# 19398

CROSSLEY, R.G.; Australia. Commonwealth Office of Education

English for newcomers to Australia

$120.00 AUD

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/ prepared by The Commonwealth Office of Education … consultant R. G. Crossley. Adelaide : Printed by Vardon, Price Limited, by authority K.M. Stevenson, Government Printer, 1948. First edition. Octavo, original printed buff card wrappers (foxed), pp 118; the inside front and rear covers with printed form ‘To be completed by class teacher at reception and training centre’, with manuscript entries indicating the book belonged to Ukrainian immigrant Dmytro Kraus (d. Geelong, 1965); foxing to outer leaves, otherwise clean and sound throughout.

The scarce first edition of this work, recorded in only four Australian collections (State Library of South Australia; State Library of New South Wales; Deakin University Library; University of Melbourne Library).

A prototype for the subsequent editons (1950, 1956, 1958) which were extensively revised and augmented, the 1948 edition was produced specifically for the first wave of post-war European immigrants who were initially placed in migrant reception centres such as Bonegilla and Benalla in Victoria and Bathurst and Greta in New South Wales. It includes situational dialogues and texts which focus explicitly on daily life at Bonegilla camp, using a fictitious Lithuanian man as the central character. Other ethnic groups featuring in the dialogues are those most strongly represented in the camps – Ukrainian (like the owner of the present copy), Estonian, Latvian, Polish, Czech, Russian and German – being, for the most part, people displaced during the war who had waited in DP camps in Germany since late 1945 for a chance to start a new life, unable to return to their homelands which were under the control of the repressive Soviet regime. The text is raw and stark:

This is the British flag. That is the Australian flag. This is the sun. That is the moon. (p 11)

All Australians are not white. Some Australians are black. Aboriginals are black. (p 39)

Coal is black. A Negro is a black man. Shoes are black or brown. Cats are black, white, grey or brown. (p 103);

Petras: Where do I go to, please?

Officer: What is your name?

Petras: Petras Putinas

Officer: You are in Hut number 6, Block 18. Block 18 is over there to the right. Go with that group!

Petras: Thank you, very much. (p 73)

A publication that reveals much about contemporary Australian attitudes towards migrants and the social expectations that were placed upon them on their arrival in the new world – issues which continue to fester at the heart of Australian intellectual and public debate.