First Baltic Migrants For Canberra

April 2, 2020

From the cover inwards, the March 2020 issue of the Canberra Historical Journal features Ann Tündern-Smith’s article about 60 Baltic women who arrived in the then small capital city of Australia in December 1947.

The group was more than half of the women on the first voyage of Displaced Persons to Australia after World War II. They departed Europe at the start of November 1947 and reached Australia exactly four weeks later.

All of the passengers on the first voyage were from the Baltic States. This was a deliberate choice, motivated in part by the Australian Government’s sympathy for the loss of the brief independence of the three countries.

The passengers numbered 843, of whom 114 were women. The 60 women sent to work in the fledgling national capital provide a cohort for the study of their past histories; the types of work to which they were put; and the demography and sociology of their later lives in Australia.

Ann has a small number of additional copies of the issue to donate to interested researchers and institutions. For more information, please contact her at: