Documenting the contribution of migrant women to Australian working life
The ten programs in this audio series were produced by migrant women community broadcasters from around Australia and tell the stories of migrant women in all kinds of workplaces from factory floors to the courtrooms of Australia.
Listen to snippets from the CD below or contact the NEMBC for a copy of the full programs.
Italian Cake Shop
Carmela Mezzapica came to Australia from a small Island in the south of Italy, and together with her husband Angelo started the first Italian cake shop in Leichhardt, in what became known as Sydney’s Little Italy.
Producer: Carla Omiciuolo
On the Buses
Jan Wehipeihana and Tearani Roberta Cohen are Maori women from Aotearoa in New Zealand. Jan left school at fifteen to take up an apprenticeship in the rag trade before moving to Australia in 1976. Tearani worked in an office before deciding to become a truck driver. Both women are now part of a growing team of women bus drivers.
Producer: Anna Schinella
Eugenia Castro is a political refugee from El Salvador, while María Cabellos Yañez escaped the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. They tell of their experiences learning English, raising a family, studying and working in Australia.
Producers: Pilar Aguilera, Marisol Salinas, Paul Hernandez
Migrant Women in the Sex Industry
Dela Pon, from Thailand, was an outworker in the garment industry in Melbourne but she could not earn enough to support her family, so she became a sex worker. Weng Morales from the Philippines, is one of the increasing numbers of women trafficked all over the world for the purposes of prostitution.
Producer: Helen Lobato
Migrant Women in the Australian Legal System
Explores how three working class women from migrant backgrounds managed to beat the odds by entering the legal profession. Senior solicitor Nicky Nicoulaou, solicitor Meryem Apak and Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic tell their stories.
Producer: Marcia de Los Santos
The Great ACT Laundry Strike of 1987
Chilean refugee Elba Cruz tells the story of a strike by laundry workers, which changed the lives of all the women involved.
Producer: Tanya McConvell
Migrant Women in the Arts
Dondu Akbhati and Samia Mikhail are two migrant women who are carving out a place for themselves within Australia’s cultural life. Dondu has worked on theatre and multimedia projects while Samia is a film maker.
Producer: Sacha Payne
Migrant Women in the Health Industry
Profiles three professional women in the health industry: Dr Alka Kothari is an obstetrician and gynaecologist; Carmen Ceñal, a renal nurse and Francesca Mumme, a radiographer. All three work at the Alice Springs Hospital.
Producers: Maria and Meg Kelham
In the Woollen Mills
Skaidrite Liepina and Inga Peerson both worked at the Federal Woollen Mills in Geelong. Like many migrant women in the 1950’s arriving by assisted passage, Skaidrite had to complete her two-year commonwealth work contract at the Mill.
Producer: Jayne d’Arcy
The stereotypes which apply to African women rarely include a Master’s degree. Sophia Poppe from Tanzania has a Master’s degree and she talks about her experience of finding work in Adelaide. Dania Abdullah from Bosnia-Herzegovina talks about her experience in the workforce as a Muslim woman who wears hijab.
Producer: Neda Bojnoordi
This series was produced in 2001 as an audio CD by the NEMBC with the support of the National Council for Centenary of Federation Fund.