Australia had long been portrayed in Britain as a land of sun and plenty. In the rush to fill berths, shipping lines contributed to images of sun soaked countryside, exotic fruits and flowers, wide open spaces. With its southern hemisphere seasons, Australia was the perfect ‘Escape from Winter’.
For Calwell to achieve his ideal, Australia had to appeal as a rather more permanent destination. The advertising for the assisted passage scheme painted a picture of Australia as a golden, warm and welcoming place to live, full of opportunities and optimism and far away from the cold and the grey of postwar Britain.
Whilst in Australia propagandist photographs of well behaved, presentable, hard-working migrants being welcomed at the dock side by government ministers, helped persuade Australians that they had nothing to fear from this mass immigration.
Beneath the gloss of persuasive posters and the promise of the adverts, for some the dream of Australia was just that - a dream far removed from reality…