country, and the impact on indigenous communities, these stories are sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always engaging.  The result is a thought-provoking and moving experience.

Melbourne Immigration Museum

Irish Family History at the Immgration Musuem

Immigration Musuem Victoria

Through our exhibitions and programs we look at the general experience of immigrants throughout the 19th and 20th centuries – from their decision to leave home, the conditions on the journey to Australia, the experience of arrival and then the next chapter of their lives in Australia by exploring the contemporary issues of identity and belonging. 

Along with other migrant groups, we look at case studies of Irish migrants, exploring their stories through objects that relate to their culture and life. We also celebrate the culture of the many diverse migrant communities in Victoria through regular exhibitions in our community gallery such as the Leaving Dublin exhibition held in 2014, as well as community festivals, many of which have been Irish themed.                            

By visiting our exhibitions and taking part in our range of public programs, visitors to the museum are exposed to a multi-layered experience encountering images, film and personal stories. And it is through these, that the Immigration Museum pays testament to the dreams, aspirations, disappointments and contributions that immigrants including the Irish, have made to Victoria over the last 150 years. 

How we can help Ireland Reaching Out members

Immigration Musuem using reserach library

Located on the ground floor of the museum is the Immigration Discovery Centre (IDC). At the Immigration Discovery Centre we specialise in assisting with enquiries that specifically relate to immigration history, migrant communities and family history.

The majority of these enquiries are research-based questions connected with immigration and family history research. Often people contact us seeking dates and other relevant information to help them in this research. They also want to flesh out these facts by exploring questions such as: Why did they come here? What was the journey like? What did they do when they arrived?

Inside immigration boat

We provide resources and research assistance to help people on the path to finding the answers to these questions. We also make suggestions as to how they can better contextualise their research by exploring the objects in the Immigration Museum exhibitions and Collections Online and the stories they can tell.