Forgotten Women: Remembering “Unsupported” Migrant Mothers in Post-World War II Australia

Karen Agutter, Catherine Kevin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Oral history is a crucial tool for social historians; however, its application may be limited for discovering those who have lived with multiple and intersecting disadvantages. This chapter examines the methods used to explore the migration experiences of female displaced persons to Australia (1947–1953) with a particular focus on unmarried and widowed mothers. We argue that while Sophia Turkiewicz’s auto/biographical film Once My Mother brings the memories of the migration experiences of these so-called unsupported mothers to a wider public audience, it also suggests a larger, neglected story and raises questions for scholars of migration which can only be pursued through the use of multiple and varied sources in order to piece together a fuller, more intersectional, history and collective remembering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemembering Migration
Subtitle of host publicationOral Histories and Heritage in Australia
EditorsKate Darian-Smith, Paul Hamilton
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-17751-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-17750-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
ISSN (Print)2634-6257
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6265


  • Displaced persons
  • Female displaced persons
  • Australia
  • Migrant mothers
  • Unsupported mothers
  • Child placement
  • Once My Mother
  • Intersectionality


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