The Good Room will hold the official opening on Wednesday 24th August from 6.00 – 8.30pm. All welcome.
They will also be opening their first exhibition – Anglo-Indians Sail into White Australia by Leslie Morgan deals with a moment of crisis for White Australia in 1947.
In so doing, it explores racism and belonging through the arrival of mixed race people in a time of heightened racial and border anxieties.
EXHIBITION: Dispatched by the Australian Government to rescue British citizens from India prior to its Independence, the docking of the HMAS Manoora in Fremantle on the 15th August 1947, with seven hundred Anglo-Indians along with 20 Polish refugees, was a historic moment in Australia’s migration history.
At the time of docking, given Australia’s ‘White Australia’ policy, immigration officials questioned the Anglo-Indians British identities, due to their mixed race, and were unsure on whether to allow them entry into the country. In order to avoid international embarrassment Arthur Calwell, the Immigration Minister, allowed them entry into Australia with 237 disembarked in Fremantle, 94 in Adelaide, 183 in Melbourne, 211 in Sydney and 11 in Brisbane.
Through these paintings, Leslie attempts to highlight questions surrounding feelings of ‘otherness’ and ‘whiteness’ for Anglo-Indians, who felt out of place in India and sought acceptance in the host community of Australia. They were the first mixed-race and non-white group of migrants to enter the country during this period, with other Anglo-Indians having to wait until the ‘White Australia’ policy was dismantled in the late 1960s before they were allowed entry.