Multicultural Arts Victoria is thrilled to support volunteer curator and project manager Lella Cariddi in the continued development and presentation of the intergenerational multicultural project entitled What Happened at the Pier. The project spans iterations from exhibitions and forums to performances and workshops, featuring previously unseen artefacts as well as new works dedicated to the memories of immigrants and refugees who travelled to Australia by ship through the historical entry points of Princes and Station pier in Port Melbourne.

What Happened at the Pier was first presented as part of MAV’s 2015 Piers Festival at Princes Pier and also at the Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre. Since early 2015, extensive community outreach has been and continues to be undertaken for this project with site specific community consultation and artist liaison, connecting with and bringing together people of all ages and background for a meeting of minds and the sharing of stories.

It is in recognition that apart from “The First Australians” we all came from somewhere else, and that community connections are like Arteries that oxygenate pathways for peaceful, cohesive and inclusive societies. Now more than ever, these social history profiles are significant not least because of the ongoing tension between what is considered important and therefore is recorded in the annals of Australian History and what is considered trivial and gets left out. The tension between cultural values of some “old Australians” and the values of new as well as old established migrants, displaced people and the many refuge seekers whose sole aim is to work in peaceful coexistence, and to make a permanent home in Australia for themselves and for future generations.

Project highlights include:

SAILING INTO HISTORY: Displacements and Arrivals, Co.As.It. Museo Italiano – Exhibition Catalogue

Memory Keepers at Backspace Gallery, Ballarat – Exhibition Catalogue

Journeys of migration by and about local Memory Keepers, Eltham Gallery – Exhibition Catalogue

Memory Keepers Revisit the Past, Diamond Valley Library – Exhibition Booklet

Recalling the Journey, Emerald Hill Library – Exhibition Booklet

Thank you to the following volunteers who have helped make this project come to life:

Ashlee Hope, Project Assistant and Marketing Intern, internship as part of Master of Arts Management, University of Melbourne
Bianca Winataputri, Project Assistant, internship as part of Master of Arts Management, University of Melbourne
Madeline Thorburn, Project Assistant, internship as part of Master of Arts Management, University of Melbourne
Adam Ricco, filmmaker of “Reading the Wind

Caroline Meathrel Mack, independent graphic designer
Johanna Teerijoki, Assistant
Nigel Williams, videographer