Merle Hathaway's family are in the British Migrants: Instant Australians? exhibition

THE former director of Horsham’s art gallery has family belongings on show at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.

Merle Hathaway and her family are among those included in the exhibition, called British Migrants: Instant Australians? which opened last month in Flinders Street, Melbourne. 

Ms Hathaway migrated from Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom to Australia with her parents Stan and Lucy Hathaway and sister Hazel in 1951. 

Some of the family’s items on show for the exhibition include a Victory in Europe Day dress that Lucy Hathaway created and Hazel wore at the VE Day Celebrations in Coventry in 1945.

Ms Hathaway was the Horsham Regional Art Gallery director from 1995 to 2008. 

“I was finding other things related to our immigration (after looking for the dress). I think they have 200 to 300 of my family’s items now,” she said. 

Ms Hathaway said the exhibition was personal and focused on a few families who migrated to Australia. 

“They were great to work with,” she said. 

“Right from the start they kept having these forums and focus groups of British migrants. 

“They asked us what we thought the exhibition should look like. It’s been a wonderful exercise.” 

Ms Hathaway said she loved living in Horsham. 

“It was my most favourite job I have ever had,” she said. 

“I loved the community there, and in fact, because I felt so at home in Horsham, my mother, sister and myself all got naturalised in Horsham.”