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Type: Journal article
Title: Assimilation through play: migrant hostel play centres in post-war Australia
Author: Agutter, K.
Citation: International Journal of Play, 2016; 5(3):277-291
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2159-4937
Statement of
Karen Agutter
Abstract: In post-war Australia, the provision of facilities for migrant and refugee children to ‘play’ in migrant accommodation centres was an essential element of government policy. Through an examination of photos and related archival material, this paper will consider how play was used as a means of introducing newly arrived young children to the English language and the Australian way of life. The paper will outline how play centres moved from hastily established, overcrowded child-minding centres, often run by untrained staff, in the late 1940s to well-organised, supervised play centres in the 1950s. It will then consider how, through songs, stories, and special activities, migrant and refugee children from diverse backgrounds mixed and learnt how to be ‘New’ Australians. Finally it will argue that a key aspect of the work of these centres was the assimilation not only of the children but also of their families, in particular their mothers.
Keywords: Migrant children; assimilation; play; Australia; migrant hostels
Rights: © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
RMID: 0030080559
DOI: 10.1080/21594937.2016.1207811
Grant ID:
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